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Old 07-26-2010, 12:40 PM   #1
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hydraulic brakes

I have a 2000 ford f350 with the v10 and have recently bought a 1977 airstream with hydraulic brakes. The vehicle was toed home with no brakes as I don't have the vacuum line rigged up yet. Does anyone know the best place to pull the line from the motor.
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:08 PM   #2
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I have a 2000 ford f350 with the v10 and have recently bought a 1977 airstream with hydraulic brakes. The vehicle was toed home with no brakes as I don't have the vacuum line rigged up yet. Does anyone know the best place to pull the line from the motor.
Lance,

I'm assuming you're talking about a 1977 Airstream (Argosy) motorhome. If won't have vacuum assisted brakes. It will have a hydroboost brake system. It uses a hydraulic booster that receives its power from the power steering pump.

If the power brakes are not working then you'll need to inspect the lines from the power steering pump to the hydroboost. The hydroboost is between the master cylinder and the brake pedal. Any number of things could be wrong with your hydroboost system.

More info and pictures would definitely help us give more detailed advice.

Brad
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:08 PM   #3
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This vacuum brake system was only used for a few years. Most trailers using this have already had the drums and backing plates changed out and converted to electric brakes.. I seem to recall there was some kind of adapter used with these to provide the vacuum and control the amount of brake actuation..
Even if you get the parts to make the existing system work you will have a setup that is not compatible with anything else you may want to hook to.

Possibly Andy at Inland RV can point you in the right direction
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:16 PM   #4
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If you have hydraulic disc brakes, you can purchase a new electric over hydraulic actuator and replace the vacuum system. Much more reliable and you get to keep the disc brakes.

Bill
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:38 PM   #5
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would like to keep the hydaulic brakes and ive heard about carlisle having a system but was hoping to see if the stock still worked or was repairable
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:44 PM   #6
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The previous owner of our '83 Excella got very tired of dealing with the hydraulic brakes and changed them to electric.

I am very happy that he did that. If hydraulic brakes were the hot setup they would still be using them from the factory.
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:57 PM   #7
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I have a 78 Soviergn that had the same Vac-Assist brake system that you are describing. You have a few options. 1) purchase a electro / hydrolic motor that will operate the brakes with out the vacuum connection. 2) convert the current disc brakes over to a full electric system by replacing the discs with electric drums. 3) what I chose to do was to replace the whole system. You have a 1977 Airstream. I have yet to see one that still has an original axle that is not shot. That was my case. I decided to replace both axles with a complete new system. I chose a Dexter system with hydraulic disc brakes. You can read my blog to see how I did it. There are countless threads on this forum that describe what you need to do to replace your axles. There are also countless threads that describe what brands are out there. My personal opinion is that you should save yourself the hassle of trying to get the old brake system working and just replace the whole thing. The last thing you want on a vacation with your family is to stomp on the brakes and not be able to stop.
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Old 07-26-2010, 02:09 PM   #8
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The previous owner of our '83 Excella got very tired of dealing with the hydraulic brakes and changed them to electric.

I am very happy that he did that. If hydraulic brakes were the hot setup they would still be using them from the factory.
Jim,

I believe that the factory does use hydraulic disc brakes on some models. Someone who knows more about new Airstreams can correct me if I am wrong.

Bill
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Old 07-26-2010, 02:17 PM   #9
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Jim,

I believe that the factory does use hydraulic disc brakes on some models. Someone who knows more about new Airstreams can correct me if I am wrong.

Bill
Why would they do that?
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Old 07-26-2010, 02:39 PM   #10
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Why would they do that?
With the right actuator, they work better. Uwe believes that discs are the best thing since sliced bread.

Bill

PS: Leaving on Saturday for Salida. Two nights at the North Rim. See you and Lynn there.
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:48 PM   #11
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At the present time, Airstream is not using hydraulic brakes in new production. They were using them on Classic trailers from around 2005 to 2009. My trailer does not have them. However, there have been considerable numbers of trailers converted to hydraulic disc brakes, both by the Jacksonville service center, and others. In some cases these have been new trailers.

Hydraulic disc brakes are said to provide better braking and are said to require less ongoing maintenance, compared to electric drum brakes.
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Old 07-26-2010, 04:52 PM   #12
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... have recently bought a 1977 airstream with hydraulic brakes...
hi lance welcome

a nearly 35 year old stream, lets see...

-it probably needs axles...
-howz the SUBflooring?
-how much RUST on the frame?
-got rear sag?
-is the shell SECURELY attached to the frame/C channel?

the point is there may be a LOT Of work and money to spend before needing brakes.

modern discs (electric/hydraulic) are pretty darn good, and i would NOT tow without them...

but IF you want a disc setup TOSS all the old bits and start over...

((sure u can use SOME of the components but WHEN were they last functional? ))

if you need axles buy them as a package and save a bit o'dough.

but don't even TRY hooking up a common hydraulic line from the truck.

that's a MESS 2do and the truck won't like it.

cheers
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:48 PM   #13
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I had the old Hydraulic disc brakes on my 77. Nothing but problems on the road. No one has parts or can service them. There is also a fatigue crack flaw that develops in the welding of the caliper holders. I dumped them and went electric. Good enough for 30,000 miles behind a 3/4 ton van. Maybe the new disk brake systems are better now but I would not fool around trying to get the old ones to stay working.
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:07 PM   #14
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If hydraulic brakes were the hot setup they would still be using them from the factory.
Don't fool yourself - Hydraulic disc brakes are far superior - the factory only stopped using them to save money without having to change Airstream prices (as I was told on a tour a few months back) and will be making a resurgence once the economy and sales start to climb.
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:29 PM   #15
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I had the old Hydraulic disc brakes on my 77. Nothing but problems on the road. No one has parts or can service them. There is also a fatigue crack flaw that develops in the welding of the caliper holders. I dumped them and went electric. Good enough for 30,000 miles behind a 3/4 ton van. Maybe the new disk brake systems are better now but I would not fool around trying to get the old ones to stay working.
Some repair parts are still available for the Airstream original disc brakes, such as the bushings, clevis pins, boots, O rings, pads, and the sync valve is easily overhauled.

The flaw you mentioned, is related to lack of proper running gear balance.

The original disc brakes, work great with the Carlisle actuator, eliminating the need for vacuum supply from the tow vehicle.

Andy
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:02 PM   #16
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When we replaced the axles on our '71 Tradewind this spring, I sprung for the disc brake setup - and they really work. The brakes can be adjusted so one doesn't feel the weight of the trailer at all, other than the first second or so as the trailer brakes come on. I've not yet aggressively tested stopping distances, but I'd not be surprised to find them the same as the truck unloaded.

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Old 07-26-2010, 11:06 PM   #17
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...I've not yet aggressively tested stopping distances, but I'd not be surprised to find them the same as the truck unloaded...
depending of TRUCK/trailer combo this has been tried/measured ...

an f-250 plus stream stop in shorter distances that the f-250 solo.

there was an article in trailer life? 5-6 years ago that looked at this issue

cheers
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Old 07-28-2010, 08:43 PM   #18
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depending of TRUCK/trailer combo this has been tried/measured ...

an f-250 plus stream stop in shorter distances that the f-250 solo.

there was an article in trailer life? 5-6 years ago that looked at this issue

cheers
2air'
We knew this to be so in the 1960's. A common goal or reference then. It's always worth going through every detail in re brakes. Drum brakes on car and drums on trailer, or all disc, it is the standard to meet.
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Old 08-02-2010, 04:05 AM   #19
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I wish to correct an incorrect statement made by Andy. The early design disc brake caliper holder design was made from flat steel stock with slider pins welded to it. This part has a design flaw in that the loads that are generated by the pins must be transmitted through a very narrow weld where in transitions to the flat plate. This causes excessive bending moments and high stress in the weld whenever the brakes are applied. As you can plainly see it has nothing to do with the imbalance of the wheels or rotating elements. Andy is simply wrong. Andy is the person who has the most parts available to service these old brake systems. If you want parts for them see Andy. As a mechanical engineer with a background in failure analysis at a major manufacturer of trailers, I can not recommend anyone continue to use this design when I know it is likely to fail as the most inopportune time and potentially cause a bad accident.

I personally had one of them fail scattering parts and hydraulic fluid all over the road resulting in complete brake failure. Fortunately, I was able to steer off the road and avoid the collision with the truck which had applied his brake in front of me. The stress from the aggressive braking I was doing at that time was the last straw that caused the already compromised caliper holders to fail. Microscopic analysis of the failed parts revealed fatigue cracks weakened the assemble and these same cracks were found in two of the three remaining assemblies which lead to my conclusion to completely scrap the system and go to electrics.

This is a warning to all people with high mileage trailers with the old disc brake systems: Scrap the system before you have a serious accident.
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:16 AM   #20
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I wish to correct an incorrect statement made by Andy. The early design disc brake caliper holder design was made from flat steel stock with slider pins welded to it. This part has a design flaw in that the loads that are generated by the pins must be transmitted through a very narrow weld where in transitions to the flat plate. This causes excessive bending moments and high stress in the weld whenever the brakes are applied. As you can plainly see it has nothing to do with the imbalance of the wheels or rotating elements. Andy is simply wrong. Andy is the person who has the most parts available to service these old brake systems. If you want parts for them see Andy. As a mechanical engineer with a background in failure analysis at a major manufacturer of trailers, I can not recommend anyone continue to use this design when I know it is likely to fail as the most inopportune time and potentially cause a bad accident.

I personally had one of them fail scattering parts and hydraulic fluid all over the road resulting in complete brake failure. Fortunately, I was able to steer off the road and avoid the collision with the truck which had applied his brake in front of me. The stress from the aggressive braking I was doing at that time was the last straw that caused the already compromised caliper holders to fail. Microscopic analysis of the failed parts revealed fatigue cracks weakened the assemble and these same cracks were found in two of the three remaining assemblies which lead to my conclusion to completely scrap the system and go to electrics.

This is a warning to all people with high mileage trailers with the old disc brake systems: Scrap the system before you have a serious accident.
The disc brake pad "slider pins" are threaded into the plate, and then welded.

Granted, it is a weak spot, but only because the welded area is smaller than it should be.

However, the failure rated has been extrememly small. On the other hand, the design of the entire system, is way over 30 years old, and a replacement, as you stated, should be considered, to maximize safety.

Andy
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