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etrailer Electric Trailer Left Hand Brake Assembly Installation

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How to Install the etrailer Electric Trailer Left Hand Brake Assembly


Today in our trailer, we'll be installing the etrailer axle technology electric trailer brake assembly. It's self adjusting for the left hand side for 5200 to 7000 pound axles. It's part number AKEBRK-7L-SA. It's also available as an assembly for the right side, part number AKEBRK-7R-SA. Here's a look at our new brake assembly. As you can see, it's an entire new assembly, new backing plate, new shoes, all new springs, a new self adjuster, and a brand new magnet. This is a quick and easy installation versus just repairing your worn out magnet or your worn out shoes.

Just a matter of unbolting the old one, putting the new one on, and connecting your new wires. It saves you a lot of time, a lot of effort, and money in the long run. Nice thing about this brake assembly that we have here today is the fact that it's self adjusting. Once you do your initial adjustment, once you install it, you don't have to worry about adjusting it every again. It will take care of that for you. All right.

First thing we need to do is take off our tire and wheel assembly. We'll take off our tire, wheel and set it aside. Now we need to take off our grease cap on our hub assembly. Use a screwdriver. I'll just tap it in there to get behind it.

We'll take off our keeper here on our nut. Just pry it off. Then, we can remove our nut. Okay. With our nut removed, we can now remove our hub assembly.

Once our hub assembly is off, we can take off our outer bearing and our spacer washer here and set those aside. We will be replacing our hubs and our bearings, so we don't need to worry about saving any of the bearings or removing the seal. We'll just set this aside and have it out of our way. Now, we'll cut our wires that go to our brake assemblies. Unwrap this so we can see what we're working with here. A little snip back here to get rid of the butt connector. It will have a new one. You can see this isn't a heat shrink butt connector. It's just a standard butt connector. We'll replace them with heat shrink butt connectors, so it will be more weatherproof. Before we get dirty, we're going to need to clean off this grease. Just take a shop towel here and wipe it off our spindle. This really is a good time to inspect your spindle, too, and make sure there is no deep gouging, cracks, or burns on it. Ours is looking pretty clean so far. Now that our spindle is cleaned off, we can remove our brake assembly here. I just want to point out that our brake assembly is covered in brake dust. You want to make sure you're wearing gloves when you're doing this, just because brake dust can be harmful to your health. There's five nuts that hold our brake assembly on to our axle. Okay. With all five of our nuts now removed, we can take our brake assembly, pull it off, and we can discard it. Now we can slide our new assembly on. Make sure we have our wires up and out of the way behind it so they don't get pinched behind our backing plate here. We'll just slide it onto our axle, line up our studs, push it on. You want to make sure your magnet is facing down towards the bottom. If we did it like this, you can see it's no longer on the bottom. We did it like this, it's off to the side. You want to have it as close to the bottom as possible. Right there is perfect for our application. We'll take our nuts, and we'll reinstall them. When we tighten these down, we want to make sure we go in a star pattern just like you would when you're tightening down the lug nuts on a wheel. You would do diagonally across, back, down, and then back up. You never want to do two that are next to each other at the same time. Now we're going to torque these down. Again, just like we did with snugging them down, we'll go an alternating pattern. Now that our new brake assembly has been torqued down, we can make our electrical connection to the existing wires on the trailer. Because trailer brakes utilize a magnet, it doesn't matter which wire goes to where. I'll take our existing wires here, strip back some insulation, take two heat shrink butt connectors. We have these available on our website if you need to purchase them. Install them onto the wire, and we'll crimp it down into position. Since these are a smaller diameter gauge wire, what I like to do is fold the wire back in half on itself like that, so it's a little bit thicker. Then, we can crimp it down into our connector. Now, we'll take our heat gun, and we'll shrink our butt connectors. Okay. With these heat shrink butt connectors now heat shrinked, we have a nice, secure, weathertight connection, and we won't have to worry about moisture getting in there and causing corrosion and causing our trailer brakes to work inadequately. Now, you have the option to reinstall your old hub assembly, but while you have it off, it is a good time to replace it, so that is what we will be doing here. The hub assembly we are using is part number AKHD-865-7-2-K. We'll begin our installation by first packing our wheel bearings. We'll start with the inner one first. We'll take the tub of grease, drop the bearing on down in there, spin it around a little bit, get it nice and coated, and, then, we'll start working our grease into our rollers. If we need to purchase any axle grease, we do have this available on our website. Okay. Now that I'm holding the inner section of the bearing and moving the outer section, and it feels nice and smooth, what we're going to do is we'll put some grease around the inside of it, and we'll coat the outer portion of the bearing, as well, and we'll drop our wheel bearing into our hub. Okay. Now we can install our grease seal. Just put it down in position into our hub. You can use a seal installer if you have one. I don't have one large enough to do this, so I'm going to use the old fashioned block of wood trick. I'll stick it on top of it, make sure it's sitting nice and flush, and we'll tap it in with our hammer. As you can see, that pushed our seal in nice and straight and didn't cause any damage to it. Now that our seal's fully installed, I always like to take a clean shop towel with some brake parts cleaner and clean off our area where our shoes will make contact, just in case there's any oil or grease from manufacturing on our hub assembly. We'll flip it on over, and we'll work on packing our inner bearing at this time. We'll work all this grease on the outer bearing just like we did the inner one, and we'll set it aside right there. We'll slide our new hub assembly onto our spindle. Now, we can install our outer wheel bearing. Slide it into place. We'll take our washer here, slide it onto position. We'll reinstall our nut. We'll rotate our hub a little bit while we tighten the nut down. Make sure we have good free play in our bearings. We do, and it rotates nice and smooth. That grinding noise you're hearing are our brake shoes rubbing against our drum. That's normal. We have to adjust those a little bit here shortly. Now we'll reinstall our tab here, which holds our lock nut in place. Before we reinstall our grease cap, I always like to take a little bit of grease and put it in there, just so, if it needs to, it can work its way into the bearings. We can take our new cap, place it into our hub, and we'll tap it in. Clean up our excess grease. Now, I always like to put the wheel and tire back on the hub before we adjust our brakes, just so we can rotate the brake assembly easier and get the proper feel. Now, we'll tighten down our new lug nuts, they used a 13/16 socket, making sure we go in a crisscross pattern. We'll torque all of our lug nuts once we have our trailer back down on the ground. Now that everything's installed, we need to do our initial adjustment on our trailer brakes. Once we have them adjusted properly, we don't ever have to worry about adjusting them again, because they are self adjusting. We'll take out this back cap here. I'm going to be using a brake spoon. We have these available on our website if you would like to purchase one. We'll adjust our star wheel adjuster down while rotating the wheel to make sure our brakes are starting to grab more. Once we have light drag on the brakes, we know they're adjusted properly. Okay. We have light drag now. As you can see, I'm putting a little bit of effort into the tire to move the wheel assembly. Once we're right about here, our brakes are properly adjusted, and we can reinstall our dust cap. Now we're going to spin our wheel and have our assistant activate our brake controller on our tow vehicle, and you can see our brakes are now working properly. That completes our installation of the electric trailer brake assembly that's self adjusting for the left hand side for 5200 pound to 7000 pound axles, part number AKEBRK-7L-SA.


Info for this part was:

Employee Jeff D
Installed by:
Jeff D
Employee Dustin K
Video Edited:
Dustin K

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