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Old 09-22-2020, 09:10 AM   #1
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Disc Brake Upgrade

I have a 2019 355MBQS with less than 2,000 miles on it. I have never been happy with how it stops, it has always taken further than I thought it should and last month on my way to a campground I had to make a hard stop and the fuse blew on my trucks brake controller.

I ordered disc brakes from Performance Trailer Braking and the installer is at my house installing them right now.

The first drum he pulled off looked OK, the second drum when he pulled it off all the parts fell out and the wire was cut. One of the shoes was down to bare metal because it had apparently been dragging continuously. On the other side both brakes had grease all over the shoes, so basically I had one out of four brakes working.

I think what has saved me so far is I have a dually with big brakes.

Now I will have four discs all working, I am looking forward to a much better stopping experience. All the threads I have read on this say it is a much better stopping experience and everyone says they would never go back once they make the switch, that it is much safer.
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Old 09-22-2020, 09:34 AM   #2
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Wow! That's a big rig to stop. Glad you're all right. Warranty might have covered the brake issue but going Disc is now peace of mind and much better braking compared to 4 working drum brakes.
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Old 09-22-2020, 09:34 AM   #3
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Congrats for making the switch. Be thankful you have an appropriate TV for your size trailer because something terrible could have occurred with a lesser truck. You will never own another trailer without disc brakes after you feel how much better they work and how much safer you are when making emergency stops.
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Old 09-22-2020, 09:40 AM   #4
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The other interesting thing is the installer is upgrading my shackles to heavier duty ones. He just showed me the original ones and the mounting holes were already ovals after only 2,000 miles, he said as they wear out your rig sways more and then eventually the ends rip off them so that is another future problem avoided.
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Old 09-22-2020, 01:36 PM   #5
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The other interesting thing is the installer is upgrading my shackles to heavier duty ones. He just showed me the original ones and the mounting holes were already ovals after only 2,000 miles, he said as they wear out your rig sways more and then eventually the ends rip off them so that is another future problem avoided.

Thanks for this tip. I've just sent all the necessary info on our rig off to Performance Trailer Braking for a quote. They say that most of their installers are booked through October but I gave them our schedule through the end of the year. Our truck's exhaust brake and big footprint served us well on recent mountain passes, but it's the other knuckleheads on the road that scare me in the event a hard stop is needed.


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Old 09-22-2020, 02:33 PM   #6
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Thanks for this tip. I've just sent all the necessary info on our rig off to Performance Trailer Braking for a quote. They say that most of their installers are booked through October but I gave them our schedule through the end of the year. Our truck's exhaust brake and big footprint served us well on recent mountain passes, but it's the other knuckleheads on the road that scare me in the event a hard stop is needed.
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Angus, please let us know what the quote is. I have an appointment with Steve's RV in Lacombe, LA in October and I'm having my wheel bearings replaced and the brakes checked. I have just shy of 10,000 miles on my rig and suspect the brakes are getting down there even though they work really well.
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Old 09-22-2020, 02:56 PM   #7
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Angus, please let us know what the quote is. I have an appointment with Steve's RV in Lacombe, LA in October and I'm having my wheel bearings replaced and the brakes checked. I have just shy of 10,000 miles on my rig and suspect the brakes are getting down there even though they work really well.
My brakes were $2,249 for a 355MBQS and $1,000 for the install.

The Alingerís did my install and they were great to work with, I highly recommend them.

The shackles and wet bolts were extra and is something they carry with them.

It took a long time for OTB to deliver my brakes after I ordered them, they are having trouble getting parts so it isnít just installer availability. In fact John told me he has several installs he canít do right now because the brakes are late arriving.
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Old 09-22-2020, 03:18 PM   #8
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Angus, please let us know what the quote is. I have an appointment with Steve's RV in Lacombe, LA in October and I'm having my wheel bearings replaced and the brakes checked. I have just shy of 10,000 miles on my rig and suspect the brakes are getting down there even though they work really well.
The quote came back when I sent them a picture of my axle placards, which they used to contact dexter and get the info they needed. They also needed to know what kind of brake controller (Ford OEM).

The kit for all the parts was $2185 plus $65 for an axle upgrade for a total of $2249. Installation is $1,000, payable to the local installer.

The axle upgrade is simply swapping our 1/2" wheel studs to 9/16" which apparently instantly makes the 8000 lb axles instead of 7000 lb. (they are apparently otherwise identical). No need to change wheel hubs, since most are bored for 5/8" anyway.

For most upgrade proposals submitted to my House Ways and Means Committee, I get instant approval if it involves the safety of house and family, but this one caused her to suck some air. Joan drove the 9,800' pass from Raton to Taos NM, with 5% grades and hairpin switchbacks with no shoulders, and she did so spectacularly. So right now it is a tough sell but will be eligible for review by the end of the year. Maybe if the kids give up some some of their kibble budget....

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Old 09-22-2020, 04:01 PM   #9
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The quote came back when I sent them a picture of my axle placards, which they used to contact dexter and get the info they needed. They also needed to know what kind of brake controller (Ford OEM).

The kit for all the parts was $2185 plus $65 for an axle upgrade for a total of $2249. Installation is $1,000, payable to the local installer.

The axle upgrade is simply swapping our 1/2" wheel studs to 9/16" which apparently instantly makes the 8000 lb axles instead of 7000 lb. (they are apparently otherwise identical). No need to change wheel hubs, since most are bored for 5/8" anyway.

For most upgrade proposals submitted to my House Ways and Means Committee, I get instant approval if it involves the safety of house and family, but this one caused her to suck some air. Joan drove the 9,800' pass from Raton to Taos NM, with 5% grades and hairpin switchbacks with no shoulders, and she did so spectacularly. So right now it is a tough sell but will be eligible for review by the end of the year. Maybe if the kids give up some some of their kibble budget....

Angus
The outer bearings also get swapped for 8,000 pound ones.
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Old 09-23-2020, 06:57 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Scottenj View Post
I have a 2019 355MBQS with less than 2,000 miles on it. I have never been happy with how it stops, it has always taken further than I thought it should and last month on my way to a campground I had to make a hard stop and the fuse blew on my trucks brake controller.

I ordered disc brakes from Performance Trailer Braking and the installer is at my house installing them right now.

The first drum he pulled off looked OK, the second drum when he pulled it off all the parts fell out and the wire was cut. One of the shoes was down to bare metal because it had apparently been dragging continuously. On the other side both brakes had grease all over the shoes, so basically I had one out of four brakes working.

I think what has saved me so far is I have a dually with big brakes.

Now I will have four discs all working, I am looking forward to a much better stopping experience. All the threads I have read on this say it is a much better stopping experience and everyone says they would never go back once they make the switch, that it is much safer.
You won't regret the upgrade! When I did mine I also had 2 covered with grease and 1 where the lining had come apart and all the hardware fell out. I also did the 8,000lb hub upgrade and the stopping power is really good now
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Old 01-08-2021, 09:32 PM   #11
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I have Performance Trailer Braking coming to my house on February 5 to do the disc conversion. Basically the same price as every one else has said. The shackle and wet bolt suggested change is not clear to me. What is the advantage with changing out the stock ones?
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Old 01-08-2021, 09:45 PM   #12
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I have Performance Trailer Braking coming to my house on February 5 to do the disc conversion. Basically the same price as every one else has said. The shackle and wet bolt suggested change is not clear to me. What is the advantage with changing out the stock ones?
Iím thinking 2020 have them already...? Maybe not
But here is the advantage
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Old 01-08-2021, 09:54 PM   #13
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Iím thinking 2020 have them already...? Maybe not
But here is the advantage
Thanks. I do have the wet bolts already so probably no change needed. I have lubed them once already.
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Old 01-08-2021, 10:05 PM   #14
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I have Performance Trailer Braking coming to my house on February 5 to do the disc conversion. Basically the same price as every one else has said. The shackle and wet bolt suggested change is not clear to me. What is the advantage with changing out the stock ones?
I had Performance Trailer Breaking do my unit, John Alinger is great to work with and did a really good job.

My camper had 2,000 miles on it when he did my brakes, he pulled out the shackles and showed them to me and the holes in the shackles were already going oval (after 2,000 miles!!!). Definitely at least look at them, think about what happens if one breaks and drops your camper onto the tires while you are moving, that won't be good.

It was also really interesting to watch him pull the old brakes off, one was good, two had grease all over the shoes and on one when he pulled off the drum all the parts fell out. I basically had one out of four brakes working at all.

Tell John, Scott Jones says hi and loves the way his camper stops now.
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Old 01-08-2021, 10:53 PM   #15
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I had Performance Trailer Breaking do my unit, John Alinger is great to work with and did a really good job.

My camper had 2,000 miles on it when he did my brakes, he pulled out the shackles and showed them to me and the holes in the shackles were already going oval (after 2,000 miles!!!). Definitely at least look at them, think about what happens if one breaks and drops your camper onto the tires while you are moving, that won't be good.

It was also really interesting to watch him pull the old brakes off, one was good, two had grease all over the shoes and on one when he pulled off the drum all the parts fell out. I basically had one out of four brakes working at all.

Tell John, Scott Jones says hi and loves the way his camper stops now.
Since we live in Oklahoma our installer is coming out of Norman, where PTB is headquartered. My email says it will be Preston and Alyssa. I've read that all their installers are well trained. I could save some money and do it myself but my lack of experience and older (not old) age tells me it is better left to the professionals.
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Old 01-09-2021, 12:00 AM   #16
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Since we live in Oklahoma our installer is coming out of Norman, where PTB is headquartered. My email says it will be Preston and Alyssa. I've read that all their installers are well trained. I could save some money and do it myself but my lack of experience and older (not old) age tells me it is better left to the professionals.
John is actually out of Oklahoma as well, thats why I thought it would be him.
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Old 01-11-2021, 08:22 PM   #17
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Since we live in Oklahoma our installer is coming out of Norman, where PTB is headquartered. My email says it will be Preston and Alyssa. I've read that all their installers are well trained. I could save some money and do it myself but my lack of experience and older (not old) age tells me it is better left to the professionals.
Preston and Alyssa did mine last year...good people.
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