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Old 07-06-2015, 12:05 PM   #1
mrk
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Is the air brake supposed to do this?

Today I was slowly backing my 1999 Tradewinds. I applied the brake and heard a sound like corrosion being rubbed off a rotor and the front end of the TW raised up. I was surprised at the degree it rose.
This happened two more times (but without the rotor sound) as I was backing into my parking place.
I've only driven around 1,200 miles since acquiring my Tradewinds and don't recall this ever happening before. My concern is that there's something wrong under the front end.
Additional info: last night I connected my toad to the MH to make sure that the lights and brakes worked. I've got the Roadmaster 9160 air braking system, which I connected to a pre-existing air connector on the TW. I did push the TW brake pedal fairly hard to "air up" the reserve air tank for the 9160. Might this have anything to do with this morning's issue?
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Old 07-06-2015, 12:43 PM   #2
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A rusty rotor can create drag, but I wonder if you hooked up the new air line to a proper location. Could you have been just taking air from one tank, causing a lower pressure in the tank hooked up compared to the other tank? If you connected to the rear brake tank, when airing up you might have an imbalance in pressures, especially if you pumped the brakes to air up the new system. Try airing up completely and monitor pressures in both tanks. When full, repeatedly apply brakes, see if one tank drops faster than the other.
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Old 07-06-2015, 12:49 PM   #3
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Sounds like there may be a problem with your front ride height valve .
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Old 07-08-2015, 03:14 PM   #4
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I'm not really concerned about the connection of the air line to the motorhome, as that was probably done by the original owner, as I don't think the fellow from whom I bought it used the air system for braking. I'm presuming it was correctly installed at the rear air tank, but I'll double-check that to make certain.

Having said that, my front air tank does not hold air as well as the rear tank. I have no problem when running, but some air appears to leak out overnight. My rear tank held pressure >65# for more than a month of sitting, but the front tank was less than 30#. Could a failing ride height valve be the cause? Is this something that requires immediate attention to prevent a complete failure?

I guess nobody thinks that I have a suspension problem, and that was my biggest concern. If I'm wrong about that, please weigh in. And thanks for the input to date; I truly appreciate it.
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Old 07-08-2015, 06:31 PM   #5
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If you look at the multitude of joints, couplings, and valves in an air brake & suspension system, there are far more places for air to leak than just the ride height valves. The only way to track down a leak is to paint everything with a soapy solution and watch for bubbles. You could have someone else do the same backing and stopping motion that you found extraordinary while you watch from in front or the side to see if anything is noticeably broken or wrong. The 'bounce' or rise when the brakes are applied in reverse could just be worn shocks.
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Old 07-08-2015, 06:38 PM   #6
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Mine was losing more air front than rear and all it was was a seeping water drain fitting. Air brakes have an acceptable amount of leak down but I don't remember the exact numbers as it has been a long time since I took the CDL test.
And passed it will wonders ever cease..
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Old 07-08-2015, 06:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrk View Post
Today I was slowly backing my 1999 Tradewinds. I applied the brake and heard a sound like corrosion being rubbed off a rotor and the front end of the TW raised up. I was surprised at the degree it rose.
This happened two more times (but without the rotor sound) as I was backing into my parking place.
I've only driven around 1,200 miles since acquiring my Tradewinds and don't recall this ever happening before. My concern is that there's something wrong under the front end.
Additional info: last night I connected my toad to the MH to make sure that the lights and brakes worked. I've got the Roadmaster 9160 air braking system, which I connected to a pre-existing air connector on the TW. I did push the TW brake pedal fairly hard to "air up" the reserve air tank for the 9160. Might this have anything to do with this morning's issue?
As far as I can tell the raising of the front end sounds like spring wrap up.
It varies a lot with ground conditions,brake application weight etc.
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Old 07-08-2015, 07:24 PM   #8
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Hello mrk. I was moving my tw around today and with you in mind I reversed and braked with moderate force the rise I experianced was probably 2 inches measured at the center of the front wheel wells. I think that that is probably the most one should expect if all is in order. The rise would be limited by the shock rod , air spring and sway bar. You may have had the front springs slow to inflate. how was the ride in the 1200 mi. You drove so far? Regarding air retention If my air is above 60 after a long weekend I'm happy.
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Old 07-10-2015, 12:16 AM   #9
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You may just have a case of rear engine squat. I have had it on my school bus and on my Tradewinds, when I've been backing up and hit the brakes hard and the rear end squats and the nose comes up a bit. Same thing as when you're going forward and hit the brake and the nose drops. That's a lot of weight in that engine and it sits behind the rear axle.
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Old 07-10-2015, 03:28 PM   #10
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My '99 Tradewinds also rises a little with moderate braking in reverse.
As someone else said, there is more weight in the rear which causes a slight see-saw effect with the rear axle being the fulcrum point.
The noise you heard could be surface rust in the brake drums from sitting a while, which isn't anything to be concerned about.

my $.02
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