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Old 09-25-2012, 02:10 AM   #1
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How do these brakes look?

We have towed ~5,000 so far this summer. From one end of the country to the other. Over the last few days, the brakes on the Airstream have been feeling weaker than they were when we left. I have a P3 controller and with the power level all the way up, I can't get the brakes to lock up on pavement. (Using the lever on the controller)

Today I raised each one and confirmed all 4 brakes are indeed working. Took one drum off and there still appears to be brake linning left.

How does this assembly look? How do I know when I need to change them out?
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Old 09-25-2012, 04:54 AM   #2
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I would try adjusting them. Sal.
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:36 AM   #3
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The brake lining looks ok as it is still thicker than the backing plate it's mounted to. The magnet and springs look ok too. I'm with Sal - try adjusting them. Do you know how?

Here's another test you can perform. With the trailer connected to the TV, but with the umbilical disconnected, pull the break-away switch and try moving the trailer with the TV. The wheels should be locked up. If they are not, then the brakes really need to be adjusted. Just be sure to perform this test with the umbilical cord disconnected from the TV so you don't damage your brake controller. And don't leave the pin out of the break-away switch for an extended period of time as you could overheat the magnets since they'll be getting full voltage from the battery.

If your brakes lock up doing the break-away switch test, but they will not lock up using the brake controller, then you either have a flaky connection between the brake controller and the brakes, or a bad brake controller.

Chris
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:19 AM   #4
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I do, however, see a crack in the lining of that shoe. If it were me, I would clean everything well, lubricate and free up the adjuster, adjust the shoes and move on down the road. BUT, I'd watch the temps and listen real close for the shoe friction material to POSSIBLY start chunking. If you're not comfortable with that, clean, lube, replace the shoes, and adjust properly only.
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:02 AM   #5
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Those shoes look NEW. There is no evidence of ware on the magnets.

Given that the first order would be to adjust the brakes and try again.

It is the nature of electric brakes to have to be adjusted because of the limited potential movement of the magnet arm.
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:37 AM   #6
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Tinmaah,
I had the same "fade" experience this summer. Cranked the controller up to 10.0 and still drifted. While down at ODM for some other repairs I asked the boys to look at them. They adjusted the brakes and I'm back to a 6.5 setting on my controller, just like the old days.
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:38 AM   #7
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When did AS start using self adjusting brakes?
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BAB BMRZ View Post
When did AS start using self adjusting brakes?
New thread?
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:50 AM   #9
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Could be. I was wondering if I needed to adjust our brakes, or if I had self adjusting brakes. This seemed lake a great place to ask the question.

Sorry Lyle
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:57 AM   #10
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Duh.. It never crossed my mind they could be adjusted.

Considering I used to mess with old Volkswagens, I'm really surprised I missed seing the adjusting star on the bottom.

Check out isn't till 1pm. I guess I'm getting under there this morning.
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