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Old 22 April 2012, 04:44   #1
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Fitted a new brake damper

What a pain in the neck that was to change. But at least I should have some brakes now the old one was corroded up solid.
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Old 22 April 2012, 06:31   #2
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I concur, i did mine a couple of weeks ago and it was a real b*****d. The damper had to come out the back but unfortunately there wasn't enough clearance so in the end I had to remove the coupling from the aframe. The new damper still seems to slide all the way in when I reverse, can anyone tell me why the brakes don't come on? Also when I brake hard you can feel the damper thud slightly, is this normal ?
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Old 22 April 2012, 07:07   #3
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I concur, i did mine a couple of weeks ago and it was a real b*****d. The damper had to come out the back but unfortunately there wasn't enough clearance so in the end I had to remove the coupling from the aframe. The new damper still seems to slide all the way in when I reverse, can anyone tell me why the brakes don't come on? Also when I brake hard you can feel the damper thud slightly, is this normal ?
No, your brakes aren't set up right.


I had a damper blow the seals a couple of years ago. That REALLY isn't fun.
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Old 22 April 2012, 07:08   #4
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Sounds like either your brakes are siezed up in the hubs, or not adjusted properly. If all is well with your coupling and the brakes aren't seized in the hubs then check the adjusters on the brake back plates and that the cable from the hitch to the axle isn't too slack.
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Old 22 April 2012, 07:11   #5
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The new damper still seems to slide all the way in when I reverse, can anyone tell me why the brakes don't come on?
Yes normal. in the drums the break shoes allow the trailer to reverse

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Also when I brake hard you can feel the damper thud slightly, is this normal ?
This means you brakes are not applying properly. You need to adjust them at the drums first then the cable adjustment to the handbrake might be needed.

Which trailer do you have?
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Old 22 April 2012, 07:53   #6
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Arr I had the "Thump" when breaking. It was the break rods not being tight enough.
Took all the slack out ( well most of it ) and hey presto , no more "thmup" from the trailer when breaking.

Also make sure the lever that pulls the break cables on when the hitch tube presses into it is free to move. Had my breaks stick due to this being stuck and pulling the cables on.
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Old 22 April 2012, 08:44   #7
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[Which trailer do you have?]

It's an Alko trailer with type 2051 shoes etc. I did all the brakes at the same time as the damper so I guess I need to make some adjustments somewhere along the line. Still don't understand why the brakes don't come on when you reverse. When i did the brake shoes i couldn't see any special mechanism as such. I asked the same question when i ordered all the parts and the chap said that the damper shouldn't push in with the pressure of reversing so now I'm confused. Sorry if this is irritating i just like to know how things work.
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Old 22 April 2012, 11:49   #8
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Chris is absolutely correct.

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Originally Posted by The Slug View Post
[Which trailer do you have?]
I asked the same question when i ordered all the parts and the chap said that the damper shouldn't push in with the pressure of reversing so now I'm confused. Sorry if this is irritating i just like to know how things work.
Someone's telling you porkies!

They have an auto reverse mechanism. Of course the damper will push in, as it's inertia driven (frustration not directed at your btw! Just get annoyed when people in the industry don't help dispel the black-art rumours of trailers!).

The magic (auto reverse) happens in the brake drum. Often people adjust the brakes by tightening up at the cables; though not often possible with Alko, as they generally have a 'mushroom' swage end to the compensator end of the cables, where as Knott have an 8mm threaded end. Anyhow, I digress!...

To adjust your Alko brakes (once you've jacked the wheels up off the floor), have a look on the inner face (towards the trailer chassis) of the brake backplate. You should have two green plugs. The one on the outer edge is to check the brake shoe wear, without having to remove the drum, but the one you're interested in is nearer the centre by a couple of inches and has a letter 'C' stamped next to it, along with a directional arrow.

Pop this green plug off and insert a small, flat bladed, screwdriver in to the hole and rotate the star wheel adjuster in the direction of the arrow, whilst rotating the wheel forward. Do not rotate it backwards / reverse direction, whilst adjusting, or you'll engage the auto reverse system.




Keep rotating the wheel forward, whilst adjusting the star adjuster in the direction of the arrow, until the wheel locks up. Then adjust the star wheel in the opposite direction until the trailer wheel just frees up. Then pull the handbrake on and off a couple of times, to settle things inside. You should have about 4 to 6mm movement on the bowden cables when adjusted correctly. Remember - always rotate the trailer wheel forward.

Do this for each of the four wheels and you should be good to go.

Oh, did I mention - only rotate the trailer wheels forward, when adjusting the brakes

Any probs, feel free to drop me a line.
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Old 22 April 2012, 14:42   #9
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thanks for all your help with this, i tell you if i ever win the lottery my first purchase will be a lifetime lease on a mooring
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Old 22 April 2012, 18:10   #10
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No, if you ever win the lottery you're to employ me as your personal trailer mechanic on a hugely inflated salary
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