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Improving trailer brakes

Discussion in 'Trailers' started by fast_st, May 11, 2016.

  1. JNB

    JNB Senior Member

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    Thanks for that link.
     
  2. cannuck

    cannuck Member

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    frank: both Kodiak and Dexter provide complete retrofit kits, but I have no idea if either will fit the Quality axles.

    I would stay away from Kodiak, but once you get past 8k, ALL of the calipers are sliders and will rattle to bits over not too much time. I have found that putting balancing balast beads into the tires makes a HUGE difference (as fixed weights only correct until you flatspot a tire or eight).

    Just looking around: Dexter not only owns Alko now, but I see they have a "brake rite" division that is selling what appears to be EVERY competitor's hardware. If you look at the 13" 7.2k and 8k stuff, those "titan" 225 and 250 calipers are actually Kodiak parts, as are the mounting hardware, rotors and hubs.

    Since most of these farmyard trailer manufacturers are using Dexter components, the axles and bearings are marginal at best if you carry any load or put on any miles. For that reason alone, I would go along with advice others have given and just replace the entire axles (assume you have a pair of 10ks). You don't seem to have any more choice than go with Dexter.
     
  3. cannuck

    cannuck Member

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    Just a word of caution: Not likely a disc brake kit for a powered vehicle will have the right dimensions (axially) to fit a trailer axle. Radial clearance maybe, but not transverse.

    ALSO: if you were thinking of using these kits on a motor vehicle - you can't just rip a drum off and throw a disc onto an axle and have it work correctly. Drum brakes usually have a maximum apply hydraulic pressure of 12ksi, whereas discs require 16k. The master cylinder portion that runs the rear axle on a drum brake installation (or any drum brake for that matter) has a very different volume and pressure requirement.
     
  4. franklinute

    franklinute Well-Known Member

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    Thanks cannuck that is good info. That's where I stopped because I did
    not know if it would actually work on a trailer brake system. The guy at lugnut
    said he had never put his kit on trailer axles before. He does sell the brackets and
    calipers that fit different size axles.
    My problem began when I bent a spindle on my quality trailer axle and have yet
    to find anyone to repair it. Rockwell owns quality axle and I could not obtain a new
    spindle from a dealer or the factory. They said liability concerns is why they could not
    sell me a spindle for the 10k lb axle. I am at the point of buying 2 new complete axles
    or selling the trailer and putting that money into a new trailer.
     
  5. farmboy555

    farmboy555 Well-Known Member

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    Convert it over to electric/hydraulic disk brakes. You will like yhem
     
  6. fast_st

    fast_st Senior Member

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    Dexter makes a wide range of products, I found this when trying to put new brakes on a MH style axle. Ended up welding on new backing plate mounts, dexter says the MH axles are for limited one time use. I heard from a dexter tech that the disk brake pads are 1T chevy units, might be the same for the calipers. That would be great expecially if something fails on the road you have plenty of options for spare parts.
     
  7. fast_st

    fast_st Senior Member

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    Did the spindle itself bend or was it the axle end that bent? was it something well over the rated load? I'd think a little heat and power could bend it back.
     
  8. franklinute

    franklinute Well-Known Member

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    The axle is out of the trailer and brake parts are off. The spindle is definitely bent. The axle is fine.
    I do have an axle jig that I borrowed so that I can measure the deflection. If you heat and try to straighten
    the spindle it is a heat treated part and won't be as strong as before and getting it bent to the exact original
    specs would be difficult. I originally wanted to replace just the spindle with a new one but the manuf. won't sell me a spindle due to liability issues. Every trailer shop I stop at says they don't repair they just replace axles.
    I let a customer borrow my trailer which was loaded 15k lbs or so. I assume he must have hit
    a curb. He returned it. I didn't notice damage until I used the trailer and two tires were scrubbing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
  9. fast_st

    fast_st Senior Member

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    I've done fire straightening before, it should not affect the heat treatment. its done just at the metal turning blue temperature, oxy torch, find the high spot or the start of the bend, heat that and it'll stretch, when the color changes, blue to red, put a wet sponge on it, it'll slowly start to pull the bend out. Youtube, Keith Rucker and Keith Fenner are both masters of unbending.
     
  10. oceanobob

    oceanobob Senior Member

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    The Lincoln 'book of welding' shows the use of a:
    • decent hi heat torch like a rosebud (not ye cutting torch sans the O2 cut stream),
    • maybe a temp stick crayon,
    • and a garden sprayer.
    Seems once I followed this process which from what I can see actually keeps the overall steel as cool as practical, the temp to effect a bend can be nary above 700F which won't affect HT due to this temp is low enough not to effect the HT
    AND
    the time at the temp is minimal.

    I can also add there is a bit of a difference in the process (progress) if ye do the task with the metal part slightly preloaded compared to 'free form'. "Slightly" as in a small come-a-long snugged, not necessary for it to be super tight.
     
  11. franklinute

    franklinute Well-Known Member

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    A neighbor just put new 10K axles and hydraulic drum brake system on his gooseneck.
    He puts lots of road miles on his trailer. He said $4500 in parts he did the labor. Dealer
    wanted $7000 to do the job. He says it stops much better. He can slide the trailer tires
    with a load on. I am taking my axle to a local machine shop hopefully they can straighten
    my spindle.
     
  12. fast_st

    fast_st Senior Member

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    I weighed the disks over the drums, from an awwhell perspective I figured the disks have better heat rejection. The 10k trailer drums aren't like the big OTR truck drums, they're more like pickup truck sized. Disks self adjust and I'm not sure if the drums do. Normally emergency braking is a one time event which drums would handle fine, I'm all about the overkill though.
     
  13. franklinute

    franklinute Well-Known Member

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    I asked him why drum and not disc brakes. He said the dealer he bought parts from
    said there have been issues with the disc brakes for 10k axles. He used all Dexter parts.
    This dealer has a good reputation and has always taken the time to explain options for
    new trailers or repair.
     
  14. fast_st

    fast_st Senior Member

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    Thanks, I haven't heard of dexter/alko brake problems, Dexter sucked up AlKo and now owns the neighborhood :) I also heard word on the street that they use GM 1 ton brake pads and maybe calipers.