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Old 12-22-2013, 01:15 PM   #1
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Brake noise

I have noticed an intermittent clunk when applying the brakes, not real loud but I can hear it.

It is freightliner chassis with 31,000 miles

Any suggestions what to check?
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Old 12-22-2013, 01:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbo2013 View Post
I have noticed an intermittent clunk when applying the brakes, not real loud but I can hear it.

It is freightliner chassis with 31,000 miles

Any suggestions what to check?
I just went through this last summer on my Spartan Chassis with Drum Brakes.
I had my rig into three different shops to have the brakes checked. When I took it into the third shop, I instructed them to remove all the drums to inspect the brakes and call me when they had it apart.
Turns out some of the shoes were loose on the backing, the drums were scored beyond repair and one rear axle seal was leaking.
About 3K later, I now have new brakes all the way around that I have confidence in and of course no more clunking.
There is only One Way to check your brakes properly.........
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Old 12-22-2013, 02:57 PM   #3
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Try cleaning and lubing the S cams. They need to be done periodically and you can do the general inspection at the same time.
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Old 12-22-2013, 04:01 PM   #4
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Diff a good idea to keep s cams lubed but doubt thats where your hearing the clunking sound,might be a broken brake spring in a brake air can. Just a thought. . .Go Hawks!
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Old 12-22-2013, 04:08 PM   #5
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I'm willing to bet it IS your S-cams. When they bind up, they produce a very definite clunking sound when you apply the brakes.

Fix is to have your wheels pulled and have a brake service performed, where they clean and lube the mechanisms which should be cleaned and lubed and adjust the slack adjusters. It may also produce a noticeable improvement in braking.

Rust builds up from our coaches sitting so much. They need this periodic cleaning and adjustment about every 2-3 years. Generally no parts are needed.
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Old 12-22-2013, 05:11 PM   #6
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Mine makes a loud noise only when I back up and only on the passenger side front wheel. And it also feels like something is loose. I've had them checked and no one sees anything. Any help ? Thanks
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Old 12-22-2013, 05:16 PM   #7
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Mine makes a loud noise only when I back up and only on the passenger side front wheel. And it also feels like something is loose. I've had them checked and no one sees anything. Any help ? Thanks
That's most likely rust buildup and glazing on the shoes and the drums. Backing up makes the most horrendous screeching sound when this happens.

A few hard controlled stops generally cures this problem.
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:37 PM   #8
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My money is on the dirty S-Cams.
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:35 PM   #9
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Yes, I also think the S cams. My noise was from the right front wheel. I lubed both front wheels myself, and it cured the clunk that I had been trying to eliminate for several years.

It takes a 3/4 breaker bar with a long pipe extension to break those lugs loose. After breaking the lugs loose, raise the coach and put jack stands under the frame. With the lugs removed, the wheel will slide off and then the brake drum will slide off. Just clean up the S cam and put a little hi temp grease on the cam and the surface of the mating rollers. Check the other components and put it back together.

My rear brakes have not started to make noise yet. I've read that you can reach the rear S cams with a small brush on an extension rod and therefore lube them without wheel removal....but I haven't tried this yet.

Fred

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Old 12-26-2013, 06:53 AM   #10
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Here's a link to another thread about this problem. This link has a good picture of the S cam and rollers, and access to a pdf of the brake system.

Brakes popping

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Old 12-26-2013, 07:37 PM   #11
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Adjust your brakes, the clunk is probably the front bakes going on. They have a proportioning valve. if they are too far out of adjustment they will clunk when they come on. JMHO Jim
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Old 12-26-2013, 08:04 PM   #12
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I have auto slack adjusters wouldn't that take care of that issue?
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Old 12-26-2013, 08:25 PM   #13
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No, auto slack adjusters do get out of adjustment from time to time,i drive log truck for a living and the dot call them automatic ticket getters cause they get out of adjustment and they write alot of tickets because of out of adjustment brakes on semitrucks . I have delt with alot of airbrakes for almost thirty years and never have i or any shop thats done brakes for me has lubed the s part of the s cam,alot of times when i redo brakes ill use never seize compound on the rollers and the part that is lubed with grease is the tube that the s cam shaft rides in,theres a nylon bushing in both ends of the tube that needs lubed.i suppose you could hear a clunk if the bushings are completly worn out in the tubes but not likely,if the brakes are properly adjusted the rollers on the shoes will be rideing towards the middle of the s cam and the springs holding the shoes together will hold spring pressure on the rollers. Out of adjustment brakes or broken return spring from shoe to shoe could cause clunking sound or like i said in earlier post a broken air can spring!
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Old 12-26-2013, 08:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbo2013 View Post
I have auto slack adjusters wouldn't that take care of that issue?
In the link FredCooper posted, the Air Brake Manual discusses "S cams" and also on page 72 it discusses how to reset and check the automatic slack adjusters. Automatic slack adjusters should never require adjustment, and if they are out of range, the adjuster has failed or there are other problems in the brake system..
Often by doing the sequence of full pressure applications of the service brake, the slack adjusters automatically center and this may are stop the clunk when brakes are applied..
The "S" cam shafts have a grease fitting and they should be lubed when chassis is lubed. Excessive grease could end up on the brake shoes...
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