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Old 05-20-2012, 08:56 AM   #1
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Brake swap?

We just bought an '83 T-1550 yesterday, and come to find out this morning it has 10 X 1 1/2" brake shoes which are apparently pretty much N/A anymore. (Even though the drum depth is 2" I assume it is still referred to as 1 1/2" to match the shoes?) Help me out here, as I know nothing about electric brakes, but have loads of experience with hydraulic drum brakes.

Is it possible to just switch to 7 X 1 1/4" brakes, or the next size up in 10" brakes, which looks to be 2 1/4"? I'm not sure how to get the brake assembly off, but I'm sure I could figure it out!

This trailer needs very little, but I don't think the brakes work, and would be just as happy with new hub/drums and shoe assemblies. Thanks for any help, advice, suggestions, etc., I appreciate it!

Frank
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:24 PM   #2
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DEXTER 10" x 1-1/2" Electric Brake Shoe Set #K71-046-00
The lining is not very thick brand new so you may have more lining then you think. I do not believe you'll find drums and hubs any where.
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:31 PM   #3
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I found the shoes (can get them from from NAPA too).

So you can't easily swap brake sizes. Have to swap the axle to get modern parts?

Thanks!

Frank
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
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I found the shoes (can get them from from NAPA too).

So you can't easily swap brake sizes. Have to swap the axle to get modern parts?

Thanks!

Frank
From everything I've heard, yes, you would have to replace the axle in order to swap the brakes. And yes, Kelsey Hayes brake parts are basically impossible to find.

Congrats on your addition!
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Old 05-20-2012, 10:08 PM   #5
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I found the shoes (can get them from from NAPA too).

So you can't easily swap brake sizes. Have to swap the axle to get modern parts?

Thanks!

Frank
Frank, the spindle is machined to put the brake drum armature in a certain location. This is the face of the drum that the magnet rides on/attracts too. And then there is the inside total space the shoes and the backing plate take up.

Going to 10 x 2 1/4" brakes which are used on the 7,000# GVWR campers have the brake drum out further to to allow the shoes to grip correct and the magnet arm to align with the inside of the brake drum. This conversion will not work as your bearings are machined different on your axle.

Going down to 7 " diameter brakes from 10" diameter brakes is a very large loss in braking power. The bigger the diameter the more powerfully the brake is without getting into special high friction linings and super strong shoe actuators. So this is not really an option either.

What exactly does not work? The shoes mainh linked might be a shoe replacement option if the shoes where the problem. Trust me, brand new electric brake shoes look like heavy wore out auto drum brakes. Do not be expecting heavy 5/16" to 3/8" new linings on these really small electric brakes.

How much lining thickness do you have left now? And heat cracks are considered normal. Dexter says replace when you get to 1/16" or less lining thickness. Not much I know.

Here this may help. The Dexter service manual. Don't worry, the technology of TT drum brakes has not changed much since the 1960's maybe even the 50's so this manual will work for yours. They just came out with self adjusting trailer brakes in the smaller sizes a few year ago.

http://dexteraxle.com/i/u/6149609/f/...anual_1-12.pdf

Hope this helps

John
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:20 AM   #6
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The Dexter smaller axle does not have removable backing plates so you have to replace the components separately too bad because the bolt on plates can be bought plug and play with every thing all ready installed. This of course also makes it impossible to go to a larger size alone. Unless the brake drums are damaged any auto machine shop should be able to resurface the drums for you.
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:34 AM   #7
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Here's the deal folks. For now, turn the drums and figure out power. I may be getting power at the magnet, I just don't know, but will before the week is over. My new digitial brake contriller says I'm connected, and reads 6.5 when I hit the brakes with the trailer stationary. I assume that is voltage, but if it is, I don't know what it means. Guess I need to read the instructions...

If I can get this baby working, over time I would like to replace the axle with modern components (and 10" X 2 1/4" brakes), maybe at the same time going to a torsion type axle. I don't know, but that is a ways off if I get the brakes working as is. It would be great to get them working, as I want a new electric/propane water heater more, and then A/C, and then new radial trailer tires on aluminum rims. All in good time.

Thanks for the help guys!

Frank
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Old 05-21-2012, 12:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank_a View Post
My new digitial brake contriller says I'm connected, and reads 6.5 when I hit the brakes with the trailer stationary. I assume that is voltage, but if it is, I don't know what it means. Guess I need to read the instructions...


Frank
Check the manual. The 6.5 might be amps and if it is, then you are sending full power to the brakes or somewhere leaking power....

If it is 6.5 volts that is not much and you do not have a lot of brake power.

If the 6.5 is a gain reading, then forgewt the amps and volts as it has nothing to do with them.... your right, read the manual...

I see you are thinking the gas/electric HW heater. I'll type some more tonight, you are going to need a power upgrade...

John
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Old 05-21-2012, 12:15 PM   #9
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Just got the instructions out. Says the 6.5 would have been set with the power knob, and is an indication of voltage output to the brakes. I need to read up on this some more...

Frank
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:33 PM   #10
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Frank, You can possibly clean everything, reassemble and try again. It might be the crud in the brake that is stopping the shoes from grabbing. That would only mean you used some time, no money, to test the brakes.
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:59 PM   #11
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Yeah, we'll see Jim. Just read the stuff from the Dexter manual, then the instructions from my brake controller. I think I just need to clean things up a bit, get the multimeter out and check things, then hook up and test it on the road with somebody managing the controller. Thanks!

Frank
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Old 05-21-2012, 02:17 PM   #12
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Frank, Is your controller a factory connection? I mean is it plugged into the socket of the factory harness? You might have brakes now but haven't set the controller high enuff to do the job.

With the camper hooked up, and you driving slow, you should be able to adjust the controller to grab when you mash the brake pedal. It doesn't have to be a panic mode stop. It will not hurt anything to drive on a back road somewhere and play with it. Maybe even in some big parking lot. You can keep increasing the setting until you feel the camper grabbing, then back off some.
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Old 05-21-2012, 02:28 PM   #13
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Yes Jim, my truck came with 2 options - a locking differential and a tow package, so I have a factory 7 pin connector installed in my bumper. The wiring for the brake controller was taped to the top of my steering column, and was a bear to find, and then a bear to tie into, but if nothing else I'm good with electrical wiring and got REAL good connections. I built a long lead from there, and then used slide connectors to tie into the brake controller harness so it's easy to unplug. I thought I had pics of this install from the other day, but can't find it right now. If nothing else, the controller told me it was working!

I think you're right about the test drive. I live on a back road, so that's handy. I do NOT live near any kind of parking lot, big or small. I have some other issues to deal with over the next few days, then (God willing) will get back at it.

Frank
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Old 05-21-2012, 02:33 PM   #14
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The controller says it is working but the number shown is adjustable so it might not be sending a strong enuff signal, enuff voltage to the brake. When you get it back together just drive down the road increasing the number until you feel the drag of the brakes.

Good Luck with it.
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Old 05-21-2012, 03:04 PM   #15
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Thanks Jim, I will do that. I'll keep ya posted.

Frank
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:03 PM   #16
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One sure way is to pull the safety wire for the brakes that should lock them up as long as your trailer battery is good. Just pull the wire and tow it a few feet it should slide the wheels.
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:23 AM   #17
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One sure way is to pull the safety wire for the brakes that should lock them up as long as your trailer battery is good. Just pull the wire and tow it a few feet it should slide the wheels.
Yes this is a good drag test. In 2 to 10 feet going 5 mph you will know a lot. Also to add, unplug the 7 wire cord from the truck 1st before doing this. Some brake controllers do not like the back feed from the TT battery.
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:22 AM   #18
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Safety wire for the brakes? What and where is that? I have one on my hydraulic brakes for the boat trailer, but pulling that frees the brake for backing downhill!

Frank
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:46 AM   #19
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Frank, There should be a safety switch on your camper tongue, next to the jack. It should have a wire that is supposed to be connected to the tow vehicle. The switch on the tongue where the wire is connected is that they are talking about. Pull that wire and try to move the camper. There should be 12V to that switch from the house battery to give brakes power to stop if the unit becomes disconnected from the TV.
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:56 AM   #20
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Frank,

The switch looks like this. Here is a populaor brand. They are commonly refered to as, Emergency Break Away Switch

Breakaways - Bargman

They are required by law in most states, maybe all, once the trailer weight is over a certian amount. In your case with electric brakes, it is heavy enough to need one. I am fairly sure NYS requires them.

You can see mine here in the pic. The cable hooks to the truck bumper area.


When you pull the cable, (pulls the pin out) it closes the switch and it directly connects the battery on the camper to the trailer brakes to stop a run away trailer that has become detached from a TV.

If yours is missing, they are easy to add. The switch is approx $10 bucks I think.
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