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Old 07-11-2007, 07:58 AM   #1
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Smile 1977 Hydraulic Disc Brakes?

On a recent outing I met a chap with a 1977 Airstream International 31' with Hydraulic disc brakes. He was not the origial owner of the unit. but thought the unit came from the factory with disc brakes. Did Airstream install hydraulic disc brakes on the 1977's has a standard feature, or was this an option?
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Old 07-11-2007, 08:35 AM   #2
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I just picked up a 1977 Safari with vacuum powered disk brakes. I'm converting it to use the Actibrake actuator. There's a thread elsewhere about the parts availability and servicing, etc. Excella CM has been feeding me info and has posted details in other threads.

Zep
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Old 07-11-2007, 10:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium
I just picked up a 1977 Safari with vacuum powered disk brakes. I'm converting it to use the Actibrake actuator. There's a thread elsewhere about the parts availability and servicing, etc. Excella CM has been feeding me info and has posted details in other threads.

Zep

Zep, Thanks for the info
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Old 07-11-2007, 11:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlantica
On a recent outing I met a chap with a 1977 Airstream International 31' with Hydraulic disc brakes. He was not the origial owner of the unit. but thought the unit came from the factory with disc brakes. Did Airstream install hydraulic disc brakes on the 1977's has a standard feature, or was this an option?
We have many repair parts for the original disc brake system Airstream used.

Andy
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Old 07-11-2007, 06:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlantica
On a recent outing I met a chap with a 1977 Airstream International 31' with Hydraulic disc brakes. He was not the origial owner of the unit. but thought the unit came from the factory with disc brakes. Did Airstream install hydraulic disc brakes on the 1977's has a standard feature, or was this an option?
It was an option on the Excella 500. I had those discs and they were fantastic, no problems at all.
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Old 08-19-2007, 08:21 PM   #6
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Exclamation Repair shop says the vacuum brakes are ancient dinasaurs

Hi guys, this thread is right up my driveway. Took my (new to me) '78 31foot Excella 500 to a shop to have the wheel bearings greased, the guy says the hydraulic disc brake system is an ancient unrepairable dinasaur. $85 for each brake pad. He can't figure out how to connect the vacuum up to a vacuum pump or anything, he's found a $800 change device from the vacuum, and a controller in the truck for $300. I haven't gotten the brakes hooked up to the truck yet. I eventually convinced him to be his idea to look at new "torsion" axles since I can see mine are horizontal or worse. He found there is only one place in the planet that makes an axle for that "unique" machine I have, and it will come with smaller drum brakes than the disc brakes he is throwing a way. $2500 for two axles with brakes. Now he says the supplier has to "make" the axles, there are none in stock anywhere although they were listed on a supplier's web site.
My problem, we have to be going down the road for an event starting on the 26 August. Tickets in hand. E has put her heart into cleaning and fixing up this trailer to go, she has been planning on going to this event since January. The shop says the thing "fell apart" and can't be put back together until the new axles with the electric drum brakes come in middle September. E had back operation in April, I don't want her to have to sleep on the ground in a tent and risk needing a new back operation. What Do I do to get this trailer on the road behind E's truck by Saturday? Are these prices reasonable, and are the disc brakes so unique that a brake shop can't make them go? I have seen Dexter web site with the system to activate the hydraulic brakes for $613, and controller for the truck on sale at $59. Inland RV site shows Henschen axles with drum brakes for $800.
Thanks for any help, and reward if somebody can get it done by Friday!
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Old 08-19-2007, 09:10 PM   #7
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If this repair shop had any idea what they were doing then they wouldn't be giving you this bull! While the complicated unit on the tongue can be replaced with a brake activator, there is no reason to get rid of the existing huge disc rotors or system. I had the system on my '77 Excella 500 so I ought to know. Inland RV has repair parts and you can have companies put new pads on the disc pad plates. I'd say this shop wants to do the work and take your money. I'd look elsewhere.
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Old 08-19-2007, 09:45 PM   #8
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Thanks, Craig. I'd do the work my self but thought I had hired a professional to do that so I could spend my time doing other things to get ready for vaction. "There's only one place back east that has those brake pads and they are about a hundred dollars each". He's already gotten $1000 to change out the A/C. Can't take time off work to go have the thing carried home and do it my self.
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Old 08-19-2007, 10:12 PM   #9
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I can understand that! I try to do as much as I can on my '86 so I can save money. I did all the disc brake and wheel bearing work on my '77 but was pushed last year so let the local RV guy pack the wheel bearings and do a brake inspection on the '86 before a trip to Georgia.
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Old 08-19-2007, 10:58 PM   #10
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So what are you going to do?

I have the same system on my 77 sovereign and I love the disc brakes.
Are you going to have this shop change out your hydra-vac system?
It sounds like timing is your biggest concern right now. If you have more time to work on this project, I can help with info about resurfacing your pads. I will say that one major concern is the width of your existing rotors. If they have been machined too many times, they may not meet the minimum width of .940inch. I have found replacement rotors nearly impossible to come by. If they are thick enough, I would consider keeping this system.
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Old 08-19-2007, 11:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NevadaGeo
Thanks, Craig. I'd do the work my self but thought I had hired a professional to do that so I could spend my time doing other things to get ready for vaction. "There's only one place back east that has those brake pads and they are about a hundred dollars each". He's already gotten $1000 to change out the A/C. Can't take time off work to go have the thing carried home and do it my self.
We have the disc brake pads made to better specs than the originals.

And, they are a lot cheaper than your dealer quoted you.

Andy
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Old 08-20-2007, 12:22 AM   #12
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The brake units on your wheels are standard industrial units made by Ausco. The pads are available from any number of jobbers. I used Berenson Fluid Power. Check the threads, its all in there and not any hundred bucks either! No need to change the rotors, wheels and calipers at all. If you want to update the power unit it won't hurt to do it, but don't let them trash the old one–those are trade goods here abouts for some of us that still use them. They were a great unit made by Midland and if you're not running a diesel TV, still useable today.
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:17 AM   #13
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Thanks guys! Gotta get to work, but hope to call Andy about axles and brakes. '78 31 foot Excella 500, serial E31T8-S1328. Esther's truck is a 2500 Chevy diesel 4x4 so probably need to change out the vacuum unit. If I can get the guy to put my wheels under it, I hope to get it home and do the work my self.
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:17 AM   #14
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Won't be around computer for the rest of the day, testing a concrete slab in Fernley NV.
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