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Old 07-24-2014, 04:58 PM   #1
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Electric Brakes Replacement

I was going to replace my electric brakes with a whole new assembly and discovered that they are welded on. The magnets looked pretty bad and E Trailer doesn't carry round magnets for a 10" hub. There is still a lot of pad left but everything is rusty and doesn't move well, the adjusting wheel doesn't seem to make any difference. Is there anyway to bolt a new wheel assembly on the backing plate? Luckily my 1984 T 1550 Saturn is very light, 2650 lbs., and I can tow it around without brakes which is what I had to do last weekend. I am, not very comfortable with that though. Maybe a whole new axle assembly? Just drive slow? All suggestions appreciated.
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Old 07-24-2014, 05:13 PM   #2
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Sorry no. Some one has the magnets try Eastern Marine. It does not look bad the shoes do not have much lining on them from day one it is a simple setup and works much like a parking brake the magnet applies the brakes as it becomes attach to the inner surface of the brake drum where the shinny surface is leading me to believe the magnet is working. I think most vehicles require trailer brakes above 1000# My Tacoma will stop my T1700 but I feel a lot better when the are working by a good 4 truck lengths!
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:08 PM   #3
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I agree with mainah. I would first check each of your magnets. Hook the trailer "electrically" up to you tow vehicle, making sure you have a good ground too. Have someone apply the brakes or activate the controller. During that time have a simple screw driver, wrench or anything metal and see how it sticks/attracts to each magnet. If you get a reaction then the magnets should be (or are) ok. If one works and the other doesn't then check your wiring to each magnet. I found a bad wire on mine a little while ago, a simple fix. I thought I had a bad magnet but it was only a bad connection.
When you say they LOOK bad, I'll assume there's rust (surface rust) involved. Take a wire brush or even some fine sand paper and descale the garbage off the laminates of the magnets. Also sand down the face side of the drum where the magnets clicks to. clean down what you can of the moving parts (the places where the brakes shoes connect. Use only a dab of white lithium or the proper grease for the brake's moving parts, just the joints. Be careful not to over grease because when things get hot some of that grease might thin out and could splatter or drip onto the shoes or the drums
Typically on these brakes they only need some clean up TLC and some elbow grease every once in a while. Think about it. You drive your car/truck every day but most trailers are active 2 or 3 weeks a year (for the average family).
Most auto parts store carry brake shoe cleaner. It's a spray solvent you can use in case you got grease on things where you don't want grease about $5.00 a can.
Finally my brake system has the magnets sitting on the outside (closet to the drum) of the tension spring. You might have a bar but some have springs. My magnet was sitting on the inside of the spring and the magnet would not apply. I realize now that the last mechanic made this innocent mistake. He is not an RV mechanic. I never did tell him because he is an awesome car mechanic (leave well enough alone)
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:31 PM   #4
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Thanks guys! I'll try the elbow grease method this weekend.
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Old 07-25-2014, 07:27 AM   #5
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I don't think I would loose sleep over the rusty looking stuff the brakes are clean. What you can do is grab the magnet and force it towards the front of the camper it should move fairly freely against the springs you should see the shoes expand and retract as you move the magnet back and forth. One sure fire way to see if they work is to put the drums back on and pull the break away pin that should lock them up provided your camper battery is charged.
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Old 04-14-2015, 07:55 AM   #6
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FYI: In PA, trailers weighing/titled for 3000# and less are not required to have brakes. Prior to our Sunline, we had a single axle trailer that did have brakes, but was not required to since it was titled for 3000#.
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Old 04-14-2015, 08:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
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FYI: In PA, trailer weighing/titled 3000# and less are not required to have brakes. Prior to our Sunline, we had a single axle trailer that did have brakes, but was not required to since it was titled for 3000#.

I am of the opinion where some trailers should have brakes just for the sheer safety factor. If your trailer comes with brakes but they don't work or you're in a different state or province that don't require brakes I believe you should still have any existing brakes working and 100%

I tow my T1350 weighing 1,750 lbs. with my V8 Explorer and I find just driving up and down hills it adds to the safety. Also, and possibly more importantly, by using the TT brakes it reduces the wear on the tow vehicle brakes. We're all guilty of throw those extra camping items in the TT. Now add that weight on top of your dry weight.

My box trailer obviously has no brakes but there have been times hauling stuff for friends where I found I could appreciate the extra braking power.

If your tow vehicle brakes are over used the get glossy and lose their stopping power.

Regardless of local laws it only makes sense to have and use the brakes if they come with brakes. Call it peace of mind.

All electrical, brakes tow packages lights, proper trailer tires (and inflation), wheel bearings should be 100% before a trip and always spot checked during a trip.
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:14 AM   #8
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All states are not the same so if you run around in a state that has 3,000# law that is fine but once you venture into another state that has a 1000# law and it can be proven you did not have brakes in a accident you will be out of luck. All of the breaking systems use the camper battery to apply the brakes in case of a break away a loose trailer with no brakes is a dangerous thing and you would be liable for that also. I also think you will find most manufactures owners manuals say the max trailer weight with no brakes is 1000# primarily to avoid over taxing the TV's breaks.
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Old 04-15-2015, 11:10 AM   #9
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I agree with mainah 100%
In other words if it comes with brakes, use them and you have nothing to worry about. Basically manufactures keep state or province codes in mind when they build. Plus, as mainah suggested, about the TT's own battery make sure that battery is in decent condition for that breakaway switch.
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Old 04-21-2015, 07:22 PM   #10
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I have a single axle t1550 with electric brakes. My problem is that I have a leased 2013 escape with no brake control. Do I need need a brake control? Is there any easy way of hooking it up, so that when I turn the lease in, I don't get charged any fees
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Old 04-21-2015, 08:01 PM   #11
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Yes, you should use a brake controller. If the Escape came with a hitch and 7 pin socket for the trailer lights it also has a plug somewhere under the dash to hook up a modern brake controller. It should be a "plug and play" operation. The hardest part is finding some way to mount the controller without doing damage to the dash.
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Old 04-21-2015, 08:08 PM   #12
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Thank you Gene. I agree, I believe I need a brake controller as well. The escape only has a four pin socket. I think it can be hook up but concerned about installation
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:04 PM   #13
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Maybe do what I did. Hopefully you have a consul in between your bucket seats

I used Velcro on mine. Home Depot sells bulk packs and of larger sizes.

Then I clean off the surfaces of the vinyl surface of the consul and the mounting pate of the brake controller.
Believe it or not I used a bottle of Purell hand sanitizer and paper towel to wipe it clean. Why Purell? because it's cheap and portable and the alcohol does a great job of cleaning impurities from the surfaces..

Put as much of one surface of Velcro on the controller mounting bracket as will fit. Cut a matching piece of the opposite Velcro and bond them together as though you're attaching them.

Then attach the sticky side to your consul and press hard to make sure it all sticks. Mine has been on for a while. If I decide to sell my truck I simple peel the stuff off and use Googone to clean up any residue.
Why the consul? because if you have a manual option the consul is in easy reach. If not find another good surface any where under you dash
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:22 AM   #14
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Thanks Jerry, I will consider it. It makes sense
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:31 AM   #15
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If it is a 4 pin connector you will have to run a wire to the camper plug. Does the camper still have a 7 pin connector? The Ford may not have a break connection if it does not have a factory tow package don't know too much about them but if it's only a front drive the hitch probably was an aftermarket one and it will only have a 4 pin connection. So I guess the answer is it's not a plug and play.
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:41 AM   #16
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I believe it's not a plug and play. Thanks for the input
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Old 09-16-2016, 12:01 PM   #17
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I have a 1985 T1950 camper, my magnet looks like yours, but the wires are broken where they go into the magnet, not sure I can fix it or at this point how to get it off the arm. The arm has a flat tab that goes in the center of the magnet & I can't see any way of getting the keeper off, it's not like a metal clip, almost looks like some kind of rubber or plastic plug in the center of the magnet & the flat metal come thru the center of it. Anyone have any ideas or info on this??
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Old 09-16-2016, 12:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
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I have a 1985 T1950 camper, my magnet looks like yours, but the wires are broken where they go into the magnet, not sure I can fix it or at this point how to get it off the arm. The arm has a flat tab that goes in the center of the magnet & I can't see any way of getting the keeper off, it's not like a metal clip, almost looks like some kind of rubber or plastic plug in the center of the magnet & the flat metal come thru the center of it. Anyone have any ideas or info on this??
I'm not visualizing what you are describing very well. Maybe if you can post a pic, it would help.

One suggestion in the meantime, in the files area are at least two different Dexter axle manuals and one Al-Ko one. Brakes, hubs, bearings, etc. are all considered part of the axle. I know the Dexter manual contains complete servicing info on the brake assemblies. That may guide you through the repair.

FWIW, I believe that you can still get parts for these older units as they have changed very little over the years.
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Old 09-16-2016, 01:56 PM   #19
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If I remember correctly, these old style brakes with the round magnets were made by Kelsey Hayes, who stopped producing these parts years ago. You might find new magnets, but the linings and drums might be hard to find.
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Old 09-16-2016, 02:18 PM   #20
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If I remember correctly, these old style brakes with the round magnets were made by Kelsey Hayes, who stopped producing these parts years ago. You might find new magnets, but the linings and drums might be hard to find.
I am wondering if a trailer shop (as opposed to an RV shop or dealer) might be more helpful on older stuff like this. The one near us has a back room just full of parts for older trailers, especially axle, suspension, brakes, bearings, and similar.
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