Trucks & Trailers - Disc brake headache

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View Full Version : Disc brake headache


kbutton1
02-04-2012, 04:28 PM
My disc brakes are not releasing. Any hints would be appreciated. I put new Kodiak SS calipers on a few weeks ago. Took the rig on highway for 30 miles and the hubs are very hot. I bled each side 10 squirts per side. No luck. Pads still rub on rotor. My actuator is a Titan and is only 18 months old. My local trailer shop tells me I have trash in my lines or to check my master cylinder. How do you "check a master cylinder"?


seaeagle2
02-04-2012, 06:48 PM
Were your old brakes disc brakes, if not, your actuator has a check valve in it, because drum brakes need residual pressure, discs don't.

Bigger Hammer
02-04-2012, 07:54 PM
seaeagle has some good advice. Beyond that...
Do you have a reverse lockout solenoid, and if so, is it operating properly? It may be locking pressure up in the system
"10 squirts per side" doesn't sound like a whole lot if you're trying to flush old brake fluid out. Was there anything out of the ordinary visible in the expended fluid? Was the fluid dark or light, did it contain any suspended solids or liquids? Leave it sitting in a clear jar to see any moisture settles out. Most brake fluids will absorb a lot of moisture, so nothing may settle out even if moisture is present. If what comes out doesn't look like what's going in, keep bleeding.
How many axles/brake calipers? Are all of them over heating equally? If so, that would point towards the actuator, or the common portion of the line before it tees off to the calipers.
How old are the brake lines? Flexible brake lines may collapse, causing internal blockage.
Kodiak apparently does not recommend lubricating the caliper sliders, the rubber busings that slide on the stainless sleeves. I wouldn't install their calipers without lubrication, I've heard stories of automotive calipers hanging up because they weren't lubricated. Caliper grease is sold at the checkout counter of every car parts store I've been in lately, comes in very single application packages to larger tubes. It doesn't take much, just a very thin coating of the sleeve. Don't use lubricants that aren't designed for this application, they may not be compatible with the rubber bushing.
Hope some of this helps.


kbutton1
02-05-2012, 06:48 AM
seaeagle has some good advice. Beyond that...
Do you have a reverse lockout solenoid, and if so, is it operating properly? It may be locking pressure up in the system
"10 squirts per side" doesn't sound like a whole lot if you're trying to flush old brake fluid out. Was there anything out of the ordinary visible in the expended fluid? Was the fluid dark or light, did it contain any suspended solids or liquids? Leave it sitting in a clear jar to see any moisture settles out. Most brake fluids will absorb a lot of moisture, so nothing may settle out even if moisture is present. If what comes out doesn't look like what's going in, keep bleeding.
How many axles/brake calipers? Are all of them over heating equally? If so, that would point towards the actuator, or the common portion of the line before it tees off to the calipers.
How old are the brake lines? Flexible brake lines may collapse, causing internal blockage.
Kodiak apparently does not recommend lubricating the caliper sliders, the rubber busings that slide on the stainless sleeves. I wouldn't install their calipers without lubrication, I've heard stories of automotive calipers hanging up because they weren't lubricated. Caliper grease is sold at the checkout counter of every car parts store I've been in lately, comes in very single application packages to larger tubes. It doesn't take much, just a very thin coating of the sleeve. Don't use lubricants that aren't designed for this application, they may not be compatible with the rubber bushing.
Hope some of this helps.
Thanks for taking the time to respond. Yes my old calipers were Kodiak as well. I have a Titan actuator designed for disc brakes. The fluid coming out of the bleed valve looked clean but I will check again as I was using a plastic cup to catch fluid. I do have rubber lines, two sections of which were replaced when I put on the new calipers. The port side of the trailer seems to lock up while the starboard side seems to operate normally. After backing into parking space I noticed the port side tire dragging while the other was not. When I pulled the tires - I could turn and spin the starboard hub with very little contact on the pads. On the port side I could turn the hub, but it would not spin and it had constant pressure from the pads. I checked the backup solenoid and it clicks when the truck is shifted into reverse and it was installed about four months ago - so I don't think that is my problem.

I am very frustrated. Worked all week putting new axle on trailer (I went two inches longer because my caliper bolt heads were rubbing trailer frame when I hit a large bump). After getting everything back together, brakes still overheat (mostly on port side).

This is a tri-axle trailer with Kodiak disc brakes on first axle only. System was new as of Oct 2010 and worked fine up until last month.

kbutton1
02-05-2012, 06:50 AM
Forgot to mention I did spray silicone lubricant on the sleeves prior to installing bolts. I was ablt to move the sleeves easily with my fingers - plus they are new. Will pickup a tube of the caliper grease and try that at next interval.

Bigger Hammer
02-05-2012, 07:34 AM
Sounds like it's isolated to something on the port side, in the brake line or caliper. I would try putting a c-clamp (or similar) on the port caliper to see if the piston moves back into the caliper bore freely. Compress the back side of the caliper and outboard brake pad, the caliper should move outboard as the piston goes back into the caliper bore.

Santee vip
02-05-2012, 09:32 AM
Are you sure your wheel bearings are not too tight on port side? They will cause the heat build up.

Kevin Desselle
02-05-2012, 01:41 PM
If you have tried everything Bigger Hammer has said, then you need to check this.
I just saw something you said that gave away what may very well be the problem. You installed these brakes on a “new axle”. It would be very strange to have a new caliper sticking. What is not uncommon is a brake flange being slightly off. When they are off, the caliper is not able to float and the outer pad is held against the rotor.
Do a quick test to check this. Remove the brake line from the caliper, jack up the wheel and spin it. If it drags bad enough to make the wheel hard to turn, you will need to shim the caliper mounting plate with flat washers till it spins freely.
Being a trailer manufacturer, we have literally installed thousands of disc brakes on many brands of axles. The first thing the brake installer does after everything is tight is to spin the rotor to check pad to rotor clearance and make sure the caliper is indeed floating. It’s an easy fix when it has to be shimmed, but if it’s over looked the brakes will run very hot and burn up.
Calipers are often blamed for sticking when the caliper was never able to float correctly from the start.

kbutton1
02-05-2012, 02:08 PM
Excellent advice. Thanks. I spoke with a local trailer guy today and he said he will check it for me in the morning. Fyi I had this same problem on my old axle but will certainly check the bracket

Truant
02-05-2012, 10:12 PM
I have a problem similar to the one you describe. Port side caliper sticks. I have purchased a new caliper and this side still heats up as well but everything on the caliper seems to operate like new. I will look at the caliper flange or mount and check the metal brake line to this caliper as it could be crushed and not allowing the caliper piston to retract.

kbutton1
02-06-2012, 07:20 AM
I am taking it to a local technician today. He said it sounds like a bad hose. Will let you know what it takes to fix.

DoubleO7
02-06-2012, 01:29 PM
Crushed brake lines or rubber lines going bad...................
Yes maybe the flow would go into the caliper, but it would also come out.
Maybe not as quickly as going in but after resting a few minutes it would be "relieved".
Desselle's diagnosis will tell you if it is a brake fluid flow or mechanical (alignment) problem.

pizzacutter
02-26-2012, 04:52 AM
I have had the steel jacket on the pads rust and swell slightly. enough to cause drag and heat. My new practice is to change pads more often even if not fully worn out. problem got solved for me. It happened on bth my 2 axle (22 mako) and tri axle (42' harley). Even if it is not problem, money is not wasted as pads don't last long in salt envior. anyway.

LouC
02-26-2012, 09:56 AM
I am very frustrated. Worked all week putting new axle on trailer (I went two inches longer because my caliper bolt heads were rubbing trailer frame when I hit a large bump). After getting everything back together, brakes still overheat (mostly on port side).



this statement makes me suspicious, is it possible that the caliper bolt heads, rubbing the trailer frame, may have tweaked the caliper mount on that side and now the caliper is not at a 90* angle to the axle centerline? It would not take much for it to bind like that.
All the other suggestions are very good ones, but do take a careful look at the mounts on the side where you have the binding problem.

loose_cannon
02-26-2012, 10:36 AM
this statement makes me suspicious, is it possible that the caliper bolt heads, rubbing the trailer frame, may have tweaked the caliper mount on that side and now the caliper is not at a 90* angle to the axle centerline? It would not take much for it to bind like that.
All the other suggestions are very good ones, but do take a careful look at the mounts on the side where you have the binding problem.

Me too. If it were on my trailer I'd probably do a quick swap of the calipers side to side and see if it moves the problem. That would tell you real fast of it was the caliper or the flange alignment.

Crabby Ole Fart
02-26-2012, 10:55 AM
yep they do run hot. trailering from Md to Key West i checked the hubs w/ the little IR gun.

trailer dics hubs 165 degrees F

Chevy 2500 HD 4X4 front disc hubs 185 degrees F.

my old trailer drum brake hubs 120 degrees F

jacksdad
02-27-2012, 07:26 AM
Identical problem on my trailer. Believe was backup solenoid locking up. Drained some fluid and no more problem.



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