View Full Version : Trailer Brakes Need Help
03-25-2005, 11:34 PM
HOW DO I FIND OUT WHY MY TRAILER BRAKES ARE NOT WORKING? WHERE DO I START. TRUCK AND CONTROLLER ARE ONLY 3 YEARS OLD. TRAILER IS ABOUT 8 YEARS OLD. POWER LIGHT IS ON, ON CONTROLLER. WHEN YOU STEP ON BRAKES CONTROLLER DOES FLASH. IS THERE A EASY WAY TO CHECK AND SEE IF TRAILER BRAKES ARE THE PROBLEM OR TRUCK CONTROLLER IS THE PROBLEM. (WHERE DO I START) :help:
03-25-2005, 11:40 PM
1. please dont use caps it is considered yelling on forums
2. on a gravel drive or road pull the trailer empty and slam the brakes if the trailer brakes lock the wheels up it is ok... this is the only way I know to test the brakes besides taking it to a shop.
03-25-2005, 11:43 PM
If you have a local trailer dealer, they will most likely have a test box that plugs into your pigtail connector. That will tell you if the truck/contoller is ok.
Good luck, hope that helps. :waving:
03-26-2005, 02:03 AM
Most trailers have a break away feature so if it becomes disconnnected from your truck the brakes lock up. Pull that and see what happens when pulling it. Also if you a 12 volt battery as part of your breaks on the trailer, check that for a charge. lastly just get a test light and work your way back.
03-26-2005, 02:13 AM
Thanks for the help. My trailer does not have a break away battery set up. So i cant test that. My truck does seem to be working. I know there is a type of test you can do to see if the trailer brake magnets are working. Does anybody know how to do this?
03-26-2005, 02:15 AM
What happened to my thread? Why does it say it was moved?
03-26-2005, 06:06 AM
It was moved so more people would see it.
1: Are the lights (brake and parking) on the trailer working?
2: If the lights are working are they working correctly? Examples of incorrect light function would be:
a: You step on the brakes and the left brake light comes on but the right side parking light comes on.
b: You turn on the right hand turn signal and the parking lights flash instead.
3: What kind of controller is it?
03-26-2005, 09:48 AM
All lights on trailer function properly. Controller is drawtite activator 2.
03-26-2005, 11:12 AM
When it flashes, does it flash "OL"-even if it doesn't say ol it sounds like you have a short. Start by visually checking the wiring of the trailer if you can. My dad was having a problem w/ his car trailer. Somehow the wire wedged itself between the wood and the frame & was causing a short for the brakes. Try this link to get instructions & trouble shooting for your controller. thttp://drawtite.com/aciibrco.htmlhe If you can, try hooking a dif. trailer up w/ brakes to check the truck end. Well, good luck.
03-26-2005, 01:17 PM
If it flashes OL when the trailer is not connected then you have a short in the blue wire of your truck. If it flashes OL with the trailer connected to the truck then there is a short or overload in the trailer.
03-26-2005, 02:36 PM
If those breaks have not been serviced/adjusted/inspected and they are 8 years old, you can pretty much assume they don't work.
Raise trailer, spin wheel. Have helper activate brake controller. You have then confirmed they don't work.
Are they "humming?" The magnets should hum.
Take the drum off. You need to do this anyway if its 8 years old and has not been greased.
Probably a Dexter axle.
If its the 5-lug drum brake, and the drum is not gouged by the magnet or shoes, its a keeper, otherwise its a doorstop.
If you need new brakes and its a 5-lug, you can get the whole assembly cheap and Nothern Tool, cheaper than just the shoes from a trailer dealer.
Northern has the drums, and complete brake units. If there is any need for shoes, or magnets, you are better off time and probably money wise just to start fresh, as everything is probably rusted anyway, and keep your old ones incase you need spare do-dads in the future like spring/magnets.
03-26-2005, 04:21 PM
Thanks everyone for your help. Just hooked up to another truck. Same story. My first description was not exact. Here is the real deal. Drawtite activator 2 reads 0.0 when you step on brake. If you manually activate controller will read what its set at. ( ex. 7.5) I am going to try next and see if I hear a hum. If i do not i will ckeck the ground this is what my local trailer place told me to do. Hope this works.
03-26-2005, 04:25 PM
O by the way the controller does not read (OL)
03-27-2005, 11:24 AM
Albemarle Lawn has it right, I can almost guarantee. Take your wheel apart and you will find your coils are worn away and have wires exposed causing a short. Replace the brake and you will be back in business. Quit wasting time with grounds (dont think this is it) and pull off the wheel!
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