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SkiPablo

SMP Trailer Info and Questons

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SkiPablo

Hi There,   My Malibu is riding on a 2003 SMP TL-T1976 tandem trailer.   SMP says it weighs 1240 lbs but when I weighed it at the CAT scales it is coming up 1100 lbs.   Just thought I would pass that along to whoever needs the actual weight.   It actually makes more sense than 1240 when I compare what the entire boat/trailer package weighs (i weighed that too).    Boat (2900) + Trailer (1100) + some gas = 4140 lbs  - my tongue weight is 390 lbs.

Anyhow, now to my questions.    I have some jerking going on when I tow it - forward and back motion felt in my Honda Pilot - not real serious but noticeable.   It almost goes away completely at highway speeds. 

I just assumed it was my tow vehicle but since I had to get the trailer weighed individually i had to tow it 10 miles to a weigh stop and it did the same thing just pulling the trailer.   So it makes me wonder if something is up with the trailer that I need to maintenance ?  I know the bearings are greased and the brakes seem to work normally.    One thing I did try was locking out the brakes when towing just the trailer to rule that out.

i don't experience this on my Bayliner which weighs 2600 lbs so I'm guessing it could be the trailer ?

 

 

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wdr

The shock for the brake actuator might be getting soft on you. They are about $25.00 to replace if you look online.

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Nitrousbird

I have an '01 SMP.  Mine also says 1240 on the weight slip.  Yours being for a DD could have some different bracing and I'm sure they did a single weight tag for all of their trailers (laziness...just like they did a poor job at making a trailer that will center the boat well).  It also would depend how the trailer is optioned - mine with 18" wheels + spare is for certain heavier than it was sold.

As for being jerked around, I have never had that issue with mine.  That said, I've only towed it with a vehicle much bigger than a Pilot (1st gen Avalanche and 2nd Gen Escalade EXT...6000lb trucks).

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SkiPablo

thanks guys!  I'll check out that actuator shock.   I think this trailer sat unused a lot - prior own used a dry dock.

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Nitrousbird
44 minutes ago, SkiPablo said:

thanks guys!  I'll check out that actuator shock.   I think this trailer sat unused a lot - prior own used a dry dock.

Mine was the same way - boat lived on a covered lift.  Previous owner went through the whole trailer prior to selling it because it sat all the time.

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SkiPablo

so i came home and pushed on the trailers actuator and i can compress it about 1/2 way in by hand - is that normal ?  and should it snap back immediately or kinda slowly ?  

 

i also found this doc:  http://www.trailmastertrailers.com/pdf/UFP Actuator Maintenance.pdf      looks like I have the A-60

Edited by SkiPablo

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MadMan

Does your trailer have disc or drum brakes?

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SkiPablo

i have 4 wheel disc brakes

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wdr
45 minutes ago, SkiPablo said:

so i came home and pushed on the trailers actuator and i can compress it about 1/2 way in by hand - is that normal ?  and should it snap back immediately or kinda slowly ?  

 

i also found this doc:  http://www.trailmastertrailers.com/pdf/UFP Actuator Maintenance.pdf      looks like I have the A-60

I have the A-60 also. No definately not normal and it should return quickly. You should have a gradual and steady compression rate that is not or is barely compressible by hand. Basically if the trailer brakes were working correctly in this situation, when you apply the brakes on the tow vehicle the lack of resistance from the brake actuator shock will allow the trailer brakes to lock up immediately instead of gradually being applied by the force of the weight of the trailer and boat. I have had to replace one set of UFP calipers on a wheel from rust damage caused by a bad boot. About $65.00 for the assy plus shipping at the time 2 years ago. My cheapo Harbor Freight vacuum canister made it real easy to bleed the whole system. You should only have to replace the actuator shock unless there is some other unseen master cylinder issues. I did have an electrical ground issue on the back side of the master cylinder where the ground wire is attached. I had to cut off the OEM eye ring ground end and replace it with a new one. Bad BM wiring job! An after thought. A lack of brake fluid could potentially cause an easier compression of the actuator as well and cause the unusual forward movement you are experiencing.

Edited by wdr

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SkiPablo

so I checked my brake fluid level and it is low.   I have some heavy duty DOT 3 in the garage - is that OK or should I get some DOT 4 ?

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wdr

I believe both are cross compatible, it should say so on the label. So long as it doesn't have silicone (DOT 5) in it you should be good. The only thing I ever put DOT 5 in was my Harley, fortunately it never leaked! Low fluid = a leak, shot pads or both. From the sounds of it you have some bad calipers with little to no brake action left.

Edited by wdr

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MadMan

DOT 3 is fine.  Is it low enough to require bleeding (and be the cause of your problem)?

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SkiPablo

my brakes feel like they are working but when I jacked 1 wheel at a time and had my kids spin each tire it didn't seem to be applying much pressure.    maybe that is not a good test, i don't know.

I added the fluid but i can still compress the actuator by hand - actually i can compress it all the way.   Does that mean i have air in the line ?     i'm going to read up about bleeding the system.

Edited by SkiPablo

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dlb

Bleed the system.  If the system is full after that and the issue persists, replace the actuator. 

Edited by dlb

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MadMan
14 hours ago, SkiPablo said:

my brakes feel like they are working but when I jacked 1 wheel at a time and had my kids spin each tire it didn't seem to be applying much pressure.    maybe that is not a good test, i don't know.

I added the fluid but i can still compress the actuator by hand - actually i can compress it all the way.   Does that mean i have air in the line ?     i'm going to read up about bleeding the system.

Since you can compress it all the way you should bleed it.

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Bozboat
16 hours ago, SkiPablo said:

my brakes feel like they are working but when I jacked 1 wheel at a time and had my kids spin each tire it didn't seem to be applying much pressure.    maybe that is not a good test, i don't know.

I added the fluid but i can still compress the actuator by hand - actually i can compress it all the way.   Does that mean i have air in the line ?     i'm going to read up about bleeding the system.

Unplug the trailer lights from the tow vehicle, try to back up. If the brakes are working the trailer should put up a fight or stop you from backing up. 

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SkiPablo

I'm fairly sure the brakes were barely working - i had very little resistance going backwards with lights unplugged.

So I bled the brakes tonight with my wife's help :)   Each bleeder fitting was clogged with dirt and crap, so I had to pull them all off and clean and replace and then I was able to get the air out - took an ounce out of each brake line and now all of my wheels will stop spinning when raised up to test.  They would not stop before.

I took it for a ride and the brakes work SO much better - i think they were just catching at the bottom of the travel before.   I cannot compress the actuator much by hand now.  And I also cannot backup now with lights unpluged - it will lock up if i try.

I'm gonna give it a few runs and see if the brakes settle in more and maybe some of my jerking will go away.   If not my next step is to replace that shock - UFP told me the newer version of that shock are 3 times stiffer.   But then again I'm not sure if that is my issue with the jerking b/c if the brakes were barely working before I can't imagine that is why my Pilot is jerking - but hey, worth a try.

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