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Old 08-30-2015, 04:46 PM   #1
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Nev r adjust brakes

I was doing some maintenance and such on the trailer today. I had the trailer jacked up for bearing maintenance and a check of the brakes. I have one wheel that feels like the brake is just a bit snug. It is harder to turn than the others. I was going to back off the adjustment a bit, but discovered that it has the dexter auto adjusting brakes. I tried to back it off a bit, but can't turn the star wheel. I can tighten them, and loosen some, but can't loosen enough to reduce the brake drag. Is it time to pull the brake apart? I've only messed with manual adjusting brakes, these are unfamiliar enough to me that I figured it better to seek guidance.
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Old 08-30-2015, 05:03 PM   #2
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You can find a you tube video with instructions.

I would pull the hub and inspect the mechanism.
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Old 08-30-2015, 05:16 PM   #3
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Disregard my first post, I figured it out. Mods delete if desired.
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Old 08-30-2015, 05:17 PM   #4
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Nev r adjust brakes

Actually I found that if you lift the little lever riding on the star wheel they can be backed off. Going to back them off and do a test run. Had I shined a flashlight in there before tightening the brake up I would have noticed the little lever and realized they were self adjusting. Hindsight...!
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Old 08-30-2015, 06:56 PM   #5
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jenoble99, could you describe the procedure? My Dexter self-adjusting brakes have two slots at the bottom of the backing plate. Do you just use a small screw driver or something in one slot to lift the lever and then use a brake adjusting tool in the other slot?
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Old 08-31-2015, 12:55 PM   #6
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Don't back them off too far. They do not adjust very quickly and you will have poor brakes. RVHiker, you can use a small screwdriver or a hook tool to push the lever off the star wheel.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:11 PM   #7
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I used a small flathead screwdriver to hold the lever up while I turned the star wheel with a brake spoon. I just backed them until they had a slight drag. I found it easier to use the small screwdriver straight on the the right slot, which the same slot the spoon will go in.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:36 PM   #8
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Thanks for both answers about how to manually adjust self-adjusting brakes.

I've got to renew my brakes (due to mileage and wear) this fall or next spring. And I want to be sure to give my brakes an initial manual adjustment before pulling out of my driveway.

A story: I had to have my brakes (all 4 wheels) replaced under warranty with 4 complete backing plate assemblies. When I pulled out of a parking spot on my dealers lot after the warranty service, I had NO, ZILCH, NADA - I mean NO - brakes because the mechanic had not done a manual adjustment. I drove around the dealer lot in a large circle several times making repeated stops to get the brakes mostly properly adjusted. This is the only time I have ever been totally ticked off at my dealer - not a bad record for two trailers and 14 years, so I still give a positive recommendation about my dealer to others. But to me the really scary thing is that a novice RV'er might not recognize that he had no brakes, and could easily get him/her self into an unnecessary accident because some mechanic thought that self-adjusting brakes did not need an initial manual adjustment.
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Old 09-23-2015, 08:31 AM   #9
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I check my brake operation before I pull out of anywhere.
Just manually operate the brake controller lever whil rolling slowly. Then tap the brakes and feel them activate.
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Old 09-24-2015, 07:51 AM   #10
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Do not know about the RV set up but on car drum brakes the adjustment happens when u back up and hit the brakes. They will never adjust by just forward breaking
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