How to Replace Boat Trailer Brakes

Lead Image
  • 2-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 35-75
What You'll Need
Ratchet wrench
Rubber mallet
Emery cloth
Disc or drum brake assembly
Brake shoes
Trailer jack
Wheel blocks
WD-40 (TM) lubricant

After a few seasons, your boat trailer brakes may be corroded or rusted. Follow the tips below to replace the brakes on your boat trailer.

Step 1: Determine the Trailer Brake Type

Drum brakes look like a large hub inside the wheel. Disc brakes are caliper type, like big bicycle brakes. You will need to buy both the right and left-hand brakes for both types.

Step 2: Jack Up the Trailer Securely and Remove Wheels

Release the wheel lug nuts while the trailer is on the ground. Jack up the trailer and block the wheels on the ground. Leave the tires on the wheels. Put all bolts and nuts in a secure spot.

Step 3: Remove the Brake Assembly

Use a mallet and a thin wood wedge to pry off the hub cap. Remove the brake assembly, take the brakes out and check the brake shoes for wear. Replace the brake shoes as needed.

Step 4: Replace Brakes and Shoes

Fit the brakes into the brake assembly and fit in the new brake shoes. Reassemble in the opposite sequence that you removed them. Test brakes for correct function.