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Critic
User Rank
Platinum
Nice Article
Critic   11/30/2012 9:51:49 AM
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Nice job on the article, Mr. Murphy!

Typically, an automotive master cylinder is actuated by a rod, either from the brake booster or directly from the pedal.  The rod is not generally directly attached to the piston in the master cylinder.  It is not uncommon for the piston to hang up in the bore after brake release, and for the brakes to drag a little.  This is not usually a problem, and the brakes don't usually drag to the extent that they smoke.

It doesn't surprise me that there would be corrosion in a boat trailer brake cylinder.  Boat trailers are often submerged in water, and sometimes in salt water!  The brake cylinder used in a corrosive environment like this should either be well-sealed or made of materials that don't corrode, like the one that you installed.

KUBSME
User Rank
Iron
Smoking Brakes
KUBSME   11/30/2012 9:47:38 AM
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Hydraulic brake systems are not maintenance free.  Brake fluid, being hydrophilic, will absorb water over time and the corrosion seen on the aluminum piston/bore is the end result.  Bleed your system out yearly refilling with a high quality brake fluid from a fresh, unopened container and you will greatly reduced the chances of this type of failure.

agriego
User Rank
Gold
Feedback
agriego   11/30/2012 9:27:50 AM
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Excellent article!! I hope that a note about this was sent to the manufacturer to let them know about the fault in their system.

Tim
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Good job
Tim   11/30/2012 2:53:03 AM
I have heard "You know most normal people call a plumber."  I usually reply with "I am not normal, I am an engineer." 

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Good job
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   11/29/2012 11:42:50 PM
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Psssst .....  That's my wife's line:  "Normal People don't do that!"  I hear it all too often!

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Good job
jmiller   11/29/2012 10:14:46 PM
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I wonder the same thing.  Of course, there are other times when I take something apart and can't get it back together that I realize sometimes normal people don't have it so bad.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
User Rank
Blogger
Would have guessed broken "return" spring
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   11/29/2012 2:27:37 PM
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Good article with a clear thorough explanation of the mechanisms.  As I was reading, I mentally concluded that the actuator simply needed a stronger, more robust "return" spring.  I wouldn't have continued into the internal cylinder and discovered the corrosion!  Good work - Very thorough.

Tim
User Rank
Platinum
Detail
Tim   11/29/2012 12:37:23 PM
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Good job on supplying the detail of surge brake operation. You would not normally expect to see corrosion inside the master cylinder which isctypically a sealed environment. Good article.

Jim_E
User Rank
Platinum
Good job
Jim_E   11/29/2012 8:47:43 AM
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Good job troubleshooting and repairing the problem!  I never fully understood the operation of surge brakes, but I have a good understanding now.

Every time I end up delving into an odd situation like this and finding a solution, I always wonder to myself "What do normal people do when things like this happen?"  :)

 

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