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Old 07-19-2019, 01:31 PM   #1
Montana Man
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Self adjusting brake question

After a long drive, I noticed the ODS rear wheel was running cooler than the other wheels via my infrared heat reader. I since manually adjusted the brake and so far so good. I then decided to "adjust" the brakes by backing the rig and stopping several times. During this process I noticed while using the manual trailer brake, the trailer brakes don't engage in reverse. However, they engage normally going forward.

It seems to me that if the brakes don't engage in reverse then the auto adjusters will not function properly. Any thoughts?
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Old 07-19-2019, 01:55 PM   #2
carl n susan
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Unlike automobile self adjusting brakes, the Dexter ones only adjust when going forward.
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Old 07-19-2019, 02:53 PM   #3
Montana Man
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That is good to know.

Wouldn't they still activate in reverse using the manual brake lever?
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Old 07-19-2019, 04:01 PM   #4
carl n susan
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Well I stand corrected. Apparently they do adjust in the reverse direction in addition to going forward. The Dexter site has very little in explanation but here is what I found:

Self Adjusting Feature
(Not available on all sizes)
Dexter electric brakes may be equipped with a forward self-adjust feature. This will allow the brakes to adjust on both forward and reverse stops. Brake adjustment occurs when lining wear results in enough gap between the shoes and the brake drum surface. This added clearance will allow the adjuster mechanism to rotate the screw assembly at the bottom of the brake. That action expands the distance between the shoes and thus closes the gap to the drum
surface.


Ref: Page 6 of https://www.dexteraxle.com/docs/defa...4.pdf?sfvrsn=0

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Old 07-19-2019, 06:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Man View Post
That is good to know.

Wouldn't they still activate in reverse using the manual brake lever?
Mine is an older unit but guarantee they work in reverse with the lever. Use that feature all the time when I move my manual slider hitch. Have to always slide it when I get home from a trip because that is the only way I can back in my driveway.
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Old 07-19-2019, 09:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Man View Post
After a long drive, I noticed the ODS rear wheel was running cooler than the other wheels via my infrared heat reader. I since manually adjusted the brake and so far so good. I then decided to "adjust" the brakes by backing the rig and stopping several times. During this process I noticed while using the manual trailer brake, the trailer brakes don't engage in reverse. However, they engage normally going forward.

It seems to me that if the brakes don't engage in reverse then the auto adjusters will not function properly. Any thoughts?

Your brakes will self adjust without any special work except if there is a failure with the mechanism which can only be seen by removing the drum/hub assembly. This is what one of our brakes looked like earlier this year, and discovered when doing a bearing repack. This is a very good reason to inspect your brakes at least annually.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg failed brake assembly.jpg (153.6 KB, 56 views)
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Old 07-20-2019, 06:03 AM   #7
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Yes... your electric trailer brakes do work in reverse. I’d be looking at the tow vehicle .. is it sending a signal to the 7 way plug ? Easy to verify
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Old 07-20-2019, 06:24 PM   #8
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Thx all. Good info for sure. I will have to work on the no manual trailer brakes in reverse.
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Old 07-29-2019, 08:45 AM   #9
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Update, FWIW, my buddy has the same truck and similar trailer. His won't stop in reverse using the manual brake lever either.
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Old 07-29-2019, 01:42 PM   #10
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I suppose it's best to not be driving these rigs too fast down the highway going backwards if you need to stop real fast Might be an excuse to upgrade to disc brakes.
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Old 07-29-2019, 05:45 PM   #11
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My F250 brake controller does not send power to the trailer brakes if you apply the brakes and the vehicle is going less than 5 mph. This is the way the factory intended it to work. Pretty hard to go over 5 mph backing up a fiver.
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Old 07-29-2019, 07:24 PM   #12
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Other than a couple bent and missing parts, what's wrong with it? 😬
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Old 08-04-2019, 02:11 PM   #13
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I found mine not adjusting at all, even though they all have the self adjuster mechanism, (which is designed to operate in forward or reverse). Had a long discussion with a Dexter engineer explaining what I found. There is nothing to hold the star wheel from freewheeling back and forth with the lever that is supposed to do the adjusting. The lever moves the wheel just fine but when the brakes are released, the wheel returns where it was instead of the lever racheting over the ramped notch in the wheel. In previous designs, I'm used to the spring holding the front and rear shoes together to contact the star wheel to keep it from turning backwards. The engr. told me that on electric brakes, they made the star wheel smaller in diameter because of the extra parts.
They sent me 4 new adjuster assemblies, but they were exactly the same. I bent my springs to contact the star wheel, and am watching for any difference. Plan on manual adjustment in the near term. It's not that hard.
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