Brake magnet wearing faster than shoes - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 05-22-2018, 03:24 PM   #1
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Brake magnet wearing faster than shoes

I just began my first bearing/brake maintenance on our 2015 Escape 21 and am puzzled that the brake magnet appears to need replacing while the shoes look in good shape and have lots of wear left in them. The drum is smooth where they ride as well. Can one of the knowledgable forum members tell me what might be going on?

The 4 wear holes in the magnet are not very deep, maybe 0.030". How deep are they on a new magnet?

I am told = that if you need to replace shoes on the trailer it is cheaper to just replace the whole brake plate and components. Is this the same if just the magnets are worn? Oh and the drum surface that the magnet wears on is scored somewhat, but not overly bad. If I got new magnets the drum would need to be turned.

Advice?

Bob K
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Old 05-22-2018, 05:09 PM   #2
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I just began my first bearing/brake maintenance on our 2015 Escape 21 and am puzzled that the brake magnet appears to need replacing while the shoes look in good shape and have lots of wear left in them. The drum is smooth where they ride as well. Can one of the knowledgable forum members tell me what might be going on?

The 4 wear holes in the magnet are not very deep, maybe 0.030". How deep are they on a new magnet?

I am told = that if you need to replace shoes on the trailer it is cheaper to just replace the whole brake plate and components. Is this the same if just the magnets are worn? Oh and the drum surface that the magnet wears on is scored somewhat, but not overly bad. If I got new magnets the drum would need to be turned.

Advice?

Bob K
Here's what Dexter says about checking the magnets. I suppose I'd replace the whole assembly if it's cheaper, but I don't know how much they run.
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Old 05-22-2018, 06:21 PM   #3
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I cannot tell you why the magnet is apparently wearing faster than the shoes. I can tell you that on our 19, one of The brakes had a wire pull apart on the magnet feed and this led to poor braking on one wheel. The trailer had about 45,000 or so on it so I decided to do the brakes. Our local dexter dealer had a display with which I was able to compare wear on the shoes and the magnets. There’s not the meat on them shoes like there used to be. From there I took a drum to my brake guy who told me he did not recccomend turning them. Turning down walk in money and having dealt with him for 33 years, I trusted him and still do. I bought the whole assembly, backing plate, levers, shoes, magnets, springs, adjuster, wire and nuts for $32.00
A wheel. No core charge. I did buy shrink type connectors for the magnet wires which cost me another couple bucks I think. Course I got a free pop and a fresh donut while he pulled the parts. It’s not a big job to change them out. 11/16 wrench for the 4 nuts that hold the backing plate on. These were the straight brakes, not the never adjust which were more. I would buy the whole assemblies again when i need to for the 21,. You might check the voltage coming to each magnet, the action to the drum might differ with voltage, not sure. Devious hombre’ that I am, I mentioned to the trailers owner that I might need a new impact wrench to do the job and being the daughter of a master body and fender man, she knew a man couldn’t work without tools. The Milwaukee was a lot more than the brakes. Hope this helps.
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Old 05-22-2018, 06:51 PM   #4
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I can tell you that on our 19, one of The brakes had a wire pull apart on the magnet feed and this led to poor braking on one wheel.
Iowa Dave
My trailer wasn't very old when I was one stage away from that situation also.

Or maybe it's the exact opposite. What about this possibility, that the other brake on the same side isn't working and all the braking is being done by the one brake leading to high wear.

I think the brake connections are something that should get checked once in a while.

Ron
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Old 05-22-2018, 09:39 PM   #5
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I was careful to cut the wires off cliose to the magnet so I’d have plenty to hook up to. As I was putting the wires together one suddenly became longer. I knew it wasn’t magic so I stripped back the plastic wire protector and that’s when I saw the loose wire. It had been short crimped and was corroded. I knew it had worked to some degree but never carried the full voltage. The other three pairs were fine. That’s when I went back to Midwest wheel and got shrink connectors and took my time crimping and shrinking them. I’ll check the 21 in a week or so, I had it out at the end of April but only about 250 miles down and back and everything worked nice. I’m glad there’s a term for thorough checking that the lawyers taught me. Due diligence. The old man just said take your time and use your head for something besides a hat rack.
He could be a little crazy. He’d finish a brake job, back the car slowly off the hoist ramps and floor it in reverse towards the highway then jam on the brakes and stop the car a few feet short of the road. Then get out and walk away like it was nothing special. Used to make some customers crazy. The European theatre changed people.
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Old 05-23-2018, 01:13 AM   #6
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So I got two opinions about the magnets wearing faster than the shoes. An RV repair shop I have used a lot in the past said that it is variable as to which wears faster. An old timer at Lordco parts suggested that if the brakes weren't adjusted for a long period of time the magnet might have to work harder to apply the same amount of braking. In hind sight I haven't adjusted the brakes in 3 years because we don't travel that much and the brakes seemed to work fine. It could be that the magnets ended up doing more work to compensate for the extra brake shoe travel.

Regardless, I had to replace the magnets and so decided to get new braking plates with new components. That left the scored surface of the drum where the magnet rides. I looked into getting the drums turned and to just do the magnet surface would have cost $38 x 4. I would have gone for that but my wife convinced me to get new drums (gives her peace of mind). So the total for 4 new brake plates (with components) and 4 new drums (with new bearings and seals) was $800 Canadian. I checked with a couple of RV places and they would have charged at least $1200 for the labor and parts. I am ahead $400 by doing it myself, but I sure wish it was cheaper.

As I bolted on the first new brake plate I found that ETI had a fitting attached to the back of the old brake plate to clamp the end of the protective sleeve for the wiring. The new brake plate had no such fitting, so I ended up removing the fitting from the old one (where it was screwed into an interesting piece of hardware that was like a hollow pop rivet with threads) and pop riveting it to a different sized hole in the new brake plate (change in Dexter's brake plate).

Once again, it pained me to have to get new brake plates and components because of the magnets, when the shoes and drum surface they work on were in excellent shape. I will definitely be adjusting my brakes yearly to see if it improves the life of the magnets.

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Old 05-23-2018, 05:26 AM   #7
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As I bolted on the first new brake plate I found that ETI had a fitting attached to the back of the old brake plate to clamp the end of the protective sleeve for the wiring. The new brake plate had no such fitting, so I ended up removing the fitting from the old one (where it was screwed into an interesting piece of hardware that was like a hollow pop rivet with threads) and pop riveting it to a different sized hole in the new brake plate (change in Dexter's brake plate).

They are a handy piece of hardware to know about, I've used them on my old trailer when needing to attach screws to the thin Filon fiberglass siding. Nutserts is what the machine shop guys called them, but I've seen other names for them too.
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Old 05-23-2018, 07:33 AM   #8
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Brakes

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Originally Posted by Bobbito View Post
So I got two opinions about the magnets wearing faster than the shoes. An RV repair shop I have used a lot in the past said that it is variable as to which wears faster. An old timer at Lordco parts suggested that if the brakes weren't adjusted for a long period of time the magnet might have to work harder to apply the same amount of braking. In hind sight I haven't adjusted the brakes in 3 years because we don't travel that much and the brakes seemed to work fine. It could be that the magnets ended up doing more work to compensate for the extra brake shoe travel.

Regardless, I had to replace the magnets and so decided to get new braking plates with new components. That left the scored surface of the drum where the magnet rides. I looked into getting the drums turned and to just do the magnet surface would have cost $38 x 4. I would have gone for that but my wife convinced me to get new drums (gives her peace of mind). So the total for 4 new brake plates (with components) and 4 new drums (with new bearings and seals) was $800 Canadian. I checked with a couple of RV places and they would have charged at least $1200 for the labor and parts. I am ahead $400 by doing it myself, but I sure wish it was cheaper.

As I bolted on the first new brake plate I found that ETI had a fitting attached to the back of the old brake plate to clamp the end of the protective sleeve for the wiring. The new brake plate had no such fitting, so I ended up removing the fitting from the old one (where it was screwed into an interesting piece of hardware that was like a hollow pop rivet with threads) and pop riveting it to a different sized hole in the new brake plate (change in Dexter's brake plate).

Once again, it pained me to have to get new brake plates and components because of the magnets, when the shoes and drum surface they work on were in excellent shape. I will definitely be adjusting my brakes yearly to see if it improves the life of the magnets.

Bob K
Glad to hear you got everything working again. Nursert is the trademarked name those things are also called river nuts. You can but a cheap install kit at a place like Harbor Freight if youíre in the states. For no more than most people would use it, not a bad way to go. First time you need to lay on those brakes after you burnish them in, the lingering bitter taste of the expense will go away. I find this is true of good tires, and steering and suspension parts too.
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Old 05-23-2018, 10:05 AM   #9
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Bob peace of mind is worth something, but I agree thatís a lot of money for the whole assembly.

If you think about it for a minute the position on the drum where the magnets start to engage doesnít make any difference, during a braking event the magnets are engaged and contacting the drum for a period of time/revolutions. So if the magnets wear prematurely they must be made of a softer metal (not likely), be held tighter to the drum due to stronger magnetism (due to a higher setting on the controller). Wether the shoes are adjusted or not should have no effect on magnet wear.

Cheers
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Old 05-23-2018, 03:17 PM   #10
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Nursert is the trademarked name those things are also called river nuts
Or with the typos corrected to make searching easier for other people...
Nutsert is the trademarked name those things are also called rivet nuts
For trailer owners in Canada, Princess Auto is an equivalent source:
45 pc Threaded Insert and Riveting Tool Kit (metric threads)
80 pc Metric Replacement Inserts
45 pc Threaded Insert and Riveting Tool Kit (inch threads)
80 pc SAE Replacement Inserts
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Old 05-23-2018, 05:12 PM   #11
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Thanks Brian
My typing isn’t very good and my attention deficit must have kicked in as I failed to proofread (again) I first bought and used the nutserts in about 1986 or 87. We would set them in a piece of wood and use a vandal resistant bolt with the figure s looking head and the special screwdriver on Park signs because it seemed every girl in town had to have the pool bathhouse floor warning sign
“Slippery when wet” ala Jon Bon Jovi. Oh I got stories all right.
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Old 05-23-2018, 05:29 PM   #12
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Nutsert is the trademarked name those things are also called rivet nuts
For trailer owners in Canada, Princess Auto is an equivalent source:
45 pc Threaded Insert and Riveting Tool Kit (metric threads)
80 pc Metric Replacement Inserts
45 pc Threaded Insert and Riveting Tool Kit (inch threads)
80 pc SAE Replacement Inserts
The Princess Auto unit is handy and works as well as commercial grade ones. Very handy for blind access. And strong. I've used them to hold a marine head on to f.g. where there was no access to the rear side. Must be pretty strong because if someone's using the head in rough seas the forces are considerable.

The one to the right is another variation, a threaded insert. Also good for blind installations, like holding down the table pedestal when you don't want holes going through the bottom of the trailer.

Ron
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Old 05-23-2018, 09:50 PM   #13
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Thanks for the information on the nut inserts. I didn't go out and get the special tool and nut inserts, but instead used pop rivets to secure the hardware. The downside is that if I change the brake backing plate again I will have to drill out the pop rivet. Not as convenient as the nut insert, but doable.

I was impressed at the efforts ETI made to protect the brake wiring under the trailer. I remember the brake wiring on our Nash trailer just lying bare and susceptible to abrasion and the elements. ETI used a product called black split polyethylene wire loom to protect the brake wiring. Another example of ETI quality. This wire shield is zap strapped to the hardware I attached to the brake backing plate.

Bob K
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Old 08-06-2018, 08:08 PM   #14
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Having completed the 12,000-mile bearing repack, we were checking the brake function on each wheel and found that the right rear brake was not working. (It is ridiculous, in the 21st century, that trailer bearings need repacking every 12,000 miles. The sealed bearings in our ’86 Camry were still going strong at 283,000 miles when rust returned the body to the elements.) The cause of the brake failure was a broken wire just as shown in the photo Ron in BC posted. The connection is approximately 8 or 10’’ from the brake plate. I have never been a fan of crimped wire connectors, so out came the faithful soldering iron and heat-shrinkable tubing.

The wear on the right rear brake shoes was similar to the wear on the others, suggesting that the wire failure was fairly recent. Our 19 has happily covered around 60,000 miles, and the brakes will probably be due for replacement at the next bearing repack. We’ll probably install all new brake kits (K-23-026-00 and K-23-027-00, http://www.dexterpartsonline.com/fil...Assemblies.pdf) and solder the wires together.
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Old 01-19-2019, 03:41 PM   #15
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electric breaks

I have always found electric breaks to be a big pain. Magnets were always wearing out prematurely and thus cutting into the backing plate. In a short time the drums needed to be replaced. Complete break job on a tandem has got to be close to $600! I know an RV gets lots of highway miles but still! Look into electric over hydraulic breaks and prices, you'll be surprised. and it might be cheaper to convert!
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:10 PM   #16
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how would you actuate hydraulic brakes? I've towed a boat trailer that had 'surge' brakes (basically the master cylinder is in the trailer tongue), I did not like it one bit. they are used on boats because the wheels end up getting submerged, and electric brakes would short out in salt water. surge brakes are more expensive, too.
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Old 01-19-2019, 05:12 PM   #17
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Having completed the 12,000-mile bearing repack, we were checking the brake function on each wheel and found that the right rear brake was not working. (It is ridiculous, in the 21st century, that trailer bearings need repacking every 12,000 miles. The sealed bearings in our ’86 Camry were still going strong at 283,000 miles when rust returned the body to the elements.) The cause of the brake failure was a broken wire just as shown in the photo Ron in BC posted. The connection is approximately 8 or 10’’ from the brake plate. I have never been a fan of crimped wire connectors, so out came the faithful soldering iron and heat-shrinkable tubing.

The wear on the right rear brake shoes was similar to the wear on the others, suggesting that the wire failure was fairly recent. Our 19 has happily covered around 60,000 miles, and the brakes will probably be due for replacement at the next bearing repack. We’ll probably install all new brake kits (K-23-026-00 and K-23-027-00, http://www.dexterpartsonline.com/fil...Assemblies.pdf) and solder the wires together.
For $10/wheel extra you can get the Nev R Adjust brakes:

https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories...le/23-468.html

We have at least 50K on our trailer and have stuck to the maintenance schedule or 1 year or 12K, whichever comes first. Will check to see if it is time for new assemblies at next service.
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Old 01-19-2019, 06:34 PM   #18
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hydrolic breaks

John in replay to how would one actuate hydraulic breaks, They are wired in just like electric breaks so win you turn up the gain it sends a signal to the master cylinder and you.ve got breads! Google electric over hydronic master cylinder and you can read all about it. They are much better then ele, more expensive to install (not by much) but! much cheaper to maintain. Just a small car disk and pads. and no they are not surge! I hate them also...
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Old 01-19-2019, 06:39 PM   #19
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sorry John, I'm new at this, I'm not too internet savvy and we have about 7" of snow on the ground and I was out working
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:13 PM   #20
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Look into electric over hydraulic breaks and prices, you'll be surprised. and it might be cheaper to convert!
Only if your electric brake servicing is excessive. I've never heard of anyone routinely wearing out the magnets before the shoes before.

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how would you actuate hydraulic brakes?
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John in replay to how would one actuate hydraulic breaks, They are wired in just like electric breaks so win you turn up the gain it sends a signal to the master cylinder ...
In a little more detail, there is an actuator mounted on the trailer which receives the electrical signal from the same electronic controller as used with conventional electric brakes, and the actuator supplies hydraulic pressure to the brake cylinders at the wheels. There are a couple of different internal designs of actuators, but taking a "black box" view, they just take in power and the control signal, and put out hydraulic pressure. The system works with hydraulic disk brakes, too, which is one of the two common reasons to use them (because there are no all-electric disk brakes), in addition to keeping electrical equipment out of the water on boat trailers.

Electric-over-hydraulic actuators are not cheap, but if you want to keep spending, they enable features such as ABS.
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