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View Full Version : Tandem Trailer Brake issue '04 Surge Disc


jrbrown
05-01-2005, 09:30 PM
Rig: 2004 210VRS under a tandem axle with Titan Surge brakes (Aero-6000) with electric reverse brake release (solenoid that allows the brake fluid to return to the master cylinder if it senses 12volts e.g. reverse lights).

Took the '04 210 out today and had a new issue with the trailer brakes (I think I have the same issue as many do with pulling and backing an empty trailer, "brake induced hop", but this is different).

My issue is that the rear axle brakes, yep both sides, spent a lot of time braking on the trip home (about 7 miles) with the boat onboard. I could feel it in the engine, etc. I get home and the rear wheels are hot as Hades.

I start with the fundamentals and check out the AERO-6000. I found three issues:
1. A small stainless bolt at the most forward attach point for trailer wiring harness was causing some interference with forward dampner assembly. Not a big issue, travel restricted about 1/4" and not a cause of this problem, but I remedied it.
2. Ground point (for trailer wiring and of course the reverse lights) on the same bolt was very loose. Remedied, but not the smoking gun.
3. Smoking gun? The coupler assembly would move back to easily compared to last year. Brake fluid was okay and besides, the brakes were working (just too darn much). So I removed the rear grove pin that the rear of the dampner attaches to. When I tested the dampner, there was NO resistance whatsoever for much of its length. So I ran it back and forth a few times and whatever the issue was, the dampner resumed its job. Now lots of resistance, this is good (but I will get a new one).

So here is my theory (and I sure would appreciate anyone's thoughts, because I've got a 4 hour drive to and from the dealer in two weeks for the steering cable replacement/recall)... Normally when you pull a trailer, the dynamics between the trailer and the tow vehicle are not in concert with each other. The two are almost constantly pushing and pulling against each other in a never ending cycle while you drive. With surge brakes that can be an issue. If the two are pushing against each other (in an off and on cycle), the brakes are being intermittantly activated. It appears that the dampner would be an important piece to the solution. In my case, the first thing I had noticed when we headed for the lake was that I wasn't getting the typical "snap" from the AERO-6000 when I pulled away from a stop sign. I had my son watch as I did some quick starts and stops and what he described was almost no resistance.

Other questions:
1. Is a new dampner preloaded to always be pushing out or simply stay where it was last?
2. Do the rear brakes activate before the front axle brakes?

I am going to talk to Titan tomorrow, but wanted to see what some of you folks might think of.

I am also going to look into a couple of items mentioned in another thread (smaller oring orifice #650680) and adding a 1/2" .125 washer to spring assempbly for a bit more preload.

Cheers,
J.R.

Todd Brosius
05-01-2005, 09:45 PM
I have the same trailer (except single axle) under my 04 Prostar 197. My trailer had a brake not releasing on one side so, with the help of a friend, removed the pads and notice the caliper was sticking and not releasing back open. I have a 3 hour drive to my dealer so to be safe I think I will completely remove the assembly from the wheel and wire it to the axle so I don't get stranded on the interstate. Not a difficult process if you know a little about brakes or know someone who does. We removed the brake line then pushed on the tongue and could get brake fluid to move so we decided it has to be the caliper itself sticking in the engaged position thus making the pads ride on the rotor and making them hot. I could smell my brake and could then spit on them and the rotor would sizzle. Hopefully my dealer will resolve the issue. It's boating season you know!! Best of luck to you, but should NOT be a major issue.

COSkier
05-01-2005, 10:26 PM
jrbrown,
I just repaired my coupler yesterday. I replaced the damper with a new one. It is not always extended. It stays where it was last until forced to move in either direction. Like Todd said, I'd check for a caliper that doesn't release. I had one that would stick also.

Mag_Red
05-01-2005, 10:34 PM
Personally I think the disk brakes suck! I installed a switch so I could manually send power to the reverse lock out. My tralier would bounce like a buckin bronco when I would head down a hill empty. Very embarressing :o

milkmania
05-01-2005, 10:54 PM
http://www.writeonrice.com/horse.gifyee haw!!!!!!

jimmer2880
05-02-2005, 06:23 AM
Personally I think the disk brakes suck! I installed a switch so I could manually send power to the reverse lock out. My tralier would bounce like a buckin bronco when I would head down a hill empty. Very embarressing :o

Hope you don't have backup lights on your trailer! That would look funny with backup lights on while driving. :rolleyes:

jrbrown
05-02-2005, 11:42 AM
I'll check all four calipers over the next few days. Lots of brake experience but my first adventure with trailer brakes. I suspect that they are as simple as 240 Volvos rear brakes. One line in, retainer clips, etc.

jrbrown
05-02-2005, 05:33 PM
Had a good phone call with Titan regarding the AERO-6000 surge brakes. They will replace the dampner. I searching for the cause of the rear brakes, in addition to checking the calipers he said to check the line before the "T" off to the rear brakes to see if there is a kink in the line from road damage. An excellent idea which i will do.

J.R.

boatwake
05-02-2005, 10:00 PM
J.R. you memtioned that you were not getting the typical "snap" when you pulled away from a stop sign. I have been trying to determine if that is the expected behavor or not. Did Titan by chance provide any insight on this?

Mag_Red
05-02-2005, 11:00 PM
Hope you don't have backup lights on your trailer! That would look funny with backup lights on while driving. :rolleyes: I do not activate the switch while towing the boat in forward. Have you ever towed an empty trailer down a steep ramp to retrieve your boat?? Well let me tell you, :rant: it ain't a pretty sight, or sound, as the trailer is bounceing up and down and the locked up tires are leaving skid marks on the ramp. I would rather have the back-up lights lit as I'm going down the hill vs the alternative :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

jimmer2880
05-03-2005, 06:25 AM
I do not activate the switch while towing the boat in forward. Have you ever towed an empty trailer down a steep ramp to retrieve your boat?? Well let me tell you, :rant: it ain't a pretty sight, or sound, as the trailer is bounceing up and down and the locked up tires are leaving skid marks on the ramp. I would rather have the back-up lights lit as I'm going down the hill vs the alternative :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Dude - I was just making light of the subject. Nope, never drove forward down a steep ramp to retrieve my boat. All my ramps are low enough to back down (again - not trying to be an A-hole... but - it's hard!).

BTW - I would probably do the same thing if I was in your shoes. Luckily for me, my brakes don't work. I just can't bring myself to fix them either, since the trailer only sees maybe 60 miles a year.

jrbrown
05-03-2005, 07:47 AM
Over the last year I've had 5-6 AERO-6000 drive experiences. I recall that all of them had some sort of "snap" as I pulled away from a stop. When I finish my investigation and take it for a drive I am going to be very aware of any snap to see what it is suppose to be when the dampner works.

Mattercraft
05-03-2005, 01:04 PM
I had a rear trailer tire failure two weeks ago. I was towing in stop-and-go traffic and noticed the flat when traffic started moving. When I pulled over to fix the flat the brakes were on, not locked, but just on. I could turn the tire by hand, but it was real hard. The other rear trailer tire was very hot. The discs are on the rear tires. Could the surge brakes have stuck on?
I replaced the tire and jerked the trailer back and forth with the truck and this freed up the stuck brakes.
I guess my question is this. What caused my new trailer tire to blow?

rick s.
05-03-2005, 02:51 PM
was there a 400 foot skid mark on the road behind the flat tire?

sfitzgerald351
05-03-2005, 04:28 PM
I could turn the tire by hand, but it was real hard. The other rear trailer tire was very hot (clip) What caused my new trailer tire to blow?

You have the answer right there. Tires heated up, causing the air pressure to increase until they failed. Had it happen to me twice on my single axle. Combination of bent axle and old tires.

You need to get those brakes fixed or you will keep blowing tires.

jrbrown
05-07-2005, 08:02 PM
This is going to be interesting. Got the new Dampner in. It has a very high resistance when compared to the one currently installed. I'll let you all know as soon as it has been installed and I've taken it for a test drive.

S,
J.R.

boatwake
05-07-2005, 10:11 PM
I'm very interested to hear how your test drive goes. I really hate the jerk after a stop!

Leroy
05-07-2005, 11:13 PM
Mag; I don't think it should normally do this. I've never seen this going forward.



Personally I think the disk brakes suck! I installed a switch so I could manually send power to the reverse lock out. My tralier would bounce like a buckin bronco when I would head down a hill empty. Very embarressing :o

jrbrown
05-08-2005, 08:38 PM
Status:

Pulled all four wheels off. Bleed brakes/lines. Too much "crap" in the old brake fluid. Warranty claim will be forth coming since the piston in each rear caliper is frozen/stuck. Manufacturer's mark is "CR 1000".

Next stop is the local autoparts store to find some caps to cap off the brake lines with so I can go skiing until I get the replacement calipers.

Front calipers were okay.

Not pleased with the amount of rust. These brakes get hosed off after each usage. :mad:

I'm going to investigate replacing these with stainless calipers.

Still haven't installed the dampner and taken it for a test drive and I won't until I get the rear lines capped.

I swear, I buy one of the finest watersport boats on the planet and no issues BUT the trailer is crap.

Got the feeling I'm going to end up following the lead of others and replace all of the lines and calipers with stainless regardless of the warranty.

J.R.

Vern Swieringa
05-08-2005, 09:58 PM
I have a 2003 dual axel trailer. Last summer I had the same issue. I simply went to the dealer, who gave me a new caliper, which I replaced myself. Not a real big deal, just a pain having to work on new stuff.

bsimpson
05-09-2005, 04:24 PM
The valet at my storage project showed me that there is an override to the electical system located just behind the safety latch pin on my MC 2005 X-Star trailer. There is a small hole where a thin long screw can be inserted and bolted on the other side. This supposedly will disable the brake system but still allow the brake lights to operate normally. I don't know if this was accurate... does anybody else know? I remember a while back someone on the site mentioning something about this.

jrbrown
05-20-2005, 09:19 PM
here's the latest....facts and theory.

Fact. Dealer had everything waiting for me when I got there and they replaced the steering cable (recall item) and the rear axle's calipers and pads. Trailer pulled fine going up with just one axle of brakes. by the way, 1/8" NTP brass caps worked great to seal the rear brake lines and keep my front brakes servicable. There were enough idiot drivers between home and the dealer to make it a smart move to keep them operational.

Fact. Using a digital noncontact temp guage I registered 100 to 130 degrees on the rotors during my pit stops. Not much heat. Wish I had measured the heat when the rears failed. Can't imagine the amount of heat required to shatter the brake pads.

Theory. In one of my earlier posts I referred to a "snap" as I pulled away. it's still there and my theory is that if it isn't there (on my AERO 6000 at least) then something is wrong. Why? When you come to a stop the rear brakes are activated after about 1/2" of compression on the hitch. So as you come to a stop the rear brakes are locking up and remain locked (important on a hill). Why" because your vehicle has not moved forward to get out of the way so that the tongue can reextend and release the brakes. So when you pull forward, the dampner supports a smoother extension as the rear brakes keep grabbing until the extension is complete. The normal snap is probably about the last 1/2" or so of the extension.

Theory. as to the dampner. I drove up with the old dampner thinking that my hand exercising it back to life would be okay. When I got to the shop, I pulled the dampner and darned if it hadn't gone back to its sorry state of no resistance. So part of the "snap" not being as smooth as I think it should be is due to the dampner not acting as a dampner. I've got a new one on hand as a warranty item so I'll install it and see how it behaves.

I think when I winterize the boat, I will pull the calipers, inject some anticorrosive lube inside the piston boot and see if I can push out as much moisture as possible. This was a pain in the a$$.

My fuel bill and road toll bill were just about equal. Too DA#$ much.

dyarbrough68
05-20-2005, 10:21 PM
Anyone know where I can buy or who makes the brake calipers on my 2003 MC Trailer?

jrbrown
05-21-2005, 09:45 AM
Crawl under the trailer with a flashlight and look at the caliper. You will see some casting numbers. On mine they were "CR1000" (if I recalled it correctly).

From there the dealer can help you trace the manufacturer or you can try a google search with that part number and see what hits.

Here is who makes the surge actuator and disc brakes (10") for my 2004
http://www.titandist.com/

What issue(s) are you up against?

Cheers,
J.R.

jrbrown
05-22-2005, 06:39 PM
YES!!!

Back to Ops-Normal.

The dampner was the final issue. With a new dampner there is not a "snap". Just a thump more or less. No more trailer and truck fighting each other going down the road doing the infamous herky-jerky.

Hope this thread helps others deal with the "Christine's" in their trailers AND thanks to everyone for listening and offering advice.

Cheers.

J.R.