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Trailer trouble...ideas?

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Old 09-29-2004, 11:11 PM
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Default Trailer trouble...ideas?

Brought the boat home from the marina today, 30 miles. Get out of the truck after I pull in the yard and can smell an oil burning smell. Look under and sniff around the truck...not the truck! Follow my nose to the trailer and bingo, smells like hot grease. Upon closer inspection find the wheels and tires (both fronts and right rear mostly) HOT..TOO HOT to touch the aluminum wheel and the most effected tires very hot also!

Triple axle Eagle under Formula 353
Drum brakes all axles, greasable spindles
"5 Star" aluminum wheels (stock)
Tire pressure a little under cold, at 72-74 lbs. at the marina before I left.

A month ago I serviced all 3 axles with bearing removal, cleaning, checked seal condition, checked brake shoes and hardware, hand packed and then filled with "Mystic JT-6" high temp wheel bearing grease (big thread about this once before). Trailer has not been wet, as we loaded with the travelift after I cleaned the bottom.

I can't believe this grease is failing, I don't think it is.

Pulled rubber plugs out of dust cap and stuck my pinky into the grease you can see and it was warm... NOT hot.

Do I have some brakes shoes dragging? You can't tell on the road with a DuraMax.

Big question...Did I boil the fluid? The most affected brake drums were HOT! Dragging brakes would put the heat out into the wheel and tire like that, right?

If the bearings had been the source of that much heat they'd have siezed, don't you think?
I mean there was some serious heat put into the spindles, that's why I could smell the grease around the trailer. Though my thought, is that the JT-6 saved my bearings.

I'd have put this in tech, but I wanted the exposure here, and alot of others are doing thier season ending tow right now...might help me, and them.
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Old 09-29-2004, 11:21 PM
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Default Re: Trailer trouble...ideas?

Sounds to me like you have dragging brakes. When I trailer I try and take off at leaste a little fast so that I know that the surge brakes pull open. That is my best guess as you said shoes so I am asumming drum brakes. Is this the first time that you ahave trailered any distance since you did the work to it? Some how you have a dragging brake....

Jon
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Old 09-29-2004, 11:23 PM
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Default Re: Trailer trouble...ideas?

were shoes adjusted properly after drum removal? Everything put back in properly, I've pulled drums off only to find someone put shoes in backwards, they have a tendency to bind up. Other thing is self adjusting shoes?? Definitely brakes dragging, bearing wouldn't create that much heat.
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Old 09-29-2004, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: Trailer trouble...ideas?

I had the same problem with my last trailer. It was dragging drum brakes but it was due to sticky wheel cylinders. Popped the dust covers off and found abundant rust . Even with the bleeders open I couldn't push the plungers back. Replaced them and ok.
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Old 09-29-2004, 11:50 PM
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Default Re: Trailer trouble...ideas?

Check master cylinder for fluid return after braking.It doesn't take
much trash to restrict the small orifice.Usually all wheels experience this problem when restricted.Could also be wheel cylinders.Make sure bearings are properly preloaded.If there to tight no room for thermal growth.Good Luck
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Old 09-30-2004, 01:17 AM
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Default Re: Trailer trouble...ideas?

Thanks, I figured brakes.
I've greased the surge plunger grease fittings previously.

Never took any shoes or hardware off.

Wheel cylinders looked good...not apparently rusty.

Never had any issues prior to today. Trailer stored indoors (dry).

I'll check the fluid level in the morning, and consider full change out of fluid.
How do you push and bleed a surge coupler system?

I installed Russell "speed bleeder" bleeder screws on my Corvette...they work awesome! I need to see if I can get them for the trailer anyway. One person bleeding.

Any other thoughts on why they'd hang up all of a sudden?

I had considered the spindle nuts...though they are all the same, run up snug then backed off "some".
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Old 09-30-2004, 08:17 AM
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Default Re: Trailer trouble...ideas?

I think you are the right track and have some good advice from these gentlemen. Seizing of the wheel cylinder would indicate that moisture is getting past the rubber boot that covers the aluminum piston. This can happen if you splash a trailer with warm brakes into cool water. As the water cools the wheel cylinders moisture is drawn into cylinder as it contracts as it is cooled. I always let the trailer "Cool Down" before I splash the trailer. Also, brakes that are not properly adjusted can cause a seisure. The piston in the wheel cylinder has to move out too far of the housing to actuate the brake shoes. This could cause the piston to "Bind" in the housing, or push the shoes out too far on the backing plate and make them "Catch" on the purches that the shoes ride on. Properly adjusted trailer brakes are dragging ever so slightly to hear a scrapping noise. If the heat was caused by the grease in the hub, the grease should have been liquified and running out of the dust cap. I believe that Redneck Trailer Supply has a master cylinder cover kit that allows you to power bleed the brakes with compressed air, www.redneck-trailer.com I hope this helps.

Robert
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Old 09-30-2004, 12:58 PM
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Default Re: Trailer trouble...ideas?

Liek hot pursuit said, IT is probably dirt/rust in the master cylinder working like a check valve . YOu apply the brakes and when you pull up to release ,the dirt plugs that TINY little hole and won't allow the fluid to return and release the brakes . This is common . Just for the hell of it , undo the brake line on the back of the master cylinder (on the trailer) . You may find a big burst of fluid blow out of it when you do !

Tontos right also , Redneck trailer supply for parts you need . I order from them 2-3 times a week .
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Old 09-30-2004, 11:46 PM
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Default Re: Trailer trouble...ideas?

Thanks guys...I appreciate the advice, and the link for that bleeder set-up.

I'll check for fluid return first ...and go from there.
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Old 10-01-2004, 06:41 AM
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Default Re: Trailer trouble...ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boot
Liek hot pursuit said, IT is probably dirt/rust in the master cylinder working like a check valve . YOu apply the brakes and when you pull up to release ,the dirt plugs that TINY little hole and won't allow the fluid to return and release the brakes . This is common . Just for the hell of it , undo the brake line on the back of the master cylinder (on the trailer) . You may find a big burst of fluid blow out of it when you do !

Tontos right also , Redneck trailer supply for parts you need . I order from them 2-3 times a week .
What he said!! and check to see if the bearings were overtightend..
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