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Tires, Wheels, Brakes, Steering and Suspensions Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's Tires, Wheels, Brakes, Steering and Suspensions and related components.

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  #1  
Old 01-18-2016
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jimbonich jimbonich is offline
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Default Desiccant Cartridge Warning

Our Blue Bird Service Manager Doyle asked me to put up a thread about a growing problem we are seeing. Every bird should have their air dryer desiccant cartridges replaced annually. These cartridges remove the water from your air system. If these cartridges become saturated with moisture then your leveling valves, brakes, popoff valves, etc. stop working correctly. Moisture (or decayed desiccant material) can also shorten the life of your main engine air compressor or destroy it entirely.

These cartridges cost approximately $80-100 each (you need two) and it generally takes 1-2 hours of shop labor--assuming no other issues such as severely rusted bolts, access, etc.

One issue that we have seen more of recently is problems with auxiliary air compressors--either those installed by Blue Bird or those added on later (I have one for airing up the suspension when I want to leave a campsite early without a long engine warmup). Many/most of these are plumbed in AFTER the air lines pass through the desiccant cartridges so the moisture created by these doesn't get removed until AFTER it passes through your entire air system (not good!).

Those birds with auxiliary air compressors should have their own water separator installed (and drained regularly) in addition to regular desiccant cartridge replacement. This is probably 1-2 hours of shop labor and a small amount for the parts and water separator (probably less than $100 parts plus labor).

We have access to the parts and should have tech time available during the Clearwater Rally for anyone that wants their cartridges replaced or wants to have a separate water separator installed.
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  #2  
Old 01-18-2016
rrueckwald rrueckwald is offline
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Amen. I put one on the Gast compressor and another on the Thomas. You wouldn't believe the amount of water that comes out. One word of caution. The compressor air needs to be cooled before it gets to the water separator or the vapor will go right on through. I used a couple of lengths of 1/2" copper tubing before the inlet, angled to drain down to the water separator. Works fine.
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  #3  
Old 01-18-2016
fastdancin fastdancin is offline
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I'd like to have mine serviced at the rally. How should I proceed?
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'83 PT35
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  #4  
Old 01-19-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastdancin View Post
I'd like to have mine serviced at the rally. How should I proceed?
Contact Brian the Blue Bird Service Writer at 888 571-5755 to set up an appointment while you are at the rally.
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'93 PT40WB
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  #5  
Old 01-19-2016
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I showed my post to Doyle and I need to correct my previous post somewhat. The recent problem we have noticed with the auxiliary compressors that are installed without water separators (or better yet separators with desiccant cartridges) is that when the coach's desiccant cartridges become waterlogged and clogged then the smaller compressors do not have enough power to force air through them and the moist air ends up getting forced backwards through the main compressor on the coach's engine.

We have had some compressors that have had to be replaced from rusting out inside prematurely which is almost certainly from the moist air from the aux compressor.

So it's a $300-500 fix to avoid replacing a $2,000 compressor (and possibly being disabled on the road).

Hopefully I explained it correctly this time....
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  #6  
Old 10-11-2016
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Default Food for thought

We used to use silica gel as a desiccant when shipping equipment sensitive to moisture. When finished, we'd stick the gel into a moderately heated oven to dry it out and restore it for re-use. Wondering if the same could be done with used Bendix canisters?
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  #7  
Old 10-11-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Johnson View Post
We used to use silica gel as a desiccant when shipping equipment sensitive to moisture. When finished, we'd stick the gel into a moderately heated oven to dry it out and restore it for re-use. Wondering if the same could be done with used Bendix canisters?
There is usually oil trapped in the desiccant too Rich.
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  #8  
Old 10-11-2016
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fleet pride in texas 135 on sale 35$ core

my bus never had it changed in 14 years but is now with new spitter kit!
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  #9  
Old 10-12-2016
rshrimp rshrimp is offline
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I need to get this done as well. Probably before the Jan rally. I'll call Brian when we get back to FL in November. In the mean time I am going to stop using my aux compressor. I plan to replace all 3 electric compressors with one good one. I will add a dryer to that project as well.
Thanks for the great info!
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  #10  
Old 10-14-2016
cire cire is offline
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Be aware that if your desiccate cartridge on your Bendix air dryer has not been replaced in a LONG time the cartridge may be frozen in place. This was the case in my bird when I had mine changed just after buying my coach. My bird was 8 years old when I attempted to have the cartridge changed. That may have been the first time it was changed. The cartridge was locked in place with what looked to be hard white crud. The solution was to replace the whole Bendix air dryer. I don't think the new Bendix was particularly expensive but it was quite a job replacing the assembly because of the location of the air dryer under my bus.

I hope you don't have that same problem. Just a heads up. Replacing the cartridge regularly is the solution to keep from having the problem from reoccurring. It is a good practice to also replace the automatic drain valve on the dryer at the same time the cartridge is replaced.

Good luck,

Eric, currently in Las Vegas
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