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Bleeding surge brakes. Tricks?

Old 11-27-2002, 02:52 PM
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Default Bleeding surge brakes. Tricks?

I just replaced all of the brakes & lines on my triple axle trailer.
What is the best way to bleed them?
I have a small hand vac. pump that I could put on the bleed valve. Would this work with surge brakes?
Any other tricks?
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Old 11-27-2002, 03:38 PM
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It takes two poeple. One at the bleeding valve and one using your ball mount (obviously unhooked from your tow vehicle) actuating the master cylinder.
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Old 11-27-2002, 04:04 PM
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On trailers I make sure the master is full of fluid, leave the cap off. Go to nearest brake, open bleeder valve & let the fluid flow. Once the air is out close off & go to next nearest until you are at the farthest one. Once you have all the air out you should be OK. I always did it the hard way until a guy at a trailer place showed me this trick. It is a whole lot easier now. Just make sure you never let the level go down in the master. Or you get to start over again.
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Old 11-27-2002, 05:45 PM
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I've done it myself using my truck as the "brake" pedal. Block the trailer wheels in both directions. Rock the truck back and forth between drive and reverse a few times like pumping the brakes. Leave the truck in reverse with presure against the trailer and set the emergency brake , then put it in park. Release presure at wheel cyl. and repeat till you have an air free flow.Do this starting at he farthest wheel from the master cylinder.
Works for me , and only takes a few minutes.
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Old 11-27-2002, 05:51 PM
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Turbojack above has got it down... I'll only add that you should crank the front of the trailer up to assure that it is higher than the brakes. Just in case your not on level ground. Keep the cap off and start with the shortest line and just let it flow out for a minute and work your way back to the longest brake line. I usually had someone watch the fluid level to assure it was always full. Fluid is cheap, let it flow so you konw you got all the air out. This is easier than having someone push the plunger and having to open and close the fitting until you wear the brass fitting out. That should do it. Good luck.
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Old 11-27-2002, 05:59 PM
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DJD,you hit the nail right on the head. Use the vac pump and resevoir to vacum bleed the system.
Make sure the master cylinder if full,all bleeders closed. Stroke the master cylinder until it gets hard to push in(god this sounds bad doesn't it) then refill the master,open the furthest bleeder first,attach the vac line to the bleeder,put a resevoir between the bleeder and the pump amd pump it till no more bubbles are seen. Refill the master and move on to the next furthest bleeder. Repeat until all wheel cylinders have been bled. Should take you about half an hour to do it all.
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Old 11-27-2002, 07:32 PM
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What I do is take a pipe wrench upside down just on the ft lip on the trailer and do the pumping with that while someone else opens the bleeders works well.
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Old 11-27-2002, 07:59 PM
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What I do works every single time. I hook up the trailer, make sure it's connected okay, then drive to the trailer repair place. I unhook the trailer, then leave for lunch. I head back later in the afternoon and hook up the trailer and head for a happy hour!

Works every time.
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Old 11-27-2002, 08:45 PM
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LOL Nort!
Thanks for the imput guys, I'll handle it tomorrow. It's funny, with all the things I know how to do well, i've never had to do the trailer. Thanks for the tips!!
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Old 11-28-2002, 10:22 AM
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Easiest way to do it yourself is to bleed from the bottom up. Get a CLEAN oil squirt can filled with brake fluid (with another quart to complete the job) and a piece of small neoprene hose, small enough to fit over the bleeder on the wheel cylinders and the oil can nozzle. With the cap removed from the master cylinder, crack open a bleeder fitting on the wheel farthest away from the master cylinder after slipping the hose on the bleeder and the oil can and start pumping the lever on the oil can. I usually empty about half of the contents of the master cylinder out so that I can watch for overflow as I fill the system from the bottom. Repeat the process on all brake-equipped wheels. Just make sure you don't completely empty the oil can before refilling it. Believe me, this system works.
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