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 > Air Brakes Frozen

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prepilot_3ck

Wisconsin

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Posted: 02/19/12 11:13am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So, it's the middle of winter here in Wisconsin and everything is frozen. Including the air brakes on my RV. I have an appointment to have some service done on it during the off season and I can't get the sucker to move.

It fires up, jacks come up, air pressure comes up, pull the parking break to release the brake, I hear the hisssss, shift into drive, hit the gas and nothing happens. Well, I shouldn't say nothing happens, the torque of the engine causes the coach to lean to the left and the engine tries to turn the wheels, but it goes no where.

So I assume the air lines are frozen. I've read some tutorials on how to free up the lines, but they make reference to parts that I'm not sure I have. Also most of them assume some sort of knowledge of and air brake system such as "What the air brake system looks like".

So it seems that I need to determine which line is frozen, loosen the hose fitting letting the air out. Then reconnect it. Then inject alcohol into the lines via the injector (not sure if I have one of those) and then turning something called a "Petcock" (insert joke here). I'm not sure how to determine which like is frozen, or how to preform the other tasks.

If anyone has any ideas, or knows where I can find a tutorial with pictures, that would be great.

What I've tried:

1. Swearing at it.
2. Drinking Beer.
3. Swearing Louder at it.
4. Heating what I think are the air lines with my wife's hair drier.
5. Getting sweared at.
6. Placing a space heater under what I think is the air system for 45 minutes (which has "bad idea" written all over it.)

No luck.

Thanks
Brian


2000 Forest River Reflections 327s DP
Toad = 2005 VW Beetle Convertible.
Coupla bikes, coupla dogs, coupla 30-somethings wishing they were retired.


romore

Surrey BC

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Posted: 02/19/12 11:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Likely the shoes are frozen to the drums. Find a way to apply gentle heat without burning anything down. Next time park it with wheel chocks in place and the brakes released during cold weather.
I watched an otr driver release them by spraying the drums with starting fluid then throwing a lit Kleenex on them. I stood by with the 20lb fire extinguisher. The brakes released with a loud bang and we were on our way. Not a practice I would recommend.

old guy

Oregon (pronounced Or e gun)

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Posted: 02/19/12 11:34am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

many, many years ago I read about this happening to M/H's and it must be the old age of mine but I can for the life of me remember how to break them loose. was it rocking the m/h back and forth with the tranny or hitting it with a big hammer. darn senior moments any ways. sorry!

melvonnar

clearwater florida

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Posted: 02/19/12 11:46am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

hair dryer works and it won't catch anything on fire

Jim@HiTek

Gresham, OR, USA

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Posted: 02/19/12 11:47am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've heard that sometimes, if you get a fast freeze after a rain storm, the tires can freeze to the ground. Six frozen in place tires might cause that, maybe.


Jim@HiTek
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bsinmich

Holland, MI

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Posted: 02/19/12 12:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jim@HiTek wrote:

I've heard that sometimes, if you get a fast freeze after a rain storm, the tires can freeze to the ground. Six frozen in place tires might cause that, maybe.


I had that on my '96 Pace Arrow. My daughter wanted to use it for their wedding 8 yr. ago and it was frozen into the ground. I just had to really rock it go get it loose. No brakes were involved.


2003 Newmar Mountain Aire, Workhorse W22, 2008 Saturn Vue, Falcon 5250, & US Gear Unified Tow Brake

rich racin

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Posted: 02/19/12 12:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

you may try hitting the drums with a mallet or hammer. Sometimes the vibration from a hammer will free them. Never did this my self but was told by a truck mechanic that he used this method. The shoes can rust to the drum.
good luck


Rich & Karen
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fcooper

Richmond Hill, Georgia

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Posted: 02/19/12 12:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

romore wrote:

Next time park it with wheel chocks in place and the brakes released during cold weather.


Sounds logical, but as soon as the air pressure leaks down (and it will), those springs will apply the parking brake.

I think the big hammer method may have some benefit if you can get to the drum with a hammer. Good luck in solving the problem.

Fred


Fred & Vicki
Richmond Hill, Ga
2000 Holiday Rambler Endeavor/Freightliner/330 Cat
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slickest1

canada

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Posted: 02/19/12 01:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The best way to tell if the shoes are frozen to the drums is to look under each corner and see if the slack adjuster moves while someone else releases the parking brake . Be sure to chock the wheels so it doesn't roll. Hitting the brake drum is hard to do and is not advisable. I would try banging the slack adjuster. Heat works the best and if you have a small propane torch that would probably do the trick. Be very careful with that as a fire can start easily. If the lines are frozen find a main airline probably off the air dryer and dump some air brake antifreeze in the line and then work the brake peddle. Air brake antifreeze can be bought at napa or any truck supply store. Straight alcohol can dry out the rubbers in the air valves. I had my tires on one corner freeze to the ground last year and heated some water in a kettle and poured it around the bottom of the tire, it was enough to brake them loose. I rocked it back and forth to no avail before I tried that.


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ldshaf

on the road

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Posted: 02/19/12 01:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

PUT TRANNY IN REVERSE AND GIVE IT SOME GAS TRY THIS A COUPLE OF TIMES IT USUALLY WORKS ON STUCK SHOES ON AIR BRAKE SYSTEMS.

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