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Trailer brake is sticking - what are the steps to correct?

Old 05-07-2009, 05:54 PM
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Default Trailer brake is sticking - what are the steps to correct?

I have Kodiak disk braker on all 4 wheels. One is sticking - my hope is it can be repaired - just by lubricating the bolts/pins - I've never worked on brakes. Can anyone detail the steps to repair - I'm goign to do this to all four starting with the bad one.

Thanks,
Chris
Old 05-07-2009, 07:09 PM
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We can't provide any help with the diagnosis without more details about how it's sticking. Does it stick all the time? For a short while after breaking? Loosening up a bleeder plug to relieve pressure may help with the diagnosis also.
As far as lubricating the bolts/pins:
Go by an auto parts store and by some disk brake caliper grease. They sell very small packages at the checkout counters. It doesn't take much, but make sure you get enough for all four calipers.
Safely remove the wheel if you can't get access to both of the bolts retaining the caliper from the inside.
Remove the two bolts retaining the caliper to the bracket. If the caliper is binding when you start it may break free as you remove the bolts, so you may feel a very little bit of movement as it breaks free.
Slide the caliper outboard on the disk, away from the hub. If this is very difficult it's likely an indication that the problem is not going to be fixed by lubricating the sliders. You may need to use a screwdriver to gently, alternately, pry the sides of the caliper up towards the edge of the disk. I would recommend that you don't take the caliper completely off the disk, it'll be much easier to reassemble things if you don't. Get it just close enough to the edge of the disk that you can rock either side up to access the stainless sleeve that the bolts go through.
If you end up removing the caliper don't do anything that would potentially activate your brakes or apply pressure to the brake system. The piston in the caliper will move outboard and the caliper and pads won't fit back over the disk without compressing the piston back into it's bore. It's not difficult, but we're trying to keep this easy. The handle of my 1/2" Craftsman ratchet is just the right size to stick between the pads and pry the piston back into it's bore.
Push the stainless sleeves out of the rubber boots/bushings that they're installed in. I found a 3/8" extension works well for this.
Wipe the sleeves clean, and make sure the sleeves and rubber boots/bushings are not damaged.
Apply a thin coat of the brake lubricant to the sleeves, then push them back into the boots 'til the ends are flush.
Push the caliper back down on to the disk until the sleeves line up with the mounting holes in the bracket. Apply blue locktite to the threads of the bolts and reinstall, torque to 40 ft-lbs, not too tight, see below.
The threads are metric, M11 x 1.5, in case that becomes important.
I'm going to be installing inserts in two of my brackets this weekend. 3 axles, 6 hubs, and the last 2 hubs I re-did of the 3 that had never had their seals replaced in 5 years, had stripped threads in the brackets where the retaining bolts go. One of the bolts was ready to fall out. Very strange!
Hope this works out for you. Assuming it does, now you can do the other 3.
Bill
Old 05-07-2009, 09:20 PM
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thanks bill this is great info
Old 05-07-2009, 10:10 PM
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Default So Well Put!!!

Originally Posted by Bigger Hammer View Post
We can't provide any help with the diagnosis without more details about how it's sticking. Does it stick all the time? For a short while after breaking? Loosening up a bleeder plug to relieve pressure may help with the diagnosis also.
As far as lubricating the bolts/pins:
Go by an auto parts store and by some disk brake caliper grease. They sell very small packages at the checkout counters. It doesn't take much, but make sure you get enough for all four calipers.
Safely remove the wheel if you can't get access to both of the bolts retaining the caliper from the inside.
Remove the two bolts retaining the caliper to the bracket. If the caliper is binding when you start it may break free as you remove the bolts, so you may feel a very little bit of movement as it breaks free.
Slide the caliper outboard on the disk, away from the hub. If this is very difficult it's likely an indication that the problem is not going to be fixed by lubricating the sliders. You may need to use a screwdriver to gently, alternately, pry the sides of the caliper up towards the edge of the disk. I would recommend that you don't take the caliper completely off the disk, it'll be much easier to reassemble things if you don't. Get it just close enough to the edge of the disk that you can rock either side up to access the stainless sleeve that the bolts go through.
If you end up removing the caliper don't do anything that would potentially activate your brakes or apply pressure to the brake system. The piston in the caliper will move outboard and the caliper and pads won't fit back over the disk without compressing the piston back into it's bore. It's not difficult, but we're trying to keep this easy. The handle of my 1/2" Craftsman ratchet is just the right size to stick between the pads and pry the piston back into it's bore.
Push the stainless sleeves out of the rubber boots/bushings that they're installed in. I found a 3/8" extension works well for this.
Wipe the sleeves clean, and make sure the sleeves and rubber boots/bushings are not damaged.
Apply a thin coat of the brake lubricant to the sleeves, then push them back into the boots 'til the ends are flush.
Push the caliper back down on to the disk until the sleeves line up with the mounting holes in the bracket. Apply blue locktite to the threads of the bolts and reinstall, torque to 40 ft-lbs, not too tight, see below.
The threads are metric, M11 x 1.5, in case that becomes important.
I'm going to be installing inserts in two of my brackets this weekend. 3 axles, 6 hubs, and the last 2 hubs I re-did of the 3 that had never had their seals replaced in 5 years, had stripped threads in the brackets where the retaining bolts go. One of the bolts was ready to fall out. Very strange!
Hope this works out for you. Assuming it does, now you can do the other 3.
Bill
This could be one of the most informative post's I've ever come across on this site....... Many thanks for leading this guy down the right path..... Trailer brakes are a continuous nightmare, my ride is at the dealer with warranty work as I type this, I could fix it but it's under warranty and their issue, but the one thing that trailers require is maintenance, and spare parts, even if it's working perfect just give it time, it will need assistance and more then likely some sort of replacement, I'm starting to figure it out, always have a backup for your backup and deal with the problems as they arise or else they will get out of hand and leave you stranded!!
Tight Lines
Monty
Old 05-08-2009, 06:56 AM
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I went thru several tires and brake sets before I converted to and electric over hydraulic system. No problems now for almost 2 years.

I think the primary culprit in the surge system I had was never really getting them bled properly. This caused the pad to drag on one or more wheels. I thought I had all the air out. I had a shop bleed them on a few occassions and I bled them myself. ALL of the air has to be bled for the piston to retract properly. With the EOH it is a piece of cake.

I still don't think I could bleed a surge system and guarantee alll the air is out.

Great post Hammer.
Old 05-08-2009, 09:32 AM
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If i had air in the line wouldn't all or more then one brake be sticking? Should I bleed the brakes and if so how?
thanks in advance for the info
Old 05-08-2009, 12:27 PM
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This is a great subject. My trailer is 3 years old and I have had the same caliper (Drivers side back axle.) lock up 3 times over the three years I have owned the trailer. Everything seems to work fine. I have removed the caliper and Kodiak sent me a rebuild kit last year. All other calipers work fine with no problems at all. I have bled the brakes and flushed the lines all three times and all works fine for about 6 months then the same caliper locks up. Luckily I can feel it lock up and stop the rig and just relieve the pressure by opening the bleed screw on the caliper. I then rebleed when I get to the house. No leaks reservoir always full and checked. Very frustrating when you are towing a 8500lb boat and trailer. I think now that the boat is off the trailer I will pack up the caliper and send it to Kodiak to have them take a look. Funny thing is I have always had TieDowns on my other trailers before with zero problems....
Old 05-08-2009, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by offshore3144 View Post
...had the same caliper (Drivers side back axle.) lock up 3 times over the three years ....
Same caliper causing trouble on my trailer - drivers side rear.....????
Old 05-08-2009, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by gw24t View Post
Same caliper causing trouble on my trailer - drivers side rear.....????
Yes the same one. What kind of trailer? Mine is a Loadmaster....Mark
Old 05-08-2009, 01:30 PM
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Tidewater here - how do I realve the pressure - maybe that will do it and I wont need to pull apart?
Old 05-08-2009, 01:39 PM
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Open up the bleeder screw closer to the top of the caliper. If the brake fluid spurts out it's under pressure, and you've just relieved the pressure. You may introduce air into the system by doing this, and the caliper may hang up again the next time you apply the brakes.
I'm getting ready to go out to start playing with mine, I'll try to get some pictures.
Bill
Old 05-08-2009, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by gw24t View Post
Tidewater here - how do I realve the pressure - maybe that will do it and I wont need to pull apart?
You can relieve the pressure by opening the upper bleed screw with a open end wrench on the caliper. This is just a temporary fix. You will still need to flush the lines and re bleed the system. I don't know what causes the problem but I have to flush and re bleed about every six months. Like I mentioned earlier I am going to remove the caliper and send it back to Kodiak. I thought it might be some trash in the lines but I have flushed the numerous times and no garbage every comes out of the lines or calipers. I thought it might be the coupler but that caliper is the only one that locks up the rest are fine. I have also tried to lube the bolts and plastic slide inserts on the calipers but it did not help...Mark
Old 05-08-2009, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by gw24t View Post
If i had air in the line wouldn't all or more then one brake be sticking? Should I bleed the brakes and if so how?
thanks in advance for the info
gw,

Go tow your rig 5 or 6 miles...maybe not even that far. Stop the rig and go feel the hubs. Assuming that your hubs and bearings are in good shape, if a hub is to warm to hold you hand on, I would bet that it is a caliper dragging because of air in the line. The system needs to be COMPLETELY free of air so the plunger will retract properly.

The problems I had (believe me there were many) only affected one brake at a time.
Old 05-13-2009, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by aubrey View Post
gw,

Go tow your rig 5 or 6 miles...maybe not even that far. Stop the rig and go feel the hubs. Assuming that your hubs and bearings are in good shape, if a hub is to warm to hold you hand on, I would bet that it is a caliper dragging because of air in the line. The system needs to be COMPLETELY free of air so the plunger will retract properly.

The problems I had (believe me there were many) only affected one brake at a time.
I have done this numerous times and had the brakes bled once by a professional brake shop. Everything is fine for a few months then out of no where the same brake locks up. I check the brake fluid before and after every trip. I have flushed and inspected all the brake lines, and there are no leaks. Why would it just be the same caliper? That is the big question...Mark
Old 05-15-2009, 09:12 PM
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Great post, thanks guys.
I have a Venture dual axle trailer with surge brake drums (not sure of the brand). I'm going into my third season and never had a problem until recently. I have had the right rear brake dragging on the last two trips. The wheel gets really hot.
The wheel does not start out dragging, it's as if it sticks after decending or stopping. I wasn't sure where to begin, I lubricated the grease fittings on the tongue/surge assembly thinking it was sticking, but that didn't do it.
I didn't think brakes could get air in the system unless something was broken/leaking? I would think that air in the system would lead to NO brakes, not sticking brakes. Is this a fairly common problem with this style of brakes?
Old 05-18-2009, 07:49 PM
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Default Trailer Brakes Sticking...

Iíd mentioned a while back that I would try to get some pictures of what I was describing with respect to lubing the sleeves on Kodiak brake calipers. Sorry it took so long, but here they are. Iíve copied some of my original post, and added photos to, hopefully, help explain.

Also, please beware (thatís right beware, not be aware) that Iím not a professional and am not certified. Certifiable, maybe. This is intended as documentation of what I would choose to do, and my recommendations, but Iíll take no responsibility for any elseís actions based upon these posts. Brakes are very critical vehicle components, so work on your own trailer at your own risk.

As far as lubricating the bolts/pins:
Go by an auto parts store and by some disk brake caliper grease. They sell very small packages at the checkout counters. It doesn't take much, but make sure you get enough for all four calipers.
Safely remove the wheel. Iíve come to the conclusion that the wheel should come off.
This is one of the wheels on my trailer exposed. Iím not as cautious with the center wheel of a three wheel trailer as I might otherwise be without the additional support of the other two wheels on either side.




Remove the two bolts retaining the caliper to the bracket. If the caliper is binding when you start it may break free as you remove the bolts, so you may feel a very little bit of movement as it breaks free.
The two bolts are on the back side of the caliper. The lower bolt is directly in front of the head of the hydraulic jack.




Slide the caliper outboard on the disk, away from the hub. If this is very difficult it's likely an indication that the problem is not going to be fixed by lubricating the sliders. You may need to use a screwdriver to gently, alternately, pry the sides of the caliper up towards the edge of the disk. I would recommend that you don't take the caliper completely off the disk, it'll be much easier to reassemble things if you don't. Get it just close enough to the edge of the disk that you can rock either side up to access the stainless sleeve that the bolts go through.
It may be easier just to remove the caliperÖ.
You can use a screw driver to gently pry the caliper away from the disk.
This is how high I had to raise my caliper to access the back sides of the sleeves:



The sleeve is visible here:




If you end up removing the caliper don't do anything that would potentially activate your brakes or apply pressure to the brake system. The piston in the caliper will move outboard and the caliper and pads won't fit back over the disk without compressing the piston back into it's bore, or worst case, the piston could be pushed out of the caliper. It's not difficult, but we're trying to keep this easy. The handle of my 1/2" Craftsman ratchet is just the right size to stick between the pads and pry the piston back down into it's bore, or a c-clamp can be used to do the same thing. Whatever brake fluid is displaced by pushing the piston down into itís caliper will end up in the master cylinder, so before ďspreadingĒ the pads make sure that you wonít end up over-filling the reservoir. Brake fluid will damage paint.




Push the stainless sleeves out of the rubber boots/bushings that they're installed in. I found a 3/8" extension works well for this.
Wipe the sleeves clean, and make sure the sleeves and rubber boots/bushings are not damaged.
Apply a thin coat of the brake lubricant to the sleeves, then push them back into the boots 'til the ends are flush.
Push the caliper back down on to the disk until the sleeves line up with the mounting holes in the bracket. Apply blue locktite to the threads of the bolts and reinstall, torque to 40 ft-lbs, not too tight, see below.
The threads are metric, M11 x 1.5, in case that becomes important.


Bill
Old 05-18-2009, 10:34 PM
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check for piston sticking in the caliper. it needs to retract after release of brake fluid pressure. corrosion will keep it from retracting.
Old 05-19-2009, 07:37 PM
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bill, i sent you an i.m.
Old 05-19-2009, 07:57 PM
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bigger hammer, what is the purpose of the ss sleeve that sits in the rubber bushing??? they are not connected to the brake pad, if i understand correctly its only the piston that affects the movement of the internal brake pad, so what purpose does that sleeve serve and why does greasing it with caliper grease prevent the brakes from sticking?

i'm just trying to understand the mechanics of it b/c my trailer has the same problem and ive narrowed it down to this being the cause. thanks.
Old 05-19-2009, 09:18 PM
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WPC,
The piston pushes the inner pad outboard, towards the disc. For the outer pad to act on the disc the whole caliper needs to move inboard as the piston applies pressure to the inner pad. When the brakes are released, the caliper moves outboard just a bit. Also, as the outer pad wears the caliper must move inboard to compensate for the wear.
The caliper moves/slides on the sleeves. If the sleeves aren't lubricated the caliper will stick. Typically the brake piston will exert enough pressure to overcome sticking when applied, so they'll stick when the brakes are released. This causes excessive heat and wear, mostly of the outboard pad.
You want to lube the outsides of the sleeves so they will allow the rubber boots of the caliper to slide in and out. The sleeves don't move on the bracket, so the only real benefit you'll get from lubing the ID and bolt will be to make sure the bolt doesn't stick in the sleeve. A lack of lube may not cause any problems since the bolts & sleeves are both stainless, but I lube them lightly anyway.
Let me know if this isn't enough or clear, I'll do whatever I can to help.
Bill

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