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Old 03-22-2014, 05:36 PM   #1
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Brake air cylinder detached from hub

By chance I happened to notice this. The spring brake air canister is completely unbolted from the hub on the curb side drive axle. The two top bolts are gone and the two bottom ones are still there but undamaged, no stripped threads. Almost looks like they just back out all by themselves. So it's hanging there by the piston I guess. And the piston is backed out about 2 inches. Anyone know how to get the piston pressed back in so I can bolt it back to the hub? I'm at a complete loss.
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Old 03-24-2014, 05:50 AM   #2
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The most obvious solution would be to buy long bolts and pull it in slowly. My question would be, how much damage was done and what happened to the lock washers that should have prevented this from happening to begin with and are they present on the other wheels?
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:00 AM   #3
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Make sure that you find out what the torque spec is and check all the other cylinder bolts. Generally on automotive bolts, proper torque is required to keep the bolts from loosening. Sometimes tight enough is not tight enough.

Also, get proper grade 5 bolts (or whatever they should be - you can tell from the marks on the other bolt heads). Do not use the junk you get from most hardware stores.
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:05 AM   #4
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I would contact your local big rig repair shop and ask for the phone number of a mobile repairman CERTIFIED in air brakes. Brakes are nothing to fool around with if you are not 100% sure of what you are doing. It may seem like a lot of money just to replace a few bolts but the repairman can look and find out WHY they backed out to prevent it from happening again.
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:15 AM   #5
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On the side of the chamber there should be a long threaded rod with a hex head on one end & about a 1" wide on the other, this is the unlocking tool.
Put the 1" wide end into the top of the chamber (there a rubber plug there) & turn it to lock into the spring then tighten the nut down to compress the spring & pull the piston back into the chamber, now you should be able to remount the chamber.
Just tighten the bolts on the chamber & keep & eye on it.
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:19 AM   #6
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Businit,
I should add "Don't try to take the clamp that holds the chamber together off" the spring is under a lot of tension.
If the locking tool isn't on that chamber look at the other chamber on that axle.
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:42 AM   #7
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Businit, I should add "Don't try to take the clamp that holds the chamber together off" the spring is under a lot of tension. If the locking tool isn't on that chamber look at the other chamber on that axle.
I wouldn't mess with the caging tool for the air cylinder spring. That wheel and drum need to come off that "S" cam may have flipped, cam rollers could have been lost, too much to chance. No need to mess with the air chamber. Pull the cotter pin and slide the pin out of the bottom of the slack adjuster. Once u have the drum off u can reposition what u need and bolt everything back up into position, providing nothing is missing or damaged with the shoes, cam, etc. if all goes well, remove the self adjusting pawl from the side of the slack adjuster. U can now turn the adjuster on top whichever way u need to to get ur Clevis pin back in on the bottom of ur slack adjuster. Release ur air (parking brake) and adjust ur brake. Turn the top adjuster on the slack adjuster until it is tight with the shoes against the drum. Then back the top adjuster off 1/2 turn. Put your self adjusting pawl back into the side of the slack adjuster & tighten it. U should be good then.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:48 AM   #8
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If you have ever had your MH towed the 1st thing the tow truck driver does is cage your parking brake chambers, no big deal.
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:01 AM   #9
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Back off the slack adjuster, if you don't know how you need to learn. Takes a 9/16 box end. Brakes need to be adjusted anyway. Buy 4 bolts the proper length and get ones with drilled heads. Buy some safety wire and safety them in place so they never back out.
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:04 AM   #10
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If you have ever had your MH towed the 1st thing the tow truck driver does is cage your parking brake chambers, no big deal.
Sure. To make sure your air pressure doesn't drop while towing without engine running so your parking brake won't start to engage as he's heading down the road. But That has nothing to do with the OP' a problem. It's entirely unnecessary here.
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:07 AM   #11
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Back off the slack adjuster, if you don't know how you need to learn. Takes a 9/16 box end. Brakes need to be adjusted anyway. Buy 4 bolts the proper length and get ones with drilled heads. Buy some safety wire and safety them in place so they never back out.
Those are automatic slack adjusters. He'll need to take the pawl out of the side of the slack adjuster before he can back it off manually.
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Old 03-24-2014, 03:52 PM   #12
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That's why I told him to compress the spring in the chamber.
Easy.
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Old 03-24-2014, 05:20 PM   #13
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That's why I told him to compress the spring in the chamber. Easy.
I agree, if he's having it towed. Not to work on it as it sits in place.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:14 PM   #14
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I agree with Romeo, that wheel needs to come off and the brake needs to be inspected. Looking at the picture I would say the brake cam has moved out and the rollers are most likely gone.
No to be offensive, but if you are asking the question you don't really know alot about your brake assembly. The safe thing to do is to have a professional repair it for you. A damaged air pot can be deadly or cause serious injury!! Good luck.
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