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Old 07-11-2015, 09:06 AM   #1
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Parking Brake Lockup on Freightliner FRED

I have a 2007 Tiffin Allegro Bay on a Freightliner FRED (front engine diesel) chassis. While driving yesterday I noticed a sudden decrease in engine power and the brake light started flashing. Checked service brakes and they were still working OK. Being on a narrow Hill Country Texas 2 lane with no place to pull over, I had to keep driving. Finally found a place to safely stop. When I did I found a heavy brake burning smell and smoke coming from the area of the rear of the transmission.

After calling Freightliner Customer service and explaining the problem, they immediately knew what the problem was. The parking brake (PB) is a spring actuated band that clamps around a disk located on the driveshaft immediately behind the transmission and is automatically actuated when shifting into park. This band is held open by hydraulic pressure when the transmission is sniffed out of park into a drive gear. Something broke and stopped the hydraulic pressure so the spring actuated band closed on the drive shaft disk, effectively applying the parking brake while I was driving.

Solution: A 60 mile tow to Freightliner Austin for repairs. Oh, it gets better. The broken parts are no longer available (This is a 2007 Freightliner Chassis) so The transmission gets pulled, the entire parking brake assembly is removed and replaced by a mechanical PB setup and a foot actuated peddle is installed in the drivers compartment. Like a passenger car. So now, apparently, shifting into park will be the same as neutral with no braking action and I have to remember to manually set the new PB by pressing down the foot peddle.

Yeah, this aught to be fun, having to remember to set a manual parking brake every time I stop and release it before moving.

Freightliner is supposed to supply the parts but guess who gets to pay for the labor? R&R of a transmission, R&R of a parking brake assembly and blacksmithing a foot peddle in a space not designed for a foot peddle. Will update when I find out that this disaster cost me.
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Old 07-11-2015, 09:18 AM   #2
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I'd really be onto Freightliner , I, would have thought they were under the same rules as the automotive industry where , parts have to be available for 10 years after vehicle production.
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Old 07-11-2015, 09:21 AM   #3
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What part is broken and can a replacement be found or made?

Sounds like poor design to start and worse solution.
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Old 07-11-2015, 10:12 AM   #4
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Is it too late to call a halt to this travesty?

FWIW, I wouldn't trust Freightliners evaluation of the issue without first getting a 2nd or 3rd opinion. Check RVServiceReviews.com for real users reviews of that particular shop.

I don't know which system FL is saying doesn't have any replacement parts but that really doesn't ring true. These systems on big rigs often use off the shelf parts from the trucking industry which is often supplying parts for farmers rigs for decades after the model is obsolete. If the part is truly obsoleted, often an after market company steps in with low volume production.

I just don't trust FL or their recommendation and suggest you take it elsewhere for repair.

Good luck and please keep us posted. Interesting story so far.
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Old 07-11-2015, 10:49 AM   #5
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I, would have thought they were under the same rules as the automotive industry where , parts have to be available for 10 years after vehicle production
Nice thought, but there is no such law. There is an EPA reg that requires emissions-related systems to be repairable for 8 years or 80k miles, and also consumer warranty law that requires suitable replacements be available as long as a manufacturer warranty is in effect, but there is no such general parts availability law for cars or trucks. Auto industry practice is to offer parts for at least 10 years, but it's voluntary and not even the accepted practice for medium and heavy duty vehicles.
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Old 07-11-2015, 03:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by TexasSkunk View Post
I have a 2007 Tiffin Allegro Bay on a Freightliner FRED (front engine diesel) chassis. While driving yesterday I noticed a sudden decrease in engine power and the brake light started flashing. Checked service brakes and they were still working OK. Being on a narrow Hill Country Texas 2 lane with no place to pull over, I had to keep driving. Finally found a place to safely stop. When I did I found a heavy brake burning smell and smoke coming from the area of the rear of the transmission.

After calling Freightliner Customer service and explaining the problem, they immediately knew what the problem was. The parking brake (PB) is a spring actuated band that clamps around a disk located on the driveshaft immediately behind the transmission and is automatically actuated when shifting into park. This band is held open by hydraulic pressure when the transmission is sniffed out of park into a drive gear. Something broke and stopped the hydraulic pressure so the spring actuated band closed on the drive shaft disk, effectively applying the parking brake while I was driving.

Solution: A 60 mile tow to Freightliner Austin for repairs. Oh, it gets better. The broken parts are no longer available (This is a 2007 Freightliner Chassis) so The transmission gets pulled, the entire parking brake assembly is removed and replaced by a mechanical PB setup and a foot actuated peddle is installed in the drivers compartment. Like a passenger car. So now, apparently, shifting into park will be the same as neutral with no braking action and I have to remember to manually set the new PB by pressing down the foot peddle.

Yeah, this aught to be fun, having to remember to set a manual parking brake every time I stop and release it before moving.

Freightliner is supposed to supply the parts but guess who gets to pay for the labor? R&R of a transmission, R&R of a parking brake assembly and blacksmithing a foot peddle in a space not designed for a foot peddle. Will update when I find out that this disaster cost me.
Doesn't even sound legal to me and especially so, if the tranny is without a parking pawl.
You're not talking about the age old autopark system here, are you and maybe a J72 version? Is the parking brake of the drum or disc variety?
Did you even talk to Tiffin, if I missed that and if so, what did they have to say about it all?
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Old 07-11-2015, 04:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSkunk View Post
I have a 2007 Tiffin Allegro Bay on a Freightliner FRED (front engine diesel) chassis. While driving yesterday I noticed a sudden decrease in engine power and the brake light started flashing. Checked service brakes and they were still working OK. Being on a narrow Hill Country Texas 2 lane with no place to pull over, I had to keep driving. Finally found a place to safely stop. When I did I found a heavy brake burning smell and smoke coming from the area of the rear of the transmission.

After calling Freightliner Customer service and explaining the problem, they immediately knew what the problem was. The parking brake (PB) is a spring actuated band that clamps around a disk located on the driveshaft immediately behind the transmission and is automatically actuated when shifting into park. This band is held open by hydraulic pressure when the transmission is sniffed out of park into a drive gear. Something broke and stopped the hydraulic pressure so the spring actuated band closed on the drive shaft disk, effectively applying the parking brake while I was driving.

Solution: A 60 mile tow to Freightliner Austin for repairs. Oh, it gets better. The broken parts are no longer available (This is a 2007 Freightliner Chassis) so The transmission gets pulled, the entire parking brake assembly is removed and replaced by a mechanical PB setup and a foot actuated peddle is installed in the drivers compartment. Like a passenger car. So now, apparently, shifting into park will be the same as neutral with no braking action and I have to remember to manually set the new PB by pressing down the foot peddle.

Yeah, this aught to be fun, having to remember to set a manual parking brake every time I stop and release it before moving.

Freightliner is supposed to supply the parts but guess who gets to pay for the labor? R&R of a transmission, R&R of a parking brake assembly and blacksmithing a foot peddle in a space not designed for a foot peddle. Will update when I find out that this disaster cost me.
There are many bone yards for RV stuff. Have you tried a search? Here are a few websites you can try:
RV Salvage & RV Surplus Outlets - used RV parts listed by state

Used RV Parts And Accessories | Visone RV Monaco Parts Dealer | rvparts.visonerv.com

And don't forget ebay.

Best of luck on this one.

Rick Y
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Old 07-11-2015, 04:27 PM   #8
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Something sounds very wrong here. There are a whole lot of 2007 Fred's out there. I can't believe parts would not be available for a Freightliner only 9 years old. I know the shop in my hometown of Montgomery Al carries a good stock of older parts. Did that shop even bother to contact another one? Sounds like they have really screwed up your coach to me. That is unreal how the "solved" the issue. I would be calling Rv Repair shops, Tiffin and anyone else before letting that shop do that to mine and then expect me to pay for that. Freightliner shops are not my choice for having my coach fixed. Most haven't got a clue.
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Old 07-13-2015, 01:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSkunk View Post
I have a 2007 Tiffin Allegro Bay on a Freightliner FRED (front engine diesel) chassis. While driving yesterday I noticed a sudden decrease in engine power and the brake light started flashing. Checked service brakes and they were still working OK. Being on a narrow Hill Country Texas 2 lane with no place to pull over, I had to keep driving. Finally found a place to safely stop. When I did I found a heavy brake burning smell and smoke coming from the area of the rear of the transmission.

After calling Freightliner Customer service and explaining the problem, they immediately knew what the problem was. The parking brake (PB) is a spring actuated band that clamps around a disk located on the driveshaft immediately behind the transmission and is automatically actuated when shifting into park. This band is held open by hydraulic pressure when the transmission is sniffed out of park into a drive gear. Something broke and stopped the hydraulic pressure so the spring actuated band closed on the drive shaft disk, effectively applying the parking brake while I was driving.

Solution: A 60 mile tow to Freightliner Austin for repairs. Oh, it gets better. The broken parts are no longer available (This is a 2007 Freightliner Chassis) so The transmission gets pulled, the entire parking brake assembly is removed and replaced by a mechanical PB setup and a foot actuated peddle is installed in the drivers compartment. Like a passenger car. So now, apparently, shifting into park will be the same as neutral with no braking action and I have to remember to manually set the new PB by pressing down the foot peddle.

Yeah, this aught to be fun, having to remember to set a manual parking brake every time I stop and release it before moving.

Freightliner is supposed to supply the parts but guess who gets to pay for the labor? R&R of a transmission, R&R of a parking brake assembly and blacksmithing a foot peddle in a space not designed for a foot peddle. Will update when I find out that this disaster cost me.
The "root" of this problem is that you probably have the Allison 2100 series tranny which did not include a park pawl. WCC had to use a similar AAPB in the earliest models of the W-24 chassis UNTIL Allison came out with the 2350 series tranny which does have a PP. That simple change ended the use of AAPB systems for Workhorse.

I'm trying to suggest you inquire about having a PP added to your tranny while it is out. If "not possible" see what the cost is to upgrade the tranny. Otherwise, you will have to remember the foot-applied every time.

Another option is to check with the guys at Brazel ( www.ultrarvproducts.com) because they developed a more robust system to replace the problematic J71 / J72 systems used by WCC.
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Old 07-13-2015, 02:11 PM   #10
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The "root" of this problem is that you probably have the Allison 2100 series tranny which did not include a park pawl. WCC had to use a similar AAPB in the earliest models of the W-24 chassis UNTIL Allison came out with the 2350 series tranny which does have a PP. That simple change ended the use of AAPB systems for Workhorse.

I'm trying to suggest you inquire about having a PP added to your tranny while it is out. If "not possible" see what the cost is to upgrade the tranny. Otherwise, you will have to remember the foot-applied every time.

Another option is to check with the guys at Brazel ( www.ultrarvproducts.com) because they developed a more robust system to replace the problematic J71 / J72 systems used by WCC.
Again, not a legal mod and can't believe Freightliner or anyone else would leave themselves open to such a potential lawsuit.
Also hard to convince my that the thing couldn't be fixed properly and to factory specs.
Every once in a while, a mod of sorts is necessary and I for one am noted for such, but this isn't one of those times and about the time the rig rolls into the street and kills someone, they'll be hell to pay. Story short, it no longer has a default on parking brake and can't be applied with equal strength, among different individuals. When in doubt, one can always check with the DOT, I guess and maybe your attorney, as well.
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Old 07-13-2015, 04:47 PM   #11
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Again, not a legal mod and can't believe Freightliner or anyone else would leave themselves open to such a potential lawsuit.
Also hard to convince my that the thing couldn't be fixed properly and to factory specs.
Every once in a while, a mod of sorts is necessary and I for one am noted for such, but this isn't one of those times and about the time the rig rolls into the street and kills someone, they'll be hell to pay. Story short, it no longer has a default on parking brake and can't be applied with equal strength, among different individuals. When in doubt, one can always check with the DOT, I guess and maybe your attorney, as well.
Please explain how getting a parking pawl equipped tranny is "not legal". For many of us riding on springs (like the OP), a PP and a foot-applied PB is all we have.
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:31 PM   #12
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Bolting in some mickey mouse foot pedal sounds illegal to me.

I had a 93 Pace Arrow Diesel pusher on an Oshkosh chassis for 12 years & NEVER had a problem ordering parts from Freightliner who had taken over Oshkosh chassis back in 95!
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Old 07-14-2015, 07:43 AM   #13
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Please explain how getting a parking pawl equipped tranny is "not legal". For many of us riding on springs (like the OP), a PP and a foot-applied PB is all we have.
Getting a parking pawl equipped tranny, is just fine IMO and sorry if I was misunderstood with that part of it. It's this depending solely on human application of a manual brake that I question and the reason for the default auto application system, coming about in the first place.
Many would welcome what the OP says that Frieghtliner did and have done this mod themselves, but that doesn't make it right. I did like the idea of them having both in early Chevy models, so that you could have something on level ground, until repairs could be made. Obviously by having such, many would just disconnect the auto cable and forget about it, so that's the downside from a safety standpoint and could be the reason why it was discontinued, other than cost.
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Old 07-14-2015, 08:22 AM   #14
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I have to manually apply the parking brake every time I stop or start the coach. Thank god for a buzzer! LOL
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