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General Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach that are not covered in other Mechanic's Corner categories (ex. refrigerators, water heaters, and compressors).

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  #1  
Old 12-14-2010
Itchintogo
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Default Safety Tutorial

As a result of the Jake Brake tutorial I was thinking perhaps there should be a SAFETY section on the forum to assist members with the safe operation and repair of their coaches. If we have one I apologize for not seeing it.

Like the blocking up of the frame when jacking for instance. I really am not sure where I would find that but I do know it is on the forum somewhere.

For the purpose of this thread I want to set up a potential driving situation and see what responses we receive.Remember no responses are considered bad. This is how we all learn. I think it would be beneficial for some members and who knows this might even potentially save a life one day.

Here is the situation:
Your driving your bus at 45 MPH down a 10 mile long mountain grade of 6 to 9 % and there are corners ahead that must be negotiated at 25 and 30 MPH. Suddenly your engine stalls and your bus is rolling down the hill with no power and no retarder of any kind. The buzzers on the dash are screaming at you. Your co-pilot is sitting there with a questioning look.There is traffic behind you and traffic oncoming and it is a 2 lane road.

What do you do?

Bonus tip:
Some of you will consider this but some of you won't: Keep in mind your air pressure is at 100 PSI and every time you use that brake treadle you use some air up that is not being replaced. Remember your engine is not running. Your Maxi brakes will lock up the rear axle at 60 to 70 pounds.

What do you do?
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  #2  
Old 12-14-2010
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NH Bill NH Bill is offline
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Good one..

First thing comes to mind, I hope I would have the presence of mind to turn on the 4 ways, turn on the axillary air compressor to help maintain air pressure, turn on generator to maintain power for the charger, the aux air (and the electromagnetic retarder... I know you you ruled this out but this is different than Jake Brake or tranny retarder so it is likely to be available). Slow way down and pull off to a stop at first available point that would minimize potential hazard. Call for help.

I'm sure there will be a lot of additional responses.
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Bill and Lisa Garamella
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2006 Jeep Liberty CRD
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  #3  
Old 12-14-2010
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Depress and hold the brake, do not pump them.
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Old 12-14-2010
jwasnewski jwasnewski is offline
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On a 6-9% grade with 25-30 turns you should be on the Jake or retarder in the proper gear at around 30 to begin with, not 45. Let the speed run up to 35 or so if the Jake or retarder won't hold it constant then brake to 25 or so and repeat as necessary. No hot brakes that way.
Hypothetically, I suppose the engine would still turn supplying some form of compression relief. Me , I am stopping immediately, pulling off if possible, locking the brakes and turning on the 4 ways. Put out the emergency triangles.

Visit the mens room, get on the phone and wait. I don't plan to visit a runaway ramp. It is not a time for hero's in this situation.

My 2c
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  #5  
Old 12-14-2010
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Based on the scenario given, even if the engine stalls, it will still be turning, which means you will still have minimal air for brakes and power steering while in motion.

Drop down to a lower gear to build up RPM thus building more air, and assisting in slowing the coach with engine compression breaking.

Turn on hazard lights. Turn on Generator. Turn on aux compressor (if available).

Apply a steady pressure to brakes. DO NOT PUMP brakes. That will exhaust the limited air you have available.

Pull over to shoulder. Straighten coach on the shoulder BEFORE coming to a stop. Once the coach stops, you'll loose power steering. Apply parking brake.

Change your underwear, and thank God you didn't panic!

The thing that scares me the most about drivers, is the one who panics when something unexpected happens. Always remain calm, and remember the proper emergency procedures! Panic drivers are the ones who cause accidents...

-Robert
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  #6  
Old 12-16-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RGloverii View Post

Once the coach stops, you'll loose power steering.

-Robert
You'll lose power steering when the engine stalls, not when the coach stops. Happened to me once in the Bird at 65 mph and definitely required an increased effort to steer it onto the shoulder. Luckily I was on level ground and not a downhill when this happened to me.
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Old 12-16-2010
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Really? So with the engine RPM still up, the power steering will not operate??
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Old 12-16-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RGloverii View Post
Really? So with the engine RPM still up, the power steering will not operate??
OK, now you have me confused. How can the RPM's be "up" when the engine is stalled? No manual transmissions in the Wanderlodge.
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  #9  
Old 12-16-2010
jwasnewski jwasnewski is offline
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I bet Rich is correct now thinking about it. You also lose the cooling fan motor which supplies cooling for engine oil, tranny and engine water.
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  #10  
Old 12-16-2010
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1980 FC's do not have a retarder of any kind so this is basically how we roll every day on the road. I have lost power steering twice, it does surprise you. You have to stop in these situations, if you can get on to a siding of some type that's a bonus. I have spent a lot of time in the saddle of a motorcycle, you need to plan for the worst at all times, I think the same applies to these coaches, you can't count on things always being there for you and at some point they won't. Remember Guy's blow out on his PT40?
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