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Old 12-09-2013, 01:34 PM   #1
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1977 31' Sovereign
Huntsville , Texas
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New Brake System Help

A RV repair shop looked at the brake system on my 1977 31' Sovereign trailer. He said the discs, magnets and basically the whole system was shot, rusted, etc., and it wasn't functioning. Pads were in ok condition.

He gave me a quote for about $300 a wheel (4 wheels) to repair the whole brake system.

- Is this a reasonable quote?
- What is the skill level required to self-install new brakes?

Thanks,
KWD
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Old 12-09-2013, 01:38 PM   #2
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You state discs and magnets and pads, do you have disc brakes or drum brakes. If disc - $300 is not bad, what are they replacing them with? If drum, new loaded backing plates can be purchased for $50 to $75 each, which would then make the labor about two hours each, probably high.

Bill

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Originally Posted by kdufour View Post
A RV repair shop looked at the brake system on my 1977 31' Sovereign trailer. He said the discs, magnets and basically the whole system was shot, rusted, etc., and it wasn't functioning. Pads were in ok condition.

He gave me a quote for about $300 a wheel (4 wheels) to repair the whole brake system.

- Is this a reasonable quote?
- What is the skill level required to self-install new brakes?

Thanks,
KWD
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Old 12-09-2013, 01:42 PM   #3
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Are the drums still useable? If all you need is new backing plates they run less than $100 each.

You can get them at inland RV or Outdoors Mart. If you have basic skills you should be able to do it. You would want to service the bearings at the same time.


http://odmrv.com/catalog/index.php?m...136os5gac4ev23
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Old 12-09-2013, 01:45 PM   #4
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At $600 per axle to fix electric brakes, you're getting close to the cost of replacing the whole axle with one that comes loaded with new brakes, drums and all. If your '77 Sovereign has '77 axles, that's something to consider.
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Old 12-09-2013, 05:08 PM   #5
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New Brake System Help

Greetings kdufour!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstreams!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdufour View Post
A RV repair shop looked at the brake system on my 1977 31' Sovereign trailer. He said the discs, magnets and basically the whole system was shot, rusted, etc., and it wasn't functioning. Pads were in ok condition.

He gave me a quote for about $300 a wheel (4 wheels) to repair the whole brake system.

- Is this a reasonable quote?
- What is the skill level required to self-install new brakes?

Thanks,
KWD
The quote seems to be within reason provided the shop knows and understands the Excella Hydravac Disc Brakes utilized on 1970s era Airstreams. Certain parts are quite difficult to obtain and (unless something has changed rather recently) are often available as rebuilt or reproduction from a very few sources. Something else to be aware of is that this system as it was originally installed requires a vacuum tap on the tow vehicle to provide power to the actuator . . . since the brakes are currently inoperable, I would suspect that a modern actuator pump has not been installed as is often done when the system is updated for use with modern tow vehicles. The Excella Hydravac Disc Brakes were state of the art in the 1970s and continue to provide superior braking when properly maintained, but in this instance it might be more cost effective to consider new axles with modern disc brakes and the matching actuator pump.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 12-09-2013, 05:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdufour View Post
A RV repair shop looked at the brake system on my 1977 31' Sovereign trailer. He said the discs, magnets and basically the whole system was shot, rusted, etc., and it wasn't functioning. Pads were in ok condition.

He gave me a quote for about $300 a wheel (4 wheels) to repair the whole brake system.

- Is this a reasonable quote?
- What is the skill level required to self-install new brakes?

Thanks,
KWD
Before you spend any money on the running gear, it would be wise to check out the axles.

The rubber rods in torsion axles don't last 35 years, but more like 25 years as an average.

The following article will help you check them out.

The Dura-Torque Axle

Should you need new axles, you can get them complete with all the upgrades from 35 years ago.

Installing them, is not a big deal.

Andy
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:30 PM   #7
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1977 31' Sovereign
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Thanks everyone for the help!
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