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Load Max, ALKO Dual Axle, Dual Wheel Flat Bed Trailer with Weak Brakes

Question:

My 24ft. Load Max, Alco dual axil, dual wheel trailer flat bed trailer is 4 years old, but only has about 2000 miles on it. The stamp on the drum is 73?? maybe 7328. I assume that is the pounds? One brake would lock up when I set the controller on max. Two of the brakes would work 40, and the last wheel worked 0. I took the 0 wheel off. It seemed ok but I put a spot of grease on the pivit point of the swing arm and where it touched the brake shoes. Every thing seemed very new and free. I locked the brake controller to max 10 on the didital screen. I heard a small click. My pliers stuck to the magnet, but I could pull them off with out using much force. The oil appeared to be 90wt. trans. oil so that is what I put in the plastic cover to the level line. Is that oil OK? I have used it a little bit with no difference, untill now all the brakes are about 40? What do I check next? I printed your magnet specs to check with a meter. It seems very strange that a trailer with like new looking brakes would have a porblem. It does set out side for a couple of months at a time.

asked by: Gunner


Expert Reply:

You are checking all of the right things on the trailer. I think my next move would be to check the ground connections for the brake magnets. Make sure they are securely grounded to the trailer frame as close as possible to the back of the wheel, without interfering with any moving parts. It does not matter which wire is grounded from the brake magnet.

Next, check the trailer ground near the trailer coupler. Make sure all grounds are securely attached to clean, rust and corrosion free areas on the frame.

When checking the magnets you may find that you have good readings when the magnets are cold but but when the magnets are warm they read differently. As a magnet warms from use the windings expand and a bad winding will show up then and not when cold. Try warming the magnets with the manual override and first. I have included a link to an FAQ article on checking brake magnets for you.

The next thing I would check is the trailer connector at the rear of the truck. If you see green or white corrosion in the connector, check front and back side, then replacing the connector may solve the issue and allow the proper amount of power to the trailer brakes.

Another thing to do is to setup the brake controller like you were starting from new. Adjust the settings as outlined in the brake controller instructions.

Finally, you may have a problem with the output on the brake controller itself. To test the brake controller sever the blue wire exiting the controller, leaving enough room to splice it back after testing. Manually apply the brakes and you should get a reading of 12 volts when fully applied. Then apply the brake pedal and you should get a reading that shows the brakes have been applied.

On a proportional controller the reading will be low but will show the activation of the controller. On a time delayed controller the reading will be determined by the power setting, set on the controller. If the brake controller readings are not correct you will need to verify that all of the wiring into the controller is connected properly. If this is the case you may need to replace the controller.

We normally recommend 80w-90w gear oil for oil bath hubs, so your 90w lube will be just fine, and may protect the bearings a little better on long hauls. Filling to the level line or the fill hole is the normal method.

expert reply by: Bob G




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