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Old 12-02-2021, 06:22 PM   #1
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Surveyor brake shoes dragging

I have a 2021 Surveyor 19' that has about 1000 miles on it. I recently changed the tires from the OEM's to Goodyears, and I noticed that both wheels seem to have the brake shoes dragging on the drums, one side just barely, other side more pronounced. I checked them again today, and to make sure it wasn't the fail-safe on the braking system, I plugged the 7-pin cable into my TV with the engine running.

before I take the wheels off, I wanted to find out from the experts here if this is something I can work on, or do I need to get professional assistance?
thanks
Ken
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Old 12-02-2021, 07:44 PM   #2
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It's pretty normal for properly adjusted drum brakes to "drag" slightly. As long as they aren't draggjng enough to impair the wheel's turning.

If it's just "sound" don't worry. If the wheel is noticeably difficult to turn it's a good idea to investigate.

Remember, when brake drums heat up they will expand. What you hear and feel with cold brake drums usually diminishes when at driving temps.
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Old 12-02-2021, 07:48 PM   #3
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one side has almost no drag, but the other has more. it's not hard to turn, but it just doesn't turn freely. if I give it a small push it stops within 1/2 a revolution.

we're taking an 4000-mile round trip in early January and I didn't want to take any chances.

would it be worth taking a 60-mile drive and as soon as I get home, shoot the brake drums with an IR thermometer? if so, what would a normal temperature be?

thanks

ken
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Old 12-02-2021, 09:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by faithie999 View Post
one side has almost no drag, but the other has more. it's not hard to turn, but it just doesn't turn freely. if I give it a small push it stops within 1/2 a revolution.



we're taking an 4000-mile round trip in early January and I didn't want to take any chances.



would it be worth taking a 60-mile drive and as soon as I get home, shoot the brake drums with an IR thermometer? if so, what would a normal temperature be?



thanks



ken
Normal brake temps will vary greatly. Depends on ambient temp, how hard you stop, and how often.

Stopping after 1/2 revolution and just a "push" is not generally a problem.

If you take a short trip mesuring temps isn't a bad idea. Compare side to side and in temps are within 40-50 degrees you're good.

Check tire temps too as if they are uneven (due to uneven pressure and/or load distribution) the brake temps could rise some as well. Tires heat wheels and wheels are attached to drums. All one assembly which shares any heat generated.
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Old 12-03-2021, 05:47 AM   #5
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If you take a short trip mesuring temps isn't a bad idea. Compare side to side and in temps are within 40-50 degrees you're good.
dumb question, but do you mean within 40-50 degrees of each other, not within 40-50 degrees of ambient.

thanks!

ken
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Old 12-03-2021, 08:40 AM   #6
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Why don't you adjust the brakes its an easy process if you don't know how to do it or don't have the tools take it to a brake shoot and have them adjusted. youtube had a ton of videos on how to adjust break shoes. JMHO
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Old 12-03-2021, 09:41 AM   #7
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Why don't you adjust the brakes its an easy process if you don't know how to do it or don't have the tools take it to a brake shoot and have them adjusted. youtube had a ton of videos on how to adjust break shoes. JMHO
I didn't realize they are self-adjusting brakes, so first I will back up and apply the brakes several times on my long driveway and see if that makes a difference. from the days of drum brakes on cars I seem to remember that's how they self-adjust.
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Old 12-03-2021, 10:15 AM   #8
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The Nev-R-Adjust brakes claim to self adjust after they're initially setup either on a new trailer or brake replacement. "You should adjust the brakes so that you cannot turn the hub easily by hand and then back them off about 10 clicks or so until the brakes drag just slightly on the brake drum. Do this on all four axles and your brakes should them work evenly and should stop properly." (Etrailer dot com.)

My '06 Roo (built May 2005) still has the Gotta-Adjust Brakes so I can't test this procedure. I adjust the brakes to the barely touch point when I clean and grease the wheel bearings every other year. BTW I'm still on the original OEM bearings and brakes.

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Old 12-03-2021, 10:46 AM   #9
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Umm...

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Originally Posted by faithie999 View Post
I didn't realize they are self-adjusting brakes, so first I will back up and apply the brakes several times on my long driveway and see if that makes a difference. from the days of drum brakes on cars I seem to remember that's how they self-adjust.
Umm...Faithie, the self-adjusting brakes are designed to self-tighten if they are too loose. They will not loosen if they are too tight. It's a one-way thing. If you are really concerned about the one side, you would have to manually loosen it.(Don't be surprised if it auto-adjusts back to the same point if you do this.)
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Old 12-03-2021, 11:54 AM   #10
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dumb question, but do you mean within 40-50 degrees of each other, not within 40-50 degrees of ambient.

thanks!

ken
Yes, within 40-50 degrees of each other. The temp over ambient will depend on how often/heavy you use the brakes.

If the brakes are working, and not overheating, I wouldn't dwell on the fact you feel/hear one dragging a little more than the other. That's very common with drum brakes.
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Old 12-03-2021, 12:46 PM   #11
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For a novice, adjusting self adjusting brakes is not an easy task. I think the OP is overthinking this this thing. As suggested, take a ride, stop and do a temperature check. If they are dragging, you will know after a few miles.

For the last 60 or so years I do a back-hand check of the spindles at every fuel stop. Normally after 4 hours at highway speeds they are barely warm. If you just came down a 7% grade your results may very.
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Old 12-05-2021, 05:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck_S View Post
The Nev-R-Adjust brakes claim to self adjust after they're initially setup either on a new trailer or brake replacement. "You should adjust the brakes so that you cannot turn the hub easily by hand and then back them off about 10 clicks or so until the brakes drag just slightly on the brake drum. Do this on all four axles and your brakes should them work evenly and should stop properly." (Etrailer dot com.)

My '06 Roo (built May 2005) still has the Gotta-Adjust Brakes so I can't test this procedure. I adjust the brakes to the barely touch point when I clean and grease the wheel bearings every other year. BTW I'm still on the original OEM bearings and brakes.

-- Chuck
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Originally Posted by Larry-NC View Post
Umm...Faithie, the self-adjusting brakes are designed to self-tighten if they are too loose. They will not loosen if they are too tight. It's a one-way thing. If you are really concerned about the one side, you would have to manually loosen it.(Don't be surprised if it auto-adjusts back to the same point if you do this.)

Both good points, but on that "back off ten clicks part"...

When I found a brake dragging during a trip last fall, I tried adjusting it. The star wheel clicked merrily along in the tightening direction, but would not budge when I tried to loosen. Of course, being the first time I had ever done this anyway, I wasn't sure which was which. So, I locked up the wheel.

I got some help from a really great guy from MO who was parked a couple spots down. We managed to beat the hub off and found that the star wheel was hard up against the tail of the spring that pulls the shoes together at the bottom. Well, as some of you know the star wheel is a ratchet... so it would slide right by in the tightening direction, completely caught and unable to turn in the other. I ended up pulling the brake assembly off entirely and finishing our trip on three brakes.

I guess the point is to be careful when you're not sure LOL. I bought a new brake assembly and replaced it entirely when we got home, but I have to wait until next year to run it in since that was our last trip for the season. The new brake was just sushing against the drum when I spun the wheel, so I think the install there was OK. I am more worried about the bearing, since my choices on the nut were a little loose or a little tight. I went with loose, based on the Torflex manual seemed preferable to tight.

The 5er has maybe 15,000 miles on it and has been great so far,
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Old 12-05-2021, 09:23 PM   #13
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For those who've never manually adjusted self adjusting brakes it takes TWO tools.

First the commonly used adjusting spoon used on pretty much all drum brakes since the beginning. Tightening self adjusting brakes is easy with this tool or even a straight blade screwdriver for that matter.

When trying to back off if you went too far the second tool can be a small diameter screwdriver, piece of welding rod, or even a straightened out cotter pin. Insert into adjustment hole and push back the self adjusting pawl and then use the spoon to back off.

Doing this will allow EASY adjustment and more importantly, not cause damage to the self adjusting mechanism when trying to force ratchet wheel back against the pawl.
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