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Old 02-15-2008, 10:43 PM   #1
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Brakes and Controllers

I've just finished a 'remodel' of my 76 international sovereign. Quite fun and ready for the beach. Now, about moving the bullet.........

I've towed it twice with my 06 F250, w/o brake inspection, for short distances. After second short run, unit started to pull to the right while braking. I presume that after some time sitting, the brakes on that side broke loose and started working - sort-of. Now, it didn't brake straight, so.........

I've sold the F250 because we had a 34' fifth wheel before the AS, and dont need that much machine. I'll pull the AS with an 04 Expedition, 5.4 liter, factory tow package.

Questions:
1. With a 7pin on the Expedition, do I still need a controller, or will the 7pin sufficiently activate the brakes?
2. Does the controller serve more purpose than to calibrate stopping power?
3. Anyone have suggestions about work on the brakes? I'm pretty handy, so can probably do most except for machining, but.........uh, duh......
4. A lot of talk about electric and vacum brakes.......any ideas/suggestions here?

I'm perfectly will ing and able to dig in - your experience will be appreciated.

I'd like to see ya'll on the road somewhere, but want to make sure I can stop when I see ya waving..............

Thanks in advance....
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:53 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwoolston
I've just finished a 'remodel' of my 76 international sovereign. Quite fun and ready for the beach. Now, about moving the bullet.........

I've towed it twice with my 06 F250, w/o brake inspection, for short distances. After second short run, unit started to pull to the right while braking. I presume that after some time sitting, the brakes on that side broke loose and started working - sort-of. Now, it didn't brake straight, so.........

I've sold the F250 because we had a 34' fifth wheel before the AS, and dont need that much machine. I'll pull the AS with an 04 Expedition, 5.4 liter, factory tow package.

Questions:
1. With a 7pin on the Expedition, do I still need a controller, or will the 7pin sufficiently activate the brakes?
2. Does the controller serve more purpose than to calibrate stopping power?
3. Anyone have suggestions about work on the brakes? I'm pretty handy, so can probably do most except for machining, but.........uh, duh......
4. A lot of talk about electric and vacum brakes.......any ideas/suggestions here?

I'm perfectly will ing and able to dig in - your experience will be appreciated.

I'd like to see ya'll on the road somewhere, but want to make sure I can stop when I see ya waving..............

Thanks in advance....
Your trailer could have electric brakes or disc brakes.

Which do you have.

The answers to your questions depend on the brake system your trailer has.

Is there a plastic cover about 2 feet high, behind the LPG bottles?

Andy
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Old 02-15-2008, 11:14 PM   #3
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yes, there is...........and so, having not crawled all the way under, I beleive they are electric. Wires at the inside drum would also suggest such. I've heard there could be a combination, even.
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Old 02-16-2008, 12:22 AM   #4
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brakes

I have 77 sovereign with vacuum over hydraulic brakes and a 34ft excella with electric. What does your trailer have?
perhaps a PO has converted the Vacuum over to electric. This is pretty common.
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Old 02-16-2008, 12:40 AM   #5
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front of trailer with vac/hyd brakes

this is the plastic shroud behind the tanks.
This houses the vacuum booster and master cylinder.
hope this helps
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Old 02-16-2008, 04:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwoolston
yes, there is...........and so, having not crawled all the way under, I beleive they are electric. Wires at the inside drum would also suggest such. I've heard there could be a combination, even.
No such thing as a combo anymore, at least from the factory.

Look under the trailer behind each wheel.

Do you see a rotor or a backing (brake) plate?

Andy
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Old 02-16-2008, 06:22 AM   #7
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Sounds like the PO changed out the brakes to electric drums, but did not remove the hydrallic brake actuator box from the tongue of the trailer. If the trailer has been setting awhile, you likely need to jack it up and remove the wheels and drums to examin the condition of the brakes shoes and drums. Rust should be removed and the condition of the brake magnets and flat surface contacted by the magnets are most important for proper brake operation.
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Old 02-16-2008, 07:22 AM   #8
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Yes, you do need a trailer brake controller. Don't skimp on this; get a good one. Once you have the controller installed, you can acurately test your trailer brakes using the manual activator.

Brian
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:41 AM   #9
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Ok, after the pic, I better understand the plastic cover question. NO, there is not a large, 2ft x ?? cover on teh front of the trailer, behind the LP tanks. There IS a little gray boc, 4in x 4in on the front of the trailer, driver side.
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:47 AM   #10
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PO switched over to electric drum brakes. If you do not feel comfortable taking off the wheels and doing the brake work yourself, take it to an RV shop and they will replace the backing plate assemblies for about $250 for the parts plus labor. Brakes are a safety concern and an accident is not worth the money you might potentially save.
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Old 02-23-2008, 09:43 PM   #11
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braek controller

The Teekonsha seems to be the preferred unit - prodigy and/or p3. Any thoughts for the 31' Soveriegn with an 04 5.4L Ford Expedition TV?
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Old 02-23-2008, 09:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwoolston
The Teekonsha seems to be the preferred unit - prodigy and/or p3. Any thoughts for the 31' Soveriegn with an 04 5.4L Ford Expedition TV?
I switched out a Prodigy for the new P-3 last year. They are very similar, as the P-3 is basically an upgraded prodigy. Both work very well! The P-3 will work with discs if you are ever considering an upgrade to your brakes!
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:18 PM   #13
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Anyody use the Draw Tite Activator II??
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:37 PM   #14
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I think we missed one of his questions. As I understand the question, yes, the 7 pin wiring harness on your Expedition will have the braking wire in it. The controller you get will have to be wired into your harness, possibly a simple plug in under the dash. However: The 1976 umbilical that came with your soverign will undoubtadely NOT be wired in sync with 2004 Expedition, and will need a new plug on the end and the wires re positioned, if not a new umbilical after 32 years. And your 1976 Airstream Service manual will be leading you to wire it differently than the 2004 is wired. (I found that out on my '78.) Better get an expert in there and check out what you got. Wire up to the NEW wiring diagram, you probably won't be finding an old 1976 tow vehicle to hitch up to it.
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