What you need to know about your Cobra Trailer Brakes and how to properly adjust them

At nearly every contest we goto, someone asks the question "How do I know that my trailer brakes are working correctly?". Well here is how to do it...This information is direct from the Cobra factory. Please read it all the way through before attempting this operation.

Factory Warnings

  • Please do this work under the supervision of an experienced mechanic. The wrong settings and adjustments can cause serious accidents!
  • Never try to adjust the brake rod between the tie bar and the yoke. It is factory set and should never need adjustment. Any change of the length will cause a malfunction and can lead to serious accidents.
  • Tires over 6 years of age should be replaced.

How to adjust the brake shoes on trailers with and overrun brake system

  • Please Note:
    • Make adjustments to the brake system by using only the star wheel! Never adjust the brake rod.
  • On the back side of the brake drum (as seen from under the trailer) there are 2 small holes on the upper part of the drum back plate. They are sealed with removable green plugs.
    • The top hole is an inspection port to check the ware of the brake lining.
    • The second hole is the one you use to adjust the brake lining distance from the drum.
    • The pad should have a thickness of no less than 2mm of brake liner material.
  • Adjusting the brake pad distance:
    • Jack up the trailer until both wheels are clear of the ground and can be turned freely. Make sure you have released the handbrake and pulled the overrunn device in the tongue completely forward.
    • Secure the trailer with four stands and make all is secure. The best way to secure the trailer is to leave it connected to the car.
    • Look and see if the bowden cables and the brake rod are moving freely.
    • Moving each wheel by hand, turn the adjustment star cog inside the drum with a screwdriver in direction of the impressed arrow until the brake drum is blocked (the tire/wheel no longer moves).
      • Note that some brakes have different directions for left and right hand side.
    • Now turn the adjustment star cog back until the brake shoe brushes very lightly against the brake drum.
      • Warning - For inexperienced people it can be hard to decide which is the correct setting for the brake tension. If the brake pad tension is set to tight, you can look the wheels and cause serious accidents.
    • Check the wheel on the other side of the trailer repeating the steps above and make sure that both wheels have a uniform braking tension.
    • Remove the jack stands and carefully lower the trailer back on its wheels
    • Engage the handbrake and push the trailer backwards (you may want to take the trailer off of your hitich to make this procesure easier).
    • Check the position of the handbrake lever by will move backwards until it is vertical.
    • If the hand brake lever goes back past the vertical position it needs adjustment.
      • Adjusting the handbrake lever locking postition.
        • If you handbrake goes past the vertical postion there is play in the system that requiers adjustment
        • The vertical position will only appear with original adjusted brake rod.

Other Cautions

  • Brake shoes which have not been adjusted for a long time can be worn unevenly. In this case there is no adjustment that can be made. You should change the brake shoes and the springs. If you wait too long you will damage the inner surface of the brake drum and will have to replace it.
  • ADriving with closed handbrake, locked wheel brakes, damaged or blocked bowden cables or mis-adjusted brake rod will cause a brake overheat condition which in turn could melt the stub axles. This will result in the loss of the wheel and can cause very bad accidents.
  • Please remember that with todays relatively high horsepower cars you may not notice a locked wheel on your trailer until it is too late. If you see smoke from your wheels it means you are having a problem. Please stop immediately and check the system.
  • Before any trailering always check the condition and pressure of the tires.
  • Tires which are older than 6 years should be replaced immediately.