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Difference Between Idler and Braking Axle

Question:

Whats the difference between a brake axle and a idler axle, also I have a single axle dual zieman jet ski trailer that I would like to increase the axle capacity to 3500lb rating, which axle do you recommend for direct bolt on.thanks

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Expert Reply:

A brake axle would have brakes, either electric or hydraulic drum or disc brakes while an idler hub would have no brakes. Many times, a tandem axle trailer will have one braking axle and one idler axle.

The 3500 lb capacity # 35545I-EZ-89 axle you were looking at comes with idler hubs, but because it has brake mounting flanges, brake assemblies and hub/drums could be added at a later date if necessary.

To find a replacement axle, you'd need to measure the hub face to hub face dimension (A) and the spring center to spring center measurement (B) from your current axle. You'd then choose a replacement axle with the same dimensions. I've provided a diagram showing how to take the measurements.

Keep in mind that in addition to increasing the capacity of the axle, you'd also need to ensure that the suspension and wheels/tires were upgraded to upgrade the trailer capacity to match the capacity of the axle.

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Mike L

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