heavier brakes?

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  #1  
Old 12-14-12, 08:12 PM
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heavier brakes?

I've got a '97 Mazda Truck, B2300 (2wd). 4 banger. It 's not made for towing.

Circumstances now have me do some towing. Stuff around town, and very occasional trips on the roads, for long distances. Maybe 1000 lbs on utility trailer.

I've put a class III hitch on it, and Gabriel load levellers.

I'd like to improve my braking. Do I go to a different kind of current pad on front brakes, bigger brakes, or what?

If you say bigger brakes, please give me some kind of references to lead me in that direction.
 
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Old 12-14-12, 08:39 PM
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That's pretty small to be hauling a half ton utility trailer. No brakes on the trailer, I assume? That would be best.
 
  #3  
Old 12-14-12, 10:48 PM
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Surge brakes?

How do I add them to trailer brakes?
 
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Old 12-15-12, 05:43 AM
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Generally involves replacing the existing wheel mounting with new backing plate and brake mechanism (plus control parts). I'm sure it can be done on any and all trailers. I did it once many, many moons ago on a horse trailer and it wasn't terribly difficult, but I think that only really required adding braking components; converting a small utility trailer may not be possible. Will have to wait for a knowledgeable trailer expert to chime in. Pretty pricey, too. Here's a general idea:

Trailer Brakes + Trailer Brake Parts | Trailers + Trailer Parts | Northern Tool + Equipment

Electric Trailer Brakes & Brake Parts at Trailer Parts Superstore

The West Advisor: Trailer Brakes

The ones I did were electric like in the second link.

Here's a youtube on installing electric, can probably find similar for hydraulic/surge:

Trailer Brakes and Trailer Wiring Installation - etrailer.com - YouTube
 
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Old 12-15-12, 08:42 AM
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If it's 1000 pounds, why not put it in the bed of the truck instead?
 
  #6  
Old 12-15-12, 08:50 AM
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I agree with adding brakes to the trailer,but not with surge brakes. They are a joke. We cant know what axel/axels you have so cant advise what proceedure to follow. A local trailer sales should be able to give you guidance. If you have four bolt wheels you probably cant put brakes on it,but switching axels is not that big a deal.
 
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Old 12-16-12, 06:52 AM
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How about a picture or better description of the trailer.
I have only seen brakes on 3500 lb and up axles.
Changing the axle to a 3500lb electric braking axle and adding a brake controller to your vehicle would be most cost effective but is the trailer worth modifying?

I agree that surge brakes are less than ideal.
They are usually on rental trailers to allow ppl who don't have brake controllers be legal when towing heavy weights.
They do not allow you to fine tune the braking distribution between the trailer and towing vehicle or to be able to apply trailer brake only to stabilize the trailer when driving.
 
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Old 12-16-12, 08:12 AM
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I did a lot of OEM sales and brake outfitting on trailers for about ten years. The 2K axle always had a little electric brake from Dexter Axle in Elkhart, Indiana available. At that time a 2k hydraulic brake wasn't around. That would go with the surge coupler.

The surge brake was always iffy as far as it applying properly and problems with backing. The latter was controllable to a point with the collapsing rear shoe. An outfit in Des Moines made that one on the 12 X 2 brake which was a 5200 lb brake (in pairs per axle). It never found its way to the 2k brake. I believe the latter was a 1 3/4 X 7, if I remember correctly.

Outfitting yours with electric would be the better braking system and if only working on one axle wouldn't break your budget, but to say it would be significantly worth it is another matter. You would have the two hub/drum assemblies, the brake flange welded on (which may already be on your axle), the brakes, wiring to the truck and the brake controller. Everything else you have would still work. Having room for the mount with tire clearance depends on who made the trailer and how tight they spaced everything. Utility trailers came out of garages and just about everywhere else.

The thing you have to keep in mind is electric brakes, at that capacity, aren't automotive caliber. They are light to moderate use systems. Along with that goes high maintenance. If used around town a lot you would have to go back into the brake/brake magnets/linings about every one to two years.
 
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Old 12-16-12, 08:36 AM
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Good info marbobj.

Brakes for 2000lb axles are not stocked by suppliers I frequent but see that they are indeed available.
One of the reasons thay are likely not stocked is that where I am brakes on a trailer below 2000# cap are not required.

3500# braking axles with 6' oc spring width often go on sale for $250.00 or so which would be cheaper than you could convert an axle for.
 
  #10  
Old 12-16-12, 09:49 AM
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The 3500 lb brake axle swap would be likely as cheap. The problem you run into with over brake outfitting a trailer, especially with electric brakes is the tire sliding. The footprint of a 1750 # tire fully inflated is so small with either no load or a light load, it can't hold traction.

An electric brake magnet hangs on a brake magnet arm that usually has a little travel to engage the front shoe which actuates the brake. If the magnet gets any current at all the actuation block on the arm slams the front shoe into the drum and the brake locks up, unless you have weight on the trailer.

Getting a 10 X 2.25 shoe to pull down 3500 lbs on an axle moved the brake manufacturers in two directions. Make the drum with aluminum oxide to get a higher drag coefficient along with using a softer front lining. This gave them the 3500 brake rating for the fully loaded axle, but the tire sliding has always been a problem.

This got a lot worse when they were dealing with the 7K rating on a 12 X 2 brake, which was typically a 5200 lb brake.

The "kicker" to this all is a characteristic of that type of lining configuration. The linings hang in an elliptical configuration inside a perfectly concentric drum. That setup gives you a cam effect to produce a self energizing brake application. This supplements the marginal actuation force of the brake arm/magnet.

One thing that can be done to tone that down is keeping the brake adjusted regularly. Most people just turn the controller off to control the skidding and turn it up when the trailer is loaded.

Just offering information on the subject
 
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Old 12-16-12, 11:13 AM
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I could see there being a problem when brakes on a very small trailer are being used to compensate for an inadequate towing vehicle as possibly what is the case in this thread.

I don't think much can be done with the vehicle brakes to help which is what I believe rbig is asking other than making sure they are fully serviceable.
 
  #12  
Old 12-16-12, 11:30 AM
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From a few peoples experience that I've known....instead of brakes (around town and smaller loads?) you might just want to look at a sway control device.

A trailer with 1000 lbs (or even empty) if it starts whipping could toss your truck right off the road or cause serious damage.

I'd think I'd just look into a sway control and be very conscious of my driving habits while towing. No rapid braking or turns. Just drive like Grandma.
 
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