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Troubleshooting Trailer Brake Assemblies That are New And Seemingly Weak

Question:

I have been having trouble with my 20k trailer brakes for a while now. So under frustration I replaced all assemblies with Item # 10257-59, had the drums turned and loaded the trailer with 2800lbs. I manually adjusted the brakes to right at the edge of tight. Set the gain to 10 and drove. I can feel the brakes engage, however they do not skid nor engage very tight. I had another trailer years ago that would throw you through the windshield loaded with the gain set at 10. Would the magnet surface of the drum cause this issue? Its the same on all four drums.

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Expert Reply:

The Hayes/AL-KO Electric Trailer Brake Kit # 10257-59 that you installed is a self-adjusting set of brake assemblies. Since you had the gain of your brake controller cranked all the way up and the brakes didn't lock up I'd suspect the trailer needs a few more applications of the brakes to fully get adjusted. If you haven't tried this already I would try towing the trailer at a slow speed and then applying the brakes several times with the manual override lever and you should feel them get more and more powerful as they tighten themselves.

Since you had the drums turned before replacing the assemblies I wouldn't think they'd be the issue.

Not every trailer will lock up the brakes at the same gain setting since there are several variables which is why controllers are adjustable to allow you to compensate for the different trailer applications.

expert reply by:
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Jameson C

Question:

Would the magnet surface of the drum cause this issue?

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Expert Reply:

It is very possible the brake magnets could be damaged. You can pull the drums off and inspect them for physical damage. If you see them worn through it's time to replace them. I also attached a link to a page that has info on how to test them to see if they are functioning properly.

expert reply by:
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Jameson C

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