2013 Rubicon Disc Brake upgrade - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 09-15-2014, 07:44 PM   #1
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2013 Rubicon Disc Brake upgrade

Just completed a disc brake conversion, Electric over Hydraulic and new tires on our 2013 Rubicon 2900. 2900 Came with Lippert 7K axles with I believe they were 13" Electric brakes. 1st day reading the Dutchmen manual it talked about setting the brake controller by adjusting until the brakes locked up then backing it off until it didn't. Even though our trailer was pretty much empty there was no way the electric brakes were powerful enough to lock the brakes, even by manually operating the brake controller at full output. Go figure...

Our tow vehicle is a 2014 F-350 11K tow package with Ford's built in brake controller.
Purchased Kodiak Disc Brake Kit and Carlisle HydraStar Electric-Hydraulic Actuator HBA16 from etrailer. Installation went in with out any problems. Mounted the Hydralic actuator in the garage area against the wall to keep brake lines short. The only problem I had with the installation was the 7 pin cable our trailer came with that connects to the tow vehicle had a couple of wires with the color code connected to the wrong pins. Took awhile to find that problem

During this upgrade I removed the Akuret HF188 ST235/80R16 LR E (3420lbs/80psi) which were showing wear at the outside edges of the tires after only 7600 miles. Wear looked like they had been run under inflated. I might add that we went through the Smart Weight program with escapees and from day one the tire pressures were maintained according to the Load Inflation table +10%. No high speed driving, tires were maintained and taken care of.
We replaced the Akuret's with Carlisle Radial Trail RH ST235/85R16 LR F (3640lbs/80psi) or can be run up to 3960 at 95psi. Rims that came with the trailer are rated for up to 110psi.

The 85R16 Carlisle's are almost 2 inches taller (1.9 inches) then the 80R16 Akuret's but the 85ís slid under the fenders without any mods. The folks at etrailer were very helpful with this project. I could have done this myself but I had the brake line work done by a professional, took two days for the project considering we had to open the bottom of the trailer up to install brake lines and wiring for the Hydraulic Actuator. Oh, the trailer stops on a dime now..
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Old 09-15-2014, 08:28 PM   #2
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Very nice!
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Old 09-15-2014, 08:53 PM   #3
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Old 10-13-2014, 04:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventhfire View Post
During this upgrade I removed the Akuret HF188 ST235/80R16 LR E (3420lbs/80psi) which were showing wear at the outside edges of the tires after only 7600 miles. Wear looked like they had been run under inflated. I might add that we went through the Smart Weight program with escapees and from day one the tire pressures were maintained according to the Load Inflation table +10%. No high speed driving, tires were maintained and taken care of.
May I ask where you found the load inflation table for the Akuret tires?
Sounds like you really wanted to make things on the running gear right. Nice bit of work.
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Old 10-14-2014, 04:51 PM   #5
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Smile

After extensive searching on the net I was able to locate contact information for Del-Nat Tire Corp. 2365 Texas Drive, Memphis TN 38106 and one of the Marketing & Claims Administrators sent me the Spec Sheet for the Akuret HF188's. I've attached a PDF of the file, hope that's helpful
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Old 03-08-2015, 09:53 PM   #6
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Hey Seventh Fire!
I have a couple ?'s. How many pounds is your Rubi and how satisfied are you with your disc brakes?
We have a dual axle Voltage with at least 14-16k. I did go to a G rated 110psi tire but braking is very weak. We tow with a 3500 Dodge.
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Old 03-10-2015, 06:40 PM   #7
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Our last weigh in was 11/14/2014. Rubicon 2900 was running just under 9.5K at 9,420lbs. 4.6K on the front axle (rated at 7K), 4.82K on the rear axle (also rated at 7K).
I'm very happy with the performance of the whole setup, works great and I haven't had any problems. Took a little work find the sweet spot on the controller gain adjustment. Since I was accustom to the lack of brakes with the electrics it took a while to back the controller setting off enough to make sure I didn't lock the trailer tires up during one of those panic opportunities idiot's give us when they want to see us stop on a dime. No regrets here on this mod.
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Old 03-12-2015, 11:58 PM   #8
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Hey thanks for the info seventhfire!
We have a Prodigy by Tekonsha brake control so I may be spared the expense of a controller. We have 13's like yours. Do you have a ballpark figure of your parts cost? I'm around $1300-1500 in parts...???
DB
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Old 03-13-2015, 01:41 AM   #9
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I think it was in the range of $1700 - $1765 for parts. I was lucky to have a family member that is in the business and did all the hydraulic lines for me and bled the brakes so I tossed in another $500 for his work to keep that relationship in good working order. :-)

Just thought I'd mention what I found with my Ford. The built in brake controller for my Ford called (TowCommand) has a major amount of electronic sensors on the front end input because it ties into the truck's computer and hydraulics (BrakeSmart). It has three major components, the in-dash TBC module, TowCommand master cylinder with a brake pressure transducer, and an activated PCM (power train control module) that provides all kinds of acceleration, speed etc information to the brake system. It makes a difference in getting the trailer brakes tested using the older method of just testing voltage on the brake line when the truck is just sitting there. because if the truck is smart enough to know that it's not moving so there's little to no voltage output to the hydralic actuator. Good thing is that if your stopped and standing on the brakes at a stop light the actuator pump is not all cranked up to full pressure.

When I first started this project a number of folks told me to by pass the internal brake controller and opt for on the external add on's. I researched it and found that would have been a mistake in my cause. Just saying if you have a new truck and it has the built in controller take the time to find out if there's any real good reason for removing it and getting an external.
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Old 03-13-2015, 04:34 PM   #10
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Good info.
Thanks!
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