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Old 07-07-2013, 02:21 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2012
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Breakaway switch

How do i test my bargman breakaway switch to see if it works properly and the battery is charged? I don't know where my battery for it is, on a 2008 MS 33tk3

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Old 07-07-2013, 04:33 PM   #2
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Re: Breakaway switch

Originally Posted by bacardiron
How do i test my bargman breakaway switch to see if it works properly and the battery is charged? I don't know where my battery for it is, on a 2008 MS 33tk3
The battery should be in the small key locked door on the front of the unit on the off door side. We have a slide out tray and 2 6 volt batteries, but you may have 1 12 volt? They could be ordered either way.
For the emergency braking switch, it should have a line/cable attached and to check I just pull it out with a quick snap, the line & the plastic rod will come out cleanly. That will activate the brakes on the trailer. All you need to do is reinstall the rod back into the switch asm and it will then disengage the power to the brakes. The battery in the trailer will power this braking system so the battery needs to be charged. You should be attaching that cable to something in the bed of the truck that you are pretty confident that it will not come out of the truck on any sudden impact or if the trailer was ever to disengage from the hitch and try to leave the truck. That cable activates the trailer brakes right now and would help keep it from rolling away and hurting someone. I mounted my cable attaching point to the base of my hitch plate in my truck. Also make sure it is not possible to get tangled when your traveling with the truck & trailer as in a turn, if it gets caught and pulls out in most cases your truck and trailer will come to an abrupt halt, that is if your brakes are adjusted correctly. If not, then the brakes will be applying and if you continue to drive they will burn themselves up.
Once the cable is pulled and your in a site, just walk back to the wheels and listen for the hum as the brakes are applied but unplug the power source from the trailer as to make sure the battery is actually powering the brakes and not the converter or charger from the 110 plug. Hope this helps

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Old 07-08-2013, 09:53 AM   #3
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Another thing to consider is that the drum brakes require adjustment to make sure they are actually braking and not just humming. These brakes do not automatically adjust themselves to make sure the pads make good contact with the drum. You have to do it the old school way by jacking up the wheel and using a brake adjustment spoon to put the pads in proper relation to the drum. I learned that the hard way. I was noticing the rig had longer than normal stopping distances. When I checked the brakes only 2 were actually slowing the rig and not very much. After adjusting all 4 of them the performance was much improved. This should be an annual check before you travel. It's tedious but not technically difficult.

I use a jack under one wheel at a time. With the trailer break away switch activated I try to spin the tire. If it does spin I shut off the switch and adjust the brakes until I hear the pads just barely brush the drums then try the switch again. Do this for all wheels on the trailer. Those of us grey hairs who used to do our own wrenching on our cars are familiar with the process.
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