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Old 02-08-2016, 10:59 AM   #1
Bill Scott
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Newhebron, MS
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Brake Controller Questions

It's me again. I have a 2016 GMC 3500HD Denali with a built in brake controller and a B&W 20K hitch, pulling a 2016 FR Salem BAR 337. I estimate the total weight of the trailer at no more than 11,000 lbs.

I recently posted a question about setting up the brake controller and got some excellent advice on the forum, but I have another question regarding locking-up the trailer brakes, which never happened.

I set the trailer gain to 5.00 and while driving approximately 25 MPH, I squeezed the manual paddles on the Brake Controller closed. There was a noticeable drag from the trailer, but no wheel lock-up. I increased it to 6.00 and did the same thing. The drag from the trailer increased but still no wheel lock-up. I tried this all the way to 10.0 and the drag increased considerably but still no lock up. So, I just backed it down to 6.0 and left it there. I will admit that stopping is a lot easier now, since before the gain was 0.0, but I am wondering if I am doing something wrong, or do I need to get my trailer brakes adjusted?
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:21 AM   #2
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'BillScott'.....

IMO.... It sounds like the brakes do need adjusting.

However, the unit is so new it could be that a proper adjustment of the brakes never got done at factory or there may be a possibility that the brakes are not functioning 100%.

If you have the ability to jack up one trailer wheel, at a time... being sure it is chocked well and best hooked to the truck on the level, have someone spin the wheel and then apply the trailer brakes...checking to see that "all" the wheel brakes are getting the message.

Other than that it could be something further in the 'electrical' that may need checking.

Also... brakes usually have a very slight drag when properly adjusted...this drag will make the brakes (slightly) warm and they will function better when warm than cold or wet.

hope this helps

Islander
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:23 AM   #3
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The brake Mfg.has a recommended way to "Break in the Brakes" they Will improve if "Burnished/Set" properly! I see you live a good distance from the F/R factory so there are some miles on your unit now,so you could/should adjust them and still go through the break in procedure,it will Improve the stopping but doubtful about "Tire Lockup" happening! Youroo!!
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Old 02-08-2016, 01:04 PM   #4
Bill Scott
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Newhebron, MS
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I feel pretty comfortable with the stopping power I have as it is. Should I go to the trouble of having the trailer brakes adjusted, or do you guys think I will be okay with the considerable amount of drag I have now?
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Old 02-08-2016, 01:41 PM   #5
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There is no way that someone else can tell if you it "will be okay with the considerable amount of drag you have now"...without personally being there.

Have you tried traveling at 25mph and using full stopping power of the trailer brakes 'only'..... how long before fully stopped?

Have you tested on a gravel road re the lock up test... do they lock up on gravel ?...and at what setting?

Personally I will be visually checking my brakes this Spring for wear and bearings for grease...if all good I will repack bearings and adjust brakes.

Islander
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Old 02-08-2016, 03:55 PM   #6
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Warm up the brakes with a few gentle manual apply stops from 25mph (if you smell them, that's plenty).
Full manual apply at 25mph. Did you chirp a tire(s)? No? Turn it up 1 volt. Repeat until you chirp a tire. Then back off 0.2volts until it does not chirp.
If you can't get it to chirp, use the system at max voltage until you get a chance to have the brakes adjusted.
Reducing to 6 volts when 10 volts does not lock the tires is incorrect. You want as much braking as possible (at full manual apply) without locking the brakes.
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