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mramerman@gmail.com
05-13-2013, 03:31 PM
Pulling my boat home this weekend, i noticed the trailer brakes "surging and jumping" when I slowed down to a stop. Any thoughts about what might be going on here?

Also, on occasion, when trying to back up, the brake lock-out doesn't activate causing the trailer to lock up. Not sure if this is related or not.

Thank you in advance.

mikeg205
05-13-2013, 03:34 PM
I assume you have the electric reverse lockout .... check the ground on the lock-out valve. if the valve fails brakes will engage

mramerman@gmail.com
05-13-2013, 03:35 PM
I assume you have the electric reverse lockout .... check the ground on the lock-out valve. if the valve fails brakes will engage

Mike: Thank you. Can you tell me what / where the lock-out valve is?

Ski-me
05-13-2013, 04:28 PM
If it's like mine, it's on the back of the actuator unit....

mramerman@gmail.com
05-13-2013, 04:39 PM
Thanks I will check this. Is there a brake fluid reservoir I should check?

Ski-me
05-13-2013, 04:43 PM
Thanks I will check this. Is there a brake fluid reservoir I should check?

Again, on mine......first photo shows the black plug. Remove and check your level. I think the level has to be at the bottom of the plug (might say it on it once you remove it.)

mramerman@gmail.com
05-14-2013, 10:46 PM
So I checked brake fluid level and it was close to the top (very close)--assuming this is ok. Do I need to bleed brakes now?

I followed the plug back to the trailer and discovered exposed wires (not in rubber sleeve); that the safety chains had rubbed to expose raw wire on green & white. I stripped, wrapped and closed them off from any contact.

Do you think this was causing the pulsing? Surely seems like it might have grounded contact disabling back up and possibly creating surge / jump when braking.

Thoughts?

ZachDaddy
05-15-2013, 11:18 AM
I too would be interest in hearing about the backing up and brakes not releasing

My buddies 07 trailer would not back up unloaded the other day without the lock out pin inserted in.

mramerman@gmail.com
05-15-2013, 12:19 PM
I too would be interest in hearing about the backing up and brakes not releasing

My buddies 07 trailer would not back up unloaded the other day without the lock out pin inserted in.

It has been an intermittent issue. I am fairly certain this is an electrical issue, considering the backup lights do not activate when the brakes don't dis-engage. I found wires from umbilical cord to the actuator that were exposed to the rubbing of the safety chains. These wires casing was worn off and exposed---guessing this was creating a short. I fixed and looking forward to testing this weekend.

thatsmrmastercraft
05-15-2013, 12:38 PM
It has been an intermittent issue. I am fairly certain this is an electrical issue, considering the backup lights do not activate when the brakes don't dis-engage. I found wires from umbilical cord to the actuator that were exposed to the rubbing of the safety chains. These wires casing was worn off and exposed---guessing this was creating a short. I fixed and looking forward to testing this weekend.

It would have to be a very large coincidence to have found these exposed wires and have them turn out to not be the problem. Good luck on the next road test.

mramerman@gmail.com
05-15-2013, 12:42 PM
It would have to be a very large coincidence to have found these exposed wires and have them turn out to not be the problem. Good luck on the next road test.

agreed. considering the proximity (inches) to the safety cables and the amount of exposed wire (inch on both white and green)--I think it is nearly certain.

Finger's crossed!

mramerman@gmail.com
05-20-2013, 03:45 PM
It would have to be a very large coincidence to have found these exposed wires and have them turn out to not be the problem. Good luck on the next road test.

Unfortunately my fixing the exposed wires did not cure the problem. I didn't tow the boat any distance, but I pulled it from the garage to detail / wash this weekend and the brakes locked up when I attempted to back it up.

I verified I have power to the female reciprocal on my 2010 F250... guessing the problem is in the plug or the actuator. Any thoughts?

mzimme
05-20-2013, 03:48 PM
Have you verified the lockout solenoid is working?

The surging while slowing down could be a bad spring in the actuator. In ski-me's picture, it would be that small grey spring. Do you trailer your boat a lot? I wouldn't imagine that spring would go bad in 2-3 years, but you never know.

mramerman@gmail.com
05-20-2013, 03:50 PM
Have you verified the lockout solenoid is working?

I have not. What is the test for this?

mzimme
05-20-2013, 04:03 PM
I have not. What is the test for this?

I don't know for sure, someone else can probably chime in. I'd imagine it involves verifying the solenoid is receiving voltage. If it gets power and is not locking out reverse, I'd replace the solenoid. You said you have power to the female portion at your truck, now you need to verify voltage at the solenoid to be sure it's making it all the way there.

What kind of trailer is it?

You may be able to hear the solenoid click by having someone shift the truck into reverse while you listen at the tongue of the trailer.

mramerman@gmail.com
05-20-2013, 04:05 PM
I don't know for sure, someone else can probably chime in. I'd imagine it involves verifying the solenoid is receiving voltage. If it gets power and is not locking out reverse, I'd replace the solenoid. You said you have power to the female portion at your truck, now you need to verify voltage at the solenoid to be sure it's making it all the way there.

What kind of trailer is it?

2010 Mastercraft Trailer

mzimme
05-20-2013, 04:13 PM
Has the backup problem become a constant issue, or will the trailer sometimes allow you to back up without issue?

mramerman@gmail.com
05-20-2013, 04:15 PM
Have you verified the lockout solenoid is working?

The surging while slowing down could be a bad spring in the actuator. In ski-me's picture, it would be that small grey spring. Do you trailer your boat a lot? I wouldn't imagine that spring would go bad in 2-3 years, but you never know.

I will have to look at Ski-Me's pix and look at the spring. Good advice.

I do trailer a lot. During the Summer we pull the boat 10+ x p/year about 3 - 4 hours to family vacation spot.

mramerman@gmail.com
05-20-2013, 04:16 PM
Has the backup problem become a constant issue, or will the trailer sometimes allow you to back up without issue?

The backup is an intermittent issue.

mzimme
05-20-2013, 04:44 PM
Since it's intermittent, test the voltage to the solenoid sometime when the trailer brakes are locked up, and another time when they're working (not locked up). Have someone else just hold the brake pedal down in the truck so you can keep it in reverse and test the voltage to the solenoid. Does your trailer harness have a 5 prong connection between the truck/trailer? The idea behind the solenoid is that when the truck is put into reverse, it sends voltage through that 5th wire that activates the solenoid and locks the brakes out from engaging. If you have no other wiring issues, it sounds like a bad solenoid to me... but I'm new at this trailer brake thing, so I don't know that I'm qualified to answer all of these questions haha. :)

Also, does your trailer have any reverse lights on it? Are those lit up when the brakes are locked up? If the reverse lights on the trailer come on, but the brakes are still locked up, that would also point to a bad solenoid. If the brakes lock up, and the reverse lights are also off, that would point to some sort of wiring issue that isn't transferring current to that 5th wire. Just another thing to check.

mramerman@gmail.com
05-20-2013, 04:51 PM
Since it's intermittent, test the voltage to the solenoid sometime when the trailer brakes are locked up, and another time when they're working (not locked up). Have someone else just hold the brake pedal down in the truck so you can keep it in reverse and test the voltage to the solenoid. Does your trailer harness have a 5 prong connection between the truck/trailer? The idea behind the solenoid is that when the truck is put into reverse, it sends voltage through that 5th wire that activates the solenoid and locks the brakes out from engaging. If you have no other wiring issues, it sounds like a bad solenoid to me... but I'm new at this trailer brake thing, so I don't know that I'm qualified to answer all of these questions haha. :)

Also, does your trailer have any reverse lights on it? Are those lit up when the brakes are locked up? If the reverse lights on the trailer come on, but the brakes are still locked up, that would also point to a bad solenoid. If the brakes lock up, and the reverse lights are also off, that would point to some sort of wiring issue that isn't transferring current to that 5th wire. Just another thing to check.

Great advice. So far there has been a direct correlation between no reverse lights on the trailer and locking up. Sounding likely a wiring issue.

mzimme
05-20-2013, 05:01 PM
Is there any corrosion between the wiring harness of the truck and the harness of the trailer? Maybe spray some electrical cleaner on both sides of the plug. Also check the back side of the plug on the truck side, and make sure none of the connections are loose from pushing the trailer harness into them.

mramerman@gmail.com
05-20-2013, 05:03 PM
Is there any corrosion between the wiring harness of the truck and the harness of the trailer? Maybe spray some electrical cleaner on both sides of the plug. Also check the back side of the plug on the truck side, and make sure none of the connections are loose from pushing the trailer harness into them.

I will spray some electrical cleaner. Good idea.

I have tested the plug on the truck side with a volt meter and had good power / connection

mzimme
05-20-2013, 05:06 PM
Next time the brakes lock up, try to test the solenoid (if you can reach it). That will at least give you an idea where the problem is occuring. If no voltage at the solenoid, then the problem lies in the wire between there and the truck.

How's the ground connection look?

mramerman@gmail.com
05-20-2013, 05:08 PM
Next time the brakes lock up, try to test the solenoid (if you can reach it). That will at least give you an idea where the problem is occuring. If no voltage at the solenoid, then the problem lies in the wire between there and the truck.

How's the ground connection look?

When I checked last time, all the wires (ground included), looked good. However, I am going to hook and try again when I get home tonight and see if I can recreate.

mramerman@gmail.com
05-20-2013, 05:23 PM
Is there any corrosion between the wiring harness of the truck and the harness of the trailer? Maybe spray some electrical cleaner on both sides of the plug. Also check the back side of the plug on the truck side, and make sure none of the connections are loose from pushing the trailer harness into them.

I will spray some electrical cleaner. Good idea.

I have tested the plug on the truck side with a volt meter and had good power / connection

mramerman@gmail.com
05-20-2013, 11:39 PM
I cleaned all the contact points in plug with spray cleaner. I disassembled the trailer plug and tightened the center pin (back up lights). I checked the actuator ground wire (in good condition). I did not see an obvious place to test power to actuator; however I tested the system at this point and was able to deactivate breaks 12x in a row (back up lights on trailer do NOT come on when brakes are NOT deactivated. Putting my bet on an electrical problem).

We are traveling 4 hours to eastern Washington on Wednesday / Memorial weekend. This will be the big test that I corrected the problem.

I have an appointment at the trailer repair place for Wednesday next week if the problem persists in any manner.

Wish us luck!

uplander
05-21-2013, 12:42 AM
It could be your relay in your truck, there is a relay activating the backup portion on your 7 pin connector. The relay on mine was under the hood. Just a thought for something else to check. You should be able to check the center post on your truck, put in reverse not running with key on and use test light to see if you are getting power.

if you look at your manual it will show you where the relay is located

mramerman@gmail.com
05-21-2013, 12:43 AM
It could be your relay in your truck, there is a relay activating the backup portion on your 7 pin connector. The relay on mine was under the hood. Just a thought for something else to check. You should be able to check the center post on your truck, put in reverse not running with key on and use test light to see if you are getting power.

I checked the relay and it is in good shape. I also tested the center post on the truck side and I am getting appropriate power.

JerryW
05-21-2013, 08:22 AM
Pulling my boat home this weekend, i noticed the trailer brakes "surging and jumping" when I slowed down to a stop. Any thoughts about what might be going on here?

Also, on occasion, when trying to back up, the brake lock-out doesn't activate causing the trailer to lock up. Not sure if this is related or not.

Thank you in advance.
If you still have the "surging and jumping" problem, it could be due to warped rotors. I had the same problem about 10 years ago with an almost brand new dual axle trailer. It turned out to be a badly warped rotor. It may have been defective to begin with, or warped from being dunked in the lake when the rotor was hot. Replaced the rotor and the problem went away. The problem was much worse when the trailer was empty than with the boat on it.

mramerman@gmail.com
06-03-2013, 04:50 PM
If you still have the "surging and jumping" problem, it could be due to warped rotors. I had the same problem about 10 years ago with an almost brand new dual axle trailer. It turned out to be a badly warped rotor. It may have been defective to begin with, or warped from being dunked in the lake when the rotor was hot. Replaced the rotor and the problem went away. The problem was much worse when the trailer was empty than with the boat on it.

Thanks for the advice. Sounds like the trailer needs to go back to the shop.

mramerman@gmail.com
07-31-2013, 05:06 PM
So the trailer came back from the shop and the rotors were indeed warped (now repaired); however the trailer is still jumping (frequently) as I bring it to a stop. The diagnosis now is the "dampener" is shot and needs to be replaced. Because I have a 2010 trailer it was manufactured by "Reliable" who is out of business. The only solution from MC is replacing the entire actuator / tongue unit for $1100 (including painting). This would bring the trailer to current specs.

Very frustrating to pay a premium for a new boat and only get three seasons out of the trailer.

I understand the bad logic here; however is there such a thing as going to electric brake system on a boat trailer that is dunked?