Kodiak Brake Calipers

Discussion in 'Boats, Motors, Trailers and Towing Rigs Forum' started by SeaWolf, Jul 26, 2016.

  1. SeaWolf

    SeaWolf Active Member

    Since last Spring I have had to replace 3 Kodiak Brake Calipers due to seized pistons. I arrived at the Gold River ramp on Saturday afternoon and one side was showing 220 degrees while normal is about 110. The pads were newish but ended up down to 1/2 to 1/3 third braking material and fried. I replaced that side last spring as the previous caliper was sticking, it was 5 years old. This spring I had to replace the other side. I learned my lesson and a usually keep a spare and had my wife run out all I needed to do a roadside repair in Gold River, fortunately I live in Campbell River. I doubt I could find a spare anywhere on the Island on short notice. As I launched on Saturday evening after allowing the hub to cool, a returning boat was waiting on the dock for a trailer. I could hear the guy banging on the trailer trying to release his brakes. His Buddy commented to another that he had just spent upwards of $1000 on new brakes but I did not hear what kind. Just curious if anyone else has experienced the same issues. 14-15 months on a trailer that is not used all that often is a little short. Everything works fine with new calipers and I religiously check hub temps. Both sides are failing, so I am thinking it is poor quality calipers although the pistons are supposed to be stainless. The calipers are Dacromet coated.
  2. pescador

    pescador Well-Known Member

    I have drums on my 2012 Roadrunner trailer that I replaced last November after approx. 60 salt water launches over the 3 years. I had to rip out everything including bearings. While I might gotten lucky and not had an issue, the signals told me to just start with fresh stuff. I had already replaced most of the brakes one by one over the 3 years since I bought the trailer. I too last year started having to have to hammer one of the brakes that would lock up on me from time to time usually after a launch at some remote place like Gold River. These systems are just sh*t. I've started carrying a whole hub assemble just in case. I am particular about my trailer and maintain the hell out of it as I don't want an issue given some of the remote places I travel. I was going to swap everything over to Kodiak calipers, but, not sure now. On the bright side, LED lights have sure made it better for trailering. It used to be I couldn't do one trip without light failure. 4 years with new LED's and not a single issue. Hope the brake manufacturers can solve their problems the same way the lighting guys did.
    Matty4x4 likes this.
  3. Delray

    Delray Member

    Same thing here. Replaced drum brakes with Kodiak disc. Just replaced calipers after 16- 18 months. Thought they'd last longer.
  4. gungadin

    gungadin Well-Known Member

    My experience with disc brakes on trailers is similar. Many of the launch sites do not provide hose bib for washdown, and as a result, the washing waits until getting home, if ever. One of the problems I have encountered is not the pistons seizing in their bores but rather the accumulation of salt powder or small crystals on the slider pins, and it takes very little to stop them working. The brakes come on but there is insufficient retracting force to pull them away from the rotor when the brakes are released, consequently they continue to be in contact with the rotor, with each application, exacerbating the problem. At that point, removing the bleed screw and retracting the piston with a pry bar has been a roadside repair. Speaking of bleed screws, the salt crystals will block the bleed hole in the screw as well, thus necessating the removal, rather then just loosening. I now put a small rubber cap on each screw, which seems to lessen the ingress of water. The manufacturer specifically says not to use a lubricant on the pins or bushings, but l have been using a lubricant called "moveit" with some success. If we are planning a trip to the north island or the west coast, I free up all the slider pins before going. Dual axle takes me about 1.5 -2 hours each time.
  5. Flatlander

    Flatlander Member

    I have 2002 trailer with kodiak , whole system is shot, discs badly corroded ,slide pins seized . Was thinking of replacing with ss kodiak calipers not so sure they would be any different ,gungadin is right the slide pins look like the weak spot in the system ,no way to really service them effectively.Is the "moveit a spray lub???
  6. gungadin

    gungadin Well-Known Member

  7. turbomack

    turbomack Member

    i travel with a 200 liter drum of fresh water and salt away. i have a wash down pump mounted with the drum and hit my trailer and brakes with 100 liter rinse after launching and another 100 after retrieval. After rinsing i will try to drag the trailer with a bit of brake to heat and dry the brake components, i find this keeps my costs down and my system functioning safely. I have a 12,000 lb tandem trailer and the brakes are a key part of a successful trip.
    Franko Manini likes this.
  8. gunnerlove

    gunnerlove Active Member

    Why would they insist that you run the slide pins dry? That sounds like a terrible idea.
  9. I have Kodiak brakes on my trailer too, have also had problems with dacromet coated calipers with stainless pistons seizing in as soon as 2 seasons.
    Was told by Keith at Highliner trailer to be sure to replace the dacromet coated calipers with stainless steel.
    They cost more but will eliminate the problem.
    He says they have commercial customers that have stainless calipers with 10 years on them and no failures.
    He also said not to spend the money on the stainless discs as they are prone to warping.
    Will be moving up to the full stainless calipers next time on his recommendation.
  10. CIVANO

    CIVANO Well-Known Member

    Was told by Keith at Highliner trailer to be sure to replace the dacromet coated calipers with stainless steel.
    They cost more but will eliminate the problem.
    He says they have commercial customers that have stainless calipers with 10 years on them and no failures.
    He also said not to spend the money on the stainless discs as they are prone to warping.
    Will be moving up to the full stainless calipers next time on his recommendation.

    I was told the same thing by etrailer.com. I put on the SS calipers and spray down the rotors after every dip with water and salt away and they are holding up great.
  11. Fisherman Rob

    Fisherman Rob Well-Known Member

    Arg. My Kodiak disk brakes are starting to drag and over-heat on one side again even though I've washed them after every launch. It been less than two years since I swapped out the drums for disks. Unfortunately the shop put on the dacromet calipers, not stainless. Sounds like that was a mistake. :mad: Anyway I was looking at costs on eTrailer and though it strange that it is cheaper to buy the entire kit (darcomet and stainless combo) rather than upgrading with two stainless calipers?

    Kit K2HR35DS : https://www.etrailer.com/p-K2HR35DS.html = $392 US

    Single SS caliper KDBC225S : https://www.etrailer.com/p-KDBC225S.html x 2 = $411 US
  12. dmurph

    dmurph Well-Known Member

    I am also in the midst of tearing apart my trailer which had all new clippers, hub rotors, lines and everything. I used all titan gear dacro coated and it's all shot. Thought I was doing a bleed job and maybe one hub assembly but it's everything again. Lasted 2 summers of pretty light use but usually whistler to vancouver and a trip to the island each summer. Pretty disappointed.
  13. gunnerlove

    gunnerlove Active Member

    Sounds. Like I might be better off sticking with drums.
  14. Geno

    Geno Member

    FWIW. I have the Tiedown Vortex disc brake system on a 2006 trailer. I'm still using the original rotors, hydraulic lines and have replaced a couple of sticky calipers over the years. Been through 4 sets of brake pads. I tow from Campbell River to Port Alberni and Port Hardy about 6 times a year. Although I do carry a an extra caliper, brake fluid and tools with me just in case. The Tiedown system don't have a great reputation but I've been happy with them. I started to give my brakes a quick spray of "saltaway" after launching when my trailer is going to sit in the parking lot for a few days. Not sure if it helps but can't hurt.


  15. e-zee

    e-zee Member

    I've never experience seized brakes since I switched over to a SS Kodiak disc system about 5 years ago. I religiously hose them down with fresh water. However last year I thought my electric over hydraulic actuator stopped working and I was seeing dollar signs and headaches. I started troubleshooting with the simplest option of low fluid and discovered the reservoir was empty. This led to a torn seal on a piston for one of the SS calipers. It was an easy fix and under $10. SS calipers are the key. SS rotors don't dissipate the heat so save the money and buy cast iron rotors. I want to buy a 5th set-up and have it bolted to a spare tire on the trailer but flashy lures and spoons and hootchies always seem to take precedent.
  16. Fisherman Rob

    Fisherman Rob Well-Known Member

    Installed new Kodiak dacromet rotors and stainless calipers last Friday. Wasn't complicated, no special tools required, took me about 4 hours. Saved a bundle on labour as I was quoted 4-6 hours of work o_O. Hopefully the stainless calipers last longer than the dacromet ones did...
  17. CIVANO

    CIVANO Well-Known Member

    They will. I replaced Tie Down that seized and have had no problems with the same set up in 4 years.
  18. explorer185

    explorer185 Member

    I have learned having the Tie Down brand is that the caliper slides should be greased at least twice a season to make sure that they are not jamming on releasing.
  19. bigbruce

    bigbruce Crew Member

    That's what the guys at CV Marine told me as well. They suggested a marine grade never seize compound. That's what I'm using and so far no issues.
  20. Fisherman Rob

    Fisherman Rob Well-Known Member

    I believe that is the issue. Read all kinds of posts on this on The Hull Truth as well. Most say to make sure you get the stainless calipers as the dacromet calipers corrode around the seal and then inside the piston sleeve. The piston seizes, pads get stuck down, brakes burn up, grease expands, blows the inner seal, then when at the ramp the assembly cools rapidly in the salt and sucks salt water past the blown seal and into the bearings. Then the entire setup is toast.

    Interestingly the Kodiak installation guide says not to grease the caliper slides. But then I found a techincal doc the explains exactly how to grease the slides. I think they don't want you to grease the wrong part of the slide as that can lead to failure.

    Hope stainless calipers are the answer...
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017

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