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Open Roads Forum  >  Fifth-Wheels

 > FW Brake Screech, or what's the problem?

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phillyg

Front Royal, VA

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Posted: 02/22/12 06:29am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One of the brakes on one side of my trailer has developed a problem that I can't identify. After the brakes have been used a bit, I'm getting what I can best describe as a loud screech(sp) in the last 20-40 feet the stop. It's not a squeal, and it's not the metal-to-metal sound you get when the shoe is worn out and rubbing the drum.

I serviced the brakes some 2,000 miles ago and all had plenty of shoe left, and the magnets checked out okay. I also repacked the bearings and adjusted the shoes per mfgr's spec. I've checked all four wheels with an infrared thermometer every time I've stopped between VA and FL, and all have been within 10 degrees (90-100) of each other. I have Al-Ko axles but I think the brakes are Dexter, if that makes any difference. I'm hopeful some of you may be able to identify this problem.


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danojeno

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Posted: 02/22/12 07:24am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No solution to offer, but I have the same issue and have had it since the trailer was new. I took it back to the factory service center but it continued so i need to take it in again. Mine is sometimes accompanied sometimes by a wheel locking up and bucking coming to a complete stop.


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Dave H M

IL

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Posted: 02/22/12 07:38am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

don't ya have to pull the drum and have a look see.

If one in four does it there is something not right in there?

jesterdog

Texas

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Posted: 02/22/12 07:41am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On a car with disc brakes, the squeal is from a vibrating disc pad. What you do is remove them and apply high temp brake grease to the back of the pads (the non friction side that contacts the caliper). This quiets the squeal that can be intermittent. But you have drums it seems. Don't know if this applies to your situation. Not sure if there are grease points that would solve the problem with the shoes.


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Vulcaneer

Central New Hampshire, Naples, FL

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Posted: 02/22/12 07:57am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would be suspicious of a little grease on the braking pad surface of the shoes. The oil in the grease will soften the pad and that makes it grabby and it can squeal or screech, when the wheel slows down to a certain speed.


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SHORT FLAGSTAFF

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Posted: 02/22/12 08:14am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good Morning: This condition can be caused by either what is called a glazed drum or a hard brake shoe or both if it were me I would have the drum turned and replace the shoes on that wheel. Good Luck.

larry barnhart

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Posted: 02/22/12 08:23am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

danojeno wrote:

No solution to offer, but I have the same issue and have had it since the trailer was new. I took it back to the factory service center but it continued so i need to take it in again. Mine is sometimes accompanied sometimes by a wheel locking up and bucking coming to a complete stop.


man had this problem in an rv park we were using in 2001. It would drag when stopping on gravel. tight was our thinking but after going for a repair the rv tech said that brake was too loose. It did not drag arriving into their site coming back so ???
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Paul G.

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Posted: 02/22/12 08:57am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mine does the same thing when the brake pads need adjusting. From what I have read it has something to do with the throw or distance the pad travels, too far from the drum it tends to squeel and grab. I would start with a brake adjustment.

Paul...

stripit

Casa Grande, AZ

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Posted: 02/22/12 09:13am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mine did the same thing so pulled the wheel, then the drum and found the clips that kept the magnet in place gone. Have no idea how it could disappear, but it was not there. Bought a packet of new clips and replaced the missing one and the noise went away. Also checked for adjustment of the brakes while I had the trailer jacked up, took a few minutes and might as well do it while you working there. If the noise was 'normal' they all would be doing it, not just one.


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mapguy

Puget Sound

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Posted: 02/22/12 09:43am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

stripit wrote:

Mine did the same thing so pulled the wheel, then the drum and found the clips that kept the magnet in place gone. Have no idea how it could disappear, but it was not there. Bought a packet of new clips and replaced the missing one and the noise went away. Also checked for adjustment of the brakes while I had the trailer jacked up, took a few minutes and might as well do it while you working there. If the noise was 'normal' they all would be doing it, not just one.


1. Newbies almost always adust trailer brakes to loose. If the tire rotates more than ~3/4 of a turn from a moderate spin -it is too loose. You will hear the brake shoe scrapping the drum -if the shoe is properly adjusted. The scrapping sound is the leading edge of the shoe hitting the drum.

2. If hardware, shoe lining, wiring/magnets and adjustment are all ok but the squeal continues -it is time to taper the leading edge of every shoe in an approximate 3:1 ratio to eliminte the high spot contact pattern on initial brake application. This will allow more of the shoe to actually contact the drum and eliminate the squeal/chatter at initial brake application.

In the "old" days brake shoes were "arced" or ground to fit drum diameter. This is not done today as a normal procedure for several reasons including cost and environmental hazard.

Good luck!

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