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Old 06-24-2019, 09:59 AM   #1
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Brake magnet spring question

Iím on the road (currently at Glacier NP) In route, I kept noticing one hub was overheating. We have very reputable regional tire and brake service centers in the Northwest (Les Schwab) so I stopped at the closest one. They didnít see a problem with the brake so repacked the bearings. Next stop, still hot. Next town, next Les Schwab. He noticed a drag and some grind when free spinning the hub. Repacked the bearings again. Still drag and grind. He worked on it and hour and finally took out the spring behind the magnet. Spins freely. On my way. Next stop hub is cool but I suspect he effectively disabled that brake. After doing some research I think itís likely the magnet needs to be replaced.

Can I safely wait until I get home to do that? Itís about 800 miles. What does that spring do?

I also want to mention that both Les Schwabs got me in right away and neither charged me a penny. (I have no affiliation with them. Just my experience.)
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:07 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by GLBCamper View Post
Iím on the road (currently at Glacier NP) In route, I kept noticing one hub was overheating. We have very reputable regional tire and brake service centers in the Northwest (Les Schwab) so I stopped at the closest one. They didnít see a problem with the brake so repacked the bearings. Next stop, still hot. Next town, next Les Schwab. He noticed a drag and some grind when free spinning the hub. Repacked the bearings again. Still drag and grind. He worked on it and hour and finally took out the spring behind the magnet. Spins freely. On my way. Next stop hub is cool but I suspect he effectively disabled that brake. After doing some research I think itís likely the magnet needs to be replaced.

Can I safely wait until I get home to do that? Itís about 800 miles. What does that spring do?

I also want to mention that both Les Schwabs got me in right away and neither charged me a penny. (I have no affiliation with them. Just my experience.)
Brake magnets are a lot like disk brake pads. While the material on them is not designed to stop the vehicle it wears as the magnet rides on the side of the drum. When it's worn to the point you hear and feel drag when turning the drum this material has worn to the point where replacement is required.

Just like disk brake pads, they will still work but really tear the heck out of the drum's magnet surface.
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Old 06-25-2019, 09:31 AM   #3
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I just did a repack job on our TT and will pass along what I found on the brakes.

One drum was badly scored and needed replacing. The magnet had also badly scored the drum surface. The shoes on both sides of the rear axle also needed replacing. Turns out the cost of shoes is almost as much as a complete backing plate assembly!

So I got the complete assemblies instead. They come ready to bolt right on complete with magnets and shoes. I got Dexter parts instead of the much cheaper offshore stuff. Instead of worn magnets, we now have as-new condition brakes on one axle.

Interestingly, since I had to reconnect the magnets to the existing brake wiring, I discovered really bad splices by the factory like the examples below. In 1st photo, only crimped in the center of the connector. The wire slipped right out when I cut the plastic jacket off the connector. It was only the connector's insulated plastic jacket holding the wire in place. Wire was quite tarnished too. Seeing that, I cut off all 8 splices and found more of the same. The 2nd photo shows partial strands in the connector and 2 wires into the other end. The barrel connectors are 16/14 ga. size and you cannot put 2 wires into one end like that. Disgraceful workmanship and potentially unsafe...

I also discovered the factory wiring was only #18 ga. instead of the recommended #12 ga. for the overall length up to the A-frame. I rewired it all with #12 SAE brake cable.

The bad splice in the 1st photo was on the wheel with the worn magnet surface on the drum. I have to wonder if the bad splice caused the magnet to not work properly? Dunno. You might want to check out your splices while in there.

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