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Sticking brakes after full/complete stop?

Started by keeena, August 10, 2016, 02:11:08 PM

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This is a generic trailer brake question and was looking to narrow down what to look for on the web...

When I start up from a full stop, my rig/trailer will make a few banging noises which can be felt thru the vehicle. I have a feeling it's due to the brakes. It almost feels like the pads are catching a spot in the drum every revolution. It goes away after 3-4 revolutions. It will not do this if I come to a rolling stop. Brakes seem mostly fine otherwise; no wheel seems abnormally hot so I don't think they are dragging otherwise.

I have adjusted electric brakes before (both @ controller and drums/pads themselves) and will be taking a look. Just wondering if anybody had thoughts specific to this problem.

Related question:
With my last trailer (utility trailer, dual braked axles & prodigy P3 controller), the braking voltage was determined by increasing the power (voltage) setting and then manually actuating trailer brakes @ 25mph until just to the point of locking them up, then back off a hair. I'm unable to get them to lockup w/ my Silverado's highest output setting. Is this the generally accepted procedure?


First, some assumptions:

I assume the truck does not make the noise when starting out if it's not hitched to the trailer (so it's not the truck).
I assume the trailer tires are in good condition and properly inflated (so they are not flat-spotted or defective).

Then, some ideas:

You may have a brake shoe(s) contaminated with something that makes it stick when stopped in the brake drum. Pulling a brake drum(s) might show a drum full of brake dust or grease. 
You may have a brake controller or wiring problem that doesn't allow the brake shoes to release immediately on starting out from a full stop.

Your procedure for adjusting the controller sounds right for the P3, but I'm not familiar with the Silverado controller and can't offer advice on how to set it. Is there any info in the owner's manual? 


Thanks for the reply Merlin; and yes: your assumptions are/were correct.

The problem doesn't appear to be the trailer - I didn't notice anything obvious when looking at the brakes. Some further digging seems to indicate the truck's driveline; most likely culprits are slip yolk or u-joint. I was able to barely reproduce the problem w/o the trailer (it's not nearly as noticeable and extremely infrequent). I think the squat due to the tongue weight causes the problem to show up.


Good detective work. The slip joint on the driveshaft yolk(s) is often a source of "clunk-thunk', especially when loaded to a new location. Are yours greaseable?