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Adjusting the Breaks


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I just tried to adjust my breaks by rotating the star wheel to make the brakes lock up, then back off (reverse) that rotation until the wheel rotates about one half to one rotation when spun firmly by hand. I have done this before with other vehicles and have had no problem accomplishing the task.


With the Oliver, I can't get the star wheel to lock the wheels. I have forgotten which way the break adjustment tool handle should be pushed (up or down) in order to lock the wheels (tighten the star wheel). I tried both ways but I could not lock the wheel by adjusting the star wheel, which I can't see but can only feel with the break adjustment tool. I couldn't even get any resistance whatsoever on the trailer wheel as I turned the star wheel, no matter which way I turned it.


Any help would be appreciated, especially if you can tell me which way to push the handle of the break adjustment tool in order to tighten the breaks against the drums and stop tire rotation by hand. Would the direction be the same for both sides of the trailer? I only worked with the curb side wheel, about half an hour, before I gave up and came here to get some guidance. I seemed to be getting rotating on the star wheel with my adjustment tool, but I could never get any sense of whether or not I was loosening or tightening the thing. My wheels and tires rotate freely when spun, so I know I know the star wheel needs tightening in order to get the proper breaking action.


As I was turning the star wheel (at least I think I was turning it, but since I can't see the thing, I can't be positive I was) I could never get a good feel as to where exactly it is located within the slot on the interior bottom side of the wheel. It seemed as if there may be two star wheels behind that slot, one forward and one aft, but that would make no sense. I tried my break adjusting tool in all locations within the slot and I felt fairly certain I was getting star wheel rotation in both directions, in my attempt to tighten the star wheel and lock the wheel to hand rotation.

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Doug, I was just into our brake drums to check brake wear and pack the bearings. I made a small adjustment to both sides, but didn't have to go thru the slot in the back.

The teeth in the star adjustment are pretty short and square shouldered The spring goes across them and keeps the adjuster from moving on it's own. To tighten them I rotated the star up. Now, my up would be if you were looking through the slot at the star. That would mean with the backing plate as a fulcrum point the brake tool handle where your hand is, would be going down.

Call me if you want to talk about it. 479.243.5450

I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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Larry, thanks a million for your guidance. I got my heal light and crawled under the trailer and I could see the star wheels through the slots. I turned them like you said (I turned the teeth upward on the wheel with a down pull on my break adjustment tool) and finally got the wheels to lock up. Then I backed off by reversing the rotation of the star (teeth down) wheel so the wheel would turn about one rotation when I spun the wheels by hand.


All I needed was the confidence that I was turning in the right direction. You gave me that and I got it done.


I owe you one. Thanks again for your guidance.


The teeth on those star wheels are pretty short. If anyone wants to do this I recommend a head lamp and recommend you crawl under the trailer so you can see the star wheel through the small slot so you can see when you are turning it and when you aren't. If you'll do that, I think you will not have any problems. You will need a break adjustment tool (very inexpensive) because a screwdriver does not have the proper bend in the shank to access the star wheel through the slot. There is not much room in front of the slot with which to work. I don't think you can do it with a screw driver, even a short one.

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