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Old 07-06-2012, 08:19 PM   #1
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1977 31' Sovereign
San Francisco , California
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Replacing hydraulic disc with electric drum?

Hi all,

I need some brake advice for my '77 Sovereign International. I'd like to ditch the old actuator but keep the disc brakes, since they're superior to drum, but the shop that's performing the work isn't comfortable installing the Titan BrakeRite electro-hydraulic actuator, since they don't have experience with anything but electric brakes.

Would it be silly to replace the disc brakes, which are in okay shape, with electric drum brakes? Should I keep hunting for someone to install the BrakeRite so I can keep the discs, or is this not that big of a deal, and I should just do the electric drum conversion and call it a day?

Thanks!
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:41 PM   #2
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1954 29' Liner
Orange , California
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I would think that any Airstream dealer or service shop could make the change over. Otherwise, drive south to Orange and have Area 63 install the new actuator.

Bill

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Originally Posted by whitney View Post
Hi all,

I need some brake advice for my '77 Sovereign International. I'd like to ditch the old actuator but keep the disc brakes, since they're superior to drum, but the shop that's performing the work isn't comfortable installing the Titan BrakeRite electro-hydraulic actuator, since they don't have experience with anything but electric brakes.

Would it be silly to replace the disc brakes, which are in okay shape, with electric drum brakes? Should I keep hunting for someone to install the BrakeRite so I can keep the discs, or is this not that big of a deal, and I should just do the electric drum conversion and call it a day?

Thanks!
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:56 PM   #3
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1960 24' Tradewind
Riverside , California
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Carlisle makes a good electric over hydraulic actuator and it's readily available at places like Redneck Trailer and any RV shop that uses Stag Parkway as a supplier, the new actuators use a smaller line, but a reducer is available at any auto parts store. One other factor to keep in mind is that there are NO replacement rotors or calipers available for the Ausco system Airstream used.

Greg
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:32 PM   #4
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In my mind it would be very silly to replace the discs with electrics. You need a new shop.

Area 63 did my electric to disc change over which is a lot more work than just replacing the actuator. I can't imagine what you need done would take a full day.

Call Uwe at Area 63 and ask what you need to do the change over. Then find a shop that can handle it.
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:19 PM   #5
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1977 31' Sovereign
San Francisco , California
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I called Area 63 and Uwe said he can install the E/H actuator no problem. Going with a Dexter, even though the Titan BrakeRite looks like it might fit under the existing actuator cover.

Thanks for the advice -- I'm happy to be keeping my old discs!
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:44 PM   #6
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1977 31' Sovereign
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1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
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I had two out of the four disc brake caliper holders fail on my 77 and lost faith in their design. The welds are not properly radiused to the slide pins and the pins break off. This is a catastrophic failure and results in no braking available. I suggest you have your caliper holders Magnafluxed for cracks before you waste your money. This trailer is 35 years old and you do not know what abuse it has seen. Better to be safe than sorry. I went to electrics and I can lock up the wheels on braking if I set the controller high enough. You can not get any more braking than that.
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Old 07-10-2012, 03:25 PM   #7
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Telluride , Colorado
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I have a Carlisle Hydrastar in service on my triple axle 34'. It is great, requires little modification and just works.
I don't know your vintage, but it would seem counter productive to go back to drums.

The Carlisle units are very well beult, and are priced fairly


Good luck in your quest!
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Old 07-10-2012, 06:15 PM   #8
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Whitney,

All of us with the original Ausco disc brakes will eventually have to convert to a newer system as many parts are no longer available. If your trailer has spent all its life in California it is likely it has not seen alot of abuse. I would think the new actuator could be used down the road on a newer disc system. I did same as you 2 years ago and went with the Carlisle, which fits in the original pan. In fact, it fit so low profile that the installer fabricated a flat stainless steel cover and ditched the plastic shell that housed the vacuum actuator. Looks much cleaner.
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:06 AM   #9
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We had a monster thread about disc vs electric - long story short, for trailers - both work fine...
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:49 AM   #10
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1978 31' Sovereign
Cincinnati , Ohio
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I think that the disc vs drum debate does not need to be unleashed, but I would probably bet that your axles are shot anyway. I have a 77' with that same vacuum assisted brakes and I just replaced the whole system. It ended up costing me around 1000 more than replacing the whole thing with an electric system including the cost of the actuator. See my blog if you want to see what I did.
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:40 AM   #11
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
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Whitney, if you need a place to overnight coming and going from Area 63 we have plenty of room for you. We're near Littlerock, ca. PM if interested.
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Old 07-23-2012, 05:25 PM   #12
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1977 31' Sovereign
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Thank you so much! I might take you up on that!
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