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tellushow

Trailer Brake Upgrade

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tellushow

My 2001 SLXi is matched up with a dual axle DHM trailer with 10" drum brakes on front axle only.

I'm interested in the opinions of fellow members as to which brake upgrade they would choose:

A - Convert drum brakes to disc brakes (parts $450) = disc brakes on front axle only

B - Add drum brakes to the second axle (parts $465) = drum brakes on both axles

C - Install disc brakes on both axles ($850)

D - Do 'A', but choose parts and configure lines for future installation of disc brakes on rear axle ($650) - to the best that can be done.

Prices should be fairly accurate; arrived from recent research and quotes from trailer outfits.

Price IS a concern; I would do install.

Trailer stops pretty well with current setup, but I want even more peace of mind. Also, we trailer across state, over mountain passes, to get to good water.

Appreciate your opinions.

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Faceplant409

If your tow vehicle is marginal, (size + brakes) I'd do discs on both axles for safety's sake. If Tow vehicle is OK I'd do discs on 1 axle. Personally I'd not want brakes on both axles. If you get in a skid with 2 axles, you may jack knife. Brakes on only 1 axle should guard against this. YMMV...

Patrick

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tellushow
If your tow vehicle is marginal, (size + brakes) I'd do discs on both axles for safety's sake. If Tow vehicle is OK I'd do discs on 1 axle. Personally I'd not want brakes on both axles. If you get in a skid with 2 axles, you may jack knife. Brakes on only 1 axle should guard against this. YMMV...

Patrick

Thanks - what you say makes sense. Jeep Grand Charokee is my tow vehicle. It is certainly on the smaller side as far as tow vehicles go, but does ok. I really hate to invest any money into drum brakes, and therefore am reluctant to add them to the rear axle. I'm leaning toward disc brakes on front axle initially, and adding disc brakes to rear axle after a year or two - to spread out the cost.

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dihrdskir

I don't know whether you're axles are compatible with UFP hubs. I have the DB 35 Gold series hubs with oil filled bearings and discs across both axles. I run this in conjuction with a dexter electric over hydraulic unit and battery powered breakaway kit. I use a tekonsha P3 prodigy as the brains. I cannot fault this set up which is infinitely adjustable with more than enough power to stop even on the lowest setting. Another plus: virtually maintenance free.

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Chia
If your tow vehicle is marginal, (size + brakes) I'd do discs on both axles for safety's sake. If Tow vehicle is OK I'd do discs on 1 axle. Personally I'd not want brakes on both axles. If you get in a skid with 2 axles, you may jack knife. Brakes on only 1 axle should guard against this. YMMV...

Patrick

Thanks - what you say makes sense. Jeep Grand Charokee is my tow vehicle. It is certainly on the smaller side as far as tow vehicles go, but does ok. I really hate to invest any money into drum brakes, and therefore am reluctant to add them to the rear axle. I'm leaning toward disc brakes on front axle initially, and adding disc brakes to rear axle after a year or two - to spread out the cost.

do that

In BC it is required that all vehicles and trailers registered in BC have brakes on all axles.

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wienrdog

I'd vote for D. However - I'm not terribly familiar with DHM trailer.

If it uses a UFP (in tongue actuator) - for your parts list on disc brakes, don't forget a new actuator... (about $240) & 5 pin trailer adaptor.

Disk brakes take a lot more fluid to actuate than drum & require a reverse lockup solenoid.

Drum brakes typically have a slip in reverse feature & don't require the lockout.

Edit: price change after lookup.

Edited by wienrdog

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Murphy8166

I am in the process os switiching by hydraulic surge brakes to hydraulic disc brakes on the rear axle.

You will have to rewire or splice into the exsisting wiring harness so that you can include the back up solenoid. You will also have to plumb in the backup solenoid. I have steel brake line from the master cylinder to the hydraulic surge brake unit. When you convert to a disc and caliper set up you will want to install flexible brake lines inb/t the exsisting steel tubing and the caliper. The reason is that disc brakes slightly shift position when you acitivate.

To do this, you will need a brake line flareing tool so that you can prep the brakeline to be connected to the flex hose.

Good luck with your project.

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tellushow

My trailer is currently setup with UFP parts all around (actuator, axles and hubs).

Here is best price I found for single axle disc conversion kit - $450:

UFP DB-35 Complete Disc Brake Kit with A-60 Actuator

It does include new actuator with backup solenoid. But most likely this actuator is for single axle and not the higher pressure variety for two axles. I will have to inquire with Pacific Trailers about this.

I've also been corresponding with DHM Trailers (aka California Trailer Works); Steve there has been very helpful. Their price is $75 more for same conversion kit (as far as I can tell). Here is their quote:

PCTW505 - DB35 DISC BRAKE CONVERSION KIT, 3700# 1 $282.00

P30141 - UFP INNER MEMBER DISC ON ONE 1 $242.80

Steve at DHM responded to my question about planning for second axle in the future as follows:

"The only big thing to be aware of is on the brake actuator. If you are going to upgrade to disc on two axles within a short amount of time you should buy the P30142 instead of the P30141. They are the same price, but one is designed for disc brakes on two axles and puts out a higher pressure. If you are going to replace your brake lines now, go ahead and get the tandem brake line kit (P27100). If you are re-using the existing lines for now, just wait until you do the second axle."

If anyone has ever done this conversion using parts from either Pacific or DHM, I would be interested in hearing how it went.

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pennery
My trailer is currently setup with UFP parts all around (actuator, axles and hubs).

Here is best price I found for single axle disc conversion kit - $450:

UFP DB-35 Complete Disc Brake Kit with A-60 Actuator

It does include new actuator with backup solenoid. But most likely this actuator is for single axle and not the higher pressure variety for two axles. I will have to inquire with Pacific Trailers about this.

I've also been corresponding with DHM Trailers (aka California Trailer Works); Steve there has been very helpful. Their price is $75 more for same conversion kit (as far as I can tell). Here is their quote:

PCTW505 - DB35 DISC BRAKE CONVERSION KIT, 3700# 1 $282.00

P30141 - UFP INNER MEMBER DISC ON ONE 1 $242.80

Steve at DHM responded to my question about planning for second axle in the future as follows:

"The only big thing to be aware of is on the brake actuator. If you are going to upgrade to disc on two axles within a short amount of time you should buy the P30142 instead of the P30141. They are the same price, but one is designed for disc brakes on two axles and puts out a higher pressure. If you are going to replace your brake lines now, go ahead and get the tandem brake line kit (P27100). If you are re-using the existing lines for now, just wait until you do the second axle."

If anyone has ever done this conversion using parts from either Pacific or DHM, I would be interested in hearing how it went.

I am in the process of gathering all of the parts for a similar situation.. I have Disc's on the front axle of my Extreme trailer and for the reason Cervelo pointed out above I am adding Disc's to the second axle... Really not that difficult but no you should not have to replace the actuator as the A-60 is compatible for a Dual Brake setup. The only thing is you have to replace is the Spring that surrounds the pushrod in the actuator assembly. it is a PITA but not that difficult.. So if you decide to only do Discs on the front for now you don't have to replace the actuator when you go to put discs on the rear...

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