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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > One brake over adjusted

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enahs

Washington

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Posted: 06/22/22 09:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On a new rig with less than 1500 miles, one self adjusting brake started to smoke. All others were fine. Factory says brakes were all adjusted during manufacture. Dexter says brakes can become under adjusted but not over adjusted on their own unless something is wrong with the brake. Had full, very competent service done. Concludes that brake and others are fine except the offending one was significantly over adjusted. OK, but why suddenly over adjusted. Can the self adjuster malfunction and do this? Not out since. We'll see!


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Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 06/22/22 09:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It IS possible IF the brake drum is "out of round" which is also possible..

Check the offending brake drum turns evenly by hand all the way around.. If any time the brake drum gets hard to turn (catch/stop) you might have a brake drum that is not perfectly round on the inside..

The out of round condition can allow the adjuster take up extra slack where the drum is further from the brake shoes.. As the drum turns to where the drum surface is closer to the brake shoes it gets too tight.. Heating up the brake shoes and drum surface..

A small amount of out of round can exist, but if it too extreme it can cause issues.

midnightsadie

ohio

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Posted: 06/22/22 01:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

put disc brakes on . he is right on the money ,out of round. p.s don,t beleave everything the shop tells you.

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 06/22/22 01:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

midnightsadie wrote:

put disc brakes on . he is right on the money ,out of round. p.s don,t beleave everything the shop tells you.


Changing to disc brakes is a pretty extreme drastic uneeded and expensive change which also has some very expensive pitfalls. Disc brakes adds additional maintenance with needing to check brake fluid level and periodic replacement of said fluid. Unless you run DOT5 (silicone) brake fluid (which has it's own problems), it will go bad over time from drawing moisture from the air while the trailer sits still.. Adds in a very expensive EOH pump to the trailer which is a failure point and some brake controllers will rebel with EOH pumps.

Failure to understand drum brakes setup and operation is why folks gravitate to the more expensive disc option.

Drum brakes can be as effective as disc brakes as long as you understand how to setup, adjust and maintain them..

Heck, my 10K GVWR flatbed trailer or my 7K GVWR TT can easily stop my truck if I setup the controller to do so even when fully loaded..

enahs

Washington

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Posted: 06/22/22 01:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Turns out, Dexter tells me this morning these are not self adjusting brakes. Once adjusted properly, they can become under adjusted on their own (of course, due to wear), but they can't become over adjusted on their own. Escape mfg. says they were adjusted and owner is to readjust at 300 miles (which would be before it even reached home from the original purchase). Obviously, they were not originally properly adjusted. Beware of the Escape warranty and customer service. It's an expensive RV unit with no support from the manufacturer. They accept responsibility for just about nothing! BTW, I have been involved in RVing for decades and am very familiar with electric brakes and drums. IMHO, there is seldom a need for disk brakes in place of drums. Next trip, coming up soon, will tell the story.

Gdetrailer

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Posted: 06/22/22 02:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What typically happens is a "mechanic" will pull the little rubber plug on the backside of the backing plate and proceed to "adjust" the brakes with a screw driver.. Extremely easy to either back off the adjustment or way over tighten the adjustment from that little tiny opening..

The mechanic has zero idea as to which way they turned it, how much it turned and how tight they made the adjustment and no way to know if it was done correctly without at least lifting the tire off the ground and giving it a spin..

I never use that window, I always pull the drum. This way I can inspect the condition of the shoes and mechanical parts and if needed adjust the shoes.

Depending on the miles you tow, may only need to inspect and adjust once a yr or once every several yrs. Doesn't take all that much time once you work out a plan of attack. For me, 10 minutes per wheel, that's about 40 minutes of my life devoted to my safety once a yr..

Roger10378

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Posted: 06/23/22 06:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Something is not right here. If the brakes were not adjusted right either at the factory are later they would not wait 1500 miles to overheat. Are you sure that you don't have a bearing problem?


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Cummins12V98

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Posted: 06/23/22 07:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer said: "Changing to disc brakes is a pretty extreme drastic uneeded and expensive change which also has some very expensive pitfalls. Disc brakes adds additional maintenance with needing to check brake fluid level and periodic replacement of said fluid. Unless you run DOT5 (silicone) brake fluid (which has it's own problems), it will go bad over time from drawing moisture from the air while the trailer sits still.. Adds in a very expensive EOH pump to the trailer which is a failure point and some brake controllers will rebel with EOH pumps."

A lot of negativity for no reason. Expensive pitfalls? Not hardly.

Everyone that has gone to Disks has said I wish I had done it sooner.


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StirCrazy

Kamloops, BC, Canada

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Posted: 06/23/22 08:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:

It IS possible IF the brake drum is "out of round" which is also possible..

Check the offending brake drum turns evenly by hand all the way around.. If any time the brake drum gets hard to turn (catch/stop) you might have a brake drum that is not perfectly round on the inside..

The out of round condition can allow the adjuster take up extra slack where the drum is further from the brake shoes.. As the drum turns to where the drum surface is closer to the brake shoes it gets too tight.. Heating up the brake shoes and drum surface..

A small amount of out of round can exist, but if it too extreme it can cause issues.


that would be pretty rare to find unless you overheated your brakes pretty hard. the last step they do when making the drums is to throw them on a laith and turn the braking surface so it should be true.


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StirCrazy

Kamloops, BC, Canada

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Posted: 06/23/22 08:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cummins12V98 wrote:

Gdetrailer said: "Changing to disc brakes is a pretty extreme drastic uneeded and expensive change which also has some very expensive pitfalls. Disc brakes adds additional maintenance with needing to check brake fluid level and periodic replacement of said fluid. Unless you run DOT5 (silicone) brake fluid (which has it's own problems), it will go bad over time from drawing moisture from the air while the trailer sits still.. Adds in a very expensive EOH pump to the trailer which is a failure point and some brake controllers will rebel with EOH pumps."

A lot of negativity for no reason. Expensive pitfalls? Not hardly.

Everyone that has gone to Disks has said I wish I had done it sooner.


I would love disk braks, just not the 6000 buck bill that comes with them. would be nice if it was a option for them from the factry where you pay the difference so 2000 fo the disk brake option. or somthing like that.

Steve

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