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Old 02-20-2012, 01:51 PM   #1
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Auto Park Brake converted to Manual Lever

The attached files show how I converted the Auto Park Brake to operate with a manual lever. A more extensive description is contained in another thread on this forum with the URL:
P32 autobrake light on

In a nutshell, I removed all of the Hydraulic reservoir, pump, solenoid valve and actuator and replaced them with a manual lever from a Jeep. Works great and there is no longer a threat of the Auto Park Brake failing, with the resultant inability to move the RV from whatever spot it decides to lock up.

Best regards, Jack Fox (dieterdoggie@hotmail.com)
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:31 AM   #2
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Looks pretty neat! Did you show this one to "Old Used Bear"? He's the resident guru on the Auto Park brake and all its personality issues.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:24 PM   #3
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My 1999 Damon Daybrak also has a manuel handbrake installed that replaces the factory autobrake. The previous owner had it installed at a local rv shop after three failures of the autobrake.It's been installed for about five years and so far there have been zero issues. Have you figured a way to wire the factoy dash light into the new set-up?
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:09 PM   #4
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Very foxy setup, Jack. Congrats. Could save many people lots of $$$. I'm guessing you don't use the drivers door much?
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:28 PM   #5
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Yes he knows about it.

Best regards, Jack
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:39 PM   #6
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Wrongway:

Good to hear that yours is working well. Do you have any lights to signal when the brake is applied?

I have been hoping that a "real" electrician would take the hint and propose a wiring diagram for the switches. I have a tentative plan and I am going to have to get busy because Spring is threatening.

The only issue that has me concerned is that there is a diode setup that shares the service brake warning light with the APB. The warning light tells when the front and rear service brake pressure is unequal and I have to figure out how to separate that out. I think that I just have to bypass the diodes.

Best regards, Jack
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:49 PM   #7
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Jim_HiTek:

Thanks, I agree about the $$$ but I am more concerned about the potential loss of life.

I don't use the driver side door very often but I placed the brake lever such that it is not in the way of my left foot while driving and it is easy to step over it. (getting in and out of the RV on that side is a kind of bother anyway)

Best regards, Jack
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:18 PM   #8
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jack,

I have not looked at the light yet. i was hoping you had or will and can help me out with it!

I am pulling her out of winter hibernation in a couple weeks and my brother and I are going to get her serviced and ready for the season.

He is 30 year GMC tech/service manager (worked his way and actually knows how to turn a wrench and said he can probably wire it once he looks the system over.

If we end up doing ours first I will be sure to let you know it you'd like.

Good luck!

Patrick
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:52 PM   #9
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Patrick:

Your rig may be different but I would be appreciative to know how you do it and I will be happy to let you know if I finish first. Your Brother may be just the help we need to finish this project. (would you believe that we had a snow flurry this morning?)

The weather is warming up though and with the snow finishing up as a light rain today, I saw a night crawler on the grass the size of a 2H pencil.

Best regards, Jack
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:19 PM   #10
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Yes he knows about it.

Best regards, Jack
Would you consider telling us exactly what he had to say about it?
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:03 PM   #11
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Tropical:

I will have to look at my email on the laptop (put in semi-retirement by my Kindle Fire, which I love).

One valuable comment was that in some states the registration requires a safety inspection with an operational APB.

It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, that APB is a potential killer. The vision of the APB locking up at 65 MPH on a narrow road with no shoulder and an 18 wheeler bearing down on me has haunted me for years...no more!

Best regards, Jack
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:02 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by the_dieter View Post
Tropical:

I will have to look at my email on the laptop (put in semi-retirement by my Kindle Fire, which I love).

One valuable comment was that in some states the registration requires a safety inspection with an operational APB.

It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, that APB is a potential killer. The vision of the APB locking up at 65 MPH on a narrow road with no shoulder and an 18 wheeler bearing down on me has haunted me for years...no more!

Best regards, Jack
Speaking of a potential killer, you do realize that you don't have a parking pawl in your transmission like every other factory produced vehicle on the planet without some sort of fail safe parking mechanism, right?

This is directly from Workhorse....
A mechanical foot brake can not be used as a sole emergency or parking brake when a parking pawl is not provided because it can not be applied with the same results consistently by the same or different operators.

Just hope your insurance company doesn't find out and worse, find a way to use it against you in case of a law suit.

As for your last statement, I do wish it were true, but unfortunately, but the AP like most systems, is not an emergency brake and most likely you'd be lucky if it would even slow you down.

I could apologize for the ranting here, but do feel it necessary for others who might not be aware of the ramifications this modification could produce and having said that, please never park it where it could possible roll into the street where children might be playing.
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:52 PM   #13
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Tropical:

Thanks for the "rant", with all of the positive responses, I was afraid nobody was paying attention.

First of all, the notion that the APB can give consistent results is disproven by the countless reports on various forums by owners whose APB systems are everywhere from unable to hold to locked up,unable to move.

After experiencing two total lockups; one at 35 MPH and one at 65 MPH, believe me, the APB is capable of suddenly stopping the motorhome. It is quick enough that a following vehicle would likely crash into us. The two incidents happened within two weeks of each other and in both cases, the motorhome was towed to an authorized Workhorse facility for repair. Now if that don't take the joy out of our new motorhome ownership!

If it comes to a lawsuit, I would like to see it be against Government Motors for perpetuating their hazardous system.

There is no need for apologies for bringing up considerations that I had already taken into account. The only alternative for me would have been to get rid of our motorhome if the APB remained on it.

Best regards, Jack
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:37 PM   #14
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Thanks for the "rant", with all of the positive responses, I was afraid nobody was paying attention.

First of all, the notion that the APB can give consistent results is disproven by the countless reports on various forums by owners whose APB systems are everywhere from unable to hold to locked up,unable to move.

After experiencing two total lockups; one at 35 MPH and one at 65 MPH, believe me, the APB is capable of suddenly stopping the motorhome. It is quick enough that a following vehicle would likely crash into us. The two incidents happened within two weeks of each other and in both cases, the motorhome was towed to an authorized Workhorse facility for repair. Now if that don't take the joy out of our new motorhome ownership!

If it comes to a lawsuit, I would like to see it be against Government Motors for perpetuating their hazardous system.

There is no need for apologies for bringing up considerations that I had already taken into account. The only alternative for me would have been to get rid of our motorhome if the APB remained on it.

Best regards, Jack[/QUOTE]
OK Jack and I can understand where you might be coming from and you're sure that there was no warning light prior to this lockup?
As for stopping power, you must really be light and have some very good shoes. I mean we're talking just one drum on the drive shaft here, not four wheel brakes.
You don't have a newer coach with the J72 disk and rotor type, do you? I mean most have driven with the brake on to the point of wearing them out, so they wouldn't hold at all. I've educated myself somewhat for my system and have only changed fluid and replaced two RGS's (green pressure switches) while on the road, which couldn't be any easier. Keep in mind that this coach chassis is 15yrs old and it's still OK...knock on wood. It's actually a good system and air brakes will do the same thing for locking up when a problem forces it to default. Thing is, these RGS failures have now brought the AP system to the point of infamy. Some just change them out every 15K miles or so and be done with it. If a failure occurs anyway, they definitely have plenty of spares on board, which brings up the No. 1 problem. No spare on board and not a clue by the owner or their mechanic as to what to do with such, especially with the few precautions that go along with it.
Just too bad that a heavy enough transmission with a parking pawl wasn't available among the bean counters during these times and forcing the engineers to do something else that would meet government safety standards. Ford took care of their own on this, where Chevy failed, but I still decided to go with Chevy for a number of reasons.
To each his own on this, I guess, and I'm betting you would have had a time with your install, if not for the driver's door.
Just a suggestion, but I would chock my wheels whenever possible and especially if I wasn't sitting level.
Cheers and do be careful...
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