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johnson19aj
06-30-2006, 02:51 PM
I have a 94' ProStar with a single-axle trailer and the trailer brakes don't work. It doesn't slam forward when I stop, but the drums never engage.

Should I spend the money to get this fixed? I'm towing it with a Chevy Avalanche. I don't really want to spend the money to get this fixed if I don't have to.

93Prostar190
07-06-2006, 03:25 PM
My $ 0.02 is that you WANT to have functioning brakes in the rare even of a panic stop.

I have a 93 prostar and I tow it with a 2003 Ford Expediton ... with vehicles our size it feels like the truck can handle the stop, but trust me the braking distances can be shorter with functioning brakes.

Besides, most states require trailer brakes with the weights we are talking about > 2,000 lbs.

Have a great day!

east tx skier
07-06-2006, 04:29 PM
Get 'em fixed. The parts aren't terribly expensive. On the day I got mine fixed, I almost had the most horrible accident pulling the boat. My tow vehicle was old and had no ABS. Had I not just had my braking system repaired on the trailer, things would've been very, very bad.

I now tow with an Expedition and have had to replace yet another braking component. Even with a better tow veheicle, it still makes a noticeable difference having functioning brakes.

johnson19aj
07-06-2006, 04:39 PM
Thanks for the tips!

WTRSK1R
07-06-2006, 05:22 PM
I believe in 1994 the trailer had the brake line enclosed in a plastic sleeve where it went through the trailer frame. I will bet that if you check the fluid reserve, it will be empty with no visible sign of the lost fluid. If this is the case, you will likely find that if you put more fluid in, it will appear to allow you to bleed the system and will start to "work" for a trip or two to the lake. Then mysteriously, the fluid will disappear again and the brakes will quit. This is what happened to me (on a 1992 trailer), and it turned out the brake line had a pin hole size hole that would actually hold enough pressure that you could bleed the system, but would still leak when braking. I think it took about 6-8 trips to the lake before the master cylinder reserve was dry again, and there was absolutely no sign of any fluid anywhere. If you have this issue, get rid of the plastic sleeve, and replace the brake line with stainless steel line. It will eliminate bleeding the brakes multiple times which is not really any fun.

Good Luck.

east tx skier
07-06-2006, 05:31 PM
I too had the brake line problems resulting from the sleeve, but thought it had been resolved by 94. If there was no fluid, wouldn't the actuator noticeably bang against the tow vehicle? Definitely something to check though. Like WTRSK1R, I had to replace the lines with stainless. A bit costly, but worth it IMO.

sanjuan23
07-06-2006, 05:36 PM
Can "any" brake shop do the work on these trailers? I really want to get the bearings replaced, packed, etc. And figured they would know the same. Just really dont want to mess with it.

east tx skier
07-06-2006, 05:40 PM
Got mine done at a local shop that specializes in brake and alignment. They've replaced the brake lines, the wheel cylinders, the master cylinder, and aligned the axle in conjunction with my lift. They didn't have any of the parts (although they got the SS brake lines locally). I ordered the parts from Trailers by Dorsey in OK.

WTRSK1R
07-06-2006, 05:40 PM
I never really had the trailer "bang" even when there was no fluid in it. But then again, that trailer used to make a fairly loud clunk as I pulled away from a stop (as the tongue pulled back out) even when the brakes were working correctly.

Sanjuan23, as far as brake service goes, there is nothing special about the surge brakes on the older trailers. I would expect that any "competent" brake shop should be able to service both the brakes and the wheel bearings if you wanted to have that done.

east tx skier
07-06-2006, 05:41 PM
I never really had the trailer "bang" even when there was no fluid in it. But then again, that trailer used to make a fairly loud clunk as I pulled away from a stop (as the tongue pulled back out) even when the brakes were working correctly.

Sanjuan23, as far as brake service goes, there is nothing special about the surge brakes on the older trailers. I would expect that any "competent" brake shop should be able to service both the brakes and the wheel bearings if you wanted to have that done.

Come to think of it, my never "banged" either and clunks when I pull away. I did noticed (when my second master cylinder failed) that it hit a little harder than usual when I stopped though.

TMCNo1
07-06-2006, 06:04 PM
There is a shock absorber in most assemblies that takes the shock out when stopping. Even if the fluid is missing and the assembly moves, there should not be any noticable "bang", except with disc brake actuators as you pull away from a stop.
DIY or have someone clean the master cylinder, replace the existing lines with stainless lines, and have the wheel cylinders rebuilt. Any auto parts can get and probably have straight lines of varing lengths and couplings to make up new brake lines. I used them when I added brakes to our '89 trailer. When the old lines are pulled out, tie a good string or wire to the end of the old lines to install a pull string to use to pull the new lines through the trailer with. You can always cover the lines with a split rubber or plastic tube to protect the new lines fron future abrasion, but..............
GET THOSE BRAKES FIXED FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY AND OTHERS ON THE HIGHWAY!

SkiDog
07-06-2006, 06:25 PM
There is a shock absorber in most assemblies that takes the shock out when stopping. Even if the fluid is missing and the assembly moves, there should not be any noticable "bang", except with disc brake actuators as you pull away from a stop.
DIY or have someone clean the master cylinder, replace the existing lines with stainless lines, and have the wheel cylinders rebuilt. Any auto parts can get and probably have straight lines of varing lengths and couplings to make up new brake lines. I used them when I added brakes to our '89 trailer. When the old lines are pulled out, tie a good string or wire to the end of the old lines to install a pull string to use to pull the new lines through the trailer with. You can always cover the lines with a split rubber or plastic tube to protect the new lines fron future abrasion, but..............
GET THOSE BRAKES FIXED FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY AND OTHERS ON THE HIGHWAY!
Damnit man, Is there ANYTHING that You don't know something about?!?!?! Well, except for making the Girls Gone Wild Videos!