Brakes install stalled out! - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 08-04-2014, 02:19 PM   #43
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Name: Roamin
Trailer: Scamp 13'
New Hampshire
Posts: 204
oh, and p.s., Hubby gave me his IR temp sensor to try to measure the temp of the hubs, and I inserted the battery backwards. There was a spark and loud pop and a bad smell, and I think I fried it. Sheesh!<_<

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Old 08-04-2014, 03:19 PM   #44
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Posts: 2,866
Is it possible there is a short to or in the brake wiring? Not enough current to fully activate the brakes but enough to cause one to drag unless backed too far off.

I'm not sure if the brakes are wired in series (current flows from one brake to the other) or parallel (each has it's own power line) but a limited short giving small amount of power to the brakes in series might engage one side more than the other if there was not full power.

Also is there a fuse that would blow or a circuit breaker that will keep resetting on the brake circuit. Have seen cases where a little bit of a short such as a wire with the insulation pinched or just barely worn through will slowly trip circuit breaker which cools then resets only to trip again in a minute or two.

Weirdest short I ever saw that was not a full short was a camper with a bare 110 volt wire touching a can with a paper label. Would not trip circuit breaker but if you touched the door handle in bare feet you got zapped. Paper would not let enough current flow through can to trip but enough to give you a poke. Saw the same thing in a house, kids got small poke from light switch, adults did not. No tripped fuse. Turned out kids stood on the heat vent under the switch and were grounded, adults stood further back due to longer arms and being taller. Not on heat vent so not grounded = no poke.

This is just SWAG but might be worth checking to see if any current is flowing through brake circuit without brakes being applied. Especially if you have a timed brake controller which can be tripped by current back feeding into brake light circuit. Possibly even if not enough current to light the brake lights.

If you set the spindle nut using a torque wrench and backing off correct amount I would accept that as "good" and move on to testing other things.

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Old 08-04-2014, 03:36 PM   #45
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Name: Jack L
Trailer: Bigfoot B-17 CB
Posts: 1,011
[QUOTE=Doghaus;474626] We could not get the brakes to work without heating up, one side more than the other.

Brakes do get hot when you use them. Heat from braking is normal. Hub should never generate enough heat to get more than warm by themselves but using your brakes heats the drums and that heat transfers to the hubs.

I try and check my hubs by driving down the highway and stopping without using the brakes. Coasting to a stop or downshifting if I can. Then I get an accurate analysis of hub temp. If I use my brakes I expect the heat generated by the brakes to increase hub temp. Brakes should heat up evenly. Both drums should be fairly close to the same temp.

Now,I do think you have some issues with your brakes or hubs or maybe both, but first you also need to determine the source of the heat. I would disconnect the brake controller and adjust the shoes until I'm sure they are not dragging. Then I would carefully drive and check. If the hubs are cool and properly adjusted the hubs are not the problem. Once I had the hubs where they should be I would reconnect the brake controller and adjust the shoes. Then check brake operation.

The black dust you described is worn brake shoes. This is a normal situation on properly adjusted brakes.

Two years and al least 15,000 miles ago I installed Dexter self adjusting brake assemblies on my Bigfoot. They are great. The self adjusters cost $10 a wheel more. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:40 PM   #46
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Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
Posts: 7,914
I'd also take a look at the wiring to the brakes, especially any splices. There may be a bad connection or damaged wire along the line and, with reduced braking current available, the mechanic may be setting the shoes so close to work that there is constant contact. I am sure that there are some numbers available about how much current should flow to each magnet. Find that out and see if you are at or above that number.
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Old 08-04-2014, 06:47 PM   #47
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Name: Roamin
Trailer: Scamp 13'
New Hampshire
Posts: 204
Alright, thanks. We did wonder aloud about an electrical problem the way the brakes are behaving. He took the news that I fried his temp. gun pretty well tonight, I'll just wait 24 hours or so before suggesting anything else....
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:05 PM   #48
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Name: Roamin
Trailer: Scamp 13'
New Hampshire
Posts: 204
Just wanted to post the resolution to my problem here: I took the camper to a local-ish RV repair place (not a big chain) and they found that the little 40 cent clip that holds the brake magnet on the arm was messed up. They replaced the 40 cent clip, checked everything over, tweaked the adjustment on the brakes, which was a little off on one side, and everything worked fine afterwards. Wish I had gone to them in the first place. Now I know, and now I have a repair place that I trust. Can't wait to get out camping again come spring!
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:24 PM   #49
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006
Posts: 2,074
Congrats, always like hearing a good ending that doesn't involve a lot of $$$$$$

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