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Adding Electric Drum Brakes To A Tandem Axle Trailer

Question:

I am looking to get some help in finding out if my trailer will allow for brakes without replacing the 3500 lb axles. The axles are paired with 15" wheels and have a 5 on 4-1/2 inch wheel bolt pattern. If there is someone there that can get in touch with me to help me figure out what parts I need, I would be very appreciative.

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Helpful Expert Reply:

Yes, I can point you in the right direction, and we carry a product that will serve as a solution for you. Since the trailer you're looking to modify has never had brakes installed on it before, and since you're running a trailer with tandem 3500 lb. axles and no existing actuator, the best product recommendation is an electric drum brake system that will work with your existing brake controller, without the need to add an actuator or hydraulic lines.

The Dexter # 23-468-469 brake assembly is a great product for your needs. It's a self-adjusting brake that will fit your 3500 lb axles and will work with your 15" wheels using the 5 on 4-1/2" bolt pattern. Since you have a tandem axle trailer, you'll need to purchase two kits, one for each axle.

You're also going to need a good hub and drum assembly that is designed to work alongside your new brakes, your existing wheels, and your existing axles. The Dexter # 84546UC3 hub and drum assembly will come with everything you need for this, but you'll need to buy four (4) so you've got one for each wheel, as they're sold individually.

It sounds like you want to try to maximize the life of those existing axles and not have to replace them. What I'd recommend most is to have a professional installer replace the flanges and spindles. This part of the process is not a DIY job, but you can obtain the parts you need from our site. To do this you'll need four (4) mounting flanges for each of the braking assemblies to be mounted to the axle, such as the the Brake Mounting Flange # 4-35, and four new spindles which will need to be welded on to the ends of the axle, such as the # TRU84FR, and it's critically important to use a professional installer who can use a jig to put these on perfectly.

I've attached two supplemental articles as well as several videos that will help as well.

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