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Old 12-07-2009, 10:56 AM   #1
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DEXTER Self-Adjusting Brakes

An excellent thread on RV.Net , with photos of installation and examination of problems (as well as over 7,000 miles of use) by John Barca:

http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fu...d/23458294.cfm

The problem of "out-of-round" applies to most any drum, and, IMO, makes obvious the need for balancing the assembly and/or CENTRAMATIC or BALANCEMASTER products.

While I'd much rather have discs, these would make for an easy and low-$ improvement for an interim period. Note JBarca's comments.

Discs just look better all the time.
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Old 01-17-2010, 03:08 PM   #2
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Put Dex self adjusters on our 31'er this past spring. Just before taking off on a trip out west to Kansas. In all put about 4k on them the first time out and found them working very nicely. I installed them myself. Straightforward job no special tools. I did an adjustment as usual after installation and from then on I hope it to be troublefree.

Would recommend them for anyone looking at a brake job in the near future.

Roger in NJ
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:48 PM   #3
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Just did the Dexter Self Adjusting on my 1975 Sovereign. Hope they work ok, biggest problem was getting the old ones off, nuts had grown onto the studs. As no studs were available locally, bought a die and cleaned out the threads. Took about 1/2 hour to get each nut off as the only thing I could get in there was a open end wrench.
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim in Pima View Post
Took about 1/2 hour to get each nut off as the only thing I could get in there was a open end wrench.
Jim in Pima,
Would a deep well socket have worked? That sounds rough going with an open end wrench.

We're considering going the extra cost for self-adjusting. Boy things have improved in 40 years -- I remember when our cars self-adjusting brakes weren't forward adjusting -- you had to back up to get the adjustments, unless I'm mistaken.

Best,
Jim
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Old 02-22-2010, 06:44 PM   #5
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I'm in the process of doing mine now and have three of the 4 pretty much done. It took about 3 hours to remove and put on the first wheel I did. LIPets said to get a box ratcheting wrench. I did, took 8 minutes to get off and within 40 minutes new one was back on. Sears turned the drums for me. Had to take them down two at the time.
I got the self adjusting also.
Good luck with the brakes,
Joe
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:01 AM   #6
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I agree with AirHeads. The ratcheting box wrench is the "ONLY" way to go. There is just no room to get any other type in the space. I had to go both ways. I wore out the ratcheting wrench and had to finish the job with a non-ratcheting type and it did take awhile. Go to Sears and get theirs. They are not too expensive and they will replace them when they fail so you can't go wrong. The high end wrenches are just too high end for me. It's a great upgrade well within the reaches of anyone with a little bit of mechanical know how. If I remember correctly the Dexter replacements use a bolt and nut and not the welded stud to fasten them in. With that it can be done easier with normal hand tools or an air ratchet from the outside.

Good luck, go for it, it's pretty easy to do.

Roger
Somerset, NJ
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:46 AM   #7
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HI
Yes I did use a ratching wrench, however is was a cheap one I bought about 30 years ago, so it skipped until I had the nuts several turns out.
I live in a very isolated area, so a trip to town and three auto stores and no one had 1! the wrench and 2 The studs. They did have nuts and washers. Airstream used hardened studs that knocked out very easy from the back plate. I did not get the drums turned as we have no one local to do it and 165 miles to the city.
Two things I found the Dexter self adjusting brakes on Ebay for $39 each plus $50 for shipping. Local dealer wanted $140 pair plus sales tax.
Then after job was done, in ACE hardware and they have the WRENCH!
First trip scheduled for April to the big city (Tucson) and a shopping spree.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:41 PM   #8
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Worth the trouble

Quote:
Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
An excellent thread on RV.Net , with photos of installation and examination of problems (as well as over 7,000 miles of use) by John Barca:

RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Towing: Dexter Self Adjusting Brakes (long W/pics and details)

The problem of "out-of-round" applies to most any drum, and, IMO, makes obvious the need for balancing the assembly and/or CENTRAMATIC or BALANCEMASTER products.

While I'd much rather have discs, these would make for an easy and low-$ improvement for an interim period. Note JBarca's comments.

Discs just look better all the time.
Will be getting new axles and brakes soon.After seeing the link above is self adjusting reallyworth it?
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:56 PM   #9
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Steve,
I enjoyed reading the linked article on RVs drum runout, how he discovered the problem and how he determined it is practically unavoidable for those non-machinists among us.

I was going with Dexter's self adjusting and no longer want them. Anything designed to automatically ruin my towing day is off the wish list for us.

This isn't so much a case of a terrible idea, but of crappy quality control standards for the involved components. The brake is designed to work with drums within certain tolerance. We have no assurance the drums we use or purchase will be within said tolerance, since RV drums aren't under the same standard as automotive ones.

It seems to me I would have more likelihood the self-adjusting brakes will malfunction than if I continue using manual adjusting brakes. I'll continue with self-adjusting, and greatly appreciate your sharing of this great article.

Thanks,

Jim
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:42 PM   #10
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If we didn't get to adjust our brakes it would be just one more thing to keep us away from our Airstreams! Life has too many interruptions already.
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:33 PM   #11
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Bumped for Al

See also thread with links on rv.net entitled, "Re-wiring the Brakes" (OP is mrekim) a
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