View Full Version : Revisit: Trailer Brake Problems.

09-06-2006, 04:46 PM
I finally got around to trying to figure out my trailer brakes are causing the wheels and drums to get really hot even when the brakes are not on ( or even hooked up for that matter). I jacked up the and took the wheels off of both axles. When I try to move the hub, it moves with a lot of drag in it. You can hear metal brushing against metal in the drums. The trailer had sat out of use for a few years before I bought it, so i would venture to say that the brakes are the problem. Now, how do I fix this? I was thinking of buying new brakes for the trailer, but when I looked on line the prices scared me. Does anyone have any suggestions on this. Should I get the brakes lathed or something like that? How in the world do I take off the brakes and the wiring that leads into them? Is this something that I should just hire someone to do? I really need to get this trailer up and running soon!

09-06-2006, 08:18 PM
there are only 4 bolts per hub that hold the backing plates on for the brakes. very easy to take them off. I would start by replacing the bearings, sounds like that might be the source of your problems

09-06-2006, 08:23 PM
Or maybe loosen the brake linings they may be to tight relative to the drums. There is an adjusting screw to turn in/out to decrease the drag of the linings on the hubs.

09-06-2006, 09:27 PM
Good suggestions guys. I have never used the brakes on this. My truck is now equipped with a brake controller, so I am going to take it for a drive tomorrow and see if there is any rust that just needs to be used off for them to work. I have also thought about the bearings as well, but at this time I think it is more of a brake problem.

09-06-2006, 09:32 PM
ah, I misread your post. driving around will clean them out pretty well, and there is an adjustment screw like ed2hess said. You can even adjust them without taking the wheels off if you slide underneath.

09-07-2006, 11:43 AM
You guys are great!:waving:

09-08-2006, 09:58 PM
Here is an update. I took the trailer out for a 20 miles drive today with the brakes hooked up and working. The wheels were warm, probably warmer then they should have been throughout the trip (I stopped about every 5 miles or so), but they were not even close to being as bad as they were. When I got back, I jacked the trailer up and the wheels turned a little more freely, but there was still some pretty good drag on the right side mostly, and a little on the left side. I can hear the little bits of rust rolling around in the drums, so I am sure that rust is the problem. I could not find any adjusting screws or anything anywhere. Should I just keep driving it around hoping that the brakes will free themselves up or is it time to take it to someone that know what they are doing. The heat was better, but not cool. It was very warm to the touch on the brake drums, but not so much on the wheels. Before it was scorching hot to the point where it bubbled the paint on a couple of the wheels. This time was not nearly as bad. I was also doing a ton of breaking.

09-08-2006, 10:28 PM
Try pulling drums off and see whats going on in side if older trailer I think that might be were the ajustment is also you can see if bearings are turning free

09-08-2006, 11:34 PM
Running in the northeast alot and in the winter salt and then the trailer sitting for a while...........there may be some parts rusted in the drum. The reason it may be getting better is that the shoes may be rusted and have worn down some.


09-09-2006, 07:15 PM
Try pulling drums off and see whats going on in side if older trailer I think that might be were the ajustment is also you can see if bearings are turning free
Yep when you take the drum off you can see the adjusting device for the bands. And if the drum slides off hard then they are definitely tight. Once you adjust them leave the trailer jacked up and you can test them. I use a wire to hold the controller in the actuated position. And when you release it those brakes should drop out quickly.

09-15-2006, 09:58 PM
I tried like crazy today to get the bolts off on the drums. I do not have an impact wrench. I tried using some PB, but there is no rust on them. They are just so tight I can't get them off. So, I took of the wheels and watched where inbetween the brake drum and the hub. I can see metal touching metal in a few places as the hub turns. At these point the drum is hard to move. I would say it is at like 10% of the entire drum. Little bits of rust fall out when this happens. They turn much easier than they did, so I think it just need to be used. I'll take it out for a good drive tomorrow. I can get all four brakes to lock up and then disengage as well.

09-18-2006, 11:45 PM
Everything is finally working as it is supposed to. I took the trailer to a new buddy that is a mechanic. Wee took the wheels off and spent over an hour getting the seized brake drums off. We cleaned out all the spider webs and the occasional bees nest and readjusted the brakes (which were too tight). The magnet had fallen out of place on one of the brakes. Then we checked the bearings and re-greased everything. 3 hours and we were done. Nothing was broken, just needed to be cleaned. I love it when you have friends that know what they are doing. I managed to get out of there not spending a penny and having a trailer that had fully working brakes. I know that if I took it somewhere else they would have said that I needed to brake and everything. Thanks for everyone's help!:clapping: