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Nev-R-Adjust Trailer Brakes are Not Locking Up After Re-packing Bearings

Question:

i have a 2012 F250 diesel connected to a 2012 KZ Durango 5th wheel. The brakes have always worked perfect, locking trailer when set at 7 on the gain for the factory in dash brake controller. i took it in for wheel bearing packing and the tech adjusted the nevRadjust brakes. Now the brakes will not lock in any gain position, at a idle the truck will pull forward while the brake controller is being used manually to hold the rig in a stopped position. You can feel the brake is activated but not holding. After 11 days dealer told me it was the truck, i took it to Ford, they drove it with 5th wheel and said it was the trailer and then put it on a computer and did a complete vehicle check, with and without trailer hooked up the truck is in standard specs, documented by Ford. I took it to a different dealer and their tech set the gain in all 10 positions and manually applied to stop the trailer, stating that at some point he expected to be thrown threw the windshield. He checked some electric circuits and concluded the trailer had a issue. Up front he said he had not worked on the NevRadjust brakes and was not comfortable working on them. He did refer me to your web site for help. Following your instructions i found for another customer i took the units out today and put 100 miles on it, stop and go driving. Backing several times using the brakes for up to 75feet at least 3 times. The trailer brake will hold the units in a stopped/parked position at gain setting 9 without pulling the units forward but still will not lock or stop the trailer in any gain position when operating the brake control manually. HELP, we are supposed to leave on a 8k mile trip and need brakes.

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Expert Reply:

There are a couple of things that caught my eye in your question. First, you mentioned taking the trailer to have the bearings packed. It is possible that in the process, they may have got some grease on the shoes or another component of the brakes and it is causing poor brake performance.

I am not sure why, if the brakes were fine, that the tech adjusted them. You can adjust Nev-R-Adjust brakes, sometimes it is necessary, but they will eventually adjust themselves unless they are worn. You would adjust them the same as regular brakes.

You would manually adjust the brakes using the star wheel on the assembly. Once you cannot turn the wheel, you turn the star wheel the other direction until the wheel can spin and you hear a slight constant drag on the brakes.

If the brakes are not constantly dragging it could indicate wear on the shoes or drum. I have included a link to a video and at about the 4:39 mark our installed begins adjusting the brakes.

Another possible issue is that one side may be more worn than the other. You would have to pull the drum off to inspect the shoes. Also look for any discoloration in the hub armature surface (where the magnet attaches). This could indicate a bad drum.

While you are looking there, also look at the magnets. If you can see the windings coming through then the magnets will need to be replaced. Check the wiring for nicks that may be exposed and make sure the ground wires are attached to clean, bare metal surfaces.

There are further tests you can do on the brake magnets to make sure they are working properly. I have included a link to an FAQ article that might help. If you have checked everything on the trailer and cannot find any problems, then there could be an electrical problem on the truck or a poor ground in one of the connectors.

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