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Old 04-11-2016, 06:41 PM   #1
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Hot wheel drum causes

I just got my trailer back from having a few small issues corrected under warranty. I had adjusted my brakes prior to going into Camping World, and noticed one brake drum was hot. So I had them repack the bearings and inspect/adjust brakes. On the way home I found two of my drums were now hotter than the other two, neither was as hot as the first time, but still hot.

I took a moment and adjusted the hot wheels by one click, and that helped. The same two wheels though were somewhat hot by the time I arrived home. The other two wheels were cool.

Is there anything I'm not thinking of that can be causing this? How much should these heat up during normal conditions (no big downhills, etc)? I plan on jacking it up and adjusting one more time.
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Old 04-11-2016, 06:49 PM   #2
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Not only having the brakes set to tight, but if they tightened the wheel bearings to much that will cause heat also.
You should be able to tell if it's bearings or brakes once you get it up in the air and spin the tire.
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Old 04-11-2016, 06:50 PM   #3
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If braking is significantly imbalanced between the 4 brakes, then some will always be hotter than others. I have never trusted the # of clicks, but then my technique is more difficult.

Also, imbalance can be caused by grease on some of the shoes, an out of round drum, even a drum with the drum face out of true with the center hole.

Anyway, if one drum is always hotter, then it could be grease on one of the other shoes, etc. If adjusting the brakes changes which drum is hotter, then you just need to fine tune them a little more.

Another imbalance is no power to several of the brakes, they will always be cooler and the drums will only get warm due to tire heat while the others are doing all of the braking effort. You should jack up the trailer and check brake function by pulling the breakaway pin.
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Old 04-11-2016, 06:53 PM   #4
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I will double check that Lloyd. I was at a tire shop after picking it up, installing those metal valve stems we spoke about. I could tell the brakes were slightly draggingwhen I spun them. I had to wait until they were done to adjust, so I need to get it up on jacks again. TST system seamed to be working well though, but I'm not sure about the temperature being very accurate on the outside. It will at least show inconsistencies from tire to tire.
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Old 04-11-2016, 06:55 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advise Larry. I did pull the brake pin, and Wam, they stopped immediately. Like supposed to.
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Old 04-11-2016, 07:05 PM   #6
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I'm not sure about the temperature being very accurate on the outside. It will at least show inconsistencies from tire to tire.
You are correct about temperature not being very accurate.
It will tell you the difference in temp from side to side when the sun is shining on one side.
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Old 04-12-2016, 07:09 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advise Larry. I did pull the brake pin, and Wam, they stopped immediately. Like supposed to.
But could you tell that all 4 were working? You need to be on gravel and better yet, have someone walk beside the trailer to verify all 4 tires are dragging. A high resistance connection can result in less voltage to one of the magnets and below normal braking force. Or, a significant weight imbalance can affect drum temps. If the brakes were changed recently, then some shoes can take longer to wear to conform to the drum which also affects drum temps.
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Old 04-12-2016, 08:25 AM   #8
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An easy way to determine if power is getting to the brake magnets is to hold a compass near the wheel and apply the trailer brake, if the compass needle moves the brake is getting power. This doesn't tell how well the brakes are working, just an indication that power is getting to the magnets.
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Old 04-12-2016, 08:50 AM   #9
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Thanks for the response Larry and Russ. I'm gonna see if I can get to it today, as long as the weather cooperates...I really want to solve this issue. I have a very long trip coming up in four weeks.
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Old 04-12-2016, 04:55 PM   #10
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I spent several hours checking the wheels and adjusting the brakes. I think I finally have it to where all brakes are close. One is still getting a little hot whereas the other three are not.

The trailer seems to be stopping the truck, and not visa versa...but I have to have my controller set to at least 8.5. I wonder if other ford owners with the integrated controllers also are using that high of number.
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