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Old 02-26-2015, 12:50 AM   #1
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Brake lock up

Thought I had it fixed after working with Dexter a month ago however the same wheel is now locking up again. Had the brake drum turned after initial diagnosis did not detect any other fault. Initially it seemed to fix the problem and we had a trip without noticing any skidding. On our trip this last week however we started noticing it and even turning down the P3 to 4.0 didn't stop the curbside forward wheel from locking up.

Will have to call Dexter back tomorrow. Any ideas?
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Old 02-26-2015, 12:55 AM   #2
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Ross, it is possible that you are just up too high.
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Old 02-26-2015, 01:00 AM   #3
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Maybe- although it is only one wheel locking. Does that sound right?

What are others setting their Prodigy P3's at with the 21?
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Old 02-26-2015, 01:06 AM   #4
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I'd be surprised if the controller setting is the problem. Have you tried backing off the mechanical adjustment on the problem wheel and doing a hard test stop to see how the other wheels handle it and, to see if when backed off, the problem disappears?

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Old 02-26-2015, 06:47 AM   #5
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I'd agree with Ron - the controller is not the likely problem. If there is no contamination/grease on the shoe, the magnet is good, the adjustment of that wheel is good, the other 3 brakes are working normally, the fault is with that hub. Maybe the axle was manufactured with that hub a little off? Calling Dexter sounds like a plan.
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:40 AM   #6
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If you can, return your trailer to the shop that did the the original diagnosis and resurfaced the brake drum. It is good to stay with one source to sort the problem out.
The problem is most probably what Ron said and cannot imagine how a hub can cause the braking problem unless the hub bearings are not correctly adjusted and have excessive free play.
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Old 02-26-2015, 11:14 AM   #7
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Agree with you Bob, and am doing that. In email from Dexter "Did you have someone to check the ohms and amperage from this brake? The ohms reading on this magnet can be between 3.0 ohms to 3.7 ohms per magnet. The amperage should be 3.0 to 3.5 per magnet.

Not sure if the mechanic merely checked that power was going to it or whether is was within the above range. Also, to clarify the problem: it locks up at slow speeds when coming to a stop unless the controller is turned way down, like in the 3.5 range, which isn't enough to effectively have the trailer brakes do their share. The TV is doing probably 75% at that setting. The brake releases immediately afterwards.

Will report back what I find.
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Old 02-26-2015, 01:13 PM   #8
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I've often wondered, what do people set their brake controllers at, and do they vary depending on speed? I've sometimes found that the setting I use while towing at highway speed is too much at low, stop and go, speed. The trailer brakes grab too much in stop and go traffic and I have to back off on my setting. Any input?
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Old 02-26-2015, 01:29 PM   #9
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If you have Prodigy brake controller, it came with set-up instructions. You shouldn't just adopt the setting used by somebody else.
That said, you need a couple people ( one to drive and one to watch ) and a gravel road, with little traffic, to do the set-up.
I'm still messing with mine after six years.
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Old 02-26-2015, 01:53 PM   #10
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Thanks gbaglo. I'm also still messing with mine after many years of towing. It seems like after a fresh brake job or change of tow vehicles there's a need for brake controller adjustments. It's just nice to hear that I'm not the only one doing this. Maybe I just need something to do?
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Old 02-26-2015, 02:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
I'd be surprised if the controller setting is the problem. Have you tried backing off the mechanical adjustment on the problem wheel and doing a hard test stop to see how the other wheels handle it and, to see if when backed off, the problem disappears?

Ron
Hi Ron- have been through it all beginning with adjusting then road testing when this problem first was noticed(I suspect it has been there a while if not from when new). From my email today from Dexter it appears there may be an "intermittent electrical short". Great- sometimes it happens sometimes not- which is what I am sort of experiencing. After having the drum turned I road tested it and definitely noticed no skidding. Went on a trip and didn't notice any problem until the second trip this last week.

Dexter referred me to a shop an hour away originally, but didn't want the hassle of driving there. Their solution is to replace the backing plate, which includes the magnets and shoes. This complete assembly costs $38. Having a courier pick up the parts and bring them to my original mechanic. I could probably do the R&R but agree with Bob that its best to let the original guy see this through.

As to me asking about others' settings, I was more curious than anything, but agree with Baglo you need to go through the setup procedure. Did that with the Prodigy RF on the 17 and it just always worked great. Don't think it is the controller. Stay tuned.
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Old 02-26-2015, 05:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAfraser View Post
I've often wondered, what do people set their brake controllers at, and do they vary depending on speed? I've sometimes found that the setting I use while towing at highway speed is too much at low, stop and go, speed. The trailer brakes grab too much in stop and go traffic and I have to back off on my setting. Any input?
Tom
I to once had the break lock up. So i used a much higher setting on hwy and the a much lower setting when in town. Fixed the problem.

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Old 02-26-2015, 08:27 PM   #13
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New complete assembly installed and so far so good. Did a few hard stops from 25mph on pavement with no skidding. Did the yellow dirt Baglo road and Hallelujah, the other side skidded too!

Like others am left wondering if there is an optimum setting for highway and big downhill decent vs. low-speed OJ driving.
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:32 PM   #14
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Might want to read up on the Boost feature.
( I don't use it on my combo so I forget )
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Old 02-26-2015, 09:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAfraser View Post
I've often wondered, what do people set their brake controllers at, and do they vary depending on speed? I've sometimes found that the setting I use while towing at highway speed is too much at low, stop and go, speed. The trailer brakes grab too much in stop and go traffic and I have to back off on my setting.
The gain setting shouldn't require changing with speed. On the other hand, I find that with our Tekonsha Prodigy using a "boost" setting if "1" works well on the highway, but is grabby in stop-and-go, so I turn the boost off when I enter a built-up area and back on (to "1") when I get back on the highway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TAfraser View Post
I'm also still messing with mine after many years of towing. It seems like after a fresh brake job or change of tow vehicles there's a need for brake controller adjustments.
A brake job on the trailer changes the trailer brake behaviour, so a gain setting change is needed. Changes in the tow vehicle shouldn't require any change in the trailer, but many people report that for the rig to "feel" right they are changing settings when they change tugs.
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Old 02-27-2015, 01:38 PM   #16
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Thanks Brian, I'll take a look at the Boost feature. I never set that up, so it'll probably help.
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Old 07-03-2015, 07:01 PM   #17
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Another New Assembly

It's been four months and some 5K miles at least since I ruined a tire with chronic brake locking up. Now the rear passenger side is doing the same thing. So going with another backing plate assembly and if that doesn't do it will drive an hour to the shop Dexter recommends. They're great and took some time to troubleshoot with pictures going to their cellphone. It is being delivered via courier today.

At this point am ready for the first wheel bearing service as well so am going to do that too. Getting that back seal off though takes determination. Search for a trick on the web and found this gem:
"Ya'got'ta approach rear seals like there is absolutely no doubt about who is boss, and who isn't. Ya'got'ta let the wheel assembly know who exactly it is who owns the g.d. wheel in the first place." Worked for me; got a bigger hammer.

The Dexter retailer is sending me four wheel bearing kits with bearings for $6/ea.- and they are packing the bearings. Pretty sweet.

Ruined another tire, but Dexter was so great to work with last time am not expecting any trouble with reimbursement.

Reace did tell me that sometimes the brake controller goes bad and sends all 12V to the brakes instead of modulating it in tandem with the TV's brake pedal. That doesn't seem to be the case here as there is definite cupping only on the rear tire just as was the case with the front one originally.
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Old 07-03-2015, 07:57 PM   #18
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I never noticed this thread before. I've been unhappy with my brakes recently. This is my story:

Had my brakes serviced/adjusted/bearings done in March. Three days later I was a few hours from home at the beginning of a 3000 mile trip when I noticed on pit stops that one tire on driver's side kept locking up. I thought I just needed to readjust brake controller, but when adjusting I eventually I had the Prodigy controller set below 2 and the one tire was still locking up. Since I had driven my trailer for the previous year with the controller set at 6.5 I started to wonder if I was having a brake problem. I took trailer to a shop to get it checked out.

They said the brakes work properly, but the March service set the brakes too tight and this could cause one tire to lock up. They (expensively) reset and repacked everything.

When I got home after the trip I called Dexter and was told the same - too tight, or unbalanced adjustment, can cause one tire to lock up. On my next local trip the brakes seemed to be again locking up on one side, although no one was with me to confirm. I went to a different local shop and they said that everything is working properly. I asked if the prodigy controller should be checked. The guy said that in his 12 years of owning his shop he's only seen one controller fail so he didn't think there'd be a problem with the controller.

I still don't feel happy with my brakes, although everyone tells me they're working fine. I might have to investigate a little further ....
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Old 07-03-2015, 09:15 PM   #19
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Just to throw it out there, they do make electric-hydraulic disc brake conversion sets for trailers, don't know what axles, but do know it's pretty big $.
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Old 07-03-2015, 09:22 PM   #20
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I have noticed a difference in my braking action if the plug-in at the rear of the tow is dirty (I live on a 2 mile long dead end gravel road) so hosing out the connector on the tow the day before hooking up seems to cure the problem of grabby brakes.
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