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Old 01-20-2012, 11:57 PM   #1
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Salvaging Vintage Disk Brakes

Can vintage Ausco disk brakes be salvaged for use on a new Dexter axle?

Note: I am writing this for myself so that I check out all the variables. You might want to wait for a later post when I actually have answers...

The Dexter #10 axle can be fabricated to carry 2300 to 3500 lbs. This is the axle for almost all Airstreams (does yours weigh more than 7,000 lbs., or for single axle, more than 3,500 lbs?). The Dexter catalog provides drums/disks for a 15" wheel with 6x5.5" stud pattern for this axle. So far so good.

The Ausco disk mounting bracket has a 5-hole pattern. The Dexter catalog shows the Kodiak brake as their 3,500# disk brake. The mounting bracket for this brake caliper is 4-hole and the standard Kodiak disk for this weight class is drilled for a 5-lug drum. So the Ausco brake will not mount on this axle, nor will the standard 6-lug Airsteam wheel. So there is at least one issue--will Dexter provide their #10 axle with a 5-hole brake mounting plate? A second potential issue is--will Kodiak provide a 5-hole mounting plate for their 3,500#/10 inch disk caliper?

Why? Because if the Ausco calipers can't be refurbished or if they fail some few years down the road and Ausco parts are no longer available, or if the unobtainium Ausco disk itself is damaged, can the Ausco system be swapped out for Kodiak, or do you need a whole new axle?

Another question is--are the spindle diameters correct. The 3,500# Kodiak is designed for spindle #84 (1.72" diameter at the seal). I'm assuming from the catalog drawings that this spindle comes with a 4-hole mounting plate for the brake bracket. If you go to the next higher weight class Kodiak brake (6,000#), it fits spindle #42, which is 2.25" at the seal and appears to have a 5-hole mounting plate.

The photos show the Ausco disk brake installed and the Kodiak 4-hole mounting plate (Ausco 5-hole in background).

Click image for larger version

Name:	P1000743 Ausco disk-s.jpg
Views:	326
Size:	111.5 KB
ID:	149288 Click image for larger version

Name:	P1000751 kodiak 4-hole-s.jpg
Views:	268
Size:	114.6 KB
ID:	149289

Questions:
1. Is the spindle size for the Ausco disk the same as the 10" (3,500# class) Kodiak disk?
2. Can I get this spindle on a #10 Dexter axle?
3. Is the 5-hole mounting plate available on the #10 Dexter axle?
4. Are the parts for the Ausco brake still available (pads, seal, and dust boot)?

Zep
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Old 01-21-2012, 03:58 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium View Post
Can vintage Ausco disk brakes be salvaged for use on a new Dexter axle?

Note: I am writing this for myself so that I check out all the variables. You might want to wait for a later post when I actually have answers...

The Dexter #10 axle can be fabricated to carry 2300 to 3500 lbs. This is the axle for almost all Airstreams (does yours weigh more than 7,000 lbs., or for single axle, more than 3,500 lbs?). The Dexter catalog provides drums/disks for a 15" wheel with 6x5.5" stud pattern for this axle. So far so good.

The Ausco disk mounting bracket has a 5-hole pattern. The Dexter catalog shows the Kodiak brake as their 3,500# disk brake. The mounting bracket for this brake caliper is 4-hole and the standard Kodiak disk for this weight class is drilled for a 5-lug drum. So the Ausco brake will not mount on this axle, nor will the standard 6-lug Airsteam wheel. So there is at least one issue--will Dexter provide their #10 axle with a 5-hole brake mounting plate? A second potential issue is--will Kodiak provide a 5-hole mounting plate for their 3,500#/10 inch disk caliper?

Why? Because if the Ausco calipers can't be refurbished or if they fail some few years down the road and Ausco parts are no longer available, or if the unobtainium Ausco disk itself is damaged, can the Ausco system be swapped out for Kodiak, or do you need a whole new axle?

Another question is--are the spindle diameters correct. The 3,500# Kodiak is designed for spindle #84 (1.72" diameter at the seal). I'm assuming from the catalog drawings that this spindle comes with a 4-hole mounting plate for the brake bracket. If you go to the next higher weight class Kodiak brake (6,000#), it fits spindle #42, which is 2.25" at the seal and appears to have a 5-hole mounting plate.

The photos show the Ausco disk brake installed and the Kodiak 4-hole mounting plate (Ausco 5-hole in background).

Attachment 149288 Attachment 149289

Questions:
1. Is the spindle size for the Ausco disk the same as the 10" (3,500# class) Kodiak disk?
2. Can I get this spindle on a #10 Dexter axle?
3. Is the 5-hole mounting plate available on the #10 Dexter axle?
4. Are the parts for the Ausco brake still available (pads, seal, and dust boot)?

Zep
Some oiginal Ausco parts are still available, for the calipers.

Andy
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:40 AM   #3
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Good idea for a thread. I'd can 'em, though.
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:03 AM   #4
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Roger, I've swapped the old discs out for new Kodiak ones on a '77 Sovereign. I was even able to re-use the old metal lines. I put the Dexter actuator under the cover the old vacuum actuator was in.
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium View Post
The Ausco disk mounting bracket has a 5-hole pattern. The Dexter catalog shows the Kodiak brake as their 3,500# disk brake. The mounting bracket for this brake caliper is 4-hole and the standard Kodiak disk for this weight class is drilled for a 5-lug drum. So the Ausco brake will not mount on this axle, nor will the standard 6-lug Airsteam wheel. So there is at least one issue--will Dexter provide their #10 axle with a 5-hole brake mounting plate? A second potential issue is--will Kodiak provide a 5-hole mounting plate for their 3,500#/10 inch disk caliper?

Why? Because if the Ausco calipers can't be refurbished or if they fail some few years down the road and Ausco parts are no longer available, or if the unobtainium Ausco disk itself is damaged, can the Ausco system be swapped out for Kodiak, or do you need a whole new axle?

Another question is--are the spindle diameters correct. The 3,500# Kodiak is designed for spindle #84 (1.72" diameter at the seal). I'm assuming from the catalog drawings that this spindle comes with a 4-hole mounting plate for the brake bracket. If you go to the next higher weight class Kodiak brake (6,000#), it fits spindle #42, which is 2.25" at the seal and appears to have a 5-hole mounting plate.

The photos show the Ausco disk brake installed and the Kodiak 4-hole mounting plate (Ausco 5-hole in background).


Questions:
1. Is the spindle size for the Ausco disk the same as the 10" (3,500# class) Kodiak disk?
2. Can I get this spindle on a #10 Dexter axle?
3. Is the 5-hole mounting plate available on the #10 Dexter axle?
4. Are the parts for the Ausco brake still available (pads, seal, and dust boot)?

Zep
Smaller axles have smaller spindles.

Dexter will not make a special small axle using a 12 inch brake mounting plate.

# 3. No

A few pistons are still available.

The boots (rubber dust caps) are available.

The pads are made with the lining covering as much of the plate that is possible, which provides a larger pad area, are locally made, as they have been for years.

Andy
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
Roger, I've swapped the old discs out for new Kodiak ones on a '77 Sovereign. I was even able to re-use the old metal lines. I put the Dexter actuator under the cover the old vacuum actuator was in.
The problem is you can't do the swap and get a new axle. Zep
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Smaller axles have smaller spindles.

Dexter will not make a special small axle using a 12 inch brake mounting plate.

...
Andy, aren't you doing an alternative axle? Will they duplicate the old Henschens--spindle size and mounting plate?

Zep
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:39 AM   #8
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The problem is you can't do the swap and get a new axle. Zep
Zep.

You can do the "swap" and get new axles, but not Dexter axles.

We do it all the time.

Andy
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:41 AM   #9
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Andy, aren't you doing an alternative axle? Will they duplicate the old Henschens--spindle size and mounting plate?

Zep
Zep.

The axles we provide are made to the original Henschen specifications.

Therefore disc brake swap out, are a piece of cake.

Andy
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:45 AM   #10
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For completeness, here's a bit more data on the Ausco disk system. You see the grease seal where the old crud has been scraped off and even the heads of the lug bolts.

Click image for larger version

Name:	P1000772 old spindle-s.jpg
Views:	106
Size:	111.9 KB
ID:	149294 Click image for larger version

Name:	P1000776 rear disk-s.jpg
Views:	105
Size:	100.5 KB
ID:	149295

Zep
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Old 01-21-2012, 12:13 PM   #11
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My Auscos were salvaged and placed on new Henschen axles.
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Old 01-22-2012, 03:17 PM   #12
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The problem is you can't do the swap and get a new axle. Zep
I'm confused. The Axis 12" spindle fits the disc brake mount like any other 12", even the ones the trailer came with. Colin Hyde is selling them that way. The only potential difference is Axis/Al-Ko 12" axles seem to only come in 22.5 degree starting angle. If you want to increase ride height with a higher starting angle, that would be where the differences start.
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Old 01-22-2012, 03:23 PM   #13
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True for Axis, and true for Dexter, as far as it goes. The problem is, if the axle is smaller than 3,500#, Dexter will not put a 12" (eg, 2.25") spindle on it. You get a 1.72" spindle, instead. Period. So if you're putting axles on a 4,300# Safari, the axles are 2,300# each. Too small, in Dexter's opinion, for the bigger spindle. The customer is NOT always right.

Dexter, you make great replacement axles, but in this one regard, you s..k. Hope we can talk you into changing your rules, but I know many have tried and failed.

Zep
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Old 01-22-2012, 03:29 PM   #14
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True for Axis, and true for Dexter, as far as it goes. The problem is, if the axle is smaller than 3,500#, Dexter will not put a 12" (eg, 2.25") spindle on it. You get a 1.72" spindle, instead. Period. So if you're putting axles on a 4,300# Safari, the axles are 2,300# each. Too small, in Dexter's opinion, for the bigger spindle. The customer is NOT always right.

Dexter, you make great replacement axles, but in this one regard, you s..k. Hope we can talk you into changing your rules, but I know many have tried and failed.

Zep
Plan "B" (C?) would be to order the smallest rated large tube axles, and cut the rear of the notch in the frame so the larger tube will fit. It's not perfect, but doable.
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