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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 02-04-2013
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EagleOne EagleOne is offline
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Default Severe Brake Issue

The other day (Thursday) I moved our bus from our site in Medina, TX to our new (temporary) site at Lackland AFB (San Antonio). I had noticed before that when I applied the brakes (hard) that I heard/felt a distinctive "THUNK". When I asked the mechanic that worked with the PO, he stated that he had taken the bus to several other mechanics who could not figure out what the "thunk" was.
Anyway, while driving down to San Antonio I approached a traffic light and slowed down in anticipation of a possible light change. As I got closer, the light did change to Red. I applied my brakes and the bus started to slow..but not nearly enough. As I got closer, I applied the brakes HARD (to the floor) and pumped them. No extreme stopping. I knew I was going to go through the red light...and just prayed that the side traffic would stay where it was. Several cars started to move but saw me coming (thank God) and stopped. I continued through the intersection. When I saw that I wasn't going to stop, I slammed the transmission into 1st gear..but still no extreme slow down.
To say the least...I was shook up. Extremely shook up!
Folks, something is wrong with the brakes and I don't know what it is. I don't have the $$$ to take her to a brake expert but thank goodness we will not be moving until at least the end of February.
Anybody that can give me a hand in the area...or have any ideas. I will not move it until I resolve the brake situation.
Thanks, and hope to hear something helpful from the crew on the board.
I sent this to to John asking for help and he suggested that I post it here also. Also having a problem with lack of power and he suggested I also post that on the engine area.
Regards from San Antonio.
<Dennie>
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Old 02-04-2013
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There are a few basic air brake leak down tests to perform from the drivers' seat.
If the system does not hold air or if the tests fail, start looking for leaks.
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Old 02-04-2013
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Denny the 1982 FC35 has manual slack adjusters. Have you adjusted them lately or had someone knowledgable do it? Something you should always check. Pull out your park brake on the dash and then start the engine let the air get up until the air drier speaks to you with a blast of air under the coach and then put the coach in gear and see if you can move the coach. If it moves at all when applying a little gas then the slack adjusters need to be adjusted.
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Old 02-04-2013
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Bill/John:
Thank you for the fast response.
Well, I ASSUMED that the brakes had been maintained by the mechanic of the PO (considering he said that he maintained the rig for 16 years and had over 4 months to get her ready). We all know what ASSUMED and believe me, I feel that way every day. I ASSUMED
Anyway, I know there are air problems. When the system is aired up, the air bags do not hold air (especially on the front). I will what you say with the systems check (never heard of doing that, but it makes sense). I also am STILL having problems with the levelers, but that's secondary. Brakes come 1st.
Thanks, ...again
<Dennie>
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Old 02-04-2013
bubblerboy64 bubblerboy64 is offline
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You don't pump the brakes on a wanderlodge. That just depletes the air in the system tanks. I suspect it's leaks and the slack adjusters as others have suggested. Other possible issues could be the mechanical aspects (shoes and drums) That being said the weight of the coach is not working in your favor. You learn to expect the light to change when driving these things and plan accordingly or you gas it and go through the light before it turns red. I've had to do both. Any large truck shop should be able to get to the bottom of this and you better see to it asap.
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Old 02-04-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubblerboy64 View Post
You don't pump the brakes on a wanderlodge. That just depletes the air in the system tanks.
I quoted John to emphasize that you should not pump air brakes. It only depletes the air supply. Read up on air brakes, how to use them and how to do a routine leak-down test.

I also had a red light experience on the way home after after a complete brake job. They were not properly adjusted by the installer (auto slack adjusters) and I blew through a red light just hoping no one would get in the way.

So first of all have the slack adjusters checked, and learn how to adjust them. Having them adjusted should not be a big bill, but manual adjusters need to be checked regularly. DOT rules I believe say every day for commercial vehicles.

I used to get that klunk in my 78 and others reported having the same issue. I never figured it out, but it never caused a problem for me either.
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Old 02-04-2013
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Dennie,
here is the air brake tests, it is required by every state to obtain a Commercial Drivers License, CDL, And all drivers of air brake vehicles should have this knowledge.

http://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.co...read.php?t=786
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Old 02-04-2013
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I had the same experience on my 98 LX... the first time I got a waring ticket for running a red light... have had it checked seceral time and was told I was good to go... still have it at times, but I still get it stopped... will have George Morris to readdress the issue when I see him next week
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Old 02-04-2013
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While at "Q" this year one member stated he had been experiencing a big "thunk" in the front axle area when braking extra hard that required a steering wheel correction when it happened. He had taken the bus to a large shop with no relief or help.

Speculation from an experienced mechanic was he might have a sticky or stuck "S" cam roller on the front axle brakes.

I have no idea if that is your issue I am merely passing on some info. Other more experienced than I will comment.
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  #10  
Old 02-04-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pape View Post
Dennie,
here is the air brake tests, it is required by every state to obtain a Commercial Drivers License, CDL, And all drivers of air brake vehicles should have this knowledge.

http://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.co...read.php?t=786
Not all states require a CDL for an RV. New Jersey doesn't, not even an air brake endorsment
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