This trailer is going to be...
This trailer is going to be converted from drum brakes to disc brakes. Sound difficult? Not quite. Read along to see how easy it really can be.
Before your race team can even think about stepping foot on pit lane you first must arrive at pit lane safely. Sounds easy enough, but the problem is those darn tow vehicles and trailers.
This season, our team went to 12 races and four tests. Of those trips, eight were more than 6 hours of driving time. We don't have a stacker-style trailer, just a typical gooseneck, which admittedly is more than most short trackers around the country. Nevertheless, out of the 16 total trips we had one blown trailer tire, one fuel pump failure, a Jake-brake quit, and one radiator sensor malfunction. The point is, those failures made this season dramatic before we even got to the racetrack. The ongoing joke was, Well, what happened this time? Towing doesn't have to be this way. You can perform some basic maintenance to your tow vehicle to help avoid these types of issues. You can also upgrade your trailer rather inexpensively and not experience a lot of issues.
Here's everything we're going...
Here's everything we're going to need to convert this trailer into a state-of-the-art tow rig.
EGRBrakes.com recently designed a brake conversion kit for your trailer that will take your drum-style brakes and convert them to disc brakes. There are many advantages to disc brakes, the biggest being the added control they give you when you need to slow down the vehicle. Being able to tow at 70 or 80 mph is great, but if you can't stop the trailer then it serves no purpose.
Drum brakes are fine in principle. The problem occurs when the brake pedal is used under high- or hard-braking conditions, when the drum brakes tend to fail, and produce a soft pedal. On a trailer, you'll experience this while going down a steep grade. It's never a good combination to be gaining speed and not be able to stop.
This is the rotor that will...
This is the rotor that will replace the old drum-style brakes. Notice how EGRBrakes.com has cut its own gas slot cooling vents in the rotor. These vents will further help keep rotors from overheating.
Disc brakes are also better because a drum will produce heat buildup inside itself. A disc-brake setup allows the rotor to be exposed to air to help cool it during those extreme braking conditions.
When I first heard about this conversion kit, I was a little skeptical. I had a list of questions that had to be answered, so Glenn Maurer of EGRBrakes.com invited me to take part in converting a trailer to disc brakes as well as performing a few other upgrades. (Ed Note: Looks like Glenn did all the work.)
Along with converting the trailer to disc brakes we're also going to give it a facelift by providing better lighting inside and out. We are also going to supply it with new rubber and rims. The goal is to upgrade this trailer and make it look brand-new. Let's get to it.
The first thing we have to do is run the brake lines underneath the trailer. We will run a total of six brake lines, one for each wheel.
Ok, we have the wheel off and now it's time to get started. First, we must remove the dust cover to expose the spindle nut so we can remove the rotor.
Now that we have the dust cover off, we'll have to remove the safety mechanism that keeps the nut from backing off. We had to be careful to not break the tabs on the pin because we will be reusing it.
We replaced the light in the trailer with a Piranah LED Light from PM Manufacturing. It provides us with more light and looks a lot better than the original.
The final product. Look how sleek the trailer turned out. We replaced the lights on the side and the back of the trailer with LED lighting. As good as the trailer looks, the most important thing is it's much safer then when we first started.
Now we have to mount the hydraulic accuator and wire it. We do so by hooking up a ground wire, power wire, and stop wire to the main trailer plug harness at the front of the trailer.