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Good day some questions regarding air brake service on a 2004 Tropi- Cal on a Freightliner chassis .I would like to do this service myself but have not been able to find a video that gives the step by step procedure. I am sure I can find the dryer but the manual also talks about draining 3 lanyards an the tank . Have any of you guys done your own service or do you know of a good video ? Thanks Rick 

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1. Lay down, on the ground beside the rig
2. Look up, at an angle to see underneath the rig
3. Find air tanks
4. Pull tank drain lines
5. Failing t find drain lanyards, find drain valves at low points to determine if you have remote drains, or not
6. While under there, locate dryer
7. Use strap wrench to remove cartridge, and replace with a new one
8. Clap hands aggressively after standing up, to remove dust
9. Repeat step 4 regularly

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There are three major brands of air dryers used on MH's and trucks with air brake systems. Haldex, Bendix, Meritor. They all perform the same function, however they each differ in looks and design.

Each has a utube video of how to service the unit, rather that try to explain each here, I suggest  you locate the videos and watch and learn from the manufacturer.

.  ALL air pressure must be bleed off before removing any air line, fitting, or desiccant filter. This means you must block under the vehicle frame BEFORE bleed-off all air and before you crawl underneath. The next thing they have in common is cleanliness of the unit before removing anything. The least bit of dirt allowed inside the air dryer body can ruin everything you just did.

A good indicator of a failed desiccant air filter is getting water out of the air storage tanks, there should never be any water in storage tanks IF the desiccant filter is working properly.

For air brake vehicles used daily/long haul, the air filter should be changed annually, for MH's three years is more the norm.

 

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RE: #7 in Darryl's list, not all dryers are made that way.  On both my trucks, a Volvo and a Mack, the air dryer has a large "plug" screwed in from the bottom which holds the cartridge on. Shame on me, but I don't know for sure which brand I have.  I would guess Meritor.  There is also a "kit" that is best changed out when replacing the cartridge.  It's what "spits" out the moisture when pressure reaches it's upper limit and the compressor cycles off.  On ours, there was a pretty hefty core charge for the cartridge.  I'm thinking it was close to $100.

As Ray said, dump all air, and keep everything clean.  It's not a hard job, but you'll get dirty.  When you get done, sit down and have a cool beverage.  You will have earned it.

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One note, when pulling the air tank drains and you are underneath the rig, please make sure you are wearing eye protection. 

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As a PS to yesterday's post, my list wasn't anything close to a proper pre-trip, or "brake service". This only covered draining the tanks, which should be done regularly.

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Thanks for all the input , I did go under an found the air tanks an found the lanyards all coiled up with zip ties an found the air dryer .I called several MH an truck shops an some even told me rarely do you change the air dryer .I then contacted Freightliner an they recommend change filter every 3years ,an advised me not to pull the lanyards due to it appears they have never been done an may stick open.Took to a shop an had them replace air dryer  an look into  the lanyards .They found the original air dryer an ran the 2 lanyards to the wheel wheels , where he showed me how to pull them an I could hear air.So I believe it was a good call .Know I have it home I wonder if the wheel well is a good location ? Any thoughts ? Thanks Rick

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1 hour ago, Rick i Carter said:

Thanks for all the input , I did go under an found the air tanks an found the lanyards all coiled up with zip ties an found the air dryer .I called several MH an truck shops an some even told me rarely do you change the air dryer .I then contacted Freightliner an they recommend change filter every 3years ,an advised me not to pull the lanyards due to it appears they have never been done an may stick open.Took to a shop an had them replace air dryer  an look into  the lanyards .They found the original air dryer an ran the 2 lanyards to the wheel wheels , where he showed me how to pull them an I could hear air.So I believe it was a good call .Know I have it home I wonder if the wheel well is a good location ? Any thoughts ? Thanks Rick

Good location, most of us use the awning pull-rod to reach in and pull them. For an example, this is how Spartan chassis instructs how to drain air tanks, and why.

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