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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 12-15-2008
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Old Hardware Old Hardware is offline
1987 FC35 "Traveller"
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 51
Default Braking that goes BOOM!!!

Last night I was following Bryan Altier's PT in from Tennessee, inside lane of a six lane boulevard, accelerate from this light, just one more light 1/4 mile ahead, then left into a residential neighborhood. Between the two of us we had taken off from this light several thousand times.

After accelerating, some bean dip in front of Bryan decided quickly to make a left turn across three lanes of oncoming traffic into a Mexican restaurant, but, instead of pulling onto the median he stopped directly in front of Bryan. Bryan laid on his brakes and his horn, all I had time to do was jam on my brakes.

The front end dropped, there was a loud boom under my seat, and the coach swerved quickly to the left, not so much as to loose control but not the expected straight stopping.

I have never had a moments problems with these brakes, good pedal, no squeaking or squealing, reactive, just normal air brakes.

On an older coach with manual slack adjusters I "think" I have had this happen when the slack needed to be adjusted but not real sure?

Any ideas what may have caused this??

Thanks,
Bob Janes
87 FC35
Greenville, SC
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Greenville, SC
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  #2  
Old 12-15-2008
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Bob,
I used to experience this on my '78. after adjusting the manual adjusters it was much better. It did, however, do this under heavy braking with the toad on the back. It may have to do with the rollers and cam in the brake system. If the rollers or cam have a flat spot or worn area it might result in these symptoms. Perhaps others will chime in here. There was a thread a couple of years ago about this problem.
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86 PT-36 Golden Memories
83FC35 SB $IXTEEN TON$ SOLD
78 FC 33 Happinest (Sold)
Ridgewood, New Jersey
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  #3  
Old 12-16-2008
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1987 FC35 "Traveller"
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 51
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Thanks Garner,
I went back through all the posts on this forum before posting, perhaps I overlooked the thread, or, it is on the previous forum.

This coach does have the auto slack adjusters, possibly the left front was not doing quite the job the right one was doing?

It was the hardest I have had to brake, and, I did have a toad behind me.

Thanks for the reply,
Bob
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87 FC35 "Traveller"
Greenville, SC
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  #4  
Old 12-16-2008
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Bob- sometimes, I'll get a heavy "thump" or "clunk" when I really stand on the brakes too. I've always been told that it was slack adjuster "adjusting". After about 60K miles of driving in the bus, that explanation seems to be the answer. The brakes work pretty well!
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  #5  
Old 12-16-2008
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Bob,

I had a similar incident in Atlanta when I had to stand on the brakes ... POW! what a noise. After that, it continued to pop when applying brakes, not as loud, but just as annoying. I pulled the front wheels and drums and inspected the components. I noticed the s-cams, and rollers to be a little rusty. I removed the rollers cleaned them up on a wire wheel.

I cleaned the rest of the components with a small wire brush, used compressed air to finish the job. Reinstalled the wheels readjusted the auto slack adjusters, and off for a test drive. No problems since. I believe it was the rusty components not moving smoothly.

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Former owner 99 LXi
Kingston Springs, Tn.
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  #6  
Old 12-16-2008
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Years ago when I took my Air Brake course I distinctly remember my instructors saying several times......"automatic slack adjusters aren't". Their credo was never to trust them completely and to have the slack manually checked/adjusted each time you do a grease job.
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1999 LXi
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  #7  
Old 12-16-2008
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Bob,
I should also explain that at first I adjusted the front manual adjusters and still had a problem. I went to a truck place and they said the rear slack adjusters were way loose. After that it was much better, but still present during hard braking with toad.
I have noticed a less severe experience on my new '83 coach, so I think one day I will take off the drums and check the cam and rollers.
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86 PT-36 Golden Memories
83FC35 SB $IXTEEN TON$ SOLD
78 FC 33 Happinest (Sold)
Ridgewood, New Jersey
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  #8  
Old 12-17-2008
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Thanks all, maybe an inspection, cleaning of rust, then adjustment may do the trick.
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Bob Janes
87 FC35 "Traveller"
Greenville, SC
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  #9  
Old 12-17-2008
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Bob,

It certainly won't hurt to check them out. Also, as Gardner suggested, go ahead and check the rear slack adjusters as well. Also gives a good chance to inspect the drums, and brake liners (shoes). Good luck. Be safe in doing so.
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