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Old 08-20-2011, 12:59 PM   #1
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2010 16' International
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"Never adjust" brake is dragging - how do I loosen it?

My "Nev-r-adjust" brake on 2010 16' is dragging and heating up. Did a quick run with zero gain on brake controller and barely touched the brakes, and that side is running hot, other side is completely cool.

Even if I get it checked out under warranty, I need to drive 1+ hour to Mass, can't do it like this. There are two long skinny oval plugs with a little adjuster mechanism inside, but it's ratchet-style, can adjust only one way (tighten, most likely). Can I remove the drum and adjust this never-adjust brake, maybe dial it way back and let it adjust itself again?

What do I do to remove the drum? Can of worms that I will regret getting into?
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Old 08-20-2011, 02:09 PM   #2
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Well, I just removed the drum, found the "never adjust" adjuster which is pretty much just as adjustable as the adjustable version ... and backed it off. Going for a test drive to let it readjust itself.
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Old 08-20-2011, 02:15 PM   #3
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On most automotive self adjusting brakes you can lift the adjuster arm with a screwdriver and the back off the adjusting wheel without having to remove the drum. Without lifting the arm the adjuster will only tighten

I am assuming the ones on trailer drum brakes would be the same
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Old 08-20-2011, 03:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickDavis View Post
On most automotive self adjusting brakes you can lift the adjuster arm with a screwdriver and the back off the adjusting wheel without having to remove the drum
Correct - on my 2010 16', you must lift the spring-loaded arm off the ratchet teeth in order to turn the "star" the other way. This wasn't easy to do without removing the drum - but once the drum was off, piece of cake. Just got back from test drive, both brakes cool, but truck brakes hot -- seems they aren't self-adjusting too quickly I'm going to go tighten them up ever so slightly.
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Old 08-20-2011, 04:12 PM   #5
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Followup... jacked up each side, verified that I could turn the wheels with slight dragging/contact sound from the shoes. Tightened the adjuster on left two more notches. Increased brake controller gain from 7.5 to 9.0 (out of 10.0 max), test drove, felt okay, but truck brakes still slightly hot and trailer brakes relatively cool. The side on which I made the adjustment was slightly warmer than the other side. Next step, will adjust the cooler brake 1-2 notches. Slowly dialing it in... wonder if I should really need to max out the brake controller, or if I understand correctly how the controller works. Is "gain" the amount of pressure applied once the brakes activate, or is it the "sensitivity" that tells when the brakes actually begin to kick in?). Controller is built-in on the 2011 Dodge Ram 2500 diesel but user manual is pretty useless...
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