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Old 12-22-2006, 11:44 PM   #1
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Question Trailer Brakes Acting up

I pick up my trailer from the factory yesterday after three weeks of waiting. They did a nice job.
Only one problem.
The brakes are behaving differently then when I dropped it off.
When I dropped it off I had the tow command set to 5.5 This gave goood smooth braking. When I took her out for a test ride with the factory rep. 5.5 nearly jerked me out of my seat. I backed it off to 4.0 same results. 3.0 same results. The tow command shows very little output. First bar. Stopping at highway speeds is better but still seems to have one setting maximum stop. No locking up yet.

I went to Dexters website and they have a trouble shooting guide.
"Harsh brakes" has two possibilities. Brake adjustent not correct or grease or fluild on brakes. Surging Brakes has tow possibilities. grease or fluid on linings or out of round drums. I have disks. This would seem to point to FLuid of grease being the cuprit. They did have to bleed the brakes. after the repair due to replacing the "battery" box which contains the actibrake system. this makes me think they ot some brake fluid on the pads.

Anyone else have an experience like this? What caused it and how did the problem get remedied?

Thanks,
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Old 12-23-2006, 02:59 AM   #2
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Just to clarify.... I think...

Michelle -

Just trying to clarify what I read - the way I read your post, had me thinking that 5.5 had the trailer braking to STRONGLY....right? That was why you backed it off to 4, 3, etc... ending at 1 IIRC.

Taking the above as correct, I would expect the brakes, if fluid was left on the pads/ rotors as having no, or nearly no effect on braking - thus having to raise the controller to ever higher numbers.

Unless, of course, I am completely ass over elbow wrong about this. Entirely possible of course!

Again, if I am reading and extrapolating correctly, I would think that perhaps they put new pads or ? on the trailer, and that is making it brake so strongly - fluid on the same important parts would give virtually NO stopping ability. Great brakes are a terrific thing, but not if they weird you out! I would ask in the shop at JC, and see what EXACTLY they did to the brake system - in excruciating detail, until you get that info nugget that will yield the answer.


You'll feel better, likely safer, and not so weirded out, you'll be able to leave JC, with a TrailerPark Troubadors song in your heart

Happy AirStreaming in the Holiday Season & Happy New Year!

Ciao

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Old 12-23-2006, 04:34 AM   #3
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Sounds like you are getting full aperage to the brakes all the time . Did they have to repair any wiring ? What explanation did the service rep. riding with you give? Could the tow command be toast ?
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Old 12-23-2006, 06:10 AM   #4
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Michelle,
Assuming you have Elec. over Hyd. disc brakes.
If you have a surge brake system, the following is mute.

Does the new factory installed "tow command" system have two settings?

Many elec. brake controllers have two settings. Synchronization & Gain. When you change the numeric setting from 5, 4, 3, etc. you are changing the "gain". This is basically controlling the amperage or "strength" going to your brakes.
The Sync. setting has a lot to do with reaction time and some other magic stuff. If your controller has both settings; check the sync. setting and make sure is hasn't changed. Generally (except for changes caused by wear, or new trailer, new vehicle, etc.) the sync. setting will remain the same. The gain may be turned up and down based on conditions or load. RV trailers are fairly constant in weight or load. If you were towing an equipment trailer (one day empty, the next day loaded) you would vary the "gain" to compensate for the load or lack of.

Hope this helps.

em.
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Old 12-23-2006, 07:26 AM   #5
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Michelle, did they change out the pads from organic to semi-mettallic, or ceramic? After I changed the pads on Rich's trailer, substituting semi-metallic for the organic, he noticed more aggressive braking from the trailer. If the factory went from organic to ceramic, you may notice even more aggressive braking.
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Old 12-23-2006, 07:34 AM   #6
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5.5 was the setting I used before I dorpped off the trailer and I had no reason to change it. After they fixed the trailer 5.5 resulted in much stronger braking. That is when I backed off the gain on the controller.

I would think fluid would reduce braking and have to up the gain. but that is not what the dexter info said.

I did ask them what they did. The tech told me thay had to remove the actibrake unit to replace the box that contained it. this means dis-connecting the hydraulic line. He said all they did is bleed the system. He double checked the wiring and re-bled the brakes. I specificly asked if they replaced the pads. He said no. I would have thought if the wiring was wrong the the brake system would not work at all. He said if on of the wires was incorrect it could go in the Brake-a-way mode. THere is a local AS deal near Jacksonville. I am goign to give them a call this morning. I am also going to have the local Ford dealer check out the output of the tow command.
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Old 12-23-2006, 07:35 AM   #7
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Thats what it felt like but if the towcommand is putting out full output I would expect the output bar display to show same. it only shows one or two bars.
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Old 12-23-2006, 07:37 AM   #8
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The load on the truck went up by a couple hundred pounds. I put a cap on while the Factory was repairing my baby.
The factory tow command does not have a sync, just gain. My prodigy had both. I am seriuosly considering installing that if I cannot get this resolved.
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Old 12-23-2006, 07:43 AM   #9
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Contaminated pads WILL cause the brakes to grab, if it is brake fluid and not grease. If they bled the system, they may have gotten brake fluid on the pads.
If they are contaminated, it is an easy and cheap repair. Just go to your local Napa and ask for two sets of front brake pads for a 1986 Chevy Celebrity, 2.5 engin, non heavy-duty brakes. Make sure you install the pads so the squealers (wear indicators) are on the leading edge of the outboard pad. You will need a small hammer to clinch over the mounting ears on the outboard pads, but I think you probably have one somewhere in your toolbox. If you get stuck doing this, and need real-time support, PM me with your cell number, and I will talk you through it. Piece of cake.
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Old 12-23-2006, 07:49 AM   #10
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They claim and I quote "All I did is bleed the brakes." Now someone may have snuck in there when he wasn't looking and chaged them.
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Old 12-23-2006, 07:50 AM   #11
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I have a better idea. The trailer is still well within warrenty. Hey AS dealer replace the pads!
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Old 12-23-2006, 07:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecatsandi
I have a better idea. The trailer is still well within warrenty. Hey AS dealer replace the pads!
That's even easier and cheaper, if you can take the time to wait on it. I'll be willing to wager the tech got brake fluid on the inboard pads while bleeding them.
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Old 12-23-2006, 08:00 AM   #13
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Thats what I suspected after reading the dexter info. I am going to call the dealer here in about an hour.
I am at my sisters and her husband is mechanicly challanged. If the have a good screwdriver I feel lucky. I do not have access to a Floor jack. I have the rest of the tools in my truck to change the pads.

Michelle
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Old 12-23-2006, 09:31 AM   #14
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Michelle--if you suspect contamination as per fluid, you can crawl under the trailer and see if this is the case without jacking the trailer. Once under the calipers are located in such a way you can see if fluid is present. Secondly if the correct fluid was used during bleeding, dot 3-4, it is water soluable --I would think a good rinse would remove it if that's all thats on them. Personally I doubt this is the problem as it's unlikely a tech would get fluid on the pads evenly enough on all wheels. I could under stand it if you haad one wheel locking.---pieman
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