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Old 07-31-2010, 11:30 AM   #1
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Brake magnets 1976 Sovereign

Brake magnets 1976 Sovereign

This last week has been my tires and brake week. While I had the wheels removed to install new tires, I took the brake drums off expecting to order new 12 x 2 Dexter Electric Trailer Brake Assemblies. I was surprised to see the brakes looked like new. No grooves in the drums and lots of lining left.

Before starting on the brakes I had removed the trailer 7 way plug and bared all the wires. When I checked the brake circuit with the multi-meter, I got a load on the circuit like there was a short. I was pretty worried that there was a short somewhere. I inspected the wires that I could see and I opened up the wheel/trailer wire connections and it all looked good.

I went ahead and replaced the grease seals, packed the bearings, buffed the drums with a 3M sandpaper/Scotchbrite wheel, set up the brakes, and put on the wheels with new tires. I read last night on a horse trailer forum that there's supposed to be a load on the brake circuit caused by the 4 magnets. The poster wrote that if there's not a load on the open brake circuit that there's something wrong.

To test it all today I jacked up one side of the trailer, hooked my big battery charger to the brake circuit, and rigged enough extension cords up to reach the wheel areas. Then I gave each wheel a spin and plugged the charger in. Bingo! They all worked.

I've learned a LOT by doing this work myself. I didn't know a thing about electric brakes before I started this. Now I know a little.

Gary
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Old 07-31-2010, 01:56 PM   #2
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Sounds like your brakes are in good shape. Each magnet is only about 4 ohms. When you have 4 in parallel, it comes out to around 1 ohm for the entire circuit.
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:29 PM   #3
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I haven't tried it using the TV after the work. I expect it'll work okay. The brakes worked last month when I towed it home. I ordered a new molded RV umbilical cord that's supposed to be here Monday. When the weather cools down a bit I'll install the new fuse panel for the 7 way plug harness and install the break away switch.

My biggest challenge to working on this Airstream has been working alone. I've figured out how to do almost everything solo so far.
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