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#465732 - 07/13/09 01:36 AM Trailer Brakes Locking Up  
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bryan459 Offline
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Sonoma County
So the poles were in the truck, fresh worms were chilling with the sandwiches and drinks, and my friend actually showed up on time for a evening launch for some sunset fishing. A beautiful day, too.

So, we jump in the truck and start driving down the street. At the first stop sign I put on the brakes. WHAM! Total lock up on the trailer.

I put it in reverse for a couple of feet and it rolls freely. I start driving again, put on the brakes and WHAM! Total lock up on the trailer.

Seems like the whole neighborhood wants to get involved. By the end of this ordeal we've had 10 opinions and 4 of us tearing apart the surge brakes. We have know idea what we're doing, but that didn't stop us. We couldn't figure out what was wrong, so we put it all back together.

Another test drive and, yep, WHAM! Total trailer lock up. My friends noticed that the left wheel is locking up when I hit the brakes.

Shoreland'r trailer with surge brakes for my 2005 Sea Ray 18.5. Of course all dealers are closed tomorrow; it's Monday.

So, for now I've got a C clamp keeping the surge bolt from moving. What's the deal with this problem?


bryan459
2005 Sea Ray 185 Sport
2001 Ford F-150 SuperCrew (with tow upgrade)
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#465734 - 07/13/09 02:07 AM Re: Trailer Brakes Locking Up [Re: bryan459]  
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Titanium Offline
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Titanium  Offline
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Sorry to hear about your trailer brake problems. It really stinks that these problems ruined your boating trip.

Do you have drum brakes or disk brakes?


In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

07 Cobalt 240 w/ Merc 496 Mag MPI V8 Bravo 3
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#465736 - 07/13/09 02:24 AM Re: Trailer Brakes Locking Up [Re: Titanium]  
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bryan459 Offline
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thanks, T

drum brakes


bryan459
2005 Sea Ray 185 Sport
2001 Ford F-150 SuperCrew (with tow upgrade)
#465740 - 07/13/09 07:35 AM Re: Trailer Brakes Locking Up [Re: bryan459]  
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captkevin Offline
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My guess would be it would have to do with the actuator.


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#465754 - 07/13/09 08:41 AM Re: Trailer Brakes Locking Up [Re: captkevin]  
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WaterMutt Offline
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I had that problem last year. The main plunger rod in the actuator got some corrosion, probably from getting water in the reservoir or something. When it compressed, the rust locked the rod into the braked position. Most actuators only have a little spring to push that plunger back out, your tongue doesn't pull it out. THat spring isn't overly strong to overcome the rust.
Drum brakes allow backing up for the most part but going forward is locked. I have disc brakes and was stuck, couldn't go forward nor reverse. I had to open the bleed port and let the brake fluid pressure relieve.

If this is the case, you will need to get a new actuator body at minimum. Then bleed the brakes clean, which is a real pain.


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#465801 - 07/13/09 03:14 PM Re: Trailer Brakes Locking Up [Re: WaterMutt]  
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challenger3x2 Offline
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Originally Posted By: WaterMutt
I had that problem last year. The main plunger rod in the actuator got some corrosion, probably from getting water in the reservoir or something. When it compressed, the rust locked the rod into the braked position. Most actuators only have a little spring to push that plunger back out, your tongue doesn't pull it out. THat spring isn't overly strong to overcome the rust.
Drum brakes allow backing up for the most part but going forward is locked. I have disc brakes and was stuck, couldn't go forward nor reverse. I had to open the bleed port and let the brake fluid pressure relieve.

If this is the case, you will need to get a new actuator body at minimum. Then bleed the brakes clean, which is a real pain.


I would have to agree,, Actuator problem,, You did lube the fittings didn't you...


#466058 - 07/16/09 12:14 AM Re: Trailer Brakes Locking Up [Re: challenger3x2]  
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Frantically Relaxing Offline
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The WHAM part tells me you have something busted or ?? inside the drum. The actuators have only one plunger, to push only the forward (leading) shoe, not both shoes like in cars. When actuated, the shoe assembly rotates, and the back (trailing) shoe contacts the drum to help out. (the leading shoe does most of the work, this is why the trailing shoe always has more surface area...) When you back up, the front shoe becomes the trailing shoe so it doesn't do much braking, and the shoe assembly rotating the opposite direction pulls the now-leading rear shoe away from the drum. This is why you can back up with surge/drum brakes...

Because of the single actuator design, it's almost impossible under normal circumstances to apply enough hydraulic pressure to lock up the wheel. But, if one of the shoe retaining springs is broken or missing, or the adjustment rod is broken, missing or severely mis-adjusted, it can allow one or both shoes to bind up against the drum...


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#466128 - 07/16/09 07:29 PM Re: Trailer Brakes Locking Up [Re: Frantically Relaxing]  
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bryan459 Offline
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bryan459  Offline
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Sonoma County
OK, I can't get the wheel apart! Is there something different about boat trailer wheels or is this wheel just corroded?

I've found a guy who works on these trailers, but he can't fit me in until next Wednesday.

I know I'm not supposed to clamp the brake lockout key in place because it disables the brakes, but my truck is big enough for my trailer without the additional braking. So I'm thinking of disabling the surge brakes until problem is resolved.

Am I an idiot taking a huge risk or are you guys comfortable with this for the weekend?


bryan459
2005 Sea Ray 185 Sport
2001 Ford F-150 SuperCrew (with tow upgrade)
#466131 - 07/16/09 08:22 PM Re: Trailer Brakes Locking Up [Re: bryan459]  
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230 Mike Offline
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230 Mike  Offline
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Probably just corrosion. Got a BFH?

As far as using it as-is... An F-150 pulling that size boat is nothing, as long as you're sure something inside the drum(s) isn't going to lock up on you.

Last edited by 230 Mike; 07/16/09 08:24 PM.



Mike
2005 Four Winns 230/240
VP 5.7GXi/DP
'98 F150 XLT
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#466152 - 07/16/09 11:25 PM Re: Trailer Brakes Locking Up [Re: 230 Mike]  
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bryan459 Offline
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bryan459  Offline
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Sonoma County
had to think about bfh for a moment, lol
yeah, i've got one
talked with my mechanic who knows my boat and truck and doesn't even hesitate to say my truck can handle the boat without brakes.

So, gonna clamp the brake lock key and use some duct tape to keep vibration from wreaking havoc

I'll bring some tools to bleed the lines if worse comes to worse on the trip tomorrow


bryan459
2005 Sea Ray 185 Sport
2001 Ford F-150 SuperCrew (with tow upgrade)
#466164 - 07/17/09 12:51 AM Re: Trailer Brakes Locking Up [Re: bryan459]  
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Titanium Offline
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Northern California
Originally Posted By: bryan459
So I'm thinking of disabling the surge brakes until problem is resolved.

Am I an idiot taking a huge risk or are you guys comfortable with this for the weekend?


I personally wouldn't have a problem towing your boat with a 1/2 ton pickup without any trailer brakes.

Just be aware that California law requires trailer brakes for any trailer over 1500 pounds. See page 7 on the link below. Don't get into an accident if you've temporarily disabled the trailer brakes.

http://www.trailerboats.com/images/elements/1863199_Tow_RatingsPDF.pdf


In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

07 Cobalt 240 w/ Merc 496 Mag MPI V8 Bravo 3
05 Dodge Ram 1500 QuadCab 5.7L V8 Hemi
07 SeaDoo Wake 215, 1996 SeaDoo GTX, 05 HD Dyna SuperGlide
#466168 - 07/17/09 02:11 AM Re: Trailer Brakes Locking Up [Re: Titanium]  
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bryan459 Offline
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bryan459  Offline
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Sonoma County
thanks for all the feedback, gang
i'll let you know how this one turns out


bryan459
2005 Sea Ray 185 Sport
2001 Ford F-150 SuperCrew (with tow upgrade)
#466716 - 07/23/09 11:10 PM Re: Trailer Brakes Locking Up [Re: bryan459]  
Joined: Jul 2008
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bryan459 Offline
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bryan459  Offline
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Sonoma County
OK, problem turns out to be the left drum surface. Apparently several high spots that the brakes were grabbing onto. Otherwise brakes looked great. Too many high spots to turn with any promise, so went with new drums left and right.

Why the drums were damaged on the left and everything else looked fine left and right is baffling.


bryan459
2005 Sea Ray 185 Sport
2001 Ford F-150 SuperCrew (with tow upgrade)

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