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Old 04-04-2012, 10:51 PM   #1
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Interesting take on trailer brake adjustment

This is a new one on me, and for a few others who heard this at the same time. I have always been told to set up my trailer brakes so there is a little drag and they are good to go. The other day I was told that that method is not right. I should set the brakes so that if I draw a mark on the drum at the 12 o'clock position, then pull the pin on the break away controller, I should be able to turn the drum to the 2 o'clock position and no further. Reason is that this allows the cam to move into a position that has a better mechanical advantage on the shoes. Secondly, less/no drag on the brakes means less chance of the brakes overheating when not in use.
What are your thoughts on this? I'm really curious.
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:09 PM   #2
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Never heard of that. Here what is in the Lipperts Operation and Service Manual:

1. Jack up trailer and secure on adequate capacity jack
stands. Follow trailer manufacturer’s recommendations for
lifting and supporting the unit. Make sure the wheel and
drum rotates freely.

2. Remove the adjusting hole cover from the adjusting slot on
the bottom of the brake backing plate.

3. With a screwdriver or standard adjusting tool, rotate the
starwheel of the adjuster assembly to expand the brake
shoes. Adjust the brake shoes out until the pressure of the
linings against the drum makes the wheel very difficult to
turn.

4. Then rotate the starwheel in the opposite direction until the
wheel turns freely with a slight lining drag.

I tend to go with the manufactures manual.
PM me if you would like a copy.
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:34 PM   #3
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""This is a new one on me, and for a few others who heard this at the same time.""

This is not just new it's also wrong,H2oski has it right with the manufacturers instructions, as a mechanic for 45 years this has always been the correct way to adjust brakes.
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:39 PM   #4
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im glad mine adjust by themselves !
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f1100turbo View Post
im glad mine adjust by themselves !
Trunk Monkey get out and do it?
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Old 04-06-2012, 02:03 PM   #6
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I know. I have always adjusted the brakes according to the manual, and as a licensed mechanic, how I have been trained. That is why the method I heard was such a surprise, and I was only 1 of 3 trailer owners standing around that heard this. I will not be adjusting my brakes in this "new" manner, I can assure you, and from what I can tell, neither will the other 2. BTW, you guys with the self adusting brakes, do you check the adjustment from time to time to make sure they are working as advertised? Again, I'm curious about these and what your experiences are with them.
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:58 AM   #7
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So I just re-packed my bearings and adjusted my brakes for the first time yesterday. I followed the AL-KO directions which stated to tighten until heavy drag then loosen until wheel rotates freely 3/4 to one turn. My question is about overheating. What is acceptable amount of heat on the drum? After towing back across base (4 miles with several stops) to the storage lot I reached though and felt the outside of all drums. I had one that was a bit warmer than the others. What do you all feel is an acceptable level of heat? I would assume with the slight drag these drums should heat up some.
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Old 04-28-2012, 11:45 AM   #8
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Drums or hubs?

The hubs, if properly lubricated, should be cold or cool to the touch.

The drums should be cold as well unless a brake shoe is dragging.
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:11 PM   #9
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Per the directions in post #1, adjusting the trailer brakes for wheel rotation from 12 o clock to 2 o clock. You should find that when adjusted per manufacturers' specs, as in post #2, that you will get very similar results as post #1 indicated. The magnet has to attach to the drum, and the drum rotate a little before the brakes will engage. It's in the mechanics of the beast. Wheel rotation is makes the brakes work. If you are sitting still, and apply the trailer brakes, nothing will happen, there will be no brakes on the trailer at this point. Once the wheel starts to rotate, the actuating arm starts to move, and the "s" block pivots, causing the shoes to expand and pressure to be applied to the drums. This works both forward and backwards. Maybe not the best explanation, but hope it helps.
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Old 04-28-2012, 03:18 PM   #10
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A picture is worth, ah, something something ...

AL-KO Kober - Brakes, Hubs & Drums
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