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Old 12 August 2013, 16:36   #1
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Trailer Brakes -how do they work?

A simple question, probably due to my ignorance of most things mechanical, but how to brakes on a braked trailer work? Is it like inertia reel seat belts, or some other mechanism?
What applies / disengages them?
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Old 12 August 2013, 16:52   #2
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Momentum of the trailer against a braking car pushes a plunger mech between the trailer nose and the rest of the trailer. This action activates the brakes in the same way a brake pedal acts upon the master cylinder. The more the car brakes the more the trailer pushes against it, the more the trailer brakes are activated. It can be mechanical or hydraulic.
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Old 12 August 2013, 16:59   #3
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A simple question, probably due to my ignorance of most things mechanical, but how to brakes on a braked trailer work? Is it like inertia reel seat belts, or some other mechanism?
What applies / disengages them?
Its magic - like Harry potter etc . Ok its not that -Its actually hundreds of brake pixies run round the inside of the drum like people on a very very very small treadmill running the wrong way. These are very similar to the pixies in your engine that run very very fast to turn your prop.

Or is it really the push of the hitch on a bar which pulls a cable, which pulls the shoes onto the drum ?

Sorry its been a long long day here .....
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Old 12 August 2013, 17:38   #4
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Quote:
but how to brakes on a braked trailer work?
on most trailers dunked in sea water they work at first, then degenerate to working sometimes, a detour into sticking on when left alone despite handbrake being off, quickly followed by not working at all
! *!*!* trailer brakes - spawn of the devil!
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Old 12 August 2013, 17:44   #5
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RIBase
Over-run brakes, as the others have said (except no pixies)

Here's a link to an interactive drawing to keep you amused (for about 8 seconds...)
Car-technolgy, valuable informations, simulation, questions, tasks

It's the auto-reverse mechanism that really baffles the brain until you see it close up in action, simples!
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Old 12 August 2013, 17:54   #6
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Aaah yes, those "reversing without disengaging trailer-brake" moments. Pure genius for others' amusement.
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Old 12 August 2013, 18:00   #7
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Its magic - like Harry potter etc . Ok its not that -Its actually hundreds of brake pixies run round the inside of the drum like people on a very very very small treadmill running the wrong way. These are very similar to the pixies in your engine that run very very fast to turn your prop.
Thanks Pete,
bur I'm not that ignorant of how engines work - I know there are no pixies in it - pixies are who you have on computer screens / digital cameras

My engine works like this: I exchange hard earned cash for a liquid - not produced by the government, but who take most of the money I pay for it. Liquid goes in tank. I turn key. liquid eaten by engine. Boat goes through water. When I want to go fast / through waves the engine decides to eat more liquid. Pixies don't come into it!

Anyway, coming back to the trailer, why don't the pixies drown when I submerge them in the water? Not sure you've explained this simply enough for me - or is this why the brakes stop working - they're gummed up with drowned pixies?
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Old 12 August 2013, 18:07   #8
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- they're gummed up with drowned pixies?
exactly! the pixie magic only keeps them going for a while, then they 'turn' (like gremlins when they get wet) . They then glue your brakes together or pull them apart depending on what you need the trailer to do on that day...if you need to tow more than a mile they glue, if it's a distance where brakes won't be needed they allow a wheel to fall off!

bloody pixie magic!!!!!:/
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Old 12 August 2013, 18:37   #9
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That's a really good point. How do they not activate when in reverse?
I'm talking more towards the older style hitches with rods.
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Old 12 August 2013, 18:55   #10
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Some have a reverse lockout that needs to be manually activated. On drums they are usually leading shoes so will slip in reverse anyway.
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