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Old 10-15-2016, 02:08 PM   #1
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brake drum temperature

I have a question. During our trips, I always walk around the trailer to do a visual inspection and grab the center caps of the wheels to check temps. Not very accurate, but I noticed the curb side front tire is always hotter than the others. Finally purchased a temp reading device and drove around. First trip was 7 miles to town and the temps were as follows:
LF 100 RF 181
LR 107 RR 120.

Went to the highway and drove 8 miles. Tried to coast as much as possible getting to the Flying J and these are the readings from that trip:
LF 98 RF 157
LR 105 RR 127

Then drove home which is rural roads, 40-45 mph with maybe 3-4 stops. Those temps were;
LF 115 RF 194
LR 105 RR 127

So obviously, the right front brake and hub gets hotter than the rest. My question is whether this is typical. I took the tires off to visually inspect the bearings and drums. The bearings are sealed units. We have been on several trips, logging @10,000 miles in less than 2 years. The warranty will be up in a few months. I am going to call Airstream Monday, just curious what everybody's experience is with the brakes.

Thanks, Mike

Trailer is a 2014 international 27 fb, truck is 2015 gmc 2500
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Old 10-15-2016, 08:37 PM   #2
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Drum brakes could cause that kind of temp diff with one brake shoe set tighter than the others.

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Old 10-15-2016, 09:00 PM   #3
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I replaced the bearings with Timken sets just prior to a 3800 mile through Canada. On our trip I monitored the temperatures and generally were consistently between 71 and in the 90s, depending on braking.

The highest temperature was 107 on the left front hub which was replaced (don't ask) and the brake was dragging at first until broken in. Then it was consistent with the other hubs.
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Old 10-15-2016, 09:01 PM   #4
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There is not that big of difference between the different brakes. It is virtually impossible to get all of them adjusted to where you would see the exact same temps.
One must consider several facts. For example: When applying brakes on a turn the brake on the outside tire sees more revolutions of the drum which would result in more heat than the inside drum. Road conditions, the load on individual tires all can have an effect.
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Old 10-15-2016, 10:27 PM   #5
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Just my $.02 here but I don't see alarmingly high temps here but something is definately amiss. Most likely, as already mentioned, one brake out of adjustment. If it bothers you, and it would bother me, try backing off one click on that one wheel and see if the temps even out. Could also be something out of wack in the sealed bearing unit. Nothing you can do with that outside of changing it. I think this is most unlikely though.
May turn out to be one of those annoying gremlins that keep us awake at night.
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Old 10-17-2016, 02:28 PM   #6
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Talked to Airstream today. The person I talked to thought there should not be more than 10 degrees difference in all the temps. Couldn't find anything definitive from dexter. Just a guess basically. Also, with the never lube axles, there doesn't seem to be an adjuster for the brake shoes. Just a spring where the slots are in the backing plate. I guess since these are auto adjusting no need for the adjustment. Also, was told the brakes are part of regular maintenance and wouldn't be covered under warranty. Makes sense. I guess I'll just keep an eye on things. Thanks for the replies. Mike
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Old 10-17-2016, 02:50 PM   #7
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I would back the shoes off a couple of turns on your RF.
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Old 10-17-2016, 02:59 PM   #8
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Even the self adjusting brakes have the starwheel adjuster so you can manually back them off a bit.
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Old 10-17-2016, 03:05 PM   #9
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Mike,

I think one of the best things you are doing is monitoring the temps. Try to accurately pick a spot and get temps record and review.

Brakes create heat doing their job.

I kinda think even a self adjusting brake can be adjusted. That's what most of us non iPad types grew up with on cars.

Dexter manual should outline procedures.
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Old 10-17-2016, 05:55 PM   #10
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I'll look again in the morning. Watched a video on youtube and it definitely looks like its there. Maybe I can stand on my head and hold my tongue just right to get to it. Thanks again. Mike
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Old 10-17-2016, 06:23 PM   #11
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We had our brakes checked at Can-Am this past spring. After picking up the trailer and travelling about 50 km. we stopped at a highway service centre to check the wheel lugs and noticed the curb side was very hot in comparison the the street side. Very unusual in over 60,000 km. of towing. We called Can-Am to discuss and were told that it's not unusual for a brake to stick after being checked. They recommended finding an empty spot in the parking lot, backing up quickly and applying the brakes hard. In case this didn't work, then return to the dealer. This worked perfectly and haven't had a problem since (this has been confirmed by others we have discussed this with).
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Old 10-19-2016, 11:47 AM   #12
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Alright. Was able to check for the starwheel yesterday. Still couldn't see it, so decided to take the drum off and look inside. Once the drum was off, I discovered that there is a steel spring plate, for lack of a better definition, that covers the starwheel to prevent it from free spinning. Might be able to tighten it through the backplate, but no way that I could see to loosen it. Anyhow, got the brakes loosened, and all seems better. Oh, be careful when putting the drum back on. Make sure you move your fingers when the drum starts on the spindle. It hurts really bad when they are pinched between the drum and the backplate. Thanks again, Mike
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Old 10-19-2016, 11:57 AM   #13
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That "steel spring plate" is there to prevent the star wheel from backing up and loosening. And is how the brakes are self adjusting when traveling in reverse.

To loosen the star wheel through the opening in the backing plate one needs a stout piece of wire. This wire is inserted through the hole to move the steel spring plate away from the star wheel and allow the star wheel to be turned to loosen the brake adjustment.

A job better accomplished with a brake spoon.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/7-Brake-Adju...857043&vxp=mtr

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Old 10-19-2016, 02:49 PM   #14
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Trailer brakes are different than automotive brakes they adjust when traveling forward or backwards. The next paragraph is strait from Dexter Axles.

Dexter electric brakes may be equipped with a forward self-adjust feature. This will allow the brakes to adjust on both forward and reverse stops. Brake adjustment occurs when lining wear results in enough gap between the shoes and the brake drum surface. This added clearance will allow the adjuster mechanism to rotate the screw assembly at the bottom of the brake. That action expands the distance between the shoes and thus closes the gap to the drum surface.
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