SST

Brakes are way to tight..how to adjust

48 posts in this topic

I have searched here and youtube and couldn't find exactly what I was looking for. So I'm opening a new post. 

While cleaning the bottom of my boat today, I decided to jack up the trailer to better climb around underneath. So I raised it enough to spin the wheels. Non-brake wheel spins fine and matches why the hub is so cool after driving around. But the wheel with the surge brake has waaay to much resistance [at least I think it does] and it matches how darn hot that hub is when I get to the destination or back home [burn my hand if I hold it].  I canceled my trip to Long Point, Ontario tomorrow because I'm not going to travel at 60 mph for 2 hours and cook my bearings or set the grease on fire like the other poster in another thread had happen.

I am aware of the access hole in the bottom of the brake housing. I see that I have to pull the plug. The axle is in the way so it won't be easy. The question I'm seeking an answer for is which direct tightens the brake or loosens the brake. Up or down? I don't have the special tool for it and with the axle in the way having the answer before I start it makes things easier.

I just had the trailer in the shop last week and I saw the guy working on the brakes. I wonder when I'll ever find a good mechanic who will fix it right....the first time. I would take it back but that would eliminate almost 2 more weeks of boating. I"ve only wracked up 7 hours for the whole season due to weather or mechanical delays. 

Getting closer to "time to sell."

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Click it up a couple times and see if it spins freely. If not click it down 4 times.

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I think you are referring to drum style brakes you want to adjust the tension of the brake pads to the drum with the adjustment wheel through the brake backer adjustment hole with a flat head  screw . 

The brakes are over tight or wrapped now . I would take tire off remove drum and back off adjuster and clean up everything with a can of brake clean the adjuster comes apart for cleaning the hole in the backer is for fine tuning if you need to tighten them up .  I set mine so drum dosent drag while installing drum over pads to get start fresh I would also look at the bearings if you got them that hot they might need replacement look for coloring from heat . Much easier to do at this point than on the road. Pm me if I can be of any more help 

 

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1 hour ago, wijeff said:

I think you are referring to drum style brakes you want to adjust the tension of the brake pads to the drum with the adjustment wheel through the brake backer adjustment hole with a flat head  screw . 

The brakes are over tight or wrapped now . I would take tire off remove drum and back off adjuster and clean up everything with a can of brake clean the adjuster comes apart for cleaning the hole in the backer is for fine tuning if you need to tighten them up .  I set mine so drum dosent drag while installing drum over pads to get start fresh I would also look at the bearings if you got them that hot they might need replacement look for coloring from heat . Much easier to do at this point than on the road. Pm me if I can be of any more help 

 

I tried to do what you suggested. 

A] I tried to adjust the brakes from the back side access hole. I used the handle of a small pliers. I'm not even certain I made contact with the adjustment piece. The axle makes an awkward entry into the access hole. I tried a few up and a few down. Didn't seem to make a difference. 

B] I gave up trying to adjust it and put the trailer back on the ground. I tried to get the lug nuts off. Only one came loose.The other four....well I can't write the profanity here. I gave up on this too. 
 

C] I raised the trailer again on the same side and decided to pump a little grease into the buddy bearings. Before I pumped the grease in, I suddenly noticed the wheel is spinning freely. I didn't do anything. Maybe I shook something loose. Anyways, I pumped a little grease in and put the trailer back on the ground.

D] I went to check the other side [starboard]. I raised the trailer and spun both wheels. They both were good. I pulled the buddy bearing caps off and the wheel with the brake dumped a lot of water. This was supposedly repaired early last year. I spun the wheel and tried to get grease in but the grommet wouldn't accept it. I stuck a pin into the grommet to see of it was plugged. Tried again....wouldn't accept it. [Lots of profanity again.] 

E] The buddy bearing is obviously no good so I decided to knock it off and at least get some grease onto the bearing. hahaha....wouldn't budge! I had a large rubber mallet . I wailed on it! Didn't move a bid bit. I said screw it [the other word really] and got the steel sludge hammer and wailed on it. Didn't move a bit except where it got a little bent on the outside.

This goes beyond my capability to repair. So where do I take it? The first company kept installing buddy bearings but they kept falling off. So I got frustrated and went to an RV place figuring they must have tons of experience. But they are the ones who put this bearing buddy on which will no longer function let alone extract. And Road Runner is out of business.

 

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Talk to your car mechanic  . Or your friends mechanic it's similar to brakes on a car and the bearings to sorry your having all the trouble if you were close by I do it for you.

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22 minutes ago, SST said:

 

Your stories and bad things that are happening to you, is why I trust no one when it comes to my girl, and do as much of the work myself. 

As wijeff said, Take it apart, and check it all out. A little bit of heat on the lug nuts, and they will come off. When you put them back on, tork them to 90 lbs. The adjusters are opposite from each other. The R/side to tighten you push the wheel up, the L/side you pull down to tighten, (or vice versa, hard for this old man to remember, but I can check it out, I marked it with an arrow on each side of the trailer, just above the drum). To adjust mine, I tighten them until I hear a light scrubbing sound and able to lightly spin the wheels forward until I can get about 1&1/2 turns on the wheel. I hand pack mine every year. I have buddy bearings, but never fill them, it allows the grease somewhere to go when it expands.Too much grease through the buddy bearing and you can blow the rear seal out, and also get grease all over the break shoes, as did the previous owner.This is not something that you want to take any short cuts on. Yes it is a lot of work, but it will pay for it's self. My system has worked for me, going on 25 yrs now.. Denny.

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The trailer for the 16' Aluminum boat is perfect. Bought new in 1986?  Has original bearings, seals, grease, plus some added.

600 miles on 65 mph interstates every few years.   Oh well

I set the bearings to be a few thousandths LOOSE when fully heated up. Only in fresh water & no brakes.

I am very happy my trailer has all of its balls intact.

 

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I was pretty annoyed last night to say the least. Canceling my trip to port Dover irked me. Despite the annoyance of the problem, better to have discovered it in the driveway than 100 miles away. 

The weather is wonderful today so I trailered down to the marina(10 miles) and kept a slower pace.  Currently sitting on my boat in the Niagara river. Very peaceful. 

While launching my boat I commented on another boaters vehicle. Early 80's Ford pick- up. Beautiful shape.  I ased him if he knows any trailer repair shops. Some guy just walking by says west marine.  I'm not certain if it's actually west marine or a shop that is next door to west marine. But I'll check it out. Tonight I'll heat the lug nuts and see what happens. 

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Actually, any good auto shop that works on brakes could do the job. Drum brakes are drum brakes, be it on a car, truck or a trailer.

Squirt some PB Blaster on the lugs and let sit, then squirt some more on before trying to get lugs off. They'll come off, but sometimes, they'll break the studs. That's not a game ender, as the studs are normally replaceable. Heat is good, but be careful to not get over aggressive with it. Heat can weaken lug nuts, studs and wheels if too much is applied. Be especially careful if you have galvanized wheels, as smoke from burnt galvanized coatings is very poisonous.

You could buy new backing plates fully populated with all the hardware and shoes (as little as 85 bux for the pair) and new drums (if you need them for about 100 bux for pair) for some pretty short money from e-trailer, or the likes. Very easy to swap (brake line and 4 bolts thru backing plate)  and the hardest part is bleeding the new brake wheel cylinders. That way everything would be new.

When my drums setup went south, I went a different direction and upgraded to Kodiac discs on both axles (from drums on one axle.) and results were not even comparable, the change was such an improvement.

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Salt water ? Even 2 X a year ?  Need to pull wheel & drums & wash.. CAREFULLY !!  Get the salt off. The SAME day.

Discs are better . But salt eats the parts  Disc or drum back plate & parts.

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Boat US sent out an email about repacking bearings. This is the first set of instructions that I've seen that could convince me to do it. But I'm curious, are all bearing/hub assemblies the same? How do I order parts for a trailer built in 1986 by a company thats gone out of business.

http://www.boatus.com/magazine/trailering/2013/October/repacking-or-replacing-your-trailer-tire-bearings.asp?utm_source=bmag&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=runabout_0617

The ultimate problem for me here is that the bearing buddy but won't come off. Even with a sledgehammer. I bent the orifice of the bearing buddy but it did not even move within the hub.  Not even a little tiny bit. 

What do you think about applying heat to the hub? Trying to expand the hub while trying to keep the bearing buddy cooler and hope it can be removed then. 

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51 minutes ago, SST said:

Boat US sent out an email about repacking bearings. This is the first set of instructions that I've seen that could convince me to do it. But I'm curious, are all bearing/hub assemblies the same? How do I order parts for a trailer built in 1986 by a company thats gone out of business.

http://www.boatus.com/magazine/trailering/2013/October/repacking-or-replacing-your-trailer-tire-bearings.asp?utm_source=bmag&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=runabout_0617

The ultimate problem for me here is that the bearing buddy but won't come off. Even with a sledgehammer. I bent the orifice of the bearing buddy but it did not even move within the hub.  Not even a little tiny bit. 

What do you think about applying heat to the hub? Trying to expand the hub while trying to keep the bearing buddy cooler and hope it can be removed then. 

no not all the same as in there are different sizes, but usually on trailers there are only a handful of different sizes.

 

To get the bearing buddy off I would recommend this spraying PB blaster on it a few times and letting it sit.  Get about 2-3ft long 2x4,  have somebody hold it at the end and start tapping with a slege,  you can also angle the 2x4 so it pushes out.  Could also trying rotating the hub and hitting it in different places. 

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There is also a version of the bearing buddy that threaded on.  Pretty rare I guess, but it is a possibility.

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It had occurred to me that it might be threaded. But, the others that have fallen out, were not threaded. So the next question is, can a threaded buddy be installed on a trailer that has not been threaded before?

I did pound the buddy bearing from several positions. 9, 12 and 3 o'clock positions. 

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On the bearing buddy, I have never come across a threaded one, but I have seen them listed for sale some time ago.

I would smack the bearing buddy while rotating the wheel. That's how I do mine and haven't messed one up yet, but I haven't had one stuck like that either. Have seen them really stuck on there, but they've always given up and come off eventually.

Persistence is key, I think. As soon as you heat it, I would think it's junk because of the plastic / rubber parts. Probably toast now, anyway.

The bearing size is printed on the bearing itself, when you do get everything apart. There are only a couple of variations for a smaller trailer and the bearing / race sets are cheap.

In the future, be sure to do the trailer wheel maintenance at least yearly to prevent this stuff from happening. Takes me between one and two hours to do all 4 wheels on mine.

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UPDATE: BREAKING NEWS:THIS JUST IN-Over 70 Billion people will be effected by weather this weekend. Stay tuned for further updates as we receive them.

As for the buddy bearing. I got it off. At first I thought I would apply an ice pack on the buddy and heat the hub. Expansion and contraction theory. Didn't work of course. Then it dawns on me, my brother left me tons of tools. The pipe wrench comes to mind. The buddy is already damaged so anything further is just a bonus. I found a 24inch pipe wrench. I attached it and started yanking on it. Dang it still wouldn't let go. I started to walk away and with the wrench out of the way, I noticed that it had moved. So I tried again and yanked and yanked and suddenly it popped off. 

There is corrosion on the castle nut so I assume there is also corrosion on the bearing. Water came out.  I used the wetvac to try and clear out as much water as possible. I looked quickly at the back plate and I couldn't see any grease escaping. Not glaringly obvious. So, to give me a little more time, I shoved in the grease while spinning the tire. Tire spins freely and I couldn't feel any abrasiveness.  

As for the lug nuts. I took the heat gun and heated one nut. Nothing. On the tire with the bad buddy, those lugs would not loosen either. I'll have to take it somewhere because my  lower back just won't handle that.

One last thing......As I stated above, somebody suggested West Marine for the trailer repair. So I went today [before I got the buddy off]. It wasn't a WM shop....just a shop next to WM. Guy was rude! Finally he suggested another place "up the street"......that didn't work out either.   I went inside WM to ask them about trailer repairs shops and they didn't really know a whole lot about any. As for getting a bearing repair kit, I'd have to bring the parts in. Or get the bearing number off of the bearing as mentioned above.

Ya know what irks me though, now that the buddy is damaged, the grommet started to accept grease!

 

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This shows why we all need to find a good mechanic you can trust BEFORE stuff like this happens. Just like with a car, problems come up. As for the lug nuts, here's a suggestion. Use a propane torch. Heat the NUT all the way around. Use a six point socket and a long breaker bar to loosen it up. Remove it completely. Coat the stud with anti-seize compound. Reinstall the lug nut BY HAND. No impact tools. Torque it to specs. Usually 80 to 90 ft lbs. works for mine. Repeat this to every lug nut and at least you will be ready for a flat tire situation. Brake work as well as correct wheel bearing servicing are fairly involved for the average DIY person. You can however at least save the professional time, and yourself money, if the lug nuts are not seized up. 

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3 hours ago, SST said:

UPDATE: BREAKING NEWS:THIS JUST IN-Over 70 Billion people will be effected by weather this weekend. Stay tuned for further updates as we receive them.

As for the buddy bearing. I got it off. At first I thought I would apply an ice pack on the buddy and heat the hub. Expansion and contraction theory. Didn't work of course. Then it dawns on me, my brother left me tons of tools. The pipe wrench comes to mind. The buddy is already damaged so anything further is just a bonus. I found a 24inch pipe wrench. I attached it and started yanking on it. Dang it still wouldn't let go. I started to walk away and with the wrench out of the way, I noticed that it had moved. So I tried again and yanked and yanked and suddenly it popped off. 

There is corrosion on the castle nut so I assume there is also corrosion on the bearing. Water came out.  I used the wetvac to try and clear out as much water as possible. I looked quickly at the back plate and I couldn't see any grease escaping. Not glaringly obvious. So, to give me a little more time, I shoved in the grease while spinning the tire. Tire spins freely and I couldn't feel any abrasiveness.  

As for the lug nuts. I took the heat gun and heated one nut. Nothing. On the tire with the bad buddy, those lugs would not loosen either. I'll have to take it somewhere because my  lower back just won't handle that.

One last thing......As I stated above, somebody suggested West Marine for the trailer repair. So I went today [before I got the buddy off]. It wasn't a WM shop....just a shop next to WM. Guy was rude! Finally he suggested another place "up the street"......that didn't work out either.   I went inside WM to ask them about trailer repairs shops and they didn't really know a whole lot about any. As for getting a bearing repair kit, I'd have to bring the parts in. Or get the bearing number off of the bearing as mentioned above.

Ya know what irks me though, now that the buddy is damaged, the grommet started to accept grease!

 

How hot did you get the lug nut?

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Stern Drive brings up a VERY IMPORTANT point about lug nuts. YOU HAVE to take them off in the dark with the tools in the car / truck. & put them back on again.

I carry a 3/4" drive by 18" long breaker bar & socket for all vehicles & trailers wheel nuts.  I HAND TIGHTEN the wheel nuts at every tire replacement.  BINGO !  If you loose a set of wheel nuts in mud, snow or somehow. The front wheels NEED all their nuts. Borrow 2 from each REAR WHEEL. Take 2 from  OPPOSITE side of each wheel. Top & bottom.  Good to go.

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