Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Tech Issues: Amps/voltage to trailer brakes
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 > Amps/voltage to trailer brakes

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time2roll

Southern California

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Joined: 03/21/2005

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Posted: 10/16/21 08:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Put your DC clamp-on ammeter on the wire at each wheel while a buddy manually applies the brakes using the controller.
You should see about three amps at each wheel.


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Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 10/16/21 09:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jkwilson wrote:

fj12ryder wrote:

Just curious how a person would adjust a manually adjustable drum brake unless they used the "tiny hole on the backing plate"?


Me too.


Your remove the drum, adjust, put drum back in place. You will feel a slight drag when sliding drum back on when brakes are set correctly. If to much resistance or drag is felt you have the brakes set too tight. If no resistance or drag then you do not have the brakes set tight enough.

Once you have established a slight drag, reinstall the outside bearing and lightly set the nut to allow you to spin the drum by hand. Should turn easily with only a slight drag noticed.

Anything tighter and you are simply burning the brakes off.

Adjust the star wheel only one or two spaces at a time, it typically does not require much if you do the routinely.

Sounds like a lot of work, but once you have a good feel for how it is done, it only takes one or two tries to get them set.

My Dad taught me how to setup drum brakes back in the 1970s on automobiles, the same technology used for drums on trailer axles is the same as drums on automobiles and so far that advice has worked very well for me for 40 yrs with autos and trailers.. Setting drum brakes on cars with drums on the front can be rather tricky, get one side too tight and the other too loose and it takes you right off the road or will pull you across the road if you stomp on the brakes..

PA requires a yearly safety inspection for trailers with brakes, mechanic is required to pull two out of four drums to inspect the bake components. May as well pull them myself, measure and adjust as needed. This ensures I have zero surprises that the mechanic can fail the inspection.

Besides, some trailer axles like mine are drop axles, pretty much obscures the littler tiny opening on the backing plate and adjuster spoon tool simply is not usable on my axles..

TurnThePage

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Posted: 10/16/21 09:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

At one point in recent years there was a known issue with Ram HD truck brake controllers not providing enough oomph to trailers with HD axles. Fairly heavy trailers with lighter duty axles had no problems.


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MFL

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Posted: 10/17/21 06:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jkwilson wrote:

fj12ryder wrote:

Just curious how a person would adjust a manually adjustable drum brake unless they used the "tiny hole on the backing plate"?


Me too.


I see the answer has been posted. Maybe the mod can make it a sticky![emoticon]

OP, too small wiring on trailer could be issue. Some early Rams with IBC, did have the problem you describe. I think it was mostly corrected by the time your 16 came out.

Jerry





ivbinconned

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Posted: 10/17/21 07:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Next time I hook up I will check amperage. Thanks all.


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C Schomer

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Posted: 10/17/21 11:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Look at the different magnet sizes that are available...
https://www.dexteraxle.com/user_area/content_media/raw/al-ko-genuine-parts-catalog-(lit-775-00al).pdf
All my 5ers with 12x2" brakes had the small magnets and none of them stopped well.
I've tried bigger brake wire, including in the axle, top quality pre-arced shoes from a brake shop and nothing made a nickels worth of difference. Volt and amps were also fine.
Then I bought a used 18k Dexter tri-axle cargo trailer when I moved back to Co. and it had 12x2 drum brakes and those brakes were terrific. I pulled the wheels to check the brakes and pack the bearings and it had the much bigger magnets. That was the only difference. I would try the big magnets, besides the wire improvements.
I changed my current 5er from drums to discs and they beat any drums but those 12" brakes with big magnets were a close second! Craig


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