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Old 01-23-2012, 07:42 PM   #1
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1986 25' Sovereign
Plant City , Florida
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I just finished installing new dexter never adjust brakes and hubs including bearing and seals.

I have adjusted these brakes according to dexters instructions however like before replacement of the old brakes the stoping power is less than impressive. The initial adjustment is just enough to hear the brake pads just barely touching the drum. The magnet is in constant contact with the outside surface. I have also verified that the backing plates labeled left are on the street side of the trailer and the right on the curb side.

From 35mph using the trailer brakes on the max setting on the P3 brake controller it takes a little more than a 1/4mile to stop the van and trailer.

I have checked all connections and everything is tight and voltage is right. All four brakes are pulling a total of 11.5-12 amps @ 12.5 volts.

I am at a complete loss at this point. Any advice would be great. I am open to all options including dropping it off at the dealer however, I hate to do this as I am extremely capable of fixing anything I can find an issue with.
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:18 PM   #2
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1981 31' Excella II
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Did you adjust them properly before running them? You have to get the adjusters in range for the auto adjusters to keep up. With standard auto adjusters you have to apply the brakes in reverse to get them to adjust.

Perry
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:30 PM   #3
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Perry,

I did adjust them according to dexters instructions ( tighten the brakes till they can't be turned then back off 10 turns. ) I have also tried backing up several miles applying only the trailer brakes stopping on each application of the brakes.

Chris
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:45 AM   #4
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Is that 10 turns or 10 clicks? There is a big difference. Electric drum breaks can be a real pain as I have found out the hard way. You are better off with them a little loose. I have had problems with some wheels locking before others and mine are manual adjust. I have also had problems where they don't release properly. I would put some miles on them and see if things get better. When the brakes seat in they will work much better. Did you install new drums or turn the old ones?

Disk brakes don't have these problems but they are expensive and can have their own issues but overall less issues than drum brakes and better performance.

Perry
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:35 AM   #5
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Might need new magnets.
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:43 AM   #6
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1/4mi from 35mph using TV & AS brakes or AS bks alone? Jacked up at max setting can you turn trlr wheels?

I would think that the Ford could stop the rig well short of 1/4mi even without trlr bks.

Almost sounds like the throttle sticking. Have you tried an emergency stop unhitched?

When we picked up our Classic the umbilical separated and it went un-noticed 'til I saw the red warning light.

Bob
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:45 AM   #7
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They may just need time to "set in". When I installed new axles on my Trade Wind I was not happy with the brake performance. I check the adjustment twice. Full power with the brake controller just did not seem to provide much stopping power. But after about 200 miles of towing with a good number of stops I checked them again. Pulled the lever on the controller all the way over at about 25 MPH and wow, locked up all 4 wheels. May just need to give it some time before you get too deep in to solving a problem you may not really have to solve.
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS
1/4mi from 35mph using TV & AS brakes or AS bks alone? Jacked up at max setting can you turn trlr wheels?

I would think that the Ford could stop the rig well short of 1/4mi even without trlr bks.

Almost sounds like the throttle sticking. Have you tried an emergency stop unhitched?

When we picked up our Classic the umbilical separated and it went un-noticed 'til I saw the red warning light.

Bob
The 1/4mile is using only the trailer brakes. On the max setting I can turn all wheels just by tapping the throttle while holding the trailer brakes only on max. It will eventually stop me again but it takes a few feet.
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Old 01-24-2012, 07:02 AM   #9
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Well it sure seems like the magnets are not applying enough force or adjusters way out. Was your amp reading at the mag's?

I adjust our non-auto 'til I can just turn all wheels with the same effort and no tight spots.

Bob
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Old 01-24-2012, 07:08 AM   #10
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Bob I adjusted mine like you are talking and had really bad problems with them locking up. I have had to pull over more than once and get out and back off the adjusters. I also have problems where they are on a little all the time if they are adjusted too tight. So the 10 turns out may not be to far off.

Perry
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Old 01-24-2012, 07:22 AM   #11
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Perry,

Agree...that's about where I am with ten turns equaling 10 "clicks".

Maybe some large vacant parking lot driving is in order, as 68tw mentioned the shoe's may need to conform/seat on the drums.

It did take me some time to get the proper settings when I changed the controller and installed new shoes at the same time.

Bob
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:10 AM   #12
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I have read other brake adjustment instructions and they say ten clicks not 10 turns. The adjuster makes clicks when you spin the wheel. I think the click is just one notch on that cog and not one turn of the screw that it is attached to. So I expect that 10 clicks is about 2 turns backed off from a locked drum. Which seems about right on what I have experienced.

Perry
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perryg114
I have read other brake adjustment instructions and they say ten clicks not 10 turns. The adjuster makes clicks when you spin the wheel. I think the click is just one notch on that cog and not one turn of the screw that it is attached to. So I expect that 10 clicks is about 2 turns backed off from a locked drum. Which seems about right on what I have experienced.

Perry
I adjusted the 10 clicks although on the auto adjusters it doesn't really click when backing off as you must hold the auto adjust mech out of your way.
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS
Well it sure seems like the magnets are not applying enough force or adjusters way out. Was your amp reading at the mag's?

I adjust our non-auto 'til I can just turn all wheels with the same effort and no tight spots.

Bob
The reading at each magnet is 3 amps.
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