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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > One brake over adjusted

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enahs

Washington

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Posted: 06/23/22 08:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Roger10378 wrote:

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?


I agree entirely. That's what bothers me. No sign of bearing failure. Bearings all checked and repacked. Brakes are apparently ok. Not clear why the problem occurred, which is bothersome. Dexter says once adjusted there is no way for the brake to become over adjusted on its own. We shall see.


'07 Chevy 3500 Dooley, CC, LT3, D/A

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 06/23/22 08:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Only on RV net, an out of adjustment brake on a new trailer results in someone saying upgrade to disk brakes! ROFLMAO


2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
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enahs

Washington

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Posted: 06/23/22 09:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dexter engineering says that since the brake can't over adjust itself, there must be a "malfunction" with the brake itself. But they are not suggesting what it might be and what we should look for!

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 06/23/22 11:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

enahs wrote:

Roger10378 wrote:

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?


I agree entirely. That's what bothers me. No sign of bearing failure. Bearings all checked and repacked. Brakes are apparently ok. Not clear why the problem occurred, which is bothersome. Dexter says once adjusted there is no way for the brake to become over adjusted on its own. We shall see.


Consider this, it is possible that the three OTHER brakes were UNDERADJUSTED from the factory, in other words the other three brakes were factory set too loose and were not providing much or no braking support leaving the only one set tighter to provide all of your braking.. That most certainly can cause the tighter brake to overheat and smoke..

Although in all of this, you should have noticed something wrong almost immediately.. I have had a wire break off at one of the backing plates several times over the yrs.. Each time I noticed the trailer giving a tug or pull in the opposite direction of the broken wire (IE wire broke on drivers side but pulled to the passenger side)..

Best to just make sure everything is adjusted correctly, wiring is good and move on.. Life is too short to fret about a few "what ifs"..

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 06/23/22 11:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

enahs wrote:

Dexter engineering says that since the brake can't over adjust itself, there must be a "malfunction" with the brake itself. But they are not suggesting what it might be and what we should look for!


So you had it “fixed” and presumably towed it home? Did you check the brake temps?
Or maybe I’m lost here….
FWIW, it is worth the cost of your “use” of the trailer to be able to do simple repairs, or in this case, adjustments, to keep you on the road doin your thing vs cutting a trip short or getting stranded or whatever.
I’m certain there is a YooToob tutorial on adjusting drum brakes. Requires only a screwdriver and a means to jack up a wheel. And a basic understanding of which way to adjust the star wheel manually.
Food for thought.

* This post was edited 06/23/22 01:38pm by Grit dog *

enahs

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Posted: 06/23/22 12:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This RV belongs to my kids. An on the road check was sone to be sure it was not locked up, and the controller was backed way down. The shop repair and inspection were done only a couple miles from home. Just to be clear, I am more than familiar with electric brakes in all respects — repair, replace and adjust. The shop verdict is that the offending brake was seriously over adjusted. Yet, there had been no problem for 1500 miles, and the factory insists it was adjusted when new.. It appeared suddenly. Now everything is properly adjusted and it has been inspected. So the question is this: what would cause a non-self adjusting brake to suddenly become over adjusted? Dexter says it can't unless there is a brake "malfunction'". But they can't even suggest what that might be. Bad magnet? Intermittent short? These wheels and tires are on an in-cab monitor, so the temps will show if the problem returns. Its originally showed a slightly higher temp (5 or 6 degrees) but nothing dramatic. A passing motorist warned that the brake was smoking.

Gdetrailer

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Posted: 06/23/22 01:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

enahs wrote:

This RV belongs to my kids. An on the road check was sone to be sure it was not locked up, and the controller was backed way down. The shop repair and inspection were done only a couple miles from home. Just to be clear, I am more than familiar with electric brakes in all respects — repair, replace and adjust. The shop verdict is that the offending brake was seriously over adjusted. Yet, there had been no problem for 1500 miles, and the factory insists it was adjusted when new.. It appeared suddenly. Now everything is properly adjusted and it has been inspected. So the question is this: what would cause a non-self adjusting brake to suddenly become over adjusted? Dexter says it can't unless there is a brake "malfunction'". But they can't even suggest what that might be. Bad magnet? Intermittent short? These wheels and tires are on an in-cab monitor, so the temps will show if the problem returns. Its originally showed a slightly higher temp (5 or 6 degrees) but nothing dramatic. A passing motorist warned that the brake was smoking.


The answer is it CAN'T "overtighten", period.

There is absolutely nothing inside the brake drum that can turn the star wheel as long as it is not a "self adjusting" unit.

Self adjusting units have additional parts and one of those is a lever on a wire and has a spring to hold the wire to the star wheel. That lever is what makes the adjustment (IE turns the star wheel).

Without that lever, the star wheel is all by it's self and it is a screw and no, that screw cannot turn either way on its own as it is under heavy spring pressure from the brake shoes..

Here is a comparison pix..

Left is non self adjusting and right is self adjusting

[image]

I call BS on the shop you had it at and I suspect what really happened was the other three brakes were not adjusted correctly leading to that one brake doing the work of all four which will cause it to overheat and smoke.

The problem is, you obviously was not present when the shop pulled things apart and it is basically "hear say" as to what really happened.

You have it fixed, time to move on and not fret about this any longer.

enahs

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Posted: 06/23/22 02:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not fretting but very curious. The shop is good. Does a lot of this work. I trust that brake was over adjusted. Question is how or why. It will be tested though.

Gdetrailer

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Posted: 06/23/22 03:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

enahs wrote:

Not fretting but very curious. The shop is good. Does a lot of this work. I trust that brake was over adjusted. Question is how or why. It will be tested though.


How or why doesn't matter anymore if it was the problem in the first place. That brake nor any of the others can self tighten themselves unless it is equipped with the correct self adjusting parts (which yours is not supposed to have).

As to address the how and why, it comes down to these possible reasons..

#1 Dexter BOFFED the setting on one side of the axle setting it to tight on the assembly line.

#2 Dexter BOFFED the setting on one side of the axle setting it too loose, but that would require the next random axle that was added to the unit to have both brakes to be set too loose.

#3 Someone on the frame assembly line played mechanic and adjusted the brake adjustments with a screw driver setting one too tight.

#4 All brakes set correctly at Dexters assembly line, made it through the frame assembly line untouched and someone at dealer decided to mess around with the brakes.

#5 All brakes set correctly from Dexter, made it through frame assembly with no adjustments made and someone (your kid or Kids mechanic) adjusted them with a screw driver..

#6 Everything was setup correctly mechanically but you have an electrical problem (bad connections) with some or all brakes causing three of the brakes to wear down leaving only the one working and overloading it (smoking).

#7 The mechanic you took it to made up an excuse to charge you for labor to correct it.

#8 and so on..

Could go on all night with many, many scenarios on what may have happened but the scenario of one brake suddenly deciding to crank its adjustment up above 11 all by it's self is just not possible.

Those star wheels do not turn easily, I have to use a pair of Channel lock pliers to turn mine. Never been able to turn them by hand only, the spring that goes across the star wheel actually touches and holds the wheel from randomly turning. Makes a ping noise when I turn the star wheel at each notch.

It is possible that three of the brakes on the other wheels wore down a bit faster than the one that was smoking and those needed adjusted tighter and the one that was smoking was correctly adjusted..

The problem now is the proof is all gone and it is a guessing game as to what really happened.

What the mechanic says as to tight may have been in reality correctly set.. Only the mechanic knows for sure..

Did the mechanic struggle to get the drum off?

Or did it come off with some resistance?

Did the other three drums come off with zero resistance?

Some very slight resistance is normal and desired.. If any drums came off with zero resistance then issue was more likely those brakes were excessively worn down or needed to be adjusted tighter..

A lot of he said vs mechanic said, which is why I do all of my own brake maintenance..

In PA any trailer with brakes must have a annual safety inspection, I make sure that I am present and watching the mechanic at all times when they remove the drums for inspection..

It is for my own safety and sanity since now days many mechanics have zero clue about drum brakes..

And yes, I have had a few inspection mechanics that decided to check and "adjust" the brakes using the inspection hole.. And yes, I HAVE had to undo what they did through that hole when I got home by removing the drum and resetting the start wheel [emoticon]

enahs

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Posted: 06/24/22 09:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I appreciate all of the potential scenarios. But none are consistent with the shop's alleged findings. All brakes are fine. No excessive wear. The offending brake was supposedly much over adjusted. But none of this showed up for 1500 miles. Now, just prior to the smoking event, there had been a lot of rain. And the trailer then sat for several days before heading home and encountering the smoking issue. I am wondering if this is a matter of a brake failing to release, a bit but not much over adjusted. In any case, in a few days we will give it a good test. If the problem reappears, all new components will be installed — brakes, bearings, drums. BTW, Dexter now does not plug the brake adjusting ports in the backing plates, There are two of them in each plate and they are left open. We've since properly plugged them.

* This post was edited 06/24/22 09:32am by enahs *

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