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Old 03-20-2009, 01:05 AM   #1
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Question Testing Fiver Brakes

What is the best method to determine if the fiver brakes are functioning correctly? An inspection can only reveal so much but how do you know if the brakes are working as well as possible?
I'm just trying to insure I have the best brakes possible with this setup.
I'm all ears. Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:29 AM   #2
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What is the best method to determine if the fiver brakes are functioning correctly?


Test them.
When I repack my bearing each year I always check for proper brake application. While each wheel is off the ground I spin the hub by hand. If I have help I get the other person to apply the brakes to check if the wheel comes to a stop. If someone is not there to help me I rig up a string to the brake lever in the truck and run the string back to where the wheel is located.
You can also apply the brakes manually when you are going slowly on a gravel road. You should be able to see all the tires lock up on the trailer.
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnance View Post

Test them.
When I repack my bearing each year I always check for proper brake application. While each wheel is off the ground I spin the hub by hand. If I have help I get the other person to apply the brakes to check if the wheel comes to a stop. If someone is not there to help me I rig up a string to the brake lever in the truck and run the string back to where the wheel is located.
You can also apply the brakes manually when you are going slowly on a gravel road. You should be able to see all the tires lock up on the trailer.
That's the same way I do Our 5er. Both ways work. Or gravel parking Lot.
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:43 AM   #4
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I have seen truck drivers (Over the road Semi) hook up, verify the hitch is latched, set the brakes on the trailer manually THEN try to pull the tractor out from under the trailer.. If they are successful the hitch is not properly latched,,, If the trailer moves the trailer brakes don't work (NOTE: on a 5-th wheel camper you might drag it) and if it don't move, they get out and raise the jacks (You note they do that last just in case)

This does not, however, show proper operation, only that you can lock 'em up

With electric brakes it will move a short distance
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:45 PM   #5
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this is a great way to test the brakes. Additionally I always do this procedure, just as John-D explained, to insure I am hitched up correctly. I raise the landing jacks just off the ground and then perform this check. That way if it comes unhitched, it won't hit the bed rails.
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Old 03-23-2009, 01:56 PM   #6
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Another way is to measure the amp draw at the trailer. Each magnet draws about 3-4 amps so, 4 wheels = 15-16 amps. This only checks the magnets not the mechanical braked themselves. Do both checks to see if brakes are working and each magnet is also working in each hub.
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:54 PM   #7
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I always do the tug on the trailer after hitch is locked thing.

Regularly taking the drums off for wheel bearing repack, brake cleaning and adjustment is also a must.

Also, I've found a high end brake controller makes a huge difference in smoothness, stopping power, and overall brake performance.

Both Dexter and Al-Ko have very nice downloadable pdf manuals for free.

Under "Service Information" select complete service manual.

http://www.dexteraxle.com/products___literature

And here, just click on "Owner's Manual".


http://www.al-kousa.com/


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