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Old 08-21-2015, 01:01 PM   #1
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1994 34' Excella
Kalamazoo , Michigan
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'94 Classic 34' Brakes "soft"

I was doing my preflight check a week back and noticed that the brakes were actuating, but they weren't working very well. As a starting point, I did a brake adjustment on all 6 wheels...they were badly under adjusted, as it turns out. That helped quite a bit, but the trailer brakes still don't seem as strong as they did last year.

I haven't done the amperage check yet, but that's next. Where is the easiest place to break into the system for the ammeter? Seems like I should be able to put the ammeter between the 12v pin or the battery + terminal and the brake pin on the 7way plug. Is this right?

Second question...I understand that several different brands of brakes were used..if true, how do I know which spare parts to order? Or do I just call AS or Andy?

Third question...is there anything else I should be looking at?

Thanks...


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Old 08-21-2015, 01:02 PM   #2
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1994 34' Excella
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Should have mentioned that the brakes are factory original, as far as I can tell...


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Old 08-21-2015, 02:04 PM   #3
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Easiest place would be the emergency switch wiring. Wrap one of the wires around the amprobe and pull the pin. Divide the reading by the number of times the wire goes through the meter. By using a multiplier like this you will get a more accurate reading.

You should see about 18 amps from the final calculation. More indicates a shorted magnet. 3 or more amps below that indicates an open magnet or broken wire to a magnet.

When you adjusted the brakes did they sound like brake lining to the drum or metal to the drum?
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Old 08-21-2015, 02:11 PM   #4
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I was doing my preflight check a week back and noticed that the brakes were actuating, but they weren't working very well. As a starting point, I did a brake adjustment on all 6 wheels...they were badly under adjusted, as it turns out. That helped quite a bit, but the trailer brakes still don't seem as strong as they did last year.

I haven't done the amperage check yet, but that's next. Where is the easiest place to break into the system for the ammeter? Seems like I should be able to put the ammeter between the 12v pin or the battery + terminal and the brake pin on the 7way plug. Is this right?

Second question...I understand that several different brands of brakes were used..if true, how do I know which spare parts to order? Or do I just call AS or Andy?

Third question...is there anything else I should be looking at?

Thanks...


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Tom.

Several things.

Grease on the shoes. Pull a couple of drums and see.

Glazed shoes. Again, visual inspection.

Corroded terminals in plug/socket.

Bad brake controller.

How many miles on those brakes? Magnets do not last forever.

Check the brakes by pulling the breakaway cable, and try moving the trailer.

CAUTION. DO NOT leave that cable out more than 3 minutes. To do so, could most likely burn up the magnets.

See what answers you come up with from above questions.

Andy
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Old 08-21-2015, 08:25 PM   #5
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Gents, thanks!

All good...I will report my findings soon.


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Old 08-22-2015, 06:38 AM   #6
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1994 34' Excella
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HowieE...no metal to metal sound. I'll try the ammeter today...


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Old 08-22-2015, 06:41 AM   #7
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1994 34' Excella
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Andy...

Thanks for the helpful thoughts as usual.

No telling the miles...about 20k since we bought it last year. Lots more before that, by appearances.

Great idea on rage breakaway switch! I will try that first.

Thanks, again...

Tom


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Old 03-03-2016, 04:36 PM   #8
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1994 34' Excella
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Forgot to follow up. Brakes all checked ok mechanically. The real culprit was crud in the 7-way connector...cleaned it and now the brakes will put me thru the windshield.

Another Airstream lesson learned.


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Old 03-03-2016, 07:57 PM   #9
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Forgot to follow up. Brakes all checked ok mechanically. The real culprit was crud in the 7-way connector...cleaned it and now the brakes will put me thru the windshield.

Another Airstream lesson learned.


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Good to keep a spray can of electrical contact cleaner around. I spray my 7-way connector fairly regularly.
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