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Old 10-16-2013, 04:14 PM   #1
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Richmond , Virginia
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Trying to find a Kelsey Hayes - seal and shoe kit 1993 Excella

I've been told by my local RV repair shop (who does not know much about Airstreams) that the seal is blown on on end of one of my axles and that they cannot find the parts to fix it. They say I have Kelsey Hayes axles and they are now out of business.

Any advice on how to proceed from here? I asked them for the part numbers and they are checking for those. Any advice appreciated.

Thank you!
Bryan
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Old 10-16-2013, 04:42 PM   #2
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There should be no problem crossing the numbers. i have found for replacement seals for my 60's trailers. If they can get the seal number you can cross it on the internet. The seal number is printed on the seal which gives you 4 chances to get a number you cAn read.

It is a good bet the generic seals they have that fit most axles will fit.
If not an Airstream dealer should know.
E trailer is a good source also

If all else fails you can get the inner and outer diameters with micrometers and find one that way.
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:47 PM   #3
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Thank you Rick. Beyond the seals they say they must replace the "shoe kit" springs etc.... They have contacted Airstream so hopefully headed in the right direction.

I'll try my best to get the part numbers so I can scour the internet.

Bummer is this is our first Airstream, my wife and I have spent a great deal of time over the last year or so renovating the interior and sealing all the numerous leaks. Just brought it in for inspection today so we could go on our first camping trip next weekend.... ouch! Hopefully this can be rectified sooner than later.

Thank you
Bryan
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:39 PM   #4
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The best way to replaced the brakes is to by fully loaded backing plates. They will usually run $45 to $70 a wheel. They are pretty much universal and then everything is new, shoes, springs magnets inc..
How much faith do you have in this dealer?. There is really nothing there that is airstream specific assuming they are "shoe" 12"x2" type brakes.
To give you an idea how universal these things are i used the backing plate assemblies removed from a 99 34 footer on my 1961 tradewind
Dexter brake assemblies will fit, and I would bet the seals do too.
Good luck with it
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:37 PM   #5
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I would echo Rick's advise. There isn't anything in the brake system that is unique. It is all generic stuff that can easily be obtained in the United States. If you were in Mexico, the UK or some place abroad you might have some issues. Why this repair shop hasn't completed the job would be a concern if it were me.

Recommendation ..... carry spare grease seals. Like 4 of them. They are cheap, they take up very little space, you can rotate them in the next job (and then replace them) and it could get you out of a crack if you were on vacation and HAD to replace them. There are several other general replaceable item I would carry. (and do) The seals are just one item.

Light bulbs - for stop and turn signal on the back of your trailer
Wire connectors for the brakes
Are a couple of other items I would not travel without

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Old 10-17-2013, 04:57 PM   #6
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It sounds like you should be doing the work yourself. Because the guy you are paying isn't very experienced.
About all you have to know is "righty tighty" , " lefty losey" along with which end of your trailer is the "front"
New back plates are labelled left or right and new bearings and seals can be had a most auto parts stores.
There is a vast amount if "How To" info on the Internet.
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Old 10-21-2013, 01:10 PM   #7
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Thanks folks. This all came down to an inexperienced mechanic at the RV dealer. They went so far as to tell me that they didn't think Dexter made replacement parts for Kelsey Hayes..... which a quick internet search put to rest. Why they can't use the internet is beyond me. They have been in business 48 years....... doh!

I picked up the trailer and hauled it to a local place called Southside Hitch. They completed the work the next day. State inspection (Virginia), 1 new loaded backing plate. Cleaned the other three sets of brakes, repacked all bearings and new grease and seals all around.

I got this trailer a year or so ago and have never camped in it. My wife and I have been renovating it all along. Our first camping trip is Friday!!! Many restoration pics to follow......
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Old 10-21-2013, 03:02 PM   #8
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There you go! Inexperience usually leads to doubt. If the mechanic/shop were upfront and said, Hey we don't do a lot of work on these you might have been able to get some collaboration. As it is they lost a client, a sale and some education.

Drum brakes and running gear on these trailers is really basic. With a few exceptions, your 20 year old trailer is not much different than a 40 year old trailer.

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Old 10-21-2013, 04:21 PM   #9
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Glad you got it all worked out
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Old 03-29-2014, 09:19 PM   #10
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Thanks folks for the great input. A word to the wise in the Richmond VA area. Southern is not the place to go for Airstream work. Southside hitch was excellent for the trailer work they did. Highly recommended.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:11 AM   #11
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Be thankful they didn't tear into it and leave you with a pile of parts on the ground.
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