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Old 09-28-2006, 05:39 PM   #1
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Would you believe a 2003 SLC Weekend Warrior needs brakes? I do now! This sucker can't have much over 20k on it and I found a magnet worn out and broken, the actuator arm worn out where the magnet sits, and on top of that the shoes and pivot points are rusted to where the shoes won't move much, at least on the one I checked. On top of that where the wires to the magnet are held to the actuator arm by a metal clip, the clip had eaten through the insulation of the wires causing a short. Thats why my prodigy went nuts on the way back from New Mexico. Looks like time to replace the complete assy's and cut my losses X 6 and redo the wiring while I'm there. Fun! I figure that if this one is in that kind of shape the rest can't be too far behind. I checked this one because after the prodigy went crazy, each time I would plug up the pigtail to the trailer this wheel had a hum and the others didn't, like the magnet was engaged and it would come and go as I pulled on the wires going into the drum.

As if that weren't enough I had an outside bearing turning on the axle shaft for some reason, bearing seems fine, greased and not rough, no visible reason.

Now the BIG questions, Is there any difference in the brake assemblies out there? Has anyone had any experience with buying them and found there is or isn't a difference in the quality and should I worry about it or not? These are the Hays/al-ko axles and uses the 12x2 brakes, it seems that every assembly out there will fit it, even dexter.
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Old 09-28-2006, 05:39 PM   #2
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Would you believe a 2003 SLC Weekend Warrior needs brakes? I do now! This sucker can't have much over 20k on it and I found a magnet worn out and broken, the actuator arm worn out where the magnet sits, and on top of that the shoes and pivot points are rusted to where the shoes won't move much, at least on the one I checked. On top of that where the wires to the magnet are held to the actuator arm by a metal clip, the clip had eaten through the insulation of the wires causing a short. Thats why my prodigy went nuts on the way back from New Mexico. Looks like time to replace the complete assy's and cut my losses X 6 and redo the wiring while I'm there. Fun! I figure that if this one is in that kind of shape the rest can't be too far behind. I checked this one because after the prodigy went crazy, each time I would plug up the pigtail to the trailer this wheel had a hum and the others didn't, like the magnet was engaged and it would come and go as I pulled on the wires going into the drum.

As if that weren't enough I had an outside bearing turning on the axle shaft for some reason, bearing seems fine, greased and not rough, no visible reason.

Now the BIG questions, Is there any difference in the brake assemblies out there? Has anyone had any experience with buying them and found there is or isn't a difference in the quality and should I worry about it or not? These are the Hays/al-ko axles and uses the 12x2 brakes, it seems that every assembly out there will fit it, even dexter.
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Old 09-28-2006, 06:04 PM   #3
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Just for kicks, you should look into hydrolic brakes if you are going to redo the whole banana
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Old 09-28-2006, 06:18 PM   #4
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I am not sure at what size axel the cut-off point is,
-- but some people say the cost of a new set of axels (complete with brakes etc) can be very near the cost of just the brake repairs.

Might be worth investigating.
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Old 09-28-2006, 06:41 PM   #5
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Tom:

I've done this before, but first, I'll answer your question: a 2003 SLC needing brakes? He!! yeah! I'm surprised you got this far with 'em! Whether to go whole axles, bunch of brake parts, and the whole "backing plate assembly"....go the whole backing plate assembly- believe me- alot cheaper than buying parts. Not quite sure it includes the magnets, but if'n you need them, I got a whole set I'd be willing to part with for peanuts.

Of course, when I replaced my axles on my 1995 SLC, I was able to buy directly from Hayes (now Dexter), which was right around the corner from my office, and I upgraded to 4400# axles from the stock 3500#'s (with 12x2 brakes) for only $1100- ALL 3 AXLES! They now direct you through a dealer.

I'll see if I can find that shop in Ontario that's got good prices...trying to remember it, but it's just not there right now...

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Old 09-28-2006, 07:08 PM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by DavidMc:
I am not sure at what size axel the cut-off point is,
-- but some people say the cost of a new set of axels (complete with brakes etc) can be very near the cost of just the brake repairs.

Might be worth investigating. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That is a depressing thought! Is this type of repar/replace indicative of Toyhaulers only or do other TT have this in thier 20k mile future???
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Old 09-28-2006, 07:24 PM   #7
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Sean, yeah, the deal is to change the whole backing plate assy as a unit. I've seen prices from 84 to 105 an axle on line, haven't checked locally yet. The complete axle assy is quite a bit more than just the brake plate assy. This does includes the magnets, the whole banana. Going to check around here and see what they want and compare that to the on-line price plus shipping.

I was kind of surprised because my car trailer has a bunch more miles than that on it with electric brakes and they still work great. Course we are hauling just a bit more weight than it does. What really surprised me is the rust, maybe from non-use??? Well anyway, back to my original question, is there any difference in quality of the brake assy's out there on the market?

2BlueHeelers, your guess is as good as mine since this is my first experience but from what Sean said, I tend to think it may be the case, maybe it makes a difference if you're running down the highway a lot or not.
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Old 09-28-2006, 07:32 PM   #8
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Tom:

Sorry...didn't get to that point...there are many "brands" out there, but FWIW, I found that buying Dexter's OEM parts are just as "economical", if you think buying 6 of them is THAT!

Ahhh...found it....Arrow Trailer Supplies...I was pretty happy with their stock and pricing when I replaced all the bolts & bushings on my old SLC...
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Old 09-28-2006, 07:44 PM   #9
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Thats nice but I couldn't find any brakes in their catalog. Anyway, don't sweat the small stuff, I'll probably buy locally. I'm mainly concerned that what I saw on the dexter website is exactly what I have while looking at Southwestern wheel out of Dallas, theirs look a little better as far as the wire routing and protection. Food for thought!
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Old 09-28-2006, 08:06 PM   #10
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Naughhhh...I looked also, but no detail. Just for poops and grins, I'll give 'em a call tomorrow and see what they've got fer ya!
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Old 09-28-2006, 08:18 PM   #11
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Do what ya gotta do!

Now why did that darn bearing spin on the axle? You de bearing expert??? Too loose, too tight, didn't hold my wrench right, should I replace it? It looks great!
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Old 09-28-2006, 10:30 PM   #12
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Personally, if a bearing spun, I'd replace that set even if there wasn't visible damage. Cheap insurance to avoid having it weld onto the spindle in the middle of no where.

As far as the no-brand backing plate set, the only place locally that had 12x2 when I replaced mine was LesSchwab. I don't know who made them, but their quality seemed as good as the stock al-ko's I took off. You don't save much by replacing only the shoes and magnets, so I also feel the backing plate is the way to go- You get all new hardware, and save a bunch of time.

If you haven't downloaded it yet, the on line pdf manuals from Al-Ko and from Dexter are really well done.

al-ko click on the Owner's Manual.

Dexter Click the pull down menu, and select Complete Service Manual.

Lastly, the life you got out of those brakes does seem pretty short, assuming they have been kept in proper adjustment, and the brake controller is working well... Is there an exhaust brake on the market for your truck?
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Old 09-29-2006, 04:47 AM   #13
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I just recently changed all my electric brake backing plate assemblies, and that is the way to go. Take off five nuts and the magnet wires and reverse the process. Maybe 15 minutes per wheel. Check the link below for genuine Dexter parts. I paid $36.00 per wheel.

www.easternmarine.com
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Old 09-29-2006, 08:01 AM   #14
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Jeff/Roy, thanks for the links. I've been researching cost and all that along with seeing if anyone builds a unit that has a protective sleeve over the magnet wires. I fight short problems all the time and it is always where the wire is routed over and around the actuator arm but it looks like I'll have to put my own "protection" on it.

Jeff, the brake shoes are not worn out, just rusted, and the magnets are worn out. Since the whole mess is rusted to where they don't move much I figure its time for a complete unit, and maybe some bearings to go with it, sure don't want them spinning on the shaft. Thanks again for your input.
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