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Old 03-04-2006, 02:40 PM   #1
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1981 31' Excella Limited
Mango , Florida
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Installing brakes

I just purchased a 1981 31' Excella. The brake wire is underneath chasis hanging down. I want to install new brakes, wiring harness and brake controller. How do you install backing plates on axels? Can these items be done by a non-Airstream service dealer? Can I buy the parts and install myself? Was quoted $2500.00 which I can not afford. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-04-2006, 04:05 PM   #2
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Hi dhunt28,


Are you in luck!
I still am wearing the grease from installing 4 complete break/magnet with backing plate assemblies on my 1995 Excella, it was sooooo easy. Just 5 bolts and connect the 2 brake wires!
I picked them up from Dexter (OEM) for $50 each!

You should pack the bearings while your down there.
Hardest part was jacking up the unit and removing the tires.
Be sure to use jack stands, chock the wheels, and don't run with scissors.

I use the axle mounting plate as my jack point.


Save some money and warm up to your Airstream.

Michael
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Old 03-04-2006, 06:35 PM   #3
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It's a simple, knuckle-busting task. First, make sure you know what the drum inside diameter is (10 or 12 inch) and what your bolt pattern is. My original plate (see photo) had both patterns, but obviously my axle had the 5-stud setup. Andy at Inland says that the 4-stud axle has a square mounting flange and the 5-stud is round, as mine was. OK, so go get the correct brake plate and unbolt the old one. If you're smart, you'll get a set of bolts/studs for each plate--getting them out of the old plate is a bear of a task, since they are press fit.

I got my studs in by bolting the whole thing together (brake plate onto axle flange) as snug as I could, then used a combination of wood block and mallet, plus big socket set to pull the studs into the press fit holes in the plate, alternately pounding and tightening.

Hooking up the wire is not polarity sensitive.

Disregard the rust, that's actually the new brake plate. You can see the worn magnet on the old one, which was the best of the four. The other three had fallen apart inside, mostly a broken spring across the star adjusting bolt, so parts fell inside the drum. Luckily, no damage to drum or wheel.

Roger
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Old 03-04-2006, 06:44 PM   #4
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dhunt28,

Since you have tandem axles, you don't have to jack the trailer up, just run one axle up on blocks to raise the other exle off the ground, change the brakes and the reverse the procedure for the other axle. That way the trailer is never off the ground on jack stands.

Bill
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Old 03-04-2006, 06:49 PM   #5
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Dennis, welcome to the forums!
If you want to take off a wheel and backing plate, you can take the assembly to either Camping World, or Bates RV for the replacements for your coach. Be sure to get new grease seals for your wheel bearings while y0ou are there, as it will save you a trip. Your coach should have 12" brakes, but if you take the whole works with you, it can be matched up so you get the right thing the first time.
Michael, glad to hear the installation went well. I have a fabricated bracket to attach to the axle mounting plate, and be raised by a bottle jack. This tends to greatly reduce the possibility of the jack slipping off the axle mount plate.
Here is a photo of the bracket, if anyone is good with a welder they can make their own.
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Old 03-04-2006, 06:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhunt28
I just purchased a 1981 31' Excella. The brake wire is underneath chasis hanging down. I want to install new brakes, wiring harness and brake controller. How do you install backing plates on axels? Can these items be done by a non-Airstream service dealer? Can I buy the parts and install myself? Was quoted $2500.00 which I can not afford. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
I would think for $2500 the brakes would come with new axles......
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Old 03-04-2006, 09:23 PM   #7
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1979 Argosy Minuet 7.3 Metre
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Brake parts

Dhunt, You can get identical replacement parts for your stream from Redneck Trailer Supply down on Adam Drive. the Brake parts and the axles can be ordered there at considerable savings from Bates or Camping world.
Curt in Thonotosassa
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:18 AM   #8
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Run away as fast as you can!!!
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:19 AM   #9
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Mabey a new trailer or bass boat also for that price mmmmmmm.
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