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Winter Trailer Maintenance, Heads up for Brakes

gregygregy Posts: 2,590 Mega Baller
edited February 2016 in Boat Talk
My surge brakes slowing quite working over the last 6 months or so. I took a look last week and found that the master cylinder wasn't working. After looking at individual parts cost and considering its a 1999 trailer I decided to purchase the complete assembly hitch and all. Its a UFP model A-60 which I think is used in many of our trailers. I order the assembly from which they were the lowest price I could find and they had it to me in 4 days so happy customer.

This is where the fun began and the warning I want to pass along. There are 2 pins, about 3/4" OD, held in by snap rings that hold the hitch assembly to the trailer frame. These pins were completely rusted into place and this boat has never been near salt water and been taken pretty good care of. The front one took about 30 minutes of beating and coating with penetrating oil to get out. The rear took almost 2 hours of beating, twisting, heating, spraying with penetrating oil, it finally broke free.

From here on out I'll be taking these pins out and putting grease on them every year. Also I read online that the brakes should be bled 2 times a year which I never did in the 4 years I've owned the boat. I put Dot 5 silicon brake fluid back in it. I've been using it in my offroad truck for years and its cut down on brake issues a lot.

If you trailer brake look like what's below. I'd recommend taking a look at the pins.


  • DekeDeke Posts: 403 Baller
    @gregy is this A-60 driving drum or disc brakes and did you do any other work beside the actuator? I also plan to replace my actuator this winter but was also planning to replace the original drum brakes with discs. Would like to hear anything else from your experience that you care to write about.
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,590 Mega Baller
    @Deke my trailer is a tandem axle with disc on all for wheels. The actuators can be purchased for different configurations of disc/drum. I have a flatbed trailer with drum brakes which I've had a lot of problems with them. These disc brakes have had no issues up until now which likely was due to my lack of maintenance. I haven't test drove the trailer yet, probably will Wednesday. We'll see if all the calipers are working and not locking up, they were working OK before. I also repacked the bearing and put new wheel bearing seals. Notice I had some grease coming out the inside of the wheel hubs.

    I noticed after I purchase online that there were some really good deals on ebay if you knew exactly what part number you need. Also look on Youtube for videos I got some good ideas from them. Youtube video
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,590 Mega Baller
    @Mark_Matis I'll find out, its already done. I was looking through boat forum and there's a lot of arguments why to or not to use Dot 5 on the internet forums. I was told it would not work in my old Dodge diesel. I put over 300k on it with Dot 5 fluid and never had any problems. This is what got me started using Dot 5. Its spends a lot of time in the mud and nasty water. Seemed like very time I wanted to use it the calipers were locking up, silicone fluid fixed it that issue.
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,793 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited February 2016
    Dot 5 eats natural rubber. Not much natural rubber in modern braking systems. You don't find much Dot 5 any more since it is incompatible with ABS systems due to the way it absorbs air.

    Also don't confuse 5.1 with 5.0 5.1 is in the same family of fluids as 3 and 4

    As for beating the pins out - an air hammer is a wonderful thing and cheap.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • thompjsthompjs Posts: 541 Solid Baller
    Use anti seize when you put it back together.
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