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IronMike

Ifor Williams woes

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I have an Ifor Williams LM186, triple axle behemoth of a trailer. I've had it since new, its two and a half years old and has always been maintained and cleaned and kept in good condition. I took it in for a service at Ripon Trailer Services this year and the mechanic fella commented how well kept it was. 

 

However, it has recently started having a rather serious brake issue. All 6 wheels are getting hot, and I do mean hot! I never travel fast, usually doing 40-50mph maximum. Tyre pressures are good. I've been getting some excellent help from Andrew Liverseed of Liverseed Trailers and have checked a few things he suggested. I used a ratchet strap to pull the coupling back in, and it returned as it should. I gave the coupling an extra good greasing too.

 

I've had the trailer in at Paxtons up at Durham. They had it for two days, charged me £120 but were unable to diagnose the problem. 

 

Interestingly, it only seems to do it when the trailer is loaded up with the Logbullet.

 

I'm open to suggestions, and beginning to clutch at straws truth be told. I'm flat out busy and need the trailer to work as it should. Since greasing the temperature has dropped a bit, but when I pull up and check the hubs are definitely hot to touch.

 

Fire away oh wise Arbtalk collective!

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Wheel bearings when under load ?

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Bit new to be giving trouble, there's not an awful lot on them so I'd start at the hub and work forwards. 

Is the hub full of crud, shoes properly seated and returning when brakes released? return springs working? Any sign of grease oozing from bearings or lateral rock in the wheel? Cables moving freely, connecting rod straight and not too tight when brakes are not being applied, etc

If it happens only loaded have you could have too much nose weight causing the damper to struggle to return, it may have bent very slightly (doubt it, logbullets not that heavy)

 

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If it’s all six equally, surely the drawbar and handbrake linkages are the most likely. Failing that, the brakes themselves evenly wearing but also evenly failing to self-adjust for shoe wear?

 

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Fast driving / heavy braking?

Is heat coming from bearings or brakes?

Hand brake rods stuck, cable stuck, oval drums, seized brake parts.

 

Tyre pressure too low, wheels badly aligned.

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Jack it up and spin the wheels to see if there's any resistance, worth trying cold and hot maybe. If the wheels are a bit stiff to turn at any point you need to investigate why, on older trailers it's normally rusty brake cables seizing and not releasing the shoes properly but can't imagine you'll be having that problem yet. If I had to guess I'd suspect your bearings might have been nipped up a bit too tight at the last service or maybe at the factory and you're only noticing now? Easy job to back off the castle nuts one tooth all the way round and as long as there's no excessive play after that might fix your issue. 

 

I'd have thought a trailer specialist would have tried all the above mind but you never know!

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1 hour ago, Darkslider said:

Jack it up and spin the wheels to see if there's any resistance, worth trying cold and hot maybe. If the wheels are a bit stiff to turn at any point you need to investigate why, on older trailers it's normally rusty brake cables seizing and not releasing the shoes properly but can't imagine you'll be having that problem yet. If I had to guess I'd suspect your bearings might have been nipped up a bit too tight at the last service or maybe at the factory and you're only noticing now? Easy job to back off the castle nuts one tooth all the way round and as long as there's no excessive play after that might fix your issue. 

 

I'd have thought a trailer specialist would have tried all the above mind but you never know!

You can't nip up bearings too tightly on the modern Ifors- they are sealed bearings which you torque up tight against the inner race. Also, taper bearings done up too tight will self destruct in a lot less than two years- more like two weeks.

 

It's something to do with the braking system. Are you sure it's getting 'too' hot? Braking will generate heat. 'Too hot' is with smoke visible in the mirrors! Had that on an Indespension, when one hub out of four kept self adjusting, but that's a different self adjustment system to the Ifor so less likely on an Ifor and wouldn't affect all the wheels at once.

 

As said, best to lift it up and check the wheels spin freely. Ifor brakes are simple to adjust- there's a nut on the back (21mm from memory) which you tighten until the wheel doesn't spin then back off half a turn so that the wheel spins- although slight rubbing at a couple of points is acceptable. You can also pull the individual brake wires with a pair of mole grips- 4-5mm freeplay is correct from memory.

 

They are really simple to work on. Grab a big bar and pop a hub off, see what condition the brake shoes are in. Also wobble the wheels whilst jacked up- any freeplay on those bearings means they should be replaced. This is NOT the case with taper bearings and castellated nuts- these are best left on the castellation that leaves them very slightly loose, otherwise they will fail in short order.

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If its only happening with the log bullet on and its equally hot to all six brakes then i’d say it’s a position of load issue, creating over braking/dragging through operation of the hitch etc. Possibly too much nose weight, does it feel like its shoving you when your towing, different/more so than when your towing other things and not just the log bullet?

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Put three bulk bags on trailer in middle of wheels take it for a spin see what happens 

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Has this been going on since day one with the trailer ? or is it something that has only started happening of late or have you only just noticed it of late ? is it something that has happened since its been serviced ? As Ratman says load distribution could possibly be causing hitch problem with weight on ( to much weight forward causing friction in hitch plunger ? ) you say you have greased the hitch and what grease you pumping in there ? as its been warm of late and some cheaper greases will just go to piss in little time ? i noticed on my log splitter last week a pool of what was grease but now thick oil on the splitting table that has come from above, them tripple axel Ifors are very good trailers to tow and usually behave there selfs well there is 3 or 4 in the yard next to mine that get used day in day out for moving the 15ft concreate panels used in agri buildings and there will be 4 or 5 panels on a trailer and there is never any problems with the trailers and they are worked, personally i would give Graham Barlow a ring at Barlow trailers at Leyland as if there has ever been a issue with an Ifor he will know about it i think he has about 40 yrs in the Ifor trade, 

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