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Old 11-03-2010, 04:25 PM   #1
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Surveyor Brake adjustment

Hi. We just bought a 2008 Surveyor SP-186. We outfitted our 2001 Rodeo V6 with a tranny cooler and a Tekonsha Primus IQ brake controller. Tried a maiden drive today and the trailer pulls easily, is level, etc and all seems well. However, wonder if the brakes on the trailer need adjustment (or even can be adjusted). This is why I wonder this: the instructions for the brake controller tell you to set the initial signal strength to the brakes by setting the signal with full manual activation at about 6V. Then driving at 25 mph, and fully activate the manual override. If the trailer wheels lock up, reduce the signal. Adjust so the wheels just donít lock up.
I could never get the wheels to lock up, and finally set the signal at about 10V. The brakes seems to be stopping the trailer fine, but wonder if they are a little loose on the adjustment, and need to have some free play removed.
Are these brakes adjustable, and if so, how do you do it? Thanks in advance for any info.
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Old 11-03-2010, 05:00 PM   #2
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My brakes won't lock up unless I am in gravel, so I don't think that is a concern. I have read about other members here that the brakes won't lock, also.

This is the way that I was instructed to adjust the brakes by a local trailer dealer. Jack the trailer up so that the wheels on 1 side are off the ground. If it is not enough room to crawl under you trailer with the wheels on the ground, use jack stands. I don't, because I can get under mine without a problem with the wheels on the ground. Next,crawl under there, and remove the rubber plug on the bottom back of the drum. There is a star wheel just behind this plug. With a flashlite, look in there and you will see a threaded part.....you need to move the star wheel so that the threaded part will move out of the star wheel......for the life of me I can't ever remember which way that goes. You can use a screwdriver, or there is a special tool (cheap) for this at most auto stores. The star wheel has a spring across it, so it will only move 1 notch at a time. As you rotate the tire, move the star wheel until the tire gets difficult to turn. Back of the star wheel 6 notches in the opposite direction, and the tire should turn easy. Put the plug back in, and repeat for the other wheels.
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Old 11-03-2010, 05:04 PM   #3
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I just found this online: Trailer Brakes

They are suggesting locking the brakes, then backing off 80 to 10 turns.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:29 PM   #4
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Thanks so much for the quick answer! I figured it was something like this. i'll give it a try.
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:08 AM   #5
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Don't get too hung up on getting the wheels to slide. Some do, some don't. Adjusting them is a good idea still. In fact since it's an 08' you might consider removing the wheels adn hubs and inspecting them and you might as well repack the bearings while you're at it. You don't know when the last time they were inspected/repacked was.
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:28 AM   #6
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My brakes will lock up but it's usually when I don't want them to.
Example, I'm going down hill out of a Wal-Mart parking lot.
There are lots of other people around. I'm going like 2 mph.
Squeeeeeeeeeellllllllll.

Out on the straight and level with no one watching, they get close but won't quite slide.
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:41 AM   #7
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I said my wheels wouldn't lock on pavement, but that ain't exactly true........and I have the skid mark in my driveway to prove it. Last trip out was my 1st for a month or so, and apparently at least 1 of the brake drums had rusted some. All was well after a couple more stops.

And lose gravel on otherwise bare pavement can prove an embarrassment, as KyDan mentioned.
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Old 11-08-2010, 01:20 PM   #8
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OK so I gave it a try. One wheel required a LOT of turns before the brakes were contacting (probably wasn't doing too much braking), while the other wheel on the same side was rubbing pretty hard before I touched it (braking all the time). One wheel evidently has a little runout in the drum and it drags lightly about 60 degrees rotation after adjustment. I ran them all out until it wouldn't spin and then backed off 8 turns. We'll see how it operates!
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