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Discussion Starter #1
Just wondering if someone could give me the hot tip on how to check/ change the electric brakes on an enclosed Renegade trailer?
Last season my brakes quit working and it appears that I have power to the brakes but nothing happens. The passenger side rotor makes a clunking noise when I turn it back and forth so I'd like to take it apart to investigate but I don't want to break anything either. Any info would help, later J
 

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You almost have to take it apart to see how it works. Clunking may be perfectly normal if its the magnet grabbing the armature (drum). For troubleshooting, other than the obvious everthing must be reasonabley free to work, figure the magnets like a light bulb. They need power and a ground, and can be easily checked with the drums removed by applying power to see if they'll grab a screwdriver or something held up to them. Quicker checks can be done with tire free to turn, apply power to the brake circuit and turn the tire in the normal direction of travel (they don't work worth a darn backing up). You should feel the brake action easily.

If you remove the drum and see a complete disaster in there, usually due to rust, consider replacing the entire unit as an assembly that includes a new backing plate. They aren't as expensive as buying all the little parts seperately, and are generally pretty easily changed out.
 

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You almost have to take it apart to see how it works. Clunking may be perfectly normal if its the magnet grabbing the armature (drum). For troubleshooting, other than the obvious everthing must be reasonabley free to work, figure the magnets like a light bulb. They need power and a ground, and can be easily checked with the drums removed by applying power to see if they'll grab a screwdriver or something held up to them. Quicker checks can be done with tire free to turn, apply power to the brake circuit and turn the tire in the normal direction of travel (they don't work worth a darn backing up). You should feel the brake action easily.

If you remove the drum and see a complete disaster in there, usually due to rust, consider replacing the entire unit as an assembly that includes a new backing plate. They aren't as expensive as buying all the little parts seperately, and are generally pretty easily changed out.[/b]
as said but the first thing to always check is make sure you got both hot and groudn wires to them. if the power is not geting there that your problem. its alot easier to start there them take the whole thing apart to relize you didnt have to. wire can break, happens alot. we probably rewired a good 20 trailers at work this summer do to this. a connector goes bad or the wire get caught on something and breaks
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What is the best way to get the drum off? It looks like I have to take the hub bolt off and then it may come apart, is this right?
Thanks for the info so far. J
 

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What is the best way to get the drum off? It looks like I have to take the hub bolt off and then it may come apart, is this right?
Thanks for the info so far. J[/b]
On drum brakes, after removing the tire there should be nothing holding the drum on except for the shoes inside the drum. Normally, a rubber access plug is in the back plate and you can insert a screw driver and turn a thumb wheel. Turning one way backs the shoes away from the drum and the other way adjusts them closer to the drum. Turn it one way a few times and see if the drum can be removed. If not turn the adjuster the other way and try again. Also, lightly tapping with a hammer or rubber mallet can aid in drum removal.

Boegey
 

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Discussion Starter #6
On drum brakes, after removing the tire there should be nothing holding the drum on except for the shoes inside the drum. Normally, a rubber access plug is in the back plate and you can insert a screw driver and turn a thumb wheel. Turning one way backs the shoes away from the drum and the other way adjusts them closer to the drum. Turn it one way a few times and see if the drum can be removed. If not turn the adjuster the other way and try again. Also, lightly tapping with a hammer or rubber mallet can aid in drum removal.

Boegey[/b]
Thanks, I seen that slot there but wasn't sure what to do with it.

Another question, Would it be already to test the brakes by hooking a 12v source in directly or do I have to back the truck up and use the controler?
 

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<<<On drum brakes, after removing the tire there should be nothing holding the drum on except for the shoes inside the drum.>>>

This is not always the case. Some manf. use a 1 piece hub and drum.

Geez, I've forgotten what those magnets will pull. 2-3 amps per magnet sounds about right - but don't crucify me if I'm off a little. What I'm getting at is that your power supply would have to be capable of supplying that much or more power. If it will, direct is fine, won't hurt a thing. Just don't leave working magnets hooked up for a long time. They'll overheat.
 

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Thanks, I seen that slot there but wasn't sure what to do with it.

Another question, Would it be already to test the brakes by hooking a 12v source in directly or do I have to back the truck up and use the controler?[/b]
use a batery cahrger and turn in on the lowest 12v setting to do the first test. ground it and just tap the wire to the positive. that is the best way to do that. them after you see which one has a problem (get someone to walk around find the brakes with problems) you can go to taking things apart. as said check wireing before you starting taking lots of things apart. could be as easy as something like that.
 

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<<<On drum brakes, after removing the tire there should be nothing holding the drum on except for the shoes inside the drum.>>>

This is not always the case. Some manf. use a 1 piece hub and drum.

Geez, I've forgotten what those magnets will pull. 2-3 amps per magnet sounds about right - but don't crucify me if I'm off a little. What I'm getting at is that your power supply would have to be capable of supplying that much or more power. If it will, direct is fine, won't hurt a thing. Just don't leave working magnets hooked up for a long time. They'll overheat.[/b]
AND I THOUGHT I WAS WORTHY TO BE THE MODERATOR ON TRAILERS ON THE S.W. SIGHT.=NOT SO=MICA IS THE MAN.
I'LL BE THE CO-HOST.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
use a batery cahrger and turn in on the lowest 12v setting to do the first test. ground it and just tap the wire to the positive. that is the best way to do that. them after you see which one has a problem (get someone to walk around find the brakes with problems) you can go to taking things apart. as said check wireing before you starting taking lots of things apart. could be as easy as something like that.[/b]
good idea Freddy.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well I finally took the drums apart tonight, the drivers side had no pads left at all and the passenger side had both pads but one was broken off and just floating around.
So now the question is what parts do I need to replace, I know it was mentioned earlier that sometimes its cheaper just to replace the whole assembly? Does anyone have a good link for a how too on drum brake replacement?
J
 

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I went through this last year with my 25' enclosed. it is usually a good idea to just replace the whole assembly... the reason I say this is because they aren't expensive... I think they run around 50-70$ each and that way you get brand spanking new bearings, magnets, pads and springs... As long as you know the manufacturer and the diameter of of the drum... You probably have dexter hubs because they are the most common, its not even worth just doing pads. and its not a big job to replace the whole thing... unless the stud on the back are seized ;) I hope you have a set of torches :p

http://www.easternmarine.com/em_store/trai...brakes_ele.html
 

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I would base my decision on parts vs. assemblies on the condition of what's there. If it's a big ball of rust, easy decision. If the magnets aren't too badly worn and the brake adjusters look like they can be made functional again, the linings themselves are cheap. If you've got the ability to store it for a bit while on jackstands, often the decision on how to proceed can be made easiest after pulling it down to see what you've got. RV dealers can help you out a lot of times if you don't feel like dealing online.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm leaning towards the whole assembly. One of the magnets is worn worse than the other and the adjuster nobs are a rusty mess, overall just a lot of rust. I sprayed down the bolts in back with some creeping oil so I'll see if I can manage to break them off :wink:
 

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Breaking them off is not a bad option really. Rounding the nuts off can be the pain....
 

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i doubt you will be able to just "break" them as I recall the bolts are quite short... but who knows... maybe ya can! good luck. At least get a die grinder or something :p
 
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