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How To Break In Self Adjusting Dexter Brakes On Horse Trailer

Question:

I just installed Dexter 12” self-adjusting brakes on a Featherlite horse trailer. The right and left units were installed on the proper sides. I initially adjusted the brakes until there was a slight brake drag on each wheel as etrailer advised. Unfortunately the trailer braking is very weak compared to the original brakes. I have had to set my brake controller on “10”, the maximum setting to get any trailer braking. Even at this setting manual use of the controller will not hold the trailer in place. I have rechecked to make sure the units are on the proper side, and I have readjusted the brakes a second time. What is wrong?

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Expert Reply:

Since the Dexter 12” self-adjusting brakes part # 23-459 and part # 23-458 are brand new and the braking is weak there is a chance the brakes are not fully adjusted yet. The brake assemblies haven't been activated enough times for them to find the right setting. I would not manually adjust the brakes anymore instead keep testing the brakes by driving around 15-20 MPH on a flat surface (like a parking lot) and hitting the brakes or use the manual override on your brake controller. After a few times of testing the brakes, they should adjust properly.

If they do not adjust, then you may have a weak ground connection on the trailer. It is a good idea to make sure your ground is attached to a clean bare metal surface. You may want to consider grounding the brake assemblies themselves to the trailer frame.

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Heather A

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