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Old 10-12-2016, 08:32 PM   #1
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1980 20' Caravelle
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Brakes not working on new axle-- Help!!!

Finished putting in a new axle on my 1980 Caravelle. Took it for a test run and the brakes are Not working
There is a noise coming from the brake drum when I put down the brake pedal, so it sounds like it is getting juice.I'll get the amp meter out in the morning. What should I look for? Need to have brakes for these mountain passes in Montana! Any help would be greatly appreciated! Don
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:58 PM   #2
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Did you adjust them so there is a slight drag when you spin the wheel?
Also, when I installed my new axles, it took a good many stops to get the brake shoes and the drum mated to each other. After that no problem but at first I was not getting much braking even with the shoes adjusted.
Good luck.
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Old 10-12-2016, 09:37 PM   #3
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Brakes need to be broke in when they are new and they also need to be adjusted. Are you new axles equipped with self adjusting brakes? If so they well get better if not then you well need to manually adjust them.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:57 AM   #4
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Yes, I paid the extra and got self adjusting brakes but surprised no drag at all when depressing brake pedal !
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Old 10-13-2016, 09:21 AM   #5
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Brakes not working on new axle-- Help!!!

I think that the self adjusting feature only works when applying the brakes in reverse.

Typically new axles come with the brakes way backed off and should be adjusted manually the first time.

You may be able to adjust the brakes by manually applying the brakes many times while backing. It may take A LOT of applications to bring the brakes into spec.


Gradiens super tenui glacie.

Edit- I know for a fact that hydraulic drum brakes only adjust when backing in reverse, I have no experience with self adjusting electric brakes, but I am assuming a similar function.
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Old 10-13-2016, 01:26 PM   #6
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1959 24' Tradewind
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From watching the attached video there needs to be some drag when the wheel is off the ground. If not you need to adjust, start watching at 11:30. Trailer brake controller?
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Old 10-13-2016, 01:29 PM   #7
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I always adjust brakes tight enough to prevent turning the hub manually then back off about 6- 8 notches on the adjusting wheel. It is a lot easier to adjust brakes with the wheel off but not necessary.
Anyone else have an opinion on this?

JCW
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Old 10-13-2016, 01:37 PM   #8
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Do you have a brake controller? Without one, no brakes. If you have one, is it adjusted properly.
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Old 10-13-2016, 01:38 PM   #9
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1967 26' Overlander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glacierrunne View Post
Finished putting in a new axle on my 1980 Caravelle. Took it for a test run and the brakes are Not working
There is a noise coming from the brake drum when I put down the brake pedal, so it sounds like it is getting juice.I'll get the amp meter out in the morning. What should I look for? Need to have brakes for these mountain passes in Montana! Any help would be greatly appreciated! Don
Before you do anything, make sure the brake shoes are adjusted properly to the drum. Then make sure the brakes are getting power by pulling the break-away switch. You should hear the brake magnets engage. If so, set the gain on the brake controller to max. and drive slowly forward a few feet and press the brake pedal. With new brake shoes and drums you should feel a slight drag.

When I changed axles on my '67 Overlander with the new drums AND shoes I could barely sense the brakes were engaging at first even with max gain, but driving slowly for about 20 miles on back roads and applying the brakes often after accererating each time, I gradually got more brake action.

I don't know why but the new brake drums just don't seem quite as good as my old ones. I do have adequate stopping power with more gain on the controller. Just so you know, I use the vintage Kelsey-Hayes hydraulic/electric system.

BTW what kind of axle did you install? When I researched mine, I found that the stock axle to match original did not have the same diameter brakes. For some reason during the intervening years, axle mfrs changed from 12" to 10" brakes on the original size axle. According to my conversations with other vintage owners who had experience with them, 10" brakes have 10 to 20% less braking power compared to the original 12" brakes.
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Old 10-13-2016, 04:25 PM   #10
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1991 25' Excella
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
I think that the self adjusting feature only works when applying the brakes in reverse.

Typically new axles come with the brakes way backed off and should be adjusted manually the first time.

You may be able to adjust the brakes by manually applying the brakes many times while backing. It may take A LOT of applications to bring the brakes into spec.


Gradiens super tenui glacie.

Edit- I know for a fact that hydraulic drum brakes only adjust when backing in reverse, I have no experience with self adjusting electric brakes, but I am assuming a similar function.
Self adjusting trailer brakes adjust when going forward or backward it doesn't matter which direction there moving. They work differently than automotive brakes.
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