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Old 03-31-2009, 04:36 PM   #1
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Default How to bleed trailer brakes

Is anyone know, what is best way to bleed the air out of disk brake on boat trailer? Is there any instruction how to do it? Is the brake fluid any from automotive?
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Old 03-31-2009, 04:59 PM   #2
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Brandon, What is the reason that you are bleeding the brakes? Have you changed parts or opened the lines for any reason?
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Old 03-31-2009, 05:27 PM   #3
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Cheap little vaccum pump used at each wheel cylinder called a Viper (I think). Makes it a one man job. Make sure your tounge acutator is extended out all the way before starting and keep the fluid topped in the tounge master cylinder.
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Old 03-31-2009, 05:34 PM   #4
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I'd assume that you have surge brakes. It will take two people. One with the correct type and size wrench to open and close the bleeder valve, usually located on the inside of the drum beside the brake line. The other person has to compress the piston located in the tounge of your trailer. You can use a 6' 2x4 or I used the winch. Good luck
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Old 03-31-2009, 06:16 PM   #5
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Just replaced my backing plates, master cylinder and brake lines. Bought a hand operated vacuum pump with brake bleeder kit at Harbor Freight for less than $20. Worked great. Beats having to rig the safety chains together and have a helper.
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Old 03-31-2009, 07:49 PM   #6
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I have hooked a ratchet tie down strap to the frame and looped it around the tongue. Pull it tight and then go to the bleed valve and crack it a little. Tighten the valve when fluid slows and then loosen strap pull tongue out and repeat. It takes a little time, but is cheap and works. I can see how the winch strap would also be another good alternative.
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:03 PM   #7
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You can do this single handed as well.
Get a length of rubber gas line hose of the proper diameter to fit snugly over the bleader nipples. Put about 1 1/2" of DOT3 brake fluid in a Coke bottle (or similar). Loosen off the furthest nipple from the actuator and slide one end of the hose over the nipple. The other end gets immersed in the brake fluid in the bottom of the Coke bottle. Using a screw large screwdriver, or a round 3/8" bar, depress the activator pin. On most units there is a hole that the screwdrivwer or bar can drop into to act as a falcrum. Depress the pin and should should feel it collapse into the housing. Repeat this 4 or 5 times and then check the fluid level in the master cylinder. Do not allow the fluid level in the reservior to drop too low, or you will introduce new air into the system. The fluid in the Coke bottle will stop any air from coming back into the system when you release the bar to re-stroke. Once you get a steady stream of fluid coming out of the hose, stop pumping, go back, remove the hose and tighten up the bleader, repeat on the other cylinders until everything is full, and all the air is removed. Be sure and have at least 2 litres, (quarts) of brake fluid on hand.
I just did my brakes last weekend using this method and found that it worked very well, and didn't spill a lot of fluid on he ground. Once again, check the reservoir often, adding air at the source is a pain in the a**.
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:05 PM   #8
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Piece of cake ..... watch the video
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Old 03-31-2009, 10:20 PM   #9
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My two cents worth: 1.) Use two people as it makes the job much easier and quicker. 2.) While you are finishing up the trailer, peen over the threads on the three bolts that hold the Actuator on or, as I did, spot weld the nuts so that they cannont be removed without grinding them off. If you look at parked detrached trailers, and the slides here are no excepiton, there is usually a heavy padlock and maybe some type of hitch lock....but 12 inches up the actuator, there are three bolts with a washer and self locking nuts. A good thief and ~120 seconds could remove and replace the actuator...and be gone. They won't worry about the brake line or bleeding the brakes before they leave. MDT
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Old 04-01-2009, 05:01 AM   #10
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Thanks BWP!
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Old 04-01-2009, 06:18 AM   #11
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For you guys that have struggled to depress the piston on the actuator on the trailer tongue. If you have an actuator like the Titan Model 10 with the exposed emergency brake lever, unbolt the guards off the brake lever and bolt the brake lever back down. Then, all you have to do to actuate the brakes (and pump brake fluid) is to clamp a large vice grip plier to the emergency brake lever and pump with one hand. Piece of cake. In this way, you do not have to compress the piston or the springs in the actuator.
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