SST

Brakes are way to tight..how to adjust

48 posts in this topic

The best breaker bar I had was a 24 inch crowbar. That fit into the 4-way lug wrench. I heated one lug nut on the bad buddy side and cooked it with a plumbing torch for maybe 7 minutes. Man I made that 4-way bend!  Wouldn't move. Tried the other four. Only one came loose. I tried the other side and it wouldn't work. BUT.........

Then I tried the lugs on the non-brake tires. All came loose. Not easily but they kinda snapped loose. I inspected one of the lugs and its stud. They look okay. But the outside edge of the lug where it comes in contact with the rim was corroded and I suspect that they have "glued" themselves together. I don't have what was suggested above so for this evening, I slathered WD-40 over all of them and maybe in the morning I can get them off.

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6 minutes ago, brick said:

I have BOAT US trailer club. 

brick

So do I. Used them once 5 or 6 years ago with a flat tire. I was going to change the tire myself.  But the lugs then wouldn't budge either. I had a cheapy breaker bar and a ratchet. I broke both of them trying to get them off. Had to call for assistance. The guy gets there and with out any special tools pulls them off and changes the tire. I stare at him wondering how the heck he did that!

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Got up early this morning to try to get the lugs off. Even after an overnight soak with WD-40.....still won't come off. 

I put a temporary cap on the bearing. A pill bottle. Keeps the grease from being slung around. 

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Get a longer cheater-bar. And eat your wheeties...

brick

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I'm thinking those studs are probably shot at this point.  You need a good impact wrench, and just let them snap off.  Replacing wheel studs is cheap and easy.  You could also pull the wheel and hub off together and take them to a shop, then slip a $20 to a mechanic to bust them loose.  Any time I remove a hub from a trailer, I replace any studs and or lugnuts that are questionable.  

I will second the recommendation to just replace the brakes as a loaded assembly.  Unless of course you want to do a disc brake upgrade.   

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Well, all activities have been canceled.  My lower back is shot and movement is difficult. The trailer won this round.  But that's okay I've got Baywatch on so that will take care of entertainment. Yasmine Bleeth is my favorite. I'll just have to suffer!

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SST, the "grommet" you're referring to is really a zerk fitting. If you weren't concerned about the bearings, you didn't need to remove the Bearing Buddy, just unscrew the zerk and replace it. Comes off very easy. Sounds like it wouldn't accept grease after it was packed inside.

Now it sounds like the bearings need inspection and probably replacement. I now carry a Harbor Freight long breaker bar for tough lugs. I always use either lithium grease on the lug nuts or anti seize to ensure the lugs don't lockup. My tire guy has used lithium grease for years and swears too it.

Replacement brake assemblies and bearing are pretty consistent on boat trailers. I've always used Dexter parts without issue. Bearing Buddy sized diameters can help determine replacement parts being 1.78, 1.98, 2.44 or 2.78 diameter or the like. 

From under the back side, with the proper tool or small bladed screwdriver, turning the adj wheel down will loosen the brake assembly.

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43 minutes ago, bob and betsy said:

SST, the "grommet" you're referring to is really a zerk fitting. If you weren't concerned about the bearings, you didn't need to remove the Bearing Buddy, just unscrew the zerk and replace it. Comes off very easy. Sounds like it wouldn't accept grease after it was packed inside.

Now it sounds like the bearings need inspection and probably replacement. I now carry a Harbor Freight long breaker bar for tough lugs. I always use either lithium grease on the lug nuts or anti seize to ensure the lugs don't lockup. My tire guy has used lithium grease for years and swears too it.

Replacement brake assemblies and bearing are pretty consistent on boat trailers. I've always used Dexter parts without issue. Bearing Buddy sized diameters can help determine replacement parts being 1.78, 1.98, 2.44 or 2.78 diameter or the like. 

From under the back side, with the proper tool or small bladed screwdriver, turning the adj wheel down will loosen the brake assembly.

From under the back side, with the proper tool or small bladed screwdriver, turning the adj wheel down will loosen the brake assembly.

Only on one side, on the other side it is up.

At least that is how it is on my trailer, 1985 E-Z loader.  Denny.

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SST,

Too bad you aren't down state further, I'd come up and help you (do it for you) and get it done in an afternoon (and a couple of beers). Then be done with it, till the next maintenance.

If I were you, I would invest in all new backing plates / brakes, drums and bearings and then go primal on it. Seems like, due to the lack of regular maintenance, the stuff is pretty much junk now anyway

Truthfully, we've spent more time typing it than it should have taken to do it.

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14 hours ago, Denny said:

From under the back side, with the proper tool or small bladed screwdriver, turning the adj wheel down will loosen the brake assembly.

Only on one side, on the other side it is up.

At least that is how it is on my trailer, 1985 E-Z loader.  Denny.

Good point but it really depends on how the brake assembly is built. If the adjustment wheel is identical on both sides, it will be the same direction for both. If you look at new assemblies, that's the way they're built. If one side, the wheel assembly is reversed, then one side is up, one side down.  Here's a link showing the identical set up both left and right.

https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Brakes/etrailer/AKFBBRK-35.html

Many new backing plates now have two rubber grommet access holes just in case it's assembled as noted in the latter example for future access.

Really, the only right way as stated above, is to raise the brake wheel off the ground without any surge pressure and adjust and spin. Won't take long to figure out. I like the idea to use a sharpie on the backing plate for future reference. I use the same approach when regreasing bearings, listing the date on the hub. That idea that I "just did them" Two months ago becomes a reality check when it was two years ago.

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SST

 

Hope your back recovers well enough to enjoy your boat again.    :)

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7 hours ago, bob and betsy said:

Good point but it really depends on how the brake assembly is built. If the adjustment wheel is identical on both sides, it will be the same direction for both. If you look at new assemblies, that's the way they're built. If one side, the wheel assembly is reversed, then one side is up, one side down.  Here's a link showing the identical set up both left and right.

https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Brakes/etrailer/AKFBBRK-35.html

Many new backing plates now have two rubber grommet access holes just in case it's assembled as noted in the latter example for future access.

Really, the only right way as stated above, is to raise the brake wheel off the ground without any surge pressure and adjust and spin. Won't take long to figure out. I like the idea to use a sharpie on the backing plate for future reference. I use the same approach when regreasing bearings, listing the date on the hub. That idea that I "just did them" Two months ago becomes a reality check when it was two years ago.

Thanks for the video and the info, learn something new every day. I take mine apart every year, 4 yrs of work, but worth it.

One year one of the pads let loose, so now I only use riveted ones.

And another year one of the springs that hold the shoes in place came unhooked.

I just like to have a fresh start every year. Plus being retired I have a lot more time to spend with my girl.

She sure loves being pampered.:)

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15 hours ago, cyclops2 said:

SST

 

Hope your back recovers well enough to enjoy your boat again.    :)

Thanks. I've been flat on my back for 5 days straight. With the pain killers I'm taking....no driving either. Fortunately, the boat is safe and dry on the trailer. Not in a slip. I won't be boating for at least 2 weeks depending on how well the chiropractor can adjust me.

I'm in fairly good shape. But this back injury is related to an on-the-job injury in 2010. I was helping a quadriplegic passenger off the plane. I had to transfer the passenger from the aisle chair to his own chair. He was close to 180lbs. He was getting into a bad position which I had to hold him up, which caused me to get into a bad position which then pinched my disk out of alignment. It has now become a randomly occurring  problem whether I cause it or it just acts up on its own. 

As was posted in another thread, this is definitely the summer to forget.

I should probably get some Stabil and put it in the tank. This is the first year that I have not used Valvtect gas. 

I wish I would have known that the zerka fitting could have been replaced. One headache avoided. 

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Never mind.  Tried to get a picture copied from google images onto this post but nothing I do will allow it. It use to work.

The picture showed a guy adjusting his brake through the hole. I immediately noticed that his axle was above the leaf spring providing him an easy access.  My axles are underneath the leaf springs and block the access hole therefore making it impossible using a screw driver in making a straight in access. 

I was thinking of heating and bending an old screw driver. How many inches to you think it will take from the adjuster to the outside of the hole? 1.5 inches?  I'm not certain I want to order an adjuster and not fit.

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5 hours ago, SST said:

Never mind.  Tried to get a picture copied from google images onto this post but nothing I do will allow it. It use to work.

The picture showed a guy adjusting his brake through the hole. I immediately noticed that his axle was above the leaf spring providing him an easy access.  My axles are underneath the leaf springs and block the access hole therefore making it impossible using a screw driver in making a straight in access. 

I was thinking of heating and bending an old screw driver. How many inches to you think it will take from the adjuster to the outside of the hole? 1.5 inches?  I'm not certain I want to order an adjuster and not fit.

Go to Harbor Freight, or Auto Zone.  Denny.

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It is called a drum brake adjusting tool.......... Bent screwdriver with no handle.   I have 2 different ones.

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16 hours ago, SST said:

I was thinking of heating and bending an old screw driver. How many inches to you think it will take from the adjuster to the outside of the hole? 1.5 inches?  I'm not certain I want to order an adjuster and not fit.

That's what I usually do.  Home Depot sells some for less than a dollar.  I always have a few on hand.  I refer to them as sacrificial screwdrivers.  

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I will pick one up.  I have found a new repair shop. They were recommended by a friend who owns and operates a gas delivery company using tractor trailers. He also takes his cars there too. So I stopped it to have a chat and he said no problem working on a boat trailer. He was pleasant and professional. He asks me, "How fast do you need it?"  I stood there in silence for a second wondering if I heard him right. I said Thursday afternoon?  "shouldn't be a problem." Haha I almost passed out!  The previous company would say, " We'll call YOU when it's ready!"  Looking forward to boating.....THIS weekend!

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