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Old 12-04-2010, 11:50 AM   #1
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Question Electric brakes grab in reverse, then lock going forward

Sounds kinda strange, but recently my brakes have been wanting to grab hard in reverse, and sometimes lockup when pulling forward after this event.

To unlock going forward, I backup just a hair then pull forward.

I use a Prodigy brake controller, vintage 2003.

I also did a bearing job, and disassembled, cleaned and reinstalled the brake components in the last year. Did not have this problem for the first couple trips after the work.

Any and all advice and experiences welcome.
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Old 12-04-2010, 12:34 PM   #2
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Did you install self adjusting brakes last time?
Possible a brake problem then.
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Old 12-04-2010, 12:37 PM   #3
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Nope. Didn't replace any brake parts. Adjustment by star wheel.
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Old 12-04-2010, 01:17 PM   #4
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I'd go bad in there and look for something broke. My guess (and its a guess) is that the shoes shift and jamb, or a spring/retainer/clip is floating around in there wedging itself between the shoe and drum.
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Old 12-04-2010, 01:18 PM   #5
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do you have an elec. piston brake or an electic magnet brake? when i say elec. piston i mean is the "hydraulic" piston from old drum brakes replaced with an elec. one or is there a magnet in there to activate the brakes?

if elec. piston, it sounds as tho its in backwards....

either way, jack up wheel and loosen star wheel ALL the way on all wheels. then hookup to truck and drive around again, don't go to fast at first cause you won't have crap for trailer brakes! i just did this on my dads stock trailer and it helped a bit. the next thing i looked at was the controller. somehow he adjusted the power wheel in the cab and it was set to ingage the brakes hard right away instead of slowly engaging. Good luck!
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Old 12-04-2010, 01:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MojaveJoe View Post
Sounds kinda strange, but recently my brakes have been wanting to grab hard in reverse, and sometimes lockup when pulling forward after this event.

To unlock going forward, I backup just a hair then pull forward.

I use a Prodigy brake controller, vintage 2003.

I also did a bearing job, and disassembled, cleaned and reinstalled the brake components in the last year. Did not have this problem for the first couple trips after the work.

Any and all advice and experiences welcome.
You might want to check the internal wire connections inside your electrical connector between the trailer and towing vechicle. Sometimes a wire can come loose or touch another wire terminal and cause problems.

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Old 12-04-2010, 06:04 PM   #7
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Thanks guys...those are for sure some good things to check. Im parked in an RV park for another week. Think I'll try adjusting the controller properly first. I tow a fiver and this TH. When I switch trailer I don't spend much time trying to adjust it per the book. If that don't help I will check the drum temp during the first few miles of towing to see if anything is causing friction and heat on a brake drum. Maybe I can narrow it down to one wheel that way.

Im running elect/magnet brakes on AL-KO axles.
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:01 PM   #8
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I'd try backing off the initial aggressiveness brake setting too. It is simple, doesn't cost anything, and is likely the problem. As you can tell, I subscribe to the KISS principle.
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Old 12-08-2010, 08:15 PM   #9
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Some controllers like mine have a function for backing up where is disables the brakes for a short time. (CRS - I forgot what brand mine was...)
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:45 AM   #10
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This may/probably is not your problem but may help someone some time. I have a 91 Pontiac that I inherted from my Mom. While she had it, for several years it would lock up a rear wheel (@low speed). She took it back to her mechanic several times & he found nothing wrong. After I got it, it took about 2yrs but I figured what was wrong. I decided the drum had to be out of round. I took it to a parts house that did that kind of work. I told a lady that I wanted it turned. She got out their fancy digital calipers and measured it and said it was like new. I said turn it. I got a funny look and I said just turn it anyway. When I picked it up, the guy that did the work came out and said that I was right. When he had it set up on the lathe he could see a hollow spot in the middle of the drum where the calipers didn't reach. No problem since.
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Old 12-17-2010, 11:29 AM   #11
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Well Guys....when I hooked up the trailer again I checked the power wheel setting. It was max'd out (14?). So I adjusted the brakes per the Prodigy instructions and things seem to be back to normal now.

Thanks for all your input and advice.
and Merry Christmas
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:44 PM   #12
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Good to hear that it was that simple.
Merry Christmas to & yours.
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