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View Full Version : Trailer Brake Troubleshooting



NCSUmoomba
08-13-2012, 09:46 PM
I have been reading quite a few posts (here and on WW) lately about people having issues with their trailer brakes. As far as I knew, mine were working fine, but I did notice that my fluid was disappearing. I looked for leaks a few times, but was never able to find one. I read one post about air getting into the lines and the calipers not retracting properly, so they would drag and make a lot of heat. I have been noticing something kind of weird lately, that I didn't quite understand. It appeared that my boat was harder to tow going to the lake than coming back. Meaning, it felt like the truck was working harder and downshifting more on my trip to the lake. I am not sure if this is actually happening, but it felt like it.

Anyway, I figured that if there was air in the system, and my calipers were hanging, that would cause more drag, and thus I would be towing the trailer with the brakes slightly engaged? So I pull the calipers off tonight, and the system seemed to be very low on fluid, at least it wasn't leaking out everywhere like on a car when you take the brakes apart. I topped off the reservoir and flushed the lines until all new fluid was running out at the wheels. Then I reinstalled the calipers and hooked the brake lines back up, and then opened the bleeder screws and pumped some more. I pumped until fluid came out of the bleeder screw, so I knew the caliper had fluid in it. I tighten the bleeder screws back and pumped some more, but the calipers didn't seem to be clamping on the rotor. I then noticed that the actuator on the tongue was leaking. I had spilled brake fluid all over topping off the reservior, so I wasn't sure at first, but the puddle kept getting bigger. I got someone to push on the actuator while I looked at it from below, and confirmed that it was leaking up inside it somewhere. So I finally located the problem.

Getting the actuator out wasn't too bad. I just had to remove the retainer clips on the two pins that go through the tounge and actuator and then drive the pins out. Mine were stuck in there pretty bad and I had to use an air hammer (and lots of PB Blaster) to work them back and forth, and finally out. Then I had to remove the one brake line that comes out of the back of the reverse solenoid, and clip the solenoid wire, and the whole unit slid right out.

I am not exactly sure where the unit is leaking, and I didn't feel line tearing it apart to find out. Since the entire assembly is less than $200, I am just going to call UFP tomorrow and order a whole new unit. I figure my trailer has close to 10k miles on it and is 11 years old, it deserves some new parts. I will post again when I get the new unit installed and let you know how it goes, and see if it takes care of the mysterious towing behavior.

moombadaze
08-14-2012, 08:47 AM
At $200 for the assemble I would do the same, if nothing else your not tearing back into it next week if the original fix was not the last fix

bergermaister
08-14-2012, 12:12 PM
It appeared that my boat was harder to tow going to the lake than coming back. Meaning, it felt like the truck was working harder and downshifting more on my trip to the lake.

= Anxious to get there
= Tired, mellow cruise home

JK - I'll be curious to see what kind of difference you notice. I have one hub that seems to go through grease a lot faster than the others and I wonder if it is from the brake hanging a little and heating up. Plus I'd be more than happy to be able to keep my foot out of it and improve my MPG towing!

moombadaze
08-14-2012, 12:35 PM
= Anxious to get there
= Tired, mellow cruise home



I sufer with this big time

ga-lsv05
08-14-2012, 01:07 PM
6.4l turbo diesel is the answer

2005 mobius lsv 2900lbs ballast

NCSUmoomba
08-15-2012, 08:53 AM
So I called UFP yesterday to order the A-60 inner member. They apparently do not sell direct any more, so they sent me to Waymire Distribution 1-800-434-4824 (which may be part of the same company?) to order the part. My single axle, disc brake model is PN 34043, and they sell it for $219. I was kind of surprised at the price (I was quoted $150 back in 2009), but I ordered it and it is on the way. I hope it gets here before the weekend!

lsvboombox
08-15-2012, 02:32 PM
Should have checked pacifictrailers.com i thought they had it for 150 for the whole insert

NCSUmoomba
08-17-2012, 10:54 AM
Okay, UPS brought my goodies yesterday, so last night I installed the new actuator. It was a piece of cake to put in. Bled the system and everything looks good. I haven't road tested it yet, but the wheels seem to spin more freely with the trailer up on the jackstands. Hopefully I will make it to the lake this weekend and see how it performs on the road. I'll keep you all posted.

kaneboats
08-17-2012, 11:19 AM
Nice job, Brian. Be sure to let us know.

NCSUmoomba
09-09-2012, 11:10 AM
So, it has been a busy few weeks, and I still haven't gotten the boat out to test the brakes yet. Hopefully soon.

rdlangston13
10-05-2012, 01:25 PM
Did I mention I hate trailers? Another leaking wheel seal...


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rsinger
10-05-2012, 09:36 PM
Did I mention I hate trailers? Another leaking wheel seal...
Sent from my iPhone newtys droid killer using Tapatalk

Why should you be the only one. I just redid the bearings and the o-ring on one side is leaking. It's going to have to wait until spring.

mmandley
10-07-2012, 11:17 AM
Wow sorry to hear you guys have so many issues with your trailer, Dave your deff the guy who your trailer hates LOL.

I have to say no issues with my trailer ever. Same set of tires since it was new and there only 1/2 worn and no cracks at all. Never an issue with brakes or axles.

All i can attribute this to is my boat stays inside the garage in the bad weather and i have only towed it in the rain maybe 1/2 dozen times.

As for the trip to the lake,

I too have felt at times the truck is working harder to get to the lake then home but this is always at the start of the season.

By the end its deff not working harder, but the trip home always takes longer then the trip to the lake. 6.4 Twin Turbo Diesel never bats an eye at towing the boat, ive had her doing 90 passing people up hill in the mountians on those double passing lanes haha.

wolfstone
10-08-2012, 07:21 AM
You probably want to get any trailer problems resolved before going on any measureable journey.

I towed my Mobius from my club in Gloucester UK, to Gastes, in France (1 hour south of Bordeaux) in June for a 2 week wakeboarding holiday. (650miles over 11 hours @55mph)

My trailer had never moved more than 100 meters, as I'd never taken it anywhere in 5 years.

I lubbed the bearings regularly, and looked at the tyres prior to the trip, they looked okay to me.
However, after 100 miles through France I had a blowout.
In the attached picture, you can see that the tyre itself had dissintegrated.

Luckily, i had a spare wheel ready to change, and did so, on the motorway in 15 mins.

Wierd thing is, as I have a double axle trailer, i didn't even know the tyre had punctured.....i felt nothing, and heard nothing....luckily, some drivers let us know as they passed!

So after stopping, I checked the other tyres.....sure enough, they all had large cracks in the wall.
And they were hot!

So driving very slowly, and carefully, we did make it to our destination, and then i had the other tyres replaced while we were there.

Moral of the story.....ensure your trailer tyres are good before you go on a long journey, also ensure the pressures are correct....mine were 30psi and should have been 50psi.
They were old too, at least 8 years.

On a side note, the brakes were not operating all the way down there, so i had to rely on the truck stopping us......so we drove at 50mph all the way. Not a good setup, but we made a gamble and it worked, next year i will be replacing the master cylinder before the trip.

Just for your info.

mmandley
10-08-2012, 09:14 AM
Wolfstone your very lucky the tire blew like it did and not came apart. Normally you see pictures of the tire shredded and the fender all bent up too.

If we kept the boat 1 more season i was planning on replacing the tires because we are planning an AZ trip for next summer and even going 200 miles to Lake Billy 2xs this year was making me nervous on these tires LOL.

NCSUmoomba
10-12-2012, 07:59 PM
Okay, so I'm up at Hyco for the weekend, so I finally got to tow the boat with the new brake actuator. It works awesome. I didn't really know that my brakes haven't been working correctly for so long. They apply really smoothly and work great. When I accelerate from a stop, there is no more clunking on take off. Didn't notice any improvement in the towing on the way to the lake, though.

rdlangston13
10-12-2012, 09:57 PM
Okay, so I'm up at Hyco for the weekend, so I finally got to tow the boat with the new brake actuator. It works awesome. I didn't really know that my brakes haven't been working correctly for so long. They apply really smoothly and work great. When I accelerate from a stop, there is no more clunking on take off. Didn't notice any improvement in the towing on the way to the lake, though.

no clunking on take off??? what did you replace??? my clunks hard core depending on how quick i get on the gas. and as the tongue slides in and out it makes some awful squeal noises. they should have grease fittings on these

lsvboombox
10-12-2012, 10:55 PM
no clunking on take off??? what did you replace??? my clunks hard core depending on how quick i get on the gas. and as the tongue slides in and out it makes some awful squeal noises. they should have grease fittings on these

http://www.pacifictrailers.com/UFP-Shock-Absorber-32306/

Boonejeepin
10-13-2012, 05:09 PM
http://www.pacifictrailers.com/UFP-Shock-Absorber-32306/

How does this mount? I hate the trailer clunk.

lsvboombox
10-13-2012, 05:24 PM
How does this mount? I hate the trailer clunk.

Its a part inside the a60 actuator. If all is working properly there shouldnt be a clunk. I get no clunking while trailering. I can feel when the actuator extends after it has been compressed but i get no clunking.

rdlangston13
10-13-2012, 08:12 PM
Its a part inside the a60 actuator. If all is working properly there shouldnt be a clunk. I get no clunking while trailering. I can feel when the actuator extends after it has been compressed but i get no clunking.

what does this "feel" like?

lsvboombox
10-13-2012, 08:32 PM
It really feels like nothing. But i can tell when the actuator is all the way out. If i had to describe it i guess i would say a slight tug

rdlangston13
10-13-2012, 09:49 PM
I can feel when my actuator extends all the way and then jerks the trailer along with it


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lsvboombox
10-13-2012, 09:57 PM
My setup is pretty smooth. If your trailer is clunking and jerking its either that shock or air in the system

NCSUmoomba
10-13-2012, 10:11 PM
Yeah, mine is super smooth. I barely notice anything, other than the weight back there. I replaced the whole actuator assembly since I had multiple issues.

Garn
10-31-2012, 11:39 AM
Brian, how did you bleed your system?

Garn

mmandley
10-31-2012, 11:44 AM
I always roll off the lone slow for a second till i feel the trailer pull. I dont hit the throttle like when theres no boat hooked up.

The trailer gives a slight pull and light clunk noise as normal but i have been in a few trucks that a heavy jerk and clunk noise and thats bad.

parrothd
10-31-2012, 11:45 AM
I used a mityvac...Easier to do with one person..

Garn
11-02-2012, 11:02 AM
Using the mityvac, do you suck it through the caliper or suck it through the master cylinder?

parrothd
11-02-2012, 11:14 AM
Using the mityvac, do you suck it through the caliper or suck it through the master cylinder?

Depends on the mityvac, I think some can do both(push from the master), my cheapo one only pulls from the caliper which is all you really need...

NCSUmoomba
11-05-2012, 01:02 PM
I bleed the system just like a car. Got my brother to open and close the bleeder screw while I worked the actuator in and out of the tongue. I think there is a procedure in the owners manual about working a tab under the actuator with a screwdriver/