Electric drum brakes

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nautek1
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Electric drum brakes

Post by nautek1 » Feb 28th, '18, 18:45

Who has got electric drum brakes on their boat trailer?
How do you find them?s
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impulse
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Re: Electric drum brakes

Post by impulse » Feb 28th, '18, 18:48

Cheap and nasty.
A mate had some, good for a short while but has now converted to full hydraulic stainless steel discs and alko actuator.
Cheers Robin.

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Re: Electric drum brakes

Post by zebedee » Feb 28th, '18, 20:48

Unsuited to repeated immersion, particularly in salt water...
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MoodyBlue
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Re: Electric drum brakes

Post by MoodyBlue » Feb 28th, '18, 21:50

Puting electrical items in or near salt water is never going to end well.

Electric drum brakes rely on a 12 volt solenoid in each drum to apply magnetism to each actuator. Any corrosion and resistance difference in one hub compared to the other side means when the brakes are applied the trailer will pull to one side.
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colect149
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Re: Electric drum brakes

Post by colect149 » Feb 28th, '18, 22:22

I would call the device an electromagnet rather than a solenoid. The principle is the more volts supplied to the electromagnet the more it wants to follow the rotation of the drum, as it is attached to the shoes they apply more pressure on the drum. I had them on the Farr6000 trailer and even though they were quite old, they were OK. But you don't know whats going on inside the drum until you take it off. A seized caliper piston on one side with discs can still be nasty. At the end of the day, electrics and water are not a good mix.
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Re: Electric drum brakes

Post by duncanhayward » Mar 1st, '18, 08:16

I have electric brakes on the NX trailer and have found them excellent. We've done 12,000+ km since we bought the boat in Oct 2015. They came with the boat and I did consider replacing them with hydraulic brakes, because that was something I was familiar with, however they are cheap to maintain and are reliable. I do consider them a "dark art" so each year I take the trailer to the local caravan place who checks & replaces the seals, repacks the bearings and checks the brakes. I did it yesterday in prep for the drive to MPONR and its the first time I've had them looked at since the Canberra - Whitsundays trip last year. 80% brake life remaining, magnets all good.

However - I NEVER immerse the brakes in water. The trailer splits - the rubber on the rear wheel is the only part that touches the water, just up to under the level of the tyre rim, so the brake drum never gets wet (sometimes odd splash of water but not immersed). When coupled with an inertia electric brake controller in the car (REDARC Tow Pro https://www.redarc.com.au/electric-trai ... controller) they are excellent. Easily pull up the car if I needed them to! Another boat at the YC uses them and immerses them each time they launch/retrieve however its fresh water here. I carry a few spares - magnet, left and right backing plate, and there is a manual adjustment that is not too difficult to adjust the spring on the drum.

If I had to dunk the trailer I wouldn't recommend them and would go hydraulic if I was starting from scratch.

Edit 1 - spelling
Last edited by duncanhayward on Mar 1st, '18, 12:09, edited 1 time in total.
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MoodyBlue
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Re: Electric drum brakes

Post by MoodyBlue » Mar 1st, '18, 11:44

colect149 wrote:I would call the device an electromagnet rather than a solenoid. The principle is the more volts supplied to the electromagnet the more it wants to follow the rotation of the drum, as it is attached to the shoes they apply more pressure on the drum. I had them on the Farr6000 trailer and even though they were quite old, they were OK. But you don't know whats going on inside the drum until you take it off. A seized caliper piston on one side with discs can still be nasty. At the end of the day, electrics and water are not a good mix.
100% correct Mal.

Just my tired brain not using the correct terminology..

Thanks

Jeff
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mob
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Re: Electric drum brakes

Post by mob » Mar 1st, '18, 12:59

A friend has just fitted new ones to his Sunbird's trailer and he tells me these have integrated ports for flushing them out with a hose. I'd assumed they were specifically made for boat trailers. I'll ask him for more details.

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nautek1
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Re: Electric drum brakes

Post by nautek1 » Mar 3rd, '18, 12:07

I currently have override hydraulic brakes on the trailer and I've never been happy with them I was in contact with the chap in the states who has a Mac and he's got electric brakes on it and he uses his in saltwater water all the time and never has a problem with them I suppose it's down to maintenance
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zebedee
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Re: Electric drum brakes

Post by zebedee » Mar 3rd, '18, 21:58

Here's a supplier in the USA who doesn't exactly recommend electric brakes on boat trailers but does say they are possible.

https://www.etrailer.com/question-62763.html
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az100
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Re: Electric drum brakes

Post by az100 » Apr 5th, '18, 20:05

My trailer had electric drum brakes since first launching day back in 1999. Back then electric over hydraulic brakes were horribly expensive and override brakes not legal for my size boat.

The electric drum brakes work very well BUT, mine do *not* get dunked at all while launching or retrieving.
So, IMO they are only suitable for break back type trailer & shallow draught boat. This also requires a powerful electric winch to load the boat back onto the dry trailer.

They do require a bit more maintenance than disk brakes, especially the electrical connection must be first rate & water proof.

If I were to build my trailer again Then the modern electric/hydraulic disk brakes would be chosen.

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Re: Electric drum brakes

Post by PaulS » Apr 6th, '18, 16:47

az100 wrote:So, IMO they are only suitable for break back type trailer & shallow draught boat.
I have had more than a few occasions when launching/retrieving with waves (usually short and sharp) that cause most of the rear of the trailer to go under at least half of the time - surely they wouldn't survive much of this type of treatment?

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az100
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Re: Electric drum brakes

Post by az100 » Apr 6th, '18, 23:56

PaulS wrote:
az100 wrote:So, IMO they are only suitable for break back type trailer & shallow draught boat.
I have had more than a few occasions when launching/retrieving with waves (usually short and sharp) that cause most of the rear of the trailer to go under at least half of the time - surely they wouldn't survive much of this type of treatment?

PaulS
If you could rinse the drums with fresh water immediately after dunking accidentally the little springs & bits inside would survive. Particularly if they get a bit hot afterwards, to dry, by towing with the trailer hand brake on for a short distance.
With my home built trailer only the rear cross member gets submerged, the aft wheels (two axle trailer) remain dry at water edge. This can cope with the small waves from passing boats where I usually launch but, as you say, there are ramps with bigger waves. I am avoiding these but it has happened which meant tackling the not so pleasant job of dismantling the drums and cleaning everything associated with them.

AZ100

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Re: Electric drum brakes

Post by Wanton » Apr 8th, '18, 19:53

az100 wrote:
PaulS wrote:
az100 wrote:So, IMO they are only suitable for break back type trailer & shallow draught boat.
I have had more than a few occasions when launching/retrieving with waves (usually short and sharp) that cause most of the rear of the trailer to go under at least half of the time - surely they wouldn't survive much of this type of treatment?

PaulS
If you could rinse the drums with fresh water immediately after dunking accidentally the little springs & bits inside would survive. Particularly if they get a bit hot afterwards, to dry, by towing with the trailer hand brake on for a short distance.
With my home built trailer only the rear cross member gets submerged, the aft wheels (two axle trailer) remain dry at water edge. This can cope with the small waves from passing boats where I usually launch but, as you say, there are ramps with bigger waves. I am avoiding these but it has happened which meant tackling the not so pleasant job of dismantling the drums and cleaning everything associated with them.

AZ100
I am reading this discussion with some interest, as i would like to uprade my brake sytem to electric over hydraulic brakes. I have made a number of inquiries on AliBaba. The minimum purchase order is 5 or 6 units. Is anyone interested in upgrading their system and buying a unit with me to make the minimum order. The savings would be significant.

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Re: Electric drum brakes

Post by PaulS » Apr 9th, '18, 08:49

Electric Hydraulic Brake Systems:

http://www.hydrastar.com.au/brake-actuators/ -USA MADE (Came with a trailer I have and I am about to install)

http://www.alkoiq7.com.au/ -AUSTRALIAN MADE (Looks like the best available if buying new)

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Re: Electric drum brakes

Post by MoodyBlue » Apr 9th, '18, 09:36

Very much like the idea of using compressed air. No fluid contamination etc etc,

I have an air cylinder I had thoughts of fitting to pull the cable disc brakes on our trailer. I already have the electric brake controller in both cars, just need to modify a spare Range Rove air suspension solenoid bank to add or release air as required?
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Re: Electric drum brakes

Post by mob » Apr 9th, '18, 15:28

I like your thinking Jeff. What I hate most about my electric over hydraulic system is the ARK brand calipers (same as the trigg bros. Torana calipers) and the way they drag after applying them. They only come on when I stop quickly, but they will drag for 100 metres after I take off again, and in an old NA diesel that is such a pain. And I go through pads at quite a rate.
I had thought that my dexter actuator could drive two slave cylinders that would operate brake cables on both axles - then I could have a hand brake again. I wish one of our engineering types could give us the perfect system, a pity they're too busy sailing.

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Re: Electric drum brakes

Post by INMA » Apr 9th, '18, 17:48

There are lots of legal European override systems that can be adapted to operate Australian mechanical calipers but nobody seems prepared to ignore the wisdom of electric over hydraulic systems.

This has been discussed in other topics including links.
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Re: Electric drum brakes

Post by PaulS » Apr 9th, '18, 20:28

My memory of those conversations was that you could creatively read the rules, and you could maybe get a an approved CE rated part that could possibly be imported that may not be picked up by a police officer or perhaps/maybe not get you into stife in an accident with a 2000kg plus ATM trailer..!

Has anybody actually done it though?

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Re: Electric drum brakes

Post by INMA » Apr 9th, '18, 21:22

Paul. there was no intention to do things outside the intent of the rules.

The rules were largely rewritten to permit European trailer brake equipment. The opportunity is to use the new freedom responsibly.
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Re: Electric drum brakes

Post by Gezza » Apr 9th, '18, 21:30

Hi, this is just out of the blue, and disregarding any regs as I have not even looked into them, but why does it have to be electric over hydraulic? What is wrong with mechanical over hydraulic, meaning same idea as your car only instead of your foot operating the brake pedal it will be the lever operated by the trailer moving forward on the hitch. So instead of pulling on the cable to apply the brakes by the inertia of the trailer when you hit your car brakes, this could be operating your trailers “brake paddle” and so the master brake cylinder and brakes on all 4 or only 2 wheels if you like. Would be easy to manufacture with some leverage and a master brake cylinder. Would it be legal though? I am keen.
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Re: Electric drum brakes

Post by zebedee » Apr 9th, '18, 21:37

The ADR doesn't explicitly prohibit override brakes above 2000kg.
What it does require is:
  • Breakaway brakes over 2000kg GTM (not ATM)
  • A 50mm ball coupling if used must comply with the applicable Australian Standard or one of several overseas standards
  • Direct driver control of braking where brakes are not override brakes
The Australian Standard in turn requires couplings for a 50mm ball to be rated to one of three ATM capacities; 750kg, 2000kg or 3500kg.
All current Australian Standard approved 50mm override couplings are rated 2000kg. There are older identical couplings around with a 2270kg ATM or even the original 5000lbs ATM cast into the body, whichy do not meet the current edition of the standard.

So, if you use an Australian Design approved 50mm override coupling, you are limited to an ATM of 2000kg by the coupling rating.

However there are a number of alternative override couplings; either 50mm override couplings approved in Europe or couplings which do not use a 50mm ball.

Once you've sourced a suitable override coupling rated above 2000kg, you still need to solve the problem of providing breakaway brakes. There are a number of ways of doing this, but probably the simplest is to use a European approved 50mm ball override coupling which includes a built in breakaway mechanism.

Good luck getting it past registration inspection on the first pass; expect to have to argue...

Gezza, you seem to have reinvented conventional hydraulic override brakes?
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Re: Electric drum brakes

Post by MoodyBlue » Apr 9th, '18, 21:38

Gezza,
That system already exists on many many trailers.

The draw back as far as I know is that it relies on the tow vehicle to stay straight ahead to enable the system to work.

In slippery conditions, or even emergency braking there is great risk of the trailer pushing the tow vehicle into a "Jackknife" situation, and there is also limited proportioning of the braking effort.

What is needed is a system that activates the trailer brakes in proportion to the tow vehicle brakes and also micro seconds ahead so the trailer actively contributes to slowing the whole rig.
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Re: Electric drum brakes

Post by Gezza » Apr 9th, '18, 21:44

There you go, few decades to late. It was just popping up in my brain. Back to the drawing board.
Or indeed better go sailing hahaha and keep the Sonata rig under 2000kg. I am doing well with the new light weight fortress anchor and the new 9.8 tohatsu ul replacing the old mercury 8 sailpower before 2 strokes get banned, that is an other 20 kg saved.
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Re: Electric drum brakes

Post by mob » Apr 10th, '18, 07:42

PaulS wrote:My memory of those conversations was that you could creatively read the rules, and you could maybe get a an approved CE rated part that could possibly be imported that may not be picked up by a police officer or perhaps/maybe not get you into stife in an accident with a 2000kg plus ATM trailer..!

Has anybody actually done it though?

PaulS
Yes Paul, that's my memory of those conversations as well. I'm perfectly happy to "ignore the wisdom of electric over hydraulic systems" as soon as I can be provided with "break-away" and in-cab independent control. The hydraulics s%*t me to tears.

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