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Arch Autenreith posted 01-14-2002 02:15 PM ET (US)   Profile for Arch Autenreith   Send Email to Arch Autenreith  
I often trailer to the shores and donít have access to fresh water to wash down the brakes after dunking the trailer. My question is what do you all do in similar circumstances? My brakes are always a maintenance nightmare and attribute some if not all the problems to the saltwater and not being able to freshwater wash off. I guess I could go the SS route but Iím not convinced that is the entire answer either. Plus it just costs more. Anyone else have similar observations or thoughts?
TightPenny posted 01-14-2002 02:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for TightPenny  Send Email to TightPenny     
Like the ad for the oil filter used to say.

Pay now or pay later.

It would seem the extra money for the SS would be well spent.

Tom W Clark posted 01-14-2002 02:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

SS would be nice but you're right, it will not be the whole answer.

On my trailer I installed the flushing attachment but rarely used it. I really feel the only way to totally flush the brakes is to back the trailer into fresh water after each dunking in salt water. I live in Seattle within a mile of both salt water ramps on Puget Sound and fresh water ramps on Lake Washington. A nice luxury.

When I went on fishing trips the trailer was dunked in salt water and left for as long as a week but then always flushed on the way home at some lake with a ramp. It's also a great way to flush the motors as well. Just back the rig extra deep into the water and fire up both motors, take a bucket and rinse everything down at once.

If you simply have no access to fresh water like this then the flushing attachment is the way to go along with a very thorough external rinsing with the hose.

If none of this is practical then you need to launch somewhere with a sling and never get the trailer wet.

bigz posted 01-14-2002 02:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Get a brake flushing attachment and when you get to a fresh water hose flush with Salt Away. In fact do the whole trailer and the boat while your at it. Then hit them with some brake cleaning Gunk.

There are also galvanized drums available a lot less than the ss disc. but if you feel you must replace them go for the whole enchilada ss disc. --- Z

lhg posted 01-14-2002 03:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
From what I have seen, drum brakes are a nightmare is salt, even with the hose flush out, which doesn't work very well. they even rust out, and freeze up in the moisture present in the atmosphere in fresh water areas, especially during the winter.

Disc brakes are the answer in my opinion, having used them now for 13 years. Everything is in view and can be hosed off.
There are several manufacturers available, but three years ago I switched to the Tie Down Engineering ss models (which have aluminum calipers - only the rotor is SS) and they have been excellent since they were re-designed and improved. I have heard their original model was not so good.

I think the cost is reasonable, only $120/wheel. Switch to these and your braking problems are over.

where2 posted 01-14-2002 04:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
Time will tell, I'm sure. But at the moment, my father is much happier with the DRUM setup and a flushing attachment, than he ever was with the Tie-Down Eng. SS discs. The problem wasn't the SS disc (which isn't 316_SS and will rust slightly). The problem was the bronze piston in the aluminum caliper. Last version of them dad tried had been redesigned to add a sealing boot to the caliper piston, but it still hung up because of dissimilar metals in close proximity. If they'd just make the caliper and the piston from the same metal alloy, they might have a product that works. (I only got B's in College Chemistry).

As for flushing the discs, flush all you want, but short of Tom Clark's backing the rig into a freshwater lake, you can rarely ever get ALL the salt out of the Tie-Down caliper between the piston and caliper. When the piston hangs, order a new caliper. Then go spend 2 hours trying to get your current one off, so you can temporarily fix it and go boating today.

As for no access to the fresh water, Dad rigged up two 5 gallon water jugs with a bait well pump to rinse the brakes when no fresh water is available. It attaches to the flushing connector and hoses the brakes with water you brought from home. One 5gal jug for launching, 1 jug for retrieval, rinse the whole rig when you get to the house.

I thought the SS discs were "the ultimate" until I watched my father have to dismantle atleast one caliper every other time he went to use the boat.

lhg posted 01-14-2002 05:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I don't know "where2", but after 10,000 miles, and 50/50 boating in fresh & salt, I just havent had that experience. Not one hangup. I will say that when mine were installed, the guy said this was their 4th revision, and the models he was putting on mine should be good. Another good source for trailer disc brakes is Unique Functional Products, the makes of Bearing buddies. My trailer originally came with these, which were actually Chrysler mini-van brakes. But so far, I like the Tie Down brakes better.
Arch Autenreith posted 01-14-2002 06:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
Here's an interesting post that made me 'put on the brakes' before forging ahead with SS.

At the moment nothing works. 2 years ago I gave up trying and just decided to drive more carefully. I had one difficult time stopping in time on Rt. 4 last summer going through Orlando in very heavy traffic. I stopped in time but then had to change my underwear.

Maybe if I was just going back and for the to a nearby ramp Iíd overlook some things but with a 3,700 pound car towing 1,800+ pounds for thousands of miles (along with passengers) is just asking for trouble. Iíve dodged a bullet so far but I recon I need to do something about it by this spring.

I do like the idea of using another bilge pump with a couple gallons of fresh water with the hose flush out. Interesting. Never heard of Salt Away. Iíll have to look that up next time.

daverdla posted 01-14-2002 07:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for daverdla  Send Email to daverdla     
I recently put stainless steel pistons on my morgan. The stainless pistons are about $35.00 each. Why would they use bronze pistons and not stainless?

Just curious

reelescape1 posted 01-14-2002 07:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for reelescape1  Send Email to reelescape1     
I put the tie-downs on my trailer about 9 months ago and so far so good. This is Chas. SC in salt water with high humidity and major heat. I wash every thing the best I can EVERY time I use it. Time will tell, the boat's for sale by the way.......

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