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Old 10-09-2008, 08:58 PM   #1
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Removing vacuum brakes on my '77

We have a '77 Overlander with disk/vacuum brakes. Does anyone have a link or information to remove htem and replace with electric drum brakes and what about a break away setup after changing over? Thanks

Terry
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Old 10-09-2008, 09:02 PM   #2
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We have a '77 Overlander with disk/vacuum brakes. Does anyone have a link or information to remove htem and replace with electric drum brakes and what about a break away setup after changing over? Thanks

Terry
Terry,

Why do you want to replace the disc brakes?

Bill
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Old 10-09-2008, 10:43 PM   #3
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It's a bit of a learning curve to figure out the disc brake system for the 1970's vacuum booster, with our 1990's or so tow vehicles without a good vacuum source handy on the tow vehicle. The vacuum system boosts a hydraulic system quite like the vacuum booster did on the older trucks. The hydraulic system then pushes the disc brakes.
There are units you can get that will take the place of the vacuum booster on the trailer, these are powered by 30 amps from your tow vehicle, activated by your trailer brake controller, one is called Actibrake. The hydraulic brakes don't run the same as electric drum brakes, so many of the brake controllers wont communicate with the Actibrake correctly, you get an intermittent "on" check mode that the drum brakes use, but isn't that good on your disc system because it puts the brakes on during that "on" check.
I found the Actibrake unit sits right in the pan the vacuum booster was sitting on, I didn't have to change any hydraulic lines. Did have to follow the directions for the power requirements. The umbilical set up doesn't usually come with a 10 guage wire needed for the 30 amp draw of the Actibrake.
I certainly wouldn't change out to a drum system.
One phone call to Andy at Inland RV and all the parts, with instruction book, came to my door. I'm sure there may be a "cheaper" system out there if you have the money time to spend looking.
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Old 10-10-2008, 08:13 AM   #4
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We have a '77 Overlander with disk/vacuum brakes. Does anyone have a link or information to remove htem and replace with electric drum brakes and what about a break away setup after changing over? Thanks

Terry
We have the parts to repair the original disc brakes.

Replacing the disc brakes with electric brakes, would be like replacing your tow vehicle, with a model "T".

Disc brakes are far superior to electric brakes, hands down.

Andy
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:16 PM   #5
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A note on disc brakes: I just got back from a trip over the Sierra Nevada "hill" from Nevada down to Jackson, CA, and back on route 88. Elevation goes from about 4800' at home, up to 8600' at the top, down to 1600' at Jackson. Several times, more like many times during this trip I used the manual lever on my controller to pull my speed down with the disc brakes on my 31 foot Excella. Pulled the speed right down to stop, without using the truck brakes. Quite a safe feeling to know that the trailer disc brakes will stop the whole rig if you needed to. Second gear in the truck wasn't holding my trailer back sufficiently in those places, and I didn't want to go down to first gear in some short steeper runs. On the return up the hill I did use first gear most of the way back up the hill, and stopped a few times to let the transmission cool down.
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Old 10-13-2008, 06:46 AM   #6
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Iverson,
Make sure you check for cracks at where the clevis pins are welded into the plates that mount the calipers. Three out of 4 of mine had them and one failed catostrophically. Parts and hydrallic fluid all over the road. I do not think Andy has new carriers for sale, so check it out before you spend any big money. I have to admit, when they were working they were great. I used them to stop my runaway rig in the Lewiston Caynon when the van brakes failed.
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Old 10-13-2008, 12:02 PM   #7
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Iverson,
Make sure you check for cracks at where the clevis pins are welded into the plates that mount the calipers. Three out of 4 of mine had them and one failed catostrophically. Parts and hydrallic fluid all over the road. I do not think Andy has new carriers for sale, so check it out before you spend any big money. I have to admit, when they were working they were great. I used them to stop my runaway rig in the Lewiston Caynon when the van brakes failed.
Do you mean the bracket that holds the caliper slides?
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