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Old 11-02-2006, 07:46 AM   #1
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1963 16' Bambi
Metairie , Louisiana
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Cool New brakes for a '63 Bambi....

So, without having any experience at all with breaks, I proceeded to explore the breaking system on my "63 Bambi. I noticed that an owner at some point had cut the wires to the breaks, therefore rendering them useless. My first thought that came to mind was that something must have gone wrong and they didn't want to spend the time and money to fix them and they probably had a larger vehicle with more than sufficient breaks to stop both the Bambi and the TV. My only option was to dive in and tear it down. (keep with me, I do have a question coming up.) After about a hundred mosquito bites I managed to get the curb side wheel and the drum off to expose the break assembly. My assumption is, that it is the original...but than again, it is a 43 year old trailer, Who knows what has been done to it. After the drum was removed I exposed the problem. The hardware that held the mag in place had the head rubbed clean off by the drum and the mag had a smooth bevel due to it hanging loosely and making contact with the drum. (I will add pictures soon...I was amazed that the trailer hadn't experienced a catastrophic failure.) Now to the question.

If I use a 10" x 2 1/4" backing plate assembly from Dexter, will it work with the current axle. Or in other words, do they have a standardized bolt hole pattern? and will the old drum...which appears to be in good shape just needs to be turned...work with the Dexter parts.

Another question... How long has Dexter been around? The axle that is on it very well could be a Dexter axle. the person I got the trailer from spent a lot of money getting some work done to it 10 years ago but has past away.

last question... I am running new 12ga. wire for the breaks. since they operate on DC, can I run them in series or do they have to be run in parallel?

I hope someone can help...
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Old 11-02-2006, 07:54 AM   #2
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Quote:
If I use a 10" x 2 1/4" backing plate assembly from Dexter, will it work with the current axle. Or in other words, do they have a standardized bolt hole pattern? and will the old drum...which appears to be in good shape just needs to be turned...work with the Dexter parts.

Another question... How long has Dexter been around? The axle that is on it very well could be a Dexter axle. the person I got the trailer from spent a lot of money getting some work done to it 10 years ago but has past away.

last question... I am running new 12ga. wire for the breaks. since they operate on DC, can I run them in series or do they have to be run in parallel?
bolt pattern is standard

dexter has been around for a long time, your axles are probably henschens. (they use dexter parts)

wire the brakes in parallel. 12 ga is fine.

john
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Old 11-02-2006, 09:24 AM   #3
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63 Bambi brakes

Howdy kaffe, we have a 1963 Bambi that I spent the last year restoring. I am including some pictures to help you answer your questions. The first picture is the inside of a stock brake system. The second photo is of an oringinal henschen axel. The third picture is of a new Dexter. If you look at the section where the movable arm of the axle attaches to the cross axle member you will be able to tell the difference. The henschen is squareish where the Dexter has a more rounded shape. I hope this helps. I also have many pictures of the restoration process. So If you have additional questions, just ask.
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Old 11-02-2006, 11:29 AM   #4
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I guess everything on my Bambi is stock then. I will go with the Dexter brakes then in the near future i will be getting a new axle.
Looking at the Pics...I don't see the shock that was in the stock setup. I know Dexter doesn't require a shock, but I cannot help but think that there was a reason that a/s put one on it. Also, when ordering a new axle what offset would you sugget?
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Old 04-29-2007, 04:27 PM   #5
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When are brakes need for '63 Bambi?

In the first post in this thread, there's speculation the previous owner cut the brake controls because he had a heavy enough tow vehicle (TV) to stop both the trailer and the TV.

What weight vehicle is adequate for not needing the trailer brakes?
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Old 04-29-2007, 04:50 PM   #6
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It's as much a legal requirement as a practical problem. Most states have a 3000lb weight limit before brakes are required. Some are less.
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Old 04-29-2007, 04:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Goldtimer
What weight vehicle is adequate for not needing the trailer brakes?
That is determined by each state's law, which varies among the states. Look here for the specifics of your state law:

http://www.towingworld.com/articles/TowingLaws.htm

The chart shows Georgia requires brakes on trailers that weight 1,500 pounds or more, so your Bambi should have its electric brakes operational. A quick way to get the brakes working is to buy and install a "loaded blacking plate" that fits each side of your Bambi's axle. Do a search for "Bambi brakes" or similar terms on this web site for data on how others fixed their Bambi brakes. Good luck!
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Old 04-29-2007, 07:30 PM   #8
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Thanks, guys

That is most helpful info.

Looks like we'll have to get the brakes working, even though the 1800 lb. Bambi (believe I read that's all they weighed in '63) will be pulled by a 2500 construction pickup.
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Old 10-15-2009, 08:40 AM   #9
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Wow, i realize this was an older thread that I must have forgotten about. Anyway, thanks for all the info. NorCal, I believe I visited your Thread after you posted to enjoy your project and quickly fixed the breaking situation shortly thereafter. As it turns our we have a Trucking supplyer close by that I was able to find the backing plates for i think around $45 each. Seamed like a great deal. Now I am fighting for the time to do a floor replacment and check my frame for needed repairs. With the cooler weather coming here in New orleans I am hoping to get to that.

Again, thanks you all for your help and I hope that this is good info for others.

BTW...I agree, I would never suggest towing any thing without breaks...but I can never tell what other people are thinking...only guess.
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