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etrailer Electric Left and Right Hand Assemblies Trailer Brake Kit Review and Installation

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Review and How to Install the etrailer Electric Left and Right Hand Assemblies Trailer Brake Kit


Hey everybody, Ryan here at etrailer.com. Today on our trailer, we're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install the etrailer.com electric trailer brake kit.So, these brakes are going to be a great factory style replacement. Now the biggest difference between these and some of the other styles on the market, is these are not going to be automatic adjusting.So what that means is, every now and again, every few years you might have to get under the trailer and spend a couple of minutes adjusting your brakes. And you would adjust it using the star wheel. Now, all this won't have to come off to do that, there's actually a little opening in the back to make that adjustment. We're just showing you like this, that way you have a better idea of how it looks.Our pads are going to be made from automotive grade friction material, and they're going to be fully bonded to our shoe.

That's going to increase our lifespan and provide us with more braking torque. Since the edges are tapered, that's going to lead to less of a chance of cracking and crumbling that can severely affect out stopping power. The old pad that we pulled off, as you can see here, lacks that tapered edge and well, you can see what happened.Now one of the biggest issues when it comes to trailer maintenance is people are unsure when they need it or if it's even been done. In this case, our customer almost waited to long to change her brakes, and that could be a very bad thing because obviously you need to stop when you're going down the road.But with this setup, that's going to allow you to do that safely and properly, and that's what's going to give you that peace of mind knowing your rig is setup properly as you hit the brakes.Now one thing I would highly recommend is the Dexter Hub and Drum assembly, that way all of your components are going to be brand new. That's especially important since these are electric brakes and they use magnets, but that's surface that that magnet is connecting to more or less, is going to be clean and even.

That way, they can mate together over time, and you'll get the full benefit and power from your brakes.And right here, we have a side-by-side comparison with our new trailer brakes and our original ones. Now right off the bat, you're going to be able to tell the difference. Our new one is going to have a e-coating, which is really going to help protect it from all of the elements and help keep it looking good. And over here on our old one, you can just tell from the way it looks, that it's seen better days.To begin our installation, we're first going to have to remove our wheel. And to do that, I'm just going to take an impact, or you can even use a large wrench, and remove all of our lug nuts.

Once you have them all removed, we can just grab our tire, pull it off and set it off to the side.Now we're going to pull off the cap that is covering our axle nut underneath. So to do that, take a flathead screwdriver and actually work it behind that lip, then just tap it a few times with our hammer, kind of pry it, you might have to spin it a little bit and work it around. It'll just pop out, and we can set it off to the side.Now what I like to do is, just take some towels and wipe everything clean, that way it's a little easier to work with and we can see what we're doing. Now we need to remove our axle nut, but if you try to spin it, it'll only move a little bit and that's because in one of these openings, there's actually going to be a tab that's going to keep that nut from spinning. So what we have to do is push that up and release it, the tab's actually right here.

Just take a flathead, we're trying to push it flat against our spindle, and now we should be able to take a pair of pliers and spin that nut off. It shouldn't be on there that tight, and once you break it free, just use your hand to finish it off.We'll set our axle nut off to the side, then we can start to pull out some of the hardware. We might have to take a screwdriver and help work it out. But this is what I was talking about, the little keeper. So when this is in there and the nut's on, one of these tabs will be bent down and that will prevent that nut from spinning. And you don't want to lose any of this hardware that we're taking off, by the way.And we can grab our assembly and pull it forward a little bit, take off our washer and pull our front bearing out. Now before we can completely pull our hub assembly off, we're going to have to cut the wires that are connecting to it. Just go behind it, use a pair of snips to get it cut, then we can grab it, pull it towards yourself and set it off to the side.At this point, we can work on removing our brake assembly, and what I like to do is just take a paper towel and put it over our spindle to help prevent any damage, and that way, we just don't get grease everywhere while we're working.That's going to be held in place by five nuts that are just like that, so I recommend using some penetrating oil to spray them down, make it a little easier. And we're going to grab our wrench and remove those five nuts. Once we have them all off, we can remove the lock washers that sit behind the nuts and then grab it and carefully slide it off, and do your best not to hit the spindle, that way we don't damage it.Now we can put on our new brake assembly, the same way that we removed the original one. Slide it over, line all of our holes up and then secure it with the fasteners that we just removed. With everything hand tight, now use a wrench to tighten it all down. I actually like to snug these down in a star pattern, and that will just help pull this assembly down flush.Now we can hook up our wires on the brake to the wiring coming from the trailer. I'm just going to strip these back a little bit, and I like to use just a little bit of dielectric grease to help keep them protected from any corrosion or anything like that. And then I'm going to use heat shrink butt connectors, and slide it over the wire and crimp it down. Do the same thing for this wire. Now we can grab our trailer wiring and get that insulation peeled back a little bit, and connect them to our new wires.Now it doesn't matter which wire goes to which, as long as they're both connected properly. So I went ahead and used a heat source to shrink my butt connectors, now I'm just going to take some electrical tape and wrap them up, just to give them that extra step of protection.Now we can come back to the outside, we'll take our towel off our spindle and just wipe it down and clean it up, get all that old grease off there. Now we're going to need to adjust or brake shoes in a little bit, to make them smaller. That way, our drum is going to be able to fit over it without any issues.We're going to use this small pry bar to spin that. Now you don't have to have one of these, you can use a flathead screwdriver as well, this just makes it a little easier. Now we're going to spin it to the right, just a handful of turns, and that'll pull them drums in closer together and make the overall diameter smaller.Now I went ahead and put some new grease on our spindle, now we can slide our drum and hub assembly on. I'm just going to work it back, push on that front bearing, keep it lined up with the spindle, just wiggle it around, make sure it's on there straight like that, put on our flat washer. As you can see, it is notched on one side, so it can only go on one way. Put on our retaining keeper, and finally our nut. We're gonna run that down by hand, and then we can tighten it.Now we don't need to barrel down on this, just want to snug it up and make sure that your whole assembly can spin with some resistance. You're also going to want to grab it on each side, kind of push it front to back, and make sure there isn't any play in it, which that feels about perfect.Once we have that set, we can bend our keeper down. I will have to move it a little bit, that way that keeper can slide into the opening. Just take a flathead, kind of bend it down and give it one last spin. Now we can put our cap on, we'll line it up and use our palm to get it started. Just take a hammer and lightly tap it, and if it's fighting you a little bit, you can take a block of wood and that'll help push it down evenly. That way, you don't ding or dent your cap.Now what I'm going to do at this point is remove our rubber plug, and put some grease into that grease zerk. Just give it a handful of pumps, and ensure everything is properly lubricated. When that's done, just put our rubber plug back in place.Now we can put our wheel and tire back on. That way, we can adjust our brakes. To adjust our brake, we're going to come underneath the trailer and remove our cap. We're actually going to use our tool to spin our wheel this way inside, and what we're trying to do is tighten that brake up until we can no longer spin our wheel by hand. So every few turns, just spin your tire and see if will stop. So about right there, it's very difficult to spin. When we get to that point, we can back it off.And what we're looking for is a little bit of resistance, and we don't want the tire to free spin forever and ever. We want it to turn maybe a couple of times before the resistance of our brakes will make it come to a stop. You will hear a little bit of noise like that, and that's normal until we start using our brakes. That noise will go away. So about like that is where we want it. And when you're done, don't forget to put your cap back in to help keep everything clean inside.Now to do the other side, you're just going to repeat that same process. Now something I do, just want to point out and make sure you're doing properly, is that the brake assemblies are actually side specific with left and right, so just make sure you're getting the correct one.And that'll do it for our look at and installation of the etrailer.com electric trailer brake kit.


Alan R.

2/16/2020

Great video! Did you change the wheel seals?

Jason S.

2/18/2020

Thanks for your feedback. The answer to your question is yes. We put new brake assemblies and new hubs on this axle. The new hubs come with new bearings, a new grease seal, and a new cap. We didn't show the grease packing of the bearings or installing the grease seal on the back of the hub, but I can assure you that was done.

Info for this part was:

Employee Jeff D
Installed by:
Jeff D
Employee Ryan G
Installed by:
Ryan G
Employee Joshua S
Video by:
Joshua S
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Chris R
Video Edited:
Chris R
Employee David F
Test Fit:
David F

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