You should be able to make the brake upgrade very easily. Most of the axles have the assembly bolted to the axle shaft. Many people, when they need to replace the brakes, just purchase new assemblies and that way they are replacing everything at once (brake pads, magnets, holding springs and adjusters). I would contact the manufacturer for your axles and see what they recommend.
On my 1986 Prowler the brakes did not work but the assembly was welded to the axle and most of the hardware was obsolete including the wheels
. I installed new 3500# axles (had 2500#) and new wheels. I now have brakes and life is good.