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SUBJECT: # 13542: Ranger Trail Brake Actuator

Submitted by Skipper from KENTUCKY on 7/13/2011 8:58:00 AM

I messed up the other day. Forgot to unhook that breakaway cable and yanked it out of my tongue.

To be frankly honest, my brakes don't work and haven't for several years. I used to tow with an F250 and now a 2500 Dodge diesel. I don't need trailer brakes with those trucks, so it's not been a real concern for me personally. That said, Dad and I at times fish together and his truck is a half ton Suburban. It needs the brakes working. He's getting older and riding in my truck isn't as comfortable as the Suburban so we may start using it to tow with. Long and short, I need to fix the brakes.

I'm not sure if my master cylinder works or not, I know certain the brake fluid (what there is in the system) is shot. It's black, and I know it shouldn't be.

Has anyone tried rebuilding one of these tongues? There doesn't appear to be much to it, however, it doesn't look like the kind of thing you can get at the parts store readily. Otherwords, I could see getting it apart, havinig to wait a week or 2 on some $10 part, then having to pay shipping on that. The complete tongue sells for $170 online. I'm thinking replacing it would be just as well off.

  1. 7/13/2011 12:48:00 PM Submitted by Jeff Hahn from OH says Is the tongue a detachable or swing away?
    If your tongue is a detachable or a swing away tongue, replacing it with a new one shouldn't be that difficult. But, if is a fixed, welded tongue, that could be a LOT of work.

    I wonder how much crude has built-up in your brake lines and if the calipers are locked up and need to be rebuilt? Also, the discs could be rusted and pitted...something else to check.

    Jeff HAhn

  2. 7/13/2011 2:40:00 PM Submitted by Skipper from KY says Detachable
    It should come out pretty easy

    I figure the calipers may be junk too. I've had trouble with them off and on. Replaced them once after roasting them. I forgot to connect the brake line once and evidently the shoes were down on the rotor when I unplugged it. With nowhere for the fluid to go, they stayed down and like to have burned the boat to the ground. I didn't much worry about it because they weren't needed with my tow vehicle, however, changing situation there dictates fixing them.

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