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Old 05-25-2021, 10:22 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
2016 30' International
redondo beach , California
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One Hot Brake

So after 25,000 miles we took the trailer in to have the brakes inspected.
After the inspection the dealer said that they were at 80% and looked good. The dealer cleaned and adjusted the brakes.

While driving home it seemed that there was a lot of drag and by the time we got home after about 30 miles there was a lot of squeaking noise.

Measuring the temperature of the drums revealed three drums at 90F and one was at 130F.

So the question is: What do I do now?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 05-25-2021, 10:49 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mythbuster88 View Post
So after 25,000 miles we took the trailer in to have the brakes inspected.

After the inspection the dealer said that they were at 80% and looked good. The dealer cleaned and adjusted the brakes.



While driving home it seemed that there was a lot of drag and by the time we got home after about 30 miles there was a lot of squeaking noise.



Measuring the temperature of the drums revealed three drums at 90F and one was at 130F.



So the question is: What do I do now?



Thanks for your help.


Iíd be having some strong words with the dealer for startersÖsomething got screwed up.
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Old 05-26-2021, 03:13 AM   #3
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Are your brakes the 'self-adjusting' design or require regular manual adjustment.

Taking a guess is not the best way to diagnose issues but it sounds like, by your description, that one of the brakes was not 'backed-off' enough during the adjustment procedure. If nothing catastrophic happens that set of brake shoes and possibly drum will wear down significantly more than the others. Remember I can only go on what you post without seeing, feeling, or measuring the temp directly. Sometimes the side of the trailer facing the sun can show noticeable temp differences but the squeak and the fact only one tire set out of two on that side is doing it leads to an over adjustment area of concern, not necessarily the solution but a starting point for further examination.
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Old 05-26-2021, 08:21 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by RivetED View Post
Are your brakes the 'self-adjusting' design or require regular manual adjustment.

Taking a guess is not the best way to diagnose issues but it sounds like, by your description, that one of the brakes was not 'backed-off' enough during the adjustment procedure. If nothing catastrophic happens that set of brake shoes and possibly drum will wear down significantly more than the others. Remember I can only go on what you post without seeing, feeling, or measuring the temp directly. Sometimes the side of the trailer facing the sun can show noticeable temp differences but the squeak and the fact only one tire set out of two on that side is doing it leads to an over adjustment area of concern, not necessarily the solution but a starting point for further examination.
So I don't know what kind of brakes we have.
And I'm not sure I should drive another 30-40 miles to go to take it back.
But one wheel was really hot compared to the others and something made a lot of noise.

Lets assume they are self adjusters with sealed bearings.

But I can still adjust them right?
Could the bearings be damaged after an hour drive?
So this morning I'll try and do an inspection now that they are cooled off.
The lesson is: do it yourself! I just thought the "pros" would do a better job.
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Old 05-26-2021, 11:35 AM   #5
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So the wheels lugs were correctly torqued. That was a good sign.
The hot wheel had slightly more drag than the cooler wheels.
Not too sure how they are supposed to be.
There was a delay from the time my wife applied the brakes and when they activated. And there was a delay from the time she released the brakes and they deactivated.

Not sure how to test an electric brake.
That would be nice to know.
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Old 05-26-2021, 01:29 PM   #6
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If you are home, lift Airstream from labeled jack point in back.

Spin one of the cooler hubs (with wheels on) to hear what it sounds like. Now spin the hot one....does it sound the same? If excessive drag (wheel makes maybe 1 rotation while non hot one does 3-4 with same force applied), back brakes off if you can. Here is a link how to do just that:



I am also assuming if you don't have neverlube bearings that the bearings were repacked when they pulled the hub. Low or no grease can heat up a hub quick too, but brakes are the low hanging fruit.

PS- I have one that runs about 8-10 degrees hotter than the other three and have done the adjustment on mine. Even with freshly repacked wheel bearings, still runs a bit warmer. Never exceeds 130 degrees on a very hot day towing. The other 3 run about 121 degrees. I took said rig 3000 miles without incident.
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Old 05-26-2021, 01:51 PM   #7
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Looks like the hot brake has more drag.
But there is no adjustment that I can see.
No star adjuster.
So they might be self adjusters that were set too tight?
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Old 05-27-2021, 09:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mythbuster88 View Post
Looks like the hot brake has more drag.
But there is no adjustment that I can see.
No star adjuster.
So they might be self adjusters that were set too tight?
Well, to me, and mind you I don't have self adjusters....should self adjust...if not and you see more friction than normal, time to really dig into the brakes...only issue is that you just don't fix one...depending on how many miles are on them, if replacement is needed, you really should do both brakes on the same axle. If well worn, even possibly all 4, but it just could be a stuck spring and hasn't worn it enough to replace. Will have to pull the hub to see though.....
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Old 05-27-2021, 09:34 AM   #9
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Hi

Best bet, you have the same self adjusting Dexter brakes that a lot of us have. On a 2016, I'd bet you have never lube hubs.

The Dexters do fail from time to time. The result is as you describe. There's nothing much you can do once the guts self destruct other than replace the offending brake assembly. Driving < 100 miles to get this done *seems* to be ok. ( = that's how far we drove to Jackson Center when this happened to us). The factory guys didn't see any problem us with doing that.

Fun !!!

Bob
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Old 05-27-2021, 11:07 AM   #10
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I would either take the drum off myself or I would cut the wire to the brake and try to drive it back to the shop. Probably would end up doing both. If the brake is just to far gone to pull the trailer you can pull at low speeds for short distances on 3 wheels. And in our area we have a mobile trailer service that can come fix it in the driveway. All kind of things can come loose inside the brake drum. I have seen one lock at speed. Mike drove 90 miles on 3 wheels to get to Anchorage where it took a week to get it fixed.
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Old 05-27-2021, 06:48 PM   #11
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Sooo....

We went back to the dealer which is about 30-40 miles away. We measured the temperature of the self adjusting brakes. They were at 90F, except for the offender which was around 170F. At the dealer a savy tech dude adjusted* the offending brake in the driveway.

We then drove home and made another measurement. The temperatures were the same. And we still have a hot wheel.

I guess that over the years the wheel always ran hot from a bad bearing.

Lets just just replace everything on the bad wheel. Brakes, drums, bearings everything.

* The reason I could not do this at home is because self adjusting brakes cover the star adjuster with a sheet metal self adjuster thing. With a small screw driver you move the sheet metal thing out of the way and gain access to the star adjuster. The Airstream tech showed me the way.
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Old 05-27-2021, 07:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi
The Dexters do fail from time to time. The result is as you describe. There's nothing much you can do once the guts self destruct other than replace the offending brake assembly. Driving < 100 miles to get this done *seems* to be ok. ( = that's how far we drove to Jackson Center when this happened to us). The factory guys didn't see any problem us with doing that.

Fun !!!

Bob
Canít you remove the guts yourself (snap ring tool, breaker bar, torque wrench, 1 7/16 socket, needle nose pliers) then carefully drive to where you can replace the assembly yourself or have someone else do it? Assuming that the OP issue is the brake.

Second question: if Dexters often fail, is Lippert a better option? Atlanta Airstream dealer said the Lippert 12Ē fits my 2017 Intl plug-and-play. They didnít have the Dexter assembly in stock. Of course they charged me more than twice the Amazon price. Advantage of the Lippert is that the assembly comes preloaded on the backplate (??). I bought the Lippert but havenít installed it yet.
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Old 05-27-2021, 11:53 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Fungus View Post
Canít you remove the guts yourself (snap ring tool, breaker bar, torque wrench, 1 7/16 socket, needle nose pliers) then carefully drive to where you can replace the assembly yourself or have someone else do it? Assuming that the OP issue is the brake.

Second question: if Dexters often fail, is Lippert a better option? Atlanta Airstream dealer said the Lippert 12Ē fits my 2017 Intl plug-and-play. They didnít have the Dexter assembly in stock. Of course they charged me more than twice the Amazon price. Advantage of the Lippert is that the assembly comes preloaded on the backplate (??). I bought the Lippert but havenít installed it yet.
You are right.
I could maybe do it myself.
Not sure what Lippert is so I will look it up. But doesn't the Dexter come preloaded also? Not a brake guy.

I don't know of a place that can service the trailer other than my dealer who is pretty good. Just a very rough ride on third world Los Angeles freeways. You need all four wheels on the ground around here.

There is a trailer supply nearby but I can't fit in his parking lot. I could get parts however

Thanks for your suggestions.
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Old 05-28-2021, 05:14 AM   #14
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Mythbuster88,

Dexter does sell complete brake assemblies. Fully loaded ready to install and adjust.

If you can safely raise the trailer, pull a wheel, remove the small cir clip, remove a 1 7/16Ē nut I believe you have Nev-R-Lube with a breaker bar and maybe a short extension you can do it.

Time to bust a myth.

Remember these assemblies are L and R hand.

Support is a post away.

Learning how these work and if reqd service one thatís a good skill to have.

Gary
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Old 05-28-2021, 07:51 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fungus View Post
Canít you remove the guts yourself (snap ring tool, breaker bar, torque wrench, 1 7/16 socket, needle nose pliers) then carefully drive to where you can replace the assembly yourself or have someone else do it? Assuming that the OP issue is the brake.

Second question: if Dexters often fail, is Lippert a better option? Atlanta Airstream dealer said the Lippert 12Ē fits my 2017 Intl plug-and-play. They didnít have the Dexter assembly in stock. Of course they charged me more than twice the Amazon price. Advantage of the Lippert is that the assembly comes preloaded on the backplate (??). I bought the Lippert but havenít installed it yet.
Hi

If you are sitting in the middle of a campground in Northern Ohio, having all the gear along to safely raise the trailer and pull the brakes is in the "maybe" category. Being able to find the correct brake assembly to put in is in the "doubtful" category. Having the desire to do this on a trailer that is in warranty ... nope.

At least in our case, the people that supply our "roadside assistance" could find no mobile mechanics anywhere in a 300 mile radius that could do the work. Now, that radius covered Detroit, Toledo, Ft Wayne and surrounding ..... I have a bridge I'd like to sell you ....

I talked to a couple of mechanics around here once we got back. Truck repair seems to be a "thing" around here. The Dexters are known to have issues. Swapping them out to something that actually works better may be more work that one really wants to do.

Bob
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Old 05-28-2021, 05:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

If you are sitting in the middle of a campground in Northern Ohio, having all the gear along to safely raise the trailer and pull the brakes is in the "maybe" category. Being able to find the correct brake assembly to put in is in the "doubtful" category. Having the desire to do this on a trailer that is in warranty ... nope.

At least in our case, the people that supply our "roadside assistance" could find no mobile mechanics anywhere in a 300 mile radius that could do the work. Now, that radius covered Detroit, Toledo, Ft Wayne and surrounding ..... I have a bridge I'd like to sell you ....

I talked to a couple of mechanics around here once we got back. Truck repair seems to be a "thing" around here. The Dexters are known to have issues. Swapping them out to something that actually works better may be more work that one really wants to do.

Bob
Thanks Bob.
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Old 05-28-2021, 05:07 PM   #17
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Airstream got back with me and said don't worry about it.
They can get a lot hotter than 170F and still be in spec.

No solution to the mismatch.

The squeak went away.

So we will monitor tire temperature while on the road and as long as the four tire temps are all good we are good.
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Old 05-28-2021, 06:57 PM   #18
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I have a 2013 trailer and recently replaced all four brake assemblies and drums with Never Lube Bearings. At 50,000 miles one bearing was headed out and another was thinking about it.

Not a hard job. Got all the parts at Etrailer. The only special tool needed is a 42mm socket and long breaker bar. Otherwise normal tools including a torque wrench. Did all four brake assemblies with new hubs/drums in my driveway in about 3 hours.
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Old 05-29-2021, 12:33 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by kscherzi View Post
I have a 2013 trailer and recently replaced all four brake assemblies and drums with Never Lube Bearings. At 50,000 miles one bearing was headed out and another was thinking about it.

Not a hard job. Got all the parts at Etrailer. The only special tool needed is a 42mm socket and long breaker bar. Otherwise normal tools including a torque wrench. Did all four brake assemblies with new hubs/drums in my driveway in about 3 hours.
Did you have any trouble removing the spindle nut?

I found it impossible to remove the spindle nut on my never lube hubs so ended up taking it to a Dexter dealer.

My 6 pt socket would slip off the narrow nut as I applied pressure to the breaker bar. The dealer used an impact driver which allowed him to apply axial force to the nut and keep the socket in line with the nut.

My hub temps are all within about 5 degrees of each other and about 10 degrees above ambient with low drag, well adjusted brakes.
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Old 05-29-2021, 08:27 AM   #20
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No problems getting the spindle nut off. But I have this tool.

https://www.harborfreight.com/85-amp...nch-64120.html

Works great on lug nuts too.
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