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Old 11-24-2009, 09:54 PM   #1
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Trailer pulls to right slightly when brakes pressed

So I had my brakes replaced in July on my 72 Tradewind before a 3,000 mile trip to Colorado. This problem happened before replacement where the trailer "shutters" slightly like it's being pulled by the right rear brake. Can't say that it does it every time just some times. Do you typically need to take a trailer back in for say a 3000 mile service after brake replacement? Could it be the brake controller settings? Is this a typical problem where one brake is out of adjustment causing the "shutter"?
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:05 PM   #2
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Trailer pulls to right slightly when brakes pressed

The thing that I would suspect is that the drums and brake shoes may not have been machined to match. I know that this is not a terribly common practice, but the shop that renewed the brakes on my Overlander insisted that this was the only way to go -- and after seeing and feeling the result in the form of much better and smoother brake performance, I am a believer.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:21 PM   #3
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So I had my brakes replaced in July on my 72 Tradewind before a 3,000 mile trip to Colorado. This problem happened before replacement where the trailer "shutters" slightly like it's being pulled by the right rear brake. Can't say that it does it every time just some times. Do you typically need to take a trailer back in for say a 3000 mile service after brake replacement? Could it be the brake controller settings? Is this a typical problem where one brake is out of adjustment causing the "shutter"?
Hub and drums back then are famous for becoming out of round.

A good machine can correct that, sometimes.

Andy
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:30 PM   #4
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Brakes

I guess that would explain why the same wheel still seems to grab and pull the trailer that direction? If the hub wasn't replaced then the new brake will follow the path of the old brake? That means that it needs more than just an adjustment due to usual wear?
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:33 PM   #5
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I guess that would explain why the same wheel still seems to grab and pull the trailer that direction? If the hub wasn't replaced then the new brake will follow the path of the old brake?
Your correct.

What your experiencing, is why we suggest owners replace complete axles, that is with new brakes, and hub and drums, that today, are unicast. That eliminates many of the old problems, with out of balance and out of round drums.

Andy
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Old 11-25-2009, 04:33 AM   #6
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This problem happened before replacement where the trailer "shutters" slightly like it's being pulled by the right rear brake.
The same problem came with our 23 when we bought it. The grabbing got worse as the drum hot hotter. A new drum on the suspect wheel solved the problem.
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Old 11-25-2009, 04:56 AM   #7
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Since it did it before the new brakes - see advice above. But, your new brakes do need to be adjusted anyway - from Dexter's site:

BRAKES - How often should I adjust my brakes?
Dexter recommends that manual adjust brakes be adjusted . . . 1) After the first 200 miles of operation when the brake shoes and drums have "seated". 2) At 3,000 mile intervals. 3) Or as use or performance requires.
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:09 AM   #8
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pulling to the right can also be caused by the left side not working or the right side working too well.

a bad bearing, leaking grease seal, or weak return springs can also cause a pull.

i haven't seen it mentioned in any threads in the last two years but the backing plates also need to be lubricated at the points where the brake shoes contact it so that they apply and release smoothly.
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:03 AM   #9
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pulling to the right can also be caused by the left side not working or the right side working too well.

a bad bearing, leaking grease seal, or weak return springs can also cause a pull.

i haven't seen it mentioned in any threads in the last two years but the backing plates also need to be lubricated at the points where the brake shoes contact it so that they apply and release smoothly.
In actual tests, using a tandem axle trailer, disconnecting the wires from one brake, had interesting results.

If a brake was disabled on the left side, and the trailer brakes only was applied, the tow vehicle would go to the left, or the same side as the disconnected brake was on.

As an example, if one brake one the left side was inoperable, and the trailer brakes was applied, the trailer would want to go to the right. That, pushed the rear end of the tow vehicle to the right, which made the front end, of the tow vehicle, go to the left, or the same side as the brake failure.

Try it next time your going to take your rig out. The results will surprise you.

Andy
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:09 PM   #10
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i'll have to try that. can you explain the physics?

on review, i get it. now we need to find out if the op was feeling the pull in the tv or seeing the trailer move.
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:18 PM   #11
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also, sometimes a warped drum or rotor can be detected while turning the wheel. a steady drag should be felt. if it grabs and releases in the same 360 degree rotation, you need to determine why.
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:32 PM   #12
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First thing I would do is jack up one side and while someone is at the manual brake control spin the wheel and have them hit the manual control. Note the effectiveness of each brake. Do the same on the other side. Brakes should slam to a stop when the manual control is used.

Also while you have each side up spin the wheels and see if there is a noticeable high point. This would indicate a warped drum. If a drum is warped I would replace it before going any further.

If the electronics and the drums check out OK I would then remove the drums and do a visual inspection of the shoes, for grease, and the mechanical parts, for broken springs or shorted magnet.

In any case you can replace the complete brake assembly and drums very cheaply and there is no reason to replace the axle with the problem you are having.
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Old 11-25-2009, 05:45 PM   #13
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Brakes Pulling

Well I did replace the complete brake assemblies on all wheel and magnets but don't think they did the drums. I think the scenario that it heats up and warps on one wheel is accurate as it doesn't do it all the time, the pull is slight not excessive. One other clue I've been told is that when in sand, as in pulling through a campground the wheel (I think it is the same one but not sure) locks up some as I hit the brakes on turns.
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:07 PM   #14
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If you have defined one wheel that locks up for any reason that is the one to pull off and have a good look.

However before pulling that drum check the adjustment. While the trailer is jacked up spin that wheel while counting the clicks on the star wheel to cause the wheel to completely stop. That should be about 3 to 5 clicks of the star wheel. Too few and that wheel is most likely running hot. Too many may cause it to have a delayed reaction when applied and lock.
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