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Old 04-28-2014, 05:19 PM   #1
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Brake snafu, need help

I have tightened self adjusting brakes. How do I loosen them?

If you are wondering why on earth I'd do that it's because I didn't know they had self adjusting brakes. All I knew is that my camper brakes were locking up when applied. Still don't know what is going on there. The locking up problem started the same day I bought it, new. Total PITA.!!!
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Old 04-28-2014, 05:30 PM   #2
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Sorry I can't help you on how to loosen them back up.
As for locking up, mine will lock up if I have the gain to high on my brake controller.
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Old 04-28-2014, 05:59 PM   #3
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Had a similar problem when pulling the hubs on our RV. Behind each hub there are two slots. With a flashlight look into the slots. in one slot you can see the lever and wheel that rotates the adjuster in the other slot you can see just the arm or the adjusting lever. In one slot I used a screwdriver to lift the arm of the adjuster away from the notched adjuster wheel. In the other slot I could see the adjuster wheel, back it off and the brake shoes should close up moving them away from the drum.
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:19 PM   #4
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I had popped both off and looked at them. I saw the notched "wheel" and there was a silver piece in front of it. When I pried (not hard) the silver piece up I turned the wheel by catching it with the brake tool. Behind the other plug I think I only saw the spring. Are you saying I can move the adjuster out of the way on the spring side and turn the notched wheel back?

Sorry, I stared at it for a while without figuring anything out. I was going to pull the whole thing off but it started raining.
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:35 PM   #5
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That's the way drums are adjusted. The wheel just screws the adjuster in and out. I've always just tightened them until the wheel locks then back it off about 8 - 10 clicks. It should adjust from there. You may or may not be able to see or get to anything through the second opening. The hubs will usually have two openings because the brake assembly will be mirror imaged on the other side. That way you don't have to have a "right" hub and a "left" hub (or backing plate).
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:42 PM   #6
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Wish I could find a video of somebody loosening a "self adjusting" electric brake. Thanks raspivey, the two holes makes sense now. Just need to pry the lever out of the way I guess. Somehow.
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Old 04-28-2014, 07:11 PM   #7
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There are 2 videos the first is just drum brakes explained and the second is electric drum brakes. To loosen the brakes try to back up a little to free them then jack wheel up and turn the star wheel the opposite of what you did and that will loosen the brakes.The wheel should turn free don't loosen too much keep trying to spin the wheel as you loosen.


https://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt...p&fr=yfp-t-901
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Old 04-28-2014, 07:21 PM   #8
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I always jack up the tire I am working on. To tighten brakes I ratchet the adjuster wheel up a notch or two at a time, I rotate the tire and repeat until the tire spins maybe one and a half to two revolutions. Depends on how hard you spin but should move and might hear slight drag.
To back off the brake shoes I push straight in and hold the locking/self-adjusting arm off while turning the adjuster wheel the other way.
I bet there is a really nice UTube video that would show you what you are trying to do (all brake drums work the same). With the tire and drum off it all looks so easy but while your lying on your back with a flash light in your mouth a screwdriver pushing the arm and a brake tool ratcheting on the teeth it all gets a little tougher.
It does sound like after the brakes are adjusted properly you need to adjust your brake controller’s sensitivity. I do minor adjustments to my controller almost every trip, my brakes seem to be a little grabby after the camper has sat for a while and as road conditions change(traffic, rain, gravel road, downhill mountains….).
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:26 PM   #9
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I've seen that video. It's what I was expecting. Instead I had "self adjusting" brakes. Totally threw me and I had tightened it up before I knew what was good for me. Tomorrow I get to play patty cake with them again and hopefully get it backed off without having to pull the brake assembly.
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apollumi View Post
I've seen that video. It's what I was expecting. Instead I had "self adjusting" brakes. Totally threw me and I had tightened it up before I knew what was good for me. Tomorrow I get to play patty cake with them again and hopefully get it backed off without having to pull the brake assembly.
All drum brakes as far as I know are self adjusting, they adjust every time you back up there's a part that turns the star wheel every time a vehicle backs up. Although this is true if you don't back up enough drum brakes need a little heal from time to time with the adjustment. Trick is not to over adjust, but if you do just back the star wheel off and give a tug on the wheel it should making it brake free. If this doesn't work your probably going to have to pull the drum off to free whats hung up.
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