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Old 10-30-2005, 07:48 AM   #1
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All I want to do is adjust the brakes. But I can't even get the friggin' hubs off!

Every place I've read about brake adjustment just skips right to what to do once the hub is off. I've even got the 'Dexter Axle Operation Maintenance Service Manual,' and can't seem to get anywhere.

I've got the left side wheels up and off. I can take the rubber plug off. But I can't get the metal end cap off! I've turned the heck out of it (CCW) and it won't budge! I could chew nails right now.

Is my dopey mind missing something, or what? I NEED HELP!

- JyRO
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Old 10-30-2005, 07:48 AM   #2
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All I want to do is adjust the brakes. But I can't even get the friggin' hubs off!

Every place I've read about brake adjustment just skips right to what to do once the hub is off. I've even got the 'Dexter Axle Operation Maintenance Service Manual,' and can't seem to get anywhere.

I've got the left side wheels up and off. I can take the rubber plug off. But I can't get the metal end cap off! I've turned the heck out of it (CCW) and it won't budge! I could chew nails right now.

Is my dopey mind missing something, or what? I NEED HELP!

- JyRO
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Old 10-30-2005, 03:33 PM   #3
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Use channel lock pliers and just work side to side, cap just pushes straight in. May have to back off brake adjuster slightly to pull drums over the brake shoes.
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Old 10-30-2005, 05:18 PM   #4
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by R.G.Wise:
Use channel lock pliers and just work side to side, cap just pushes straight in. May have to back off brake adjuster slightly to pull drums over the brake shoes. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Right there, what you just said, baffles me. The point to pull the hub off is to adjust the shoes. Are you implying I can adjust the shoes without removing the hub? The Dexter manual does not tell me this. Thanks.

- JyRO
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Old 10-31-2005, 08:30 AM   #5
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There should be an oval shaped rubber plug in the brakes back plate. A special brake adjustment tool that is available at any auto parts store will fit that hole and you use that to turn a star wheel inside to tighten or loosen the brakes.
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Old 11-01-2005, 06:16 AM   #6
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No offence JyRO but if you dont know how to properly adjust the brakes you might be better off the take them to an rv repair place and watch them do it the first time. If improperly done you can have one wheel doing more braking then another which can cause pulling or wheel lockups or not enough braking when you need it most. You can also damage something.
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Old 11-01-2005, 06:23 AM   #7
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I'm not offended. But if I don't know how to do something, I can d@mn shore figger it out. I'm calling dexter today, these axles don't have the star adjuster. They have some kind of threaded collar.
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Old 11-02-2005, 04:11 AM   #8
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First off I replied to your post on the diesel truck forum and stated that I could not find a Dexter EZ lube hub but now I did after a second look.
Second, you are reading the instructions wrong. It says to unscrew the OIL LUBE TYPE of cap. It specifically says to pry off all others, EZ included.
I am now very confident that there is NO NEED to remove the hub for brake adjustment and you are in too much of a hurry to get the job done to beat the available daylight (what you said on the other forum).
I can understand your desire to do this work yourself (and I obviously don't know your experience level) because I am the same way but you have to realize that you are not going to learn it in 2 seconds. I would venture a guess that most of us DIYers have been doing this type of thing for many years and have a lot of experience with mechanical systems that can be translated to our camper projects. We've all made mistakes without the benefit of an Internet forum to ask for help so we had to go ask the local gas station mechanic or even worked at a gas station as a kid. With mistakes comes experience.
So to that point, what George has suggested is good advice. These are critical systems that you and your family's safety depend on and now is not the time to try to figure it out "in a rush". Please take your time, get the proper tools, call Dexter, and learn the proper procedure for adjusting the brakes on your camper...even if you have to pay for someone to show you the correct way to do it for the first time.
Sorry to seem harsh but you really seem to be angry with your mad faces and all. This type of work is easy for some of us and not for others. Its also not rocket science either but it is important, as I stated earlier.
Good luck and keep us posted.
SteveB

ON EDIT - I took a quick look at your profile and see that you are a Design Engineer. I am a Design Engineer for a medical products company and I understand your desire to know how this stuff works but my previous comments stand. Like everyone else here we're glad to help as best we can but there is only so much that can be conveyed via a computer/keyboard.
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Old 11-02-2005, 05:27 AM   #9
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I don't know if its my lack of ability to communicate, or (some) other's lack of ability to comprehend. I never stated that I'm getting out on the road regardless of this brake adjustment. I never said I was in a hurry.

But I was frustrated from climbing under my trailer, or otherwise working on it and getting no where. That's why I came on here and DTR to get more info. And when I get home at night there's about enough daylight left to do one side (assuming I know what to do) before it get's done. So it was frustrating. Match the lack of daylight with my wife being sick and me having to watch the kids as much as possible and I have not been able to get the brakes adjusted yet.

I'm endangering noone. Besides, its an enclosed trailer, not my 5'er, I'm always alone when towing it. I haven't towed it in weeks. I had a long conversation with a very knowledgeable Dexter Axle representative. At my next available chance the brakes will be adjusted properly.

I have 3,500 lb axles, with drop spindles, EZ Lube, and 10 inch drums. He explained it all very clearly to me. Quite a good representative for Dexter.

- JyRO
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Old 11-02-2005, 02:57 PM   #10
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Glad you got it figured out. Unfortunately reading between the lines is not always acurate. Sorry for any misunderstanding.
On Edit-
Still glad you "figured it out" but quite frankly, this being a CAMPING forum, how would anyone know you were working on some other kind of trailer with out you specifically stating so? Even after you got accurate information on how to remove the hub AND were told where to find the proper location to access the brake adjustment, you still did not acknowledge those here that gave the info but praised the Dexter rep for giving (what seems to be) the same information. So yes, I would have to agree with your first point above. You did not comunicate the situation properly. I am the 1st to admit when I don't understand something but you left out too much information and then proceeded to ignore the advice given. Why bother to post when the first point of contact should have been Dexter? In the end you did the right thing by calling Dexter but I take acception your "comprehend" statement.
I'm as eager as anyone else here to lend support for a fellow RV'er but give credit where it is due and tone down the requests so people can get a better handle on the situation.
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Old 11-02-2005, 06:06 PM   #11
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JyRo: One other thing you should be aware of is the very name E-Z-Lube implies they're easy to lube which is also a bit more complex than that. Let's say you remove your hubs to inspect your bearings for signs of heat (blue tinge) or galling of the races and you of course install new seals in the back of your hubs before reassembly, whoa right there. You must repack the bearings in the time honoured way before reassembly rather than simply start pumping lube through with the old grease gun after you've got them all back together. Here's why: Grease, when cold, will take the path of least resistance, out past the rear seal and all over your new brake shoes. The grease gun should be used to pump lube into an already warm hub like say after an hour's drive on the freeway and you need to do this very infrequently depending on the miles you travel and only one slow pump of the handle is all that is required.

Now to address the Star Wheel adjuster that was mentioned in a previous post. Your not seeing the actual star can be explained by it being misaligned with the adjustment port. This may be because the assembly was installed backwards but more likely you have to look to one end of the oval shaped hole to see it.
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Old 11-03-2005, 04:44 AM   #12
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You know what's funny? I was looking at the star wheel! Hehehe. But didn't know it when I saw it. I looked at the sketches of it on-line and in the service manual and expected it to look different than it did. When I was talking to the Dexter rep, and I described it as best I could, he confirmed that it WAS the star adjuster mechanism.

Sometimes when I think I'm real smart, I just start working on something I've never worked on before, and realize how much I have to learn.

- JyRO
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Old 11-03-2005, 06:18 AM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by JyRO:
Sometimes when I think I'm real smart, I just start working on something I've never worked on before, and realize how much I have to learn.

- JyRO </div></BLOCKQUOTE>JyRO,

I've worked for an engine manufacturer for 32 years, 26 of those in technical and engineering management. Despite that, I wish I had a dollar for every time a mechanical device has left me feeling

Glad you got it figgered out!

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