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foiler1

trailer brakes stuck?

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foiler1

i had to move the boat and it felt like there was a little drag when i pulled forward. When i backed up there was definate drag. It has been parked all winter on my paved driveway. what should my first step to fix this problem? any help is very much appreciated.

Joe

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Bill_AirJunky

I don't think this sounds like the same issue as that thread. Joe, are you saying the brakes are bound up all the time? Even in forward or reverse?

Seized up caliper? Can you pin it down to one wheel or the other? Might be able to free it up by removing the wheel & prying the brake pad off each side of the rotor with a flat blade screwdriver? If it is a seized caliper, ultimately your probably going to be rebuilding or replacing it. Do both sides as the other one is probably not far behind.

If it's both wheels, there is probably something similar that can happen to the master cylinder itself. I've never done it, but I suppose the plunger can rust & seize up just like the wheel cylinder in the caliper.

Edited by Bill_AirJunky

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martinarcher

If it's a caliper be sure to flush your brake lines as it was probably caused by crud in the brake lines. My father in law had rust start in his master cylinder and the crud caused two of the calipers to freeze within a month before he got the system flushed out.

Jack each side up and spin the wheels by hand to eliminate single wheels. If they all show serious resistance I would check out the master cylinder.

Edited by martinarcher

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jk13

If you can see the rotor, and there is visible surface rust on them, there will certainly be drag. Happens with cars that sit all the time. Usually with cars normal driving will alleviate the issue within the first 5-6 normal stops. Trailers may take longer.

Now, being that this is a community of sometimes overly cautious boat owners (better to be safe than sorry), some may suggest removing the rotors and having them resurfaced, if possible. Otherwise there are brake rotor resurfasing bits/pads that you can use in cordless drills. I have one at home, I'll see if I can find a part number later. It basically looks like a bunch of matchstick heads sticking straight off of a plastic pad--3" or so in diameter. It's just aggressive enough to clean the rust off and make new cross-hatching in the surface, but not too aggressive to change the thickness or shape of the surface of the rotor. As with anything though, use common sense and do it evenly all the way around.

If the rotors look clean and good, then do like said above and start checking calipers/master cylinder.

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Brent Wall

If the trailer has surge brakes, not hooking up the wires would cause the problem you described when backing but it should move forward without the wires hooked up. The backup light wire is used to activate a solinoid on the trailer so that the brakes are not engaged when you push on the tongue during backing.

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DABS311

If the trailer has surge brakes, not hooking up the wires would cause the problem you described when backing but it should move forward without the wires hooked up. The backup light wire is used to activate a solinoid on the trailer so that the brakes are not engaged when you push on the tongue during backing.

One of the most forgotten steps to parking the trailer, especially for long periods, is remembering to pull the actuator back forward after parking the trailer. Neglecting to do so will result in rusting of the honed sleeve behind the pushrod on the front of the master cylinder. Once rusted, the piston in the sleeve will not be able to return to zero against the snap ring. This is the point at which the port is open and allows fluid from the lines to return to the reservoir. If the rust is light, the piston may be able to free itself up. If not, disassembly of the actuator may be required to clean the sleeve or replace the master cylinder. Troubleshoot the problem by inserting a screwdriver in the access hole on the bottom of the actuator. Push up on the brake release lever, (L shaped bracket just in front of the access hole), and observe the fluid in the reservoir while you operate the pushrod toward the rear and allowing it to return. You should see a swirling movement in the reservoir. If you do not, the piston is not returning all the way and some maintenance is required.

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