Electric brakes on 101a2 and 1101

Buffalobwana

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Anyone ever convert a 101a2 to electric brakes? I wired a 7 way plug in anticipation of adding electric brakes to it since my surge system was inop, and my truck has a good trailer package with adjustable electric brake output.

I have electric brakes for my 1101, have not installed them yet. Are the backing plates the same? Could the 1101 electric brakes work on a 101A2?

I did a search and came up with very little on the subject of brakes on these trailers.
 

porkysplace

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I'm pretty sure the backing plates will be different ,along with the shoes and springs . E-trailer or Dexter probably has complete electric bolt-on backing plates available or you could go with a electric over hydraulic control in place of the surge unit .

Edit; It seems most people who have changed to electric brakes changed the complete axle.

https://www.easternmarine.com/Electric-Hydraulic-Brake-Actuators/
 
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Buffalobwana

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Thanks PP. The electric/hydraulic option, while a bit pricey, would be ok if my parking brakes still worked. They don’t. They were cut at the drum.

Ill call etrailer and see if anyone there knows the correct part numbers. I feel like it’s a shot in the dark, as it’s probably not a common part. I should probably get a full set of bearings and be ready to have them changed out. These three trailers looked pretty neglected. Even if they don’t need to be changed, I have 4 of these 101’s. Eventually one of them will want new bearings.
 

Buffalobwana

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What is the difference in the A2 and A3 hubs and spindles? I found a thread on Expo where a guy used etrailer parts https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Brakes/Dexter-Axle/23-112-113.html to convert his to electric brakes and keep the parking brakes.

I called etrailer. But, I’m not confident in their answer since there was no knowledge base to back it on other than what I told them; the 5 hole backing plate and 8 on 6 1/2 bolt pattern. I don’t have bearing info or spindle diameter.
 

scrapdaddy

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Buffalo,

There is no difference in the A2 and A3 hubs, brakes, backing plates, etc. The main difference is the axle width and the bump up in the middle.
 

Buffalobwana

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Thanks SD. You have been a big help here and on Expo. I have my shopping cart full now at eTrailer with bearings races seals and brakes. Just need to decide if I want parking brakes or not. A couple rocks tied together with paracord can do amazing things. The difference is $100 and my cables are trash.

Decisions decisions.
 

scrapdaddy

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I agree with Marcus, having the parking brakes working helps a lot, just grab a handle when pushing or pulling and you have it secured. If you plan to use it in different types of terrain they will come in handy. Chocks will work, but somewhat of a hassle. I didn't want to seem like I was following you around, but you posted on two of the four sites I go to. Something else I found extremely helpful is a tongue jack with a wheel. I just mounted one on mine and I love it. I can roll it around on gravel no problems.
 

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Buffalobwana

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Well, When you put it that way, it’s hard to resist Humphrey.

I can’t make my cables reappear. They are cut in half. And that’s a problem. I have managed incredible things with two rocks tied to a string used as chocks.

Im not one to skimp on $100. I could buy the brakes with the parking brake option and just find cables or make some later. I don’t have to hook them up now.

In any case, we’ll always have Paris.
 

Buffalobwana

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I agree with Marcus, having the parking brakes working helps a lot, just grab a handle when pushing or pulling and you have it secured. If you plan to use it in different types of terrain they will come in handy. Chocks will work, but somewhat of a hassle. I didn't want to seem like I was following you around, but you posted on two of the four sites I go to. Something else I found extremely helpful is a tongue jack with a wheel. I just mounted one on mine and I love it. I can roll it around on gravel no problems.
I appreciate your help. These two sites have strong military trailer followings. Obviously.

I googled 101A2 electric brakes and it lead me to Expo and the thread with your post. I looked at the date and it was only a few hours old. What a coincidence.

My 1101 had a bad caster bolted on the bottom of the jack foot. I chopped it off and pinned an eTrailer caster on to it. Very helpful. I may do the same with this one.

You are right. Throw a lever, and you can pivot a trailer on a tire. Ok, you guys talked me into it. I’ll make the electric parking brakes work.
 

Tinstar

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Why not just fix the surge brakes?

Extremely easy to do and when completed, will last for life of trailer with periodic easy maintenance.
Surge brakes are wonderful when properly maintained.
Croft Trailer has all the factory parts for the system and excellent customer service.

Mine handled two tons of gravel no sweat.

It will be a lot cheaper and easier to simply fix what’s already on the trailer.


Parking brake cables are a different issue.
Correct ones are very hard to find.
 

scrapdaddy

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In my opinion, there's a lot of reasons to go electric. I built mine for off road camping and surge brakes can be a pain in the azz off road. Weight is another concern, it adds up. That statement about how wonderful surge brakes are when properly maintained is always thrown out there, but in most cases, I'm betting people don't even know if the brakes are working or not. They do work and well for some duties, but not all. Just to add, every one of my 101s that came from government sales the brakes were a mess, empty, rusted masters or bad grease seals with ruined shoes, etc. Replacement of parts is pretty much mandatory anyway, so for my use on the camping trailer I went electric. I do have surge brakes on my triple axle float and other 101s with no problems.
 

Buffalobwana

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1. $119 for electric brakes that pull harder than surge brakes. I can lock them up if I want to. I just adjust my output in my truck to about 4-6 depending on the load and they will pull on me. A surge, by design, can not do that. Therefore, electric works better. (In my vehicle).
2. The entire surge assembly weighs 65lbs conservatively. I have to move this trailer around a lot by hand. The hitch I put on there weighs probably 15 lbs. possibly less. So, 50 lbs is a big difference when moving a trailer tongue.
3. It doesn’t sit close to level. I don’t like how that looks or rides. If I buy a hitch that sticks up high enough to make it level, it puts a lot of torque on my hitch.

These are MY reasons. They may not be applicable to others use of their trailer.
 

Tinstar

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Your trailer so whatever works for you.
Your definitely set on installing them and I do understand your points.
Personal preference.
They are great trailers regardless.
You will definitely be happy with it.

I like mine stock and like the surge brakes a lot.
For me, keeping surge brakes is the way to go.
Yes, they do work wonderful when maintained and it’s very easy to bring them back to life from surplus lot neglect.
Factory parts are still available.
You will know very quickly if their not working. Trailer behavior tells you for sure.

Post pics of brake install.
 

Buffalobwana

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BTW Scrapdaddy and Marcus, I placed my order with eTrailer. $300 for all new bearings and electric brakes with parking brake option. Even if I don’t need all new bearings, I have 3 other 101’s and 2 1101’s that share some of the same bearings.

I will have to do some work to make my cables work since they were cut. I may have to rob cables off another trailer. Or source them somewhere else.

For now, I’ll hook up electric brakes and leave the cables off since they are MIA.

Thanks Humphry. I always have been a believer in spending the money on doing it right. Sometimes I need someone to remind me though.
 

Buffalobwana

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Your trailer so whatever works for you.
Your definitely set on installing them and I do understand your points.
Personal preference.
They are great trailers regardless.
You will definitely be happy with it.

I like mine stock and like the surge brakes a lot.
For me, keeping surge brakes is the way to go.
Yes, they do work wonderful when maintained and it’s very easy to bring them back to life from surplus lot neglect.
Factory parts are still available.
You will know very quickly if their not working. Trailer behavior tells you for sure.
Post pics of brake install.
Ill try to post pics. I’m documenting my work in the “Adventure Trailer” post here. Main reason for the change was that cables were cut and brake system was toast along with the rest of my reasons. Could fix or replace. Rather replace for that particular application. Had 37’s on it so height was an issue.

I do have a very nice 101 with surge brakes intact. Have no plans of changing that one, it has the proper size tires so it rides pretty level. It’s a sweet ride. Made sweeter by the price I paid. Must have been a holiday week or people were just not paying attention that day. Nice tarp, new tires, a shop made metal topper, and a bed full of goodies.

Some days you just win.
 

Tinstar

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There are some really nice camper/adventure trailer builds with both electric and surge brake setups.
Never ceases to amaze me the great ideas some guys come up with and then build/incorporate it.
 

Buffalobwana

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If you can dream it, you can build it!

Unless you suck at welding, then, you can’t.

Expo has some pretty incredible builds. They serve as inspiration for many and spawn other ideas. The internet has given all of us a place (like this) to come learn anything we want. Welding, guitar, how to fix a 5-ton CTIS system, you name it. When most of us were kids we had to hitch a ride to the library, ask the librarian to help us find a book, that likely didn’t exist in our crappy hometown library and then lug it home and hitch a ride back later to return it.

What a pain!
 

MarcusOReallyus

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Mine handled two tons of gravel no sweat.
Yep. I have had that much on mine with no problem.


But that was when my brakes were working. The master is shot, so I'm re-evaluating going electric or keeping the surge. The reduced tongue weight and the adjustable nature of the electrics are factors for me.
 

Buffalobwana

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Started with the change over to electric.
E7BFB574-7DE7-4873-8720-641423C8E712.jpg
Pop the cap off, removed the pin and castle nut, which was surprisingly easy, and pulled the hub off.
81A982BF-B3B5-470C-BAEB-3C10BE889761.jpg
Hub came off without any trouble. Spindle was in good shape.
F9EB503D-1A03-4F42-A0A3-435405D2D7F5.jpg

CB970793-6C3D-40EC-8C7E-8491DFF8F885.jpg
Bearings looked pretty good. Outer bearing looked new. Inner bearing showed some marking. I suspect both could easily be reused, but, since I have new ones, I’ll use them, clean the old ones and save them.
66091F65-6B8E-4F15-8148-5AFDDFFF748B.jpg
Races looked new. Cleaned out the hubs, packed new bearings installed inner bearing, set grease seal on hub and laid a 2x2 across it and tapped it with a hammer until it was seated. Then didn’t take a picture because I had grease all over my hands.
8983D34C-0C6E-45C6-8622-1EDB9ACA5DB9.jpg
 
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