Do Hydraulic Free Backing Trailer Brakes Resist Being Reversed


Can you confirm the correct method for adjusting the ratcheting pin in the Dico 10inch free drum brakes? I overhauled the tandem axle surge free brake system of my Highliner 22foot trailer late last fall in preparation for this years boating season. The overhaul included a new Dico master cylinder,complete flushing followed by brake fluid priming of all the steel brake lines and cylinders, clean out of 2 wheel cylinders as well as a couple of new wheel cylinders, a new flexible hose and check of the restrictor from the master cylinder to the trailer frames first hydraulic connector and then proper lubrication of all moving parts within the Dico free brake assemblies. There are no hydraulic leaks. Manually bleeding the master cylinder in the Titan/Dico recommended way worked very well but Id only released each brake adjusting wheel by 5 clicks from lock-up, as recommended by my trailer dealer before bleeding the hydraulics. Should this adjustment from lock-up have been more than 5 clicks for free brakes since now the shoes will stay in fairly hard contact with the drums on reversing the rotation of the drum assemblies. I have not tried baking the trailer up with my truck yet. I want to get this adjustment right before I load the boat on the trailer from the distant marina where I keep it for the winter. Thank you in advance,


Helpful Expert Reply:

Sounds like you are fine. Free backing plates will resist backing up for a second but then they release and allow the wheels to turn. If you are trying to turn things by hand with the trailer in the air that's why things seem more difficult.

5 clicks back from lock up by hand should be about right. It should feel like there's a noticeable drag as you turn them by hand but they should still be able to spin.

helpful expert reply by:
Jameson C

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