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Old 01-16-2014, 07:34 AM   #1
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1968 24' Tradewind
Traverse City , Michigan
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Service Shop / Brakes

Honeymoon is over, and prices and repairs are adding up. Had my 1968 tradewind in the shop. Electric was a mess and brakes had wires dangling, not funcitoning. Didn't feel comfortable and that is a safety issue so I took it in to the shop.

Been a couple months (yeah) and first bill shows up. I feel like I'm being taken advantage of now that I have a bill for electric repair, and brake estimates.

Estimate for brakes says $475 in parts (dual axle, 12' brakes with backing plate) and about 5 hours to do the job ($400).

The wiring hasn't even been set yet to show brakes function, so that is the first thing I am asking for. I need this thing safe for me to tow to my work space to begin working on it; it's a good (snowy) 45 minute drive.

Questions:
a) Price sound right for parts? 5 hour job for a professional who has done this for some time? Best I just bite the bullet to have them done before moving it?

b) Functioning brakes with old parts. Is it possible? So that I can then replace brake parts myself? Otherise at almost $900 bucks, might as well just replace the axles (hoping to wait a year or two for down the road project).

c) Can't get front running lights to work. Is that a pull the gaucho, pull the panels to get at that wire? All in or nothing on that one I suppose.

Thanks gang.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:26 AM   #2
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In my opinion ( and it's worth almost what you've paid for it ), the labor rate does not seem to be unreasonable. I did my brakes, on a different trailer, about 5 years ago and they ran about $250 or so ( if I recall ). So, I think the parts is a bit high but then again he's probably quoting them at retail. It's not a hard job at all and if you do it yourself there's a few related jobs you could get done also. I like your thoughts on doing the axles soon anyhow in that case all this would be wasted. Perhaps you could look at having it transported to your location. Might be somewhat less than the $900 or so. But first check to see if you can get them to function. You should plan to pull the wheels the check the bearings and inspect them before even thinking about transport.
Good luck with this.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:34 AM   #3
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If you coach has the original axles. Chances are. They need to be replaced. You can get axles without brake assembly's down the road. But it means doing the brake job twice,
Is there any way you can get 1 axles brakes functioning enough to get it home?
How far do you have to tow it?
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:44 AM   #4
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I went thru the same issue after replacing the complete axel assembly including brakes on my Bambi II and the brakes would not work. I took it to Foley RV in Gulfport,Mississippi. Turned out the old brake wiring was totally disintegrated. $500 plus and I had working brakes. Expensive but worth it to have reliable working brakes.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCTradewind View Post
Honeymoon is over, and prices and repairs are adding up. Had my 1968 tradewind in the shop. Electric was a mess and brakes had wires dangling, not funcitoning. Didn't feel comfortable and that is a safety issue so I took it in to the shop.

Been a couple months (yeah) and first bill shows up. I feel like I'm being taken advantage of now that I have a bill for electric repair, and brake estimates.

Estimate for brakes says $475 in parts (dual axle, 12' brakes with backing plate) and about 5 hours to do the job ($400).

The wiring hasn't even been set yet to show brakes function, so that is the first thing I am asking for. I need this thing safe for me to tow to my work space to begin working on it; it's a good (snowy) 45 minute drive.

Questions:
a) Price sound right for parts? 5 hour job for a professional who has done this for some time? Best I just bite the bullet to have them done before moving it?

b) Functioning brakes with old parts. Is it possible? So that I can then replace brake parts myself? Otherise at almost $900 bucks, might as well just replace the axles (hoping to wait a year or two for down the road project).

c) Can't get front running lights to work. Is that a pull the gaucho, pull the panels to get at that wire? All in or nothing on that one I suppose.

Thanks gang.
Self adjusting 12 inch electric brakes, cost less than $ 65.00 each.

Shocks cost less than $ 30.00 each.

You would save money by replacing the complete axles, since everyone on this Forums will tell you that torsion axle rubber rods, which in them selves are not replaceable, only last about 25 years. Yours are 20 years past that.

Andy
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:59 AM   #6
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1968 24' Tradewind
Traverse City , Michigan
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Appreciate the insight thus far. Any one with a video link for brake assembly? I was coming up short for vintage airstream brake explanations on youtube.

I have about a 40 mile drive to get it home. Redoing cabinetry, or interior work is one thing, but brakes is another. Having never done it, its a little out of my comfort zone. Reading the threads on here, it does seem feasible, so if I can get my brakes working as they are, get home, and replace parts on a rainy day; I like that idea best.

Bearings. Lucked out. They were greased well (still clean) and packed well. The thing sat for a while, but that was done recently.

Axles, yeah eventually. But I need to get this thing working and on the road and be sure I know what I have myself into before taking on that big of projects and expense.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:32 PM   #7
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There is nothing special about A$ brake assembly's. Any trailer supply outlet will have "fully loaded" back plate assembly's, either 10" or 12"that will fit.
If you don't plan to travel in the trailer for several years. I would recommend waiting until you are ready to travel before installing new axles.
If it were me and only had to tow it 40 miles to get it home. I would get a couple of friends. Have one in front and one in back. Drive slowly and get it home. As long as it has decent tires on it and you keep your speed down. You should be OK.
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Old 01-16-2014, 02:16 PM   #8
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1968 24' Tradewind
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Is there a difference between a brake assembly kit, and a "double seal" I'm noticing those listed in part lists, and not sure if new seals (double?) are including in brake kits, or if those are seperate.
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Old 01-16-2014, 04:20 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by TCTradewind View Post
Is there a difference between a brake assembly kit, and a "double seal" I'm noticing those listed in part lists, and not sure if new seals (double?) are including in brake kits, or if those are seperate.
A brake "backing plate" is a complete brake assembly, and nothing else.

Grease seals are always sold separately.

There are 4 basic grease seals.

Double lipped with a spring. Also the highest price, but the very best.

Double lipped with no spring. Cheaper, but not as good.

Single lipped no spring. Cheaper and good luck.

Then finally there is the "good luck type" where you will need tons of luck and extremely low mileage, and is very cheap.

The seal that Airstream uses is the best, which is double lipped with a spring.

Andy
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Old 01-16-2014, 04:53 PM   #10
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2001 30' Excella
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Hey TC. If you get the complete brake sets the hardest part of the job is getting the bolts off to remove the old ones. A couple are in a very tight place. Doable but tight. Once removed you just have to re-install the bolts. If you can manage the cabinet work you will find this easy. Now the wiring is a different story. Fortunately for me the wiring on my jobs has all been good. For 40 miles I'd go with TG's advice. For a couple of $ extra we can get self adjusting brakes too. I plan to do mine in the spring. Not a winter job for me. I just put new seals on mine a few months ago I think they were in the neighborhood of $7 for the double lipped. The only way to go.

Good luck.
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:53 PM   #11
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1968 24' Tradewind
Traverse City , Michigan
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Had some good luck today. Went into the shop, said afford the brake replacement at the price he had quoted. Said what I could afford and what I thought was fair. They agreed. The electrical work was completed too, front parking lights, and power to the brakes.

I could have saved a little money doing it myself, but for the agreed price it was definitely worth having it completed with peace of mind.

The double seals and bearings were replaced as well. Really lucked out and happy with the service. It literally does pay to ask I suppose.

Thanks again gang. Ill have my trailer back to my shop and ready to start sealing it up, then windows, appliances, floors. In that order. I think.
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:57 PM   #12
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Good job. I just ordered rear brakes for my truck. Gotta do it sooner rather than later so it's a winter job. Oh well. Now to find an inside place to work on it.
Glad you're getting it done.
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