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Old 10-23-2004, 07:47 PM   #1
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FW Brake Squalling - possibly solved

Some of you know I posted awhile back that the brakes on our Montana have let out a loud squall sometimes but not always. It has done it since day one. Some of you reported having the same problem, which is why I'm posting now.

We recently had the axles replaced. Alko-Kober also replaced two drums because they "didn't like the way the bearings looked". On our way back to Pla-Mor and then to the Keystone factory a couple of weeks later, Vicki and I remarked how we'd not heard a single noise out of the brakes. We figured the new drums solved the problem. Wrong!

On our way out of Indiana the brakes started squalling again. This was right after I stopped and retorqued the lugnuts. You know how you do that every 50 miles or so until the lugnuts no longer need tightening?

After a full day of this squalling and having finally finished the tightening sequence I realized maybe I'd overtorqued some of the lugnuts. I was using a torque wrench but we were driving in rain and I didn't look at the dial very closely, just cranked those suckers down. 24 lugnuts in the rain.

So, I loosened all the lugnuts and started all over on the tightening sequence. We immediately noticed NO squalling. And for the remaining several hundred miles of our trip, no squalling.

So, if you have this problem, you might consider loosening and retorquing the lugnuts. I believe the proper torque numbers from the axle manual is 90 ft-lb, if I recall.
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Old 10-24-2004, 04:50 AM   #2
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I will try this. Hope it fixes my squealing too.
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Old 10-24-2004, 06:02 AM   #3
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Thanks for the information. Something to think about for sure! Wonder of the uneven torque was distorting the brake drum?

I know that mine are torqued to specs but occassionally they will squeel when the breaks are applied. Doesn't do it consistantly. Nor does it do it very often, thank heavens!!

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Old 10-24-2004, 07:37 AM   #4
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Steve, very informative. I'll add this note to my tech list. I had to replace the brake shoes to solve my squealing problem. Alco sent me new shoes and after I installed the squeal went away.

Thanks for the info

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Old 10-24-2004, 12:33 PM   #5
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I'd characterize this as a very loud "squalling" rather than a high pitched squeal. This sounds more like when brakes are grabbing. Yes, I figure it was distorting the drums. I know having lugs too tight can do that.

Illapah, please post back whether it solved your problem when you have the chance to find out. I'm curious if that works for others or was somehow just a coincidence for some unknown factor for us.
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Old 10-24-2004, 01:33 PM   #6
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Torque of lugnuts is important. Not just for the trailer but the truck and all your vehicles as well.
I recomend a clicker style torque wrench over a dial.
When having wheel work done like changing tires. NEVER allow mechanics to tighten lugnuts with an impact wrench. A 1/2 drive air impact can put out 500+ Ft Lbs of torque on a lugnut rated for between 70 to 120 Ft Lbs depending on the stud. Needless to say it is real easy to stress and stretch studs. If you are lucky it will just wear on the rims. But more than likely they will start breaking while going down the road. I can talk from experiance on this. As a mechanic myself I will use a impact to run the nuts up but the final tightening is done with the torque wrench.
I have seen mechanics tighten lugnuts with the impact and then use the torque wrench to check tightness. This is not proper either.
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Old 10-24-2004, 02:08 PM   #7
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We had a brake squealing problem for quite a while. It would come and go mysteriously. We finally took it to the dealer who diagnosed the problem as cracked brake shoe linings and/or grease on the brake lining. We had the shoes replaced and that cured the problem permanently (so far). Another reason for sealed bearings and disk brakes?
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Old 10-24-2004, 07:46 PM   #8
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Thanks all for the great info on the proper technique for applying correct amount of torque/lbs. Happyrving.....
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