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Old 02-17-2013, 12:11 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by rotorhead1250 View Post
I like videos. He uses a brake adjuster tool, probibly less than $10 at local automotive store, but a flat tip screwdriver can bo used. I release mine till they are just rubbing, slight grab. Hardest part is getting the rubber plug back in!
Great video with explanations.
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mtnguy View Post
With the wheel in the air, I tighten the star wheel to just about lock-up, then back off 6 clicks, then spin the wheel.....I like it so there is very little contact with the shoes. My local trailer dealer says back off 2 clicks, or 3 if the wheel is still rubbing bad. Even at 3 clicks, my drums run hot, so I like my 6 click method better. I can't tell any significant difference in braking power between 3 clicks and 6 clicks.....but I can tell a big difference in drum temperature.
That's interesting. I don't feel my trailer brakes are super effective but I've been afraid to tighten them too much. I recently had my trailer in for service, so I had the dealer examine the bearings, re-pack, adjust brakes etc. After their service, I found the wheel resistance to rotation and the braking capability exactly where I had it.

I adjusted so that a good hard rotation of the wheel, while jacked up, would result in about 3 rotations of the tire. I've never felt heat being generated. I would think heat is a bad thing as that means friction; too much contact, uses fuel to overcome, can result in increased tire pressures if the rim gets too hot.

But that is interesting, no real difference in braking between 3 and 6 clicks. So, that says, why take a chance on over-tightening! Good info.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by acadianbob View Post
I adjusted so that a good hard rotation of the wheel, while jacked up, would result in about 3 rotations of the tire.
That is about the same adjustment I have on mine.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:51 PM   #14
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This is right from the AL-KO manual.

While spinning the wheel, use
a standard brake adjusting tool or the
blade of a screw driver to rotate the
star wheel until there is a heavy brake
drag.
Loosen until the wheel turns
freely about 3/4 to one full turn.

Never had any issue last summer with over 4 thousand miles, the hubs all stayed well within reason IMO as how do you really tell if the drums are heating up or not as you cannot check them when you are moving and well checking them when your have stopped, they are up to temp anyway from the braking you just did.
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:10 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by TheSasks View Post
as how do you really tell if the drums are heating up or not as you cannot check them when you are moving and well checking them when your have stopped, they are up to temp anyway from the braking you just did.
That is a dilemma. I don't actually check the drums, unless the hubs are hot....then I want to figure out where the heat is coming from. I figure if the hubs are warm but not hot, then the drums have not been hot long enough (as in a rest area stop) to transfer the heat to the hub dust cover. If the hub is hot, then something is going on, and I "carefully" compare that drum to the other drums. If that drum is hot, and the others are warm, then I might have a brake dragging or something.......or it could be bad bearings with the heat being transferred to the drum.

Ran into that problem last year in southern Indiana going to the Goshen rally. At a rest stop, I discovered a "hot" bearing cap. The drum was also too hot to touch (ouchie). Trying to figure out what was going on, I jacked the trailer up, and spun the wheel.....it was tight. Still not knowing if is was a bad bearing or sticking drum, I backed off the star wheel a couple of turns, and the wheel freed up. I continued to back the star wheel off until the wheel spun freely. I stopped again at the next rest area, and it was still cool, so I continued on to Goshen and then home with it like that, frequently checking the wheel at rest areas, and my rear view mirror for smoke. It continued to make some noise.

I took it to my local trailer dealer, and the weld had broken on the square flange that holds the brake plate in place.....nothing was holding the brake plate and shoes, so that is what was rubbing in the drum. The drum was not damaged, the flange was rewelded, the bearings looked good and repacked, and a new brake assembly was installed. There was grease on the shoes........I figured the hot grease and vibrations forced grease out the rear seal. All has been good since then, with about another 500 miles put on the trailer.
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