Horse Carriage, Cart, Drum Brake Kit

Retrofit hydraulic brakes on a horse carriage, buggy, horse cart, or other horse-drawn wagons. Complete hydraulic drum brake kits. Includes the master cylinder, tubing, brake drums, and all the fittings and hardware to mount hydraulic drum brakes on wood, fiberglass, steel, and aluminum roller-bearing carriage wheels using a bolt-in hub.

Unlike automobiles, horse-drawn vehicles use the horse(s) as the main brake. Brakes help take the load off the horse(s) on downhill slopes and from rolling forward at road crossings. Four-Wheel brakes are rarely installed unless travels are routine on hilly roads.

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Description / Horse Carriage, Cart, Drum Brake Kit

If mounting on a wheel with steel tires, the standard is to mount on the front axle. If mounting on rubber tire wheels, then the standard is to mount the brakes on the rear wheels. Longer tubing is available for rear-mount wheels select front or rear mount using the drop-down box.

Available for 1”, and, 1-1/8” square axles. Select axle size using the drop-down box.

The brake kits fit most Amish-made wood, fiberglass, or steel carriage and buggy wheels made in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana that use a bolt-in hub roller bearing hub. Brake installation should not be attempted on old-fashioned Sarven style or wooden hubs, or hubs and spokes forged with rivets.

The hubs bolt onto the same bolt pattern as the roller-bearing hub flanges use. See the detailed photo of the drum bolt-hole spacing. Standard spacing across the Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania Amish carriage builders utilize an 8-bolt pattern with a 2-7/8” center hole and 7/16” diameter bolt holes spaced 1-9/16” center to center.

Normally the hubs will fit using the same bolts holding the roller bearing hubs. Occasionally new longer bolts will need to be installed. Steel wheels have machined hubs you will need to purchase the bolts locally to install the brake drums in threaded holes made into the hubs. The bolt pattern will still be the same on both the aluminum and steel wheels.

All steel wheels are rather new to the Amish communities. These are not the old-fashioned steel spoke wheels, rather they incorporate a machined steel hub, welded steel spokes, and a steel tire that is then powder coated and equipped with either a steel or rubber tire. Click Here to read more about our steel wheels.

We do have plain brake drums for old-style PA wheels. The drum has no mounting holes and requires the #3063 drum installation ring to align and drill matching holes to run bolts between the spokes using the #3063 ring on the front side of the wheel to anchor the bolts and nuts.

Two-Wheel 7” & 8” Drum Brake kit includes:

Complete aluminum floor mount master cylinder with pedal with a 1” cylinder.

2 complete backer plates (Powder Coated)

2 powder-coated black 8” brake drums

1 x 12oz can of DOT 3 brake fluid

1 x 18” brake hose

1 x 34” brake tubing

1 x 30” brake tubing

1 x 24” brake tubing

Fittings, tubing clamps, and screws.

Four-Wheel 7” & 8” Drum Brake kit includes:

Complete aluminum floor mount master cylinder with pedal with a 1-1/8” cylinder for 4-wheel kits.

4 complete backer plates

4 powder-coated black 8” brake drums on 1” axle,

(No powder coat on 1-1/8” axles).

1 x 12oz can of DOT 3 brake fluid

2 x 18” brake hose

2 x 34” brake tubing

2 x 30” brake tubing

2 x 24” brake tubing

Fittings, tubing clamps, and screws.

7” two-& four-wheel brake kit options

7” x 1” or 1-!/8" axle two-wheel 3021-2 Taperlock 

7” x 1” or 1-1/8" axle four-wheel 3013-2 Taperlock

8” two- & four-wheel brake kit options

8” x 1” or 1-1/8" axle two-wheel 3016-02 Taperlock

8” x 1” or 1-1/8" axle four-wheel 3008-2 Taperlock

Taperlock backer plates are made to slide on the axle and then tighten with set screws to hold them in place. The older style backer plates would need to be pounded on and difficult to install. (Rust will still need to be removed).

You will need to be mechanically inclined with knowledge in installing brake hubs and bleeding brake lines. The only instructions that will come with the kit are the mounting of the backer plate on the axle. All else will be installed with a working knowledge of hydraulic drum brake operation.

Brake kits are made and assembled in one of the largest and most respected Amish carriage builders and machine shops located in Lancaster County Pennsylvania.

Why not disc brakes? While some disc brakes are being used on horse-drawn vehicles, not all Amish carriage manufacturers are sold on disc brakes. Disc brakes are used in automobiles, motorcycles, and even bicycles to stop on a dime. Horse-drawn carriages, on the other hand, use the horse(s) out front as the brakes. Additional brakes on a horse-drawn vehicle help take the load off the horse, hold the carriage at stop signs, and help stabilize if it starts to fishtail.

Horse-drawn-vehicle brakes function much like trailer brakes when being towed by an automobile. Trailer brakes reduce the rolling weight impact of a loaded trailer pushing against a tow vehicle.

A horse will not be stopped with the brakes so, stopping on a dime and locking up the wheels may cause the horse to act up and start dragging the vehicle.

Drum brakes are also more enclosed than disc brakes and are less susceptible to taking in mud and dirt kicked up by carriage wheels. Drum brakes are easier to pull the wheels for maintenance as disc brakes must have the calipers removed before the wheels can be pulled.

Disc brakes are more expensive if you feel strongly about and want a disc brake kit, email us as we have Amish shops that are making them.

Click Here to view all our horse-drawn vehicle parts including axles, leaf springs, and wheels.

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