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Troubleshooting Weak Brakes on Dexter Trailer Axle w/ Electric Brakes

Question:

I had just replaced my lippert 5200# axles with a pair of these axles. The problem I am having now is the braking performance. For lack of better terms it is subpar. It barely feels like they work at all. I have rechecked all the wiring connections and brake adjustments, each magnet has about 3 ohms, I checked voltage at each wheel, tried with two different trucks. I can hear the magnets working, but the brakes barely feel like they are doing anything. Is it possible that these brakes are. It compatible with the ITBM on my RAM? The previous brakes worked great. Only thing that was changed was the axles and connecting the wiring up to the existing wiring.

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Expert Reply:

To be honest the brakes that were on your Lippert 5.2K axles were probably from Dexter Axle as they are the most common brakes on any trailer. Since your OEM brake controller on your Ram pickup worked with the old brakes it isn't likely that all of the sudden it wasn't compatible, especially since the brakes on the Dexter Axle # 8327830-EB are just standard eletric brakes and it isn't an electric-over-hydraulic (EOH) system.

You said that you checked the brake adjustments, but I really think they need to be adjusted tighter from your description. You need to have some slight drag when you rotate the hub by hand. If you can spin the hub pretty easily by hand then the brakes aren't adjusted correctly and they would be pretty weak.

If you jump to the 4:39 minute mark of the attached video you can see how to adjust trailer brakes if you aren't already familiar with it.

Aside from that you may have the brakes on backwards? As in the opposite sides. You alwasy want the shorter pad facing towards the front of the trailer.

expert reply by:
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Jon G

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