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Brake chamber replacement


ICPete

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Today we left the RV park where we had been for 5 months. A week ago I took the truck out for a 20 mile drive after it had been sitting for 5 months. The test drive was uneventful.

During the hookup process today I must have toggled the yellow parking brake button a dozen times or more, no problem.

After stopping at the office to check out, I released the parking brake one last time and heard a loud hiss of escaping air. Not really thinking about it enough, I continued out of the parking lot and down the road. But over the next couple of miles I knew something wasn't right, and pulled over to investigate. Since the hissing sound was related to operation of the parking brake button, and probably due to power of suggestion from the recent thread on replacing that dash valve, I figured the dash valve must be leaking.

I spent half an hour removing the dash panels and the roll pins to get to the back of the valve, only to find there was no sensible leakage there.

Finally it dawned on me to go outside and have my helper push in the valve while I listened, and I heard the loud escape of air from a rear axle brake chamber.

Meanwhile, using a smart phone, I had found Continental Truck Service Center nearby, who has 24 hr road service. While I was waiting for their technician to arrive, I put the dash back together.

As luck would have it, Jimmy, the technician who arrived, carries spare brake chambers. He replaced it efficiently and quickly, and $337 later I was on the road again (the part was $80; the rest was for the emergency visit and labor).

 

So how many of you carry a spare brake chamber or two?

 

And for anyone stuck on the roadside near St. Augustine or anywhere south of Jacksonville, Florida, I can recommend Continental at 904-797-2665.

2007 NuWa Hitchhiker Discover America 339RSB

2000 Volvo VNL64T770 with TrailerSaver hitch, wooden flat bed, Detroit 12.7L S60, 10-sp AutoShift, still tandem

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At least there was a happy ending. It is nice that the country is moved by these type of trucks which means there are 24/7 and roadside repairs available just about everywhere along major traffic corridors.

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I don't carry a space chamber but I do recommend replacing all of them when you single. Or when you do your bed work. As you have found, they are not expensive.

Jack & Danielle Mayer #60376 Lifetime Member
Living on the road since 2000

PLEASE no PM's. Email me. jackdanmayer AT gmail
2016 DRV Houston 44' 5er (we still have it)
2022 New Horizons 43' 5er
2016 Itasca 27N 28' motorhome 
2019 Volvo 860, D13 455/1850, 236" wb, I-Shift, battery-based APU
No truck at the moment - we use one of our demo units
2016 smart Passion, piggyback on the truck
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
See our website for info on New Horizons 5th wheels, HDTs as tow vehicles, communications on the road, and use of solar power
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I always carry a cage bolt and a means of plugging the air line so I can carry on and replace my self in a safe spot

2014 jayco siesmic 3914

1998 volvo 610, singled short ( bought in 2005)

14 speed volvo tranny

2014 Toyota yaris

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Good call, Bob. Make sure you have one, and know how to use it. Save big bucks. The chambers have diaphragms that can be replaced cheap, but the springs inside the "park" ones can be deadly if you're not careful.

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Bob A is on the money. Most modern brake chambers cannot be disassembled on the parking spring side, but cheaper units can. Don't even think about fooling with this stuff unless you are very sure of what you are doing. If there ever was a time to pay for an expert, this is it.

Jeff Beyer temporarily retired from Trailer Transit
2000 Freightliner Argosy Cabover
2008 Work and Play 34FK
Homebase NW Indiana, no longer full time

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im also interested in just replacing ALL of my brake cans.

NO interest in taking the cans apart , just replacing them.

 

other than blocking the truck from rolling ,

how difficult is it to change them?

 

from my quick look , it didnt look difficult but dont like suprises either.

 

also im gonna change all the air lines and brake valves.

Fulltimer Class of 2007

1998 Volvo VNL64T610 Detroit Series 60 12.7 470HP/1650TQ Eaton 18spd 228"WB Tandem
2006 40' ToyHauler 3 slides and a 14' Toybox

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Even easier if rod and cup are in good shape is replace with piggy back but you MUST know where to take it apart most can only be taken apart in one place but old ones have two clamps, wrong one means almost certain injury

2014 jayco siesmic 3914

1998 volvo 610, singled short ( bought in 2005)

14 speed volvo tranny

2014 Toyota yaris

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Easy preventative maintance , remove plug look in hole in end, if hole for cage bolt is off centre spring is broke and chamber should be replaced, eventually broken spring punctures diaphragm causing air leak, also broken spring means impaired park brake

2014 jayco siesmic 3914

1998 volvo 610, singled short ( bought in 2005)

14 speed volvo tranny

2014 Toyota yaris

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Here is a good rule of thumb to live by!

 

RISKING YOUR LIFE IS OK IF:

 

You are attempting to save some ones life.

 

The activity brings joy to your life ei; skydiving, racing etc.

 

It is NOT OK to Risk Your life to:

 

SAVE $20!

 

BUY NEW CANS!

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I totally agree with Goldrush. DO NOT MESS with the brake cans. Buy new ones.

 

Please - do not mess with them. They are dangerous.

Jack & Danielle Mayer #60376 Lifetime Member
Living on the road since 2000

PLEASE no PM's. Email me. jackdanmayer AT gmail
2016 DRV Houston 44' 5er (we still have it)
2022 New Horizons 43' 5er
2016 Itasca 27N 28' motorhome 
2019 Volvo 860, D13 455/1850, 236" wb, I-Shift, battery-based APU
No truck at the moment - we use one of our demo units
2016 smart Passion, piggyback on the truck
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
See our website for info on New Horizons 5th wheels, HDTs as tow vehicles, communications on the road, and use of solar power
www.jackdanmayer.com
Principal in RVH Lifestyles. RVH-Lifestyles.com

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Bob A, thanks for the tip on looking in the caging bolt hole to help detect a broken spring. I just had one go out last week...sure enough, the spring had broken and punctured the diaphragm. Gonna get a spare this week. Charlie

Don't ever tell a soldier that he doesn't understand the cost of war.

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FYI I was a heavy duty truck mechanic for 15 years, if you know what your doing there is no risk to putting on a piggy back chamber and on the side of the road it is the best option, BUT as stated if your not qualified stay clear, not worth a broken wrist or worse.

 

PS another way to help identify a broken spring, with parking brakes applied hit end of pushrod with hammer, (at Clevis pin)you will get used to the sound of a good spring and a broken spring

2014 jayco siesmic 3914

1998 volvo 610, singled short ( bought in 2005)

14 speed volvo tranny

2014 Toyota yaris

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Bob, with all due respect --- while you may be correct, most of the people that read this forum are NOT mechanics of any sort....let alone heavy equipment mechanics. To me, even suggesting someone mess with a brake can is not wise. People should stay away from messing with brake cans, IMO. :o

Jack & Danielle Mayer #60376 Lifetime Member
Living on the road since 2000

PLEASE no PM's. Email me. jackdanmayer AT gmail
2016 DRV Houston 44' 5er (we still have it)
2022 New Horizons 43' 5er
2016 Itasca 27N 28' motorhome 
2019 Volvo 860, D13 455/1850, 236" wb, I-Shift, battery-based APU
No truck at the moment - we use one of our demo units
2016 smart Passion, piggyback on the truck
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
See our website for info on New Horizons 5th wheels, HDTs as tow vehicles, communications on the road, and use of solar power
www.jackdanmayer.com
Principal in RVH Lifestyles. RVH-Lifestyles.com

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I also worked on heavy trucks and equipment and as Jack says even if you're qualified it's not worth the chance of an accident or injury either alongside the road or in the shop. Brake chambers/cans are reasonably priced and readily available at just about any truck stop, garage or parts house.

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I had a circlip fail on me one time on something that was spring loaded. The part exploded and one part hit me in the forehead hard enough to almost knock me out. The spring in my case was about 1/4 size of a brake can spring. How I was even in position to get hit I don't know but bound springs can go in any direction based on how the retention fails.

 

After my experience, in which I thought I was in a safe position, no way no how!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had a circlip fail on me one time on something that was spring loaded. The part exploded and one part hit me in the forehead hard enough to almost knock me out. The spring in my case was about 1/4 size of a brake can spring. How I was even in position to get hit I don't know but bound springs can go in any direction based on how the retention fails.

 

After my experience, in which I thought I was in a safe position, no way no how![/quote

 

 

 

Yep it's hard to hide from a 1500 lb spring that's compressed to about a 4-6" length.

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Folks,

 

I cast a vote in in the "better safe than......broken nose-teeth group).

 

Way back when wheels were made of stone we changed diaphragms by chucking one end of the can in a BIG lathe then using a BIG inverse-cone-center in the tail stock we could safely remove the can clamp and then sloooowly retract the tailstock and the can would come apart.

 

Once the can was SAFELY apart the shop-grunt (me) had to clean everything up and then a new spring and diaphragm was installed and the tailstock was screwed in and the the can clamp installed , Safely......

 

The lathe method above is pretty much a no-brainer and some folks seemed to get by with cage-bolts or C-clamps, haywire ...etc, etc but you most of the "lesser-methods-folks" seemed to have crooked noses and few if any front teeth.....

 

I know most of us retired geezers become bored at times but spring-can repair seems a bad cure for nothing-else-to-do.........

 

For the cheap-skates you might save a buck or two but once the docs at the ER get done sewing you back together you will not be $$$ ahead.....

 

Quick Dolly-the paint horse report:

 

This morning Dolly and the Dolly-moma took the the trail south to the base of Vulture Peak and then ride to the west over to the Flying E Dude

Ranch (22,000 acres) and the back to Wickenburg.....

 

Dolly seems happy

 

Dolly-moma seems happy

 

I'll be happy ........to leave my brake cans alone...

 

Temps due to be almost 90f this afternoon, so the rattlesnakes might be in the shade under under the ole freightshaker .... so everyone be ...safe...

 

Cheerz,

 

Dollytrolley

97 Freightshaker Century Cummins M11-370 / 1350 /10 spd / 3:08 /tandem/ 20ft Garage/ 30 ft Curtis Dune toybox with a removable horse-haul-module to transport Dolly-The-Painthorse to horse camps and trail heads all over the Western U S

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