AL-KO Electric Brake Troubles

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 20:24
ThreadID: 110647 Views:3155 Replies:10 FollowUps:5
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I hope some one can help me, the Electric brakes on my caravan are only coming on about a quarter strength.
I have had all 4 wheels brakes adjusted, the linings in the rear wheels have been replaced, I have had my Red Arc break controller checked by an auto electrician & it is working perfect
Once the brakes warm up they work as if the controller is set on 2 when it is set on 10, full power.
I hope some one can shed some light on my issues with my van

Regards,

Andrew
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Reply By: tazbaz - Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 20:36

Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 20:36
I have exactly the same issue. I suspect that the wiring is not heavy enough. I had a Jayco Eagle and could not get the brakes to lock. Sold it to a relative who had a Redarc controller installed last week and presto, the brakes on that van could then be got to lock.
We have now a new van and a new tow vehicle and the brakes are just as you describe.
I'm with you - what is going on?
AnswerID: 543884

Follow Up By: 836 - Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 21:01

Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 21:01
I've had my Jayco for 3 years now and up until about 3 months ago they have been perfect
Have only ever ran my controller on a max of 3, can't work out what's going on
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FollowupID: 831001

Reply By: Notso - Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 21:40

Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 21:40
Yeah, I reckon you're not delivering enough volts to the brakes, high resistance somewhere.
AnswerID: 543892

Follow Up By: 836 - Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 22:06

Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 22:06
I have checked the voltage at the hubs under breaking, I am getting full voltage
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FollowupID: 831009

Follow Up By: Notso - Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 22:20

Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 22:20
If that's the case then you have an issue somewhere from where you checked the voltage to the magnets.

Just as a matter of interest, does the voltage vary depending on how far you wind up the rheostat on the controller.
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FollowupID: 831011

Follow Up By: Notso - Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 22:39

Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 22:39
Or an Earth issue. Where did you earth the meter? Maybe there is an earth issue?
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FollowupID: 831012

Follow Up By: 836 - Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 05:45

Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 05:45
I checked the voltage just as it entered the rear of each hub.
The voltage alters from 0 volt through until 10 volt depending where the controller is set
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FollowupID: 831015

Reply By: Erad - Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 08:01

Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 08:01
You are measuring 'full voltage' as it enters the brakes. OK - this means that the controller and wiring are OK up to that point. I suspect that you have high resistance further down the line ie inside the brake drum. Disconnect the brake supply at each wheel and measure the resistance to earth for each drum. If they are all the same, it is probably not an electrical issue. Maybe some grease on the magnet face, or on the linings themselves.
AnswerID: 543908

Reply By: Rangiephil - Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 08:05

Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 08:05
The brakes should not earth through the drum. There is a separate earth wire from the magnet, which should be directly or indirectly earthed to the car via a wire, not just through the towball.
Regards Philip A
AnswerID: 543909

Reply By: Member - Barnray (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 08:17

Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 08:17
I had an issue with new brakes and backing plates not working very well, after replacing the controller etc I found that the magnets were not parallel to the drum face and had to bend the arm so that they made contact. Barnray
AnswerID: 543910

Reply By: Sacred Cow - Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 08:40

Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 08:40
You are better off measuring the current to each wheel magnet. At maximum voltage the current should be at least 2.5A. (The resistance of a magnet is 4 Ohms.)

Can you borrow a DC clamp meter?

I have found poorly crimped connections on a relatives Jayco.

Glenn
AnswerID: 543911

Reply By: CSeaJay - Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 14:08

Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 14:08
Mate, had the same problem.
The voltage you measure is probably not at full load, so it may be misleading.
I solved my probel by chack all connections carefully. The biggest difference was when I upgrades my trailer connector (both male and female) and it was much better. Seems that was the weak link in the power getting to the brakes
CJ
AnswerID: 543922

Reply By: swampfox - Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 18:00

Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 18:00
HI
4 wheel electric drum , use a separate wiring loom and a dedicated trailer plug .
At least 8ga wire . Can the controller handle 4 wheel brakes ? Dumb question but some controllers can only handle single axle .
Some electric pads decrease in performance over time .

In all the electric brakes I have owned replace the drum when the magnet goes .The surface where the magnet contacts wear very badly to a rough surface .

The other point of concern is the new linnings . If the magnet surface is ok the drum needs machining . Poor drum finish can cause what ur exp.

2 ITEMS linnings need to be radius ground to suit drums [both need to be the same diameter ] . The place who machines the drums will no if u need oversize linngs .

There are leading and trailing shoes also

All this if followed adds up to a great brake job with no issues and very quick with no change in performance break in of brakes .

Swamp fox
AnswerID: 543938

Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 19:48

Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 19:48
I have had the same problem and found the earth on the patrol towbar was bad and also check all the earthing on the van! A amp check on both magnets will prove you are not drawing enough current at the magnets. It's normally an earthing problem. Michael
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AnswerID: 543941

Reply By: 836 - Friday, Jan 09, 2015 at 19:31

Friday, Jan 09, 2015 at 19:31
Hi to everyone that has replyed to me thread, that's for all the input.
What I have found was that 3 of my magnets in the drums had collapsed, replaced the magnets with new ones, would have done all 4 but was only able to obtain 3 in town today.
Brakes working fantastic again, Like brand new again.

Thanks again for all the comments & suggestions

Happy travelling

Regards,

Andrew
AnswerID: 543994

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