PDA

View Full Version : drum to disk break conversion


gatorguy
05-06-2011, 10:55 AM
:confused:Should I convert from surge drum to disk breaks?:confused:

The back story is this:
1st I am planning to trailer to Lake Powell this year and many years to come as I just bought a share in a house boat, and the trip is 900 miles one way.

2nd last week I noticed I has lost the bearing buddy off of the rear driver side axle. When I bought a new one the parts guy/mechanic twisted my arm into getting new bearings. I had planned to just clean and repack the old ones since the grease had been contaminated with H2O. Well when I pulled the hub apart the bearings fell apart in my hand. Iím guessing the PO did nothing with it since 1997, I just got it at the end of last year. Anyway I check the other side, and sure enough they are bad too. The tire has about 1/2inch of shake to it when jacked up. Now my rear axle has all new bearings race and seals.

3rd move to the front axle. They have drum breaks which are completely covered in grease since the seals are blown. The hub/tire doesnít shake at all, but I donít know if that is a good indicater of bearing condition since the drum and break may be limiting its motion. I had originally thought I would just clean/inspect/repack these bearings, but for my piece of mind while driving 900 miles through the desert I figured Iíd at the minimum spend $30 and replace them.
4th coming full circle to my breaks. I hate drum breaks. They are hard to work on, hard to inspect, and I donít think they work as good as disk breaks which is why everyone is building new cars and trailers with disks. Obviously a properly functioning drum break works well, so am I just throwing my money away? I can get all the parts to convert to disks for $230 that includes new hub/bearings/seals/caliper/pads. So am I spending $200 for piece of mind, or am I actually getting something of better value?

BrianM
05-06-2011, 11:03 AM
I'd do the conversion. The discs stop better are easier to inspect and will require less maintenance in the future.

Nice color scheme on the boat by the way.

Sodar
05-06-2011, 11:16 AM
Go for the conversion. Prambold, on the forum here, just did it. The conversion was very reasonable in price and only took him a day to do it.

Miss Rita
05-06-2011, 11:28 AM
Do the disks. I overhauled my trailer a few years ago, bought four new drum brake assemblies, didn't think the disks would be worth an extra $200. I've regretted it ever since.

mayo93prostar
05-06-2011, 11:28 AM
I vote to convert. I did it on my 93 prostar single axle trailer a few years ago. disk work better and dry out better than drum. Heads up, I think you will need to replace the actuator in the tongue, or at least the master cylinder because they are different from disk than drum. Plus you will need the reverse lockout solenoid on the actuator, but you may havet his already. ps, that is a long haul...make sure you have good tires and a good spare. Also, make sure your trailer is sitting pretty level for the haul to have equal load on each axle. some people have had serious problems if not balanced, like tire blow outs.

gatorguy
05-06-2011, 12:28 PM
I didn't think about the new actuator stuff. Just got off the phone with the trailer guys and that adds another $60 minimum for the solenoid. The guy suggested a new master cylinder too, and then tried to up sale me for a whole new actuator that has it all together for a couple hundered $$. So now my project went from $230 to $500. I'm a cheap sucker, and want to slide buy with as little as possible. Also I need to save my pennies for gas. This just got a little harder of a decision.

FourFourty
05-06-2011, 12:56 PM
The conversion wouldnt be a bad idea, however i think it will be a waste of money..... I only say that based on the following-

1- You have a tandem axle for a 205, so the additional braking power is not needed. A single axle would be a different story. Or if you had an X-star, or X45 or something like that...

2-The wheels you have, conceal the brakes fairly well, so asthetics is not a big consideration.

3-IIRC, the master cylinder is actually different for disc brakes because of applied surface area for the caliper pistons compared to the wheel cylinders in the drum setup. So, you would probably need to spend that extra $200....

4-Adding Disc brakes just doesnt seem worth the $500.00 to me. My trailer has disk brakes, and if someone wanted to trade for drums+500.00, I would do it in a second......

That being said, Disk brakes are better than drum, so you wouldnt really lose either way :D

BrianM
05-06-2011, 01:23 PM
Trailers by Dorsey used to sell a complete conversion kit for right around $250. Included everything you needed.

bturner2
05-06-2011, 06:59 PM
I converted my 95 drum trailer to discs. Best upgrade I did when it came to towing safety and performance. No more adjusting brakes, no uneven stops and it really reduced my stopping distance. You say you plan to tow long distances but are unsure about putting money into the trailer. I know it's a lot of money but if I were planing on towing that much I'd be darn sure I had the best rig I could afford on the road to do it with.

pram
05-06-2011, 08:17 PM
I recently did the brakes front to rear on my 91-190 trailer. It was shot, front to rear.

I ordered everything from Pacific Trailers in SoCal http://www.pacifictrailers.com/trailer-buddy-parts-complete-kits/

chances are the actuator is shot in the setup you have as well as everything else

strip it all off and put it all back together, one day that's it

the braking is incredible with them

talk to Jason tell him I sent you to him

gatorguy
05-09-2011, 03:11 PM
Just ordered all my parts for the conversion. I got them from California Trailer Works. $407 for a new actuator with reverse solinoid, claipers, pads, hub with disk, bearings, seals, and new 7 way round plug. They threw in the shipping. Best deal I could find, really nice guys, and answered all my questions.

I should have it by this weekend, but I probably wont make the switch until next week, because I'm taking the kids camping at Ft Cobb Reservoir. Should be fun, especially since my wife will be gone for the weekend, and I will have the 4 boys and my 18month daughter by myself.

gatorguy
05-22-2011, 04:31 PM
Well I got the brakes on yesterday. Not bad, took about 3hrs. I also installed the new tongue which took all of 30 seconds. I wasn't able to connect the brake line to the master cylinder. I have a quick disconnect brake line and a removable tongue on the trailer. Well the new part and the old part are different, so Monday I will have to fab a converter to go from my reverse solenoid to the threaded portion of a male quick disconnect.

Thrall
05-22-2011, 10:15 PM
Nice! Best $400 you could spend. Would have cost that much probably anyway by the time you got the drums working.
That's a good deal for all the parts..........

gatorguy
05-22-2011, 11:05 PM
I need to get from this- pict #1 to pict #2

gatorguy
05-22-2011, 11:14 PM
The old connection without a solenoid is in the 1st pict. It had strait machine thread out of the master cylinder to which the male quick disconnect was attached

I was thinking I could do something like in the 2nd pict. Come out of the solenoid with metal brake line, and then mount a bracket and convert it to flexible with the quick disconnect on the end. I want to maintain the disconnect because I have a removable tongue for short garage storage.

bturner2
05-23-2011, 07:49 AM
You may want to consider replacing those hard lines going to your calipers with flexible lines. I was told those needed to be flexible lines due to the amount of vibration the calipers will have in comparison to the drum brakes. Failure to do so could result in a cracked brake line. At least that's what I was told. The kit I bought had the flexible lines included.

BrianM
05-23-2011, 10:52 AM
Good looking GSP by the way.

mayo93prostar
05-23-2011, 11:34 AM
You could forego the quick disconnect and just have a flexible hose section at the tongue that would allow you to remove the tongue and set it next to the trailer without disconnecting the hose, like a swing away tongue. I would be concerned with air getting in the line during connection.

Gofast
05-23-2011, 11:43 AM
I just finished converting to disc brakes on my 95 Maristar 225 trailer. I love the differance, money well spent.

Old drum brakes made little differance when in reverse backing uphill. Knew it was time to fix or replace. Same scenario with my Disc brakes....I can not budge the boat when brakes applied.

Rob

gatorguy
05-23-2011, 11:52 AM
Good looking GSP by the way.

Thanks, she is a heck of a bird dog, and when she's not hunting birds she is chasing shadows and light reflections ALL DAY LONG. It drives you nuts after a while. She sat under the trailer and chased the refections off of the wrenches.

gatorguy
05-23-2011, 11:54 AM
You could forego the quick disconnect and just have a flexible hose section at the tongue that would allow you to remove the tongue and set it next to the trailer without disconnecting the hose, like a swing away tongue. I would be concerned with air getting in the line during connection.

it would have to be about 5 feet long to reach far enough to pull the tonge out. I haven't had a problem with air getting in, the real problem is the little drip of fluid that comes out every time you unhook it.

TxsRiverRat
05-23-2011, 12:01 PM
I think the biggest waste of money is believing Waterski magazine that Lake Powell is a top waterski destination and doing the house boating vacation there.

Bow out of the trip and go rent a private ski lake somewhere.

My .02 cents, sorry but Lake Powell sucks

gatorguy
05-23-2011, 12:05 PM
I've got to hand it to California Trailer Works. I just got off the phone with them explaining my predicament. They guy knew exactly what I needed, and gave me the part# to see if I could find the part locally. I told him I was trying to get it all back together by Friday for the trip with my youth group, and he volunteered to send me the parts free with priority shipping.

Kyle
05-23-2011, 12:17 PM
I've got to hand it to California Trailer Works. I just got off the phone with them explaining my predicament. They guy knew exactly what I needed, and gave me the part# to see if I could find the part locally. I told him I was trying to get it all back together by Friday for the trip with my youth group, and he volunteered to send me the parts free with priority shipping.

Wow you just don't see service like that anymore. They sound like good people.

gatorguy
05-23-2011, 12:40 PM
Well I did just spend $407 with them. I'm betting the $1 part and $5 shipping aint gonna kill the profit margin. Although they did give me free shipping on the main order too which was about $45 worth.

BrianM
05-23-2011, 01:40 PM
Thanks, she is a heck of a bird dog, and when she's not hunting birds she is chasing shadows and light reflections ALL DAY LONG. It drives you nuts after a while. She sat under the trailer and chased the refections off of the wrenches.

Great dogs. I've had two of them but am down to just one now. I didn't hunt with either of them but they are great family dogs and running/hiking partners.

gatorguy
05-23-2011, 02:17 PM
I think the biggest waste of money is believing Waterski magazine that Lake Powell is a top waterski destination and doing the house boating vacation there.

Bow out of the trip and go rent a private ski lake somewhere.

My .02 cents, sorry but Lake Powell sucks

I've been there a dozen times and love it. I just bought a 2wk share on a houseboat, so we'll be going there every summer for who knows how long.

I get your point on the private ski lake though. My goal is to own one within a few years, and that will take care of my daily ski needs. But a house boat trip is just something else.

TxsRiverRat
05-23-2011, 02:28 PM
I guess for me, I go on vacation to relax, and there is nothing about working a houseboat 185 miles up the river I find relaxing. Digging four 3 ft deep holes IN THE SAND wide enough to bury anchors to keep the boat anchored in the hot desert sun, getting caught in flash wind/rain storms while in the main channel to be blown backwards into rocks, or skiing on waters that have rollers reverberating back into your path because they’re bouncing off red rock walls that are all boring to look at after 24 hours is any fun to me.

Give me a comp boat with a Perfect Pass, a private lake with a 10:1 graded shoreline, a competent driver/coach and a grill and cooler and I’d be more than happy. If I can get a frozen with salt, that’d be the icing on the cake. :D

Kyle
05-23-2011, 02:37 PM
Well I did just spend $407 with them. I'm betting the $1 part and $5 shipping aint gonna kill the profit margin. Although they did give me free shipping on the main order too which was about $45 worth.

Most places these days would say that will be $6 have it to you in 3 days.

I'm not referring to the cost. I'm referring to the service. Maybe I'm just plain stupid but if the service is outstanding and the cost is a little higher I will buy from that business. If it's a cheap price and service is horrible like most businesses then I'm out. Its worth the extra money knowing things are good.

Sounds like you got a great price with great service.

gatorguy
05-23-2011, 03:18 PM
Give me a comp boat with a Perfect Pass, a private lake with a 10:1 graded shoreline, a competent driver/coach and a grill and cooler and Iíd be more than happy. If I can get a frozen with salt, thatíd be the icing on the cake. :D

So, "President, Metroplex Ski Club, Ft. Worth Tx" I'll be down this weekend. Which is better for you, Saturday night, or Monday morning?

TxsRiverRat
05-23-2011, 03:38 PM
So, "President, Metroplex Ski Club, Ft. Worth Tx" I'll be down this weekend. Which is better for you, Saturday night, or Monday morning?

Seriously? Can you make it down on Saturday morning? Be glad to pull you if you have a current AA USAWS membership.

gatorguy
05-23-2011, 04:11 PM
I'm just a short 3hr drive away in OK. But alas I have no AA USAWS. They don't require it on my lake or at Lake Powell for that matter. J/k I couldn't help myself.

TxsRiverRat
05-23-2011, 04:33 PM
LOL - If i wasn't part of MSC, I would join USAWS anyway just so I could receive "The Waterskier" magazine, and not that other magazine that is the same article over and over.

If you're in the area, definitely look me up for a pull on our course.

Oh and have fun skiing on the ocean ;)

MC




I'm just a short 3hr drive away in OK. But alas I have no AA USAWS. They don't require it on my lake or at Lake Powell for that matter. J/k I couldn't help myself.