Best method for adjusting trailer brakes - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
Ford Diesel Forum / Powerstroke Forum
Ford Diesel Forum / Powerstroke Forum
Go Back   Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com > Ford Diesels > Towing and Hauling

Towing and Hauling Towing and hauling with Ford diesel trucks and vans.

TheDieselstop.com is the premier Diesel Truck Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-29-2007, 12:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: The Heart of the Alaska Range
Posts: 944
My Photos: (12)
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Best method for adjusting trailer brakes

Okay -

Here is what I know...but there must be a more rigorous - and safe/effective - methodology.

I take my trailer out to some big parking lot and slam on the brakes...adjusting the control until all action seems to be appropriate - no premature locking or nosediving, etc.
With that as a base reference, a heavier load takes a higher number; a lighter load a lower.

Now....what's the proper way? Please.....
__________________
Sold: 1999 White Lariat CC SB F-250. Sold to next-door neighbor in 2001....received final payment 2007! Still going strong at 198Kmiles as of Dec'07
Sold: 2001 Bright Amber Lariat CC LB F-250 with 4 million candlepower of LightForce lights in the bow. Line-X bedliner. Dual alternator. Clearance lights. Glass-tite cap. 250-gallon auxiliary tank for trips to the Lesser 48. 70-gallon auxiliary for trips around Alaska.
Rec'd Dec'07: '08 ForestGreen/Gold F-350 CC LB. Handshaker, as always, Rear stabilizer, rear static video, rear step, dual alternators. B&W turnover ball on its way; soon to be Line-X'd. LightForces on their way.
Alaska Ranger is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 12-29-2007, 01:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
AlH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: SC USA
Posts: 1,929
My Photos: (0)
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Re: Best method for adjusting trailer brakes

Not sure if it is exactly proper but I jack up each wheel and adjust until I just feel drag, then back off a click or two. I then tow the trailer and closely watch the trailer while driving straight and watching for any slight movement of the trailer to one side when applying the brakes to be sure they are balanced left to right. Also after hauling a heavy load down a hill with hard brake use I will check the drums with an IR gun through the wheel slots, you can tell pretty quick which ones are working too hard or not enough.

Whew!
__________________
96 F350 CrewCab BTS-E4OD 4.10 4x4 / Banks Git-Kit / 99-Intercooler / 99 Tahoe 25TB ToyHauler / 00 FourWheelCamper Pop-up
AlH is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-29-2007, 02:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Hernando Beach, FL
Posts: 1,119
My Photos: (0)
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Re: Best method for adjusting trailer brakes

Not sure if your brakes are like mine for not, but my trailer brakes are NOT self-adjusting. You have to jack the wheel up and using a brake adjusting tool or screwdriver, turn the cog inside the brake housing until it starts to drag and then back off just a bit.

Florida Ed
__________________
2011 Suzuki Burgman 650cc Rice Rocket Scooter 49 MPG, 120+ MPH, & 2009 Honda Shadow 750cc 51 MPG, 100+ MPH

2001 7.3 F-350 Dually Lariat CC LWB 4X2 Dark Green 4.10 4R100 5'ver Hauler (32' Montana 2 slides 10,500# - 2,000# tongue weight), 106 gal aux tank, 159K miles, nephews arguing over who will inherit it 'cause I'm gonna' drive it 'til I die. Bone stock.

2001 5.4 Gasser F-250 XLT Crewcab SWB 4X2 3.73 4R100 98K miles headed to 150K stock as the day it was made

Before these: '00 F-250 CC PSD, '97 F-250 CC PSD, '94 Ford F-150, '91 Ford E-250, '81 Ford E-150, '66 Ford F-100 (cars not included)
FloridaEd is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-29-2007, 03:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
olddieseldude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Indy
Posts: 1,464
My Photos: (16)
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Re: Best method for adjusting trailer brakes

Are you asking about actual brake adjustment at each wheel or are you asking about adjusting the brake controller before you haul something?

Here's the Prodigy Cheat Sheet for pre-haul adjustment...

I tend to adjust on the fly testing the brakes on street as I'm leaving home as per the cheat sheet, then set the boost according to my estimate of the weight of the load. Roughly B1 under 3500lb, B2 for 3K thru 7500lb, B3 above 7500lb to 10,000lb, these weights include 2500lb for the trailer itself.
__________________
RickN

White '99+ F250 SD XLT 4x2 SRW, 7.3PSD, 6spd, SuperCab, Short Bed
(mods listed in comments under photo in above link)
olddieseldude is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-29-2007, 05:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Cool_Canuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Winnipeg, MB. Canada
Posts: 2,920
My Photos: (12)
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Re: Best method for adjusting trailer brakes

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: olddieseldude</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Are you asking about actual brake adjustment at each wheel or are you asking about adjusting the brake controller before you haul something?</div></div> His post is somewhat miss leading. Looking at his sig, he has an '08 probably with the integrated controller. I think the Ranger wants to know how others set the gain for different loads.
__________________
2011 f250 XLT 4X4 Crew Cab.

SOLD - 2001 F250 XLT 7.3L SC/SB 4x4 (ESOF) - Tranny Upgrades; SCMT 1705; AIS Intake w/trimmed Snorkel; ZooDad; Turbo back 4" Exhaust; Issopro Pillar Mount Gauges; TC lockup LED; Auto Magic Heater Bypass; 2W Low Switch.
Cool_Canuck is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-30-2007, 03:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
AlH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: SC USA
Posts: 1,929
My Photos: (0)
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Re: Best method for adjusting trailer brakes

I agree..he asked how to adjust trailer brakes but he may have meant how to adjust the trailer brake controller!
__________________
96 F350 CrewCab BTS-E4OD 4.10 4x4 / Banks Git-Kit / 99-Intercooler / 99 Tahoe 25TB ToyHauler / 00 FourWheelCamper Pop-up
AlH is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-30-2007, 09:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: The Heart of the Alaska Range
Posts: 944
My Photos: (12)
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Re: Best method for adjusting trailer brakes

Brake CONTROLLER...not the brakes! Thanks for noticing the slip-up.
__________________
Sold: 1999 White Lariat CC SB F-250. Sold to next-door neighbor in 2001....received final payment 2007! Still going strong at 198Kmiles as of Dec'07
Sold: 2001 Bright Amber Lariat CC LB F-250 with 4 million candlepower of LightForce lights in the bow. Line-X bedliner. Dual alternator. Clearance lights. Glass-tite cap. 250-gallon auxiliary tank for trips to the Lesser 48. 70-gallon auxiliary for trips around Alaska.
Rec'd Dec'07: '08 ForestGreen/Gold F-350 CC LB. Handshaker, as always, Rear stabilizer, rear static video, rear step, dual alternators. B&W turnover ball on its way; soon to be Line-X'd. LightForces on their way.
Alaska Ranger is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-30-2007, 06:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Indiana, Indianapolis
Posts: 512
My Photos: (0)
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Re: Best method for adjusting trailer brakes

here is from what I understand and I usually use this method. On an empty lot with room to make two to three tries I drive at least 25 mph then step on the brakes in a normal stop pattern. if my rig go down at the rear I decrease the trl brake. If it go up I increase trl brake. I do this until both trl and truck kind of stop smoothly with no up or dpwn movement in the rear.

Then I test a "panic" stop with both the foot brake and another try with the brake controler at 25 mph on the empty lot.

Then after going down the road at 60 mph I exit off ramp for more testing to test stopping distance and gain. Then when I am satisfied with that I go on down the road at reasonable speed between 60 and 65 mph. Id like to go faster but I want to be able to slow down or stop in a controlled stop.

I cant tell you if this is the best way of testing the trailer brakes but thus far it has worked for me and Ive not had any problem with stopping.

Ive only had 2 panic stops one when a car cut in front and panic stopped because traffic was stopped, I hit the brakes and managed to stop in time. Another time was my error in inattention to traffic that required evasive action but was able to manuver a controlled stop.

my only aggrivation with the elec brake is that I have ABS system in my rig and often times coming to a stop light or stopping while driving slow I get a hard jerking from the trailer as if the brakes gain is too strong with a light touch of the foot brake. I dont know what the cause it but I may need to upgrade my elec brake contoller.
__________________
David and his Ford truck with a little motor and a big idea......

Ford F-350 Dually Crew Cab 5-Sp 7.3 IDI Centurion Conversion. No mods, rebilt IP and replaced injectors. Used as personal driver and pulling my RV camper.

Planned upgrades are a new and better turbo and larger exhaust pipes than the 21/2s that are already under the rig/ would like a 6 spd tranny but dont know if that is a feasable or smart investment yet.

1993 Dodge 3/4 ton Van Conversion 318CI
1978 Dodge Magnum XE T-top Classic 4BBl 400CI (Honeymoon Car)
1965 Dodge Polara 4 DR 383CI

AmaMoparmanbutlikeForrrrrdtrucks
truckdrivindave is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-31-2007, 06:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
AlH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: SC USA
Posts: 1,929
My Photos: (0)
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Re: Best method for adjusting trailer brakes

My brake controller adjustment is easy and requires no test stops. I have a Jordan 2020 which has the ammeter current readout. From experience I know where to set it for my various trailers depending on how they are loaded. Piece of cake!
__________________
96 F350 CrewCab BTS-E4OD 4.10 4x4 / Banks Git-Kit / 99-Intercooler / 99 Tahoe 25TB ToyHauler / 00 FourWheelCamper Pop-up
AlH is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-01-2008, 03:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: B.C. Canada
Posts: 82
My Photos: (0)
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Re: Best method for adjusting trailer brakes

So, how do you set it up. I have a Jordan and it seems to be jumpy, the reading goes from 3 to6in a jump.
__________________
BTM, 10k mod, EBPV brake & torque convertor lockup, air ride 5'er hitch. 99.5 F350 dually.
fsheare is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-02-2008, 06:45 AM   #11 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Mesa, Az
Posts: 1,269
My Photos: (0)
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Re: Best method for adjusting trailer brakes

I just hook up my trailer, and then let the truck idle forward. I push the slide bar so that it slows the truck at an appropriate rate, usually within a foot or two, and call it good. The trailer brakes are to stop a trailer not the truck, so you surely do not want it pulling you back, especially since the shoes are much thinner than any vehicles.
__________________
New addition:
2006 f-550 service body with a 20 foot stellar crane.
Arrest me red 2006 F-250 6.0 Even more loaded
Black 2000 F-250 4X4 PSD Lariat, loaded.
Green 2001 4x4 Excursion Limited with PSD, loaded
White 2004 F-250XL, it is loaded with just a LS. I can't find the other options.:P

Just how many superduty's does a guy need?
The-washer is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-02-2008, 07:37 AM   #12 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Indiana, Indianapolis
Posts: 512
My Photos: (0)
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Re: Best method for adjusting trailer brakes

Thats good, fine and dandy, in this case as with diffrent brands of brake controllers adjusting the gain are diffrent with each one but testing the brake is still a must and I emphasize that to ensure that it is working properly whether you have preset modes, readings or not. I encourage testing and inspecting of any equiptment before each and every trip. I like the idea of being able to set the controller at a setting so you dont have to adjust it all the time. Mine stays at a certain setting all the time after initial setting and brake testing but I still test stop it to ensure that it is working properly for each and every trailer. I do wish that all brake controllers have an ammeter read out for ease of adjustment and I think that they should. I think that when I am ready for a new brake controller Ill get one with the ammeter read out.....But I emphasize test stopping for any equipment......
__________________
David and his Ford truck with a little motor and a big idea......

Ford F-350 Dually Crew Cab 5-Sp 7.3 IDI Centurion Conversion. No mods, rebilt IP and replaced injectors. Used as personal driver and pulling my RV camper.

Planned upgrades are a new and better turbo and larger exhaust pipes than the 21/2s that are already under the rig/ would like a 6 spd tranny but dont know if that is a feasable or smart investment yet.

1993 Dodge 3/4 ton Van Conversion 318CI
1978 Dodge Magnum XE T-top Classic 4BBl 400CI (Honeymoon Car)
1965 Dodge Polara 4 DR 383CI

AmaMoparmanbutlikeForrrrrdtrucks
truckdrivindave is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-02-2008, 07:37 AM   #13 (permalink)
Lifetime Supporting Member
Lifetime Supporting Member
 
Flywheel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 3,399
My Photos: (6)
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Re: Best method for adjusting trailer brakes

I adjust on the road for most comfort - you likely have a more proportional controller then my older voyager - so I often have to reach down and adjust to controller for the situation.

Highway driving, they are on pretty high, parking lot driving, I have to lighten up the power a biut to prevent jerking.

I would think you can do the same by just driving and adjusting until you feel the trailer pulling you back some.

Basically, with your adjusted properly, you should not notice any extended braking distances with the trailer on - so adjust for that...
__________________

99.5 F-250 CC LB 4x4 7.3 Red
Trail Boss Replacement Bumpers, Tool Box, Headache Rack, Full Length Running Boards, BFG AT/KO 285/75x16E, 2003 Cup Holder, Marinco Heater Plug, Weather Tech Rain Vents / Hood Guard, B&W GN Hitch, X-Springs, Rear 4" F350 Blocks, Hellwig front and rear sway bars, Airlift / Wireless, Duraflaps

Isspro A-Pillar Gauges, Isspro TTM, Ford AIS, Magnaflow 3.5" DP - 4" Exhaust, Garrett GTP38R Turbo, Turbo-Master, High Flow Outlet, Non EBV Pedestal, IH Up-Pipes, DS 203 degree Stat, OA, BTS Tranny, 6.0L Tranny cooler, DP-Tuner F6, FRX, Cass Stage 1s, T500 HPOP, DieselSite HPX

99 F-250 CC SB 4x4 7.3 White
Ranch Truck, Ranch Hand brush Guard, Original Cup Thrower, DP-TUner F6, 4" Turbo Back Magnaflow, AIS Intake, 6.0 Tranny Cooler, Ford 4R100HD, CM Flatbed

Autoenginuity
Flywheel is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-02-2008, 03:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Auburn, CA
Posts: 76
My Photos: (0)
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Re: Best method for adjusting trailer brakes

Whatever you do, adjust your trailer brakes. You can do it with a screwdriver, but it is much easier with a brake adjustment spoon.

Vince
__________________
1997 California F250 XLT HD Ext Cab LB 4X4
3.55LS & Tow Package
Banks Techni-cooler intercooler
Luk Heavy Duty clutch and single mass flywheel
Tymar 3 to 4 inch down pipe
Tymar Intake
4 position TW chip
4 inch exhaust
Pyrometer guage installed in a-piller
Bilstein shocks
compaddict is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-02-2008, 04:53 PM   #15 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Southern Pines,NC,USA
Posts: 822
My Photos: (0)
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Re: Best method for adjusting trailer brakes

I'll second that. From advice gotten here recently I checked the brakes on two brand new trailers bought from reputable dealers and both were WAY out of adjustment. And I was worried about my controller. Assume nothing;check everything.
__________________
'05 F-350 PSD 4x4 CC SB SRW Manual
PineKnot is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com > Ford Diesels > Towing and Hauling

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



Wheel & Tire Center

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:52 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.