"Burning in brakes"

p

Super Active Member
Jun 9, 2014
780
Alberta
Background information - I had a magnet replaced on one of my pop up brakes and a new 12 gauge wire run on the axle between the brakes. When I drove home from the rv "fixer" place, I activated the manual over ride on my brake controller...and nothing happened. I checked the 7 pin controller with a LED checker...and the tow vehicle is fine. I brought it back to the repair place and they said all the wiring is fine and the brakes are good to go.

However...they said the brakes need to be "burnt in". I was advised to drive at 40 km/hr and hour and slow down to 20km/ hr repeatedly (20 times to be exact) while activating the over ride.

Does this make sense? Because when I press my brakes or activate the manual brake controller over ride switch..it produces zero effect on the trailer brakes.

Anyone have a video of this "burn in" process to share?
 

NLB

Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Oct 10, 2021
494
West Palm Beach, Florida
I know brake pads/drums need to “marry” to each other in regards to position.
If you will set your controller to a mid level of intensity, ( so like 5 if your scale is 0-10), then travel 3-5mph on a dry paved surface, put the transmission in neutral, and increase the manual slide until the trailer begins to slow your tow vehicle. If setting 5 doesn’t work go to 7. If still nothing, then I think the brake shoes need to be adjusted closer to the drum. They should do that.
Basically the shoes need to be adjusted to the point of almost touching, but not dragging. If they drag, they will wear faster and create heat when braking is not applied. You don’t want that.
My controller has 9 settings. I keep it on 3. All setups are a little different based upon size/ weight of the trailer and size of the drums/shoes on the towing vehicle.
Find a quiet road away from all traffic and play with it. Let us know what results you get.
Take notes so you have good data.
 

Anthony Hitchings

Super Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Mar 2, 2019
3,770
Oakland, California
Burning in is total B.S. for shoes and for pads.

If you drums are too worn get them replaced. In the old days we could machine brake shoes (arc) to match a resurfaced drum, but that became illegal.

I have never burnt in any of my shoes or pads on a trailer, motorbike or automobile.

My current Jeep's rotors and pads are non-burnt in and have the smoothest and most even braking ever.
 

xxxapache

Super Active Member
Jul 30, 2008
4,460
Many vendors, garages, and other experts recommend a process of bedding brakes. The last performance pads and rotors I bought came with instructions on the process.

I wouldn't worry about bedding brakes on a trailer.

p,

If you have zero braking when you apply the brakes manually, you either have a electrical/controller problem or your brakes need adjusted.
 

bondebond

Super Active Member
Aug 14, 2008
2,327
Seems like automotive, tire and brake industry folks say otherwise.
https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=85
Wagner (brake manufacturer) https://www.wagnerbrake.com/technical/technical-tips/break-in.html
https://help.summitracing.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5300/~/how-do-i-break-in-new-pads-and-rotors?
https://www.autozone.com/diy/brakes/bedding-brakes
https://parts.olathetoyota.com/blog/break-in-toyota-rotors
etc, etc, etc

I'm not saying you have to do it especially on trailer brakes, but to carte blanche say it's total BS is hard to swallow when industry says otherwise. And they don't earn any money from saying you should do it. There's no incentive for them to make it up.
 

Ladiesman

Super Active Member
Feb 6, 2018
840
Burning in is total B.S. for shoes and for pads.

If you drums are too worn get them replaced. In the old days we could machine brake shoes (arc) to match a resurfaced drum, but that became illegal.

I have never burnt in any of my shoes or pads on a trailer, motorbike or automobile.

My current Jeep's rotors and pads are non-burnt in and have the smoothest and most even braking ever.
Been a mechanic for close to 40 years never burnt in a set of brakes in my life. We do brakes on big rigs at my shop every week and we have never told anyone to do that. Had lots of bendix brake training with the heavy truck discs and entire brake system and they never once in all our traing said burn them in boys.
 

xxxapache

Super Active Member
Jul 30, 2008
4,460
Screenshot_20220629-194534_Samsung Internet.jpg


Bendix says to burnish here:

 

1380ken

Super Active Member
Nov 7, 2013
2,928
Mass
You need to find a new RV repair place. If your brakes are not working you can't burn them in whether you need to or not. I can't tell if burning in brakes make any difference. I have done it a few times.
 




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