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Old 06-02-2016, 11:45 AM   #1
HGC
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Replace brakes on Acme Tow Dolly

We have had our Ace Tow dolly for 5yrs. and are getting close to pad replacement time. My question is; it is obvious that you must remove the caliper to replace the pads but to do so it seems that the brake line also have to be also be detached. Has anyone had experience doing this and have insight as to how to proceed? Have been able to bleed the brake line by attaching a ratchet strap to the surge piston assembly and tightening it to force out brake fluid. My feeling is that unless you install a flexible brake line extension one must just detach the line from the caliper. Any ideas on this? Thanks for any response.
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Old 06-02-2016, 11:58 AM   #2
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I've not seen the brake lines on an Acme, but from your question, it must be a hard line along the axle. If you release the clips holding the brake line to the axle, can you lift the caliber high enough to remove the pads? Then use a C-clamp to compress the piston and insert the new pad. If you're afraid you'll break or kink the brake line, then I'd remove the line from the back of the calipers and bleed them when finished. You could purchase a vacuum brake bleeding kit for under $30 and do it that way, but your method with the ratchet strap seems to work.
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Old 06-02-2016, 12:14 PM   #3
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There are a couple How-To's on the Acme site for replacing the pads and bleeding the brakes

http://cartowdolly.com/wp-content/up...-Procedure.pdf


Scroll down near the bottom for the manual bleeding methods.

http://cartowdolly.com/wp-content/up...-Procedure.pdf

I read somewhere that the pads from a standard automobile would work. Does anyone know what the vehicle that is??
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Old 06-02-2016, 12:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiter21 View Post

I read somewhere that the pads from a standard automobile would work. Does anyone know what the vehicle that is??
I had this bookmarked - take your old pads in and compare -
Acme EZE-tow dolly

Please let us know if you can verify this.
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Old 06-02-2016, 01:22 PM   #5
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Tom, You nailed it. thanks. I'll put a note in my book and check them when I'm due new pads.

Maybe HGC can check them if he's interested.
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Old 06-02-2016, 07:31 PM   #6
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relpace brakes on Acme Tow Dolly

I talked to a tech at Acme and Scott was great! Told me to take the caliper off it would require a torch to heat the bolts because they use Red Loctite on them. So he recommended taking the covers off of two Allen wrench screws(above and below the pads) and taking them out, then take off the clips, press the calipers in using a "c" clamp and pry the pads out then install the new pads. Sounds easy, right?
I did ask him if it was common for the inside pad to wear faster than the opposing pad and he said yes. And he recommended taking the cover off of the brake fluid well to allow the brake fluid room to expand as you put pressure on the caliper to release the pads. Sounds like something I can handle but it will be new territory. Will keep you posted.Hope this info helps. The people at Acme are great!
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Old 06-02-2016, 08:45 PM   #7
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If you use the torch, be careful, you're just heating the metal enough to melt the Loktite, not enough to melt or damage the piston seals on the caliper. There are many guides and videos to show how to change brake pads online, I taught my kids to do it when they were young. While in Australia, i supervised my daughter using her old skills to do a complete brake job on her Subaru.

If the rotors are grooved or pitted with rust, you should look and see if the rotor is part of the hub or separate. If separate, it'd be easy to take them off and have them turned at a auto parts shop. If they are thinner than the specs cast or stamped on them, an auto parts store should be able to replace them. If they are a one piece axle and rotor, you'll have to perhaps have a shop remove the bearing races and put them in the new hubs.
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:11 AM   #8
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Acme brake replacement

Replaced the brakes on the Acme tow dolly. After talking to Scott at Acme was able to do the job. First take off the tires, then locate the capped Allen head bolts( inside of brake assembly) which act as the slide that compresses the pads, it is the caliper and they anchor it to the brake assembly. They can be very tight so I sprayed a little WD40 and let it set in and they eventually loosened up. You don't need to remove any brake lines but when you remove the caliper I placed an empty plastic water bottle under to support it so as to not bend the brake lines. To remove the caliper you must also take the wire clip spring off first, just use long nose pliers.The brake pads will just about fall off. Replace with new pads and reverse the process. Seemed that the bolts on the shoulder side were easier to remove. I think it is a good idea to check the tightness off the anchor bolts to the calipers regularly. Hope this helps anyone who wants to change their own dolly brakes. By the way I have about 22k mi. on ours and they REALLY were close to meta on metal.
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Old 06-05-2016, 01:09 PM   #9
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Replace brakes on Acme Tow Dolly

I did mine last winter. I fount that the manufacturer (UFP) brake pads were cheaper than car pad, which are only recommended when the manufacturer pads aren't available. I did my bearings and seals at the same time along with a caliper rebuild. Brake bleeding is very easy with a screwdriver. The manuals are available for downloading.
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Old 06-05-2016, 08:23 PM   #10
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Acme brake replacement

Where did you find the manual on brake replacement, caliper rebuild, and bearing replacement. I looked on their site but couldn't find specifically how to replace the brake pads. Either way the pads are done but would like to eventually do the bearings, and rebuild the calipers. The Vault bearings should be good for a long time and just buying new calipers is not that expensive but you must heat the bolts to get the complete brake assembly off. That is what I was told by Acme. Thanks for your response.
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:10 PM   #11
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Red Locktite needs to be heated to about 550 to melt it. That can be done by a heat gun, you don't need to use a torch.

Vault bearings should be checked once a year by raising the wheel off the ground and pulling/pushing on the tire. If more than 1/8" play is created, the bearings need adjusting.

http://www.ufpnet.com/Portals/0/PDFs...aintenance.pdf
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Old 06-06-2016, 07:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Where did you find the manual on brake replacement, caliper rebuild, and bearing replacement. I looked on their site but couldn't find specifically how to replace the brake pads. Either way the pads are done but would like to eventually do the bearings, and rebuild the calipers. The Vault bearings should be good for a long time and just buying new calipers is not that expensive but you must heat the bolts to get the complete brake assembly off. That is what I was told by Acme. Thanks for your response.
I found some on the UPF web site and then there were quite a few manuals on the ACME web site. There are also some technical bulletins. If you can't find them, let me know. Each part of the system has a separate manual. For example, the actuator (master cylinder) is shown as part of the hitch and included in the actuator manual. I also corresponded with UPF with some specific questions if something wasn't clear. They were very supportive.

I also posted some photos in another thread a few months ago.
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