Originally Posted by roycruse
My question is - how much slack should there be in the brake cable that runs from the tow hitch to the splitter where it pulls on the brake cables.
The reason I ask is that when I brake suddenly (or even when braking not so suddenly) there is a fair amount of travel before the cable goes tight and applies the brakes - I therefore get a thump up the backside from the boat.
I had exactly the same problem when i bought my boat earlier this year.Previous owner had moved the axle and not adjusted brakes properly as well as leaving slack in the main cable.I contacted De Graff and Bradley,the hitch manufacturer,as i thought the overrun may be faulty as it was a brand new trailer. Both were very helpfuland this is what Bradley said-
'The main reason dampers fail is due to the lack of proper brake maintenance, the damper is only there to make the braking smooth and progressive and therefore if the brakes are allowed to get out of adjustment then the full force of the braking action is applied to the damper and it will fail,hence the thump/bang , this does not mean it is faulty.
It is possible to do a basic check:
Tie down the brakelever.
Disconnect the brake rod.
Try and compress the damper by hand by pushing the coupling head in ( I am assuming the gross weight of the trailer is less than 2700kg, it is not possible to this with a trailer over that weight)
The damper should compress with an even force over its whole length, it should then extend with an even force, anything other than that and the damper has failed.
Basically, once we had adjusted the brakes correctly and taken the slack out of the cable the problem was solved.Hopefully it will be the same in your case.