looking at a used trailer.. brake questions - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 4 Old 03-28-2012, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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1999 WJ 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: fleetwood
Posts: 248
looking at a used trailer.. brake questions

hi all. im looking at a 16' worthington side load aluminum trailer. pretty much exactly the trailer we are after. guy is asking 2300, and its a 2005. other than one of the side ramps being bent up, its in pretty good shape. we plan on bending that back out with some heat, and a little coaxing.

the biggest issue with it are the brakes. the break away housing(part that has the tether wire coming out of it) is siezed, and the battery is shot. 45 bucks from etrailer. no big deal.

now, we hooked it up to the truck, jacked up the trailer, and applied the brakes. 2 of the wheels hum a bit, and ever so slightly drag, but i can still spin the wheels quite easily. the other 2 do nothing. no resistance, no humming, no sound or evidence of them even being hooked up.

the guy agreed to knock 300 of the price if he couldnt get them fully functioning by tomorrow. if he could hed knock off 100 for the breakaway kit.

the wheels are 10" wheels, dual torsion axles.

what my main question is, is what do you think it would cost worst case scenario to get the brakes all functional again. just parts. im pretty good behind a wrench so ill be doing all the work, but im completely clueless on where to get parts for brakes, how universal the parts are, and what goes wrong with them.

ohh, and something to note. when we first hooked it up, 2 of the brakes were disconnected. opposite sides, and opposite axles. the brake controller read nc(not connected?). after we hooked them up, they were working agian. seems to me that means they are now all connected, so the wiring is not to blame?

so yeah. where can i find the parts, and how much could it cost worst case? saw at eastern marine they have dexter 7x 1 1/4" 2.2k assemblies for 42 bucks. thats the whole set. assuming that those would work, or a similar set that is compatibal would be the same price, we could replace all 4 for under 200 bucks. we would be comfortable with spending that. and thats worst case. is that about right? or am i way off?

thanks all!!!

current: 1999 WJ limited quadradrive
RIP: 1982 CJ7 limited, 1986 2 door 2.8l XJ, 1991 XJ ltd, 2001 XJ, 1998 XJ, 1962 willies wagon
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post #2 of 4 Old 03-29-2012, 08:40 AM
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1980 CJ5 
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Location: pennsylvania
Posts: 678
For trailers I normally get the complete brake system. It has teh backing plate, shoes and springs. $42 sounds right per wheel. Its not hard to do.
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-16-2012, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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1999 WJ 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: fleetwood
Posts: 248
figured id post an update. bought the trailer... pulled all the drums. the brakes are "dexter" brand. good news cause they are pretty common. 2 of the brake magnets had wires pulled out of them. so they are junk. figure ill just get whole new assemblies. the magnets are 25 bucks, the assemblies are 50. the pads that are in there look good, but will have to be replaced eventually anyways.

the other 2 i got working reasonably well. the face of both of the magnets are pretty deformed, which i think is killing some of the effectiveness of the brakes, but they get the job done for now. no money to throw at the thing right now due to other projects. im thinking they will both be replaced with new assemblies reasonably soon as well.

the rear side gate was fixed with some winching and some horizontal jacking. everything lines up and closes reasonably smoothly.

now we just have to wait till the money is available and we will have a sweet trailer.

4 brake assemblies 200
new breakaway kit 40
trailer price 2000.

should have a fully functional 4 up aluminum trailer for around 2250. not too bad!!

the from factory tie downs seem a bit chinsy. there are 5 per side. the 3 in the middle serve as anchors for 2 tie downs. which is fine. the problem i see is they are mounted with 2 self tapping screws that go into the boxed aluminum. seems like a really weak point. steel on aluminum corrosion, i imagine they could eventually pull out. i dont know if i should trust it.

i was thinking switching out the screws with 1/4x4" bolts that i could run through the screw holes in the top of the boxed steel and out the bottom. not really to crazy about putting more holes in the aluminum, but i think it would hold a lot better than screws. while i was at it, id throw a few extras in to give me more loading options.

going to fab up a spare tire mount,and we should be ready to roll!!

current: 1999 WJ limited quadradrive
RIP: 1982 CJ7 limited, 1986 2 door 2.8l XJ, 1991 XJ ltd, 2001 XJ, 1998 XJ, 1962 willies wagon
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post #4 of 4 Old 04-18-2012, 03:33 PM
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2005 TJ Wrangler 
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Location: Phelan
Posts: 7,496
Sounds like you got a good deal to me. We change out the brakes on similar trailers regularly. The backing plate kit comes with all new brake parts, Magnets, shoes, springs, clips, adjuster all assembled. just unbolt the old and bolt up the new to the axle. Very east to change out. The only thing the backing plate brake kit doesn't come with is the drums, bearings, etc.
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