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Old 01-18-2003, 08:35 PM   #1
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Smile Interesting Brake Info

Went to a local trailer supply today to get some brake parts. Found out some interesting things. First, the 3500# axles I bought from Henschen through Inland RV do not use standard brakes. The axles I purchased and the originals have 6000# capacity hubs and brake plates. This means the brakes on a tandem axle Airstream are rated at 12,000#!!My original brake plates are not Dexters, so their parts will not fit on what I have now. After a discussion, it was determined that my originals are in pretty decent shape. But, I opted for 1 pair of new plates, which will go on the front axle. I also procured a Dexter Operation Maintenance Service Manual for Dexter 600-8000# axles. Has "everything you wanted to know about trailer axles, but were afraid to ask" between two covers.

I mentioned this was all going onto an Airstream and the service man told me they have had an Airstream in their storage lot for 3 years. The owner visits it once a year, and has never used it. We took a look at her and it is an early 70's 29 footer. He is going to speak to the owner and see if they will sell it. Anyone interested?

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Old 01-20-2003, 09:17 AM   #2
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The brakes supplied with your new axles are the new style "oval" magnets.
The oval style brakes all have a much higher "stopping" power than the round type magnets.
The purpose of your controller is to supply power to the brakes upon command, and, to coordinate the stopping power.
Simply adjusting the controller will off set the extra braking power.
Extra stopping power, is really a blessing. As your brakes wear, you can adjust your controller to compensate for that wear.

The problem with the round magnet brakes is that some of the repair parts, are no longer avaolable.

Also it is not wise, to mix the two styles, because of the different efficieny between the two.


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Old 01-20-2003, 09:47 AM   #3
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Smile Slick trick ..Pick

hey Pick ya did good!

How about a pix of that Dexter Axle Manual please.
How many pages? Is it loose leaf or bound?
And how did you talk em outa that??

Also any idea who made the brake parts that were not Dexter?
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Old 01-20-2003, 10:28 AM   #4
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Dexter Manual

They were passing the Dexter manuals out like peanuts at the TrailManor International Rally a couple of years ago. They had bundles of them and they were telling folks to give them to their friends.

Lots of good information. Mine is hidden somewhere in the garage at the moment.
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Old 01-20-2003, 10:38 AM   #5
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Online info

Hex, all that information is available online HERE
I asked about the proper procedure to adjust the brakes, and they just handed me a copy.
We did identify the brand of the old brakes, but I forgot what it was. The magnets are still available.
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Old 01-20-2003, 04:49 PM   #6
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thanks for the link, pick.

is this one that could go on the links page here?

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Old 01-20-2003, 06:28 PM   #7
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Your post was very interesting, but I'm slightly confused (is that more or less than normal? (question is from SHE who must be obeyed!)) Is the new backing plate assembly, although different due to magnet design and equipment upgrading through time, interchangable on the axle of your older round magnet (original style) axle and drum assembly? Or is there something about the replacement backing plate assembly that requires physical modification of the original axle?

Pardon the apparent dense question, but the real concern is if I can order 12" oval magnet backing plate assemblies (4) and bolt them onto the original axles without any modification. If so, I plan on taking Andy's advice (admonition) to replace all assemblies and not mix round with oval.

Take care,

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Old 01-20-2003, 07:04 PM   #8
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Interesting Brake Info

Greetings Sean!

The brand X dealer who handled the brake overhaul on my '64 Overlander used the standard fully loaded backing plates without incident. The only difference was that the original brakes were 4,000 pound aggressive and the new were 6,000 pound aggressive which was easily managed with my Tekonsha Voyager Controller. The real expense of the process was having the machining done to match the drums to the new shoes - - the cost was actually greater for the machining on four drums and shoe sets than the cost for the four fully loaded backing plates.


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