Monday, August 25, 2014

The Last Fifth Wheel Maintenance Job Before We Hit the Road for Montana

We leave for the Sydney Beet Harvest in a tad over two weeks and I've got one major project left to do before then...

* My Trailer Brake Parts, a couple bags of bearings and My workbench ;) *
I don't know for sure and for certain that the brakes are all bad. Could be there's only a part or two worn out... but here's the thing with electric brakes; If one part is bad, it's a fairly safe bet there's a few others not far behind.

The brakes and the bearings that are on this old rig are the ones that were on there when it rolled out of the factory... so I KNOW... those suckers have some age on 'em. This rig has been hauled juuuuust a few miles.

... and then the run to Red Feather in June revealed that I had very little functioning brakes on the trailer.

I've not yet even pulled 'em apart... so I don't know what's in there. I haven't a clue what's bad... but I know this from fairly long experience... in the end it'll be a lot cheaper to just R&R the whole gizmo then to try and fix something. Getting back in there four or five times to find and replace the Latest of failed parts is a waste of time.

What I've got sitting there on the truck is $385 bucks worth of parts from Red Neck Trailer Supply to get it done one time and be done with it. 

Thee-oh-retically it's a simple job... five bolts and two wires on each hub and the whole works comes off and gets replaced. quick, solid and I go back on the road with 100% fresh brakes. Also... since they ARE coming 15 years old, with a lot of abuse and precious little attention, I'm just gonna go ahead and replace the bearings too.

That's one of the nice thing about electric trailer breaks. Rather than fighting a whole bunch of miscellaneous little parts and trying to get everything adjusted up to work together right... You just unbolt the whole dang backing plate and replace the whole shebang.Zip Zap and you're done.

At least that's the way it SHOULD work.

Now, the last time I did a set of trailer bearings... was when I cooked a bearing on the road. I was sitting in a roadside rest area along the interstate in Arizona... maybe 20 miles from a small town...

I'd just as soon NOT do that again! ;)

So... I'll collect up the rest of my tools and possibles in the morning and get to swapping parts.

Now... the last job I did was that "two hour" fork rebuild on the bike... if you don't count the roof recoat ;) ... and that two hour bike job only took me what? three weeks?... so rebuilding 4 sets of brakes and bearings ... No Problem... Right? :)

Likely... since I haven't got anywhere to pull the rig inside... It'll start raining every day again just as soon as I get a wheel off :) ... nothing better than sitting in the mud working on electric brakes! :)

Gettin' Ready to Generate Some Sparks and Smoke!


Wil said...

Good luck, Brian. I hope you won't need it.

MTWaggin said...

You can do it - in the tad over two weeks you have left! :) Sending good repair juju your way and let us know how it goes!

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to hearing how smooooth things went.

Whatsnewell said...

Hey Brian, I did what you are doing back in December of 2012.....just replaced all four electric drum brakes on our enclosed car was actually quite easy. You're a brave man heading back to Sidney for another sugar beet harvest....we'll be at Amazon in Fernley, NV thinking of you two.