A couple days ago I totally rewired my braking system with new wire. Upgraded from 12 gauge to 10 gauge for most of the run, but still used the smaller 12 gauge for the jumpers from front to rear wheels, since those runs needed to handle the amperage for just one magnet. The primary run from front junction box to first wheel has to handle the amperage for all 4 brake magnets- potentially up to 14 amps total. I ran 10 gauge across the front axle to handle the RH side brakes.
So now my brakes, hubs, bearings, seals and tires are all new. It's a good feeling!
Originally Posted by Crabman
Hey Smoker, why did you have to do a complete brake system overhaul, was there an issue or are you just upgrading? Just curious since our units are about the same age, though you likely have many more miles on yours.
Mainly I upgraded to new for peace of mind, Crabman. My TT's been pulled over 30K miles total, and it's been almost three years since I opened up the hubs and checked the bearings and brakes. The last 18 months my TT has just been sitting at the RV park. I'm heading down to Arizona this winter and will be travelling to some remote locations, so I wanted to know for sure the brakes and bearings were at 100%.
I was originally planning to just replace the bearings, seals and brake shoes, but found that it wasn't too much more expensive to just go with all new parts. For instance, brake shoes alone for each wheel run about $20 per wheel. I could buy brand new brake assemblies for $30 per wheel, which included everything- backing plate, shoes, magnet and all hardware.
The original Dexter brake assemblies were self-adjusting. I went with less expensive Tru-Ryde manually adjusted brakes, which were $15 cheaper than new Dexter self adjusting brakes. Kinda figured it would be good to HAVE to ocassionally raise each wheel to manually adjust the brakes since I would be checking the bearing performance for binding and looseness at the same time.
Bearing/seal kits for each wheel ran $12 each wheel. Machining the drums would have cost $10 each for the braking surface, plus $35 each for machining the magnet armature surface. New Dexter hubs, which included all new bearings and seals, cost $50 per wheel, so it was actually cheaper to buy new (and a lot less work) than reworking the old hubs.
The existing brake system wiring had some issues and potential problems. All the connections in the wiring system were corroded pretty badly, even up front at the connection in the junction box. Also, I read that the through-axle brake wiring sometimes shorted out inside the axle tubes from damaged/worn insulation.
I replaced the original 12 gauge wire from the junction box to the left-side front axle with new 10 gauge wire. Another section of 10 gauge wire was ran across the top of the front axle to the right side, bypassing the through-axle wire. I jumpered directly from front to back brake assemblies with 12 gauge wire. All connections were crimped, soldered and weatherproofed. Original connections were only crimped.
That's the story of why I did the major upgrade. Plus, I'm sure my set of brand new Maxxis 8-ply tires will appreciate the solid backing.