Scamp Brake Drums Not Centered? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-15-2014, 07:31 PM   #1
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Scamp Brake Drums Not Centered?

Hi,

I'm hoping there's some really smart axle and brake people here tonight to help with this question. I have a 2012 scamp 13er with electric brakes. I've noticed that what I believe is the drum does not have equal spacing/distance all the way around the wheel. It is more "bowed out" near the bottom of the tire and sits more flush as you head your eyes up the wheel near the top. This is exactly the same phenomenon for both drums, both wheels.

Bearings and spindle were both recently inspected and were perfect. Trailer brakes normally, plenty of "fist clearance" between tire and wheel well, trailer tows normally and doesn't dog-leg. No drag or funny noises. Is this a normal thing?

Pic is hard to see I admit but it's 830 at night and best I could get. As I said, same on both sides.

Would somebody enlighten me please?

Wendy


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Old 07-15-2014, 07:34 PM   #2
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Forgot pic...Click image for larger version

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ID:	73703Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByFiberglass RV1405470858.193519.jpg
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ID:	73704. I know they're dark but I'm hoping a skilled eye can see what I mean!


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Old 07-15-2014, 08:18 PM   #3
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She is really paying attention to details...
The first pic seems to show the lighter gray part that has the ridges in the direction parallel with the axle. That is the drum itself as far as I can tell. The other parts are the backplate that is stationary and it supports the axle, the bearings, brake shoes, the electromagnet, etc, etc. The design of the stationary parts does not have, nor does it need, much of axial symmetry. The rotating parts should be symmetrical, or at least well balanced. It is good that both sides are identical, and they should be symmetric, left hand right hand. Looking at both sides and comparing them is always a good idea when figuring things out! I would say you have good brakes. By the way the ridges on the drum are there for strength, increased surface area and turbulent airflow for better cooling.
BTW, I try to use the brakes as little as possible when towing on dry roads, downshift whenever practicable.
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:08 PM   #4
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Thank you Paul. I feel SO much better after reading your post! I would like to ask you to refer to my first picture, if you would. You mentioned a backing plate. I don't think that this is near the upper part of the drum (I wanna say that what I see there is the aperature for the trailering arm?). I suspect what you mean the backing plate is IS THE PART I've been worried about...The part that is rather "bowed out" on the bottom of my pic, near where the brake electric wires are?

Anywho, what I gather from your post (and I am definitely not a mechanic, just a curious person) is that having axial symmetry for the stationary parts (part I'm worried about) is not as important as having symmetry or balance for moving parts (e.g. drums). Do I understand that correctly?

Been a nervous wreck, let me tell ya. I'm a single gal and nowhere near as smart as some of the ladies on this forum who blow me away with the stuff they know. At any rate, bless you and thank you for your care and help!
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:48 AM   #5
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I might be going out on the limb, but I would not expect any failures in the area of the trailing arm, e.i. bending in some way. If that happened, the left and right would be quite different, and something else would be damaged as well, in a big way.
The wheel rim and the brake drum pretty much have to be designed with axial symmetry, the back plate and the stationary parts do not. I would defer to the guys who checked the brakes and bearings for you, that should give you peace of mind. Enjoy the travels.
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Old 07-16-2014, 11:27 AM   #6
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I lightened up one picture. Looks like the backing plate is what the OP is concerned with.
(hint flashes help in dark spots)

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Old 07-16-2014, 11:51 AM   #7
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Thank you Roy. I never thought to do that. I sort if figured it wasn't the drum but didn't know what else to call it.

So you both can see there how the bottom of the backing plate "sticks out" more than the top for want if a better way to out it. More flush and "centered" as your eye heads up toward top of drum.

I sort if thought this might be a normal phenomenon and with my pea brain attributed to do something with torsion axle, camber I've read about, etc. but I made that solution up in my head.

My trailer was in a roadside front accident with original owner. FG repaired at Scamp factory. I guess I always assumed they would have checked all systems but I have no clue. With both sides the same EXACTLY, I couldn't quite make my brain accept it was accident damage. I would have noticed something less symmetrical or not quite right.

I guess! Keep those thoughts coming cuz this gal loves learning!

Cheers,
Wendy


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Old 07-17-2014, 10:37 AM   #8
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I really don't think you have anything to worry about Wendy. Most of the modern electric brakes have a stationary backing plate that is somewhat 'sculpted' when cast or formed, to have recesses for different parts of the braking system (magnets, springs, etc) mounted on them. These parts interact with the rotating drum to provide the braking power you need. I've attached a pic of the 'brand new' drum/backing plate of the new Dexter 2K axle I installed on my '84 Scamp 13. I was able to get a pretty good 'shot' but at certain angles it does appear to be 'bulged' or 'uneven' with the drum. Pretty sure it's just a matter of perspective or angle of view. Some mfgr's may even add a plate or cover of some kind to protect the holes that the wires for electrical power to the brakes come thru. Appears to me that may be what you're seeing or the backing plate may actually be 'offset' a little from 'square' with the drum...
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:57 AM   #9
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Just looked at your pic and your backing plate appears squared with the drum quite nicely, as compared to mine.

I'm going to take to my mechanic Monday anyway. After trying to adjust my brakes with a friend, they are now too touchy and I barely had the brake controller increase thumb wheel turned one full turn. Unless they were way off before.

Jacked trailer, turned adjuster wheel till tight and backed off 5 clicks till a teeny bit of drag was felt. I just wNt him to check the work. I guess I won't worry about plate but do you want me to try another shot? It's broad sunny daylight now.


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Old 07-17-2014, 12:26 PM   #10
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Wendy, a good, clear pic of the backing plate & drum relationship would be helpful but, in looking at Roy's 'lightened' pic again, it does appear that the backing plate & drum in your pic are not in alignment. If the brake is making just light contact throughout a complete drum rotation you probably don't have any worry. If it is only making contact in one area of the rotation, something is definitely wrong. Least troublesome thing I can think of is the hub/drums are not tightened correctly on the bearings/spindles. If that is done right, the only other thing I can think of would be the backing plate attachment is out of 'square' with the spindles, or the spindles have been bent enough to cause the hub/drum to rotate 'off-center' with the backing plate??

If, in good light, you can see some of the internals visible between the backing plate & the drum, something is definitely out of alignment. In my pic you can see the outer 'rim' of the backing plate & part of the 'raised' inner surface, but none of the internal parts except a tiny part of the adjuster mechanism near the bottom. That should be normal. If it were mine I'd definitely have a professional look at it, or disassemble it myself & find whatever is 'out of kilter'...
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:31 PM   #11
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Ok I'll check that out Nd update you with more pics. Fishing with my son right now


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Old 07-17-2014, 03:17 PM   #12
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Had to bring my son home from camp but I thought I'd report that I phoned Scamp and the man I talked to said he really couldn't help me without a picture and that they are more into manufacturing and couldn't align things if needed anyway as not proper equipment on hand. So I'll take better photos and send to him too. But trailer " trailers nicely" as I said before. No dog legging or other weird stuff as if axle/spindles had trouble. My friend who checked spindles and bearings said they were perfect. But I'm mad at myself cuz I bought a scamp in an accident and I hope to God I didn't make a huge money mistake. Leave it to Beaver!


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Old 07-17-2014, 03:33 PM   #13
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Huge update! I just got off the horn with an engineer at dexter axle. He it'd me that this is normal and due to the metal stamping process when they are made which pulls on the backing plate a little more at the bottom than at the top. He also said that I adjusted my brakes properly and they'll be a bit more grabby until things settle in. Must have been really off before! He wasn't surprised that I could only get 3/4 to one thumb wheel turn in my brake controller now. Need to settle in. Woot woot!


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Old 07-17-2014, 05:01 PM   #14
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He also said that I adjusted my brakes properly and they'll be a bit more grabby until things settle in.
That sounds reasonable. If the brakes have not been used for some time, the drum surface could be rusty and behave differently. They may also act differently after you adjusted them. It is good to adjust the brake controller at the beginning of every trip. They say get to 25 mph (on dry pavement) and activate the trailer brakes. If they lock, back off, if not, increase the voltage until they do, then back off, to be just a little below. My mechanic says "you will feel when the trailer is pushing you, or doing all the work". I am not sure I can tell because of my limited experience, but I am trying to watch how the rig reacts to whatever I do with it. The key is to drive so you always have plenty of room to slow down gently anyway. It is safe and reduces wear and tear - a double benefit.
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