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Old 08-19-2015, 01:27 PM   #1
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1997 25' Safari
Box Elder , South Dakota
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Brake Adjustment

So I haven't even crawled under the trailer yet to look, but I am wondering about the adjustment of the stock drum brakes on a 1997/1998 Safari. Had a service of the wheel bearings and brakes in Feb 2014 and everything seems to be fine. Put about 7,500 miles on trailer since then and no braking issues other than heat build up on a steep road once.
Are the brakes automatically adjustable by braking while driving in reverse? If not, is there a star wheel adjuster? If so, when laying under the trailer, which direction to turn the star wheel in order to get shoes closer to drum? Lefty loosey, righty tighty?
Muchas gracias in advance amigos.
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Old 08-19-2015, 01:34 PM   #2
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1998 31' Excella 1000
1979 23' Safari
Mooresville , Indiana
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If yours is original then you don't have auto adjusting brakes. Yes there is a star wheel you can access from the back, it should have a plug you can remove and then turn with a brake adjustment tool or a screw driver.

You need to turn the star wheel up to tighten, I just did mine last night so it's fresh in my head.

You can order new axles that have auto adjusting brakes, when and if you decide you need new ones.

Jack up the trailer, spin the wheel, turn the adjustment until you get a little brake rub, then go ahead and test your brake away and make sure you can't turn the wheel.

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Old 08-19-2015, 01:55 PM   #3
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If you shine a light into the hole you will see the treads on the adjuster and that will assure you as to which way to adjust the star. Tighten the star till you can not turn the wheel and then back off 3 or 4 positions on the star. It helps if you hit the tire with the heel of your hand or a rubber hammer while tightening the star. That shock recenters things and you will not get an early false feeling of the wheel stopping.
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Old 08-21-2015, 01:05 PM   #4
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1994 34' Excella
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Brake Adjustment

I'd add that it's probably good to crank the star wheel pretty hard to center the shoes in the drum, before backing it off to allow the wheel to turn freely. On older cars you could do this by pumping the brakes, but that won't work on electric brakes.


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Old 08-21-2015, 02:17 PM   #5
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Growing up with vehicles with manual adjust brakes, adjust while slowly turning the wheel until it stops, then back off slightly so it will turn again. You may hear a slight rubbing which is okay as long as the wheel turns freely.
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Old 08-26-2015, 12:02 PM   #6
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Thank you all for the great advice and information - I will be applying that knowledge soon.
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