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Old 06-13-2021, 08:04 PM   #1
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2021 Surveyor Legend brakes

Anyone know if the brakes are self adjusting or manual? I almost have 3000 miles on mine and wondering if I need to adjust them.
Thanks
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Old 06-13-2021, 08:22 PM   #2
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There should be a label on the back of the axle that will indicate it brakes are self adjusting
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Old 06-14-2021, 01:25 AM   #3
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They should be self adjusting; however, who knows how well they have worked from the factory?

A couple questions to ask:
1. How well did the brakes work when you first purchased the trailer?
2. What was your brake controller set at day 1 of the trailer?
3. What is your brake controller currently set at?
4. Do the brakes still work as good or have they faded?

In my case, the brakes grabbed well when we got the trailer and it felt like a hard jolt in the truck. Brake controller set at 7 (out of 10). After a couple thousand miles, noticed that the brakes didn't grab as hard when the controller was manually activated. Reset the controller to 9 and the brakes grabbed a little but still didn't feel like all 4 were working.

When I serviced the bearings, I also went through and replaced all 4 brake assemblies. The cost was $45 per wheel and was a justified gamble in slowing down the 7500 lbs trailer.

I'm glad I did it.

After going through the burnishing (break in) process and letting the brakes cool, they work better than the original ones did. The brake controller now is set at 6 and sometimes that's a bit much.

My only thoughts were that out of the 4 original brakes, 2 actually worked and they were likely overworked to the point that they prematurely wore out. The amount of evidence of brake dust in the rear axle drums as opposed to the cleanliness of the front drums helped back this theory up.
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Old 06-14-2021, 12:30 PM   #4
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I made a post a couple of days ago about the brakes on out 2021 Legend 19RBLE. The loss of brakes is in the pigtail connection. The crappy Chinese pigtail, as provided, has soft copper contacts and once spread apart they will no longer make contact with the receptacle on your tow vehicle. Temporary solution, tank a small screw driver and bend the contacts back together. Replace the pigtail with a quality one for a permanent solution.

Ours has self adjusting brakes.

If you want to test them, pull the safety switch pin, and try to drive away. The wheels should lock up. Pulling the pin puts a full 12 volts from the trailer battery to the trailer brakes
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Old 06-14-2021, 12:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by FrankG View Post
I made a post a couple of days ago about the brakes on out 2021 Legend 19RBLE. The loss of brakes is in the pigtail connection. The crappy Chinese pigtail, as provided, has soft copper contacts and once spread apart they will no longer make contact with the receptacle on your tow vehicle. Temporary solution, tank a small screw driver and bend the contacts back together. Replace the pigtail with a quality one for a permanent solution.
Quit blaming the Chinese!

The chassis and axles are assembled on US soil and are an embarrassment to the term "Made in America"...It doesn't mean what it used to. While those connectors are made overseas, it's the installer that makes them fail.

If Lippert/LCI put an ounce energy focusing on quality instead of production, we wouldn't have extensive trailer frame and axle issues. This comes down to the fact that production trumps quality and safety.

You read in these forums about spring hanger failures (mine included), overtightened bearings, lack of grease in bearings, pigtails not connected properly, etc. All of those come down to final assembly....not the parts.
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Old 06-14-2021, 02:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clarkbre View Post
Quit blaming the Chinese!

The chassis and axles are assembled on US soil and are an embarrassment to the term "Made in America"...It doesn't mean what it used to. While those connectors are made overseas, it's the installer that makes them fail.

If Lippert/LCI put an ounce energy focusing on quality instead of production, we wouldn't have extensive trailer frame and axle issues. This comes down to the fact that production trumps quality and safety.

You read in these forums about spring hanger failures (mine included), overtightened bearings, lack of grease in bearings, pigtails not connected properly, etc. All of those come down to final assembly....not the parts.
The installer did not make the Chinese Junk fail, the poor design and selection of materials in the component products contributed to the failure. Dexter components used to be manufactured in the USA and they were quite reliable tell LCI got hold of them. The axle components on my 2021 are all labeled made in China.

You need quality components to build quality products, you cannot blame American workers who are forced to assemble junk Chinese products, this includes the subpar imported steel used in the frame and axel assemblies.
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Old 06-14-2021, 07:01 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the feedback. Very good information. I have been playing with the controller setting to get the right feel ever since I started towing the new 202RBLE. It was grabbing to much to start with so I have dialed it back some. Terrain also changed, I was in the mountains in the fall when i bought it and then Florida for the winter, so different braking demands on it. I will definitely pay more attention to it. Thanks again. I appreciate it.
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Old 06-14-2021, 10:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by FrankG View Post
The installer did not make the Chinese Junk fail, the poor design and selection of materials in the component products contributed to the failure. Dexter components used to be manufactured in the USA and they were quite reliable tell LCI got hold of them. The axle components on my 2021 are all labeled made in China.

You need quality components to build quality products, you cannot blame American workers who are forced to assemble junk Chinese products, this includes the subpar imported steel used in the frame and axel assemblies.
Did you change your bearings yet?

Those are made in China too. Mine had 8k miles on them and still functioned normal.

Is this an anomaly?
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Old 06-15-2021, 02:55 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Georgia 71 View Post
Anyone know if the brakes are self adjusting or manual? I almost have 3000 miles on mine and wondering if I need to adjust them.
Thanks
If you can't find a label on the back (my Lippert labels are inside on the backing plate), just pop out the adjustment plugs and look inside with a small flashlight. If you can see a pawl arm engaging the adjustment star wheel then they're self adjusting. Even self adjusting brakes require an initial adjustment at the time of installation. Without a correct initial adjustment the self adjusters will never work correctly.
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Old 06-15-2021, 04:07 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by D W View Post
If you can't find a label on the back (my Lippert labels are inside on the backing plate), just pop out the adjustment plugs and look inside with a small flashlight. If you can see a pawl arm engaging the adjustment star wheel then they're self adjusting. Even self adjusting brakes require an initial adjustment at the time of installation. Without a correct initial adjustment the self adjusters will never work correctly.
Not really.

As soon as the brakes are applied, the arm and pawl will click to self adjust. The easiest way to do this is once the brakes are reassembled and the drum is back on, pull the emergency brake cable at the front of the trailer. This will engage the brakes and force them to self adjust. No need to adjust with a screwdriver.
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Old 06-15-2021, 04:32 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by clarkbre View Post
Not really.

As soon as the brakes are applied, the arm and pawl will click to self adjust. The easiest way to do this is once the brakes are reassembled and the drum is back on, pull the emergency brake cable at the front of the trailer. This will engage the brakes and force them to self adjust. No need to adjust with a screwdriver.
That is the most ridiculous thing I've heard today. If the actuating levers don't move with the magnets attracted to the rotating drum the brakes will not adjust.
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Old 06-15-2021, 08:28 PM   #12
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That is the most ridiculous thing I've heard today. If the actuating levers don't move with the magnets attracted to the rotating drum the brakes will not adjust.
Absolutely. And if brakes are WAY out of adjustment it may take dozens of brake applications WHILE MOVING to do the final adjustment.

Proper assembly requires a pre-adjustment, usually before drum is installed but often is just done with a brake adjusting tool which is easier than a screwdriver.

Pulling the emergency switch pin won't do anything but warm up the magnets.

Note: self adjusting brakes actually "adjust" when brakes are released. When applied the adjuster is merely " cocked".

Brakes applied, (while moving) shoes expand pulling cable which raises ratchet pawl. If pawl moves far enough it engages a notch on the adjusting wheel. When brakes released, pawl is pulled down by spring rotating adjustment wheel. This is repeated with each brake application until pawl doesnt travel far enough to catch another notch. This stops the adjustment cycle until shoes wear enough to allow pawl to travel far enough to catch notch again.

This system prevents auto adjusters from locking up the drum and leave just enough clearance for free running down the road.
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Old 06-15-2021, 08:40 PM   #13
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The Chinese are more than capable of building high quality products......BUT they will also build (down) to the quality level that the vendor asks for......just say'in
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Old 06-20-2021, 12:43 AM   #14
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The installer did not make the Chinese Junk fail, the poor design and selection of materials in the component products contributed to the failure. Dexter components used to be manufactured in the USA and they were quite reliable tell LCI got hold of them. The axle components on my 2021 are all labeled made in China.

You need quality components to build quality products, you cannot blame American workers who are forced to assemble junk Chinese products, this includes the subpar imported steel used in the frame and axel assemblies.
My iPhone and MacBook were made in China.

After dealing with Chinese businesses over the years myself, I hope people can understand 2 things about China: 1) the crap you buy that are made in China was spec's that way by none other than the American businesses who sold you that POS. 2) the Chinese are far more capitalists than we will ever be, and I think that's a good thing for us. Just because their government called themselves Communists doesn't mean what you think it means. Germany's Christian Democrats aren't all that Christian...

I get crap that are American made all the time, the difference is how QC is controlled by the American business. Anyone who worked in retail sourcing knows the Chinese will sell you exactly what you demand. And if your demand = crap, it's exactly what you'll get.
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