Trucks & Trailers - Cheap disc brake replacments?

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View Full Version : Cheap disc brake replacments?

02-11-2012, 01:36 PM
Pulled my trailer out of storage for the first time in 9 months for a prospective buyer, and found out the coupling/master cylinder was shot, which was a surprise to me. Shop is going to replace the cyl and bleed the lines they were not too optimistic about the rest of the system.

If the units at the wheels are not working properly - can I simply replace calipers? Whole assemblies? What's my best bet here?

The shop I took it to "does things right" and sells higher end components, and their initial suggestion was taking everything off and replacing with a better brand - I am not keen to "upgrade" the trailer with $1100 of brand new brakes just to watch it roll away.

It's a Continental aluminum with 2x 3500 lb torsion axles, I presume they are 10" (?) disc brakes on there now but not sure of brand? Are these tie-downs?

Edit: Should point out that buyer knows brakes aren't working currently, he has seen the trailer which is in excellent condition overall, and I told him I was taking it to be repaired.

02-11-2012, 02:28 PM
Maybe make it right with your eventual buyer by disclosing the brakes' condition and adjust the selling price accordingly so they can decide (and have confidence) with the repairs, saving yourself the up front cost?

02-11-2012, 02:31 PM
I would, however we've hit the bottom of my price range and the top of his price range.

I am 100% happy to put the trailer into servicable condition as expected, or happy to credit him that money instead towards his purchase of a higher end brake.

I just want to know the most affordable option to get things working properly again if it's not just the cylinder. Since everything is there it seemed to me like worst case would be just buying 4 new calipers, but I couldn't easily find a source for just calipers? A new cylinder is in the works already. Hopeful that the shop will report all is ok, but if not I want to have a backup plan.

02-12-2012, 10:03 AM
All of the parts of a brake system are servicable. What is wrong with the master cylinder? The plunger/actuator is about a $90 part and about 10 minutes to install. If your calipers are frozen (not uncommon if they are tie down) they run $90 to $110 per wheel, chances are all are not frozen, if any are.

Pull the wheel, remove the two caliper slide pins, remove the brake line, install new caliper, pins and line then bleed brake system.

If you are handy enough to change a battery in a car you can easily do this job.

02-12-2012, 03:33 PM
Thanks signman, at a hundred bucks a caliper, I have no issues replacing any that are less than perfect. I was in a time crunch and I know the shop I dragged it to may do things a little too right for my purposes.

02-13-2012, 07:44 AM
If you can't find the parts locally or have any questions give us a call.


02-20-2012, 02:14 PM
Thanks for the reality check, guys. Took the trailer apart and yes, it is four $85 calipers and one $75 cylinder that make up basically all the moving parts I need to completely overhaul the system. Looks like about a 2 hour job plus bleeding. My favorite trailer shop is off my list now, after they quoted me $1500 to "do it right." I will admit they were 100% correct in that the tie down calipers were basically hunks of corrosion after 4 years of VERY infrequent use.

Eastern, you guys had the best deal going online w/shipping etc - if my local shop does not come through tomorrow as they promised, I will be giving you a call.

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