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Old 07-16-2018, 08:16 AM   #1
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Brake Issue

I've been plagued with this issue for some time now and can't seem to solve the problem. On my '02 National Tradewinds on a Freightliner chassis with air brakes, the audible brake alarm along with the rear air pressure gauge goes off. I've tried the resoldering of the terminals on the circuit board to no avail. Been to three shops (including Freightliner) with no results. It's an inermittent thing which comes and goes. This doesn't seem to affect the stopping ability (which isn't great anyway) but when it comes to braking, I want everything to work properly. Any knowledge of this problem?
Again, it's a Tradewinds 7390, 40 ft. D/P, air brakes, 2002.
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Old 07-16-2018, 08:26 AM   #2
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Some have reported (on other model coaches) that water gets on the sensor connectors and causing a short turning on low air alarm. They said the fix was to clean the terminals and reseal (RTV).

Does your alarm sound when the weather/roads are wet?
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Old 07-16-2018, 08:36 AM   #3
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If your braking isnít good I would get it looked at by someone who knows Air Brakes. You could have a more serious problem than wiring. Could be a valve in the braking system isnít working properly, the treadle valve may not be sending enough air to the rear, brakes may need adjusting. If it had automatic slack adjusters they are known to not always keep up, if it has manual slack adjusters then you have to get under your coach with a wrench and adjust them. Could be you have a blown air can. Make the person who works on it test drive it.
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Old 07-16-2018, 10:53 AM   #4
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Sorry I can't help with that.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 07-17-2018, 08:00 AM   #5
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Brake Issue

Thanks to all respondents. CountryB, wet or dry. Comes and goes. I'll research a brake professional and have them test drive, although while in the shop for this problem, they were unable to find anything wrong. And of course if the alarm is not going off at the time, they have no way to accurately trouble shoot.
Thanks again,
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Old 07-17-2018, 10:26 AM   #6
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Quick question.


You wrote, " the audible brake alarm along with the rear air pressure gauge goes off." Just what is meant by the comment about the rear pressure gauge? Does the gauge show a drop in pressure? It seems that if the gauge does show a drop in pressure, that might account for the poor braking as well as the alarm. If it doesn't indicate a pressure drop, then I'm a bit confused as to why the gauge is mentioned in your post. Could you clarify, please?
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Old 07-20-2018, 12:29 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forum!
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Old 07-21-2018, 07:33 AM   #8
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Thanks for responding. My Tradewinds, probably as your TropiCal, has gauges on the dash panel showing the brake air pressure for the front and read air brakes. 70% of the time (while traveling) both gauges show between 110 & 130 PSI. At times the rear gauge will bounce from 130 to 0, and then settle at 0. Braking does not diminish during this and air bags stay inflated. The audible alarm is going off at this time but stops when the system goes back to normal. Freightliner, nor a local bug truck shop can find the problem.
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Old 07-21-2018, 10:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BACKWOODSMAC View Post
Thanks for responding. My Tradewinds, probably as your TropiCal, has gauges on the dash panel showing the brake air pressure for the front and read air brakes. 70% of the time (while traveling) both gauges show between 110 & 130 PSI. At times the rear gauge will bounce from 130 to 0, and then settle at 0. Braking does not diminish during this and air bags stay inflated. The audible alarm is going off at this time but stops when the system goes back to normal. Freightliner, nor a local bug truck shop can find the problem.

Thanks for the clarification and, yes, I believe the system is exactly like mine.

If there is no actual loss of air, the problem is likely electrical, likely between the gauge sensor and gauge, or the gauge itself. I don't know how these systems are plumbed and wired, but a truck shop or Freightliner shop should be able to tell you. My guess is there is a simple pressure switch at the rear tank which is wired to the gauge and the alarm, or to the alarm through the gauge. The fact that the gauge "bounces" and eventually settles at 0 seems to indicate a loose connection of some kind, as does the fact that it mysteriously corrects itself.

If this was my problem, I would first inspect the wiring from the tank sensor to the gauge. If all looks good, I would replace the tank sensor. If the problem happens again, the gauge is the only thing left.

Now, the above is based only on a guess as to how the system is monitored. If it is as simple as described, it should eventually be remedied. If it is more complex, like involving the computer monitoring system, then all bets are off.

Intermittent problems are a PITA, but the least I would try to do is get a confirmation that when it happens, your safety is not being compromised.

Please keep us updated.
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Old 07-21-2018, 10:47 AM   #10
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Welcome to iRV2.

If you've re-soldered the connections in the VDC, then had the coach to Freightliner, with gauge and warning issues , I can't believe they didn't recommend replacing the VDC.

From your description of the continuing issue , it would appear the repair wasn't successful.

EDIT: As some with Freightliner chassis are aware of the cold solder connections in the VDC for the air pressure sensors , others may not realize that the 2002 chassis from Freightliner was the last to use the VDC and the related gauge package.
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Old 07-21-2018, 11:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Welcome to iRV2.

If you've re-soldered the connections in the VDC, then had the coach to Freightliner, with gauge and warning issues , I can't believe they didn't recommend replacing the VDC.

From your description of the continuing issue , it would appear the repair wasn't successful.

EDIT: As some with Freightliner chassis are aware of the cold solder connections in the VDC for the air pressure sensors , others may not realize that the 2002 chassis from Freightliner was the last to use the VDC and the related gauge package.
Skip,
The "VDC" or, some call it a "VDU" was used all the way up through the middle of '03. At about October, Freightliner started using what's called the MMDC for the same duties as the VDC/VDU. The MMDC is vastly improved over the VDC and, it also handles more complex requests and reports.

But, at this time, it sure sounds like the OP still does have an issue with potentially a bad solder connection for the rear system. I'm no real expert on this by any means but, it sure sounds like that could be the issue, based on multiple reports of the same kinds of symptoms.
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Old 07-21-2018, 12:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Skip,
The "VDC" or, some call it a "VDU" was used all the way up through the middle of '03. At about October, Freightliner started using what's called the MMDC for the same duties as the VDC/VDU. The MMDC is vastly improved over the VDC and, it also handles more complex requests and reports.
Scott
Scott, thanks for the correction, on the change over date.
Because the gauge testing bulletin , I have for the VDC was dated , June 2002, I incorrectly assumed that; that date was the changeover to the MMDC.
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