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Old 06-23-2009, 10:17 AM   #1
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Brakes a DIY Project?

I have a 1999 23ft safari that has never had a brake job. I'm thinking about installing new backing plates on all four. Easy to do myself or should I pay a professional?
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:58 AM   #2
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I have a 1999 23ft safari that has never had a brake job. I'm thinking about installing new backing plates on all four. Easy to do myself or should I pay a professional?
Many owners change out the backing plates.

The only thing to pay attention to when mounting them is there are left and right hand backing plates.

The wiring is not polarized.

Of course, after they are mounted, you must adjust the brakes.

Depending on how many miles the trailer has on it, you might consider replacing the shocks, too.

Pack the bearings and replace the grease seals at the same time.

While your at it, install some Centramatic balancers, and take care of that problem as well.

Andy
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Old 06-23-2009, 11:15 AM   #3
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I have a 1999 23ft safari that has never had a brake job. I'm thinking about installing new backing plates on all four. Easy to do myself or should I pay a professional?
How handy are you? Have you ever done drum brakes on a car? Are you changing the magnets? Do you have a friend that can help if needed?

If not get a professional.
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Old 06-23-2009, 11:50 AM   #4
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Michelle is right. Do you figure out mechanical things easily, if you haven't done a brake job before?

Not sure why you need new backing plates unless you want self adjusting brakes, a technology only 40 or 50 years old that Airstream doesn't seem to have heard of. I have heard magnets only last 20,000 miles, so on 10-year-old trailer, surely you need them, shoes, springs.

When were the wheel bearings last repacked? There are plenty of threads on that.

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Old 06-23-2009, 11:58 AM   #5
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Michelle is right. Do you figure out mechanical things easily, if you haven't done a brake job before?

Not sure why you need new backing plates unless you want self adjusting brakes, a technology only 40 or 50 years old that Airstream doesn't seem to have heard of. I have heard magnets only last 20,000 miles, so on 10-year-old trailer, surely you need them, shoes, springs.

When were the wheel bearings last repacked? There are plenty of threads on that.

Gene
Gene,

It is cheaper to purchase fully loaded backing plates compared to the individual parts.

Bill
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Old 06-23-2009, 02:20 PM   #6
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Bill, so they come with all the brake parts. Sounds like a good deal to me. I understand Dexter came out with a self adjusting option for the backer plate recently.

Gene
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Old 06-23-2009, 02:26 PM   #7
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You need to see what you have first,pull drums,check them for groves & spider cracks.Check your shoes ,do they need to be replaced ? Don`t spend the money till you know what you need. Dave
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Old 06-23-2009, 03:01 PM   #8
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Bill, so they come with all the brake parts. Sounds like a good deal to me. I understand Dexter came out with a self adjusting option for the backer plate recently.

Gene
Gene,

Yep, cut the wires, unbolt the backing plates, rebolt the new plates and hook up the wires, and boom you are done. Self adjusting fully loaded backing plates are available also.

Bill
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:48 AM   #9
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Well as many of you predicted the brake and bearing job was not that big a deal (except the temp here in Austin has been brutal). During the removal of the old backing plates I noticed that the electrical wires on one of the rear wheels had not connected? After a short trip of two miles I checked the temp on the hub and that wheel was warmer than the other three. Thinking I had done something wrong I tore it down and checked the bearings and readjusted the the brake. And it's still hotter than the other three. I've researched the threads on brakes and have not found any clues to my problem. Any suggestions??
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:59 AM   #10
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There is a variance on the heat of each wheel. How many degrees difference? Also, the sunny side will often be hotter than the other side.

I wonder what Andy meant by the wires are not polarized? Does it mean it doesn't make any difference which one is attached to the wires coming to the brakes?

Gene
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:08 AM   #11
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I've purchased a digital infrared thermometer and will take a reading in the storage shed today and then when I've towed for a couple of miles and let you know the results. My understanding is the same as yours on the polarization issue, it does not make a difference which wire you connect to the backer plate.
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:25 AM   #12
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There is a variance on the heat of each wheel. How many degrees difference? Also, the sunny side will often be hotter than the other side.

I wonder what Andy meant by the wires are not polarized? Does it mean it doesn't make any difference which one is attached to the wires coming to the brakes?

Gene
Simply, It doesn't matter which way you hook up the wires.
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:37 AM   #13
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are the other 3 brakes working? you can try a very low speed quick stop to test and see if they all lock.

if they are they might be adjusted less tightly than the hot one and the hot one is activating first.

is the hot wheel spinning freely after it gets warm?

are the shoes seated correctly on the backing plate?

hare the hold down springs ok?

as an FYI, the brakes will drag slightly more after they get hot.
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Old 09-16-2009, 06:12 AM   #14
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Gene,

It is cheaper to purchase fully loaded backing plates compared to the individual parts.

Bill
What's a good place to buy those, please?
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