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Old 07-10-2003, 05:27 AM   #1
Al1
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Smile electric brakes

I have a 24' 1973 Argosy. Have been reworking all systems. Now on brakes which do not work. Haven't a manual. Suspect the magnets are worn out to be the problem. Voltage at wheel is good.
Where can I get info on parts for this brake system?
Thanks for any help.
Al
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Old 07-10-2003, 06:27 AM   #2
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You could try Andy at Inland. I had good exp with him getting me parts:

http://www.inlandrv.com/

Eric
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Old 07-10-2003, 07:32 AM   #3
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electric brakes

Greetings Al!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstreaming!

While it is possible to find replacement parts for the older "oval" style magnet electric brakes that I am assuming that your coach has, you may find as my mechanic did that the cost of the parts to restore these brakes to functionality will match or exceed the cost of new "fully-loaded" backing plates that include all new modern brake hardware. These fully-loaded backing plates often carry a greater capacity than the originals - - my originals ('64 Overlander) were 4,000 pound aggressive while the new are 6,000 pound aggressive - - a very noticeable increase in performance. This also insures that you have all new springs and other attaching hardware as well.

The second thing that I learned through having the brakes overhauled was the value of having the machining work done to match the drums to the shoes - - made a tremendous difference in the smoothness of operation when applying the brakes. When my mechanic suggested the operation I balked at the cost, but never regretted having it done once I realized how smoothly the brakes operated afterward.

Just about any qualified RV or trailer service facility should be able to obtain fully-loaded backing plates for your Argosy as there is nothing out of the ordinary with the brakes (the same souces should be able to get the repair parts for your original brakes, but they may have to be special ordered) - - some dealers, however, may get cold-feet if they learn that what you have is an Airstream product. A Mallard dealer near my family's home in far Southern Illinois handled the complete brake overhaul job on my Overlander, but not all Brand X dealers are willing to work on Airstream products.

Good luck with your project!

Kevin
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Old 12-01-2004, 03:33 PM   #4
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also looking for help with my brake problem. I suspect my answer may to just purchase new backing plates,but where?This a 1969model. to my knowledge the bargeman breakaway control,has not had any kind of pin or actuater inmy short history. None of the wheels have brakes that operate.I suspect kaput magnets but how to test?
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Old 12-01-2004, 03:59 PM   #5
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electric brakes

Greetings openroad!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstream ownership!

Quote:
Originally Posted by openroad
also looking for help with my brake problem. I suspect my answer may to just purchase new backing plates,but where?This a 1969model. to my knowledge the bargeman breakaway control,has not had any kind of pin or actuater inmy short history. None of the wheels have brakes that operate.I suspect kaput magnets but how to test?
Before undertaking replacement of magnets or installing new loaded backing plates, you will want to verify the wiring of your umbilical cord. Since Airstream didn't wire the coach's Bargman connector to the same standard that is utilized by most modern tow vehicles, there are often issues with wiring the trailer's Bargman connector to match the tow vehicle. The breakaway switch will need to be replaced - - it is possible to find the large cylinder type with some searching, but the more modern pastic cased component will function in the same manner. Once you have determined that the wiring is functioning properly, and that you have power to brakes when the tow vehicle controller is applied or when the pin is pulled on the breakaway then it is safe to proceed with new magnets or loaded backing plates.

If you decide to go with loaded backing plates, you shouldn't have too much difficulty finding them as they are far from unique to Airstream. The brakes were typically Kelsey Hayes which were an industry standard utilized by many manufacturers. My local Fleetwood dealer was able to install new loaded backing plates on my '64 Overlander when it had an unexplained failure that prevented the coach from being towed to my regular Airstream dealer.

Good luck with your project!

Kevin
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Old 12-01-2004, 04:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by openroad
also looking for help with my brake problem. I suspect my answer may to just purchase new backing plates,but where?This a 1969model. to my knowledge the bargeman breakaway control,has not had any kind of pin or actuater inmy short history. None of the wheels have brakes that operate.I suspect kaput magnets but how to test?
We also have a 69. We had a forum friend work on her and checked the brakes they had lots of power and the wire was good from the brakes to the insided connector - but as soon as we plugged in the umbilical cord the brakes would not work. The problem was either at the trailer end connection or actually inside where the harness plugs in (To be determined).

We still have a temp solution and hard wired from the inside and ran the wire through the window and into the harness at the vehicle end - by-passing the outside trailer wall connection and trailer end harness.

We hope to fix that problem on our holiday - but for now we know the brakes work and have a great connection so we are not going to mess with it until some wiring guru's at the FSR can lend a helping hand.

Good luck - we have some printed info on this and that if you need anything - but our model is a Globetrotter a little smaller than yours.
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Old 12-01-2004, 08:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al1
I have a 24' 1973 Argosy. Have been reworking all systems. Now on brakes which do not work. Haven't a manual. Suspect the magnets are worn out to be the problem. Voltage at wheel is good.
Where can I get info on parts for this brake system?
Thanks for any help.
Al
Hi, I found brakes from www.dexter.com .They list all the local distributirs in your area. The brake are cheaper to buy as a set which includes backing plate etc. The cost for the assebly was under 50. dollars each. But make sure that you turn your drums. Mine were very rough where the magnet makes a contact. Dexter are direct replacement for Hays. Also make sure that the brakes are adusted tight. When you adjust the brakes and spin the wheel it schould only rotate 1to 1.5 revolution before stoping otherwise you will do what I did and destroy a new tire. The brake when loose do not retund to off position and look up the wheel .
Inland R>V also will have what you need. Yhey probably are Dexter dist.
Regards Russell

P.S. Get a manual from Dexter
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Old 12-02-2004, 09:06 AM   #8
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your reply was timely and informative. Thanks for some good ideas. We are going to Marathon in feb and trying to get ready. Once again,Thanks
Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64
Greetings openroad!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstream ownership!



Before undertaking replacement of magnets or installing new loaded backing plates, you will want to verify the wiring of your umbilical cord. Since Airstream didn't wire the coach's Bargman connector to the same standard that is utilized by most modern tow vehicles, there are often issues with wiring the trailer's Bargman connector to match the tow vehicle. The breakaway switch will need to be replaced - - it is possible to find the large cylinder type with some searching, but the more modern pastic cased component will function in the same manner. Once you have determined that the wiring is functioning properly, and that you have power to brakes when the tow vehicle controller is applied or when the pin is pulled on the breakaway then it is safe to proceed with new magnets or loaded backing plates.

If you decide to go with loaded backing plates, you shouldn't have too much difficulty finding them as they are far from unique to Airstream. The brakes were typically Kelsey Hayes which were an industry standard utilized by many manufacturers. My local Fleetwood dealer was able to install new loaded backing plates on my '64 Overlander when it had an unexplained failure that prevented the coach from being towed to my regular Airstream dealer.

Good luck with your project!

Kevin
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Old 02-06-2005, 10:57 AM   #9
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Angry

Hey you repair geniuses,
I have a 1985 Sovereign and just replaced all the brakes with Dexter asemblys. My problem is that one of the wheels is grabing and sliding the tire. It is on the street side front tire. I ajusted per instruction and it still does the grab and lock at slow speed. The controler I am using is Drawtite 2. The other 3 wheel do not grab they slowly stop the trailer. Any ideas out there that I may use? The trailer is now in Tucson Az. since we will move there soon as soon as the Calif house sells.
You my write to me directly on my e mail, Which is gmby@netptc.net.
Thanks you all Russell
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Old 02-06-2005, 01:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RUSSELL
Hey you repair geniuses,
I have a 1985 Sovereign and just replaced all the brakes with Dexter asemblys. My problem is that one of the wheels is grabing and sliding the tire. It is on the street side front tire. I ajusted per instruction and it still does the grab and lock at slow speed. The controler I am using is Drawtite 2. The other 3 wheel do not grab they slowly stop the trailer. Any ideas out there that I may use? The trailer is now in Tucson Az. since we will move there soon as soon as the Calif house sells.
You my write to me directly on my e mail, Which is gmby@netptc.net.
Thanks you all Russell
Russell
If you have made sure your adjustments are correct, and the brake shoes and drums are clean and free of grease. I would look to electrical connections.
i.e. If one side has a higher resistance in circuit than the other, the current flow on that side will be different and cause the brakes 'not to lock up'.
The side that locks up has the good low resistance wireing and the side that slips has the high resistance wireing.
Take a look at the loop resistance of each side, at the point where it branches from the feed from the controller.
I'm sure you will find a bad ground or poor connection.
Good Luck
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Old 02-07-2005, 04:01 PM   #11
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Thanks Gary,
As soon as get to Tucson Az. I will check the voltage out. But wht drives me nuts is that only one wheel is doing it. I will also wash the brakes with brake clean.The other tree wheels act normal. You may be right that one wheel is getting most of the power and the other tre are not due to a high resisrance ground. I all fails I will rewire the brakes with a heavy wire.
Regards Russell
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Old 02-07-2005, 06:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RUSSELL
Thanks Gary,
As soon as get to Tucson Az. I will check the voltage out. But wht drives me nuts is that only one wheel is doing it. I will also wash the brakes with brake clean.The other tree wheels act normal. You may be right that one wheel is getting most of the power and the other tre are not due to a high resisrance ground. I all fails I will rewire the brakes with a heavy wire.
Regards Russell
"Easy" way to check brake magnet operation is to buy an inexpensive compass. Have an assistant apply the trailer brakes while holding the compass near the wheel you want to check. If the "N" swings toward the wheel, that magnet is good.
Terry
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Old 02-07-2005, 07:04 PM   #13
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russell

any chance you have a backing plate assembly installed on the wrong side?

they are right and left handed!

john
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Old 02-07-2005, 11:07 PM   #14
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electric brakes

Greetings Russell!

Another thought, were the drums machined to remove any ridges and the shoes machined to match the drums? While I was VERY skeptical when the mechanic who rebuilt the brakes on my Overlander recommended these services, the results were the smoothest operating electric drum brakes that I have ever had on a trailer. One of the reasons that I had the brakes rebuilt was that one wheel was locking up when braking to the extent that it ruined a nearly new Marathon tire - - the problem was the brake shoe lining was catching on the ridge from wear of the brake drum.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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