I am just giving my new to me '94 trailer (single axle for a PS205) a once over and I filled the brake fluid reservoir (which was empty), backed the trailer up with blocks behind the wheels so there should be cylinder pressure and then opened the bleeder valve and nothing came out. Took the nipple right off and nada. Air bubble? Blockage in line? Everything I can see looks fine from the exterior however I can't see the line as it travels through the trailer rails. Ahhh, just occurred to me as I type that I might have to pump the brake actuator by moving the truck forward and then backing up again. Is my thinking right? If so, how many times would I have to do this to pump the brake fluid through the lines?
08-09-2013, 12:45 AM
Here are some instructions on bleeding brakes.
Depending upon your actuator, the method you need to use may/will be different than in the instructions. Try to find the brand/model of the actuator and then search for a manual for it or post back here what you have. The simple way (no matter the model of actuator) it to use a short segment of 2x4. Place one end on the floor right below the actuator. Put your foot in front of it and use the 2x4 for leverage to push in the actuator. Just use your hand to pull the actuator out. As the instructions say you need to close the bleeder between the in and out strokes. Yes, if bone dry it will take a bunch of strokes. You will know it is working by the fluid level going down (hopefully not on the floor which would indicate other problems) as the reservoir does not hold much. Using the vehicle to pump the actuator is most likely way too much pressure. This is a two person job unless you use some bleeder device.
BTW, if your reservoir was empty, you most likely have other problems. One needs to wonder how it got empty.
Try this as a google search and you will find lots to read on this:
brake bleeding site:mastercraft.com/teamtalk
08-09-2013, 10:08 AM
Zad, I've done a lot of trailer work and tried your method with the single axle. It worked just fine by backing it into a curb a few times to replicate a "pumping action" on the actuator. On the final pump, I pushed it to the curb again and then put on the e-brake from the truck. This kept the pressure within the line so I could bleed.
Now, the bad part. There may be issues with the mainline, brake actuators, tongue actuator, etc. Hard to tell. I would keep filling the reservoir and continuing your brake pumping/bleeding to get some fluid in there. Once you've gotten a good amount in there, start looking for leaks at the brake backing plates, at actuator, etc and see if you are leaking fluid anywhere.
Your brake line is a solid piece of tubing in the frame channel but it's also in a rubber tube (probably to prevent it from rattling around in there and also to protect it). Unfortunately, this sometimes leaves water trapped by the brake line and eventually starts deteriorating.
If it's just the lines, you can replace them with simple automotive coated brake lines. I've tried stainless steel but that's another story. Just use typical automotive ones at Autozone or the like.
You will also need to remove the drums and see if the actuators are leaking as well.
Anyways, it can be a can of worms!
After I got my single axle all fixed, powdercoated, new brakes, new lights, etc, I swapped a local guy for his double axle.....and the repairs started all over again! Here is a rebuild thread on the double that may help.