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Old 05-29-2007, 04:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safarinight
My wife and I are considering upgrading our 04 Safari's brakes from drum to disk next year, so we would like to hear from anyone that has already upgraded, or thinking of upgrading.
I had Airstream upgrade my 2006 16' Bambi from drums to discs earlier this year. They installed the Actibrake/Kodiak combination they use on their other trailers. I found them to be very helpful and quite responsive to inquiries via email - they charged $1710.00.

The disc brakes have amazing stopping power compared to the drums. However, I have had a few issues. One, the Actibrake does introduce a 1/2 sec delay. Two, the actibrake does need to be calibrated to your tow vehicle & controller. And three, the actibrake draws directly from the DC current. I'm currently debugging a problem where my Prodigy thinks the actibrake has 'gone away' after a few minutes of driving without braking (ie shows .NC. or . . instead of .C.) if I tow with my airstream's power set to use instead of store. I think this is because when my refer is set to DC it draws too much power and is competing for amps with the actibrake...but as I said I am still debugging.
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Old 05-29-2007, 06:20 PM   #16
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The main reason the disc work better is the hydraulic system. When the brakes have the same hydraulic pressure to each caliper you have a much better chance of getting equal pressure or not locking one wheel before the others. This means you will be able to achieve maximum breaking with out lock up. Not to mention the better balance of the disc.
Make sure the brake controller is compatible with the electric/hydraulic pump that you end up with. They are not all compatible. Some have a setting to remedy some of the delay. Also as for the person experiencing a delay be sure the system is bled correctly or this will also cause delay and can contribute to the brakes dragging.

You will find the difference is night and day!
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Old 05-29-2007, 07:31 PM   #17
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Towbrake

Check out Towbrake's electric over hydraulic unit. Some excellent engineering in this unit. It's not a pump, but rather a large servo motor (linear actuator) hooked to a normal automotive master cylinder. I think it has a lot going for it.



Tow Brake Product 2
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Old 07-15-2007, 10:19 AM   #18
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Disc brake conversion.

I just finished a two axle disc brake conversion on my 30' trailer. I used the Kodiak/Actibrake from Inland Trailer. The only problem I encountered was the backing plate for the disc brakes did not match up the the axle, as I used the 10-2 recommended positioning. I e-mailed Kodiak but with no reply, I just matched up the 4 holes to axle and marked the missing hole, then drilled the backing plate. Cast iron is easy to drill if you have a drill press. If you hand drill, use a center punch and drill into a soft backing.

I did not follow the hyd. line layout of the kit, but I made a trip to the dealer to see how AS does it OEM. In stead of the H layout, which I'm not sure it will work on the swing axles, I used the Y layout. I installed the Actibrake in the front tool box and ran the brake line back to the center line of the coach belly. Then I teed off to both sides, in front of the wheel wells and followed it back to each wheel. Hence, the Y pattern.

It was a tight fit to thread the flex lines behind the shocks but I added sprial rap to prevent chaffing the flex line. I had to add several new line lengths to the hyd. lines, but they are cheap at any auto store. Before one tries this project, be sure to get a brake line bending tool and some brake line wrenches. For layout of lines use lengths longer than required and bend a Z into the lines to takes up the extra length.

I've only towed once and the results are great. I also have the Prodgy controller that showes an open circuit when towing but it seams to work when used. ???? Cost, about $1,800 with tools and four days of labor.

PS I will not miss the ol-mechanical electric brake maintenace!!!!
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Old 07-15-2007, 11:21 AM   #19
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Costs

The price for a two axle conversion at the AS factory in Jackson Center was in the $2500 range about a year ago.
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Old 07-15-2007, 12:08 PM   #20
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Does anyone know if either system works with Fords intergrated tow command system?
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Old 07-15-2007, 12:49 PM   #21
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The information on the Tow Brake web-site says it does and I believe several others here are using the Actibrake system with the Ford controllers. So it looks like both of them work with it.
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Old 07-15-2007, 02:17 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goin camping
Does anyone know if either system works with Fords intergrated tow command system?
Yes on Dexter as well.
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Old 07-17-2007, 05:51 PM   #23
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Kodiak vs Dexter

I'm considering an upgrade to disc brakes on a 2003 Int'l with Dexter axles. Are the main choices for disc brakes Kodiak and Dexter? I'm familiar with the Kodiak kit. Does Dexter have a similar package? Do both work with Henschen axles? Both with Dexter axles? What are the important differences?

I've used the search key and couldn't find a comparison discussion. Thanks for any info
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Old 07-17-2007, 05:57 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobkelly
I'm considering an upgrade to disc brakes on a 2003 Int'l with Dexter axles. Are the main choices for disc brakes Kodiak and Dexter? I'm familiar with the Kodiak kit. Does Dexter have a similar package? Do both work with Henschen axles? Both with Dexter axles? What are the important differences?

I've used the search key and couldn't find a comparison discussion. Thanks for any info
Kodiac and Dexter use the same calipers and brake pads. It's a 90's front wheel drive GM caliper. Dexter uses this caliper only in the lower weight rated axles with a 5-bolt wheel hub, while Kodiac uses it also with larger discs that have the 6-wheel bolts, such as many Airstreams use. Dexter actually buys this kodiac caliper. It is a floating single piston design, made for small to midssize autos. The brake pads are available just about everywhere for cheap.
Dexter makes a heavier duty brake caliper for the 6-lug discs. The caliper is of fixed design, with 4 pistons per disc. I chose that system over the Kodiac.
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Old 07-17-2007, 06:02 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobkelly
I'm considering an upgrade to disc brakes on a 2003 Int'l with Dexter axles. Are the main choices for disc brakes Kodiak and Dexter? I'm familiar with the Kodiak kit. Does Dexter have a similar package? Do both work with Henschen axles? Both with Dexter axles? What are the important differences?

I've used the search key and couldn't find a comparison discussion. Thanks for any info
Dexter and Kodiak are by far, the main choices.

Dexter has major problems with their actuator.

Both systems fit a Dexter or Henschen axle.

Airstream adds the Kodiak and Actibrake to the Dexter axles at the current time in production.

Andy
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Old 07-17-2007, 06:11 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Dexter has major problems with their actuator.
I called Dexter's engineering department, and spoke to a very kind gentleman, who assured me that there are no major problems with Dexter's actuator.
He did mention that some of the actuators were returned for burned logic boards. The reason for the burned logic boards was that a few careless home mechanics and a few incompetent trailer shops reversed the polarity by accident, and it burned the board.
Dexter has released a new actuator due to this dilemma, that has large diodes in the power supply section, which now no longer allow the board to go up in smoke if someone does not know the difference between a positive and negative cable.
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Old 07-17-2007, 06:32 PM   #27
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Thanks Uwe and Andy for the quick replies.
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