Hydraulic to Electric Brake Conversion

Discussion in 'Tires / Brakes / Bearings / Axles' started by kennedyma, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. kennedyma

    kennedyma Member

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    Hi All,

    I am looking for some advice for my 2005 Jayco Baja that we purchased last fall. We found a super clean and "well-maintained" PopUp last fall and got it for a super reasonable price. The only issue with it is that the original/previous owner didn't maintain the hydraulic brakes at all, which knew before buying.

    After reading the threads posted here, I have a good plan of attack for these but wanted to run it by the forum and see what issues it might have.

    The Plan:
    - Replace the whole axle with a new electric brake axle from eTrailer: https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Axles/Dexter-Axle/35545E-ST-EZ-89.html
    - Add breakaway switch: https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories-and-Parts/Curt/C52010.html

    Question:
    Since I will have an onboard 12v system, I can tie into that right or do I need the whole kit?
    Question: What do I do about the current hitch? Since it's a hydraulic hitch with a master cylinder, I'm thinking of welding it, so it doesn't move. My other thought was to weld a new hitch to the front. Any advice here would be great.

    Thanks all for any help provided. I will make sure to post a build thread when I start.

    P.S. I've attached a few pictures of the hitch, plus a pic of the one time we used it last fall.
    IMG_3830.jpeg IMG_3853.jpeg Underside of the hitch.jpeg
     

    Attached Files:

  2. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    You will need a brake controller in your TV too. Should work out just fine, as far as welding the hitch, I will be honest and say I do not know which would be best, it has been a long time since I had a unit with hydraulic brakes and got rid of the unit because of the brakes as they were just to much trouble for me lots of people like them tho. Good Luck with the project and happy Camping
     
  3. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Have you evaluated the present system or are you resolved to replacing it
     
  4. kennedyma

    kennedyma Member

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    Yea I have taken a pretty good look at it. The master cylinder is shot and the brakes are in pretty bad shape. After looking at all my options it comes out within +/- $50 to repair the Hydros or go fully electric. With a full axle and brakes being only $330 it makes it tough to rebuild.

    @nineoaks2004 I totally forgot to mention the TV in my org post.. I will be towing with a 2018 Jeep Unlimited JK, that already has an electric brake controller in it. Since I'm towing with the Wrangler brakes are super important to me:) #shortwheelbase

    Been digging on etrailer some more and found this hitch. The outside width looks to be the same size as the current hydro hitch. Thinking I can unbolt the Hyro one, drill a few new holes in this one and be off and running. The current hitch has had better days.
     
  5. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a plan, i would see if a garage can weld the hitch on for you, probably easier and might be cheaper. You need a battery for the breakaway switch, if your pup has one your good. Of you allready have the break control your all good. Some tow packages dont come with them, or didnt in the past.
     
    kennedyma likes this.
  6. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

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    If the Baja has a torsion axle with hydraylic brakes, my recommendation would be to take the wheels and the hubs off and then the hydraulic brake backer plate and just replace that with an electric version. You can get it on etrailer an dit is pretty reasonable. A full torflex axle (if that is what you have) is pretty spendy. Basically, if you existing axle is fine, you can retrofit it with electric brakes for a pretty reasonable price.
     
  7. kennedyma

    kennedyma Member

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    MNT Camper, thanks for the heads up. I will double check but I’m pretty sure it’s a standard axle.

    The camper is in storage right now but I know it has leaf springs and shocks on it. Which tells me it’s a normal axle...right? Also the owners manual says it has a 3,500lb dexter axle.

    I still need to verify the axle width before I order.
     
  8. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

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    If it has leafs and shocks, it is a normal axle, so swapping like you propose should be just fine. If it is a dexter 3500 lb axle, it should have the part number on it. That should allow you to look it up and then order the equivalent with electric brakes.
     
    kennedyma likes this.
  9. MTBDad

    MTBDad New Member

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    What did you do? I have a 10Z with electic. I have converted several boat trailers from hydro surge to electric drum. Lot's of options. You shouldn't need to change the axle.
     
  10. kennedyma

    kennedyma Member

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    It was a good thing I checked the axle as it was a special width. I wound up ordering a brake kit from eTrailer and swapping them out. I used the existing drums/hubs and welded the hitch so it didn't move.
    Brakes: https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer_Brakes/Dexter_Axle/23-468-469.html
    7 Pin Cord: https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories_and_Parts/Epicord/277-000141.html
     
    MTBDad likes this.

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