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Old 05-04-2005, 08:48 AM   #1
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I'm having some problems with my brake now following a tire failure. I believe the tire failure is the cause of the problem so I'll start there. I had a blow out on the interstate at 70 MPH and believe it or not didn't even know it. Hard to believe since I check my mirrors about every 15 seconds while towing and never saw any rubber flying. I believe I know where it happened though so I'm guessing I towed it like that for about 12-15 miles until my exit came up and we heard the wheel scaping the road. The tire was completely gone and the wheel was beginning to wear down pretty good too. Some of the wire shrapnel actually got into the side wall of the front tire also so it has to be replaced as well. Luckily I have two spares on my bumper so I was able to get rolling again. Now the brake problem. My first indication was when I exited down the off ramp at 68 MPH and the trailer brakes were on and off. I looked down at my DrawTite II brake controller and saw that the LED display was cycling up and down from 0.0 to 3.0. It was at 0.0 mostly during braking and then surge momentarily up to 3.0 and right back down again. I checked all my brake wiring and everything seems ok so I'm guessing that wheels brake mechanism is defective now. Likely due to the heat that must have built up while towing on the wheel at that speed and distance. I'd like to know if there's a way to test the wheel brakes individually and if there's anything specific I should be looking for when I get the wheel off. I'd rather not have to hook the truck up and tow this thing around and I'm guessing that one way to test the brakes would be to pull the emergency brake disconnect and check it that way. Anybody else have any suggestions. That last trip was on flat land so the brakes were'nt really a huge issue but my next trip will be in the mountains and I'm not going without good brakes.
By the way, I'm going to try out a set of TITAN ST205/75R15 tires this time around. I'm done buying Carlisle tires after my 5th blowout. Those tires were only manufactured in 2003 and I don't overload or under inflate.
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Old 05-04-2005, 08:48 AM   #2
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I'm having some problems with my brake now following a tire failure. I believe the tire failure is the cause of the problem so I'll start there. I had a blow out on the interstate at 70 MPH and believe it or not didn't even know it. Hard to believe since I check my mirrors about every 15 seconds while towing and never saw any rubber flying. I believe I know where it happened though so I'm guessing I towed it like that for about 12-15 miles until my exit came up and we heard the wheel scaping the road. The tire was completely gone and the wheel was beginning to wear down pretty good too. Some of the wire shrapnel actually got into the side wall of the front tire also so it has to be replaced as well. Luckily I have two spares on my bumper so I was able to get rolling again. Now the brake problem. My first indication was when I exited down the off ramp at 68 MPH and the trailer brakes were on and off. I looked down at my DrawTite II brake controller and saw that the LED display was cycling up and down from 0.0 to 3.0. It was at 0.0 mostly during braking and then surge momentarily up to 3.0 and right back down again. I checked all my brake wiring and everything seems ok so I'm guessing that wheels brake mechanism is defective now. Likely due to the heat that must have built up while towing on the wheel at that speed and distance. I'd like to know if there's a way to test the wheel brakes individually and if there's anything specific I should be looking for when I get the wheel off. I'd rather not have to hook the truck up and tow this thing around and I'm guessing that one way to test the brakes would be to pull the emergency brake disconnect and check it that way. Anybody else have any suggestions. That last trip was on flat land so the brakes were'nt really a huge issue but my next trip will be in the mountains and I'm not going without good brakes.
By the way, I'm going to try out a set of TITAN ST205/75R15 tires this time around. I'm done buying Carlisle tires after my 5th blowout. Those tires were only manufactured in 2003 and I don't overload or under inflate.
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Old 05-05-2005, 09:19 AM   #3
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Sounds as if yo may have fried your Brake Controller. However you can check by applying the emergency brake switch on the Brake Controller and with a standard compass hold it near the wheels and see if it deflects toward that wheel. If it does then the magnet is working. For those that don't work they need looking at
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Old 05-05-2005, 10:37 AM   #4
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Max, I'm a dummy on this 'cause I don't own a trailer w/ brakes, but here's my two cents:
Wouldn't the E-brake activation put a full 12vdc back to the brake solenoid/actuators? And doesn't an in-cab brake controller send a proportional signal, say 8 to 12vdc, back to the brakes to regulate the strength they're applied? If that's the case, make sure you test what you want to learn (i.e.- max on versus on at low, med., & hi power).
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Old 05-05-2005, 06:05 PM   #5
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Since the brakes do surge up and down then I don't think testing the voltage in line will do anything other than show my volt meter going up and down but it wouldn't isolate anything. I may try the magnet trick though but first I've got to jack that wheel up and test to see if that particular brake is working at all. I may jack each wheel independantly and test them all that way too.
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Old 05-05-2005, 06:17 PM   #6
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I just found a link to the brake controller instructions that actually diagram a bench test circuit so that I can test the controller too. This thing might also be a lifetime warranty so I might not be in to bad shape if it's the controller.
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Old 05-12-2005, 10:33 AM   #7
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Just got around to working on the brakes yesterday. I jacked up the suspicious wheel and pulled the e-brake disconnect. The wheel locked up solid without any chattering on the solenoid so it may be ok. I then cut the brake controller out to bench test it and found it seems to surge up and down just like it did on the road. Called up Drawtite and told their tech service what happened and he's mailing me a new controller. Wow. Just like that. I think I'll vote in favor of Drawtite's customer service. Should get the new controller early next week and hopefully my problems will all be solved. Also ordered 2 new Titan 8 ply tires which I think I'll mount on the rear axle and I'll see how they hold up.
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Old 05-12-2005, 11:48 AM   #8
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MaxAZ, thanks so much for the feedback & resolution!
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Old 05-12-2005, 12:12 PM   #9
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Max:

Just curious, were these tires Carlisles? I finally replaced all four D rated 15 inch Carlisles after having five nasty blisters. Granted they adjusted all of them but who needs the agravation! Replaced all four and the wheels with 16 inch Michelins XPS steel whall E rated tires, end of problems.
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Old 05-12-2005, 03:50 PM   #10
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Bob, my trailer has had Carlisle tires since new and I've pretty much had it with them. The biggest problem I've got is Carlisle does not make a 8 ply tire in a 205 size, few manufacturers do and that's why I'm trying out the Titan tires.
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Old 05-12-2005, 07:47 PM   #11
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Check the date of manufacture on each new tire. Tire manufacurers now will only honor thier warranty for 6 years from date of manufacture, not date of purchase. I attempted to warranty a tire purchased 2 years ago, and was denied because the tire was manufactured over 6 years ago. The dealer said the tire must have sat in a warehouse for 4 years. The tire was a Titan brand with belt separation.
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Old 05-13-2005, 03:07 PM   #12
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I'd been told at Discount Tire that the manufacturers will only cover these trailer tires for 2 years and that's prorated. Anyhow, I know the tire that blew was a 2003 but there's nothing left of it anyhow. There's a strip still wrapped around the rim but it's only as big as a bicycle tire.
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Old 05-23-2005, 05:11 PM   #13
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I guess I owe Drawtite an apology. The new brake controller I got from them wouldn't work at all on the bench test so instead of using a battery charger as a power source I put a large UPS battery in the loop so I'd get more current. Then the new controller started working fine so I figured I'd better test the old controller using the battery also and it worked just fine in that test too. Since I told the tech at Drawtite I was using a battery charger instead of a battery I don't feel to bad about it and I'm still impressed by their customer service. They had a new brake controller at my front door in no time at all at no expense to me. Anyhow I figured I still had a brake problem somewhere so I crawled around under the trailer and really inspected the wiring, no problems. I removed all the wheels and hubs and physically inspected the brakes and internal wiring, no problems. I disassembled my trailer plug/jack on my truck and inspected the connections, no problems. I checked the truck fuses and wiring connections and finally ran out of stuff to check so I hooked up the new controller and drug the trailer around some streets and was unable to get a failure. I then put the old controller back in and tested it also, no failures. So I'm at a loss as to what was causing the problem but it's possible that somewhere there was a bad connection that I corrected by taking everything apart and putting it back together. I also repacked my hubs while the wheels were off so that work wasn't wasted.
I also got my new Titan trailer tires mounted yesterday. They are Load range D 8 ply as the website stated but the max cold PSI is 65 where the website I bought them from showed them at 50 so I'm very happy about that. The tires have a surprisingly agressive tread pattern for a trailer tire, almost looks like a rain tire. I guess the tread might wear faster but that's almost never an issue with trailer tires anyhow. Hopefully I'll have a lot better luck with the Titans than I've had with those Carlisles. It sure couldn't be any worse.
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Old 05-24-2005, 09:36 AM   #14
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There's a good posibility that you just have a bad ground on your rig. Something that simple WILL cause this.
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