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Old 09-20-2017, 12:44 PM   #1
Mike from Canmore
 
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Brake failures in 2017-2018 models

My new 2018 27' Flying Cloud had been in the shop for over three weeks following major brake problems. The star wheel came loose and caused significant damage as it rattled around & then became lodged in the works. Once in the shop, it was found two other wheels had issues as well. Still waiting on parts. I'm curious to know how many others are having brake problems on new trailers?
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Old 09-20-2017, 01:09 PM   #2
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If the brakes were installed correctly originally I can not envision any way the star wheel could have come dislodged. The groves at the ends of the star wheel are over a 1/4 in deep and if they were backed in enough to slip off the brake shoe you had NO brakes at all as the lower part of the brake shoe ride almost touching the drum as set by the star wheel.

Please comment if you ever had braking action from the trailer.
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Old 09-20-2017, 01:26 PM   #3
Mike from Canmore
 
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Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
If the brakes were installed correctly originally I can not envision any way the star wheel could have come dislodged. The groves at the ends of the star wheel are over a 1/4 in deep and if they were backed in enough to slip off the brake shoe you had NO brakes at all as the lower part of the brake shoe ride almost touching the drum as set by the star wheel.

Please comment if you ever had braking action from the trailer.
No, originally the brakes appeared to be working normally. Then on our last trip, my wife got out to turn off the fridge at a gas station and heard a hideous noise coming from the front right wheel. The wheel was not excessively hot, and the noise stopped. We thought a pebble had gotten caught and eventually worked loose. But eventually, a squeal started, and we brought the trailer straight to the dealer in Calgary where we live.
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Old 09-20-2017, 01:33 PM   #4
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Any pictures of components?
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Old 09-20-2017, 01:59 PM   #5
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Any pictures of components?
No. I haven't been around when they've been working on it.
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Old 09-20-2017, 02:05 PM   #6
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Hi

Star wheel failures on drum brakes are not uncommon. You can find reports of similar failures going back decades. That's in no way to trivialize the issue. It's just to point out that it is *not* only a 2017 / 2018 sort of thing.

Bob
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Old 09-20-2017, 02:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

Star wheel failures on drum brakes are not uncommon. You can find reports of similar failures going back decades. That's in no way to trivialize the issue. It's just to point out that it is *not* only a 2017 / 2018 sort of thing.

Bob
I was wondering if there might have been a stretch of improper installations/quality control on the assembly line, either at AS, or at Dexter.
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:46 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mike G View Post
I was wondering if there might have been a stretch of improper installations/quality control on the assembly line, either at AS, or at Dexter.
Hi

Or at dealers, or inspection stations, or repair shops or .... With very small rate failures it's always tough to diagnose.

Bob
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:19 AM   #9
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Every time I hear about this kind of stuff, it makes me wonder why I'm even considering this??? The 27' is exactly what we are looking to purchase.

I can only hope since this is a 'forum' I'm getting a slanted pov.
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:49 AM   #10
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If they are manual adjust brakes, it might be worthwhile to replace them w self adjusters while doing all this work. When I discovered they just replace the whole brake assembly, which makes sense to save labor, I opted to upgrade to self adjusters. Exact fit and work great.
Brad
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:08 AM   #11
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Curious what part the "star wheel" refers to?
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:33 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

Or at dealers, or inspection stations, or repair shops or .... With very small rate failures it's always tough to diagnose.

Bob
This is a brand new trailer, and no one had touched the brakes except maybe the dealer we bought it from . . .
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:44 AM   #13
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Maybe this might help explain.

https://www.dexteraxle.com/docs/defa...s.pdf?sfvrsn=2

Dexter has good online resources.
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Old 09-21-2017, 12:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

Star wheel failures on drum brakes are not uncommon. You can find reports of similar failures going back decades. That's in no way to trivialize the issue. It's just to point out that it is *not* only a 2017 / 2018 sort of thing.

Bob
Yes I have heard of failures blaming the star wheel but i have never had an explanation of how a star wheel could fail other than improperly installed or grossly under adjusted. The mechanical parts of a star wheel are highly unlikely to brake. They are just an application of a screw and nut both being over designed to preclude mechanical failure.

My first thought would be if the star wheel was not properly seated in the slots of the brake shoe, riding high on the shoe flange, they would work until the wheel slipped off the shoe flange. Yes that is just an error in assembly but would give an explanation to failure.

Shoes are commonly placed on the backer plate with the star wheel between the shoes and the lower spring holding them in place. The shoes are then placed on the backer plate and folded up the the actuator cam at the top and the upper springs attached. If the star wheel was completely collapsed at that point and the star wheel not seated on the shoes properly the drum could be put on and initial adjust made. This would be a failure riding down the road waiting to fail.
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Old 09-21-2017, 12:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
If the brakes were installed correctly originally I can not envision any way the star wheel could have come dislodged. The groves at the ends of the star wheel are over a 1/4 in deep and if they were backed in enough to slip off the brake shoe you had NO brakes at all as the lower part of the brake shoe ride almost touching the drum as set by the star wheel.

Please comment if you ever had braking action from the trailer.
Yes...my 2017 International had to go in after first trip and have the front right brake assembly replaced. It was making a noise and was much hotter than the left side. On our second trip out, I had 3 people come up to me after parking it saying my brakes sound like metal on metal. When we left, it seemed to have disappeared and there was no excessive heat. We are keeping an eye on it.
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Old 09-21-2017, 12:50 PM   #16
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My 2017 26-U had the same failure. The trailer still has the temporary paper plate on it, less than a month old!

As it was being backed into the driveway the curb side front tire was locking up. It would release when pulling forward but with a lot of noise of loose parts, not good. The trailer was eventually able to be backed in fully by the 'back, forward and repeat' method.

I'm not anywhere near a dealer, over 60 miles, or major metro area and CoachNet (Airstream's road service warranty provider) would not send a roll-back or flat-bed to safely move it. They offered to hire a local mobile service co./person to repair it or 'make it towable'. That would be paid for by me and then reimbursed, all or part of it, after submission. Not an ideal solution for me and a brand new trailer.

I received permission from Dexter/Airstream to remove the wheel and hub myself and assess the situation.

The adjuster screw (star or spur nut by some) had come loose along with the adjuster spring and the rear brake shoe retainer spring. The adjuster screw was worn so much it is almost unrecognizable. (see photo)

It looks like the cap to the rear brake shoe retainer spring had come off allowing the shoe to have enough movement that the adjuster screw and spring came out from between the brake shoes.

I'm very fortunate to have avoided a complete lock-up while going down the road!

(Not sure why the photos did not upload in proper orientation?)
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Old 09-21-2017, 12:57 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonHops View Post
Yes...my 2017 International had to go in after first trip and have the front right brake assembly replaced. It was making a noise and was much hotter than the left side. On our second trip out, I had 3 people come up to me after parking it saying my brakes sound like metal on metal. When we left, it seemed to have disappeared and there was no excessive heat. We are keeping an eye on it.
JonHops,

Take a look at my photos and post on this thread. You need to have the wheel and hub looked at, Now! That is of course my humble opinion.

We traveled about 1K miles and stayed at a number of rv parks on our way home. Even backed into a couple of spots. When stopping I use my hand and a digital thermometer on the tires and wheels, nothing unusual until backing into the driveway. There was no prior warning before total failure.
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Old 09-21-2017, 01:18 PM   #18
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Alright, pics.

Good stuff.

Time to make some popcorn.
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Old 09-21-2017, 01:24 PM   #19
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Our "maiden voyage" with our 2016 AS FC 27 FB was last summer from Seattle to the AS Rally in WVA. Thereafter, we headed north. Around Michigan, our right rear brake rattled. Around Minnesota, our right front brake rattled. We went to the AS dealer in Anoka, MN, who replaced both brake magnets --- in one day & at no cost.
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Old 09-21-2017, 01:34 PM   #20
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You could have one loose brake and the rest would work fine. They are electric not hydraulic. The star wheel could then fall out. It's an assembly error. They happen.
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