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Old 06-17-2006, 06:50 PM   #1
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hot drum--help ASAP please

Need quick help. I got my Axis axle back yesterday and installed it this morning. Went for a quick checkout drive, a 20 mile loop. At the 10 mile point I checked the wheels. Street side is warm, almost too warm to leave your hand on--curb side is HOT, steam comes off when water is thrown on it.

Jack the Spaceship up and checked for brake drag. A little bit on the curb side, so I adjusted that one. Then I took both wheels off and adjusted the castle nut on both drums to allow the tinest bit of play. They are definitely not too tight and they both rotate freely, with only an occasional touch of the brake shoes as they turn. They come to a stop slowly.

I guess I'm ready for the 10 miles back to the house. I get home and the curb side is HOT. What the heck? I figure it can only be two things:

1. Not enough grease. OK, maybe, but I packed them this morning, so even if I did a poor job, there's got to be enough grease for a 10 mile run at 50 mph.

2. Electric trailer brakes are set too high (this route required several application of the brakes). I'm going to wait for them to cool down, then take a 5 mile test run with the brakes off. I'm hoping this is the solution.

I'm asking for any other ideas before I finish testing--I want to depart in the morning and any help may allow this trip to start on time!
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Old 06-17-2006, 08:03 PM   #2
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I rather doubt the issue is with too little grease or adjustment of the nut for the bearings. Not from your description.

New shoes too? You may have shoes that are catching on the drum until they get set to the drum(s). Or a brake shoe application issue. Magnets/controller

Do take that trip with little braking and make your brake applications light as possible.

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Old 06-17-2006, 08:20 PM   #3
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I noticed this with the new Henschen we installed a few years back, after several miles of not using the brakes, the temp went back down to what I consider normal. Remember, the magnets drag on the side of the drum, and that friction while braking will make it heat up faster than a conventional hydraulic drum.
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Old 06-17-2006, 08:40 PM   #4
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thanks.

I did the "no brake" test by turning the controller down to zero. Curb side still hot, 200 degrees plus in only 3 miles. Unfortunately I cooled the brakes before rechecking the bearing preload. I can feel the tiniest bit of play when I grasp each side of the tire and rock it. The wheel turns freely, but I can't do the "sound" test because the centramatics make such a beebee racket that I can't hear if the brake shoes are touching the drum. But the time it takes the wheel to stop turning when rotated by hand tells me it is running free.

These shoes were "burned in" on a previous trip of 1600+ miles. During that trip I didn't like the fact that the trailer wheels were running noticeably hotter than the TV, but still not so hot you couldn't put your hand on them and leave it there. I think that might have been due to a little bit too much preload--don't know.

I'm clueless. This is much too hot to even consider starting the trip, hoping the brakes settle in.
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Old 06-17-2006, 10:08 PM   #5
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Hot Drum

Zeppelnium
I have not been following your posts so I admit I don't know which unit you are having trouble with.
Did you run the vehicle with the brakes disconnected and still experience the heating problem? I you still have the heating problem Ignore the rest of this post.
Given the tv you have in the public profile, I doubt you would notice a pulling unless you were on a 10% or more grade or a panic stop with the shorter unit you have.
I don't intend ot insult or offend anyone, this being said I don't know your background.
First, go back and retighten the wheel bearings properly. That is, remove the cotter pin, tighten the nut to app 50 LBs/ft, loosen the nut then tighten finger tight. Reinstall the cotter pin.
Lets visit electric brakes.
1. When you pass current (notice I am not saying voltage) through the coil in the brake it causes that coil, refered to as an electromagnet, to be attracted to the smooth verticle surface inside the brake drum provided by the manufacturer. This surface must be clean and smooth. The stronger the current, the stronger the attraction. The Stronger the attraction, the more the electromagnet pulls the lever its mounted on over and causes the cams on the pivot point to force the brake shoes into the drum.
2. The current drawn by each of the coils must be equal or the brakes will not be applying evenly.
3. You note that one drum is hot, the other cold. Keep in mind that the hot drum might be working perfectly and the cool drum is not doing it fair share.
4. The current goes down the conductor from your controller, through the trailer connector to a splice where it (the current) divides and goes to the two (or Four) brake electromagnets and then to ground.
5. Don't try to check the resistance of the coils because it is too low to measure accurately without very expensive electronic measurement equipment. Instead measure the VOLTAGE DROP. By this I mean place your volt meter probes as follows:
one lead into the supply wire comming from the controller.
the other lead in the ground wire commming from the wire going to ground.

Probe the wires as close to the electromagnet as possible. Reseal them later with liquid electrical tape when you are finished, not tape.
Do not distrub the grounds or splices as you will alter your information.
A digital multimeter will work best. Get an Electronics Tech friend to help you if you dont have the meter.
If the voltage is not within 20 Millivolts or so, this will cause the side with the lesser voltage value to not be applying brakes as hard as the other side.
This will cause the side with the highest voltage value to apply the brakes harder.
Due to the critical nature of this circuit, I always solder the connections in the brake circuit.
Do what ever you have to do to get this voltage value equal. If you have a brake controller with an ammeter on it, the current that passes through each electromagnet ideally will be half on a unit with one axle, one fourth the value on the controller on a unit with two axles.
If you have a single axle unit or a double axle unit, the voltage measured across each coil will will ideally be equal.
Let me know how it works out.
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Old 06-18-2006, 10:18 AM   #6
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Problem solved.

The bearings were too tight. They were adjusted finger tight and then backed off one castelation, but that's still too tight (even though I could feel slight, OK, very slight, wobble in the drum). I'd guess backing off about 3 castelations is a good place to start, and maybe 4.

I thank all who mentioned this possibility and FRANK S for his post on another thread about the proper way to adjust trailer bearings. I'll add my two cents here and say that his directions "first movement after no movement" made me adjust mine too tight. I was thinking "first detectable play" which really isn't much movement at all. I think with the wheel and tire on, you need some really detectable motion, 1/16" to 1/8", at the edge of the tire. Anything tighter and the bearings get hot (I say this after taking the wheels off 6 times yesterday).
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Old 06-18-2006, 03:19 PM   #7
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Bearing preloading

Tight or preloaded bearings in a hub that's on an Airstream trailer, will cause a hot hub.

Hot bearings and/or hubs, is asking for premature failure of the running gear.

Not opinion, but fact.

Andy
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Old 06-19-2006, 08:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium
I can feel the tiniest bit of play when I grasp each side of the tire and rock it. The wheel turns freely, .....

I am somewhat surprised and a little confused with your above statement and the outcome. In a later post you state the movement at the edge of the tire would be like 1/16 to 1/8". 1/8" of an inch at the tire edge ain't much. In fact the tire edge is a good foot and a half away from the bearing center. Far less tire rock than I would expect if you backed off the nut 3 castellations. I guess in your above statement the "tineist bit" was something much less than 1/16"

I am gonna be more aware the next time I repack my bearings.

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Old 06-19-2006, 09:35 AM   #9
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I packed a lot of bearings when I was younger and I don't think that it is the bearings. I would suspect that the brakes are somehow dragging on the drum even when they are not applied. This commonly happens when new pads are installed and one end or the other is in contact just a little with the drum. Check for that.

The other thing is, are the bearings perhaps turning on the spindle or in the race. They should fit snug so that the bearings take the load do not spin. If they are too loose they will ruin the spindle or race in a hurry. We in fact used to "pean" the spindle if the bearing turned on it by dimpling it with a ball pean hammer.

You shouldn't have any play in the wheel. That means the bearings are not seated and may spin. Tighten and back off til the wheel or hub spins freely.

I would really check the brake pads and see if one end or the other is worn. That would mean contact. If that is the case, it should wear in. When packing the bearings you may have reset the pads in their relation to the drum.
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Old 06-19-2006, 09:40 AM   #10
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I went back and reread the posts and now realize that I chimed in when you had already solved the problem. I guess I need new glasses as I didn't see the PROBLEM SOLVED header the first time.
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Old 06-19-2006, 03:13 PM   #11
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I, too, am very surprised by the loose setting of the bearings. Let me close by relating what happened on the road (I'm finally in Vegas 792 miles later).

After I tested the bearings for 20 miles and they were cool, I was confident that the problem was really solved. Wrong. With the trailer loaded, I found one side pretty hot (not boiling, but too hot to touch) and the other side uncomfortably warm. So I turned off the brakes and ran 50 more miles. Better, but still differing temps, side-to-side. So I backed off the cooler side one castellation and the hot side two castellations.

Another 50 miles and the cooler side was now definitely cool, almost the same temp as the TV drums. But the hot side was still hot. So I backed it off another castellation. Ran another 50 miles and lo and behold, it was warmer than the cool side, but almost acceptable. Another 50 miles and it was cool.

Now, don't anyone think for a minute that this was the brakes wearing in. I can assure you that they were absolutely backed off to the point that they were not touching. That's the next adjustment--bring them back a little closer to the drum.

After the two sides were performing similarly and with the bearings warm from highway speeds, I jacked up the trailer and checked the play at the tire's edge on both sides. It was identical, about 1/8". I appeciate Action's remark about the 1/16". Now that I think about it, it was probably more like 1/64"--barely perceptable.

All I'm concerned about now is exactly what Cooperhawk says--"are the bearing races turning?" Crap.
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Old 06-19-2006, 05:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium
All I'm concerned about now is exactly what Cooperhawk says--"are the bearing races turning?" Crap.
If the races were or are turning in the hub, the temps would go off the scale. The races are not designed to spin in the hub so if they did heat/friction would be extremely high. So high that you might be able to smell it after a short trip and walking over to the axles.

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Old 06-19-2006, 11:22 PM   #13
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Hello Zep,
I am wondering about this delimma ,I think ,yes maybe your adjustment was too tight ,but it seems in order to get the hot side,(and by the way if you can't touch the hub its really hot ,not good ) you had to back off the nut more than the other side although it sounds in the end they were or might be the same play .However ,I think you need to check and see if you have a bent spindle ,abeit even a little forward or towards the rear possibly ,the wheel assembly may be turned slightly inward or outward ,possibly even a visual will show it ,sighting down the side of the airstream .Look at the tire and the tread wear ,how's it look ,is it scrubbing ? Properly adjusted ,equally
both sides ,they should be warm ,never hot as we already know .The one side should not require more looseness than the other .if the spindle is bent
the looser you make the adjustment it would run cooler.I have seen the problem before so its possible .The arm / spindle assembly may not be square
to the axle either ,definately check it carefully as things can go wrong .
You are obviousely capable of performing quality work as has been seen ,
so I can't believe the problem is in your bearing adjustment .Even when you figured they were possibly too tight that one side still was HOT while the other was only warm .And maybe they were too tight a bit ,as has been suggested ,but still somthing isn't right on the one side ,find out what .

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Old 06-21-2006, 01:14 PM   #14
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When the freight company brought the axle out, it was shipped bare. Absolutely no protection, not even a pallet. And grease all over the spindles! I'm totally surprised FedEx Freight would accept it.

Yes, there is some concern that a spindle could be bent, but I don't see any evidence yet.
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