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SUBJECT: # 10507: Trailer brake actuator

Submitted by TexasGeorge from TEXAS on 8/5/04 4:03:00 PM

Had a problem with my boat trailer actuator. Sent the following message along with faulty parts to UFP. Response is below.

135 Sunshine Lane
San Marcos, Ca. 92069

Customer Service:

Recently I noticed a clunking coming from the tongue of my boat trailer which is equipped with an A-60 surge brake. The trailer was made by Marine Master Trailer and part of the 2003 Triton boat package I purchased new on 2 Feb 2003.

I believed the fault to be the actuator shock absorber and called your customer support. I talked to Sandy and described the fault. Told her I could replace the shock absorber if she would send a new one to me. The shock absorber arrived a week later but I could not find time to install it for a few weeks.

During the weekend of 4 July a car pulled out in front of me and I almost couldnít stop. It seemed that the trailer brakes were not functioning and I made a comment to my wife about it.

When I finally got an opportunity to replace the shock absorber I could not get the brakes to hold after bleeding them thoroughly. The wheels would lock when the actuator was compressed but would free up even though the actuator was still pressed. It seemed that the pressure was bleeding off. It seems that maybe the faulty brake system was causing the clunking vers the shock.

I inspected the system for leaks and found none. I believe the reverse bypass-valve was allowing the fluid to return to the master cylinder. I removed the actuator and tested the valve on the bench by doing the following: Installed a ľ plug where the outlet line connects to seal the fluid. Loosen bypass-valve line. Placed the master cylinder in a vice and pressed the actuator rod. Fluid passed through the bypass valve. I operated the solenoid with a 12volt battery and the valve opened and closed. I sprayed some WD 40 into the valve to clean any particles that may have gotten into the valve seat. I also used compressed air in an effort to clean it. Needless to say my efforts didnít work.

A friend was able to locate a used master cylinder from a wrecked trailer and I installed it into the actuator. After bleeding the system the brakes held firm. A road test proved that the brakes were once again functioning correctly.

I am concerned about using a used part in an otherwise relatively new trailer. The used master cylinder may not last very long as the seals and other components may have deteriorated.

Failure of the brake system is a major safety issue and I am not comfortable towing my boat now. Iím sending the parts back for your analysis. I would very much appreciate you sending a new actuator assembly so that I can return my trailer to like new condition.

I recieved a complete tongue assembly and the following reply from UFP.

Thank you for your letter explaining the events involving the problems with your actuator.

The normal order of progression for warranty of actuator over 1 year is to return the defective parts or whole actuator to us for analysis and or repair, or we ship out a new part C.O.D. to you until we get the old parts here for analysis. I your case I believe you did a fair assessment of the problem, with a logical order on your own.

The parts I received are bad and by all rights I am supposed to replace just those parts, but as a courtesy, we are going to grant your request for a whole new inner member.

We are sorry for any inconvenience caused to you.

UFP Customer Service and Warranty Dept.

Now that is customer service!

I've found that most manufactures will stand behind their products if you take the time to call and work with them.


  1. 8/5/04 4:32:00 PM Submitted by John in Tennessee from TENNESSEE says Ultra Fine People...
    Great folks there...BTW the solenoid costs as much as the master cylinder...

  2. 8/7/04 11:03:00 AM Submitted by John ( from FLORIDA says Ufp
    Yes sir, They do respond,had some pins that hold the disk brake housing come off or break off,my trailer guy called'em they sent the pins at no charge.This is a 99 EZ loader

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