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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Brake Actuator Upgrade - Thoughts? #13687779 09/01/20 05:59 PM
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Holzer Offline OP
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I've never been happy with my brake actuator. I want more braking power. My boat is loaded with some heavy upgrades and I have always felt that I could use more brake.
There's no way to adjust the brake actuator I have. You get what it puts out and that's it.

- I've replaced the actuator twice (same brand, same type). One of those times I sent it back to the manufacture. They tested and said it was working within spec's.
- I've replaced all of the brake line.
- I've upgraded to a better disc brake (Kodiak)
- I've added another set of brakes on the 2nd axle.
I've spent a stupid amount of money and time on the brakes alone.

So I'm looking at buying another actuator but this time a different brand. The ones that I find that are the next step up say that they are intended for drum brakes. I have disc (4 in total). They also take me from a 2" ball to a 2 5/8" ball. Which is no problem. I have that.


Think that I would have any problems using an actuator that is designed for drums on a disc system?
Thoughts?


Holzer
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Re: Brake Actuator Upgrade - Thoughts? [Re: Holzer] #13687981 09/01/20 08:23 PM
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tmd11111 Online Content
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Copied from another source but curious as to what you're expecting out of your trailer brakes. Their designed to slow the trailer and keep in under control not to stop it and the tow vehicle.


Disc brake and drum brake actuators are identical EXCEPT for the check valve and the
size of the orifice in the exit fitting in the drum brake actuator master cylinder. The
purpose of the check valve is to HOLD pressure in the brake system of anywhere from 15
to 40 lbs. The purpose of the smaller hole is to restrict rapid fluid movement.
Drum brakes are inefficient designs with many moving parts. The check valve keeps
pressure in the brake lines and wheel cylinders to "PRIME" the braking action so that
there is little or no delay in braking action
If a drum brake actuator is used on disc brakes, constant pressure on disc brakes will
cause overheating and brake drag.
The disc brake actuator does not have a check valve, meaning that when the brakes are
released, the pressure in the brake lines should go to zero. If a disc brake actuator is used
with drum brakes, there will be a noticeable delay in braking action when the tow vehicle
makes a stop. It will be a very irritable delay. The other issue is that the rear "exit" orifice
from the master cylinder is different on the two models. The drum brake actuator has a
much smaller hole than the disc brake actuator. The purpose is to restrict the flow of
brake fluid going "back and forth" to the drum brakes. This causes "brake chatter". Under
low pressure or slow stops, drum brakes can chatter if the brake fluid can move rapidly
back and forth from the master cylinder and brake.
Bottom line, in an emergency a disc brake actuator could be used with drum brakes, a
drum brake actuator should NEVER be used with disc brakes.

Re: Brake Actuator Upgrade - Thoughts? [Re: Holzer] #13688109 09/01/20 09:43 PM
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Holzer Offline OP
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Thanks tmd.
That was a good read.


To your question as far as what I'm expecting out of my brakes:
When I come to a complete stop, the pressure that the brake actuator has on the brakes is enough to keep my vehicle and boat from rolling. (I have a manual transmission so I am in neutral at a stop)

When testing my brakes, I get up to 20 mph and slam on my brakes, come to a complete stop, quickly get out and walk back to the trailer to touch the disc to see that they are hot from the friction of brake pads and the disc be hot enough for me to know a good amount of brake was applied. (I don't have that with my brakes)

When braking, there is enough pressure generated from the actuator that the "sliding action" of my tongue doesn't bottom out at every stop & take off.
There's enough pressure generated from the actuator so that the tongue of my trailer acts like a shock absorber between the trailer and the vehicle. What I have now is a hard "clunk" from that metal pin in the slide bottoming out at that stop and another hard "clunk" from the metal pin bottoming out in the slide on the take off.

And yes I have sucked probably 2 gallons of fluid through the system bleeding the brakes and no signs of leaks anywhere. I've had 2 of these actuators and they both acted performed the same.
If I just had a way to adjust the valve that allowed the amount of fluid to be pushed by the piston, I'd have just what I need.


Holzer
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Re: Brake Actuator Upgrade - Thoughts? [Re: Holzer] #13689826 09/03/20 01:55 PM
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Try hooking the boat to another truck and retest. Could be your hitch.


Micheal's Marine. Mobile Boat-Motor Repair Ser.

Re: Brake Actuator Upgrade - Thoughts? [Re: Micheal] #13689852 09/03/20 02:12 PM
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Holzer Offline OP
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The "clunking" I'm for sure is the brake actuator because I can see the scaring on the metal pin in the slide.
But I see what you're saying.

If the brakes were hot to touch after tests, I would have looked at the hitch already.


Holzer
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Re: Brake Actuator Upgrade - Thoughts? [Re: Holzer] #13689873 09/03/20 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Holzer
The "clunking" I'm for sure is the brake actuator because I can see the scaring on the metal pin in the slide.
But I see what you're saying.

If the brakes were hot to touch after tests, I would have looked at the hitch already.


The clunking isn't from the actuator. It's from the shock that connects to the actuator.

Re: Brake Actuator Upgrade - Thoughts? [Re: Holzer] #13691090 09/04/20 05:07 PM
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I admire your perseverance and an intelligent thread. However keep in mind you do not want the tires to lock up in the rain if you get to much braking power. My guess is by adding brakes to another axle this has reduced the pressure to each caliper. Tho Iam uncertain if this would reduce your total stopping distance.

Re: Brake Actuator Upgrade - Thoughts? [Re: Holzer] #13691176 09/04/20 06:54 PM
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hopalong Online Content
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www.etrailer.com

send them an email with your trailer specs and ask what upgrades you could do, very knowledgeable and helpful.

they have all the parts you would need as well


" Hop, set the hook"!


lake fork FISHERMANS COVE MARINA/reservations - 903 474 7479
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