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Old 11-15-2019, 11:27 AM   #1
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Electric Trailer Brake Problem

Hello everyone,
I have an electric brake issue and would like to ask forum menbers for solutions. I noticed smoke coming from wheel well of the driver side when I braked on our last trip home. There were squeaky noise too from the brakes. The trailer is 5 1/2 years old.
I took the 2 wheels off and inspected the bearing seals and brake assembly. The followings are the observations;
1. Bearing seals are both intact and no signs of grease leaking.
2. Brake pads appear to be smooth and no visible scratches.
3. Brakes drums have two tiny scratch lines and some brake dust.
4. 2 Brake assembly appear to be rusty due to driving in heavy rain months ago.
5. Brake wirings are intact. Howver, I will redo it per Bill's method.
What are the possible problems and solutions. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Tonny LR
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Old 11-15-2019, 12:42 PM   #2
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Do you know if the wheel/s were locked, burning rubber being the cause of the smoke?

Are the brakes original? Can you guess at mileage?

You do know that you need to change the seals now, right?
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Old 11-15-2019, 12:57 PM   #3
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Tonny,

Two things come to mind:

1) the smoking side brakes are unexpectedly "on" due to a wiring problem. Check to see if those brakes are applied always or only when you apply the brake controller in the tow vehicle. A gently applied vice grip can apply the controller in the cab, then you can check for magnetism at the open brake, or try to spin the tire if it's back in place.

2) the other side is not working at all and the smoking side is doing all the work.
Check the non-smoking side to see if it's working appropriately.

Good luck and post pictures.
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Old 11-15-2019, 01:33 PM   #4
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I’ve noticed that sometimes as brakes are applied for a dead stop at a light or at a stop sign and the trailer is “held” in place for a few moments, as I start out again I can momentarily feel and sometimes hear, one of the brakes hanging up. When that shoe “releases” I can feel the lighter drag on the tow vehicle.
This does not happen very often. Since the shoes pivot mechanically I can understand how rust or dirt would cause this hangup. All that said, each spring I make sure those pivot points are clean and free of dirt. Rust could be your enemy. It would be prudent to make sure things are clean and free. That includes the mounting for the magnets too.
Just a thought
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Old 11-15-2019, 02:24 PM   #5
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Hi Bob,
Thank you . The trailer brake is original and had done 29,000 miles. I don't know if the wheels locked up or not. I did not sensed any pulling or dragging of the trailer when it happened. I did not noticed and skid/black stripes on the street. I do plan to grease the bearings again.

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Old 11-15-2019, 02:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill and Earline View Post
Tonny,

Two things come to mind:

1) the smoking side brakes are unexpectedly "on" due to a wiring problem. Check to see if those brakes are applied always or only when you apply the brake controller in the tow vehicle. A gently applied vice grip can apply the controller in the cab, then you can check for magnetism at the open brake, or try to spin the tire if it's back in place.

2) the other side is not working at all and the smoking side is doing all the work.
Check the non-smoking side to see if it's working appropriately.

Good luck and post pictures.
Hello Bill,
Thank your for your response.
I will enlist my wife to operate the integrate brake controller in the cab soon.
To do this test, first I will spin the wheels to see if the wheels spin freely. If wheels do not spin freely or show resistance. It means the brakes locked up always. Am I correct ? Second I would ask my wife to apply the manual brake controller in the cab, I shall notice both sides of wheels locked up, correct?
I searched the u-tube and learned that the magnet need to float smoothly. After reassessed the drum, I noticed the armature plate is bad scratched and not smoothed. I don't know how to correct it. Will get back with the test results soon.

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Old 11-15-2019, 03:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowa Dave View Post
I’ve noticed that sometimes as brakes are applied for a dead stop at a light or at a stop sign and the trailer is “held” in place for a few moments, as I start out again I can momentarily feel and sometimes hear, one of the brakes hanging up. When that shoe “releases” I can feel the lighter drag on the tow vehicle.
This does not happen very often. Since the shoes pivot mechanically I can understand how rust or dirt would cause this hangup. All that said, each spring I make sure those pivot points are clean and free of dirt. Rust could be your enemy. It would be prudent to make sure things are clean and free. That includes the mounting for the magnets too.
Just a thought
Iowa Dave
Hello Dave,
Thank you for your response. I know that I can trust you on your recommendation. Here are my questions:
1. Since the armature plate is badly scratched and I don't know if the magnet post/rod is working properly to allow the magnet to float smoothly, I am thinking of replacing the brake backing plate and the drum. Would it be a good idea?
2. I watched the u-tube and learned how to take appart the brake assemble, clean it and apply brake ceramic silicaon lubricants to contact points. It is a lot of work and not sure it will take care of the problem in the future. on top of that it is a nearly 6 years old trailer. This is the first time I learn about trailer brake maintenance except adjusting brakes.
3. Self adjustable trailer brake or manual adjustable trailer barke, which one would you use if you have to replace your brakes?
Please feel free not to answer any of these questions. Do not mean to put you under any pressure. You are a good man.

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Old 11-15-2019, 03:34 PM   #8
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I believe when you replace the drum you need to replace the bearings, it obviously becomes a bigger job. You could consider replacing the whole brake assemblies if you are going with new drums, price isn't bad and make everything easier. Will still need to replace the bearings and seals.


I've never done bearings...
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Old 11-15-2019, 03:57 PM   #9
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Hi Tonny
Glad to hear from you. When my shoes were well worn on the 19 and I pulled things apart I took the drums to a shop that has done brake work for me for 35 years. He did not recommend replacing the drums and thought the magnet contact face on the drums was ok even though it had a couple scratches on it. I bought the complete assemblies at a dexter dealer, and did not buy the self adjusters. All you need is an 11/16 box end wrench, a little solvent to loosen the nuts on the 4 bolts and your wiring tools to connect the 2 brake wires. You can do it Tonny. Thanks for the compliment, I never feel pressure when I give my opinion as about anybody who has met me will tell you.
Best of Luck
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Old 11-15-2019, 06:10 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=padlin;315199]I believe when you replace the drum you need to replace the bearings, it obviously becomes a bigger job. You could consider replacing the whole brake assemblies if you are going with new drums, price isn't bad and make everything easier. Will still need to replace the bearings and seals.

Hi Bob,
Yes, I do plan to replace the bearings. I already bought 4 sets of TIMKEN Bearings.
Inner bearings L68111-L68149 and outer bearings L44649-L44610 and Dexter bearing seals. It will not be bad if the weather co-operates and stays in 50s F. May I ask what is the reason/need to change the bearings when brake assemble and drum are replaced. Thanks.

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Old 11-15-2019, 06:17 PM   #11
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I thought new Dexter drums come with new bearings and seals.
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Old 11-15-2019, 06:22 PM   #12
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Remember, I've never done this. From what I saw one of the races is pressed into the drum. Unless there is some way of removing the race and pressing it into the new drum so it mates correctly with the old bearing.
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Old 11-15-2019, 06:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
I thought new Dexter drums come with new bearings and seals.
Yes they do if you buy a new drum. Usually you can just do brake assemblies and repack the bearings and replace in your existing drum/hub.

https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Hub.../84546UC3.html
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Old 11-15-2019, 09:29 PM   #14
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Hi Bill and Dave,
Attached are 6 pictures of the brakes. The first picture is the rustiy brake. All moving parts were ceased. I could hardly moved the magnet back and forth to engage the brake pads. Other pictures are brake pads and armature surface which have shallow grooves and depressions.
I plan to order new brake kits. Part numbers are K23-026-00 AND K23-027-00, LH/RH Electric brakes.
I am having difficulty determing/selecting which Hubs and Drums to order. Please advise. These are the selections per Dexter website:
Part No. Description Bolt circle
008-247-05 1/2" Stud 5 on 4.50
008-247-50 1/2" Stud GAL-DEX coated 5 on 4.50
008-247-12 1/2" Stud 5 on 4.75
I don't understand what is the meaning of bolt circle. On the curent drum COVER surface, there are markings of 8-247 and MTA 9 237. Please help.

Tonny LR
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Old 11-15-2019, 09:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
I thought new Dexter drums come with new bearings and seals.
Thank for answering my question. I never bought one and did not know.

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Old 11-15-2019, 09:45 PM   #16
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Your welcome; just want to say I have been guilty of "throwing parts" at a problem needlessly. Our 2014 21 has at least 60K and have had similar concerns with the look of the armature only to be told by a trusted pro it was fine. So be careful not to fix what ain't broke.
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Old 11-15-2019, 09:46 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubicon327 View Post
Yes they do if you buy a new drum. Usually you can just do brake assemblies and repack the bearings and replace in your existing drum/hub.

https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Hub.../84546UC3.html
Hello rubicon,
you may have solved my problem of selecting a right drum. Is Dexter Trailer Hub and Drum Assembly for 3,500-lb Axles - 10" Diameter - 5 on 4-1/2 the right part? My trailer axle weight capacity is 2500 lbs. The Dexter Axle identification is HF=69.00 OB = 53.00. S/N: 12286144. Are they compatable?
Thanks.

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Old 11-15-2019, 10:24 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Tonny LR View Post
Hello rubicon,
you may have solved my problem of selecting a right drum. Is Dexter Trailer Hub and Drum Assembly for 3,500-lb Axles - 10" Diameter - 5 on 4-1/2 the right part? My trailer axle weight capacity is 2500 lbs. The Dexter Axle identification is HF=69.00 OB = 53.00. S/N: 12286144. Are they compatable?
Thanks.

Tonny LR
Tonny: The Dexter Torflex #10 is the standard axle on all Escapes as far as I know. It is rated at a maximum of 3500#. Yours, like mine, are simply derated with less rubber inside. All brake/hub components are still the same. By the way, bolt circle is explained on the etrailer page for the hubs....just scroll down. Your bolt pattern is 5 on 4.5”. This is what you need:

Hubs:
https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Hub.../84546UC3.html

Brake assemblies:
https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Bra.../23-26-27.html

Or Nev-R-Adjust assemblies if you so choose (FYI they still need an initial adjustment)
https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Bra...3-468-469.html
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Old 11-15-2019, 10:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
Your welcome; just want to say I have been guilty of "throwing parts" at a problem needlessly. Our 2014 21 has at least 60K and have had similar concerns with the look of the armature only to be told by a trusted pro it was fine. So be careful not to fix what ain't broke.
Hello Rossue,
Thank you for sharing your expectise and experience. I will certainly look into whether there is a need to replace the brake drum. It can save me spending $300 because each drum with bearings cost about $70.

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Old 11-15-2019, 10:32 PM   #20
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I skimmed this thread, and didn't see any mention of adjusting the brake shoes ?

when I manually actuate mine, I can make the trailer wheels skid, and of course, they smoke when skidding. If the gain is too high on my trailer brake controller, that too can cause skidding under hard braking, like when some dufous throws himself in front of you in moving traffic.
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