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Old 13 January 2014, 09:05   #1
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Winter: Trailer overhaul

Hi all,

One of the main winter jobs I have is to overhaul my trailer. We have about 1000 miles of towing to do in April/May so I want to make sure I've covered all the bases.

One of the things I want to do is get the brakes working properly; i replaced the shoes last year but I'm not convinced that everything is adjusted up properly because I'm still nervous about them seizing because the cables don't run smoothly. So I want to replace all the cables from the coupling back.

There is a piece of flexible braided cable which runs from the coupling back to a sort of bridle to which the two separate brake cables which run to the hubs are attached. This flexible cable was rigged up by the previous owner and is obviously not an 'official' part. I can't find a likely looking equivalent on the Indespension parts site so can anyone advise what I ought to be using for this?

I also want to replace the individual brake lines (pretty sure they are these, I just need to confirm the length) and the bridle which attaches the single front cable to the seperate brake lines and provides the adjustment in the system. CAn anyone help me with this part (TrailerGuy?)

The other thing I've noticed is that the extendable arms at the rear of the trailer for mounting the lightboard are missing. Can one buy these new?
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Old 13 January 2014, 09:35   #2
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Ah, as I suspected from the title of your thread, my conscience has been pricked. Time to start on mine
I cannot offer you detailed advice on your particular trailer, but I do have some comments.
Every year I replace virtually all the brake items, shoes, cables etc and make sure that those items that are not replaced are in good fettle. Ensures reliable brakes etc. for the season.
The bearings are taken out, cleaned and checked over. if OK, as they have been for the last four years, they are re-greased and replaced. The bearing buddies (actually just large grease reservoirs) are cleaned out and re-filled. My single fore and aft flexible cable is a galvanised item with small 'U' clips fore and aft. The cable I buy from a local trailer shop.
Don't forget to check all the moving parts of your coupling, a seized joint can stop your shoes retracting off the drum properly - unless of course you like warming your hands on hot metal
Finally, I am not sure whether it applies to all flavours of brake Bowden cables, but the black jacketed ones for my brake set up are conventional steel cables, blue jacketed cables are stainless steel cables. I don't think they are a particularly high grade stainless, but last a lot better in my experience than blackies
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Old 13 January 2014, 10:41   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clamchowder View Post
Hi all,

One of the main winter jobs I have is to overhaul my trailer. We have about 1000 miles of towing to do in April/May so I want to make sure I've covered all the bases.

One of the things I want to do is get the brakes working properly; i replaced the shoes last year but I'm not convinced that everything is adjusted up properly because I'm still nervous about them seizing because the cables don't run smoothly. So I want to replace all the cables from the coupling back.

There is a piece of flexible braided cable which runs from the coupling back to a sort of bridle to which the two separate brake cables which run to the hubs are attached. This flexible cable was rigged up by the previous owner and is obviously not an 'official' part. I can't find a likely looking equivalent on the Indespension parts site so can anyone advise what I ought to be using for this?

I also want to replace the individual brake lines (pretty sure they are these, I just need to confirm the length) and the bridle which attaches the single front cable to the seperate brake lines and provides the adjustment in the system. CAn anyone help me with this part (TrailerGuy?)

The other thing I've noticed is that the extendable arms at the rear of the trailer for mounting the lightboard are missing. Can one buy these new?
most brake bits are available from any good trailer part supplier, including cables, brake shoes, bearings etc. depending on trailer make, you may need to go back to a dealer or manufacturer for the extending arms. SBS trailers have a good stock of spares
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Old 13 January 2014, 11:18   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian M View Post
Every year I replace virtually all the brake items, shoes, cables etc and make sure that those items that are not replaced are in good fettle. Ensures reliable brakes etc. for the season.
The bearings are taken out, cleaned and checked over. if OK, as they have been for the last four years, they are re-greased and replaced. The bearing buddies (actually just large grease reservoirs) are cleaned out and re-filled. My single fore and aft flexible cable is a galvanised item with small 'U' clips fore and aft. The cable I buy from a local trailer shop.
Don't forget to check all the moving parts of your coupling, a seized joint can stop your shoes retracting off the drum properly - unless of course you like warming your hands on hot metal
Feeling very smug. All overhauled in December
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Old 13 January 2014, 11:29   #5
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Feeling very smug. All overhauled in December
smartarse
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Old 13 January 2014, 11:37   #6
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The individual brake lines themselves normally have the lengths marked/stamped on them (or at least ALKO lines do!), so should be easy to find exact replacements.

The flexible braided cable to the compensator is often just wire/galv cable cut to the appropriate length and secured with 3 or 4 u-clamps each end. All should be available from any decent trailer supplier.

Extendable arms - probably back to the manufacturer!
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Old 13 January 2014, 12:10   #7
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I really need to get mine sorted, on my last trip out I put the hand brake on and it decided that it wanted to set off - So I know my brakes need some TLC. As Ben (TrailerGuy) lives so far away looks like I am going to have to take this on myself.
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Old 13 January 2014, 13:16   #8
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I really need to get mine sorted, on my last trip out I put the hand brake on and it decided that it wanted to set off - So I know my brakes need some TLC. As Ben (TrailerGuy) lives so far away looks like I am going to have to take this on myself.
I carry a pair of wheel chocks when towing the rib, even when the brakes are setup you never know how good they are after a good dunking in the salty stuff, trying to hold onto a trailer full of Revenger didn't do my back any good
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Old 13 January 2014, 13:28   #9
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Steve - you'll find that trailer brakes aren't exactly complex things, and if nothing is compeltely seized, aren't a hard job to check/replace.

When I bought the Ribtec the trailer had no braking components at all, other than the drums - all the innards had been removed by previous owners to prevent them from rusting/sticking... I decided I'd rather have proper brakes as I will be towing on public roads, so fitted all the braking components from scatch, which maybe took half a day once I'd worked out what a hub should look like. Once you've seen what the hub looks like on the inside, adjusting the brakes through the small hole in backplate suddenly makes sense!

I had the bearings professionaly replaced (which is when I learnt there were no brakes!), but everything else I have happily done myself, and I'm no mechanic.
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Old 13 January 2014, 13:43   #10
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All good advice above!

Guessing you have an Indespension Roller Coaster, as you went to their website?

Cables are easy to sort and inexpensive. Circa 15 each, depending on length. If yours are black, they'll be Knott. If they're red they're Alko (generally!).

Indespension swapped their running gear (braking system) supplier a little while ago (from Knott to Alko), but it'd be worth confirming what you've got, before sourcing parts.

If you've any doubt, feel free to post a pic up and I'll be able to confirm for you.

One pita, on changing cables, can be undoing the retaining nut, on the axle brake plate. You sometimes have to cut them off.

Remember to adjust your brakes on the shoes/drums, not at the cables!

The extending lighting board arms should be around 25 for a pair. You'll probably need the knurled knobs and retaining pads too.

Also, M10 brake rod is a better replacement for the central cable, as it doesn't stretch, over time, and certainly won't fray and snap. You can buy 3 metre lengths for not huge money, you'll need two.

All the best, Ben
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