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Open Ground - No Brakes


hello, i have an interstate victory 7x16 cargo trailer. checked and replaced all the wiring to the brakes from the new 7-pin connector back and still have open ground - no trailer brakes warning on controller when towing with either tow vehicle, as soon as i press on the brake pedal. i have about 15000 miles of cross country driving CA to FL and PA on the trailer since i bought it new. i think without pulling the drums that i may have worn down the brakes to needing replacement. is dexter nev-r-adjust electric trailer brake kit - 10, item #23-468-469 the correct for this trailer? i attached a photo of the id plate from the trailer. also, when changing the brake kit, is it ok to keep the bearings and drums? thanks a million for your help.


Helpful Expert Reply:

Thank you so much for sending the photo of your trailer ID plate. I am sorry to hear that your getting a 'Open Ground No Brakes' warning from your brake controller. Most often this is triggered when the brake controller loses connection to the battery ground. Since you have double checked all of your wiring, you may indeed need to replace your brake assemblies. I double checked the Interstate Victory's Owner's Manual and you are correct, the # 23-468-469 Dexter Brake Assemblies are exactly what you need.

It would be unusual for you to have to replace your drums and bearings at this point, but you should inspect them when you replace the brake assemblies to be sure they are in good working order. Your owner's manual recommends cleaning and repacking your bearings every 6 months or 6,000 miles. So, it is definitely time to do that if you haven't already. You will want to use a heavy duty degreaser and paper towels to clean the bearings and inspect them for any scratches or defects. If you find even the slightest scratch or defect on the bearing, you should go ahead and replace it. If they look good, wipe them down and allow them to dry. Then you can repack them using Prime Guard Wheel Bearing Hi-Temp Red Grease # L11380 which is made to withstand the high temperatures generated by your brakes.

You will also want to clean and inspect your drums. On the inside of the drum you are looking for any scoring on the surfaces. You want to look on the shoe surface and the armature (where the magnet sits). It's easiest to just run your finger over the surfaces to feel for any grooves. If everything feels smooth, you do not need to replace your drums. If you notice scoring or grooves in the surface, you will need to replace them. The Dexter 5 on 4.5 E-Z Lube Hub and Drum Assembly, # 84546UC3-EZ would be the one need for your 15" wheels with a 5" on 4.5" bolt pattern.

I have provided links to our Trailer Maintenance Schedule, Instructions for Packing Wheel Bearings and Hub and Drum Inspection Video.

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