Trouble dialing in electric brakes?

Discussion in 'Tires / Brakes / Bearings / Axles' started by pagoona, Jun 19, 2018.

  1. pagoona

    pagoona New Member

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    Mar 22, 2018
    I had a brake controller installed in my TV before I went to pick up my new Rockwood 1940LTD. The controller is the Curt Tri-Flex 51140. I started with the suggested output of 2.0 and at 25 mph, I couldn't feel any sort of slow down when I pulled the manual switch. After turning it up a few times, I could finally start to feel them at about 6.0-7.0, but it felt nowhere near having the wheels lock up. Even at 9.0 I feel a good amount of tug, but still nowhere near enough to stop the TV. I feel like 9.0 is way too high. Am I even doing this right or could there be something wrong with my setup? Haven't been able to check the output with a multimeter yet.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
    FlyboyTR likes this.
  2. Fless

    Fless Active Member

    @pagoona, if your controller came with a manual, there may be a test procedure for initial setup. Lockup may not be feasible or recommended. It may have a "boost" feature on it, too. And you shouldn't expect the trailer brakes to stop the TV, you just want to have the trailer brakes engage so the trailer isn't pushing the TV. All the trailer brakes need to do is their part in stopping.
    _
     
    Sjm9911 and nineoaks2004 like this.
  3. giadiep

    giadiep Active Member

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    Syracuse, NY
    You need to adjust the brakes themselves. There are YouTube videos that show you how.
     
    xxxapache likes this.
  4. pagoona

    pagoona New Member

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    Mar 22, 2018
    Thanks, I'll look into it. I'm a newbie at this trailer stuff.
     
  5. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    9 may not be too high....What is the highest setting the controller goes to?

    I wouldn't expect a single axle popup to have enough brakes to stop a TV.

    I also agree that your shoes may need adjusting, but wouldn't expect it on a new trailer.
     
  6. pagoona

    pagoona New Member

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    Mar 22, 2018
    9.9, I believe.
     
  7. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    I think XXXapache has it right in that you may need to adjust the brake shoes. Try a down hill stop with the brakes off the repeat with them on so you can really feel the difference.
     
  8. pagoona

    pagoona New Member

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    Mar 22, 2018
    Looked up YouTube videos on how to adjust the trailer brakes, and it seems surprisingly easy.

    This video shows how to do it, but doesn't go into great detail about what's happening.


    This video shows a brake shoe off the wheel so it demonstrates exactly what you're doing.


    When I find the sweet spot where there is minimum drag on the wheel, should I leave it so there is a slight resistance, or should I back off a little so the wheel spins freely?
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018
    J Starsky likes this.
  9. giadiep

    giadiep Active Member

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    Sep 5, 2015
    Syracuse, NY
    I was always taught "slight resistance". The trouble is that there is variation of what this means. I think it has to be so slight that they don't constantly rub while being towed. If it is rubbing all the time, the hubs will be hot and you'll be able to tell by feel. Then you need to back them off a little.
     
  10. J Starsky

    J Starsky Well-Known Member

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    East Central MN
    I'll pull a wheel and spin. Drum brakes should drag a little. You probably have zero drag and it a good lesson on how to look at them.

    I have seen a new kia that had drums not factory adjusted and would slide at an icy stop condition, rearend to the right! Had to take a friend to the dealer and explain what was wrong to the tech, as my friend was from Sweden, visiting for a year, and dude thought he was a Chef, not an engineer. [LOL] Good times.
     
  11. Caper

    Caper Member

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    Jul 31, 2017
    Im no pro but this is what worked for me..

    If drums constantly rub they will glaze over and the trailer brakes will not be able to do their job.

    I set mine on a dirt road. I was told this is best because it prevents dragging the tires and developing flat spots while making adjustments.
    I drove 30 kms an hour and stopped if it sounded like the brakes locked up and skidded then i tuned it back.
    I did this until there was no resistance from the trailer then i turned it up until it was just locking up.

    it has worked for my pup and my parents TT.

    hope this helps

    Caper
     
  12. FlyboyTR

    FlyboyTR New Member

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    Sep 4, 2018
    Mobile, AL
    Great info in this thread! I got the brake controller installed today and took the rig out for some testing. The power is from 0 -10. At 5 there was almost no braking. So...we kept testing and increasing until we were at max power. Better braking but still not where it should be. Since I know things are working I feel certain the problem (or weakness) is in the adjustment. I will be checking the shoes when I do a bearing check/grease and seal replacement in a day or so. I am hoping they are just in need of adjustment. Since I am running out of time for our trip...I don't need to find a problem in there! I would, however, like to have self adjusting!

    Since I am new here, I do want to extend my thanks to the community for an amazing wealth of information. ...it is appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
    jnc likes this.
  13. FlyboyTR

    FlyboyTR New Member

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    Sep 4, 2018
    Mobile, AL
    At the risk of hijacking Pagoona's thread...but it appears we are having similar problems. Yesterday I pulled the hubs, cleaned and greased the bearings and replaced the seals. Brake shoes appear to almost have no wear and the magnet is also in good condition. Once things were back together, I adjusted the brakes until dragging and then backed off a couple of clicks to where they were just lightly touching. It took a lot of adjusting to get them to the point where they were dragging. OK...going to dinner and time to check the brakes...

    Since the controller was on its highest setting I did a manual check (sliding the controller lever) and had no response. No indication of any braking. We continued checking as we eased through our neighborhood. Obviously they were not working...at all! I lowered the setting down to two (just in case things woke-up). After dinner and on our return trip home I did another manual check and detected brake activity. I increased the power while testing until it was at 10. The brakes were applying but even at full power they were not working very well. I am at a loss

    Today I will be checking the trailer wiring to see if there may be a problem hidden inside the taped up harness between the trailer plug and the trailer wiring harness. Any other suggestions would be appreciated!
     
  14. pagoona

    pagoona New Member

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    Mar 22, 2018
    Let me know if you find out anything. I'm still not sure if my brakes are working properly. With the brake controller dial set at 100%, I still only feel a slight resistance when squeezing the slider manually. I adjusted my brake shoes to have a slight resistance when spinning freely, and I asked my dealer to check the electric brakes when I took it in for a warranty repair, and they said they were good. So I'm thinking maybe my brake controller isn't providing enough voltage. Does anybody know how to check this?
     
  15. FlyboyTR

    FlyboyTR New Member

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    Sep 4, 2018
    Mobile, AL
    Pagoona,
    Yesterday I pulled the hubs off (even though I just repacked the bearing a couple day ago). I was thinking maybe something was sticking. Removed all brake parts, clean and reassembled using a light touch of brake grease on moving parts. I admit things do move easier. Put it back together and adjusting to minimal drag on forward rotation. No joy. I checked the wiring, no problems and only 2/10's of a volt drop from the controller to the electromagnet. I also checked the amperage draw, 6.5 amps at 100%. Everything checks out fine. But they are still weak. I am used to electric brakes that can easily be locked up if the controller is not set properly. These things appear to be weak. Now...in hindsight...the only thing I did not do was sand the shoes; but, they did not look glazed. So...at this point I wish I had sanded them...just in case.

    Since they do provide some braking and I am out of time before a 30 day trip...I am calling uncle! It is what it is...not happy...but I am out of time and have maybe 40% braking capacity for the trailer. Well...at least that is 40% I wouldn't have if I didn't have the brakes!
     
  16. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Nj
    I don't think there ment to lock up, even though the break controller says to set them that way. Mine is simmiler, but I can feel the breaks when I apply them. You might try checking the disconnect switch, pull it out and then slowly drag the pop up forward. That should have the highest breaking power. Shouldent take long if your allready hooked up. That will tell you if the problum is the breakes or the controller set up. The break away switch should by pass the controller.
     
    FlyboyTR likes this.
  17. FlyboyTR

    FlyboyTR New Member

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    Sep 4, 2018
    Mobile, AL
    Sjm,
    good idea about checking with the brakeaway switch. That is the one thing I have not tried. Thanks!
     

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