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Old 10-03-2009, 07:20 PM   #1
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1983 31' Airstream310
Santa Cruz , California
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 156
Images: 12
Preferred driveline brake for '83?

So the saga of restoring the 83 Turbo 310 powertrain and chassis continues. It's worth it but there is a lot of work reversing 20 years of git-er-done fixits. I guess no one thought it would be around that long. Fortunately all the systems, interior and cosmetics are fine.

Today's question is the parking brake, or rather lack of one. This is an 83 with Isuzu 6BD1A, Airstream-added BAE turbo, original TH475 transmission. The PO installed a Gearvendors unit and it works fine. But somewhere the parking brake got removed. There is a cable under the dash for the usual parking brake lever but no lever. Disk brakes all around, so I have to assume there was a driveline brake at some point (but not the automatic hydraulic one).

Any suggestions on a retrofit manual unit that doesn't require a science project to install?

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Old 10-05-2009, 11:18 AM   #2
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Port Angeles , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,191
Our 82 with the Isuzu has a drive line brake that mounts to the tail shaft of the trans. there is a horizontal lever under the dash left of the steering column to activate with a cable that runs to the brake.

When adding the gearvenders you need the rear housing that accepts the brake and a longer cable to reach. The cable is available from gearvenders and probably from any truck supply if you knew the length. The lever should be easy to find as they are common on many vehicles but you might have to fabricate a mounting bracket depending on how much was left under the dash. The brake backing plate, shoes and drum should also be easy to find new or used as they are common.

The gearvenders rear housing must be the one for the drive line brake mount. If not they want you to send them the unit and they will install it for about $700 or $800. They have to take the whole unit apart and I think they install new clutches and basically rebuild the unit for that price. When I talked to them they didn't want to just sell the housing for me to install.

It's all fairly simple just a little time chasing parts and a few bucks. If you are mechanically inclined it would not be real difficult to install a disc rotor and caliper used on many Chrysler products. I have a few of the overdrive units but the adapters are spendy. I usually have more time than money so fitting one of these units is on my to do list.

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Old 10-05-2009, 11:46 AM   #3
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1983 31' Airstream310
Cactus Hug , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,540
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Yours had a drum brake on the trans tailshaft, odd they removed it. I still have mine, though I run a U.S. Gear o.d.
"A settled wisdom, plus the itch to be elsewhere"
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