Timbren 4" Axle-Less Suspension + Parking Brake?

PDXFactory

New member
Hey gang,

I've been lurking around here for a while, and I finally have a question I haven't been able to find an answer to...hoping someone here can help!

I'm in the process of building an overland style trailer, and I'm using the Timbren ASR1THDS03 1 Tonne HD suspension w/ 4" lift and long spindles. I also ordered a pair of the Dexter 10" electric brakes w/ the integrated parking brake. Unfortunately, the 4" lift spindles and the parking brake lever don't seem to work together. Is anyone running a parking brake on their overland trailer with the 4" lift Timbren spindles? How did you pull it off? Anyone know of another manual parking brake setup for 10" brakes? Those were really spendy electric brakes, and now it looks like I'm stuck not being able to use them. (I don't have a pic here at work, but I'll take one when I get home.)

I did talk to Dexter about running the electric brake upside down. Of course they said no. I've also got a message into Timbren to see if they have suggestions, but I'm not holding my breath. I went with the Dexter setup since that was one of the few 5 X 5.5 hubs I could find.

Thanks!
 

NatersXJ6

Explorer
Not exactly the answer you are seeking, but I usually just chock my trailers. In cases of temporary or immediate need for a parking brake, I pull out the breakaway switch, thus setting the electric brakes. The trailer battery is huge in comparison to those little breakaway units, so it will hold a long time.
 

PDXFactory

New member
Thanks Naters, yeah...not quite the answer I was looking for :)

I heard back from Timbren and they basically said "we don't recommend parking brakes on the 4" lift spindle". It does look like they could have designed it to work, but clearly that wasn't a design constraint when they created it. I'm not sure what to do now...I guess I can leave the parking brake lever at home, and just buy some chocks.

Anyone see any reason the electric brake backing plates couldn't be inverted? I need to look more closely at them this weekend.
 

theMANIMAL

New member
Thanks Naters, yeah...not quite the answer I was looking for :)

I heard back from Timbren and they basically said "we don't recommend parking brakes on the 4" lift spindle". It does look like they could have designed it to work, but clearly that wasn't a design constraint when they created it. I'm not sure what to do now...I guess I can leave the parking brake lever at home, and just buy some chocks.

Anyone see any reason the electric brake backing plates couldn't be inverted? I need to look more closely at them this weekend.
Well selfishly I am glad you ran into this and posted about it as I was about to go down this same path. If you get the straight, non lifted spindles, it looks like the parking break lever should clear. What do you think? Would swapping to the no lift straight spindles be an option for your build? It might be worth a phone call to Timbren and asking?
 

PDXFactory

New member
Per Timbren, the straight spindles and drop spindles both work fine with the parking brake option. With the lifted spindle the actuation arm makes direct contact with the arm. I'm not on the road quite yet, but I'm getting close. I came up with my own solution and will report back if it works. I took the entire assembly apart and reconfigured it, even though Dexter said it wouldn't work. I disagree since drum brakes work on rotational energy and it was fairly simple to swap all of the parts around to actuate them correctly. Don't do what I do though...all that leads to is trouble :)
 

rawrear

New member
Hey gang,

I've been lurking around here for a while, and I finally have a question I haven't been able to find an answer to...hoping someone here can help!

I'm in the process of building an overland style trailer, and I'm using the Timbren ASR1THDS03 1 Tonne HD suspension w/ 4" lift and long spindles. I also ordered a pair of the Dexter 10" electric brakes w/ the integrated parking brake. Unfortunately, the 4" lift spindles and the parking brake lever don't seem to work together. Is anyone running a parking brake on their overland trailer with the 4" lift Timbren spindles? How did you pull it off? Anyone know of another manual parking brake setup for 10" brakes? Those were really spendy electric brakes, and now it looks like I'm stuck not being able to use them. (I don't have a pic here at work, but I'll take one when I get home.)

I did talk to Dexter about running the electric brake upside down. Of course they said no. I've also got a message into Timbren to see if they have suggestions, but I'm not holding my breath. I went with the Dexter setup since that was one of the few 5 X 5.5 hubs I could find.

Thanks!

Why is timbren better then a standard axle, sorry if this is dumb but im trying to learn
 

Louisd75

Adventurer
Why is timbren better then a standard axle, sorry if this is dumb but im trying to learn
More ground clearance under the middle of the trailer. The tradeoff is that Timbren is more expensive, much more sensitive to alignment and I've been seeing more discussion about the spindles bending. And you can't use a parking brake on some models :)
 

PDXFactory

New member
Why is timbren better then a standard axle, sorry if this is dumb but im trying to learn
Louis pretty much answered it - the only other thing I'd add is that the Timbren system is independent, so it has the potential to ride a bit better. Not sure how much that matters for a trailer yet. The right and left sides are individual 'modules' so there is no connecting axle, which is what gives you the added ground clearance...and the challenges with alignment. I suppose the alignment challenge is also a benefit - because you can actually align it in just about every direction.
 

Timbren

Supporting Sponsor
Why is timbren better then a standard axle, sorry if this is dumb but im trying to learn
Never a dumb question! I think the two responses above answered your questions perfectly. A few weeks ago I was towing a trailer that had our Axle-Less suspension and loaded with a side-by-side using my 4Runner. The weight total was about 3500 pounds. When I tell you it felt like there was nothing behind me I truly mean it. Having that suspension allowed me to navigate through some pretty bumpy terrain that other suspensions may have a problem with including clearance. The added spring system reduces the amount of stress the actual trailer is under as well. Bunch of differences between Timbren and traditional axle suspensions.
 

rawrear

New member
Never a dumb question! I think the two responses above answered your questions perfectly. A few weeks ago I was towing a trailer that had our Axle-Less suspension and loaded with a side-by-side using my 4Runner. The weight total was about 3500 pounds. When I tell you it felt like there was nothing behind me I truly mean it. Having that suspension allowed me to navigate through some pretty bumpy terrain that other suspensions may have a problem with including clearance. The added spring system reduces the amount of stress the actual trailer is under as well. Bunch of differences between Timbren and traditional axle suspensions.
I am thinking about building my own trailer and I think the research has pointed me in a direction I did not know existed prior to this thread.
 

Timbren

Supporting Sponsor
I am thinking about building my own trailer and I think the research has pointed me in a direction I did not know existed prior to this thread.
You know that is the true beauty of the forums. So much knowledge from so many different people that it can be overwhelming but good that it's all there to reference anytime you need it. If you have any further questions about our products or need help with anything please feel free to reach out anytime. We are always willing and able to help anyone that needs it.
 

ScottReb

Adventurer
Hi all, you can indeed run the lift and long spindle with 12" Dexter brakes with parking brake. We use the handbrake on our Cruisemaster DO-35 hitch and run the wire through a couple of brackets to direct it in line to the hub/lever. Here is one of our units in production. It doesn't have the cabling yet so we ran a string to give you an idea. Hard to see everything in a picture but there is plenty of clearance in all directions. Let me know if you would like some more pictures or I can shoot you a video.

I will second Timbren's customer service, they have been amazingly helpful to us. I've used tech support for several questions and even had their VP call us to assist with setting up a regional distributor. So great to have such a big respected company that still cares about its users.
 

Attachments

theMANIMAL

New member
Per Timbren, the straight spindles and drop spindles both work fine with the parking brake option. With the lifted spindle the actuation arm makes direct contact with the arm. I'm not on the road quite yet, but I'm getting close. I came up with my own solution and will report back if it works. I took the entire assembly apart and reconfigured it, even though Dexter said it wouldn't work. I disagree since drum brakes work on rotational energy and it was fairly simple to swap all of the parts around to actuate them correctly. Don't do what I do though...all that leads to is trouble :)
So what's the word on your solution? Did reconfiguring things work out? I just ordered the brakes and I am leaning on the 1 Tonnes + 4" lift for my M101CDN2.
 

schnottus

New member
I just went down this road on my build and had to give up on the 4 inch lift to keep the parking brake. They definitely do not work, at least for the 1 tonne hd timbren. The way the Dexter parking brake lever protrudes makes it pretty much impossible to modify to work too. Thankfully etrailer was great about exchanging the spindles for the non-lift.

Parts id ordered, for use with gen5 4runner wheels, had to swap out the timbren listed below:

Timbren ASR1THDS03 axleless suspension
(qty 2) Dexter 84656UC3-EZ hub/bearings
Dexter K23-086-00 left brake assembly with parking
Dexter K23-087-00 right brake assembly with parking

20211111_190103.jpg
 

billiebob

Well-known member
Why is timbren better then a standard axle, sorry if this is dumb but im trying to learn
Not better, just different.
There are plusses, minuses to either design.

Timbren Plus, independent suspension. Minus, suspension creates torque loads on the frame.
Leaf Plus, simpler frame, less metal, vertical loads. Leaf Plus/Minus.... solid axle, not independent.

The ground clearance thing is kind of false advertising, sure there is no axle down the middle with the Timbren but the tow vehicle pumpkin is lower than either axle style. What is the point of 14" clearance under the trailer when the tow vehicle axle has only 8" of ground clearance.

Timbren Minus, cost and fabrication cost/time.
Leaf Plus, cost and fabrication cost/time.
 

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