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HydraStar Electric Over Hydraulic Disc Brake Actuator Installation

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How to Install the HydraStar Electric Over Hydraulic Disc Brake Actuator


Today we'll be having a look at and installing the HydraStar electric over hydraulic actuator for disc brakes, part number HBA16. Here's what our HydraStar trailer brake actuator looks like once it's been installed. As you can see, it's a nice, compact unit that hardly takes up any space at all, sits nicely on our battery tray here that our trailer has. This unit will provide us with 1600 psi of braking pressure to operate our disk brakes. First thing we need to do is find a place to mount our actuator. We have a bracket here that we made mounted on the side of our battery box, so we're going to be using that. We'll secure it with some hardware. We'll use a wrench and a socket and we'll tighten this down just using a bolt and a nylon lock nut to hold it in place. Now we need to start routing our brake lines to the back of the trailer in order to install everything.

We're using the HydraStar hydraulic brake line kit for tandem axle trailers. It's 30' long with a 1/4" main line. It's part number HS496-252. The kit comes with a fitting right here that goes from 3/16" to 1/4" diameter for your metal hard line. If you have the ability, you can screw that fitting directly in the back of your actuator, but because of our confined space that we have to mount our actuator, we're using an additional brake hose, which we have available on our website.

It's 3/16" diameter, so it screws directly in the back of our actuator, has a 90 degree bend, will be able to come down about right here. We'll secure it to the side of our trailer with one of the loom clamps that comes with the kit and a self-tapping screw that comes with it as well. This will give us the ability to run our 1/4" line down and towards the rear of our trailer. We'll just put our self-tapping screw right about here. This will secure our brake hose where we need it. Here's our 1/4" main line.

It's 30' in length. We'll use this to connect to our hose, and we'll run this to the back of our trailer and start making all of our connections. We'll have our main line, screw it into this hose here with the adapter fitting that comes with our kit. Once you have it started by hand a few turns, we'll snug it on down and we'll start to secure our brake line underneath our trailer. We'll hold our fitting in place with a 9/16" wrench and use a 7/16" to tighten the fitting off our 1/4" brake line.

With it snug we can now put a couple more clamps on to hold it in place. Any place our brake line comes around a metal edge like this, I went ahead and wrapped it with some rubber hose we have laying around, just to help protect the line. This will keep it from getting chafed from vibrations going down the road. We're going to start routing our 1/4" line all the way to the back of our trailer. It'll stop towards the driver's side of our first axle. Our 1/4" brake line went down from our brake hose, followed back down. We secured it about every other cross rail in our frame with some loom clamps. We've got some available on our website in case you run out of the ones that come with the kit. Every time that we don't have a loom clamp I put some wire loom over it so in case we we're running down the road your brake line is not going to make enough contact with the frame and chafe a hole in it. We have two of those in a row, another loom clamp, put some more loom where it comes across the propane lines for our trailer, another loom clamp. We went around our waste water tank, some loom clamp over the valves and underneath the rail. Loom clamp there, some more wire loom to protect it, loom clamp here. We ended right in front of our front axle. Have a clamp here. We bundled up the excess here in a couple of loops, secured it to the frame rail with some more of the wire loom clamps. As you can see, I put some loom around it to protect it, so where it wraps around itself they're not going to chafe against each other. Now we'll start attaching all of our brake hoses into our calipers. Tighten those down with a 3/8" wrench. Once we have them tight on all four, we'll start making our connections to our 1/4" brake line. We'll go ahead and do that and we'll show you how we did it once we're done. Once we have those snug, repeat the same process for the other three and we'll make the rest of our connections. Our 1/4" brake line goes into a 3/16" step-down. We have another one of those on our website, it's part number HS641-3307. From that, it goes into our four-way adapter. Here's our four-way adapter, goes over to our left front brake hose here, and one of our short segments of hose back to our rear axle. Then our 6' long segment over here to the other side of our front axle. From here it goes into a three-way fitting with our brake hose for our right front caliper, and then back into another segment that goes back to our rear axle, where it goes into a union and our right rear caliper brake hose. We'll go look at the left rear caliper brake hose now and you can see how it's set up. Just like on the right hand side, from our four-way here though versus our three-way, we have a short segment of brake line, goes back to another union to our left rear brake hose. We've secured everything a long the way with the included loom clamps to make sure it's not going to rattle or chafe any metal. Now we're going to be installing a HydraStar electric over hydraulic actuator adapter module for Ford and Chevy brake controllers, it's part number HBA-CAM. You need to use this if you have a factory brake controller in your Ford or Chevy truck. We found a place to mount our actuator module here. We're just going to put it on the side of our battery box here next to our actual actuator itself, the hydraulic actuator, because the wire will tie together with it. I have it clamped to here right now, just to hold it in place while I secure it with some self-tapping screws. With our module securely mounted, we can move on to our electrical connections now. Our two white wires, the one off this module and the one off the actuator, will be tied together. We'll insert them into a yellow heat shrink butt connector that we have. We have these available on our website. We'll crimp it on down. Make sure that's nice and secure. We'll do the same thing with our blue wires. All of our connections that we're making from our HydraStar units are going to our trailer's junction box right here. The white wires are ground. The black wire here is our positive 12 volt that comes from our tow vehicle and our trailer's breakaway battery. Our blue wire here is our output signal from our tow vehicle's brake controller. This will connect our blue wire . our HydraStar unit. We just tie everything in right here. It makes a real simple and easy connection. We'll take some extra 12 gauge blue wire that we have laying around, again, something that is available for purchase at our website if you need some. We have some of the insulation stripped off. We'll insert it into the end of our butt connector that goes to our blue wires. We'll crimp it on down. We'll do the same for our white wire. Again, we have some extra 12 gauge wire. Strip off the end of our white wire and we'll insert it. Crimp it down. Now we'll take a extended piece of yellow wire and we'll connect it to the other yellow wire. Now we'll extend our black wire. Now we shrink down our heat shrink butt connectors. I'm use a small butane torch and applying indirect heat. Not the flame itself. Now, once we have all of our heat shrink butt connectors shrink down, this clear liquid starts to come out the back of them and the end of it wraps tight around our wire. We know we have a good connection. I'm just going to wrap our butt connectors in some electrical tape here for a little bit extra security. We bundled up our two segments of wire here with some electrical tape, so there's no loose ends hanging. Now we're going to stick some wire loom on it and we'll route it to the front of our junction box and make our connections. Once we have that done, we'll show you how we did it. We just wrapped all of our wiring up in a wiring loom, followed along our battery box tray, secured it to the bulkhead of our trailer, and then brought it up in a loom securing it to the crossbars of our frame, bring it up to where out junction box is right here, where we can make our connections. We'll start by taking off this crimp connector here. We'll reconnect that outside of this box. We'll remove the blue wire that goes to our junction box for our breakaway. Take the blue wire off, this goes to our breakaway switch. Pull out this wire loom here. We'll disconnect these orange wires completely and we'll pull them outside of this grommet. We'll pull our blue wire out from our breakaway here, too. We'll reinstall our grommet back in there. We'll take our blue wire that we brought up here. We'll go through this grommet like so. Same with our white wire and our black wire. We disconnected all of the wiring loom that went from our breakaway battery into our control box up here. These are our two orange wires that we have. We're going to shorten these up a little bit and reconnect them with the heat shrink butt connector. That way we'll have plenty of room to get inside our junction box. The blue wire that comes off of our preexisting breakaway switches are cold side of the breakaway switch. We need to connect that. This is the wire removed from the junction box to our yellow wire. We'll cut off our excess wire and we'll strip them both back. We'll install them into a yellow butt connector. Now we'll measure out how much blue wire we're going to need to connect to the blue wire that goes to the connector that connects to our towing vehicle. Strip off some insulation and we'll install a ring terminal, just a yellow ring terminal for 10 to 12 gauge wire. We have these available for purchase on our website if you need some. Crimp that on down. We'll reinstall it over the stud here. Reinstall the nut. We'll tighten it on down. We'll do the same for our black wire now. This will go to the black terminal right here. Strip that back. This will supply power to our actuator. Reinstall our nut and we'll tighten the nut on down. Now we'll measure off how much we need for our white wire, which is our ground wire. Place another one of those ring terminals on. Remove the nut from our white terminal here for our ground. Place that on. Install the nut. With our electrical connections made, we'll heat shrink the butt connectors that we added. We're just going to wrap our butt connectors up with electrical tape here, just for an extra layer of security because this is a somewhat exposed part of our trailer. With all of our electrical connections made, we can now fill up our reservoir with brake fluid. Unscrew the cap. Make sure we're using a fresh, sealed container of brake fluid. We'll fill it up . that's full. Throw the cap back on. Make sure the cap is closed, which it is. Now that we have all of our connections made and our reservoir filled with fluid, we'll take our bleeder cap off here on our actuator. We'll install our clear hose over our bleeder screw here and we'll have this going down into a bucket to catch our fluid. We can actuate our brakes a couple of different ways. We can have someone activate our brake controller inside of our truck or we can pull our breakaway switch, so we'll do that. We'll open up our bleeder and make sure that we have clean fluid coming out with no air bubbles. We'll close our bleeder screw once we make sure we have no air bubbles coming out. Take our hose off here. We'll make sure our brake fluid is still full and place our cap on our bleeder screw. Then we'll begin the process of bleeding our brakes, starting at the one furthest away from the actuator. Now we'll take our 7/16" wrench, we're on the right rear brake caliper. Let's take on the bleeder screw. You may note that there's two different sections of our bleeder screw. There's a larger 7/16" and a smaller 5/16". We'll be working with the 5/16" here today. Place our wrench on it, have our assistant operate our breakaway switch and we'll open it. You hear the air come out. Close it. Open it again. You can see we've got fluid coming out. We'll shut this once we see we don't see any air bubbles coming out. That should be good. We'll go ahead and shut that. We'll move onto the next furthest away wheel from our actuator. No air bubbles. Close it. Now that our two wheels on our passenger side are bled, and these are the ones that are furthest from the actuator, we'll go repeat the same process on the driver's side until we don't see any air bubbles come out of the bleeder screw. Once all four of them are bled, we'll check underneath our trailer at all of our fittings and connections and make sure we don't see any leaks. If we don't see any leaks, we're good to go. Throw the wheels back on and we can go take it for a spin and see how the brakes work. I just want to point out though, you may notice that there are two bleeder screws on you caliper, so when you're bleeding your breaks, make sure you bleed from the top brake bleeder on all four of your calipers. If you use from the bottom, you won't get all of the air out of the system. That completes our look at and our installation of the HydraStar electric over hydraulic actuator for disc brakes, part number HBA16.


Info for these parts were:

Employee Jeff D
Installed by:
Jeff D
Employee Brent H
Installed by:
Brent H
Employee Dustin K
Video by:
Dustin K
Employee Chris R
Video Edited:
Chris R
Employee David F
Test Fit:
David F

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