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Old 04-02-2010, 05:18 PM   #15
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I gave away my shoe arcing machine (Ammco) in 1986. While you might think you have to scuff the shoes and drums when you do a brake job (it's a good idea), you don't have to. If you think about it, there's no little guy running around inside the drum scuffing it between brake applications to make the surface rough enough to stop your trailer. The drum and shoes should be cleaned before reassembly, the old dust can act as a lubricant, keeping the shoes and magnet from generating enough friction to stop the trailer. You should make several easy stops with new brakes no matter if it's your tow vehicle or your trailer, this will help seat the shoes, as well as cure the epoxy between the friction material and mounting table. They should be properly adjusted before leaving the shop where they were installed.
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Old 04-08-2010, 01:21 AM   #16
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Sooooo Glad to have Disc Brakes - just dumb luck but still happy I got them...
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Old 04-08-2010, 06:19 AM   #17
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- just dumb luck but still happy I got them...
I've always said I'd rather be lucky than good.
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:02 PM   #18
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Sooooo Glad to have Disc Brakes - just dumb luck but still happy I got them...
Hi, I have stated this before and I will say it again; I would rather have drum brakes that always work than the better stopping disk brakes that sometimes work. Hopefully you won't have the problems others have had. Mostly actuator problems, but too many other problems to list. I'm sure if you search, you will read what I have read.
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:14 PM   #19
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Exclamation New Brake Shoe Problem

Adjustment is the key. Ammco makes a tool so you can measure the diameter of the drum, and the other side of the tool gives the correct adjustment of the brake shoes BEFORE you re-install the drum. A brake specialist will have one of these in his toolbox to save time. Arcing brake shoes has disappeared as a practice on brake work because of the asbestos hazard involved. Shoe effectiveness will improve with miles as someone stated, and you shouldn't burn in new shoes. Sounds like the tech involved is not an ASE Certified Tech on brakes, or he would know better.
Mike
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:17 AM   #20
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I would rather have drum brakes that always work than the better stopping disk brakes that sometimes work. Mostly actuator problems, but too many other problems to list. I'm sure if you search, you will read what I have read.
Yea - you know darn well I read ALL those threads to get up to speed...

I can comfortably stop the trailer with the TV alone (I have some MONSTER brakes on that bad boy) - let's hope I don't need too but comforting if necessary...

After much study out on the web/dealers/users it appears to myself and many others (as posted here too) that a certain brake actuator company had some bad units out in the field - lost a bit of money replacing fried electronics (that most think were caused by improper installs) and just closed up shop - waiting for them to reopen under another brand name (they are still in existence making "electronics modules" for the other "brake actuator" guy in town).

They also appear to have some issues with their first units - but those bugs were worked out long ago...

Unfortunately - in this day of the Internet - its hard to hide from your history...
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:01 PM   #21
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Disc brakes have many advantages. They are great for high speed frequent stopping where heat is a problem. Neither of these conditions are present while towing a trailer. Drum brakes have the capicity to lock the trailer wheels, An indication of more braking than can be used.

Given this I can't see any reason to run the risk associated with failing actuators associated with disc brakes.

As for the problems having been fixed just do a search for those members that are still looking for an answer as how to get their systems to work for more that a day or so.
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Old 04-12-2010, 05:19 PM   #22
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Hi, after just taking a walk in the neighborhood, [looking at parked cars] I was re-aqainted with another reason that I don't like disk brakes; Extremely dirty, stained, and pitted wheels. You never got that with drum brakes.

My Lincoln has four disk brakes, stops well, clean rear wheels, and slightly dirty front wheels.

My wife's BMW has four huge disk brakes and it can put your head through the windshield just by looking at the brake pedal. [slight exageration] But it makes those nice silver wheels look like junk yard crap in about a week. [black dust]
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:23 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
Drum brakes have the capicity to lock the trailer wheels, An indication of more braking than can be used.
I really don't want to lock them up, but my four 12" brakes have never locked my wheels on dry pavement. Gravel or wet pavement, yes.

Maybe I could, if I turned the gain up all the way on the controller? But I can't drive with it that way and it doesn't seem to matter anyway.

We have really great braking between the trailer's four drums and the big red truck's four discs. Besides, you're not supposed to use the brakes, it slows the roll and cuts your gas mileage.

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Old 04-13-2010, 10:53 AM   #24
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I really don't want to lock them up, but my four 12" brakes have never locked my wheels on dry pavement. Gravel or wet pavement, yes.
The statement about drum brakes having the capacity to lock the wheel was not a suggestion that one should set up their system to do that. It is just that a statement of capacity. The selling point for disc brakes is often their higher ability reduce brake fade do to heat build up from frequent or extreme use. These conditions do not exist during towing there for there is little reason to use disc brakes on a trailer especially when they have not yet designed a control system that has any level of dependability.

Yes if the control system is ever accepted as having a level of dependability then there might be a reason to install disc brakes in trailers. Currently I see no gain.
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:51 AM   #25
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I have the impression that brake lock up is more difficult to obtain with the electronic controllers because many of them pulse the brakes. With the old hydraulic controllers lock up seemed easier to achieve, not that you would want to.

The only disc brake setup I ever pulled was on a 36 ft 13000 lb cedar creek 5th wheel.

Apparently the hydraulic pump in these systems is powered from the trailer battery, while the info on "how hard to pump" comes from the TV brake controller.
When delivering new trailers we normally do not have the charge line on since a lot of unit will have lights on inside and we may not have keys to get in and turn them off.
Any way the trailer quickly drained the small battery I was using for the breakaway battery and I suddenly had no brakes.
No disaster as a result but it did take some head scratching to figure out the problem and turn the charge line on.
Just something to keep in mind. Dead trailer battery , possibly no brakes with disks
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:41 PM   #26
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Drum brakes are reliable and do not have a lot of ancillary parts to fail. They do have to be adjusted properly unless you have the new self adjusting brakes Dexter released recently. I like discs because they work better in extreme braking situations and do not need adjustment but you have to pay attention to the pad wear condition because worn out pads will do in a disc brake rotor very quickly. If you have been boondocking and have run down your trailer battery you could also have a problem with brakes until the battery is recharged. There are pluses and minuses on both sides of this question but I lean towards reliabilty and simplicity.
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