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Replacing your trailer brake cable cover plates

Replacing your trailer brake cable cover plates

What is a brake cable cover plate?

The cable cover is made up of two plates that slot together which are held in place by the brake cable itself. They are designed to form a protective covering for the exposed area of the brake cable that connects to the brake expander. One of these plates is fixed to the back plate of the trailer brakes, the other is attached but can be removed easily in the event of an emergency.

 

It’s important to check your brake cable covers often – due to their frequent exposure to water and dirt on the surface of the road, they are often one of the first parts of your trailer to show signs of corrosion. Regularly maintaining these will ensure you can avoid a build-up of corrosion which can lead to either of the plates breaking or snapping off.

Small levels of corrosion are unavoidable, but if it is superficial and there is no lasting damage to either of the plates then it is possible to clean them up with a wire brush and to continue to use the same set.

How do you change a brake cable cover plate?

To replace your brake cable cover plates:

  • Firstly, remove the weld that keeps it fixed to the back plate by using a grinder. Take extra care not to damage any other part of the brake while doing this.
  • After separating the weld, it should not be too hard to manually pull the old cover plate from the brake back plate.
  • Use a hand file to clean up the area you have just been grinding to ensure the area stays clean and easy to work with.
  • Slot both parts of the new cable cover together and position them in the back plate.
  • Weld the top cover plate in place.
  • It’s very important to remember that only the top cover plate needs welding to the brake back plate and that the bottom cover plate is held in place by the brake cable. This is to ensure it can be quickly released to allow access to the expander.
  • The weld only needs to be about an inch in length, just enough to hold the cover plate in place.
  • Providing that the expander inside the brake is in working order, you can then use a wire brush to clean up the rest of the brake and re-assemble it. This is done by connecting the end of the cable to the expander, re-fitting the bottom cable cover plate, and sliding the metal cup of the cable over the ends of both cover plates to hold them together.

 

If you need any help in deciding the parts that you need, our TechTalk team are always on hand. Alternatively, you can look at our website that specialises in Trailer Parts.