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Dawg
01-25-2007, 10:09 AM
Let's jump back into the Mastercraft brake caliper issue once again. I've got an 03' tandem trailer. During most of the blogging in the past dealing with calipers freezing up,the brakes on my trailer were doing fine. I figured it would just be a matter of time. Well, that time has arrived. I've got three calipers that are froze. I replaced the pads even though the old ones were not worn to the point of needing replaced. After bleeing the system I find 3 calipers bad. So I need some input from all of you that have been there. Will rebuilding the calipers remedy the problem or do you recomend an aftermarket(better design) replacement of the Mastercraft 03' caliper entirely?

Workin' 4 Toys
01-25-2007, 10:11 AM
Get the 2005 or 2006 calipers.....DO NOT REBUILD the old ones.

Dawg
01-25-2007, 01:47 PM
Thanks W4T,
My assumtions were right. The 03' caliper is essentialy scrap.

Workin' 4 Toys
01-25-2007, 02:40 PM
If you open one up, I think you will see....and agree. Maybe the manufacturer has some plan in place for replacements, I do not know. Someone on here may know the procedure.

Now, I am patiently waiting to see what the inside of an '05 caliper looks like in 2 or 3 years...:rolleyes:

jmac197
01-25-2007, 03:38 PM
Does anyone know of an automotive equivalent to these calipers? I thought I read where my 02 trailer had calipers off of an older mopar. I know it was in the manual or their website.

jmac197
01-25-2007, 04:00 PM
I found it by going to ufpnet.com and looking at their brake manuals. It does not specifically say you can use the calipers but it does say:

"All replacement parts can be purchased from the trailer manufacturer or UNIQUE FUNCTIONAL PRODUCTS. Replacement pads can also be purchased from auto parts stores:
YEAR MODEL
1991 Plymouth Acclaim
1991 Plymouth Sundance
1991 Dodge Daytona
1991 Dodge Spirit

NOTE: Use only organic, non-metallic pads. Metallic pads will rust and depreciate rotor surface."


Also from the website from the DB35 manual

"All replacement parts can be purchased from the trailer manufacturer or UNIQUE FUNCTIONAL PRODUCTS. Replacement pads can also be purchased from auto parts stores:
YEAR MODEL
1997-2000 Kia Sephia
1991 Plymouth Sundance
1991 Dodge Daytona
1991 Dodge Spirit

NOTE: Use only organic, non-metallic pads. Metallic pads will rust and depreciate rotor surface."

Again they don't mention calipers, but it may be the source of some cheaper replacements.

If this is not a good idea, for whatever the reason, let the collect wisdom come forward with the reason.....

Thanks
Jim

Monte
01-25-2007, 04:40 PM
I found it by going to ufpnet.com and looking at their brake manuals. It does not specifically say you can use the calipers but it does say:

"All replacement parts can be purchased from the trailer manufacturer or UNIQUE FUNCTIONAL PRODUCTS. Replacement pads can also be purchased from auto parts stores:
YEAR MODEL
1991 Plymouth Acclaim
1991 Plymouth Sundance
1991 Dodge Daytona
1991 Dodge Spirit

NOTE: Use only organic, non-metallic pads. Metallic pads will rust and depreciate rotor surface."


Also from the website from the DB35 manual

"All replacement parts can be purchased from the trailer manufacturer or UNIQUE FUNCTIONAL PRODUCTS. Replacement pads can also be purchased from auto parts stores:
YEAR MODEL
1997-2000 Kia Sephia
1991 Plymouth Sundance
1991 Dodge Daytona
1991 Dodge Spirit

NOTE: Use only organic, non-metallic pads. Metallic pads will rust and depreciate rotor surface."

Again they don't mention calipers, but it may be the source of some cheaper replacements.

If this is not a good idea, for whatever the reason, let the collect wisdom come forward with the reason.....

Thanks
Jim


Them are some high dollar rides there, You could probably buy the whole ride for less than you would pay for one new component...

jakethebt
01-25-2007, 05:17 PM
Well with a list of cars like those, I can understand why someone would call the calipers "crap". But before I would trash them, I would take a look and see why they are frozen. It may be an easy fix. It also might be something that you continue to fix year after year.

In a past life, I was a caliper design engineer. I am really surprised that MC would take an auto caliper and expect it to live in a marine environment. The most likely cause of a frozen caliper is the piston or bore rusting to the point of seizing the piston into the bore. If that is the case, the calipers are most likely cast iron.

If you dont have the change to throw new calipers at it and want to work on a home grown improvement, I will be more than happy to help.

If so, let me know and we will have at it. If you want to start trouble shooting, first ensure that there is no hydraulic pressure on the back of the caliper and ensure that it is indeed locked up. I believe that you will have some provisions for this on the trailer brake apply system.

I would also look at the caliper for obvious signs of corrosion. The most likey spot to look at the caliper housing near the bores. Often corrosion will start here and then proceed under the seal.

I can go on and on... just let me know if you want me too...

If you can, post some pictures and that would be a big help.:cool:

Ric
01-25-2007, 05:52 PM
I even had some 05 calipers hang up... I wonder how we can tell by looking at the calipers whether or not we have a later generation or the suspect calipers?

Jerseydave
01-25-2007, 08:10 PM
I replaced all 4 of my calipers and pads on my '03 trailer. Problem solved. There was I problem with piston clearance on some calipers from what I was told.

Contact the axle manufacturer and complain. Maybe they will do something for you even though you're out of warantee.
Sorry, but I can't recall the company's name, but your dealer can find out for you.

Either way, don't use the trailer until you fix the problem or you will ruin your new pads and warp your rotors.

DanC
01-25-2007, 08:48 PM
Well with a list of cars like those, I can understand why someone would call the calipers "crap". But before I would trash them, I would take a look and see why they are frozen. It may be an easy fix. It also might be something that you continue to fix year after year.

In a past life, I was a caliper design engineer. I am really surprised that MC would take an auto caliper and expect it to live in a marine environment. The most likely cause of a frozen caliper is the piston or bore rusting to the point of seizing the piston into the bore. If that is the case, the calipers are most likely cast iron.

If you dont have the change to throw new calipers at it and want to work on a home grown improvement, I will be more than happy to help.

If so, let me know and we will have at it. If you want to start trouble shooting, first ensure that there is no hydraulic pressure on the back of the caliper and ensure that it is indeed locked up. I believe that you will have some provisions for this on the trailer brake apply system.

I would also look at the caliper for obvious signs of corrosion. The most likey spot to look at the caliper housing near the bores. Often corrosion will start here and then proceed under the seal.

I can go on and on... just let me know if you want me too...

If you can, post some pictures and that would be a big help.:cool:

It's a flawed design, not a wear or corrosion issue. Mastercraft issued a service bulletin on it. Search here on 2003 trailer brakes. You will find an hours worth of reading.

Workin' 4 Toys
01-26-2007, 08:03 AM
jake, If I recall correctly, it appeared the piston was inappropriately sized for the bore in the caliper. Meaning after some use, the piston would get "stuck" at an angle inside the bore. It's been awhile since I've seen the "bad" units, but that is how I recall the issue...Does this sound repairable..?

FWIW- I don't think the calipers I have seen were automotive style. And I don't recall every seeing automotive style calipers with stainless steel pistons, and stainless steel guide pins...I could be wrong...

djhuff
01-26-2007, 08:34 AM
This was an issue for me on my 03 X30. I am convinced it led to my blowout. My rims would get so hot driving down the road, they would sizzle when they hit the water (not the rotors, the rims). the dealer ended up replacing the entire braking system from the master cylinder back (because they couldn't figure it out, and Friday was approaching).

Good luck with this.

Dawg
01-26-2007, 12:30 PM
jake,
Thanks for your reply. It looks like you are going to be the "go to guy" on this one because new calipers are going to run about $90.00 a piece and linings are about $70. So, I'm down with looking at diagnosing a bad caliper. I will shoot you some pics as soon as I can. The calipers show no corrosion or breakdown of the seal at all. the end of the piston appears very clean. The calipers remained froze even after I disconnected the brake line. After going through replacement of all the linings I had one caliper that would free wheel. So I know I did'nt have any excess pressure build up. I'll get those pics to you ASAP.
Please PM me with any more useful info.

Dawg
01-26-2007, 12:38 PM
thanks,
I'm going on a search.

Jerseydave
01-26-2007, 04:18 PM
Here you go.......contact these guys with your complaint. You just might get somewhere. (PM me for more info)

www.reliabletool.com

Dawg
01-26-2007, 09:18 PM
thanks skier,
i'll keep intouch

DanC
01-26-2007, 10:49 PM
The problem with the 2003 calipers is as Working For Toys described. As I said, Mastercraft issued a service bulletin SERVICE ADVISORY No. 2004.SEPT20.SA-001 Subject: Disc Brake Caliper Troubleshooting. Even though it was out of warranty, my dealer was able to get my 2003 trailer calipers replaced by the factory. I just had to have the patience to let the dealer have the time to get authorization from the factory. At first my dealer didn't want to but I gave him the service advisory and he then went forward with it. If your are serious about this you will take the time to search this forum, there are several long threads with owner's esxperiences on 2003 trailer brakes.

jakethebt
01-27-2007, 10:31 AM
I will check the other post as mentioned here and do the hour or so of reading. The stainless steel parts are certinatly not considered normal automotive content on the great cars listed as donors for the calipers.

The piston being stuck in the bore is certinatly a possible problem. I was thinking in my original post that it could be corrosion related as normally seen in a siezed caliper.

OK... this forum is full of people who always know good stuff so maybe they can correct me if I am wrong or possibly confirm if I am right.

If the piston is cocking in the bore of the bore of the caliper, then piston sizing may correct this issue. But that is not easy. If this is the problem, the TRUE root cause is most likely caliper housing deflection. This is the ability of the caliper housing casting to reist the clamp load. Think of a "C" clamp that you put too much load on. It opens up. Now imagine a piston that is square to the shoe and lining. The housing is effectively moving away from the piston in an upward and outward direction, thus cocking the pistion in the bore. Actually, the housing is cocking around the pistion. This could be solved with a stronger caliper housing casting or a smaller piston AND seal.

ICBW, but... The axle manufacture had to figure out how to make brakes. They need calipers that live in a marine environment. Tooling up the castings is very expensive especially for their low volume application, so they most likely cut a deal with someone in the auto industry, possibly even one of the caliper re-manufacturing people that supply the "Autozones" of the world. They started with auto castings and replaced all normal auto parts (pistons guide pins) with stainless steel, paint them red and bolt them to the trailer. There was probably no system engineering or testing done and what you have is what you get. The problem could be the different materials (piston and caliper housing) expanding and contracting with the temperature at different rates or that the housing is doing more work on your trailer (more load on the c-clamp) than it was on the intended car.

I need to do the other reading yet... but until then, if it is the caliper piston cocking in the bore the options are a bit more limited than if we were dealing with a corrosion issue.

It would be nice to understand the differences in the '03s and '05s that made them better. Did they use a stronger caliper housing? Or did they just use a different pistion and seal? If you are trying to get somewhere, you should be able to take the caliper apart and uncock the piston in the bore. I would do this with a c-clamp in the bottom of the piston just like you would if you were trying to retract it while doing a normal automotive brake job.

The best option is probably going to be to use a new piston and seal. This piston is smaller in diameter and gives you more clearance to the side walls of the casting. This essentially allows the housing to flex with out binding on the pistion. This smaller diameter piston should also require a smaller inner diameter seal. If this was the fix on the '05, then we should investigate getting a '05 seal and piston.

COSkier
01-27-2007, 12:24 PM
Dawg,
I posted this before but...MC replaced mine under warranty even though I was the second owner and technically the trailer wasn't under warranty any longer. My MC dealer replaced my calipers, a rotor and pads with Kodiak 225 units. Take a look at http://www.kodiaktrailer.com/ if you are going to do this yourself. They are a direct replacement on my 2003 tandem axle trailer. Good luck,
COSkier

Workin' 4 Toys
01-27-2007, 10:16 PM
Jake,
You should also know, there was a person (or more) mentioning "rusty" brake fluid in the system. Viewing this via the master cylinder.
I would jump to conclusion this is VERY bad, but I don't recall this problem being directly related to the seizing of the caliper pistons. Because some claimed they had the "rust" but not seized pistons, and others having no "rust" but having the seizure. Not sure where the next few seasons will bring these issues, but I have been sitting tight looking for the permanent solutions. I will also keep my personnal eye on this topic over the next few years, and hope the owners of these systems will not require having a spare set of calipers on board as readily available as they do an impeller...

dmayer84
01-27-2007, 10:38 PM
Jake,
You should also know, there was a person (or more) mentioning "rusty" brake fluid in the system. Viewing this via the master cylinder.
I would jump to conclusion this is VERY bad, but I don't recall this problem being directly related to the seizing of the caliper pistons. Because some claimed they had the "rust" but not seized pistons, and others having no "rust" but having the seizure. Not sure where the next few seasons will bring these issues, but I have been sitting tight looking for the permanent solutions. I will also keep my personnal eye on this topic over the next few years, and hope the owners of these systems will not require having a spare set of calipers on board as readily available as they do an impeller...

Apparently MC has now acknowledged this as a problem. I called my dealer and told them about the rust in my master cylinder. They are going to be replacing the brake system in the spring under warranty even though it doesnt have the warranty on it anymore.

Workin' 4 Toys
01-28-2007, 12:35 AM
AWESOME....I had no doubt.

It was just more or less a "note to self" on my concerns for the future in relation to the issue.

Thanks for the update...;)

Mag_Red
01-28-2007, 12:43 AM
Here's a link to my recent post about brakes issues.http://www.tmcowners.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=12671 There was rust through out my system.:(

Workin' 4 Toys
01-28-2007, 12:58 AM
Magnetic,
I remember....

jakethebt
01-28-2007, 01:28 PM
The rust in the system is certiantly an issue. This indicates that there is water in the system somewhere. The water in the brake fluid is bad for two reasons. First it makes everything else rust and second because the water lowers the temperature of the brake fluid making it easier to boil.

I have used the search engine on this site, boy is it bad. It appearently lacks the ability to search for phrases saying that some words are too common. Oh well.

I was unable to find anything that mentioned cocked pistons. How do I pull up that service bullitin mentioned here? Is it on this site?

Dawg
01-29-2007, 08:57 PM
WFT,
I share your passion on this issue. As soon as I started having problems I knew were to go. There has been a plethera of info blogged on this matter. I appreciate every bit of the insite. I shall continue my quest.
Thanks.

jakethebt
01-30-2007, 06:50 PM
So... oh wise ones of the forum, how do we find the TSB on this issue?

DanC
01-30-2007, 07:47 PM
So... oh wise ones of the forum, how do we find the TSB on this issue?

These aren't the TSB's but here is more info

Disk brake calipers SERVICE ADVISORY No. 2004.SEPT20.SA-001
http://mymastercraft.com/Forum/view_thread.cfm?postid=266&forum=10&category=2
(guide bushings seem to be a bit of a false lead on this one)


Rusty master cylinder service bulletin #90-03-101.
http://mymastercraft.com/Forum/view_thread.cfm?postid=50&forum=10&category=2