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Old 04-13-2014, 10:56 PM
SpokaneSteve SpokaneSteve is online now
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Trailer surge brakes locking - oil bath gone

Hello all:

Took the boat out for a shake down ride today. Had a great day. Towing back it seemed like the Sequoia was working awfully hard at times. When we got home I noticed a burnt smell. All four of the wheels were covered in brake dust and were very hot.

One of them apparently blew off the oil bath cover:

Name:  Trailer oil seal .jpg
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I'm thinking that for some reason the brakes were actuated for a long time and overheated the system. I'll be talking to a mechanic tomorrow but any advice or insight is appreciated.

Thanks, much, Steve.
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Old 04-13-2014, 11:00 PM
Nordicron Nordicron is offline
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Only advice would be get your wallet out! Sorry man! That's just some freaking bad luck!
Seems really strange for surge brakes to lock up though must be some issue up in the tongue slide. Did you really jam on the hard on the return trip and possibly damage something?


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Old 04-13-2014, 11:17 PM
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Table Rocker Table Rocker is offline
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Make sure your breakaway cable is clear. There is a reset tab under the tongue.
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Old 04-13-2014, 11:59 PM
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thatsmrmastercraft thatsmrmastercraft is online now
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I would check the wheel bearing on the wheel where the oil bath cap is gone. If the bearing is going, you may get some bounce, and result in throwing the cap. I have seen bad bearings be the source for ejecting bearing buddies.
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Old 04-14-2014, 07:48 AM
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bturner2 bturner2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Table Rocker View Post
Make sure your breakaway cable is clear. There is a reset tab under the tongue.
This is probably the best explanation however your brake system is based on Reliable parts so it could also be the actuator somehow locking up. Depending on how long and how hard the brakes were on there's a good chance the pads are glazed and possibly the rotors are warped. It had to get pretty hot to pop that oil bath window.

The parts are fairly cheap. If you can define what caused the issue you may want to do the following.....

Replace broken oil bath cap and check the bearing/race on this hub.
Consider braking down and inspecting the other bearings/races on the other hubs.
Change the oil in all the hubs. I do this every 2years so in my book this is now mandatory.
Flush the brake fluid. Again I do this every 2 years so in my book this is now mandatory.
Change all the brake pads. They should be fairly cheap and not worth messing with.
Replace or refinish the rotors. At a minimum I'd have the run out checked on them.

That's where I would start if it were my trailer and planed to pull any distance this summer.
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Old 04-14-2014, 09:55 AM
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sand2snow22 sand2snow22 is online now
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Sorry to hear this Steve. E-brake cable might have been pulled. You can get a new cap here, very fast shipping. It's an easy fix, might want to have Chuck check out the bearings though:

http://www.trailerpartsdepot.com/ite...1980AL&eq=&Tp=
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Old 04-14-2014, 10:23 AM
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Before you do any of the steps listed above, check the swing tongue and make sure the brake line is not pinched in the hinge. It happens!
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Old 04-14-2014, 12:14 PM
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GoneBoatN GoneBoatN is offline
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You say all 4 wheels were covered in dust so something was going on at each not just the one that blew the oil bath cover = all 4 axles, bearings and races should be inspected.

From the picture, it looks like the site window for the oil bath cover is gone but the housing is still in place? Is there oil in the other hubs yet? Is it burnt looking?

Sounds like you plan on having the work done opposed to doing it yourself.

So for now on a standard practice for towing is to drive a few miles and then pull over and check each wheel/hub. Do so by putting hand on the rim near the center. It is ok for it to be warm/hot but not so much that you could not keep your hand on it. This should help avoid future such events...
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Old 04-14-2014, 04:44 PM
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sand2snow22 sand2snow22 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sodar View Post
Before you do any of the steps listed above, check the swing tongue and make sure the brake line is not pinched in the hinge. It happens!
Check this first, then the e-brake. Was there any oil left in that cap?
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Old 04-14-2014, 05:16 PM
SpokaneSteve SpokaneSteve is online now
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The oil was still pouring out and the bearings don't look burned so my fingers are crossed. I spoke with Chuck, my mechanic, today and he was able to get a cap and oil, which I picked up, so I can install that and then tow the boat to him on Friday.

He has some good ideas. Hopefully something as simple as a pinched line since it seems like the brakes were dragging rather than locking up.

Of course, if it's the actuator he said that they don't make them anymore and he can't get parts.......

Thanks for everyone's ideas, It really helped me to talk to the mechanic (semi)-intelligently about the components in the braking system, I'll post up what happens.

Cheers, Steve.
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