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Old 10-28-2009, 11:09 AM   #15
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I concur with the warped rotors. Seeing that the TV is the yr it is,I would consider taking those rotors off an scrapping them. DONT TURN EM.
When you take them off you will find an uneven wear pattern on the back side of the rotor. The inside pad is probably glazed and not braking at all.
If you can change the pads,you can change the rotors. Replace the pads with new metallic pads (best you can buy)and made in the USA rotors. I am very certain your problem will go away.
I recently did my sisters Explorer 4wheel drive with everything new ($155) and her problem same as yours, went away. They also pulled a camper,SOB with fold outs.
Good Luck and Be Safe NEW BRAKES are a good investment !
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:11 AM   #16
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Going downhill towing

There are some things to consider when towing a large trailer downhill. I recommend the boost 2 position of the Prodigy. The quick onset of braking helps ensure that the trailer stays behind the TV. In my opinion, 60 MPH is way too fast for the steeper parts of mountain passes. I try to find a gear and speed that will allow me to only occasionally brake, for instance when approaching a sharp curve. I do not exceed the speed that will allow me to shift into the next lower gear without braking or over revving the engine. If I am passing trucks, I use that as a trigger to evaluate what I am doing. If traffic prevents me from passing the slower trucks without exceeding a prudent speed, I just relax and stay behind them. I may get to the bottom later, but my chances of getting there are greatly increased. I am posting this because, if the brake disks are warped, the likely cause is overheating from overuse.
Regards,
Ken
P.S. Over a period of sixteen years, two brake controllers, three trailers and three tow vehicles, I have never been able to get trailer brakes to lock up.
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:52 PM   #17
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Slotted rotors were developed for racing and will cut into the pads causing the need to replace more often...

here's another thought/question: if the tail is wagging the dog, could that be caused by a pulsing in the brakes on the trailer?
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Old 10-28-2009, 01:01 PM   #18
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I heard and read that when I purchased my slotted Brembo rotors. I know it is happening too! But with 80,000 miles (most of it towing my 25' Excella) on these rotors and pads and half the thickness of the pad remaining, I'm convinced it's not a problem I need to worry about for another 50,000 miles or so. I could take pics!
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Old 10-28-2009, 01:45 PM   #19
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I have to agree with the others that your rotors are warped. The fact that the problem comes and goes does not negate the fact that it is the rotors. The wheels will come and go in and out of phase with each other as you turn corners. This phase change will effect the severity of the wobble.

As for your controller. Most manufactures have a setup procedure that has you drive at about 25 mph and slam on the manual control, repeating this until just below the point at which the brakes lock. If you have preformed a similar setup your trailer should be braking enough to account for itself. Having warped the rotors I would think your controller is just set too low.

Another factor that all to many drivers fail to do is drive down a hill in the same gear you went up the hill. That is not to say the position of the shift selector while going up the hill but rather the actual gear the transmission has selected. You will have to pull the selector down manually to do this while going down a long hill. If you follow this rule you should not have to brake hard during the descent. You see this idea presented at the top of every hill for trucks. It is good advice for towed vehicles also.
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Old 10-28-2009, 05:57 PM   #20
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Green Castings?

Jim, I experienced similar vibrations with my 2007, ¾ ton Suburban towing a 25ft Safari down hill on my way to the ’08 Alaskan Caravan. This was not an issue but a real problem with risks of further problems. After the Caravan and about 12,000 miles and with my Suburban still under warranty I took it to my Chevy dealer for service.

He knew about my trip and said that if the breaks are well worn then it is my fault. It could cost about $ 90 each. I said Okay; the problem must be fixed. Later he called and said that we’re having GM pay for this repair. Great! I asked why and what was the cause, but he didn’t say exactly.

Months later I explained the problem to a machinist and who designed machines that make machines. He said the rotors were probably “green castings,” and explained the process of machining, tempering and curing the surface area. Also went into detail about how metallurgy and the multi step process of rotor manufacturing and machining has evolved over the years.

So in my case it appears that “green casting” rotors were installed on my TV. The Chevy service rep didn’t say that, and he could have charged me $360 for it instead of GMC and I wouldn’t have known any better.

BTW: Jim, Do you remember we meet each other at Watson Lake, Yukon, on 7/20/08?
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:24 PM   #21
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Just a quick FYI, if the steering wheel wobbles when you brake, it's in the front rotors. If you feel it in the seat or brake pedal, it's in the rear rotors or drums.
If the steering wheel wobbles around 20 mph without the brakes applied, or the back end wobbles, get your tires checked out.
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:45 AM   #22
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If the controller couldn't lock the trailer brakes they may not have been up to snuff, which would add to the stress on the front brakes. I like to set mine so the trailer activates just ahead of the TV brakes. It isn't enough to make it uncomfortable to drive, just enough so I feel that the trailer is still there.

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Old 10-29-2009, 02:07 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w7ts View Post
There are some things to consider when towing a large trailer downhill. I recommend the boost 2 position of the Prodigy. The quick onset of braking helps ensure that the trailer stays behind the TV. In my opinion, 60 MPH is way too fast for the steeper parts of mountain passes. I try to find a gear and speed that will allow me to only occasionally brake, for instance when approaching a sharp curve. I do not exceed the speed that will allow me to shift into the next lower gear without braking or over revving the engine. If I am passing trucks, I use that as a trigger to evaluate what I am doing. If traffic prevents me from passing the slower trucks without exceeding a prudent speed, I just relax and stay behind them. I may get to the bottom later, but my chances of getting there are greatly increased. I am posting this because, if the brake disks are warped, the likely cause is overheating from overuse.
Regards,
Ken
P.S. Over a period of sixteen years, two brake controllers, three trailers and three tow vehicles, I have never been able to get trailer brakes to lock up.
Concur! When you go downhill, gravity will make your trailer start to push your tow vehicle. Your brake controller has a lever which allows you to manually lock up your trailer brakes. If you're on the verge of jacknifing, locking your trailer brakes manually while accellerating slightly will turn your trailer into an anchor and straighten out the tow vehicle/trailer combo..... if you're lucky and fast and keep your cool!

Avoiding the need for that maneuver is better than doing it perfectly - so going downhill at a "sissy" 40-45mph greatly increases your chances of keeping the trailer behind the tow vehicle, the shiny side up and your heart in something other than an esophagus shaped lump just behind your tonsils.

be safe have fun see you down the road!
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:00 AM   #24
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I should have mentioned above in my comments about slotted rotors wearing Performance Friction pads that the PF pads come with a lifetime replacement warranty.
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