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Old 02-27-2006, 10:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacnstac
Am thinking about buying this trailer. The owner tells me it has hydraulic brakes and not electric. Can anyone tell me what my truck as to have to operate hydraulic brakes?
You have Excella HydraVac disc brakes and they will outperform any electric drum brake on the market. The discs are huge/heavy and are awesome. How do I know? I had them on my '77 Excella 500. Andy at Inland RV in Carona, CA. has parts for the units. I used my 31' '77 coach for about 5,500 miles over a 4 1/2 yr. period and never had a problem. Matter of fact, I never noticed any wear on the pads when I was repacking the bearings over the ownership period. The brakes functioned flawlessly.

I used an engine vacuum port off the manifold on my '92 Z71 4X4 and the same off my '01 2500hd 4X4 Chevy trucks. I used Air Brake hose and a check valve about one foot from the engine manifold source. All brass connections were used except for the 1/2" industrial male/female couplings at the bumper where the vacuum source connected to the hose going to the vacuum booster system on the trailer tongue. This is also your emergency brake system should the trailer seperate from the vehicle. If you do a search for the HydraVac disc brake system you will find some of my posts on parts I used. I never had a problem. That trailer is in Hamburg, Germany now.
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Old 02-27-2006, 10:34 PM   #16
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Not likely that I'll find a vacuum line to run back there from my expedition.
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Old 02-27-2006, 10:39 PM   #17
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disc brake on airstreams....

hi guys i really like the discs for all the reasons listed...

while airstream is using them again (mid 05 up) on the classics...this isn't new...yes those mid/late 70s had 'em...

this is the 2nd or 3rd wave of airstreams using discs...for a few years then switching back to drums....hopefully they will move other models to discs as well...

i have seen a new bambi with a disc brake upgrade........sweet.

cheers
2air'
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Old 02-27-2006, 11:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacnstac
Not likely that I'll find a vacuum line to run back there from my expedition.
I don't understand your statement? If you have a gas engine then you have a vacuum port somewhere on the manifold. You tap into it with threaded fittings and use barbed fittings which slip into airbrake hose along with hose clamps. You run the airbrake hose inside the frame rail back to the rear bumper. Simple job. I posted pictures of the entire setup on the forum.
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Old 02-28-2006, 06:27 AM   #19
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Link please.....
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Old 02-28-2006, 06:28 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axleman
If they are hydraulic or hydraulic disc - you can purchase an electric/hydraulic actuator for around $500.00 new. This will allow the brakes to function in conjunction with a standard brake controller. If they are disc's (I kind of doubt it) they will stop about 50% better than electric. If they are straight hydraulic (non-disc) I would most likely switch to electric.

Just two cents from a RETIRED axleman.

Regards,
Henry
Henry, one of our unit members was attending the rally last week, and they had a 1976 Excella that was originally equipped with hydraulic brakes, IIRC they were discs. It is a rare feature, but they are out there. They converted to electric drum brakes, and were happy with the result, as the hydraulic system always gave them problems. Personally, I also would want to keep the discs, because they will stop better, and are easier to replace pads on when they wear out.
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Old 02-28-2006, 09:02 AM   #21
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I don't know if this system is the same or not, but we hauled Brooke's car back from Boise on a U-Haul flatbed with hydraulic brakes, and it was the worst brake system I have ever seen. They didn't kick in right away, and I felt like the truck was still doing most of the stopping. I'll take electric drums anyday over that setup.

Frederic
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Old 02-28-2006, 09:24 AM   #22
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U-Hauls are commercial trailers for the masses, they operate on a simple "surge" principal, you cannot compair the disc/hydrallics used on private vehicles and trailers.

JB
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Old 02-28-2006, 12:26 PM   #23
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Fredric,

Based on your description those brakes were not set up correctly either. If they were surge the shoe(s) was not adjusted correctly. Self adjuster not working. If a disc set up and surge, the system had major issues like air in the lines or contamination.

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Old 02-28-2006, 06:40 PM   #24
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Wow!

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
Henry, one of our unit members was attending the rally last week, and they had a 1976 Excella that was originally equipped with hydraulic brakes, IIRC they were discs. It is a rare feature, but they are out there. They converted to electric drum brakes, and were happy with the result, as the hydraulic system always gave them problems. Personally, I also would want to keep the discs, because they will stop better, and are easier to replace pads on when they wear out.
Terry,

Thanks - that's good info. The thread started with hydraulic brakes - not defined as disc or drum. I have seen older Airstreams with hydraulic drums, GT6921 has/had one. I have not seen older units with discs though. Thus, I appreciate your knowledge on the topic.

Best Regards,
Henry
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Old 02-28-2006, 10:15 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacnstac
Link please.....
http://www.airforums.com/forum...ht=disc+brakes
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Old 02-28-2006, 10:27 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacnstac
Link please.....
Here are a few shots from the back area of the engine manifold as the air rake hose snakes its way back towards the rear of the vehicle. The blue covering is wire loom over the hose to protect it from any abrasion.
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'01 2500hd ext. cab, 8.1 litre gas, 5 sp. Allison auto
3.73 rear end
Mag-Hytec rear diff cover
Amsoil Dual by-pass oil filtration system
Amsoil synthetics all around
265 watt AM Solar, Inc. system
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Old 02-28-2006, 10:41 PM   #27
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My haurralic actuator can go from 0 to full pressure(1600 psi) in half a second. I can tell you from experience that full pressure is more than enough to lock the wheels. So if I only really need to go to - say, half pressure - It takes less time to get there.

Hydraulic is fast. Maybe not as fast as electric. But fast enough and certainly strong enough. That's why I didn't swap over to electric when I replaced my axles.
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Old 03-01-2006, 07:02 AM   #28
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If you have the money, buy one of the brake actuators (do a forum search on that also because there has been much discussion), remove the brake booster equipment mounted on the tongue, bolt the new actuator up to the hydraulic lines and then wire it up. This way you do not have to run the vacuum line from the front of the vehicle. I didn't have the money to buy one so I did it the old fashion way. It will cost you over $1,000 to switch from your current brake system to electric and you will be going backwards in performance.
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