Trailer brakes question

Today, I took a friend's trailer a few miles to pick up some material. It is a tandem axle 16' trailer. I looked back, and there was smoke pouring
out of one wheel. I had just started from a stop, and was doing about 15 mph. I pulled over, put it in reverse, and then went forward and all was good. The tire had jammed up in some way, and the smoke was from the tire skidding, and not from the hub.
This trailer has electric brakes, but they are not hooked up. When I got home, I had driven about eight miles. That one wheel was very warm, and the outer brake drum was nearly hot.
I think what has happened is that some component has come loose inside there, and jammed. Backing up unjammed it, but there must still be something causing the shoe to come out and engage the drum making it hotter than the rest. The rest were cool to the touch.
I am going to block the trailer up tomorrow, and take that wheel off first, and look for loose parts, or obvious failure.
Should I just put a spring on there to hold the electric brakes closed? I would do this to all four wheels. Plus, check the bearings while I have it in the air. This trailer is not used for heavy loads, and my friend would probably not want to spend the $$ to have it put back as new, as it was manufactured in 1965.
A mechanic friend of mine said to just take off all the shoes and everything, and not be bothered in the future. My friend pulls this with a 3/4 ton truck, enough to handle the trailer and load.
What would you do?
Steve
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Pull the hub and see what got jammed.
There's a solenoid that pulls/pushes the shoe against the drum when current is applied, therefore there shouldn't be anything dragging when the brakes aren't gettinng any current.
You might also want to first make sure that the breakaway switch hasn't been triggered...
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I'd be doing that right now, but it is a shitty rainy day outside. So, instead, I am unloading 2200# of pavers into the garage for a honeydo project.
Steve
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Steve B wrote:

It won't matter that it's a 3/4 ton truck if the truck is *empty* and there's 10,000 lbs poorly distributed on the trailer. Since you are Utahrds, yeah, do what the mechanic said.
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On Tue, 20 Apr 2010 22:05:57 -0700, the infamous "Steve B"

Fix it right (or have him fix it) so -you- don't become legally liable if he gets into an accident after you removed his brake shoes for him.
If it were your trailer, you could do as you wanted. Removing the brakes (and wiring for such, so you don't false advertise if you sold the trailer to someone else) are probably not good choices for a large trailer which can carry heavy loads. YMMV
-- "I think you very well may see a revolution in this country and it will not be a revolution to overthrow the government," he said. "It would be a revolution to restore government to its constitutional basis." --Rob Weaver on VoA, 4/19/10
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scrawled the following:

I am in full contact with the owner, and have a call in to him right now asking him of previous problems, etc, with the trailer. What makes you think I would seriously alter the trailer brakes on another person's trailer without consulting that person first?
BTW, it is HIS trailer, but for now, it is titled in MY name. Don't ask.
Steve
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On Wed, 21 Apr 2010 10:40:01 -0700, the infamous "Steve B"

You misread me. I meant don't do it for him because you'll be liable. And if you do it for yourself and then sell the trailer, liability is the same reason for caution.

Hehehe. OK.
-- "I think you very well may see a revolution in this country and it will not be a revolution to overthrow the government," he said. "It would be a revolution to restore government to its constitutional basis." --Rob Weaver on VoA, 4/19/10
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The brake assemblies are not that expensive, if you have it apart, replace them.
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It quit raining, I got the pavers unloaded, so took off the wheel. Steel salad would be the best description. Something cut loose, shredding lots of stuff in there. One brake show was bent out of shape. The backing plate was seriously bent inward toward centerline. The opposite side was rubbing the drum, so had to hammer it back enough for the wheel to turn. The whole backing plate, and whole brake assembly will have to be replaced. Oh yeah, the tire has a flat spot on it, too.
Bearings looked good, tho. ;-)
Supposed to talk to the owner in the next day or so. Will see if he wants to fix it, or remove all the brake assemblies.
Steve
Visit my blog at www.cabgbypasssurgery.com
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In your shoes I'd fix all 4.
Just in case...
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Just replace the unit. Cheap. http://www.championtrailers.com/BRAKES_ELECTRIC.htm#BRAKES_ELECTRIC $80 a pair.
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This one needs every piece of hardware in there, plus a new backing plate. The electric device got chewed up pretty good, too.
Steve
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wrote

That includes the backing plate. Just bolt it on and everything is ready to go. Same place is where I use to get my drum brake backing plate assemblys for the boat trailer.
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wrote

Cool. Nice to know. I thought it'd be a lot more than that.
Steve
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ATP* wrote:

snip
I don't know about Utah Law, but when I registered my utility trailer in Arizona, they said anything over 1500# has to have brakes.
BobH
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In Utah, anything under 700# doesn't even require a license plate. When they inspected this trailer, all they looked at was the VIN. They did not even have me fire up the lights.
Steve
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