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Old 03-25-2013, 07:51 PM
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Default Electric trailer brake question?

My campers trailer brakes hardly work at all? I have pulled the drums and inspected the shoes and hardware and all seems fine. Ive adjusted the shoes fairly tight. I have a prodage sp. controler and it works great with outher trailers! So my ? is can the magnets get worn out, or worn down ? Any thoughts will help! Thanks Dino
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:09 PM
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Wiring good on all of them?

My brake controller will throw an "n.c" if there's nothing connected, or "Sh" if the brakes are shorted out. Beyond that, it doesn't know if there's one or six wheels attached to it.
Only half the wheels on my trailer were wired up and actually doing any braking when I got it.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:29 PM
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If the Prodigy works fine on the other trailers, youve ruled out the truck & controller side. So its in the trailer. Like Mule said , check the brake wiring coupler back to the axles. A weak splice, grounded feed, or bad trailer ground sound like the culprit to me. When you try to lock the brakes manually the buzz from each solenoid should be the same. Not sure what the resistance (ohms) should be feed to ground on each one, but Im sure theres a wiring issue coupler to the axles somewhere.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Mule View Post
Wiring good on all of them?

My brake controller will throw an "n.c" if there's nothing connected, or "Sh" if the brakes are shorted out. Beyond that, it doesn't know if there's one or six wheels attached to it.
Only half the wheels on my trailer were wired up and actually doing any braking when I got it.
Yes ,my controler gives the same codes for the same reason. Theres no rust on the drums and all the shoes seem to be wearing the same, that leads me to think that they all work ? Trailer is a 94 travel supreme 33 foot. Its my home for 6-8 months out of the year. Weighs in at 11800 # so brakes need to work ! They work just not strong ? Dino
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:27 PM
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Never tore into the electric breaks on a trailer. Can you "simulate" the breaks by using 12vdc and ground to the wires at the individual breaks and "Verify", one at a time that the breaks each pull in. Can also verify that 12vdc goes from the break being tested back to the plug in (with minimal voltage loss). Corroded wires can be a beoch.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:59 PM
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The brake is just a big electromagnet ... much like a stator, it's just a coil of wire.

Easiest way to test it would be with a multimeter measuring resistance, or using a current clamp around a lead to see that the coil is actually drawing current from the tow vehicle.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:20 AM
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Well I have the trailer in front of the shop. However our baby daughter is home for a few days so GOING RIDING . Gota have at least one more ride this season before work season starts. Thanks for the replys and I will post what I find. Dino !
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:42 PM
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So after inspecting all the wireing thats exposed ...lots of it is sealed between the two floors? All looked good. All connections are heat shrinked. Cant locate the junction box in the trailer. Where the brake wires go thru the backing plate they are supported by rubber grommets. How ever when I pulled the two brake drums on the drivers side the inner seals had failed allowing grease into the drum ! Wasnt that long ago that I was into all the drums and had no grease in them. I must be over greaseing them or the bearings are worn past there service life causeing the seals to fail? So new bearings and seals .... Wonder if the shoes can get greased loaded and a simple cleaning wont help ? Dino
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:08 PM
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Well I moved the hut 100 miles to my first job today. At first the brakes didnt seem any better but the more I used them the stronger they got? Burning some grease out of the brake pads maybe? They were very coated, I cleaned them as best as I could... Will have to replace them by the middle of the season. Dino
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:35 PM
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Meant to jump in on this when it was hot. When you replace the brakes just do the backing plates and all. They come all put together and ready to install. It's cheap and removes alot of problem sources. Even though your wiring is heat shrinked it can be corroded and failing to deliver all the current.
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