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Troubleshooting Self-Adjusting Trailer Brake Assemblies That Won't Lock Up

Question:

Whole new brake assembly 12 bolts to magnet. Will not lock up wheel when tire is rolling on ground. We are at a loss.

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Expert Reply:

Trailer brakes are not designed to lock up contrary to many comments. If they were not under load and just free spinning on a jack then they should lock up, but when weight is on them and they are rolling you don't want trailer wheels to lock up. If they did, you would lose traction and your trailer would be out of control. You want a consistent braking pressure that doesn't lock but rather brings the trailer to a stop without locking because this controls the braking and keeps the traction so you remain in control while stopping.

The Dexter Nev-R-Adjust Electric Trailer Brake Kit - 10" - Left and Right Hand Assemblies - 3.5K # 23-468-469 should be manually adjusted at installation and then you can make sure your trailer brakes are adjusting properly by taking your trailer to an empty parking lot and going about 20 mph use just the manual override on your trailer brakes and allow the trailer brakes to engage to slow the trailer and your vehicle. You may need to do this up to 10 times. This is a way to adjust the brake shoes in the assemblies so they will automatically adjust properly from that point.

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