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PostPosted: Jan 21st, '14, 10:47 
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Hey,
I've had persistent problems with the breaks on my RL-24 trailer since I bought it. I don't quite trust the current system, and I'm planning to have the whole thing pulled out and replaced. I have a few questions I'm hoping you an all help out on:

Firstly, my trailer currently has hydraulic drum breaks. There are a whole bunch of potential systems; hydraulic, electric, hybrid, disk and drum. What would people recommend? Personally I rather like the idea of an electronic system as you can get them with built in stability control systems which apply the breaks if the trailer starts to sway. Once having been in a car+trailer that jackknifed, I have absolutely no desire to repeat the experience. I have also been told by different people that 1 - "You cant put electronic breaks on boat trailers - water + electricity. Duh!", 2 - "No, that used to be true, but modern electronic systems are fine" and 3 - "No, thats not right, you need to get a hybrid electronic/hydraulic system, where the electrics are at the front out of the water".

So, which one is true :-) What is most likely to resist corrosion?

Secondly, disk vs drum - what is the way to go?

Thirdly the current rims are just the standard cheap ones that look like this, with a plastic cover:
Image
This makes it almost impossible to get water in to wash out the salt. Also the plastic covers keep falling off. So I'm thinking new rims may be a good investment. What would people suggest? I don't need super fancy ones, but rims with more space to get water in would be good. While I'm at it, I'm going to get the tires replaced with light truck ones. Again - suggestions?

Lastly, where the hell do I get this work done? I've spoken to a few breaks places and places that sell boats. They have all said, they cant take my boat off the trailer (OH&S!) and they cant work on the trailer with the boat on (OH&S!) and I can't just launch the boat and bring the trailer to them, because the work will take a few days, due to having to order parts! One place suggested I go talk to one of the 'royal' yacht clubs, as they all have boat lifts...

Any suggestions you guys can provide would be helpful.

- Luke


Last edited by luke.sleeman on Jan 21st, '14, 12:55, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Jan 21st, '14, 11:24 
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Read this post.

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=10956

It sounds like you need the following:
  1. 45mm square galvanised axle,
    1450 kg galvanised springs
    Ford bearing galvanised hubs with Japanese bearings.
    mechanical override brakes galvanised.
    14 inch galvanised ford trailer wheels and Light Truck Tyres,
    New suspensionhanger brackets and guards.
    Durahub (oiled hubs)

Then position the axle where you have 90 kg weight on the drawbar in your cruising trim.


Huntsman on eBay sell most of the gear and would be a good start for determining price. Then once you have that list and the equipment price, you can shop around.

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PostPosted: Jan 21st, '14, 12:36 
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I think the mistake you've made is having breaks rather than brakes. :-)

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PostPosted: Jan 21st, '14, 12:55 
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Damn, that must be the problem! I'll pull the breaks off right away and replace them with brakes!


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PostPosted: Jan 21st, '14, 13:20 
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Luke,
RL is light weight so should be easy to "Dry Launch onto grass or lawn, or some tyres with carpet or blanket over them.

Plenty have done this in the past.

Another alternative can be an A frame or carport if it has heavy enough beams.

I often use my shed doorway and an A Frame.


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PostPosted: Jan 21st, '14, 13:26 
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Tymadman wrote:
I think the mistake you've made is having breaks rather than brakes. :-)



Them's the brakes :)

(bit slow off the mark I know but I couldn't resist it)


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PostPosted: Jan 21st, '14, 14:11 
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Hmmm, dry launching sounds like the best bet.

Is dry launching 'what people do' whenever they have to get work done on the trailer? Or should I be looking around for a trailer place with facilities to lift the boat? Is there even such a place?

- Luke


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PostPosted: Jan 21st, '14, 14:17 
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Did my first dry launch with a Ultimate 18 about a year ago, it was easier than I expected on grass.

Yacht was empty to keep the weight down.

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PostPosted: Jan 21st, '14, 15:34 
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luke.sleeman wrote:
...breaks on my RL-24 trailer... ...hydraulic drum breaks. There are a whole bunch of potential systems; hydraulic, electric, hybrid, disk and drum. What would people recommend?


Mechanical override disks are king until you get over 2000kg GTM. They are ridiculously simple and effective and cheap. You've already got an override coupling. I'll detail the parts you will need in a separate post.

luke.sleeman wrote:
Personally I rather like the idea of an electronic system as you can get them with built in stability control systems which apply the breaks if the trailer starts to sway.


Do you want to spend $500 or $5000?

If the trailer sways, there is a fundamental problem with the trailer set up, then braking it to a halt merely puts you safely at the side of the road, still with tasks of getting it home and fixing the underlying problem!

luke.sleeman wrote:
Once having been in a car+trailer that jackknifed, I have absolutely no desire to repeat the experience.


Jackknifing is primarily caused by unstable trailer setup, then compounded by braking while swinging. The other way to cause it is to brake too hard in a corner and push the tow vehicle rear tyres sideways.

luke.sleeman wrote:
I have also been told by different people that 1 - "You cant put electronic breaks on boat trailers - water + electricity. Duh!", 2 - "No, that used to be true, but modern electronic systems are fine" and 3 - "No, thats not right, you need to get a hybrid electronic/hydraulic system, where the electrics are at the front out of the water".

For trailers over 2000kg GTM the best solution is hydraulic disks with an electronic hydraulic pump mounted near the coupling, safely out of the water. But the cost is astronomical compared with mechanical override disks and getting the trailer balanced right.

luke.sleeman wrote:
So, which one is true :-) What is most likely to resist corrosion

Mechanical disks have calipers which slide on a pair of stainless steel slider pins. They need to be kept moving freely on those pins. Replacement parts are dead cheap. They work.

Any other system has the same weak point and lots more.

luke.sleeman wrote:
Secondly, disk vs drum - what is the way to go?

Disks every time. I would use disks on a box trailer or caravan too, since drums have parts hidden inside which cannot be cleaned or inspected without removing the hub and bearings from the axle stub.

luke.sleeman wrote:
Thirdly the current rims are just the standard cheap ones...

While I'm at it, I'm going to get the tires replaced with light truck ones. Again - suggestions?

Assuming you have space under the guards, 14" galvanised trailer wheels with 185R14LT tyres. If you're currently on 13" wheels and don't have room for larger, then 13" galvanised trailer wheels with 185R13LT tyres with a load index of 100 (800kg each).

Since you're presumably going to be buying new disks, this is the time to choose your stud pattern too. Ford have larger (stronger) wheel studs on a 1/4" larger pitch circle diameter than "old Holden" (HT and older). HQ and Commodore stud patterns are close enough to each other that it is possible to fit the wrong type of wheel and damage studs. Unless you've already got a good reason, like another trailer on one of the alternatives, choose Ford stud pattern.

luke.sleeman wrote:
Lastly, where the hell do I get this work done? I've spoken to a few breaks places and places that sell boats. They have all said, they cant take my boat off the trailer (OH&S!) and they cant work on the trailer with the boat on (OH&S!) and I can't just launch the boat and bring the trailer to them, because the work will take a few days, due to having to order parts! One place suggested I go talk to one of the 'royal' yacht clubs, as they all have boat lifts...

I'm doing mine myself. The boat and trailer are currently on stands in my driveway, while the entire suspension assembly is next to it. I don't see 1450kg stable on stands as any more hazardous than 450kg on stands; both will crush me if I don't make sure they are stable.

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PostPosted: Jan 21st, '14, 16:36 
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OK, starting at the top, so to speak, this is what I already know about your rig:

luke.sleeman wrote:
Some info about my setup:
  • Towing with a 2007 Subaru outback.
  • I have a load leveller attached but it isn't one of those with sway control
  • The boats weight is 1450kg + probably about 50kg ~ 100kg of camping gear in the back of the car


Further, we know your Subaru is rated to tow a maximum of 1500kg with a ball weight of 150kg:
Make: SUBARU
Model: Outback
Type: Wagon
Month/Year: 09/2003 to 09/2009
Capacity: 1500
Ball Weight: 150


So you cannot let your ATM, total mass of trailer and load, exceed 1500kg and you can have up to 150kg on the tow ball.

Upgrading to 1600kg parallel bearings which will require a heavier axle and wheels isn't really an option; you cannot afford the ~45kg extra weight, and you don't need the extra capacity, since at 1500kg, even with just 50kg ball weight, Ford Slimline bearings (1450kg) are legal. If you had a larger tow capacity I would suggest going to parallel bearings to cope with the inevitable extra junk that boats collect, but you are going to have to be disciplined about not letting extra weight creep into your boat.

So you're going to be on a 45mm square axle and Ford slimline bearings.
Since drums on a boat trailer are madness, you need 10" disks. By the reasoning in the previous post, these should be Ford stud pattern.

You may be able to re-use the current axle, but if the offset of the disks is different to the drums, then you may need to replace it. The axle will need disk caliper brackets welded to it in place of drum brake brackets.

Leaf springs are rarely marked with their load capacity. I presume you are on slipper leaf springs and that they are about 770mm long eye to tip; this is the most common physical size. Others I have seen are 45mmx8mm and 60mmx6mm.

Alko brand slipper springs 45mm wide by 6mm thick leaves, are rated:
  • 1600kg per pair for 9 leaves,
  • 1380kg per pair for 8 leaves
  • 1350kg per pair for 7 leaves
  • 1200kg per pair for 6 leaves

Elsewhere I have seen these described as the loads that achieve a 2" deflection at the axle. If you're on 6 or less leaves, I'd replace the springs too.

Single leaf "parabolic" springs are available which are rated 1400kg; I'd be inclined to use a pair of galvanised 1400kg parabolic springs and aim for a 100kg ball weight. Lawyers may disagree, but I'm comfortable with an occasional 5% overload on leaf springs.

So the shopping list looks something like this:

Wheels
Three (2 + spare) galvanised trailer wheels, Ford stud pattern, in order of preference, a choice of:
  • 14" with 185R14LT tyres, rated ~850kg each
    or if you're on 13" wheels now,
  • 13" with 185R13LT tyres, rated 800kg each
  • 13" with 175R13LT tyres, rated 730kg each
Remember you need to carry the spare in your car; you can't afford to add 20kg to the trailer.

Disk hubs
Two galvanised 10" disks with ford stud pattern with wheel nuts, ford/slimline bearings and marine type seals to match.

Axle
Possibly a galvanised 45mm square axle length to suit your trailer if the existing axle cannot be re-used.

Calipers
Here you have two choices:
  • Two mechanical brake calipers
  • Two marine hydraulic brake calipers (and use your existing hydraulic master cylinder)
I'd strongly recommend mechanical brakes.

Axle brackets to suit the calipers, welded to the axle.

Coupling
If you go mechanical, you will need a mechanical override baseplate to go under your existing override coupling.

Springs if needed.
Alko brand 1400kg parabolic leaf springs
Note, these are 10mm shorter, so make sure you're spring hangers are close enough together.

Miscellaneous hardware U bolts, etc.

Next post will have examples for pricing etc.

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PostPosted: Jan 21st, '14, 17:14 
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Quote:
Wheels
Three (2 + spare) galvanised trailer wheels, Ford stud pattern, in order of preference, a choice of:
  • 14" with 185R14LT tyres, rated ~850kg each
    or if you're on 13" wheels now,
  • 13" with 185R13LT tyres, rated 800kg each
  • 13" with 175R13LT tyres, rated 730kg each
Remember you need to carry the spare in your car; you can't afford to add 20kg to the trailer.
Huntsman in Braeside seem to have the best price on wheels and tyres at the moment:
185R14LT on galvanised ford rims $110 each.
175R13LT on galvanised ford rims $100 each.
Also consider, if you need a new axle anyway, get wider 195R14LT tyres with a higher capacity and select the axle length to suit:
195R14LT on galvanised ford rims $120 each.

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PostPosted: Jan 21st, '14, 17:19 
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Quote:
Disk hubs
Two galvanised 10" disks with ford stud pattern with wheel nuts, ford/slimline bearings and marine type seals to match.

Quote:
Axle
Possibly a galvanised 45mm square axle length to suit your trailer if the existing axle cannot be re-used.

Quote:
Calipers
  • Two mechanical brake calipers
    Axle brackets to suit the calipers, welded to the axle.

As an alternative to buying the above components separately and assembling them making doing it yourself much simpler, you can buy a complete axle with disks and calipers already assembled from:

Image

In fact if you buy your wheels from them too, you'd just need to give them the chassis width of the trailer and the width inside the guards for them to determine your required axle length. No welding caliper brackets to the axle, no assembling bearings, dead easy. The more I think about it, the more this makes sense since its a simple bolt in solution requiring a minimum of skill.

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Last edited by zebedee on Jan 22nd, '14, 01:09, edited 1 time in total.
Added Sunrise trailers $445


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PostPosted: Jan 21st, '14, 17:31 
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Whether you buy components or a complete axle, above, you'll still need:

Quote:
Coupling
If you go mechanical, you will need a mechanical override baseplate to go under your existing override coupling.

(Check your drawbar width and coupling bolt spacing first!)
Plate with fork to fit over 75mm wide drawbar, $30
Plate with fork to fit over 100mm wide drawbar, $32
Unbolt your coupling, place this plate beneath it, bolt it all back down. You may need longer bolts.

Quote:
Springs if needed.
Alko brand 1400kg parabolic leaf springs
Note, these are 10mm shorter, so make sure you're spring hangers are close enough together.

I'm running out of time here, expect to pay about $50 each for galvanised springs.

Quote:
Miscellaneous hardware U bolts, etc.


U bolts axle to springs
Pads between axles and springs (small square steel plate with a hole in the centre)
Cable for brakes
Adjuster for cable brakes

Budget another $50 for good measure!


I'll come back and fill in the gaps later this evening.

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PostPosted: Jan 21st, '14, 17:54 
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Luke, I just noticed some stuff you said in older posts:

luke.sleeman wrote:
I heard back from Gary today with some photos of the trailer and interior of bumblebee. He also put it over a weigh bridge today and without the outboard it comes to 1800kg :-( Thats not just a little bit over my max tow weight of 1500kg, thats a lot!


luke.sleeman wrote:
The owner tried two more weighbridges and got a weight of 1360Kg and 1340kg. I also went to buy a heavy duty towbar for my Subaru outback and the shop said that actually the heaviest towbar for my model is rated up to 1800kg


Some models of Outback are rated 1800kg, others are 1500kg; what is your correct tow capacity, as shown in the owners book for your particular car?

What does the boat and trailer weigh? ~1350kg plus "stuff" = ~1450kg, or is it around 1450kg with no camping gear, etc?

luke.sleeman wrote:
I put as a condition of sale that the owner fit new breaks to the trailer so that should be taken care of for me.


Are the current brakes new?!?

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PostPosted: Jan 21st, '14, 18:30 
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go the galvanised axle and hubs if you can, usually not much more well worth it.


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PostPosted: Jan 21st, '14, 18:33 
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Wow, thanks for the very detailed info! All you need to do now is add in your labour costs + margin, and I'll be happy to drive the boat over to your place right now ;-)

So, I'm lucky with the Subaru, it turns out its rated 1800kg! I only found out the good news when I went to buy a heavy duty towbar.

As for the boats weight its 1350kg with 3 sets of sails, outboard, boom tent and other misc stuff that came with it. If you take out half the stuff, then add in camping gear instead it may be 1400kg ~ 1450kg.


The current breaks ... well, kind of new ... sorta. Long story. Grab yourself a drink :-)

The trailer has a Hydraulic override system with drum brakes. When I inspected the boat the drum brakes had been removed - they had rusted up, which was un-surprising given how hard it was to get fresh water in there to clean. This was all fine for the pervious owner as he was towing with a huge beefy 4wd, but I knew my subaru would need some help, so I made a condition of sale that the brakes were fixed.

The owner had trouble getting drum brakes to fit. He finally managed to source some, which I think may have been second hand, along with new shoes. One of the back plates that held in a spring was missing so he bent the spring around to get it to hold. The brakes where working fine when he left his house to deliver the boat, but by the time he met up with us, they weren't working. He guessed it could be an air bubble in the hydraulic system so he bled the fluid for me, topped it up and everything was working again. He did suggest I might want to get it checked out by a brake specialist.

I took it to brakes plus before christmas for them to have a look over and hopefully put in a new back plate to hold in the spring. The news wasn't good. Firstly, the guy had never seen a drum brake like mine and couldn't source a replacement back plate for the bent spring. Secondly, the junction and other parts to the hydraulic system were rusted and leaking which would cause the system to fail unless I kept the fluid constantly topped up. He also said that since the Hydraulic lines were a partially a home made job (done from some nice stainless steel tube!) and they may not have been flared properly. Lastly, they were very reluctant to touch anything to fix it up as they didn't have marine grade parts on stock. They suggested I take it to somebody that specialises in boats...

It was pretty much at this stage I decided the whole system was an accident waiting to happen and I would probably be better if I just ripped it all out and replaced it with something new.

I've got to say I really like the simplicity of the mechanical override disk brakes. I can see at a glance if its working, I can easily wash it out, and I don't have to worry about it loosing brake fluid everywhere!


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PostPosted: Jan 22nd, '14, 00:25 
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luke.sleeman wrote:
Wow, thanks for the very detailed info! All you need to do now is add in your labour costs + margin, and I'll be happy to drive the boat over to your place right now ;-)

So, I'm lucky with the Subaru, it turns out its rated 1800kg! I only found out the good news when I went to buy a heavy duty towbar.

As for the boats weight its 1350kg with 3 sets of sails, outboard, boom tent and other misc stuff that came with it. If you take out half the stuff, then add in camping gear instead it may be 1400kg ~ 1450kg.

The current breaks ... well, kind of new ... sorta. Long story. Grab yourself a drink :-)
...
I've got to say I really like the simplicity of the mechanical override disk brakes. I can see at a glance if its working, I can easily wash it out, and I don't have to worry about it loosing brake fluid everywhere!

OK, so we're clear you can keep the axle load to around 1400 to 1450kg, with up to another 150kg on the coupling, which makes Ford bearings appropriate, and that mechanical disks are the way to go.
I'll leave it to you to satisfy yourself whether the Subaru is rated for 1500kg or 1800kg, bearing in mind that the same towbar probably fits models with either limit. Stephen, CA610, mentioned this in another thread.

zebedee wrote:
As an alternative to buying the above components separately and assembling them making doing it yourself much simpler, you can buy a complete axle with disks and calipers already assembled...


I'm unclear whether those are galvanised disks and axle, (I can ask them tomorrow; I need to talk to them about some other stuff too) so lets work through the parts and see what they're worth:

Quote:
Disk hubs
Two galvanised 10" disks with ford stud pattern with wheel nuts, ford/slimline bearings and marine type seals to match.

Huntsman, $110.

Quote:
Axle
Possibly a galvanised 45mm square axle length to suit your trailer if the existing axle cannot be re-used.

Huntsman price depends on length, about $180.
I reckon I can find them cheaper than that; I'm looking for a 50mm axle for myself, so I'll ask around.
Ungalvanised, $110 - significantly cheaper, and personally I'm not sure the axle itself needs to be gal, but others will disagree.

Quote:
Calipers
[list][*]Two mechanical brake calipers
Axle brackets to suit the calipers, welded to the axle.

Total Trailers in Traralgon (I think they have a depot in Dandenong) $79/pr
Sunrise trailer parts in Dandenong, $90 (I know it says QLD; they are also in Dandenong)

We're still missing the caliper brackets, $20 a pair from memory, and marine seals. I'm about to write about them in another thread for Wanton; I'll edit the link into here if it's not already here when you're reading this.

Clearly though, you can assemble from galvanised bits for a price competitive with an assembled axle.

I also haven't mentioned bearing end caps. Disk hubs will come with pressed steel caps, but you can buy clear plastic caps with a plug intended for oiled hubs, so you can add oil and see the level and condition of the oil at a glance. Again, I'll come back to this.

As for doing the job...
I'm right in the middle of doing my own trailer and the farm tank trailer at the moment, but I'd be happy to take a look at yours and talk about it. Where are you located - I saw you raced at Altona? Are you sailing on the bay this weekend? I'm in Bayside (SE suburbs).

Graham

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