Brake Options on Dexter 3500 lb Axles (1 Viewer)

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Finally getting around to putting a braked axle under our M101 CDN, anticpating a potential trip to the Rockies. I came up with 55" hub-face to hub-face distance after rounding up from a measured 54" to the next odd inch axle length, which is what they stock. Will be ordered the U-bolt kit under the assumption mine are probably beat to heck, rusty, etc

What's a bit of a mystery are the choices in brake options. They all seem to be within $100, so cost isn't too big a factor. From Southwest Wheel Company, brake options are:
TruRyde 10" Electric Brakes Drum Brakes
Dexter 10" Electric Brakes Drum Brake
TruRyde 10" Self Adjusting Electric Drum Brakes
TruRyde 10" Free Backing Hydraulic Drum Brakes

This post indicates that all Dexter brakes have a parking brake lever that you can hook up to. Not sure about the parking brake status of TruRyde brakes. Anyone know?

The version with TruRyde self-adjusting drum brakes sounds attractive, except I don't know whether it takes a parking brake hook-up.

Dexter seems more of an OEM supplier, so probably easier to find parts for if needed. How much of a process is getting them adjusted manually?

I'm vaguely familiar with the electric brakes. Does the TruRyde Hydraulic brakes offer any advantages? How big a deal are these to set up on the tow vehicle side of things?

Any advice on these matters would be appreciated.
 

pb4ugo

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I dont know about which electric brake woud be better other than Dexter is a well known trailer axle manufactuerer and are very common. Drum brake adjustments are not difficult and you will need a brake controller. I am somewhat familiar with hydraulic just because they are used on boat trailers. Hydraulic brakes are self contained to the trailer. It comprises of a master cylndr incorperated to the tongue which moves in and out to activate the wheel cylndrs in the drum brakes. When you apply the brakes on the tow vehicle the trailer tongue pushes on the tow vehicle and activates the trailer brakes. You will have an issue backing your trailer up, because it will activate the brakes. The master should have an bypass lever on it that you can manually disable the trailer brakes. I believe each time you backup you will have to get out and flip the lockout. You might have a slight issue going down hill because the trailer will be pushing on the tow vehicle too. It might be inconsistent.
 
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I dont know about which electric brake woud be better other than Dexter is a well known trailer axle manufactuerer and are very common. Drum brake adjustments are not difficult and you will need a brake controller. I am somewhat familiar with hydraulic just because they are used on boat trailers. Hydraulic brakes are self contained to the trailer. It comprises of a master cylndr incorperated to the tongue which moves in and out to activate the wheel cylndrs in the drum brakes. When you apply the brakes on the tow vehicle the trailer tongue pushes on the tow vehicle and activates the trailer brakes. You will have an issue backing your trailer up, because it will activate the brakes. The master should have an bypass lever on it that you can manually disable the trailer brakes. I believe each time you backup you will have to get out and flip the lockout. You might have a slight issue going down hill because the trailer will be pushing on the tow vehicle too. It might be inconsistent.
Thanks for the insights.

OK, then the hydraulic brake is pretty much the same as the surge brakes found on many military trailers. Since one of my main reasons for needing the brakes is going to the mountains, I suspect I want to avoid these and stick with the electric ones where I control things through a brake controller. Sounds to me like Dexter is the way to go.
 

80t0ylc

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@greentruck I looked at my 3500 lb axle after browsing the other thread Trailer Park Break solved and took a couple pics. I don't have the lever so I must have the "TruRyde 10" Self Adjusting Electric Drum Brakes" choice from your 1st post. I know that they are the self adjusting, since I just packed the wheel bearings. I wouldn't touch drum brakes that weren't self adjusting, IMHO. I agree with your choice of electric brakes, especially after examples that @pb4ugo posted. In pics of mine, it's plain to see where the lever should go if I was to add a parking brake. The plugged hole between the rivets, on the rectangular plate at the top of the brake backing plate is where the shaft that the parking brake lever would be attached to, to activate the parking brake - if it was there. Not sure if I could purchase parts, but I'm sure that one could salvage what's needed at a well stocked trailer graveyard. But for now, tire chalks work fine for me.

IMG_1653a.JPG
IMG_1654a.JPG
 
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@greentruck I looked at my 3500 lb axle after browsing the other thread Trailer Park Break solved and took a couple pics. I don't have the lever so I must have the "TruRyde 10" Self Adjusting Electric Drum Brakes" choice from your 1st post. I know that they are the self adjusting, since I just packed the wheel bearings. I wouldn't touch drum brakes that weren't self adjusting, IMHO. I agree with your choice of electric brakes, especially after examples that @pb4ugo posted. In pics of mine, it's plain to see where the lever should go if I was to add a parking brake. The plugged hole between the rivets, on the rectangular plate at the top of the brake backing plate is where the shaft that the parking brake lever would be attached to, to activate the parking brake - if it was there. Not sure if I could purchase parts, but I'm sure that one could salvage what's needed at a well stocked trailer graveyard. But for now, tire chalks work fine for me.
Thanks for the pics, that does look like where the lever would go.

I heard back from Southwest and the parking brake is a $300 option. Planning on goving them a call to further clarify, since it's not listed as an option in the online order form.
 

Jim S.

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I have electric brakes on my Ca. M101. E-trailer sells Dexter drums with the parking brake lever. I opted for the manual adjust. My Dexter axle is 54" and tracks well behind the 40.
 
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I have electric brakes on my Ca. M101. E-trailer sells Dexter drums with the parking brake lever. I opted for the manual adjust. My Dexter axle is 54" and tracks well behind the 40.
Yeah, I measured 54" but Southwest stocks them in odd inch increments. Figured I wouldn't want to wait on them customizing that over an extra inch, so decided to go with 55". With my tires being 33" skinnies and having added extra wide fenders, everything will still tuck underneath fine with the extra inch.

Other than welding the spring perches, was the rest pretty much bolt it together as it looks like should happen?
 

Jim S.

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When I measured for mine I included measurements for the perches and they came welded on. It's a genuine Dexter axle I purchased through a broker in SE Texas.This was about 4 years ago and the axle delivered to SE Arizona
cost around $130 or so. Trailer is on 33" tires and 80 series wheels to match my 40. I built custom fenders for the trailer. Kept the original brake cables. just shortened them and had a friend machine new yokes for the Dexter brake
levers. I cleaned up the springs while I was at it. Hardest part of the whole job was removing the old bushings. Good luck with your trailer. They are really great rigs. Sorry for the thread hijack. 🍺

PICT2568.JPG


PICT2566.JPG
 
Joined
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Location
flat earth Midwest
When I measured for mine I included measurements for the perches and they came welded on. It's a genuine Dexter axle I purchased through a broker in SE Texas.This was about 4 years ago and the axle delivered to SE Arizona
cost around $130 or so. Trailer is on 33" tires and 80 series wheels to match my 40. I built custom fenders for the trailer. Kept the original brake cables. just shortened them and had a friend machine new yokes for the Dexter brake
levers. I cleaned up the springs while I was at it. Hardest part of the whole job was removing the old bushings. Good luck with your trailer. They are really great rigs. Sorry for the thread hijack. 🍺
Nice looking rig you have there, Jim. Here's a pic of ours.
IMG_9985.JPG

IMG_9985.JPG

Today it's hauling chunks of concrete, so more brakes could be a good thing. Got the axle spec-ed out and almost ordered from Southwest Wheel. Their Hold spiel noted they take Paypal, but when we go to to the end the sales rep seemed confused about anything besides a credit card. Said he was going to check on that, then never got back to me, so will call them tomorrow to get that squared away. Glad I got my order # from him. They would take an extra 4 to 6 weeks to come up with a 54" axle, so went with the 55" they stock.
 

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