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Old 10-19-2014, 05:23 PM   #15
Agent 86
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1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
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Benton , Arkansas
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Back the brake way off, take a test drive see if it gets hot. If not tighten it in a couple stages testing in between.

The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

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Old 10-19-2014, 05:52 PM   #16
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,282
These trailer brakes can be real touchy which probably has a lot to do with brake compounds being too aggressive and the brake shoe not matching the inside of the drum. When the brakes are applied or if they are too tight, the friction throws the shoes into the drum and amplifies the braking force. Usually the leading shoe controls this process. That would be the front one. If you ever wondered why the front shoe is different than the back shoe this is why. Where the shoe touches the drum controls this braking force amplification. It is probably best to adjust shoes really loose till they brake in then adjust them again. In the old days when drum brakes were king they would grind the shoes to match the drum. Now they just throw them on there and pray. I had an issue with my Ranger truck brakes. The cheap shoes I put on there would lock real easy and drag the back wheels. I put better shoes on the back and the problem went away. Drums were not even turned. Drums need to be turned when they are no longer flat and there is a big lip on the edge. They can be out of spec (too big) which makes the braking in process take longer. Magnets are another variable. Both drum and magnets can wear. They need to be replaced as a set or the drum needs to be machined flat again. Also I think these Chinese made brakes have thinner linings which gives you less lifetime and longer break in times till they match the drum. Changing brake shoes that are not worn out is not always a good thing if yours are good and already broken in.


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Old 10-19-2014, 06:20 PM   #17
Rivet Master
1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
Knoxville , Tennessee
Join Date: Oct 2010
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There is a leading shoe and a trailing shoe. The leading shoe can grab or self brake if it is not completely clear of the drum. Any grease on the shoes or the drum can cause this. Does the surface of the shoe and drum look the same as the others? I assumed you checked and greased the bearings? Not sure exactly what the acuator arm is but if it can move enough for the shoes to make contact with the drum it is a problem. Dragging brakes are not totally uncommon to Airstreams or any drum brake. If you do not find anything else I would be suspicious of the shoe material on that brake. Did you turn the drums and get the shoes arced to the diameter of the drum? Are the return springs working and the pivot points lubed? You might try loosening the adjustor more and dumping a little Ajax or Old Dutch Clenser in the drum when you reassemble it.
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Old 10-21-2014, 05:46 PM   #18
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1991 34' Excella
1963 26' Overlander
Central , Mississippi
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I recall someone getting a set of loaded plates that ended up being semi magnitized, that could cause them to self brake just enough to heat up. Their clue was iron filings sticking to the brake parts. Just something else to look at.
Hi Ho Silver RV! Vernon, Sarah, Mac the Border Collie -
A honkin' long 34' named AlumaTherapy
and a 26' '63 Overlander, Dolly
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Old 11-02-2014, 05:01 PM   #19
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2005 30' Classic
Kingston , Washington
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 221
I would like to thank all of you for your thoughts regarding my brake problem. I also realize that it is difficult to diagnose a problem from afar. Nothing was making sense to me on this.

I was in contact with the supplier of the brake assemblies who had some suggestions of their own. All of these failed to solve my problem. So they agreed to send me a replacement brake assembly.

I installed the replacement assembly last Saturday but was unable to perform a test drive with the trailer until yesterday. The brake on the affected wheel worked just like the others. They were all at relatively the same temperature. I now feel confident to take the trailer out (as we are planning for the coming long weekend).

Although I still do not know what the underlying issue with the "bad" brake assembly, I am satisfied that it is working now.

Thanks again!


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