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HydraStar Electric Over Hydraulic Disc Brake Actuator Installation - 2022 Trails West RPM Gooseneck

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How to Install the HydraStar Electric Over Hydraulic Disc Brake Actuator on a 2022 Trails West RPM


Hi there trailer owners, today on your 2022 trails west by RPM, we're going to be taking the old electric drum brakes off and converting it over to electric over hydraulic disc brakes, and to complete that installation, we're going to be using a hydro Star's 1600 PSI actuator. And this is what our actuator looks like when it's installed. The entire thing will fit inside of your front compartment and that's the most common places where you're going to install it when putting in electric over hydraulic setup on your trailer. And that's what this is specifically designed for. It's a 1600 PSI actuator, that's designed for disc brake systems. In a disc brake system, you need a higher pressure, than you would with a drum brake system hydrastar does make drum brake actuators as well if you had a hydraulic push for hydraulic drum set up, you could use that, but those are only rated for our 1200 PSI.

We need that extra pressure, to get the proper clamping force on our calipers With our brake pads. They operate a little bit different than how they work, your disc brakes versus your drum brakes. So we need a higher pressure, but we get a lot more surface area between the brake pads and rotors than you do on a shoe and a drum. So we're going to get a lot more stopping power with this, and with that extra stopping or extra clamping force from this higher pressure is going to ensure that we get that there's an internal proportionate, internal pressure proportioning valve inside of here, that will help ensure that all the brakes are being applied evenly. And that just gives you a smoother operation than your traditional electric brakes.

With the electric brakes, once power gets sent down the wire to the brakes, it activates the magnet, and then they just instantly activate it's a bit jarring. And they're going to activate at whatever the setting you have on your brake controller is. And a lot of brake controllers do have a proportional brake controllers where they use the new nurses sensor that helps to ramp up that voltage, to make it not so jarring. But you had that technology is inside the brake controller. The brake controller is still will work fine with these electric over hydraulic ones.

There are brake controllers that are specifically designed for these, and those are the most recommended ones to use, to conscious prodigy P3, is a great brake controller that works with electric over hydraulic actuators. And those are proportional as well, So they'll kind of give you that smooth stopping, but this has that internal proportioning for the pressure that it puts out to the brake. So even if your controller, even though the controller has that feature, to allow it to be proportional inside of here, we get that smoother activation as well. So in comparison with an electric brake set up, even when you're using a proportional brake controller, this one's still going to be smoother, and you're still going to get better stopping power, with a disc brake setup. Now along with your actuator here, you are going to need some additional components to convert your trailer over from electric brakes, to electric over hydraulic here.

In addition to your actuator, you're also going to need your rotor and caliper kits, we have those here at etrailer, where you get your rotors and your calipers. They're typically sold as a single axle. So if you have multiple axles, you want to make sure you purchase enough kits, to install that for each of your axles. You'll also need a line kit, to install to get the fluid from the actuator here, back to your disc brakes. There's a couple of different styles that are out there, we have some from Hydrastar, that are your traditional, solid lines that you can bend yourself, but there are also flexible lines, like the ones we're using here from Kodiak, you can get those from Kodiak, But Kodiak also makes a lot of the disparate components that we use here at etrailer. And the flexible lines are a little bit easier to work with, so you don't need any special tools to bend the brake line or anything like that, so they are easier to work with, they are going to be a little bit more expensive than your traditional line, but they do come out a little bit nicer in the end. Cause it's just so much easier to work with. If you're comfortable with using brake line bending tools and things like that, you can do a very good job yourself with regular brake line, but if you're a little bit unsure you haven't worked with brake line before I would stick with the flexible ones cause they're just so much easier to work with. On our power section here, we get all that stuff from the battery, but we are going to also want a circuit breaker, for our unit here, that doesn't have one that comes included, and the circuit breaker just ensures that when we get power sent up to our unit over here in the event that anything happens, you get into an accident or something in one of these wires shorts out that has proper circuit protection. So we don't overload any wires, and have any potential fires or any risks that could have happened by unprotected shorted circuitry. We'll begin our installation here at the front of our trailer, we're underneath the overhang here and this is our front compartment, we've got it opened up, we need to figure out where we're gonna mount the actuator. And this is usually the best place to mount it right here at the front. This way it's close to our seven poles we can wire it up easily, as well as our batteries up here. So we can get those wired up, and having it here in this compartment, usually keeps it up so it's the highest point in our system, which makes putting in the brakes a little bit easier as well. So right here in our compartment, once we go inside, there's plenty of room here, over on the driver's side in this compartment. And on our trails west trailer here, it actually fit perfectly between this supporting beam and the outer wall there. We we're able to put it right in between there, there was actually already a hole drilled, in the location where I put the brake line down through. So that worked out really well. I did have to enlarge that hole just a little bit in order for the line to fit through, as well as to put a grommet on there, the line almost fit through perfectly with the hole, but I wanted to have some kind of protection. So we did also use a grommet there, which you can get here at etrailer. It is a 9/16 inner diameter grommet to offline to pass through. To get the actuator mounted up, we simply just set the actuator roughly in place where we wanted it. And you can kind of use that hole, as a reference since it was there. Give me a location for my line. So I just kind of sat the actuator in this location, kind of figured that would look good for our hose there. I just took a paint stick and marked the four holes. And then I just drilled out the holes for hardware. Now the hardware doesn't come included with this, you have to provide your own, you can get that at your local hardware store. We did choose to use, make sure we have washers on both the top and the bottom. Cause this metal panel here has plenty of stick to support this, but it is nice to have a washer on the bottom side there to make sure you got enough surface area that nothing can pull through under any extreme, like emergency situation. So we got those tightened down, and that's how we've got it mounted up here. So really easy to mount it up. There's tons of room to work on this trailer just sits right in there, easily mark your holes and put them in. We do have four wires that come off with this, that we need to wire it up. And that's the output that goes to the breaks at the back. We're using flexible line kit, in order to get the fluid and pressure, from our system here, back to our rotors and calipers at the back. So you can get that stuff with them as well. And you can get the disc brake kit here as well. So that we can get all the parts that you need. Next we're going to be hooking up our wiring. before we hook up these four wires, let's head over to the other side here in this compartment because the blue wire here, as well as the yellow wire, need to attach to circuits that are coming from our seven pole connector. The blue is the output from your brake controller, and the yellow is for our breakaway switch. And in most typical braking systems on your trailer, the electric ones, you don't normally have a separate circuit for your breakaway switch. Usually the breakaway switch just ties it right in, to the brake controller wire. Because on those systems, it just kind of puts it at full, and it applies it. The yellow wire here lets the actuator know that a breakaway event has occurred, and then the actuator can make the appropriate decisions, on how to apply those brakes for that situation. So it's a little bit different, it is just simply moving the breakaway switch to a different wire. But that does require us to run an additional wire in most cases. In order to get this hooked up. So we're just gonna head right over to the other side of this compartment. So where you're on the opposite side, this is the passenger side, our batteries are right here, we've got this pillar that runs out. At the top of this pillar, there's this square that's cut out, and this is actually our wiring from the seven way connector at the front of the trailer. It runs down this frame piece right here on the inside of it. This duplex wire here, is the wire that I used to get that extra wire for our breakaway switch routed this will go down over towards the unit. And that goes up towards our seven way. The way that I was able to get this routed, through here and up to the seven way, once you pull this out of here, you'll see this blue wire right here, I've got a taped up in here, right there so the rest of it. The blue wire goes from your seven way comes back here, and then it goes down this pillar to go to your electric brakes at the back. So we pulled the blue wire out, just a couple of inches, and we actually cut the blue wire. The part that goes down, that'll go to the brakes on the trailer. We're not going to need that anymore. So I just tape that up in here, it's still here if anybody ever needs to access it again, but they really shouldn't ever need to. The blue wire that was heading towards the front there, We actually took that, that stuck out maybe about this far. And I just ran some electrical tape around it and I taped my duplex wire to it here. You can get duplex wire here at etrailer. There's two wires inside of the sheeting. After we taped this duplex to the blue wire, we went to the other end, where our seven ways located, down here at the opposite end, I went ahead and removed the cover and it's just two screws, and I found the blue wire inside of here. After finding the blue wire in here, I cut the blue wire here, separating it from the wire coming from the seven way. So that way I've got just a piece of wire that's here, that's running back there. That's taped to our new wire on the other end. I simply just pulled this wire then until our wires pulled through, and that's what you can see here, the duplex wire is right here. Inside the duplex you have a white and a black wire, I connected the black one back to the blue, and it's going to be our new breakout put wires the black wire that I'd run, inside the duplex, and then the white wire in the duplex. I hooked to the breakaway switch. So we've separated those two now, so that we've got the two separate circuits we need to hook to our actuator. So we've got our brake signal wire, and our breakaway switch wire, routed from here all the way over to the actuator. We need two more circuits. There's that black and white wire on our actuator, that's our power and our ground circuit. We're going to get those right here, our batteries are here, we're using duplex wire once again, so we're using another length of this to go from our batteries over to that side. This is a completely separate duplex wire from the one that we routed up through the pillar there. On this duplex wire, we take the black wire, and we route it up, we kind of go behind the battery, and there's actually already a fuse, or a circuit breaker located here. We added another circuit breaker right here. This does not come included with your actuator, It's a 40 amp circuit breaker. You can get it here at etrailer. We connected that black wire from our duplex, right here to the silver post on the circuit breaker. The copper post on our circuit breaker needs to connect to our battery source. So we come off of there, and we actually just go right up over here to the other side of this circuit breaker here. And we just attached to the poster. The reason why we attach it to this post, and not directly to the battery positive, if we follow this wire down from here, it just goes directly to the battery positive down here, and you see all these things that he's got stacked up on here, there's really no threads left on this battery to keep adding more rain terminals. So we can attach it up here and be perfectly fine because we've got this big thick wire here, that's connected to our positive, that'll send plenty of current to the entirety of our trailer, and also for our braking system. It'll all work out just fine. The white wire from our duplex down here, needs to connect to ground, so we simply just kind of looped that around, and attached to this ground stud right here. then you could also go to the battery, but they're running pretty low on threads here as well. And this big thick black wire, that's coming off the negative post, actually just runs right over here to this stud so we've got a nice solid ground connection there as well. So here we're back over at our actuators, so we can make all the connections over here, I did want to point out the black wire, the off of our actuator. I did already have that connected to the black wire off the duplex, that's going to the circuit breaker over there. I hooked it up here at the actuator, before I hooked the circuit breaker up to the battery, because it hit to the battery first, that means the end of this wire over here is live and we didn't want to accidentally cause any shorts over here on this side. So if you hook it to the actuator first on here, you know that you've got this wire sealed up where it's not going to cause any accidental shorts. But we still got three more wires that we got to hook up here, we've got all the wires that we need routed over to this point now. So we just need to make those last few connections here. So these are the ones coming from our actuator. The black goes to black, which goes to that power source from the circuit breaker, we'll going ahead and hook up our ground next, which is the white wire here, So just take that wire, I'm going to take a butt connector here, and we are using heat shrink butt connectors, I know this is a compartment, so normally I wouldn't use heat shrink in a compartment because it's protected from the elements, but this one's not very well sealed. If you kind of look around, there's plenty of openings, especially way down here, there's a big opening. So there's a chance for do and other humidities to get in here, and potentially cause corrosion on these circuits. So we're going to use heat shrink butt connectors, to ensure that that's not gonna occur. We're just going to crimp that down, and then we'll take the white wire here, this is the one that's connected to ground, I've labeled the other circuits since they we're duplex, they're going to look just like it. So I labeled with some blue painter's tape on this black wire here, letting me know that I hooked that to the blue wire, coming from the brake controller. And then I put a little bit of yellow from a paint stick on this one to let me know this is the one that is hooked to the breakaway switch. And that will hook to the yellow wire down here. So let's go ahead and label those circuits. If you're using wires have similar color. Well then I'll strip back our white one in here, cause we know this one switched to the ground. We've already got our ground butt connector there, so we'll simply take the other end, can sometimes help make it slide into the connector easier. If you have a little twist there, push the two components together a few wires, and then we'll just put these down. All right now let me look those that connection made there, I'm just going to move on it. Then you can keep connecting the rest of them, next is blue. And we know that the blue wire on the actuator, connects to the output from our brake controller, which is normally a blue wire, but in our case it's going to be black with the blue tape on it, because we had replaced it. And lastly our yellow wire, which is our breakaway switch connection, we'll put one on here as well. Here we go, we've got all of our connections made. So just to reiterate, that's yellow wire from the actuator, goes to breakaway switch, blue wire from the actuator, goes to output from your brake controller, that comes from your seven-way connector, black from the actuator, there was two battery positive, on your trailer, and you want to make sure you have circuit protection in line, that's at 40 amp circuit breaker we used, ground here's our white wire from our actuator, needs to hook to a ground on our trailer, which we use this white wire here to run over to the ground by our batteries. So now we'll take our heat gun here, and just shrink down these butt connectors, if you need a heat gun, you can get one here at etrailer, we're using the small one from performance tools, but we do also have a larger ones. They'll work a little faster than these smaller ones, but these smaller ones work pretty well for just doing butt connectors in these smaller areas like this. There's a wireless version also available, that I would not recommend, if you're doing a lot of repairs, but if it's just for an occasional repair, it's small and convenient for those applications. But if you've got a bunch of butt connectors and stuff to do you're going to hate yourself using that one. But if you just got a handful, it'll work out great. All right so now we have our actuator fully hooked up. Now I do not recommend testing it though at this point, because you don't want to operate your pump here, when it's dry, we don't have any fluid in it. And if you've just installed the pump here, you don't have any lines or anything like that installed. So your next step would be to install your line kit, and if you haven't already done so, install your disc brakes and rotors. Cause we need to have all those together, And then you can get this full of fluid, we can get the system bled and verify everything's working there but we do need to get the fluid in there. So at this point, if you haven't done so already, get those components installed, and then we'll show you how to get this bled. So we're going to open up our fill cap, we don't want this on while we're bleeding, the suction could actually pull the seal out of here and it could potentially damage it, so just put that over there for now, this lets you know, what kind of fluid you're going to want to use, We've got some doc three fluid we're going to be using today. And I always take a little rag, and put it around there. If you need a funnel you can use a funnel, but this is a Pretty easy location here to access, so we shouldn't probably have too much of an issue with this. well I'll just take a little napkin, just put it around there, in case I do accidentally spill any leak in. Soak it up there and try not to make too much mess. So now we're just going to fill it up, and just as you're filling it just check periodically, cause it doesn't hold that much fluid, in the actual reservoir, and it takes it a second for it to kind of get down through the system there. So don't pour it in too fast. Just kind of pouring a little checking, and pouring a little and checking. There we go. It's all the way full. So now that we've got this full, We're just going to clean up this little bit of mess here, and then we'll head back to our breaks. So we're down here at the passenger side, furthest rear brake caliper. This is our farthest location from where we mounted our actuator, that's where you want to start, so if you're mounting your actuator on the passenger side, if you weren't following with us, and doing it over there, you would want to start on the driver's side at the rear. But since we have ours mounted on the driver's side of the front, we are at the passenger side rear here, and we're going to first before we bleed the brakes, we're going to let gravity do a lot of the work for us. Because you can just open these up, get the system full, and if you just let it sit, it's about lunchtime here, so we're going to get this set up, go to lunch, and let's see if gravity, is going to take care of most of the work for us. We've got a 5/16 wrench here, that we're going to use to open up the bleeder, you do have two bleeders per caliper, you have a top and a bottom, the reason why you have a top and a bottom, is because depending on your trailer, and the extra ratings and stuff, it changes the location, of where the caliper locates, as far as the orientation, whether it's here on top. So you get two. You always want to use the top one. The bottom one is just there, if the copper was mounted in a different orientation. So that's our guy right there. I've gone ahead and prepared kind of a little setup here, it's just a drink bottle, with a hole in it, and a clear hose that runs down into it. You could just use a clear hose and run it down into a pan, that also works pretty nicely, but you want something to help minimize the message you're going to have, because brake fluid is pretty corrosive, It destroys paint really fast, and dries out your hands. It's just some powerful protein stuff. So we're poking our hose on here, getting it poked right onto the nipple, kind of getting our container here to set. So it'll stay where it needs to be, and what we're going to do next, is just correct this loose with our 5/16 wrench here, get a couple of turns on it. And now that's opened up. At this point now, we're just going to let gravity, take the weight of our fluid, that's in the highest location, above our frame here in our compartment, pushed down through the system, to push that air out. So we're just gonna let it sit here like this now, probably go to lunch come back, and see where we're at. Sometimes you get lucky, and the majority of the fluid, makes its way down through the system when you get the air out of it, and we can actually see if we look at it here there's an occasional bubble that will occur in there. So it is starting to make its way through the system. But normally you are still going to have to bleed more after this. But just letting it sit here, and doing the gravity like this, it really helps get a lot of the air pushed out, as the fluid takes its place. So when we do go to bleed it here, after this to get any of the amounts of air that's left in there out, just really speeds up the amount of time that you're physically having to work. I mean, you could go right into bleeding now if you wanted to, it's going to take a little bit more bleeding process, than if you let it gravity bleed, but it can go faster. You know, we're not going to let this sit. You want it to let it sit for a, for a while if you're not going to gravity bleed it. But I always like to minimize labor, cause you could let this sit, and go do something else. You know go play with your grandkids, or here at the shop I can go work on another car. So we let it sit for about 30 minutes, while we head to lunch, and we did get actually quite a bit of fluid here, that's made its way out, I checked the reservoir and it was a little bit low so I topped it up. we're not ready to actually bleed the brakes, to get all the air fully out of it. Cause this is just kind of to help us get some fluid into the system kind of get a majority of the air pushed out, definitely saves you some time there on how often, how much you're going to have to leave this manually. And now we're going to bleed it mainly to get the rest of that air, that's trapped in there pushed all the way out. So we've got an assistant up front, who's going to activate it, there's a couple of ways you can have your assistant activate it. They can either pull the breakaway switch pin, to turn the system on. Or if you've got it hooked up to like a truck, you could use your brake controller in the manual slide to activate it. We're using a test box that simulates the manual slide from a brake controller for ours. So I've closed this off, and we'll have our assistant up there, activate it, And we can open this up. Our assistant's also going to be watching the fluid level inside of the reservoir because we never want to let that reservoir go empty, because if it does while we're bleeding the brakes, we have to start completely over. Cause you've got air in the system then, so you have to restart the whole process. So it's important to just do a little bit of bleeding at a time, double check that reservoir and make sure it stays full. So here we're at the front just as you can see, here's your breakaway switch pin if you wanted to pull this, our assistant though is going to be using this test box here, that simulates the manual slide, from a brake controller. And what we're going to do is open this bleeder, we'll have our assistant activate the system, and then we'll close it off. So go ahead and activate. the system's running, we can hear it running, we've got some fluid pumping, so we're gonna go ahead and stop it and close it. And then we're going to have our assistant double-check the reservoir just to make sure that it didn't go empty, cause that first time they activate it, you're pushing that fluid into a lot of empty spots that the gravity hadn't taken care of yet. So you can lose a lot of fluid in the reservoir really fast. All right our assistant has topped it up, we're just going to repeat this process, until we get a solid stream, coming out of our hose. That's why we like to use a transparent hose like this that you can see in. So I'm gonna open it up, and then you can go ahead and activate, keep on going. Man I have to add more ofOh, okay. So yeah our assistant was watching, and as soon as he activated it, there drew the fluid down the reservoir, and he stopped it. And that's exactly what you want your assistant to do. Is keep an eye on that reservoir to make sure it doesn't go empty. So he's going to top it back up, and we're just going to keep repeating this process until it's completely solved. We don't want to see any spurts, to see like bubbles coming out of there. And you're looking for those bubbles while you hear the pump running. If after the pump shuts off, you see a couple of bubbles, that's probably air like back feeding up through the hose from your bottle and stuff like that. It's not coming from the system. And our assistant's activating it some more, and we've got a pretty solid stream coming out of here. So we're going to close this one off, and we're going to move to the next break, and we're going to check and see there, and then just go from break to break until we get this nice, solid line of fluid coming out of here. If you didn't do the gravity bleed, you would like to see a lot of spurts and bubbles in there, but the gravity bleed, helps get that fluid down here, so the air is usually only in the first couple of times you run it, and then after that you usually get it pretty solid, if you grabbed the blood most of it out. So we're just gonna move on to the next one, and rinse and repeat these same procedures on there. Making sure that we've tightened this one up before moving on. Through down to the next one, and we've opened it up, go ahead and activate, and we can see bubbles there yep! And there we go. We've got some solid fluid coming out of there now we're going to shut it off. Our assistant will double check, and if the reservoir is full, we'll just keep on going until it sticks to solid, but you we're able to see some of that air bubbles there. All right, we're going to open it back up again, good all right our assistant's activating, a little bit more air that there, but we're looking pretty solid now. So we're going to go ahead and close this off, that was nice and solid, move to the next break, and then we're just rinse and repeat, until we get that solid all the way around. So now we've got all the air bled from the break system, nice and solid coming out of each caliper there, we've double-checked the reservoir, and made sure that that's topped up, at this point now we need to verify that our breakaway switch is working properly, so when we pull this, it should activate it, and this is going to put our system kind of at like a full blast. To make sure our motor home stops, we want that full pressure, on our system too. so we can look down and check all of our lines, and especially at any connection point on our lines to make sure we don't have any leaks. So we're going to pull this pin, and then we're going to verify that it activates, if it does activate, we're going to head under the trailer, and then check all those lines, for any signs of leaks. Activated, let's see if we got leaks. So upon our leak inspection, you can see on the ground down here, in a couple of drops below, we did have some leakage back here. So we talked about how these are, ridiculously high pressure going through this. So it was leaking from this fitting here, all we're going to do is come back here, and just put a little bit more amp on this. We're able to get a little bit more out of it, and then we're going to recheck for leaks after we get this heightened down. Make sure that we we're able to get quite a bit out of this one. And it's important you have your line wrench tool there to make sure that you can get this kind of, force on it. So now we've got that nice and snug, verified it here, we're going to do the same thing. We're going to have to rebleed, run through those procedures again. Cause we had quite a bit of a leak out here, if you find the leak in time, to where it hasn't run the reservoir, completely drained, then you don't need to rebleed. But on ours we didn't catch it in time. The reservoir drained out. So we have to restart our bleed procedure. So we're going to get this rebled, and then we're going to recheck the leaks. We've now rebled, before the pin, and we're going to double check for any leaks here, and we are looking good this time. That leak is no longer present, we're going to double-check each of our connection points, at all spots, and make sure there's no signs, cause we're looking for not just, that was a pretty big leaky had, but just for the sign of even a drip or a drop, we're going to look for anything like that. Now that we've got all the air blood out of our system, the brakes are fully bled, we verify there's no leaks. We want to come back to the brakes, just to make sure that none of these have locked up on us, so to check to make sure each one spins, and then we also want to make sure that they are working. So we have our assistant go ahead and activate the brakes and I can't spin it now. You can go ahead and deactivate the brakes, and when he deactivates them, there we go. We can spin it once again. So we know that our brakes appear to be working properly, we're going to go ahead and put everything back together at this point. So we've gone ahead and brought it outside, we hooked it up to our toner truck here, so we can check it out, make sure it's working, getting ready to pull it into a parking spot. We're going to go ahead and activate the brakes, and we can see that it stops our truck and it actually prevents our toner truck, from being able to pull this when we activate and we've got plenty of braking power at our brakes here. And that completes our installation of Hydrastar 1600 PSI disc brake actuator, our 2022 trails west by RPM..


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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