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Old 10 June 2013, 14:49   #1
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Disconnected Brakes

Hi,

Sorry for what may be a dumb question, Im new to all this boat owning stuff.

Now the trailer that i just purchased (with rib) has had its brakes disconnected by its previous owner. Not entily sure why, I would have a guess that its because salt water and brakes probably not a good combination!

Anyway, i need to tow it about 100 miles up to kent, and then back down to the south coast again a month or two later.

I know very little about trailers, but im assuming it would be a good idea to have it serviced before taking it on an epic journey up to kent.

Also the plate that shows the MAM has been covered up by spray paint, very helpful i know!

So questions are really:

1.) Should i reconnect the brakes if so how do you do it? is it easy?
2.) Should i have the trailer serviced, how much does it cost? is it expensive?
3.) Any other way to find out the MAM?


Sorry if these are stupid questions, but I really have idea about these things, im ok with electronics but not mechanical things!

Boat is in Lymington area.

Paul
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Old 10 June 2013, 15:12   #2
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I guess the reason you are asking these questions is because you're not a mechanical engineering sort, and its nice to see someone asking instead of just winging it
I would say you are probably near or over 750KGS in which case brakes are a legal requirement.
Even if you are under 750KGS then you may need brakes if your tow vehicle isn't rated to tow 750kgs un-braked or over 1500KGS unladen
Also if the trailer MAM is over 750KGS then you need brakes even if the combination weighs less.
If brakes are fitted then they should legally be fully functional.
In short JUST FIX THE BRAKES

Deffo get it serviced, salt water and wheel bearings are a recipe for disaster!
If you don't know how to check the bearings get someone to show you how to do a quick bearing check.

As for the trailer MAM don't know, the chassis no may be stamped on it somewhere other than the plate though, and will be traceable
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Old 12 June 2013, 11:56   #3
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+1 for the service.
The cynic in me wonders iof the MAM was "accidentally" covered so the trailer "looks" legal without brakes.....


1.) Should i reconnect the brakes if so how do you do it? is it easy?

Yes, depends how they have been disconnected - you should have:

- Hitch, to which is attached a wire or long rod heaing towards the axle.
- At or around the axle a plate fixed to the frame or axle with 2 bowden (flexible) cables to the back of the wheels.
- In between the flexible cables and the cable / wire from the hitch a small metal plate to fix them all together.

Where is it disconnected?
The other problem you may find is if you just once reconnect them and don't do the adjustments will they do anything useful, or just be " full on"....

2.) Should i have the trailer serviced, how much does it cost? is it expensive?

If you don't know what you are doing it's by far the safest way.

Cost will depend on who does it for you and what parts need replaced. There's a couple of guys on here do mobile servicing.


3.) Any other way to find out the MAM?

gently scrape / sand the plate (assuming it's a stamped one)



The brakes are simple enough to self service, but if you are not a "natural mechanic" then probably best to get someone to show you the ins & outs first.
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Old 12 June 2013, 11:57   #4
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^^^

What he said, but it's all assuming they're not a solid lump of rust.
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Old 12 June 2013, 12:10   #5
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personally, I wouldnt want to just reconnect the brakes without seeing inside the Hub first, for the simple reason that if they are a solid lump of rust, the might not work anyway, and if they do work, they might apply and not release!
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Old 12 June 2013, 13:27   #6
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+1. Get it sorted, you know it makes sense
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Old 12 June 2013, 19:07   #7
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Thanks for the replies think I will go for a service! Can anyone recommend someone in lymington area...
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