Going from surge brakes to no brakes

Joined
Jun 22, 2022
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I recently bought an older 2005 boat with trailer. The trailer is a single axle with an A 60 Hydralic brake actuator for disc brakes.

1. the trailer clunks every time I take off.
2. The cap to the oil check is partially blocked by some part of the actuator. Guess it may be because I backed it up and parked it not letting it come forward? Not sure.
3. The wires were not installed professionally. They are hanging down in the back by the tail lights and wrapped willy nilly with tape. At the front under the actuator they have a male to female 5 pin splice that is shorting out and causing lights to not work, plus another flat male 5 pin that runs from that splice and goes to the tow vehicle.

I want to rewire the whole trailer but I want to get real opinions on keeping the hydraulic system for the disc breaks or removing the system all together.

IF I do remove the system do I need to do anything with trailer axles and disc brakes?
I am a bit of a newby so If I sound like I don't know what I am talking about.... Your assessment would be correct.

Boat is roughly 19' long and weighs slightly over 2000#. Trailer is a Tennessee single axle
Tow vehicle is a 2016 Ford F150 XLT with towing package (incl. brake controller)

Thank you in advance
 

Lou C

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Removing them is dangerous I bet your tow vehicle is not able to stop the weight of the fully loaded trailer. Learn how to make surge brakes work (very simple) & maintain them. I tried towing my boat with no trailer brakes (5050 lbs) just once. There was no way that 98 Jeep was up to stopping a combined load of 9500 lbs!
Added surge brakes & it stopped just fine. Last upgrade was from 10” to 12” brakes.
 
Last edited:

matt167

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Federal limit for trailers without brakes is 3,500 lbs. You will be right on that full of gas and equipment.. If you have a controller. go electric with 5 pin wiring
 
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My boat and trailer would be under 3,000# combined. Tow vehicle is an F150 5.0 V8 Coyote complete with manufacturer installed tow package with a tow capacity of up to 10,400#. My Pop-Up camper is around 2500# and not equipped with brakes. Tows and stops like I am not towing anything.

I guess I should have included that.
 

dingbat

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Nov 20, 2001
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Boat is roughly 19' long and weighs slightly over 2000#. Trailer is a Tennessee single axle
Tow vehicle is a 2016 Ford F150 XLT with towing package (incl. brake controller)
The truck will have no problems pulling the load with or without brakes.

You could put the boat and trailer in the bed of the truck and still be below max. pay load weight.

Your restrictions are going to be legal.
Check legal requirements in your jurisdiction
 
Joined
Jun 22, 2022
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The truck will have no problems pulling the load with or without brakes.

You could put the boat and trailer in the bed of the truck and still be below max. pay load weight.

Your restrictions are going to be legal.
Check legal requirements in your jurisdiction
Thank you!
:)
 
Joined
Jun 22, 2022
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Why not simply do the maintenance and repair needed?
After reading through everything, That is what I am going to try to do. I am not mechanically inclined. So thank god for YouTube tutorials. If I can't figure it out for myself or question my ability, then I will have it looked at by a professional. But I will be rewiring the trailer myself.
 

JASinIL2006

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Feb 10, 2012
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5,142
The truck will have no problems pulling the load with or without brakes.

You could put the boat and trailer in the bed of the truck and still be below max. pay load weight.

Your restrictions are going to be legal.
Check legal requirements in your jurisdiction
There is no way he’d be below payload with 3000# in the bed. Payload for an XLT will be about 2000# max., probably closer to 1800# or 1900#.

Adding electric brakes is fairly simple and not very expensive. @SweetCheeksTKB , I don’t know if repairing surge brakes would be cheaper than replacing them with electric, but either way, you are much safer than having no brakes at all.
 

Scott Danforth

Grumpy old guy who plays with boats
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After reading through everything, That is what I am going to try to do. I am not mechanically inclined. So thank god for YouTube tutorials. If I can't figure it out for myself or question my ability, then I will have it looked at by a professional. But I will be rewiring the trailer myself.
then take it to a trailer shop.

you tube is notorious for having wrong information

first, determine if your actuator just need the shock. its the least expensive part of the sytem
 

Lou C

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Also boat manufacturer estimates of boat weight is notoriously inaccurate. My boat after weighing it is much heavier than I thought. Surge brakes are simple and for most trailering situations are a good system . Electric brakes if you use galvanized backing plates will work in fresh water.
I can tell you I’ve trailered two different boats both weighing around 5,000 lbs on HD single axle trailers with 12” surge brakes and you can hardly feel it back there.
 

dingbat

Supreme Mariner
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Nov 20, 2001
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There is no way he’d be below payload with 3000# in the bed. Payload for an XLT will be about 2000# max., probably closer to 1800# or 1900#.
Better tell Ford. They rated mine at 3,050 with the 3.5 EB and 4WDA9704A2D-37F8-47AC-98E7-8B02837B1DF3.png
 

Lou C

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Getting back to what you have….
Looks like it’s a surge disc brake system
Post up pics and what make the actuator & disc brakes are. You may be able to easily repair the actuator if parts are available. Then flush & bleed the fluid (get a Lisle one man brake bleeder) and see if the master cyl & calipers are functional. You might get lucky being in fresh water. Here in the salt pond trailer brakes are an every 5/6 seasons repair item. I have surge drums and I usually replace the backing plates every 6 seasons or so. My last set of drums were still fine when I replaced that axle after 17 years. I think I replaced the backing plates 2x in that time. Now I have 12” galvanized drums on a 6,000 lb axle. You don’t even feel the boat behind you. Same Tie Down 6,600 lb capacity coupler 18 years old. I also have a rebuild kit for this sitting on a shelf in my garage with 2 spare sets of 12” backing plates. It’s what I do to deal with supply chain issues. Lotsa spare parts.
 

Scott Danforth

Grumpy old guy who plays with boats
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BTW, the folks at UFP will answer any questions you have on their A-60 actuator

as stated above, the clunking is usually the shock going out. easy replacement
 
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