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#515914 - 06/22/11 12:43 AM Re: Electric Trailer Brake Upgrade. [Re: Silverbullet]  
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CharlesS Offline
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The tube tongue is heavy walled tubing. The OEM coupler did not have crush sleeves.

Yes I installed crush sleeves with the new coupler. Titan says that it is not necessary. Made them out of schedule 80 black iron pipe.

The bolts are torqued to 120 ft lbs. Grade 8 bolts, lock washers, flat washers on each side, and Locktight on the threads.


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#515915 - 06/22/11 12:51 AM Re: Electric Trailer Brake Upgrade. [Re: CharlesS]  
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Boise, ID
Originally Posted By: CharlesS
The tube tongue is heavy walled tubing. The OEM coupler did not have crush sleeves.

Yes I installed crush sleeves with the new coupler. Titan says that it is not necessary. Made them out of schedule 80 black iron pipe.

The bolts are torqued to 120 ft lbs. Grade 8 bolts, lock washers, flat washers on each side, and Locktight on the threads.



Thanks for the insight. I was trying to think of what to use for the reinforcement. My original coupler used bolts that did not go through so no reinforcing was used. I was surprised at how thin the wall of the tubing was and I won't be able to install it the same way. I will have to use bolts all the way through with reinforcement on the inside.


James
2002 Cobalt 226 VP 8.1GIDP
2007 Chevy 2500HD Crew Cab Duramax
1988 Suburban 3/4 Ton
2000 Subaru Forester


#515989 - 06/22/11 11:25 PM Re: Electric Trailer Brake Upgrade. [Re: Silverbullet]  
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Installed the axles today. The key to a good fit are careful measurements, and hope that everyone involved is paying attention. This time everything fit perfect. The hub face to hub face measurement, and spring center to spring center measurements are critical.

The first picture is the OEM disc brake on the front axle.

Notice the chunk out of the frame. The OEM calipers knocked a chunk of metal out of the frame on both sides. Some fine engineering went into this design...





The next picture is the idler axle, or second axle.



Here we have the OEM running gear removed from the trailer.



#515990 - 06/22/11 11:36 PM Re: Electric Trailer Brake Upgrade. [Re: CharlesS]  
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CharlesS Offline
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Next is the installation of one of the new electric brake axles in place of the idler axle.







#515991 - 06/22/11 11:45 PM Re: Electric Trailer Brake Upgrade. [Re: CharlesS]  
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Next the new front axle is held against the frame while the front spring is reattached to the shackle.



The front axle is bolted into place. After the brakes are wired, and a 12-2 brake cable installed on the trailer, a temporary electrical was made to check brake operation. The four new brakes functioned as designed. The wheels were reinstalled on the trailer, and the boat backed into its stall in the garage. There was some bad weather predicted, with strong winds and hail, so today was cut short and everything put away in the garage for safety.




The only part of the project left is the wiring on the tongue of the trailer.



#515992 - 06/22/11 11:53 PM Re: Electric Trailer Brake Upgrade. [Re: CharlesS]  
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There was one item that I had not planned on. The OEM axles are square tube axles and do not require spring mounts. The new axles are round tube, and have spring mount plates welded onto them. The mount plates plus the extra diameter of the round axles made the axle mount one inch further away from the spring, and since the axles mount on the top of the springs, the trailer sits one inch lower then it did before. There is plenty of clearence, and I doubt if this will cause any problems. Since the boat does not clear the garage door, and I have to change to a 10 inch drop ball mount to back the boat into the garage without hitting the door, this new lower ride height might actually be an advantage.


#515993 - 06/23/11 12:19 AM Re: Electric Trailer Brake Upgrade. [Re: CharlesS]  
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230 Mike Offline
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Could make launching & loading a bit easier too. I'd love to make mine sit lower.




Mike
2005 Four Winns 230/240
VP 5.7GXi/DP
'98 F150 XLT
Boat Pic
#515998 - 06/23/11 01:51 AM Re: Electric Trailer Brake Upgrade. [Re: 230 Mike]  
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Silverbullet Online content
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Did you use 4 1/2" bolts for your coupler bolts or were you able to get by with 4" bolts?


James
2002 Cobalt 226 VP 8.1GIDP
2007 Chevy 2500HD Crew Cab Duramax
1988 Suburban 3/4 Ton
2000 Subaru Forester


#516007 - 06/23/11 08:19 AM Re: Electric Trailer Brake Upgrade. [Re: Silverbullet]  
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CharlesS Offline
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The bolts were 4 1/2. I used a sawsall to cut the excess off of the bolts and a sidewinder grinder to dress the ends.


#516036 - 06/23/11 02:44 PM Re: Electric Trailer Brake Upgrade. [Re: CharlesS]  
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You did a great job - can't wait for you to report the increase in stopping power with the new brakes. Very nice


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#516051 - 06/23/11 08:14 PM Re: Electric Trailer Brake Upgrade. [Re: captkevin]  
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Looks great to me Charles thumb
Nice work!


LL

"Common Sense is not common to everyone"
#516059 - 06/24/11 12:25 AM Re: Electric Trailer Brake Upgrade. [Re: Lambert Laker]  
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CharlesS Offline
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Thanks for the kind words.

Today I worked on the house, however I did take some measurements and make some plans on how to procede with the wiring.

The original plan was to install the battery for the breakaway switch under the winch on the winch stand. The battery is too large, and will not fit in that spot.

I found a 6 inch square 1/4 inch thick steel plate that was left over from some project many years ago. The plan is to mount the plate on the winch stand and then mount the battery box on the plate. The battery is a sealed unit, and could probably be submerged without damage, but the control box is a solid state unit, and will short out for sure if submerged, so it is important to mount it in a location that will always be above the water line.

I purchased a junction box that is designed for trailer wiring. It is a plastic unit with brass terminals color coded and labeled with the function of each wire on the seven wire style Bargman type connector. Since we are fresh water only, I doubt if it will damage the box if it gets submerged, so it will be placed on the lower part of the winch stand.

Using the seven wire Bargman style plug will allow the remote battery on the breakaway kit to charge from the vehicle, which is a nice plus.

The yellow wire in the middle terminal of the seven wire style plug is for backup lights. A future project will include four clear lights mounted on the trailer for night launching. I plan to use four simple plastic lights with single incandescent bulbs so that they will tolerate being submerged without damaging them.

Another add on will be a set of guide post mounted tail lamps. these are available as LED units and look awesome!

http://www.sturdybuiltonline.com/Pipe-Lights-LED-PVC-PAIR-_p_13.html

I will try to finish it up the primary project this weekend.


#516091 - 06/24/11 03:00 PM Re: Electric Trailer Brake Upgrade. [Re: CharlesS]  
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Frantically Relaxing Offline
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Originally Posted By: CharlesS
The coupler install.

Here we have the OEM surge brake coupler.




A word on these types of couplers--- This is the same coupler that is on our Sea Ray trailer. When we bought the boat the trailer brakes were pretty iffy at best. I finally tore into the coupler and found part of the problem, there are rollers within that go around one of the bolts that let coupler smoothly roll back and forth over the tongue.

This is a pic of the original rollers, and a pair of brass replacements I had a friend make for me--



As you can see, the originals didn't seem to roll so good. The reason I still have the brass ones is I had my friend make some steel ones, I didn't think the brass would last very long.

With the new rollers in, the brakes worked MUCH better, smooth and predictable like "normal". I assume in flat form, they were probably binding up, and under certain circumstances would bind up totally.

Anyway, just bringing this up for those who may have such a coupler and find the brakes aren't working so well, could be your rollers are flat too?

smile


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#516115 - 06/24/11 11:27 PM Re: Electric Trailer Brake Upgrade. [Re: Frantically Relaxing]  
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CharlesS Offline
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The project is complete cool. I finished the wiring today. I was planning on working on the house, but it rained, so i got to work on the boat trailer instead. Imagine my disappointment lol. Everything works great! The electric brakes are awesome!

The power for the breakaway switch comes from this little gadget, called the Engager, by Redline. It is basically a gel type battery that charges off of the tow vehicle, and provides power to the brakes in the event of a disconnect.




Break away switch.


I installed the junction box made by Pheonix on the left side of the jack stand. The terminals are color coded, and have the the key for each of the seven wire colors printed at each terminal. Very handy!



It has a cover that attaches with two screws.

An overall shot of the trailer tongue.



Of course one could say that I have ruined a perfectly good salt water trailer for ever being used in salt water. I happen to love the aluminum boat trailers. They stay looking great with a minimal of maintanance. The trailer will suit our needs for the type of boating that we do, and for towing in the mountains. The brakes are strong enough now that I would not hesitate to tow with the Expedition, as stopping the rig in a reasonable distance was the biggest problem with it d.



#516125 - 06/25/11 09:12 AM Re: Electric Trailer Brake Upgrade. [Re: CharlesS]  
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captkevin Online content
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You did a great job on your trailer improvements - very impressive work


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#516132 - 06/25/11 12:58 PM Re: Electric Trailer Brake Upgrade. [Re: captkevin]  
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Thanks for the compliments. I still remember a few things from those days so long ago (1986-89) when I was an RV service tech. The reason that I documented the project is in case someone wants to make a similiar type of upgrade to their boat trailer.

No slam intended to the folks that prefer surge brakes. For salt water use, surge brakes have a definate advantage over electric brakes. The surge brakes used on boat trailers are made with that consideration in mind. Since we only boat in fresh water lakes, and tow in mountain terrain, electric brakes are a better choice for us.

Electric brakes give us the ability to control the brakes decending a mountain grade, and we have total control of the braking action at all times. In fresh water use the steel brake parts do not suffer from rust as they would in salt water. My bass boat trailer is a case in point with the same system in operation for over 15 years, and no rust issues at all. For all intents the brakes on the bass boat look like they could be on a travel trailer and have no evidence of ever being submerged.

Dexter Axle does offer an all galvanized version of this brake system that is intended for marine use. They offered it to me when these parts were ordered, but when I told them that it was on a pampered lake boat that spends most of its time in a dry garage, they told me that it would not make any difference, and that there was no point in spending the extra money for galvanized parts.

The total costs of parts for this project was under $700.00.


#516134 - 06/25/11 02:55 PM Re: Electric Trailer Brake Upgrade. [Re: CharlesS]  
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On Holiday Online content
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PA and Smith Mountain Lake
Nice upgrade, I like AL trailers as well but I didn't get much choice what was under my boat when we bought it.


2008 Honda Goldwing Trike
2006 Regal 2400
2004 Dodge Ram 2500
2003 Ford F-150
2002 Harley Davidson Roadking Classic
1998 Honda Civic


#516219 - 06/27/11 09:07 PM Re: Electric Trailer Brake Upgrade. [Re: Frantically Relaxing]  
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CharlesS Offline
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Originally Posted By: Frantically Relaxing
Originally Posted By: CharlesS
The coupler install.

Here we have the OEM surge brake coupler.




A word on these types of couplers--- This is the same coupler that is on our Sea Ray trailer. When we bought the boat the trailer brakes were pretty iffy at best. I finally tore into the coupler and found part of the problem, there are rollers within that go around one of the bolts that let coupler smoothly roll back and forth over the tongue.

This is a pic of the original rollers, and a pair of brass replacements I had a friend make for me--



As you can see, the originals didn't seem to roll so good. The reason I still have the brass ones is I had my friend make some steel ones, I didn't think the brass would last very long.

With the new rollers in, the brakes worked MUCH better, smooth and predictable like "normal". I assume in flat form, they were probably binding up, and under certain circumstances would bind up totally.

Anyway, just bringing this up for those who may have such a coupler and find the brakes aren't working so well, could be your rollers are flat too?

smile



Not ignoring you Kevin, just been busy.

The rollers in my coupler look new, no flat spots, so that was not the problem with my brakes. The master cylinder would not maintain pressure, and was picking up air during operation. The rotors are warped, the pads are thin, and the calipers stick. On top of that the builder of my boat trailer decided to save money and install brakes on one axle only, meaning the brakes were not up to par when the trailer was new.

I could have added electric drum brakes to the existing axles, although they are not Dexter axles, the parts are interchangable. The reason for a complete axle change is that it is more costs effective to buy the entire axle with the brake assemblies installed from the factory, then to buy the individual parts. Buying a complete unit has the advantage of being factory assembled, full factory warrenty, and the latest options.

I purchased the Never Adjust option, and the EZ Lube spindle option with these axles. These features make ownership and maintenance very effortless.


#516578 - 07/04/11 11:04 AM Re: Electric Trailer Brake Upgrade. [Re: CharlesS]  
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Dave R Offline
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Nice work! I wish I'd though of a junction box.

I installed and tested electric brakes this year too. I have the same exact brakes that you do, but I only need the backing plate assemblies because I already have Dexter 10" drums. After a few test stops, I removed each drum and inspected the shoes for wear. I had only run one wire to the right side of the trailer and spliced it to each wheel. I noticed that the further I got from the main wire, the less wear the shoes had. I added a second wire down the left side of the trailer and then tied both sides together. There are now two paths for current plus redundancy in case one wire fails, and the braking is even all the way around.

It took quite a few (100+) stops for everything to bed in properly, but I am quite pleased with the performance. There is a noticeable improvement, compared to surge brakes.

I was told they would not work in reverse, but they work quite well in reverse.


"Mischief Managed"
2000 Regal 2550 LSC
7.4 MPI Bravo 3
#516774 - 07/06/11 06:36 PM Re: Electric Trailer Brake Upgrade. [Re: Dave R]  
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CharlesS Offline
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I think the story about electric brakes not working in reverse came from electric brakes made in the 50's. Those early brakes only work in one direction.

I usually unplug my boat trailer from the tow vehicle before backing down the ramp, however there is no real reason to unplug it, other then light bulbs last longer if they are not powered while under water.

As for the voltage drop I have seen that happen before. I used a 10/2 shielded electric brake cable, and everything is working evenly. Wiring both sides of the trailer is the best way to do it.


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