Surge brake Questions

Discussion in 'Tires / Brakes / Bearings / Axles' started by charger, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. charger

    charger New Member

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    Do the surge brakes need 12 V power to work? Does it matter what fluid I use? Dot 3 brake fluid? How do I bleed the brakes?
     
  2. Yellowkayak

    Yellowkayak Popups.....when sleeping on the ground gets to you

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    Charger I've got surge brakes on my kayak trailer (sixteen foot utility trailer made to haul cars converted into a kayak hauler), regular brake fluid is used in the reservoir, NO BATTERY required. When you slow down pressure on the surge mechanism is applied and the brakes are then applied. You do need to adjust your brakes about evey 500 -1 00 miles or so, by lifting the trailer up and adjusting the crown adjuster on the inside . Access to the crown adjuster is thru a tiny hole covered with a rubber plug that keeps out debris. Its the same adjuster used in older model cars.

    You asked about bleeding, if it needs bleeding you bleed it just like a cars systems. Read on the internet on how to bleed a car's system.

    Is this an old used one you just bought, is it on your popup?

    JJ

    07 Chevy Trailblazer
    07 Fleetwood Niagra
    (2) Hobie Adventure Kayaks
    (1) Hobie Outback
    (1) Pungo 120
    (1) Pungo 100
     
  3. charger

    charger New Member

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    I bought it last year. Wasn't really familiar with it. Been doing some stuff to it and realized it had surge brakes. My guess is the fluid is empty. The people that owned it really didn't keep up on general maitnence so I've been going through it. I'm not real familiar with surge brakes.
     
  4. Yellowkayak

    Yellowkayak Popups.....when sleeping on the ground gets to you

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    Charger,

    Please the check the system thoroughly. If the reservoir is empty, there is a significant leak in the system. Those reservoir SHOULD NOT LEAK. Refill and make sure cap is on tight and drive on a secluded road where you can apply your brakes on your TV hard to actuate the surge brakes. If there is a leak, you will see fluid sometwhere in the system. it could be as simple as a loose connection at the brake on the hub area. I hate when people don't take care of things and neglect simple maintenance things, especially safety equipment. Shows the are just lazt, or totally ignorant of the maintenance requirements!

    Good luck, lets us know what you find.

    JJ

    07 Chevy Trailblazer
    07 Fleetwood Niagra
    (2) Hobie Adventure Kayaks
    (1) Hobie Outback
    (1) Pungo 120
    (1) Pungo 100
     
  5. Retired Alex

    Retired Alex New Member

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    What brand brakes are they? Try the manufacturer's website, you may be able to download a manual there.

    Alex & Mary Burnett
    J D (Boxer Pup)
    2000 Aerolite Cub F21
    2006 F-150 XLT
    "If alcohol is a crutch, then Jack Daniels is a wheelchair!"
    Nights Camped in 2006 42
    http://home.netscape.ca/~burnetta/
    http://community.webshots.com/user/alexburnett
     
  6. charger

    charger New Member

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    So it did have brake fluid in it. How much should the actuator have to move? Should I be able to tell that the brakes are working? Cause it doesn't seem like it. Is there anything special I need to adjust the brakes if that is what the problem is?
     
  7. Yellowkayak

    Yellowkayak Popups.....when sleeping on the ground gets to you

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    Charger you can't tell until you are driving and apply your brakes and see if the trailer brakes are coming on. You should feel some resistance from the trailer with the brakes applied. Remember the harder you stop, the harder the trailer brakes are applied on surge brakes.

    To adjust all you need is a flathead screw driver, unless you want to go to an automotive store and buy a brake adjustment tool. Flathead screw driver works just as good and I have about a thousnad of those, so no need to spend about $4-5 bucks for a tool that a screw driver can do.

    Lift trailer off ground with jack after placing wheel chock on opposite side wheel. Pry off rubber plug from rear of hub (should be an oval shape plug), while tire is spinning turn the crown gear with screw driver until tire seems to be grabbed by the brakes. Don't over tighten the brakes. Rule of thumb here: Tighten brakes until the tire is grabbbed by the brakes but cannot spin eaily, then back off about two notches (you'll feel when you turn the crown adjustment wheel that it "clicks". These are notches that you can actually feel when adjusting the brakes. Then go out and try braking again and you should feel the trailer grab just before your TV brakes grab. This will keep your trailer following in a staight line when you hit your brakes and not fish tail. You may have to adjust it a couple times to get it just right. Your trailer brakes SHOULD NOT lock up, if they do, then they are to tight, back them off a bit. Don't forget to adjust BOTH sides equally!

    Good luck!


    07 Chevy Trailblazer
    07 Fleetwood Niagra
    (2) Hobie Adventure Kayaks
    (1) Hobie Outback
    (1) Pungo 120
    (1) Pungo 100

    Edited by - Yellowkayak on April 05 2007 16:17:57

    Edited by - Yellowkayak on April 05 2007 16:19:01

    Edited by - Yellowkayak on April 05 2007 16:20:43

    Edited by - Yellowkayak on April 05 2007 16:22:20
     
  8. Retired Alex

    Retired Alex New Member

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    To see if your surge beakes are working, lift one wheel off the ground as Yellowkayak describes in his post. Have someone spin the wheel and then pull on the breakaway chain. If the brakes are working the wheel will stop spinning. Try the other wheel the same way. Check everything out for leaks, this may entail pulling the brake drumbs to make sure the wheel cylinders are not leaking.

    Alex & Mary Burnett
    J D (Boxer Pup)
    2000 Aerolite Cub F21
    2006 F-150 XLT
    "If alcohol is a crutch, then Jack Daniels is a wheelchair!"
    Nights Camped in 2006 42
    http://home.netscape.ca/~burnetta/
    http://community.webshots.com/user/alexburnett

    Edited by - Retired Alex on April 06 2007 14:30:36
     
  9. fleagalbaum

    fleagalbaum New Member

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    The way I found out if the brakes were working on my trailer was to lift up the trailer and take the detachable trailer hitch off my tow vehicle receiver and attach it to the ball hitch on the trailer. you can get some leverage to apply the brakes with the steel attached to the ball. Have someone apply the brakes at the front with the hitch ball then spin a tire to see if it turns. If it has no resistance, you might want to pull the drums and inspect the brake system. The wheel cylinders on mine were siezed so I replaced everthing and got it working like new. To Bleed the brakes, you can use the hitch ball pushing method to pump the brakes while you bleed it at the bleeder valves at the wheels. Just make sure there is lots of fluid at all times in the reservoir.
     

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