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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > How difficult to install new brake drums

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Taffy.C

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Posted: 01/10/21 03:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:

Good chance that all that is needed is an ADJUSTMENT of the brakes folks, not the replacement of the axles brakes and drums..


Definitely isn't the adjustment because I've checked that and its good on all 4 wheels. I'm rechecking the tow vehicle and controller first and will then check for voltage and buzz on the wheels with voltage applied. Worst case I figure I'm looking at replacing the brake assemblies and the posts in this thread have had a few good links. I also found a good vid on etrailer showing the replacement procedure.


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Posted: 01/10/21 03:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Get your clamp-on DC ammeter out and check for 3 amps per wheel when brake controller is manually applied in full.

Surfaces in the drum could have some surface rust that reduces the grip of the magnet and likewise the grip of the shoes. It would be worth removing one drum to inspect.


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ssthrd

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Posted: 01/10/21 04:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

prichardson wrote:

It is unlikely you would need new drums unless they have gotten scored by bad brake shoes. The shoes however, would need to be changed if they are worn. The easy way is to replace the backing plate and shoes as an assembly; especially if you want to upgrade to self adjusting.


X2

To answer your question, if you are good wit a wrench, and have done this before, it is not a big deal in most cases. Just remember that you are dealing with 17 years of rust.

IMHO, the easiest way for sure is to remove the backing plate and put a new on assembly; adjust the brakes and slice the wires back on. Done.

If the tires are wearing nice and even, the axles are probably good to go.

IMO of course............ [emoticon]

* This post was edited 01/10/21 04:26pm by ssthrd *


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Posted: 01/10/21 04:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Double post. Sorry

Oasisbob

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Posted: 01/10/21 08:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My trailer is aproaching 20 years. What you suggest is an easy job. I learned alot from Youtube. You may not need drums. If you went that long with no work I suggest your magnets are shot and drums may not have been working. Won't know til all drums are off. I replaced all four brake backing plates and two drums at a cost of $400 parts alone. Backing plate includes new magnets, shoes.


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Edd505

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Posted: 01/10/21 08:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wing_zealot wrote:

Edd505 wrote:

Thinking if you need to ask you should likely need help. Brakes are not something to mess with, everyone's life depends on you being able to stop.
Everyone, even the most experienced, has a first time. And with the internet, utube, and the rest it makes easier then ever to learn how.

Well **** I never done one before and should have asked.
[image]


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Posted: 01/11/21 02:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

opnspaces wrote:

Almost any brake shop or even a Napa with a machine shop can measure the drums to see if they are worn out.

But just think about this. Most every car with 200,000 miles on it is still running the original rear brake drums.



That is if the shop can even find the specs to measure them. Then what?

The typical drums for trailers do not have enough meat to do any resurfacing, they can not be compared to a car drum, they're basically a consumable. Napa and most brake shops will not be set up to resurface the face where the magnets ride regardless. Even the shoes have little lining, Dexter's have 5/32" lining when new. They're designed to be supplemental, not primary.

The entire package can be had on Ebay, Eastern Marine etc for @ less than $200.00 for a tandem.

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Posted: 01/11/21 06:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Edd505 wrote:

wing_zealot wrote:

Edd505 wrote:

Thinking if you need to ask you should likely need help. Brakes are not something to mess with, everyone's life depends on you being able to stop.
Everyone, even the most experienced, has a first time. And with the internet, utube, and the rest it makes easier then ever to learn how.

Well **** I never done one before and should have asked.
[image]


The Monday morning quarterbacks would have told you not to even attempt converting to disc brakes on 7000lb axles.


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Gdetrailer

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Posted: 01/11/21 08:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Taffy.C wrote:

Gdetrailer wrote:

Good chance that all that is needed is an ADJUSTMENT of the brakes folks, not the replacement of the axles brakes and drums..


Definitely isn't the adjustment because I've checked that and its good on all 4 wheels. I'm rechecking the tow vehicle and controller first and will then check for voltage and buzz on the wheels with voltage applied. Worst case I figure I'm looking at replacing the brake assemblies and the posts in this thread have had a few good links. I also found a good vid on etrailer showing the replacement procedure.


CHECK THE WIRING!!!

Check EVERY WIRE NUT CONNECTION at each backing plate.

But do not "assume" that the backing plates and drums are at fault until you check the wiring!

Bet you will find corroded connections.

If you pull the breakaway pin, does ALL wheels LOCK UP?

If they do then it ISN'T the backing plate or drum or trailer wiring pointing back to a brake controller issue on your vehicle.

Your brake shoes WILL work fine up to and including the point there is no lining on them.. Did you check how much lining you have? You can use the thickness of a nickle to determine if you have enough lining. If lining is thicker than the nickle then you legally have enough lining.

Are you SURE that you have set/adjusted the brakes CORRECTLY?

If you are attempting to set them using the little "inspection" hole on the back of the backing plate, you just might be LOOSENING THEM.

Absolute best way to adjust them is to remove the drum, adjust them then slide drum on. Drum should go on with SOME light resistance.

With wheel jacked up a properly set drum brake SHOULD have a light "drag", you should be able to hear and feel that light drag. If you spin the wheel and it keeps on spinning for many rotations then you have to brakes set way too loose..

Pull a drum off, if it falls off in your hand, you are not setting them correctly. It SHOULD have SOME resistance, otherwise the shoes will never get enough contact pressure when braking.

Drums will have several markings for the diameter and the MAX diameter, you can also measure that but in reality, the max diameter rarely becomes a problem until you have a shop turn the surface down. Finding shops that turn rotors now days is very rare, very few places offer that service. Takes a brake drum lathe, very few auto parts stores have brake drum lathes or the people who know HOW to properly use one. So Drums are considered a consumable but once again, it can be measured and verified before throwing money at the problem.

Magnets should draw about 3A at 12V each, pull the breakaway pin and measure the current, should be about 11A-12A, less than 11A and you have a wiring or magnet problem.

Others on this forum WILL disagree and tell you to replace axles or change to insanely costly pad and rotors..

The system OBVIOUSLY worked well for you at one point in time, something has changed.

Drum brakes have been around since the invention of the automobile, trailer brakes are same principle and for the most part the same parts up until you get to the magnet.. And are pretty easy to troubleshoot and should not require entire replacement of the axles or changing to rotor..

Boomerweps

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Posted: 01/11/21 09:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

IIRC, replacing the whole backing plate assembly isn’t a huge amount over new brake shoes. It’s actually easier than changing out the shoes. And you get new magnets. Apparently, the magnets wear down too.


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