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HydraStar Electric Over Hydraulic Disc Brake Actuator Installation - 2018 Shasta Phoenix Fifth Wheel

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How to Install the HydraStar Electric Over Hydraulic Disc Brake Actuator on a 2018 Shasta Phoenix F


Hey everybody, we are here with Jim today, and Jim got you, what do we have put on today for your wheelWe put on a electric over hydraulic disc brake. Awesome and I think we went with the HydraStar as well for your actuator on the inside, so-Yes we did. Well cool, why don't we go ahead and take a look on here. And some of those advantages of that hydraulic brake system is just gonna be a little bit of a smoother ride. Especially if you do have that proportional brake controller, and since you got the ram there, I think you're all kinda taken care of with that. Gonna make for a smoother ride.

And we actually did end up hiding it here over to the side, which is pretty nice. So we're still leaving a lot of room here in the front compartment for your gym, which is great. 'cause space is limited of course in our fifth wheels. And so we actually have it mounted up here on the side. We ended up using those two brackets, we mentioned earlier here.

Just to kinda suspend it there off to the side. So, are you liking that just kinda getting out of the wayAbsolutely do, yeah. Awesome, cool. It's out of the way and didn't take up any extra storage. So yeah, very good.

Sweet, yeah, so a lot of our internal components are gonna be kinda hidden right now, a little hard to see. Of course, you do have your bleeder valve at the top here which can be really nice, now, Dave's already gonna have your installer, got this all prepped up, bled all that line for you. So nothing you're really gonna have to do at the start here, but if you do start noticing a little bit of issue with it. Go ahead bleed those guys out that way. We're not having air sitting in our lines and then our brakes are working how we want them to.

So, gonna be a little hard to kind of see how all of our lines are being ran right now. But we gonna bring ourselves to the corner here and we kinda see how it's actually going to our brakes. So we actually have our hydraulic hoses coming through here on the side, of our compartment for a propane. And that's what we we're talking about having that plastic bushing in place. 'Cause as we core that out, we don't want any sharp edges actually nicking or cutting that hose. So that's why we went ahead and put guy in there, giving you a little more protection, which can be great. And I know you said it before a concern with yours was having any kinda hose or anything exposed in an area. So this way we're tucking up on the inside. And so, our line is basically coming down, the side of our fifth wheel here, all the way of course back to our brakes, which is great. And I believe you went with Kodiaks didn't shift for that break actually, which is great. So, and again, those hydraulic brakes are a little more responsive than your normal, you had the drum breaks before you we're saying, rightThat's correct. Yeah. So is that kinda what led you even to kinda go this route You we're having trouble with just kinda feeling that weight behind youNo, it wasn't really trouble, just had a trip last year to Tennessee and pulling the mountains and I could tell the electric disc or excuse me, drum breaks we're getting a little spongy 'cause they're getting worn. Yeah. And so I wanted something a little bit more efficient. Yeah, and you could kinda feel that in the back of the truck, right Yeah, kinda chucking around, awesome. I wanted something that had better stopping. Yeah. Power and that's why we did that. So and that's exactly what we're gonna get, right We're gonna have that electric response, which is, therefore, we're gonna turn that into our brake fluid. Which gonna push into our brakes and then, give us the braking power that we're looking for. And this is what our actuator looks like when it's installed. We installed it here in our front compartment, we want it at the front of our trailer. And ideally, we would like to get it high as possible to where we can still easily fill the top, but we keep it higher than what the length of run for our line is going back to our brake assemblies. That'll just help the gravity bleed and make things bleed a little bit easier. If possible you can tuck it up out of your way. That's kind of the ideal location, so that way you still have access to the front of your compartment here. We needed the HydraStar actuator because we would get an electric over hydraulic conversion, where we went from electric drum brakes to hydraulic disc brakes. Hydraulic disc brakes require a higher activating pressure than a drum brake system. A lot of your drum breaks, if it is a hydraulic and it has an actuator, might be like a 1200 PSI actuator. With disc brakes we need at least 1500 PSI, and this guy's got 1600 PSI. So we've got a little bit of headroom on here as well to be able to ensure that we can apply our brakes properly and reduce our stopping distance over what electric drum brakes would do. Included with the actuator, you get your wiring coming out of it. It's pre-installed there that comes out, so you just got four circuits that you'll need to connect, to get this up and running. And the actuator has an internal proportioning valve inside, to ensure that it's delivering the pressure to the brakes evenly. So that way you get nice, smooth activation. It's a much more natural feeling an electric over hydraulic brake system versus an electric drum. The electric drums just seem to apply a little bit more jarring, these apply much more natural. And again, they reduce your stopping distance. And a lot of these trailers you put these on, you can use your manual slide and stop the truck without even using your truck's brakes, they have that much stopping power. So now we've covered some of the features of our actuator here. If you follow along with me, we'll discuss how we got it mounted up here and show you how to get these wires connected and where they belong. We'll begin our installation for our actuator by determining where we can install it, and how we're gonna get it mounted up. Now, we're in our front compartment here of our trailer. So we're just behind the fifth wheel hookup, in that compartment right there. This is where our battery was located, and ideally, you could wanna try to put it on the sidewall so that way you're not taking up compartment space. And I like to put it higher if possible, so that way this is the highest point. That'll just make bleeding the brake system a little bit easier, if this is the highest point, you kinda get a little bit of gravity bleed working with you there to help you out. So the way we got this mounted up here, we just kinda held it up first, and determined, hey, it's gonna fit in this kind of cut out here, so that's really nice, we can kinda hide it in there. We just need some bracketry in order to install it. And we ended up sort of making our own bracketry here. You can buy these here at etrailer. These are the short no-drill brackets. They're really in design for like getting a four-pole connector mounted up on your hitch, without having to drill into anything. It comes with a little clamps so you can clamp it on your hitch. We don't need to clamp from the kit, but the rest of the parts actually work out really nice for us. So you'll have your bracket here, and there are holes that's pre-drilled in this bracket for mounting up a four-pole connector. We line up one of those holes with the existing hole here, on our actuator. And we just ran our bolt through and attached it. I did start with using the bolts that come in the kit, with this here. But I did eventually decide to upgrade to a larger size, 'cause it just felt like it was a little more secure with these larger bolts. But you can start with the ones that come in your kit to just help you line it up. And once you've got it screwed into one of the holes here, we just kinda held it until it was flat, nice and straight long line. So it's all flush and everything. And then we marked up the other hole here. And then we just drilled it out. We used the quarter-inch drill bit to drill out the hole in our no-drill bracket. So that way it matched up with this other hole. We had bolted it to this hole though, so that we we're able to just kinda move the bracket over and just kinda use this as a template, to drill it out. After we did that, we just came over here to the other side, we did the same thing. We matched up the outside hole here with the existing hole in the bracket, and then secured it, marked the other hole, and then drilled our other hole. We then just used our hardware here, we do have to provide just to provide your own hardware. You could use the ones that come with the no-drill bracket, those should work probably just fine. Again, I just felt like a little bit beefier would be better for long run. So if you wanted to upgrade to quarter-inch hardware, you could do that yourself as well. After we got it mounted onto our neural drill brackets, we drilled out holes in the no-drill bracket here. On the end it has a 90-degree bend in it right there. But that's normally just solid across. So I just, on each side of it, I drilled out a quarter-inch hole. After I drill up the holes, I just held it up here in the location I wanted to mount it, and I marked those holes here on the wall. So we're gonna head around to the other side real quick, because you wanna always check before drilling and see what's on the other side. And there we're components here we had to move out of the way. And here we are on the compartment, that's just on the outside of that wall that we we're looking at. The customer's propane tank was attached into these straps right here. So we pulled that propane tank out of there. We don't want to drill through that, that would be pretty catastrophic. So get that out of the way. And once we got that tank out of the way, we we're able to see that kinda roughly in this area here, there was nothing that was gonna really be there. So then we went ahead and drilled out those marks that we made and then we did just kinda run the hardware through, and then run it down, to secure it to the sidewall there. And that'll keep everything nice and secure. While we're also out here, be a good idea to note, you're gonna have to route your lines from your actuator at some point. The lines don't come included with your kit, but we sell them here at etrailer. And if you kinda see what we've got our actuator mounted, we did drill a hole here as well, to be able to push our lines through. We drilled that out to a seven, eight diameter, just using a step bit to do so. Because you'll see it's got a kinda a plastic grommet on it right here. We sell these here at etrailer, and they require that seven, eight-hole in order for those to snap-in. And it'll give you plenty of a large enough hole to be able to feed any of your lines that you need through there. And that'll protect it from any sharp edges on our metal. All right, so now we got it mounted, we need to start wiring it up. So we've got four wires coming out of it. You've got a blue, a yellow, a black and a white. I've saved the black and the white, I'll show you how I'm gonna connect those. The white is our ground and the black is our power. I've already connected the blue and the yellow. But the blue and the yellow, the blue will connect to your brake controller output, and the yellow will hook to your breakaway switch. So that when the pin pulls through the breakaway switch, it'll activate this, and let this thing know that a breakaway event has occurred. This one again just goes to the brake controller. So figuring out how you're gonna connect to these can be pretty tricky. The easiest way that I found to do this, is to see if you can find the existing trailer brake wiring. And that's actually what this red circuit is right here that ran down. This was originally the power feed from the brake controller that goes to the electric brakes on the trailer. And this white one here was the ground for the electric brakes. Now I've moved the ground, see if I think, hey, this yellow doesn't go to ground, I've moved that. And I'll show you why I've moved it here. If we follow this wiring up, this goes kinda up here. And eventually goes to our fifth wheel at the front where the junction box is. This part of the wire here where I cut it, goes down the trailer and goes back to the brakes. So you can just leave that wire there. Once we cut it here, we've disconnected the electric brakes completely. And it's okay that this wire just stays in the trailer. So we're gonna head over to the kingpin and look at that junction box. So I can show you kinda why I'm using the ground wire here for my connection on the yellow wire which is supposed to be our breakaway switch. The blue wire just runs up from the brake controller on the seven-way. So that's just goes right there, so that's nice and easy. Let's take a look at the fifth wheel kingpin so we can show you what we did in there. All right, so here, we're at the kind of our kingpin here at the front. This is the junction box. I pulled the cover off of it. There's just a screw there and there that allows you to pull the cover off. And then pulled our wiring out of here 'cause we wanted to assess the situation here to see how we we're gonna get our brake controller signal to the actuator. And also how we're gonna get our breakaway switch cable hooked up to the actuator. So I pulled the wires down here so I can kinda see them and then if we follow the blue wire up here, you can see that red sheathing. So I always kinda look for that, 'cause if you can see a lot of times it's a gray sheathing, not a red. I was looking for gray originally, then I saw, I see the red sheathing here. So I know, hey, if I can find the red sheathing in that compartment, I know those are my brake wires. And can also kinda verify that it's got a blue knit and a white knit, to further verify that I got the correct wires. Now you'll see that I cut the white wire that was originally connected to ground. You can see right there where it was connected originally. We're gonna hook that to our breakaway switch. Now the breakaway switch is hooked to two spots, there's two wires coming out of it. One of the wires is gonna hook to a power source and we've already tested and checked. And the black wire that is connected to the white wire with the blue stripe here, this has power on it. This is our hot wire. So we wanna leave the one alone that has power on it. If you need to check it, you use a test light, just hook one under your test light to ground, and the other end poke it in here and see if it lights your light. If it lights it, it's got power on it. So we know that's the power side for our breakaway switch. We're gonna leave that alone. We need the output side of the breakaway switch. It'll only have power when the switch is, when the pin is pulled from the switch. And that's the other black wire here, we can kinda trace those back, they're inside of the little guy here. So we just traced them to see that there we're two black wires right here, that we're coming from our breakaway switch. We followed them in here, verified the one was connected the power. And then the other one here, normally you'll find it connected to your breakaway switch. I mean, sorry, normally you'll find this to your brake controller output, the same blue wire. If we kind of just take a quick peek right in here, there was the black wire connected to our brake controller output. We no longer want the output from the breakaway switch connected to here. We need this to be connected to that yellow wire on the inside. So we cut our ground wire off here connected to the yellow wire. So if we connect our black wire here, that's gonna connect it to that yellow wire in there, without us having to route new wires. 'Cause routing wires to this junction box here from your compartment, can be quite difficult to get those wires to feed through. So if you've got the opportunity to reuse wires that are here, repurpose those on this can. So I'm gonna strip both of these back, so we can make the connection over here. And we're just gonna grab our butt connectors. We are gonna use heat shrink butt connectors, even though this is enclosed in a compartment. The compartment does not appear to be any kind of weather-tight compartment. I can see some holes in it and stuff. So dew and moisture is gonna get into this compartment. It's not gonna be nearly as bad as any wiring under the trailer or anything, but still want to protect it. So we're gonna crimp one end onto our white wire, which again is going to the yellow wire on our brake controller. I mean on our brake actuator. And then the other end of our butt connector here, we're gonna hook to the black wire that we removed from the brake controller output circuits. This is the output from the breakaway switch. All right, just double-check make sure those are in there good. And then we'll grab our heat gun to shrink that down. All right, so we've got our blue and yellow fully connected. Now you saw how we repurposed those brake wires to be able to connect those. We're not gonna move on to power and ground here. We're charging up our battery here and just get these, leads out of the way, and we're gonna do our power next. Now for power, we wanna make sure that we've got proper circuit protection on here. So, we've got a 40 amp circuit breaker that we're gonna be putting in between the positive post of our battery here and the black wire, which is our positive, lead for our brake controller. I mean, for our brake actuator. So, we're gonna mount this up. We're just gonna mount it right here, on the pillar here. We're just gonna use some self-tapping screws, to run this in. All right, so, we've got it mounted up there. I just ran them in, I couldn't really show you guys, 'cause I had to get my whole body in there, to kinda get enough pressure to run those self tappers in. But that's exactly what we need right there. So now, we'll start hooking it up. I'm gonna remove the nut from the silver post. The silver post will attach to our actuator here, and the black wire gonna connect to it. So, we're just gonna kind of run that right over there, and we'll attach a ring terminal to it. You can get ring terminals here at etrailer. We're gonna use a smaller ring terminal on this end here to attach to our relay, on our circuit breaker. All right, I put that one on there. This will then just slide right over there, onto our circuit breaker. And then we'll just re-thread the nut back on there. All right, now this is the full length of wire, that comes off our actuator here. So, there really wasn't quite enough left, to kinda cut it and attach it to that and then get to our battery here. So, we're just gonna be using a small, extra piece of black wire. We do sell additional black wire here, at etrailer, if you do need some. So, we're gonna take this additional black wire, we're gonna strip back one end, and we're gonna place another one of those small ring terminals on it to attach to the copper post or bronze-colored post. That is eventually gonna head over to our battery positive. We're just gonna crimp this one on, just remove the nut from the bronze post, slide our ring terminal on, and then reinstall the nut. After that, I'm gonna take the little bit of extra wire, that I got here and trim it to a little bit more appropriate length. I just kind of grabbed a little piece, that we had extra here. And I'm probably gonna run it off like this, this direction for this one. So, we run it back like that and then reinstall our nut. And then this is just gonna kinda run down, we're just gonna try to follow these wiring that already exists there. So that way we know it'll pass into the lid that was on here. We didn't remove the lids, kinda sitting right up here. All right, so this is like a pretty good length right here, so we'll take the excess, cut it off. We can then strip this back, and on this side, we're gonna be placing a larger ring terminal. Anyone that's gonna be large enough to be able to slide over the battery post there All right, so, let's slide that on like that, and then we'll crimp this one down. Now, this is gonna attach directly to the battery positive post here. We're gonna wait to hook that up to the very end, kind of our last step. That way we don't have any live, anything here that we're kind of working with, nothing's gonna be live. So, if we accidentally touch something, we're not gonna cause any shorts. So, we got it all prepared, we'll be coming back to just hook that up at the very end. Now we'll go ahead and take care of our ground wire. This is just gonna go down and it's gonna run over here to the negative post. Once again, it's a little bit too short, on the length of wire that we've got here. So, we'll probably use a little bit of this extra black bar that we've got here, to kind of finish that little run. So, I'm gonna extend the white wire with a butt connector, and then I'm gonna be placing one of the large ring terminals on the other side of the our piece here to make that extension. All right, so we got our ground wire extended here, so we can bring that over and attach that to our ground post there. We're gonna remove our nut on there. It's a 9/16 for our battery, but they do vary a little bit. So just want to make sure you've got the appropriate one for yours. They're just gonna slide that ring terminal onto the post and then reinstall the nut. All right, so, that's looking good there. Now we're gonna grab a 3/8 deep well socket. 'Cause before we hook up that power wire, we wanna make sure we snug up our circuit breaker nuts, that we had put on earlier. Make sure we get those snug down. Okay, slide this one down. All right, both of our circuit breaker connections are snug down. So now, we can head over to our battery positive here, for that last connection. I'm just gonna remove the nut on top of our battery here, take our wire, slide it into place and then reinstall the nut. So now, we've got all of our connections made there, at this point, we used any heat shrink butt connectors. We're gonna grab our heat gun, shrink these down, and then we can kind of just route our wiring, kinda back in this area, and tie it out of the way. I'm gonna grab my heat gun again, just to finish up on those. And these ones here in this front compartment really didn't need to be heat shrink butt connectors. If you get away with a regular one, this should be fairly free of moisture, but it does have to be a somewhat ventilated compartment for your battery. So again, it could get just a little bit, so it's not gonna hurt to put these on here. All right, so we've got our actuator mounted, we've got it fully wired up, at this point. The next thing you'll need to do is install the lines for your system. So, however, many axles and stuff you've got, make sure you run your lines back. We've got various different line kits available here at etrailer. The one we're gonna be using on this particular one today is a flexible line kit. So, it's all flexible from the actuator, all the way back to each individual brake. We've got more traditional ones though, as well. If you wanna go with a hard-line style, you'll get hard lines from your actuator, all the way back to your axles there. And then you do get flexible lines to go from the hard-line down to your disc brakes with those kits. So, both of them work out really great. These ones are definitely easier to install to flexible ones, and you need less tools. With the hard-line, you're gonna need a bender tool. So we're gonna go ahead and get these installed here. We've got a video, showing you how to install those as well. And once we get those on, we're gonna show you how to fill this up and believe the system. This actuator requires DOT 3 Brake Fluid, so make sure you've got some on hand. All right guys, so we are back up here at our actuator now, we've finished installing our line kit, our actuator is all wired up. Our brakes have been converted over from the old drums to the caliper and disc set up. At this point, we just gotta get all the air out of the system, and get the lines fully bled full of brake fluid. We're gonna be using DOT 3 Brake Fluid for this. I've removed the cap up there, and I took a little nap time and I wrapped it around to catch anything that I spilled. 'Cause, this is a pretty strong chemical that's inside of here. The brake fluid, it really likes to eat paint and stuff. So you wanna try to avoid getting this on things, it's not the best to get on your skin either, it kinda dries you out a little bit. So just try to avoid that as well. So we're just gonna top this up, I got a light up there, shining down inside of it, so I can see. So we try not to overfill it too much. And you're probably gonna need a couple of these bottles here. That was a partially used bottle there, about half of it. And then we're gonna open up the next one here, start filling this up. We got a total of three bottles here. We're probably gonna use two completely and then partial of that third one. So just keep that in mind. These are about 12-ounce sizes. All right, I can see the level there, we're almost all the way to the top, that's where we wanna be. Your cap here, you can just leave that sitting right there. You don't wanna put that back on, if we leave the cap on, we bleed them, this rubber seal in here, as it's sucking the fluid out, as we're kind of bleeding that out. The lower pressure that's in here, from us pushing it down will actually suck this seal out of the cap. And it is kinda designed to extend out some, but if you suck it all the way outta there, you can damage the seal on the cap. And then you get air in your system and stuff. So just leave that cap off there to, avoid damaging it. And now we're gonna have to enlist ourselves an assistant, to help us bleed these brakes. 'Cause one person that'll be me. I'm gonna be back at the brake assembly to open up the bleeder. Your assistant though, he'll either need to be at the front of your trailer here, you need to pull the breakaway switch pin, which would activate the actuator, or you could plug it into your vehicle. We're gonna be using a test box, which simulates a brake controller output. If you plug it into your vehicle, you can use the manual slide, on your brake controller to activate this as well. So your system could be doing that. So we're gonna grab somebody here real quick, to operate our test box, which acts like the brake controller. We're back here at our brakes. We've got our assistant up there, at the front. I've hooked up a hose on here. If you got a clear one, that's a little bit easier so you can see the fluid that's coming out of it, and it's just draining into a bottle, we got over there. We drilled a hole in the top to funnel it into there. So what I'm gonna do is, I'm gonna open this bleeder up. I've got a 5/16 wrench here. I'm opening the bleeder and then our assistant's gonna activate it. So go, Shane, he activates it and then it's pumping some fluid out. I'm gonna go close it off there. Okay, Shane, and we closed it off. We got some fluid out, but the reason why we closed it is because the pump up there moves a lot of fluid very fast. So after you have it open for a couple of seconds, you probably wanna shut it off and check the level of the fluid inside of your actuator. If the actuator goes dry, you have to start this whole process all the way over. And all we're gonna do is just repeating exactly what we did, but taking a break in between here and double-checking that fluid level to make sure it stays topped up. We're just gonna rinse and repeat this procedure until we get clean, clear fluid coming out of here, with no bubbles inside of it. Okay, ready so, we can see that we got bubbles in it, it's coming out, that's looking pretty clean there. So we're gonna go ahead and close it off. All right, so, we got that closed. So we can double-check our fluid level. If everything looks good there on the fluid level, we're gonna move on to the next break and just repeat that, until we get clear fluid through. Once we get all clear fluid through, we'll probably come back to this one. Just one more time, just to double-check to make sure we got all the air out of it. All right, so we went around and we finished bleeding the brakes after this one, we moved up to that one then we moved across to the other side, to bleed both of those. When starting bleeding your brakes, I do recommend starting at the furthest caliper, away from your actuator at the front. So we've got the actuator stalled on the left front side. So we're on the right rear here, starting with this one. That just gets the majority of the lines bled, with this first one here. And then you're just kinda taking up the last little bit, go into each individual caliper. So yeah, we got all that done, at this point now, we are ready to check for any leaks that we may have. There's a very high-pressure system, and the way to check for leaks is, we're gonna pull the breakaway switch pin. That's gonna just deadhead our system, run it up to its max pressure, and we're gonna just check each fitting. So, at each caliper, we're gonna check those and at our 3-way and our 4-way T, we're gonna check those as well and at the connection of the actuator. So, I'm gonna pull that pin, we'll grab our flashlight and just make sure we ain't got any leaks going on. All right, so we're back up here at the front, you guys are looking at the actuator. I'm pulling the breakaway switch pin now. The pump is activated. And we're looking right here at the fitting, getting real close up on it, making sure that there's no wet spots and there's no drips. It's all good, we'll then move to the next fittings and just check those all the way back, in every single one. All right, guys, with no leaks present, that pretty much finishes up our installation here. If you want to just verify it's working properly, you can pull that pin and you should not be able to turn it. When the system's activating, and you should be able to turn it when it's not activating, just like now, we're not activating, we've already tested it, we know that it holds. So, at this point, you just get your wheels back on, make sure you get those torqued down to the manufacturer's specifications and you're ready to hit the road. All right, so we've gone ahead and hooked it up to our tower truck here, that we used for moving around our trailers. We've got a brake controller installed on there. So as we pass on by here, we're gonna activate the brakes, so that we can see that it's gonna stop. It should stop the whole truck, with just the power of the brakes on our trailer. And there it is, just to power the brakes on our trailer, was able to stop the truck. So it's pretty much what we're looking for. We've got plenty of power there available. Go ahead and take off again, and we'll just activate them one more time, just to make sure everything's working properly with them. And there we go, the trailer stops the truck like it's nothing. And that completes our installation of HydraStar's Electric Over Hydraulic brake actuator on our 2018 Shasta Phoenix..


Info for this part was:

Employee Jeff D
Installed by:
Jeff D
Employee Brent H
Installed by:
Brent H
Employee Joshua S
Video Edited:
Joshua S
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Kathleen M
Video Edited:
Kathleen M
Employee Chris R
Video Edited:
Chris R
Employee Dustin K
Video by:
Dustin K
Employee Jonathan Y
Video by:
Jonathan Y
Employee Aidan B
Video by:
Aidan B
Employee Conner L
Test Fit:
Conner L
Employee David F
Test Fit:
David F

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