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Old 07-30-2015, 09:52 PM   #15
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There is never any reason to disassemble anything to do a brake shoe inspection. The inspection plug on the backing plate has a removable plug to see the shoe thickness.

Removing all the wheels and brake components accept for brake service is an overkill and a money maker for the shops that convince us this is necessary.

Our coach brake drums can last for at least three shoe replacements before the drums would need replacing.

As far as (S) cams, all that is needed is to have the brakes released and wheels chocked, then the bushing play can be felt by hand.

If the bushings are lubed at the time of regular servicing, any coach under 100K miles would have very little wear.

I have always removed and left removed the back cover from my trucks and semi trailers in the past so that daily visual inspections can be made at a moments notice.

There have been pro's and con's verbally addressed at this practice. I've not experienced any problems in more than one million miles of (OTR) operation leaving the covers off, and it is a common practice for those who perform their own maintenance, and most fleet operators.
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Old 07-30-2015, 09:59 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ChasA View Post
When I had the 48 month service done in Gaffney last year, one of the items on the list was to lube the s-cams. They told me that they would not be doing that because it takes almost the full day because of everything that has to come off to get to the cams. They did look at the thickness of the brake shoes from under the coach and they were still very thick. In fact, they pointed them out to me when the mechanic took me under the coach and explained everything he had done.
I think a visual from under the coach would suffice. However if you have reason to think the shoes have gotten contaminated with oil or grease, removal of the drums is in order.
If you do remove the drums, have the s-cams lube while they're in there.
In air brake systems, I have never seen an (S)cam shaft that could not be lubed by the fitting at the back of the bushing mount.

There is no disassembly required, the fitting is in the open......
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Old 07-31-2015, 04:59 AM   #17
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In air brake systems, I have never seen an (S)cam shaft that could not be lubed by the fitting at the back of the bushing mount.

There is no disassembly required, the fitting is in the open...... __________________
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They are talking about the rollers that clip onto the brake shoes and roll on the S Cam. The only access is by removing the drums.
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Old 07-31-2015, 09:40 AM   #18
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In air brake systems, I have never seen an (S)cam shaft that could not be lubed by the fitting at the back of the bushing mount.

There is no disassembly required, the fitting is in the open...... __________________
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2012 Fleetwood Providence 42P Class A/DP
Spartan Chassis, 8.9L Cummins 450HP




They are talking about the rollers that clip onto the brake shoes and roll on the S Cam. The only access is by removing the drums.
I see your point Twinboat, but the rollers are also visible if the two piece back cover is removed. Two small bolts each and you have all the access you need for free. And for those of us who like to clean this area up once a year, it can all be done from this rear access point.

There is no way those rollers could be damaged or worn prior to the end of life of the brake shoes. You get new rollers with the brake shoe kit whenever you do replace the shoes.

I just hate to see people ripped off because they are unfamiliar with the workings of their equipment.
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:59 AM   #19
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I see your point Twinboat, but the rollers are also visible if the two piece back cover is removed. Two small bolts each and you have all the access you need for free. And for those of us who like to clean this area up once a year, it can all be done from this rear access point.

There is no way those rollers could be damaged or worn prior to the end of life of the brake shoes. You get new rollers with the brake shoe kit whenever you do replace the shoes.

I just hate to see people ripped off because they are unfamiliar with the workings of their equipment.

Well Sir,
While you may have a few million miles of OTR under your belt, the "Two piece" cover you're referring to is not present on many units. Nor was there any "covers" on the back side of any of our Fire trucks throughout my career. The back of our brake assemblies on our coach, the '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT, are completely open for viewing of the one side of the brake shoes and parts of the drum. And yes, you do lube the S-Cam shaft from a visible lube fitting on the shaft housing.

But, I and several other diesel drivers on this and other RV forums have experienced the "clunk" of slow speed brake application while in or on, city streets, parking lots etc. When I inquired about it either on here or, on RV. net, I was told about the lubing of the rollers that ride on the S-cams.

Well, since I do all my own work, off came both front tires and wheels. I backed off the slack adjusters enough to remove the rollers and clean things up a bit. Once things were cleaned, I put a "tad" bit of grease on pivot/rolling points ( Yes I was careful not put too much and, keep it away from any brake friction areas) and, put it all back together. I re-adjusted the slack adjusters for proper travel.

Since then, absolutely no clunk in those brakes what so ever. There have been several on here that have done the same exact procedure and, arrived at the same results, NO CLUNK.
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:00 AM   #20
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Well Sir,
While you may have a few million miles of OTR under your belt, the "Two piece" cover you're referring to is not present on many units. Nor was there any "covers" on the back side of any of our Fire trucks throughout my career. The back of our brake assemblies on our coach, the '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT, are completely open for viewing of the one side of the brake shoes and parts of the drum. And yes, you do lube the S-Cam shaft from a visible lube fitting on the shaft housing.

But, I and several other diesel drivers on this and other RV forums have experienced the "clunk" of slow speed brake application while in or on, city streets, parking lots etc. When I inquired about it either on here or, on RV. net, I was told about the lubing of the rollers that ride on the S-cams.

Well, since I do all my own work, off came both front tires and wheels. I backed off the slack adjusters enough to remove the rollers and clean things up a bit. Once things were cleaned, I put a "tad" bit of grease on pivot/rolling points ( Yes I was careful not put too much and, keep it away from any brake friction areas) and, put it all back together. I re-adjusted the slack adjusters for proper travel.

Since then, absolutely no clunk in those brakes what so ever. There have been several on here that have done the same exact procedure and, arrived at the same results, NO CLUNK.
Fire Up,
I guess I sometimes forget, just like the motor home tires aging out before they wear out, that same timing and aging issue affects our coaches differently than it will an (OTR) commercial truck and trailer.

I too do most of my own preventative maintenance and repair work, Therefore like you, I don't mind pulling wheels and drums to get inside for something like roller lubing. And for the most part, when this lube of the rollers are done, you may never have to do it again, since they are not really lubed from the factory that well.

That clunk you mentioned is something I've only experienced on high mileage vehicles, so that being said, I may just check my rollers and lube them before the clunk shows up.

Thanks for your reply
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:57 AM   #21
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Fire Up,
I guess I sometimes forget, just like the motor home tires aging out before they wear out, that same timing and aging issue affects our coaches differently than it will an (OTR) commercial truck and trailer.

I too do most of my own preventative maintenance and repair work, Therefore like you, I don't mind pulling wheels and drums to get inside for something like roller lubing. And for the most part, when this lube of the rollers are done, you may never have to do it again, since they are not really lubed from the factory that well.

That clunk you mentioned is something I've only experienced on high mileage vehicles, so that being said, I may just check my rollers and lube them before the clunk shows up.

Thanks for your reply
You are most certainly welcome Sir. Glad I could be of some value here.
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:29 PM   #22
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Since the rollers are not lubed from the factory and most shops I have seen don't lube them as well when doing a brake job, makes me think there is a reason for that.
Greasing the rollers may be a short term fix but as we all know grease attracts dirt and causes it's own problem with a coating of crud on the cams and rollers.
That clunking noise is kind of the nature of the design and is a lesser of two evils in my opinion.
If you think you need to lube them I won't tell you that you are wrong, just another way of looking at it.
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Old 08-06-2015, 05:37 PM   #23
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Slickest1,
The Freightliner maintenance manual calls for greasing the rollers. But obviously the maintenance guys in Gaffney think it's okay to skip it. All that said, if I was having the drums pulled I'd have the rollers greased while the drums were off.
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Old 08-06-2015, 06:29 PM   #24
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Old 08-07-2015, 01:39 AM   #25
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Slickest1,
The Freightliner maintenance manual calls for greasing the rollers. But obviously the maintenance guys in Gaffney think it's okay to skip it. All that said, if I was having the drums pulled I'd have the rollers greased while the drums were off.
If you look back at the short exchange between myself and Fire up, it all comes down to what that tech is used to. If the tech is used to working on OTR equipment that gets high mileage, then he won't see the need to add lube to the roller axel. The truck will be back for break shoes before the roller axle drys out and sticks on the (S) cam.
And note I said the roller axle, not the roller where it contacts the (S) cam is where the grease goes.
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Old 08-15-2015, 08:56 PM   #26
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Regarding "That clunking noise is kind of the nature of the design and is a lesser of two evils in my opinion."

Although I agree that the grease on the rollers can accumulate dust, etc, the clunk on my Freightliner was actually causing one front wheel to delay applying the brake shoes until additional pressure was applied. Cleaning and lubing the rollers cured this. Many miles later, I have no problems so far.

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Old 08-15-2015, 10:21 PM   #27
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Regarding "That clunking noise is kind of the nature of the design and is a lesser of two evils in my opinion."

Although I agree that the grease on the rollers can accumulate dust, etc, the clunk on my Freightliner was actually causing one front wheel to delay applying the brake shoes until additional pressure was applied. Cleaning and lubing the rollers cured this. Many miles later, I have no problems so far.

Fred
Fred,
Exactly!!! Once I disassembled the S-cam, roller system, cleaned things all up and, micro lubed any pivoting/rolling surfaces, that clunk disappeared and so far, in about 2-3 years and, over 15,000 miles since I did that job, it has not returned. And, as I ready your post, I recall my brakes having a bit of application delay on the one side, prior that service. It's actually a bit scary when it happens, even though it's at a relatively slow speed. And, in my opinion, in that and any brake design, there should be NO NATURE OF THE BEAST action, in terms of any sort of irregular action or improper function.

The brake systems should work flawlessly, as they have in most cars and pickups for decades and decades.
Scott
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Old 10-03-2015, 08:28 PM   #28
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Just curious after 15000 miles is that grease still on your rollers? I don't mean to be argumentative in asking this but the s cams need to be greased regularly because of the miles driven the grease disappears due to heat and wear would that little bit of grease not disappear as well.

I have driven trucks on and mostly off road under extreme conditions and brake maintenance was of the utmost importance. Our lives depended upon it.
We did all of our brake jobs ourselves and in my experience the lag you talk about is caused mostly by crud building on the surface of the s cam where the roller rests. That is why i am against putting grease there as it attracts dirt and eventually turns hard.Another cause would be the s cam bushings being worn and not properly greased which will cause a heck of a clunk and and delayed application.
When something is used every day it will operate normally as it is designed until parts start to wear.
That said my motorhome has had this very thing happen. I grease my s cams and after a few miles of driving I see no problems. It usually happens after sitting for long periods which is the nature of alot of coaches.
You may take my statement of the nature of the beast as offensive to safe operating but it is what it is.
You seem very well versed on air brake systems and how they work and are a great asset to the forum for giving advice to people not in the know.
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