Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Tech Issues: question about trailer brakes.
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 > question about trailer brakes.

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MFL

Midwest

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Joined: 11/28/2012

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Posted: 09/05/20 10:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lynnmor wrote:

The number of clicks and the number of revolutions is not the correct way to adjust drum brakes. Why not use the instructions from a brake manufacturer? See page 13.


I was giving an example of what works for me, and approximates of clicks/revolutions, to get where I want my brakes to function. You may not have enough brake adjusting experience to know how much revolution is normal when having a light drag. Every ones light spin of the wheel may differ, as to revolutions. Like most important adjustments, if you are not confident to do it safely yourself, you should have a competent person perform this task for you. [emoticon]

Also...new brake shoes are hard to get to a proper adjustment, until after some break-in time.

Jerry





mr_andyj

Georgia

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Posted: 09/05/20 12:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The big question unanswered is:
Did you adjust the brakes?

Voltage will not help if the brakes are not adjusted.

With dual axles (4 tires) and on gravel you should probably be seeing one tire lock up at max braking unless all 4 brakes are perfectly adjusted.

One axle will be carrying less weight than the other and those tires on that axle will be the first to lock up, while the other axle may never lock up due to weight (strength of the brakes versus the traction of the tires due to so much weight on them).

Use the link to learn how to adjust the brakes then let us know...

Also, contaminated brake pads or drums will not work anywhere near as well as clean ones. The hubs sometimes get greased up via the hub grease fitting and too much grease will spill into the brake drum and greatly decrease braking power.

The size of the brakes are a huge factor, 8, 10, or 12 inch drums - the bigger the better for power.

azdryheat

Tucson, AZ

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Posted: 09/05/20 04:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Locking up the brakes depends also on how the trailer brakes are adjusted. My expensive trailer came with manually adjusting brakes, why, I don't. If I adjust the brakes a little tighter I can lock of the wheels but I keep them a little loose so they don't lock up but they still work.

One thing I changed on my truck was going from ceramic pads to semi-metallic pads. My trailer grosses 19,000 and the ceramic brakes just weren't up to the task when the trailer brakes needed adjusting.


2013 Chevy 3500HD CC dually
2014 Voltage 3600 toy hauler
2016 RZR 900


tewitt1949

Sparta Michigan

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Posted: 09/05/20 06:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The trailer in question has 12 inch drums. 8500lbs empty, double axle. I think they are 3500 lbs axles and are 8 lug hubs. I'm 71 and have been a mechanic all my life so I have worked on many drum brakes. I realize if you get them adjusted with slight drag they will work better and may lock the tires easier. But over the last 71 years there have been a couple of times I adjusted them too tight and after a few miles they got too hot. (on cars). So I probably tend to leave them a looser than some people.

On my trailer it has drop axles and the drop part of the axle is right in front of the little adjusting slot which leaves maybe 2 inches to get that little brake tool in there. All most impossible. So, if I remember correct when I put the new brakes on, I think I adjust the shoes out as far as I could and still get the drum on. There was no worn area where the shoes rode so I'm guessing they are fairly close to being adjusted close enough.

One thing that will affect lock up is the height of the tire. The trailer came with Goodyear 235/85R16 which is a good size tire. The taller the tire the more force it takes to stop it.


Terry Witt

wnjj

Cornelius, Oregon

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Posted: 09/05/20 09:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My bet is on the wiring and/or connectors in the wiring. Been there, done that with my flatbad and cargo trailers. On my flatbed, the brakes were crappy until I discovered they used Scotchloks on them. Once I re-did those the brakes were much better.

My other experience is when adding brakes to my little cargo trailer. It came with 2-conductor heavy gauge thick jacketed wire. When I connect that trailer to the same brake controller as my flatbed, I have to dial the power level way back. My controller lights up LED's for the power being sent. Even with the fixed cargo trailer connectors I only ever saw less than half of the LED's with max power. I assumed that was because it was only one axle of brakes and the controller supports two. When I connected the cargo trailer it went full scale for the first time ever.

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