Burning up brakes

vagov

Super Active Member
Aug 13, 2012
5,075
Pittsburgh, Pa
the trailer may have had a very slight drag to it if any. By no means where they locking up . Started out for home everything seemed fine no drag noticed. About half way home got a small whiff of brake, then 5 minutes later “service trailer brakes” message appeared on my dashboard in the truck, tried activating. Brake controller manually and noticed no power. By then I was on freeway , so eased off acceleration and slowly got down to a limp speed.
 

vagov

Super Active Member
Aug 13, 2012
5,075
Pittsburgh, Pa
Looking on E Trailer. Replacement brake kits, whole new assembly both L and R. For one axle , run $366 for manual, 429 for self adjusting Dexter. I have a lippert 4400 axle but waiting on confirmation from etrailer that there interchangeable, Then I need some new wiring , and new breakaway switch If I plan on fixing myself
 

ShanegoDave

Active Member
Feb 27, 2014
404
Is that spindle alittle blue? Usually a sign of high heat, it it’s gets too hot it could crack at some point . How’s the bearings look?
 

Sjm9911

Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
11,730
Nj
Curious, you were able to pull the trailer with the brakes applied and didn't notice?
Its easy not to notice. My jeep had a seized caliper. I didnt notice untill it started smoking. Thought it was the normal jeep death wobble on the highway.
 

Mytime

Active Member
Mar 20, 2022
192
SE Missouri
Its easy not to notice. My jeep had a seized caliper. I didnt notice untill it started smoking. Thought it was the normal jeep death wobble on the highway.
Same except I didn’t notice a thing until I stopped my Jeep at a stop sign. Smelled burning brake and knew what was going on then.
 

Snow

Super Active Member
Jul 19, 2007
11,979
Ontario
Its easy not to notice. My jeep had a seized caliper. I didnt notice untill it started smoking. Thought it was the normal jeep death wobble on the highway.
Oh that death wobble is very different from a seized caliper.. had both on my 93 XJ and ZJs over the years of owning them, wobble at highway speeds is dangerous, as only way to stop the wobble is to slow right down to like 15mph.

Seized electric brake should have noticeable while towing.. trailer and vehicle would have had a slight pull to one side (side with all the brakes working) .. might have been a very slight and felt like the crown of the road rolling off, but it would have been there..
 

Michael J

Active Member
Aug 9, 2018
117
Oh that death wobble is very different from a seized caliper.. had both on my 93 XJ and ZJs over the years of owning them, wobble at highway speeds is dangerous, as only way to stop the wobble is to slow right down to like 15mph.

Seized electric brake should have noticeable while towing.. trailer and vehicle would have had a slight pull to one side (side with all the brakes working) .. might have been a very slight and felt like the crown of the road rolling off, but it would have been there..
The wife got the death wobble last year in her WJ first time we had experienced that what a ride.... Was on a country road at 55 mph few miles from home
 

Michael J

Active Member
Aug 9, 2018
117
Looking on E Trailer. Replacement brake kits, whole new assembly both L and R. For one axle , run $366 for manual, 429 for self adjusting Dexter. I have a lippert 4400 axle but waiting on confirmation from etrailer that there interchangeable, Then I need some new wiring , and new breakaway switch If I plan on fixing myself
Did you check some of your local places for parts? I had to replace magnets on out service trailer for work I swear I don't remember them being more then 16$ I know your getting full kits but what all is included? Getting new drums too? Hope the rewiring goes smoothly sounds like you are gonna have some work ahead of you.
 

jmkay1

2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
7,488
Northern Virginia
Good luck and hope the fix it's too costly. Of course anything RV is expensive. [V]. When I first bought my new to me camper my breaks seized. Although my issue was the magnets in the drums that seized apparently the drums were rust buckets so they didn't release like they should. Paid $700 at the shop to get everything replaced as everything got "cooked". Expensive lesson to learn.
 

stierheim

Member
Apr 22, 2013
54
Ok pull tires and drums ….the verdict, the front axle. Looks good. No damage. The rear axle , especially the rear passenger tire. Took the blunt of it. Pretty much fried the magnet, all the wiring, and brake pads. Crumbled Apart , some burn on inside of drum also. , but I tapped most of it off with a light hammer, may try cleaning it up more. Or just replace. Not sure The left side rear burned up bottom of magnet , and some wiring connected. To front axle brakes. Also. It’s bad , but honestly I expected worse, Talked to my insurance company. They said I would have to submit a claim in order to determine if it’s covered. Good news is my deduction. On comprehension. Is only 250. So not terrible
It looks like you are focusing on the rear axle. According to your initial post, the failure was due to the breakaway switch energizing the brakes. If that is what happened, then I recommend you also find out why the front axle wasn't damaged also. The breakaway switch should energize all wheels. It may be that your front axle brakes are not working for an electrical reason. I always check all brakes (including the TV) using an infrared thermometer after a couple of stops when first moving out to verify they are all working.
 
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vagov

Super Active Member
Aug 13, 2012
5,075
Pittsburgh, Pa
Not sure what’s going on with front breaks, I talked with my insurance company. And found out I have a zero deductible. So I’m taking both truck and trailer in to my local push n pull. Dealer. Where I get inspection June 6. I see some wear on front axle thinking it’s just normal wear though, my fifth sits alittle nose high. But nothing too drastic. Here’s front axle pic
 

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rslaback

Active Member
Jul 21, 2012
157
If the breakaway switch was pulled out, the system acted exactly like it should have. It used the battery on the trailer to energizer the brakes. The truck saw that the wire was energized when it shouldn't have been and popped up your warning light. It looks like both the front and rear axles had the brakes actuating at least at some time. The smell and damage was because you drove with your brakes on.

A good trailer brake system often won't be able to lock the brakes up at full power. Honestly you don't want them to as a skidding trailer is very difficult to control versus a trailer with applied but not locked brakes.
 

ShanegoDave

Active Member
Feb 27, 2014
404
I think The brakes were working at some degree also, however if he was slightly dragging or couldn’t tell until the warning light came on and start smelling burn , they probably was out of adjustment from the start. Especially if not manually adjusted in a while. I know once I was backing my popup in my parking spot And somehow Popped my breakaway , the camper brakes locked solid on me, and noticed right away But that was at low speeds not highway . if that makes any difference, not to beat up the op, hope everything thing gets fixed up new and he is good to go. Reminds me. To go out and manually adjust mine . Glad your ok john, and nothing worse Happened. At least you were close to home and not hundreds of miles away . Get er fixed up, and I will see you on the road again soon!
 
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stierheim

Member
Apr 22, 2013
54
To be honest. Don’t know if it was caused by mechanical error, operator error, or a combination of both. Sometimes chit just happens. I will just chalk it up, get it fixed , and keep on truckin!
You would only be able to notice drag for a very short time. Unlike normal vehicle braking, when activated the breakaway switch applies full battery voltage to the brakes. Since this full force braking appears to have only occurred on the rear axle, it was not as effective as if both axles had full brake effort. Once applied, the brakes would very quickly overheat and lose braking force, maybe less than a minute at full application at highway speed. Once this initial braking force was depleted and the magnets remained energized, there would be no further drag at all as the brakes just destroyed themselves at this point.

So you could have been accelerating hard when it occurred or going downhill or something like that and not noticed the short term drag when it occurred.
 




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