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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-29-2006, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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QUICK, need trailer brakes help.

My Jeep is on the trailer here at work. I am heading out for a trip right after work. On the way here I noticed more drag than usual. I touched each drum when I got here and one was quite hot. I don't know anything about drum brakes and my trailer manual is at home. They are electric brakes, dual axle.
Is a pad stuck? How do I go about fixing it? I have to drive it before I do anything. If a pad is stuck won't the drum be impossible to remove?
Input please. Thanks.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-29-2006, 08:17 AM
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Re: QUICK, need trailer brakes help.

Well, it could either be bad or too tight bearings or too tight pads. To loosen the pads, there is a rubber plug in the lower part of the backing plate. You can pry it out and loosen the pads with a brake tool or a screwdriver. There is a star adjuster that you'll have to turn, it will either loosen or tighten the pads. It helps to either take the wheel off or jack up that wheel to find out whether you're loosening or tightening the pads. You can also check the bearings for tightness by removing the dust cap and the cotter key and seeing how tight the big bolt is. I usually set mine by snugging it down and the backing off of it about a half turn. Good luck
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-29-2006, 08:57 AM
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Re: QUICK, need trailer brakes help.

Sounds like you may have had a bearing go bad. Jack it up and see if the wheel wobbles.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-29-2006, 09:39 AM
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Re: QUICK, need trailer brakes help.

[ QUOTE ]
Sounds like you may have had a bearing go bad. Jack it up and see if the wheel wobbles.

[/ QUOTE ]

...and rotate it slowly and listen for a grind/noise or a bind in the rotation.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-29-2006, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Re: QUICK, need trailer brakes help.

I would hope that a bearing didn't go bad. The trailer is only 2 years old and I probably have less than 5000 miles on it.

I printed off the manual. It mentioned that if the brakes smoke or the paint blisters then it is too hot. So since I was able to touch it quickly without burning myself and there was no smoke, is it safe to assume that I am not in danger of starting a fire? I would rather wait until this is parked in my driveway before I start experimenting.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-29-2006, 01:30 PM
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Re: QUICK, need trailer brakes help.

[ QUOTE ]
is it safe to assume that I am not in danger of starting a fire?

[/ QUOTE ]

NO! If there's enough drag that you can feel it, you will probably ruin the shoes, the drum and the springs if you tow it too far. And it will quickly get hot enough that you won't have any braking out of it.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-29-2006, 03:17 PM
 
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Re: QUICK, need trailer brakes help.

With electric brakes you may have a failing brake control unit.
Discontect the trailer lead and check for voltage coming from the brake controler. At rest you should have no current foing to the trailer. I have had some go bad and only a hot drum made me aware. You may also have rusted or frozen brake parts in the drum.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 09-29-2006, 05:15 PM
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Re: QUICK, need trailer brakes help.

[ QUOTE ]
I would hope that a bearing didn't go bad. The trailer is only 2 years old and I probably have less than 5000 miles on it.


[/ QUOTE ]

That is what I thought until going to the badlands. I would check the bearing to make sure that they are not too tight or too loose.

-- Mike
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 09-29-2006, 05:35 PM
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Re: QUICK, need trailer brakes help.

Bearings get my atention once a year regardless of need. Ya, it may be over doing it, but I just brought home a new trailer and when it gets 1000 miles on it coming up in the next month. The bearings will be pulled out repacked and put back in. If you pull the wheels off be sure and retorque the wheel at a 20 mile interval up to 60 mi. I don't know why, but I was taught to do that and always have and have not had to be the guy stuck along side the road.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 09-29-2006, 05:38 PM
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Re: QUICK, need trailer brakes help.

Sometimes you can tell whether it's a bearing vs dragging brakes.
When it's cold, tow it a short distance - get out and feel if it's hot in the center of the hub - bearing, or the outside of the drum - brake linings.

Sometimes the little clip that holds the magnet on the arm comes off, then the magnet drags too much, applying the brakes. Baling wire puts it back on in an emergency.
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