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Brakes. What In The World Happened?

Kampfirekid
Explorer
Explorer
I noticed the brakes on my 2011 Jayco 32BHDS seemed to be lacking on our second to last trip. Then, on our last run, they seemed really light regardless how hard I braked, and even with the brake controller at 10, fully engaged.
Today, I pulled one rear hub to find the seal must have failed, and there was grease on everything... drum, magnet, shoes.etc. Figured while I was at it, it was time to repack the bearings, and replace the seals. Took me two hours on one hub. Mostly because it was a bear to clean all of the grease, and also because the last repack I did was over 30 years ago.

Wrapped up the one rear hub,and moved to the one ahead of it. No grease, but tons of black brake dust, and the armature surface and magnet are scoured. Repacked that hub assembly, put the tires on, and tried the brakes. Squat. Readjusted them manually to tight, backed the adjutment off, and no better. If I squeeze the controller all the way, they lock up, but spinning the wheel by hand and applying the truck brakes to the floor and I can still spin the wheels by hand.

After getting frustrated, I went to the otger side. Found both were not full of grease inside the drums, but the same scoured condition with the armature faces and magnets existed. Also, the springs on the tab that hold the manual adjuster wheel from turning were broken and the cables were flopping around.

Now, I can only assume that the hubs were overgreased by the previous owner, and maybe the longer trips this year heated the hubs up and the grease expanded and blew the seal(s). I expect that the overload on the other brakes caused the scouring of the armature surfaces and magnets.

I am in a tizzy about what to do. Shoes and magnets cost as much as the complete brake assembly, and i cant find the replacement springs for the adjuster wheel tab. Two sets of shoes have grease on them, and the other are glazed. No brainer. New shoes all the way around. I guess I can see if the local NAPA can turn the drums, or if the scours are too deep.

Wow! What happened? This simple deal has turned into a $400 project in minutes. I assume the wheels that I repacked are not braking with the vehicle brakes due to the scoured armature and magnet surfaces and the grease on the shoues (although I cleaned them with brake cleaner), but wouldnt they be hard to turn by hand with someone standing on the truck brakes? The full brake controller applied locks them solid.

Replies are appreciated.
2019 Ford F-150 Lariat Supercrew. 5–/2 foot bed. 3.0L Powerstroke,
Loaded. 2020 K-Z Connect SE 241BHKSE
19 REPLIES 19

chracatoa
Explorer
Explorer
See my interesting issue with my (at the time) 1 year old Jayco http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/26965322.cfm. Maybe it is related?

They fixed it and Jayco covered everything which was nice. Breaks are now better than when the TT was new.
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Kampfirekid
Explorer
Explorer
Thanks for all the input. I'm going to check them out and see how they perform after cleaning them up, and re packing the bearings. If there are still issues, I'll buy complete brake assemblies for about $35 each. May consider new drums, too. That I'll do by spring. Then, the wiring will be done, too. Thanks again.
2019 Ford F-150 Lariat Supercrew. 5–/2 foot bed. 3.0L Powerstroke,
Loaded. 2020 K-Z Connect SE 241BHKSE

Double_Haul
Explorer
Explorer
If you have grease all over the brake shoes then they need to be replaced. Iv'e tried to clean them in the past and never has worked. Complete assemblies are usually cheaper and much easier to replace.
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Big_Katuna
Explorer II
Explorer II
You need to measure the actual voltage at the brakes with a voltmeter to make sure your wiring has integrity. You can take a 15A battery charger and activate/test your brakes with that. You should do it through the seven wire connector with a test plug to the charger. A lot of brake problems are wiring related.,
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dodge_guy
Explorer
Explorer
I replaced all 4 of my magnets for around $40-$50! Much cheaper than $50 a wheel when i still had 75% shoe life left and no brake hardware problems.

Todays drums and shoes are so thin that by the time you need brakes the rotors are already at minimum thickness! (Maximum diameter on drums)!
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mbopp
Explorer
Explorer
Most shops got rid of their brake lathes - they'd rather put new rotors on than bother turning them.
But if you find a shop or specialty brake outlet that has a lathe, Dexter says the drums can be turned .090" over, which is a lot. And don't forget to have them face off the magnet surface.
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greende
Explorer
Explorer
The other thing to consider is rewire your brakes with heavier gauge wire. That will not explain the grease but will give you optimal and consistent signal to your brakes.
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westend
Explorer
Explorer
Napa, Autozone, or O'Reilly's should have your spring.
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eHoefler
Explorer II
Explorer II
First of all, most replies are correct. Sounds like the brake controller needs to have the inertia pendulum set on it, the truck has to be moving for the controller to operate off the service brakes. Replacing the magnets and shoes is an expensive way to go. I replaced my brake assemblies for $30 a wheel on my 7,000 pound axles. By doing the assemblies, you get all new hardware, springs, magnets, shoes, etc.. Check with Redneck Trailer Supply, most likely where NAPA is getting them anyways.
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Golden_HVAC
Explorer
Explorer
I would be looking for disk brakes, and giving it some though to convert your axles to disk brakes.

Contact this place for more details. If you don't go with disk brakes, they can still sell you everything you need to repair yours, you just have to wait until next week to get the parts by UPS.

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opnspaces
Navigator
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One thing to add. If you decide toe pull the breakaway pin to try to lock the brakes, make sure you unplug the umbilical cord from the tow vehicle. If you don't you might fry your existing controller.

I've read here that you can buy a complete brake assembly including magnets, backing plate, shoes, and drums for $50 a wheel. At those prices it's probably cheaper to replace the entire assembly rather than replacing just the shoes.
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Peg_Leg
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Explorer
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dodge_guy
Explorer
Explorer
You can get full braking sitting still by sliding the lever all the way to max. The scoring on the hub and magnet is normal and will happen with new drums and magnets.

I too had a similar brake issue and the problem was the magnets. After you replace them it will take several miles to burnish them to the old drums.

Good luck!
Wife Kim
Son Brandon 17yrs
Daughter Marissa 16yrs
Dog Bailey

12 Forest River Georgetown 350TS Hellwig sway bars, BlueOx TrueCenter stabilizer

13 Ford Explorer Roadmaster Stowmaster 5000, VIP Tow>
A bad day camping is
better than a good day at work!

Kampfirekid
Explorer
Explorer
Well, I'm going to gamble with the magnets and armature surfaces this next trip and see how they are. Like I said, with the brake controller applied fully at 10, the wheels dont move. The only problem I have is finding the funky spring that is on the metal tab that keeps the manual adjustment wheel from rolling. If the brakes need to be overhauled, it will be in spring.
2019 Ford F-150 Lariat Supercrew. 5–/2 foot bed. 3.0L Powerstroke,
Loaded. 2020 K-Z Connect SE 241BHKSE