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Old 03-29-2008, 03:19 PM   #1
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1991 34' Excella
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USA made brake shoes

Last month I had posted the fact that I lost all 6 brakes on my trailer,http://www.airforums.com/forums/f439...tos-39590.html and http://www.airforums.com/forums/f439...ion-39132.html. It now appears quite certain that the problem is within the shoes. The shoes are less than 20,000 miles but have produced enough dust to cause the brakes to fail. I have replaced one set with and old set I had around the shop and got reasonable results. Now I have to replace all 6 before I will venture out again.

My question now is does anyone know of a source for brake shoes that are made in the USA and hopefully of better quality than my current Chinese shoes?
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Old 03-29-2008, 06:03 PM   #2
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Best answer is to find a local brake and clutch rebuilder/reliner in your area.
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE
Last month I had posted the fact that I lost all 6 brakes on my trailer,http://www.airforums.com/forums/f439...tos-39590.html and http://www.airforums.com/forums/f439...ion-39132.html. It now appears quite certain that the problem is within the shoes. The shoes are less than 20,000 miles but have produced enough dust to cause the brakes to fail. I have replaced one set with and old set I had around the shop and got reasonable results. Now I have to replace all 6 before I will venture out again.

My question now is does anyone know of a source for brake shoes that are made in the USA and hopefully of better quality than my current Chinese shoes?
Information from 2 different reliable sources, states that all travel trailer brakes for many years, are imported from China.

The additional information is the American electric brake manufacturers, went out of sight with their prices, resulting in the China issue.

And finally, all torsion and spring type axle manufacturers, use electric brakes, from China.

Andy
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:58 PM   #4
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Brake systems "how to."

The following manual should be helpful to those that have any brake questions, or problems.

http://inlandrv.com/GKNAxles.pdf

Andy
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Old 04-16-2008, 06:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Information from 2 different reliable sources, states that all travel trailer brakes for many years, are imported from China.

The additional information is the American electric brake manufacturers, went out of sight with their prices, resulting in the China issue.

And finally, all torsion and spring type axle manufacturers, use electric brakes, from China.

Andy
Andy,

sorry to burst your bubble, but as a diamond tool manufacturer I have a few customers that manufacture brake linings for trailers and automotive. One customer in particular in St. Louis manufactures the 10" and 12" for Alko axle and stamps Alko's name on them.
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Old 04-16-2008, 06:52 PM   #6
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Excellant Manual

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
The following manual should be helpful to those that have any brake questions, or problems.

http://inlandrv.com/GKNAxles.pdf

Andy
Thanks Andy.

That is quite the handy manual. I had not thought of the 20 & 30 mph stop & adjust factor (page 18). Anyone getting new axels or brakes should read this manual. I know my trailer will be the better for it. I had just used the brake controler to set the brakes.

As soon as the current projects are done I will readjust the braking set up.
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Old 04-16-2008, 07:34 PM   #7
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Andy thanks for the file. We have been driving with self adjusting brakes for so long that we take it for granted. I try to impress the importance of inspection and brake adjustment at least on an annual basis. This gives even the most novice the necessary information to do the job properly and if they are unwilling or unable to do the job it provides them with enough information to make certain that the mechanic does it properly.
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Old 04-16-2008, 07:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drag'nwagon
Andy,

sorry to burst your bubble, but as a diamond tool manufacturer I have a few customers that manufacture brake linings for trailers and automotive. One customer in particular in St. Louis manufactures the 10" and 12" for Alko axle and stamps Alko's name on them.

I was referring to backing plate assemblies, not just the linings.

Andy
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Old 04-16-2008, 07:40 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Smokin Camel
Thanks Andy.

That is quite the handy manual. I had not thought of the 20 & 30 mph stop & adjust factor (page 18). Anyone getting new axels or brakes should read this manual. I know my trailer will be the better for it. I had just used the brake controler to set the brakes.

As soon as the current projects are done I will readjust the braking set up.
We provide that manual with every axle order we receive.

If someone has good axles, I would suggest that they print that manual, for future reference.

Andy
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:04 AM   #10
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An update on my loss of brakes.

I replaced all six backerplate assemblies with new Dexter plates. While you can not be sure of anything a manufacutre tells you now days Dexter calims their plates and parts are made in the USA.

As for the underlying problem that caused the lose of my brakes it now appears to have been the magnets. Not an electrical failure but rather a build up of material shead by the magnets that deposited itself in the magnet mounting hole and cemented the magnet to the magnet arm. As I removed each assembly I found each magnet hard fixed to the arm to the point I had to brakes each one free to get any movement of the magnet. Upon inspection it was clear that this afixing limited the forward movement of the magnet towards the armature to that of the arm. As the arm came in contact with the back of the center web of the forward shoe the magnet could no longer contact the armature and thus could not apply the brakes.

Sorry I did not take a picture of the contact markings on the arm but they were clearly much greater than one would see from normal movement.

I have attached two picutres of the magnets, one as found and one after I broke it free. The mass of material that limited the magnet movement is visible.
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Old 04-17-2008, 03:26 PM   #11
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I had a lengthily conversation with Andy regarding my recent brake failure. We discussed who is currently supplying brake parts to the major axle manufactures. He had PM me that his shop had recently found the same magnet affixed to the magnet arm. We considered what may be causing this buildup of material in the magnet mounting hole. He suggested possible residual magnetism was causing the magnet to ride against the armatures and for material to build up in the mounting hole thus causing the magnets to be affixed to the arms.

I tested the brakes I had just removed from my trailer. With the magnets flat on a table and aligned in a N S relationship I would move a compass in from the west side of the magnet. The compass reacted at about 5 ins. from the magnet. I then did the same test on magnets from 2 older set of brakes. The reaction was less leading me to assume that the newest magnets were the coulpret.

I then removed all the magnets from the backer plates and repeated the test. Surprisingly there was no reaction to the compass in all three cases. Where did the magnetism go?

I then removed the magnet arm from each plate and tested them. In each case the compass reacted as the it neared the point of the arm that holds the magnet. The metal of the arms had become magnetized.

A close review of the dusty material building up in the mounting hole showed the material lined in a flux pattern radiating out from the arm.

The newest magnets had no identifying markings as to manufacture where as the other 2 where AL KO. While each of the arms did show evidence of magnetism I had never seen metal partials when disassembling brakes. I assume it is coming from the unnamed magnets or unnamed drums.

I am about to open things up again and will note if there is any evidence of metal evident around the mounting hole.

Hopefully a conclusive answer will follow.
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Old 04-17-2008, 04:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE
I had a lengthily conversation with Andy regarding my recent brake failure. We discussed who is currently supplying brake parts to the major axle manufactures. He had PM me that his shop had recently found the same magnet affixed to the magnet arm. We considered what may be causing this buildup of material in the magnet mounting hole. He suggested possible residual magnetism was causing the magnet to ride against the armatures and for material to build up in the mounting hole thus causing the magnets to be affixed to the arms.

I tested the brakes I had just removed from my trailer. With the magnets flat on a table and aligned in a N S relationship I would move a compass in from the west side of the magnet. The compass reacted at about 5 ins. from the magnet. I then did the same test on magnets from 2 older set of brakes. The reaction was less leading me to assume that the newest magnets were the coulpret.

I then removed all the magnets from the backer plates and repeated the test. Surprisingly there was no reaction to the compass in all three cases. Where did the magnetism go?

I then removed the magnet arm from each plate and tested them. In each case the compass reacted as the it neared the point of the arm that holds the magnet. The metal of the arms had become magnetized.

A close review of the dusty material building up in the mounting hole showed the material lined in a flux pattern radiating out from the arm.

The newest magnets had no identifying markings as to manufacture where as the other 2 where AL KO. While each of the arms did show evidence of magnetism I had never seen metal partials when disassembling brakes. I assume it is coming from the unnamed magnets or unnamed drums.

I am about to open things up again and will note if there is any evidence of metal evident around the mounting hole.

Hopefully a conclusive answer will follow.

More fruit for thought.

I just tested every new backing plate, both 10 and 12 inch, as Howie did, and received another surprise.

Without exception, the compass moved the same as in Howie's tests.

These backing plates have never had a voltage applied to them, except possibly for a quick continuety test for the magnets.

But on the other hand, I would suspect that the magnets were checked before they were installed on the backing plates.

Is this going to be another one of lifes unsolved mysteries?

Stay tuned as I am sure more information will be forthcoming.

Also, this discovery, adds much more to the credence of doing a major brake job every 10,000 miles or once a year, which ever comes first.

If not, asking for brake trouble is on the other side of the door.

Andy
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