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Old 07-21-2018, 08:26 AM   #1
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1976 31' Sovereign
Karnes City , Texas
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1976 Sovereign Brake Parts

I just picked up a 1976 Sovereign 31' for my wife to run a mobile shop out of. After hauling it home I realized the brakes aren't working. On closer inspection, I see the electrical lines have been cut on all four wheels. I haven't pulled the wheels to inspect the brake assembly but I'm planning to replace everything (backing plate assembly and possibly drums) and repack the bearings. My question is, what size or Dexter model number do I need? The originals were Kelsey-Hayes.
Thanks!
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Old 07-21-2018, 08:57 AM   #2
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Welcome and congrats on the rig.

The swap out process is relatively easy. You'll need to confirm your existing brake size and type. You should have 12"x 2" electric brakes based on the trailer size and the mention of cut wires. You can look at the backer plate bolt pattern from underneath the trailer for a quick check. A four bolt pattern usually equates to 10" brakes, and a five bolt 12" brakes. Pull the wheel and measure for final confirmation

We purchased ours from etrailer.

https://www.etrailer.com/dept-pg-Trailer_Brakes.aspx

If you have any questions give them a call, their technical support is good.

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 07-21-2018, 10:22 AM   #3
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Perfect! Thanks so much for the info.

One more question, what seals do I need for the wheel bearings?
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Old 07-21-2018, 12:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kevio View Post
Perfect! Thanks so much for the info.

One more question, what seals do I need for the wheel bearings?
I believe the seal is a 442109. I would confirm the number when you pull the hubs for brake replacement. This is a standard seal which is readily available.
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Old 07-21-2018, 09:08 PM   #5
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Thanks again!
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Old 07-22-2018, 07:52 AM   #6
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Like there's a shortage of suggestions here ??? Here's another, look into the self adjusting brakes. You won't be sorry and for just a few $$ more it will save your back from needing to climb down and manually adjust them.
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Old 07-22-2018, 11:41 AM   #7
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Are the wires cut and dangling or missing entirely? It has been many years since I sold my Ď76, but it had vacuum over hydraulic disc brakes. I do not remember any wires outside the axles.
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Old 07-22-2018, 12:35 PM   #8
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The folks at Etrailer are very helpful. My son ordered a new complete backing plate assembly for one of his Dexter axles last week and it arrived in just a few days. The self adjusting backplates cost a little more but I would sure get them if I were replacing the ones on my Airstream.
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Old 07-22-2018, 12:39 PM   #9
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1976 31' Sovereign
Helotes , Texas
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Dexter axle?

Before you go replacing the brakes, make sure you donít need a total axle replacement. If you replace the axles, the entire brake assembly is included not to mention the bearings are packed and ready to go.
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Old 07-22-2018, 03:51 PM   #10
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If the axles are original they need changing. As the axles wear the arm goes up from 22 degrees down. The worse they are the higher the arm. They could be so bad that changing a tire could become a problem.
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Old 07-23-2018, 06:23 AM   #11
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Wow! Thanks for all the info. A few of you mentioned replacing the axles. How do I know if they need replacing? Are there tell tale signs I can look for?

I did some quick research and it looks like some places require welding mounting plates for the shocks or don't even come with the shocks. Any leads on where to order an assembly that comes with everything for an easier/quicker swap? From what I've seen, it's basically unbolting the old and bolting on the new, but due to the awkwardness and weight it could take an entire day or two. My wife has her first show in a few weeks, so I'm a bit under the gun.
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Old 07-23-2018, 02:43 PM   #12
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Kevio,

Check with InlandRV. They can provide info on how to determine if your axles are shot. I ordered mine from InlandRV and Dexter shipped them to RedNeck Trailer supply in Arlington, TX. It saved me a lot in freight just to drive up and pick them up in Arlington.

I see you are in Karnes City. That's not far from me...in Texas miles!

Greg
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Old 07-23-2018, 02:45 PM   #13
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1976 31' Sovereign
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and another thing Kevio... you are not going to get replacement axles anywhere in less than two weeks. It will be closer to 3-6 weeks. From InlandRV, they will come complete with mounting brackets and shocks, but you will have to weld the brackets on.


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Old 07-23-2018, 03:18 PM   #14
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Her first show isn't too far from where we first purchased the trailer. Considering we towed it home without trailer brakes, I'm guessing it should be fine to go to the show and do the axles later? If I didn't already mention it, we are towing it with a 2016 GMC Denali. I'm about to order an 8" drop hitch, as it's currently way too high.
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