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boatwake
05-01-2005, 03:15 PM
It feels like my 03’ X2 trailer braking system has too much play in it. After I come to a stop then start out again I feel a strong jerk from the coupler. I looked closely at the underside of the coupler. If I push and pull on the coupler I see about 1/2 inch of travel before any contact is made with the spring plate. Is this normal? If so, I’ll adjust my driving style to minimize the occurrence, but if there is something wrong I would like to fix it.

http://www.brelloch.com/images/forum/coupler-forward.jpg
http://www.brelloch.com/images/forum/coupler-back.jpg

I had my local MC dealer look at it at the end of last season; they of course said everything was fine. I don’t have much good to say about those guys, but that is a whole other story. The other thing that appears strange is the wear that is occurring to the coupler just above the ball. Seems like an unusual place to wear.

http://www.brelloch.com/images/forum/wear.jpg

Mag_Red
05-01-2005, 03:41 PM
Mine does the same thing. I always thought it had some thing to do with the disc brakes.

jimmer2880
05-02-2005, 06:54 AM
I'm not an expert, or am even giving an educated opinion here. But - I'm with you - it doesn't sound right. You would think there wouldnt' be any play in there at all. I'd be tempted to remove most of the play & see what happens.

mastercraft1995
05-02-2005, 03:05 PM
bleed the brakes and check the resoivor for fluid level.

AirJunky
05-02-2005, 03:11 PM
If bleeding the brakes doesn't do it, I understand that the spring that pushes the tongue back into place may be getting weak. At least thats what was explained to me about my 11 yr old trailer. Kind of disappointing if it's happening on an '03....... even more disappointing that the dealer can't find the problem.

Jim
05-15-2005, 03:00 PM
It feels like my 03’ X2 trailer braking system has too much play in it. After I come to a stop then start out again I feel a strong jerk from the coupler. I looked closely at the underside of the coupler. If I push and pull on the coupler I see about 1/2 inch of travel before any contact is made with the spring plate. Is this normal? If so, I’ll adjust my driving style to minimize the occurrence, but if there is something wrong I would like to fix it.

http://www.brelloch.com/images/forum/coupler-forward.jpg
http://www.brelloch.com/images/forum/coupler-back.jpg

I had my local MC dealer look at it at the end of last season; they of course said everything was fine. I don’t have much good to say about those guys, but that is a whole other story. The other thing that appears strange is the wear that is occurring to the coupler just above the ball. Seems like an unusual place to wear.

http://www.brelloch.com/images/forum/wear.jpg


I have an 04 x10 and it does the same. How about braking with the boat off the trailer? Do you get the hop, skip and jump with the trailer as you slow down. Drives me nuts!

rodltg2
05-15-2005, 03:56 PM
mine does it too.

peason
05-15-2005, 05:31 PM
I had the same problem on my '02 trailer when my trailer is empty - no boat on it. Is the hitch level to the trailer or slightly higher? My tow vehicle - a Toyota Sienna has a very low hitch and the trailer is of course not level, but going slightly down hill - thus every time it's not loaded with the boat and I hit a bump or pothole the brakes come on and jerlk the trailer. It may be a matter of raising you hitch.

boatwake
05-15-2005, 05:45 PM
I've only pulled the trailer a couple hunderd yards without the boat on it. It didn't seem to bounce around any, but this was hardly a reasonable test. I do pull at a pretty flat height (top of ball 19+ inches). I can't help but suspect the damper may be bad on the coupler. However, listening to everyone on the board it makes me wonder if this is not normal behavior (If it is normal, their design stinks). Otherwise, there are alot of us that have bad dampers. Maybe Titan will offer us a GROUP BUY. ;)

jrbrown
05-21-2005, 05:44 PM
Based on your photographs and my very recent experience at the dealer, there is nothing visably wrong.

However, you should check the dampner. Remove the rear pin that holds the dampner in place. With the pin removed the rear dampner attach point will drop down. Grab the dampner and cycle it fully closed and fully open. If at any point there is not lots of resistance then the dampner is bad and should be replaced.

Mine had a dead spot when it was being pulled. So when I went to hit the brakes I got too much uncontrolled collapse and then the truck and the trailer do the "herky jerky" dance.

New dampner is in and we are going out tomorrow. More to follow.

Cheers,
J.R.

boatwake
05-22-2005, 06:52 PM
Thank you for the info. I haven't pulled the damper to check it yet, but I think you must be right. One question; I can see how you drop the rear side that the pin sticks out through the side of the coupler, but it wasn't apparent to me how you get the front pin out. It looks like you need to slide it forward. Have you done yours yet?

jrbrown
05-22-2005, 07:47 PM
Just drop the rear side pin and leave the front side connected while you cycle it up and down. Don't try and pull it just to check the dampner for dead spots.

I did mine yesterday and reported out a few minutes ago on the other thread that now all I have is more of a "thump" (which is normal) vice the unrestricted "snap" which was disconcerting.

If you don't have the diagram for your AERO-6000 I would get it before doing the job. There are some key parts placements AND after you pull the three pins and the 4 bolts on top AND the bolt and pin on the hitch lock a bunch of loose parts fall out. The instructions want you to remove the hitch and work on it on a bench so that the bottom is right side up for access. I however do love a challenge and threaded some thin safety wire though the roller assembley and the roller rod piece to hold it all in place. I also lubed everything up good with white lithium.

If my dealer or trailer shop was close by, I would take it there. It took me about an hour start to finish. Nice learning experience though. A wonderfully simple and effective mechanism that surge brake is.

Cheers,
J.R.

BarefootWt
06-03-2005, 05:09 PM
My 2004 MC Trailer does this as well. My understanding is when you stop, the trailer comes forward to engage the disk brakes. When you take off from a stop, it releases the tongue mechanism to release the disk brakes. My were noisy at first, however I have lubricated the mechanism you show in your pictures and it is now quiet, but a little jerky but how I thought it was supposed to behave for proper brake operation.

aprgriggs
06-08-2005, 12:45 AM
My 2004 MC Trailer does this as well. My understanding is when you stop, the trailer comes forward to engage the disk brakes. When you take off from a stop, it releases the tongue mechanism to release the disk brakes. My were noisy at first, however I have lubricated the mechanism you show in your pictures and it is now quiet, but a little jerky but how I thought it was supposed to behave for proper brake operation.

my does this when the fluid gets low....I just keep it topped off and it pulls great.

Mosaic13
06-08-2005, 09:38 AM
Glad I found this thread. I bought an '04 X10 new from the dealer in March of this year. This is the first thing I noticed after leaving the parking lot. I just assumed it is normal since the tongue is collapsing to acitivate the brakes. I've pulled my boat around A LOT in the short time I've had it, and whenever I come to a stop, prior to accelerating I let my truck ease forward a few inches without really gasing it. That seems to take out the play to I don't get that "knock".

I agree though, if this is normal and it sounds like it is, it's a dumb design.

jkski
06-08-2005, 10:32 AM
This won't solve the problem of too much play/travel in the head unit, but it will help those who are having a problem with your trailer hopping and jerking. On my previous trailer, a 2002 PS197 trailer, it would actually jump off the ground when empty and braking. To make a long story short, through some trial and error, and working with the dealer, we figured out it was, and don't laugh, the size of the the "orafice" that feeds the brake line from the reservoir. Basically, the opening was too large and it was allowing too much fluid through the lines, which in turn made the brakes over sensitive. If you are not under warranty and are not that worried about it, then simply flip your wiring harnass 180 degrees and turn the parking lights on in your tow vehicle, and this will disengage the braking system all together (it fools thr trailer into thinking it is in reverse).
Hope this helps some of you.

P-hat_in_Cincy
06-12-2006, 12:09 AM
Hey all,
I had my first (and others that followed) experience with the trailer hopping issue when unloaded. I assume it's going thru some oscillating motion as the trailer rapidly 'catches up and slows down' when braking downhill.
Does anyone know what the official remedy is? It's really a rather violent situation and one I won't have the nerve to deal with for long.
Thanks!
Paul

cincix10
06-12-2006, 02:58 PM
My trailer jumped all over when pulling unloaded. I had the trailer shop wire up a 7-5 way adapter that overrides the trailer brakes when my headlights are on. I only use this adapter when pulling the empty trailer. There may be other ways to fix the problem but this has worked good for me.

P-hat_in_Cincy
06-12-2006, 05:01 PM
Eric?
Can you send me a pic of the connector you had wired in? Seems that is the work around since I'm not finding any 'official' fix for this issue.
Thanks,
P

boatwake
06-12-2006, 07:59 PM
This weekend did me in. I was being followed by a local patrol car as I was driving to the ramp to pickup the boat. There is only one light between the house and the ramp. Usually I get lucky. Unfortunately yesterday my luck failed me as the light changed as I was getting close. I couldn't have been going more than 10 mph as I was carefully slowing to make a right hand turn. I had the choice of running the light (a sure ticket) or giving the officer a real show. I elected a show. I THOUGHT MY 03’ X2 TANDEM TRAILER WAS GOING TO RIP THE REAR END OFF MY 4-RUNNER! I was trying to look through the rear view mirror to see the officer, but the trailer kept bouncing up blocking my view. When I managed to get the “push-me-pull-me” stopped I looked back to see the officer’s amazed face. I thought for sure he would pull me over and write me up for something, but I guess he thought handling that trailer was punishment enough. The worst part is I had just pulled the lever out and latched it on the top of the coupler to lock out the brakes less than 2 miles earlier.

One suggested fix I have read about was to spin the electrical connector 180 degrees and turn your parking or head lights on (I am assuming you use the four pins). In looking at a wiring diagram for the connector this would probably work to disable the brakes assuming the frame ground was maintained through the coupler and you did not mind your turn signals being reversed, but I doubt that MasterCraft would recommend intensionally defeating the trailer brakes and turn signals that are required by most states. This topic has been talked about for a few years now with no company supported fix that I am aware of. This is dangerous!!!

Please tell me there is a recall that fixes this.

cincix10
06-12-2006, 10:53 PM
Paul,

It looks exactly like the 7-5 adapter you use to connect your trailer to your truck. I just had them rewire one off the shelf. I had it done at A&R Trailer right up the street from my house. I'll get one made up for you if you'd like.

Eric

P-hat_in_Cincy
06-12-2006, 10:59 PM
Eric,
Good to see you all this weekend. X10 looks nice!

I'll look into a local shop here to see what can be worked up. Maybe a 'jumper' might work to keep from having to use a separate coupler.

I'm not hearing that there is an official MasterCraft fix for this?

Did anyone get a manual for their actuator? I didn't for the '04, but I did for our former '02 X10 actuator.

Thanks,
Paul

boatwake
06-22-2006, 11:28 AM
Bump! Has anyone heard if MasterCraft has suggested a fix for this yet (Dreaded empty trailer bounce)?

I'm sure this is a delicate subject for MasterCraft. While the problem is likely wide spread I doubt that most customers ever will detect it. I had no idea my 03' X2 tandem trailer had the problem until we purchased a place at the lake and I started pulling the empty trailer to/from the nearby ramp (approx. 5 miles).

Last weekend I tried the suggestion to flip the electrical connector. This solved the trailer bounce problem, but reversed my turn signals and broke the electrical ground between the trailer and tow vehicle. I obviously could solve both of these side effects by fabricating an adapter, but I'm unsure of any potential long term affect of electrically disengaging the brakes for extended periods.

The simple fact is MasterCraft's documentation states how to use their trailer. Until they recommend otherwise I intend to use it as directed. MasterCraft can not be expected to stand behind their products if they are not being used as they have instructed.

That being said, I have just safed this thread off for future reference if needed.

NeilM
06-22-2006, 12:14 PM
1) This isn't exclusively a "MasterCraft" problem. It's shared with every trailer manufacturer that uses the same coupler. (Some couplers integrate a shock absorber to deal with this syndrome).

2) If you're regularly towing an empty trailer through streets and traffic lights as you describe, I'd strongly recommend that you wire up a way to power the solenoid (while keeping your signal lights working properly).

3) The trailer brakes really aren't needed on an empty trailer. The brakes are needed when you have the weight of the boat on it. As a Canuck, I'm no expert on State Law, but I'd be very surprised if an empty trailer exceeded the maximum weight allowable for a trailer with no brakes.

4) The solenoid should easily handle being energized for a long period of time. JIMN: - any thoughts?

5) The original question was the 'jerk' when you first start off... This is commonplace with this type of coupler -- it gets compressed when you stop; when you start, it will extend again, therefore the 'jerk'. As I stated earlier, there are couplers with integrated shock absorbers to minimize this effect, but not on MasterCraft trailers..

bigmac
06-22-2006, 12:38 PM
I've had surge brakes on trailers for many years, but I have to say that based on my experience and the experiences reported here on TT, the running gear of these MasterCraft trailers are a TERRIBLE design. It's not such a big deal for me because I trailer about 20 miles/year, but I am amazed at the ongoing reports of disks locking up, bouncing, jerking, spare tire brackets falling off etc. with MasterCraft apparently not doing anything about it over the years I've been seeing people complain about it. This MasterCraft trailer is nicely welded and fits the boat well, but it is by far the worst running gear I've ever had on any trailer I've ever owned. This was brought home to me as I was recently pulling my buddy's double axle Four Winns trailer both loaded with his 4500 lb 24 footer and unloaded back to home after we put the boat in the lake. This, after he had just hauled it out here from upstate New York. That Four Winns has a better and easier-to-use coupler, the brakes don't chatter, and it has a manual capability for backup unlocking instead of just the electronic servo-controlled one.

"Love the boat, hate the trailer"...as I've seen written here on Team Talk many, many times.

boatwake
06-22-2006, 03:04 PM
Neil, you are correct this thread did start out on another topic. I'm not sure where the split on the road occurred, but the empty trailer bounce issue certainly trumps any other concern I have had with either MasterCraft I have owned.

I have no data to say how wide spread the empty trailer bounce problem is in the industry or how the quality of MasterCraft's trailer running gear compares to others, but I can tell you from experience sooner or later it will likely result in a "News at 6" event if not addressed. Once the trailer starts bouncing the only way to get it to stop (i.e. regain control of the rig) is to accelerate. Unfortunately this can cause even worse problems if you need to apply breaks quickly or you are approaching a stop sign, traffic light, train tracks, etc.

I agree that I can get around the issue by rewiring an adapter, but that would be using the trailer in a way contrary to that recommended by MasterCraft. If MasterCraft comes out and recommends a component change or even a modified adapter when pulling an empty trailer I'll be the first owner standing in line to get it, but until then I'll follow their recommendations and assume they'll legally stand behind their product's design and recommended use.

Finally, I truly appreciate everyone’s suggestions on how to work around the problem. I've used your advice on many occasions and will likely do so again in the future. However, because of the liability implications of this issue I feel I need to stay lock-step with MasterCraft. Hopefully their talented design/support team will announce a fix soon.

6ballsisall
06-22-2006, 03:09 PM
The one thing I will say that I don't care for on my 03 vs. my 95 is the trailer. My 95' trailered great with no noise and was tight. The trailer on my 03' has all kinds of bumps and twists to it. I think between the flip over tongue and the different braking this equates for all of it.

TMCNo1
06-22-2006, 06:34 PM
The main reason a empty trailer jerks and bounces when the brakes are applied is, the trailer is so light without the boat that the brakes engage and are essentially locking up and skipping over the roadbed due to very little traction, otherwise the weight of the boat on the trailer holds it on the ground during normal braking function.
The overall design of the trailer by MasterCraft is based on the boat being on the trailer. From now on, just go a little slower and apply light braking pressure as you slow down to stop and all will be good.
I learned the hard way when I towed a new 1993 Prostar to West Palm Beach, for a week training session and towed the empty trailer around town every day after launching the boat, going to get gas, meals, etc. I caught on real quick and adapted to the situation.

P-hat_in_Cincy
06-26-2006, 04:54 PM
From now on, just go a little slower and apply light braking pressure as you slow down to stop and all will be good.

Not the case for my situation unless you want to make a 3 mile trip to the ramp at < 2mph. I think it's speed and grade dependant. My local ramp with more gradual downhill = no problem. Winding road heading down to Deerfield ramp at Norris Lake, TN = problem.

I 'solved' my issue. A bolt with a couple locking nuts fits pefectly into and grabs onto the manual lockout and keeps the trailer from creeping forward and actuating the brakes UNTIL I take it out.

It's the "UNTIL I take it out" that I need to remember now. Hopefully painting it red screams "REMINDER" when I do my final walk thru.

DISCLAIMER: I am NOT suggesting that you manually lock out your brakes!

bareinnj
06-28-2006, 10:06 PM
Not the case for my situation unless you want to make a 3 mile trip to the ramp at < 2mph. I think it's speed and grade dependant. My local ramp with more gradual downhill = no problem. Winding road heading down to Deerfield ramp at Norris Lake, TN = problem.

I 'solved' my issue. A bolt with a couple locking nuts fits pefectly into and grabs onto the manual lockout and keeps the trailer from creeping forward and actuating the brakes UNTIL I take it out.

It's the "UNTIL I take it out" that I need to remember now. Hopefully painting it red screams "REMINDER" when I do my final walk thru.

DISCLAIMER: I am NOT suggesting that you manually lock out your brakes!
P-hat,
Could you 'splain this bolt setup or better yet post a pic? I live in fear every time I latch my empty trailer for the hour ride to our lake house. Looks like my trailer is bouncing like a gangsta rapper chevy on MTV. :eek:

P-hat_in_Cincy
06-28-2006, 10:23 PM
P-hat,
Looks like my trailer is bouncing like a gangsta rapper chevy on MTV. :eek:
You should patent that! :D

Pictures. A big...USE AT YOUR OWN RISK...attached!

TMCNo1
06-28-2006, 10:32 PM
Unfortunately not everyone has that style actuator, but that is a great idea!

TMCNo1
06-28-2006, 10:39 PM
Not the case for my situation unless you want to make a 3 mile trip to the ramp at < 2mph. I think it's speed and grade dependant. My local ramp with more gradual downhill = no problem. Winding road heading down to Deerfield ramp at Norris Lake, TN = problem.


Yea, different situation even though I drove about 20 miles a day, for 7 days, at speeds up to 65mph down to city traffic speeds without the boat on the trailer and I learned quick after the first real quick stop from about 55mph. You could have driven a Honda Civic under the trailer the way it was bouncing and they weren't disc brakes, they were drum brakes.

aprgriggs
06-29-2006, 10:12 AM
MY 03 X10 trailer did the same thing and the dealer said that was normal. I add fluid to the brakes and it seamed to help. Good Luck.

My 05 X9 trailer didn't do this at all.

boatwake
06-29-2006, 10:47 AM
P-hat you are definitely a creative problem solver.

Trying to stop with our unmodified empty MC trailer today is without question dangerous and potentially damaging to the tow vehicle. However, if an accident was to occur or damage to the tow vehicle become evident I would much rather be able to tell the insurance company that the trailer was unmodified and being used as recommended by MC. If I modify how it functions or how it is recommended to be used the insurance company would have less grounds to include MC.

I hope that MC will recommend a fix soon for this problem, but considering how quiet this and other MC forums have been on the topic I'm growing skeptical.

TMCNo1
06-29-2006, 02:12 PM
P-hat you are definitely a creative problem solver.

Trying to stop with our unmodified empty MC trailer today is without question dangerous and potentially damaging to the tow vehicle. However, if an accident was to occur or damage to the tow vehicle become evident I would much rather be able to tell the insurance company that the trailer was unmodified and being used as recommended by MC. If I modify how it functions or how it is recommended to be used the insurance company would have less grounds to include MC.

I hope that MC will recommend a fix soon for this problem, but considering how quiet this and other MC forums have been on the topic I'm growing skeptical.


Very good point, thanks!

TMCNo1
06-29-2006, 02:20 PM
P-hat you are definitely a creative problem solver.

Trying to stop with our unmodified empty MC trailer today is without question dangerous and potentially damaging to the tow vehicle. However, if an accident was to occur or damage to the tow vehicle become evident I would much rather be able to tell the insurance company that the trailer was unmodified and being used as recommended by MC. If I modify how it functions or how it is recommended to be used the insurance company would have less grounds to include MC.

I hope that MC will recommend a fix soon for this problem, but considering how quiet this and other MC forums have been on the topic I'm growing skeptical.


Very good point, thanks!
I think the main problem for it not having been addressed buy the industry as a whole is, very few people ever tow a trailer any distance to amount to without the boat on it and they very seldom if ever would notice it, but there are those isolated cases that come about. I see where going down a steep grade can force the empty trailer, as light as it may be, to push against the actuator and engage the brakes causing it to jerk, skip or lockup the wheels, making it very annoying to deal with.

bareinnj
06-29-2006, 06:35 PM
making it very annoying to deal with.
__________________Honest to God, I am pretty easy going but when I am towing this trailer empty, it really makes me panicky. I tow my trailer about 60 miles after I put my 197 on the lift for the summer. Then it is 60 miles back to get it as the water temp hits the fifties. I hope this fix from p hat works for me, agreed though that there should be a permanent remedy. I hope that putting on my Depends diaper prior to towing is now a thing of the past.

Ryan27r
06-29-2006, 09:03 PM
My boat mate trailer has never done this... My aunt has a new MC trailer though and my uncle does too I will see if theres does it too.

I would suggest away to turn the brakes off while you have a empty trailer. Unless you have no problem with your situation or if your MC dealer will by you new trailer tires

To reply to the first quustion all surge breaks are going to make noise and do odd things in my mind they are basically at the mercy of many things. The only thing I would think would solve this would be electric breaks. THen you could have a controller in reach and could adjust all your breaking pressueres. Now wouldnt the electric breaks cause problems though when on the ramp in the water?

georgea0731
06-29-2006, 10:26 PM
My 04 x7 trailer does the same when empty. MYMC had posted some info. about 1 year ago (jun/july). The 180 degree switch is a quick fix, but remember to turn your lights on. I heard MC will not address because of legal issues and possibily pending law suits.

Anyone know who makes this coupler and a POC so we can contact them for help?

Thanks

boatwake
06-30-2006, 10:34 AM
My 04 x7 trailer does the same when empty. MYMC had posted some info. about 1 year ago (jun/july). The 180 degree switch is a quick fix, but remember to turn your lights on. I heard MC will not address because of legal issues and possibily pending law suits.

Anyone know who makes this coupler and a POC so we can contact them for help?

Thanks
I hope that this has not resulted in any legal issues for MC, but I can certainly see how it could come to that. I checked the NHTSA website, but didn't see any complaints filed yet. Last thing MC or the industry needs is for this to turn into another Corvair or Pinto consumer advocacy campaign.

Jim
07-01-2006, 11:57 AM
I have an 04 x10 with a tandem MC trailer. I have also experienced the trailer dance with the boat off the trailer while braking and it drove me crazy. My trailer now works normally. Here is a couple of suggestions to look at that fixed my issue:

1) Check your wheel bearings and make sure they are properly adjusted. I have the oil bath hubs and all my wheels where adjusted with too much play(from the factory) causing a slight wooble but not enough to cause them to leak.

2) Check the condition of your disk brake pads. Are they wearing evenly? All four of my calipars were wearing unevenly on the disk. ( Bad Calipars)

So,the bearings where adjusted, all four calipars replaced, brakes were bled and my trailer now works like it should.
No more DANGEROUSLY embarrassing hoping, skipping and jumping with the boat off the trailer.