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Troubleshooting Leaking Atwood Brake Actuator Coupler

Question:

I forgot to switch the position of the brake lever from reverse to towing after backing up and shortly after noticed brake fluid dripping out under the trailer hitch. Do you think I busted the brakes? How intensive would it be to fix and is that something I could do with limited knowledge of this specific breaking system? I am going to get it checked out by a mechanic when I get the time but was hoping for more info in the meantime.

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Expert Reply:

Your Atwood brake actuating coupler should not have started leaking brake fluid based on your manual lockout being engaged, so that is most likely not the issue. The only issue from leaving that lockout engaged should be the lack of trailer brakes, not a leak. The fact that you have a leak is a bigger issue as you won't have proper braking until that is fixed.

You may have a line break or a master cylinder leak. If the master cylinder is bad, you unfortunately need to replace the entire coupler as Atwood is no longer in business and the replacement parts are no longer available. I recommend the Titan Brake Actuator with Manual Lockout - Bolt On - Drum - 2" Ball - 7,500 lbs # T63FR as a replacement option.

If you determine the brake line is the issue, then I recommend the Kodiak Hydraulic Brake Line Kit - Single Axle - 18' # 18SI-BLKIT or dual axle brake kit # 20TA-BLKIT or # 24TA-BLKIT. The difference between these two kits is the 4 feet additional length of the main line to the actuator.

I've attached an article on adding hydraulic brakes to a trailer to assist with the overall view and function. If you are not familiar with hydraulic systems having a mechanic assist is a wise decision.

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