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Old 01-18-2023, 06:06 AM   #1
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Auto Park Issues and Resolution

I have been fighting an AutoPark problem for over a month with a 2003 Workhorse P32 / Winnebago Itasca Sunova, since the day I purchased the unit and drove it home about 250 miles. Luckily, I didn't have a total failure on the trip home, but the day after the purchase, the AutoPark lamp wouldn't go out.

After researching the issues, I disconnected the clevis pin so I could move it around my lot as needed, blocking the tires when parked. FYI, the linkage at that moment moved enough to relieve the pressure, making it relatively safe to pull the pin.

Inspecting the RBS (mine is a brown one, not green), there was obvious signs of leaking fluid, so I ordered a $50 unit from Amazon and installed it a few days later. No joy. In fact, the linkage would now move only 3/8".

I proceeded to remove and reinstall the hydraulic cylinder after having a local shop rebuild it. Still no joy, results the same.

After a discussion with Brazel's, I ordered a replacement cable as well as their lifetime guarantee pressure switches. Since I new I had to cut the cable to remove it, I decided to do so BEFORE the parts arrived. My bad!

First thing when the parts arrived, I installed the pump side pressure switch. VOILA! The pump correctly operated the actuator.

I wish I had ordered the UltraRV pressure switch before the Amazon part. Would have saved me a LOT of grief and time. Que Sera, Sera.

Anyway, the current problem is removing the now cut cable. These cables have 3 "tanks", kind of like barbs on a fish hook, that keep the cable housing in place. Evidently, there was a special manufacturer's tool to remove these, but I certainly don't have access to it. I am going to try to cut the tangs out with a dremel (no room for a 4" grinder). If that doesn't work, Allen at Brazel's suggested using a hose clamp to compress, etc.

If anyone has performed the cable replacement and has words of wisdom, please speak up ASAP! I will update the forum once the project is complete.

In the interim, BRAVO to Brazel's and UltraRV products. If you have a workhorse problem, call them first. They are generous with the advice and they have TOP QUALITY parts available.
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Old 01-18-2023, 06:40 AM   #2
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Old 01-18-2023, 09:57 AM   #3
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So, I was able to remove the cable by using a small hose clamp. The end by the park mechanism wasn't too bad, the end by the actuator was very difficult because of the cross member there. Basically, with the cable cut, I had to pull the steel inner core out from the front end. That allowed me to adjust a hose clamp so it would just fit over the end of the cable housing. I tapped it in with a screwdriver and hammer. Once in place, I tapped the housing out of the hole with the clamp holding the "teeth" in.

More to come.
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Old 01-18-2023, 04:49 PM   #4
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So.. on mine.. I noticed po had replaced.. and it seems to run very close to exhaust.. so I used heavy duty fuel line thermal wrap that was aluminized.. they make it in different sizes.. many here complain that exhaust heats .. and melts cable.. and they are not cheap to replace... so one may want to wrap it..
Good luck and keep us posted
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Old 01-18-2023, 07:31 PM   #5
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After fighting ours for a couple years I gave up and took it to a Transmission shop and they installed a parking pawl... All I had to do was put it and park and it always worked... No more failures after that.
It was not expensive to do..

(ours was a older 94 Workhorse p32 chassis)

Bob
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Old 01-19-2023, 05:37 AM   #6
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Auto Park is reassembled and working....sort of. I moved the unit to a significant incline and it would still creep forward in "Park". To be fair, I know the cable isn't adjusted very well yet, I will tend to that in the next day or so when I get a break in the weather, should only take 5 minutes.

Speaking of cable adjusting, this is a task best done by 2 people, with one in the driver's seat.

Basically, with foot on the regular brake, ignition on, and trans selector in gear (thereby energizing the pump), the pressure on the adjuster nut is relieved, and you can generally twist it by hand after loosening the lock nut, of course. This is WAY easier than trying to turn it 1/6th of a rotation at a time.
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Old 01-20-2023, 07:44 AM   #7
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To Bob

Bob. Installing a pawl on your transmission to use the transmission as your parking break I believe is a problem. The whole reason for the auto park system is that the weight of the P32 rigs greatly exceeds the ability of these transmissions to carry the loads of the normal pawl/internal parking brake function in the transmission. Works fine for much lighter pick up trucks with the 8.1 but not for 20000 pound RVs.
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Old 01-21-2023, 10:45 AM   #8
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Bob. Installing a pawl on your transmission to use the transmission as your parking break I believe is a problem. The whole reason for the auto park system is that the weight of the P32 rigs greatly exceeds the ability of these transmissions to carry the loads of the normal pawl/internal parking brake function in the transmission. Works fine for much lighter pick up trucks with the 8.1 but not for 20000 pound RVs.

Well, it held up fine for the few years we had it after that.
And that rig at under 16,000lbs was no where near the weight of my Outlaw toyhauler that uses the transmission parking pawl. (25,000lbs)

It was a lot bigger problem with that unreliable auto park system that you never knew when it was gonna fail, as it did several times. even after having new parts put in and rebuilt by a fulltime mechanic.

Having read HUNDREDs of horror stories of the auto park systems on the P32 rigs says a LOT.. and NEVER read 1 story of the Transmission Pawl failing.

Bob
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Old 01-23-2023, 03:39 AM   #9
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Wrap Up

Just to summarize my Auto Park experience for the benefit of any future searchers.

I purchased a used 2004 Itasca (2003 Workhorse P32 Chassis) about 250 miles from home. The Auto Brake warning light (ABW) was reluctant to dim at the start of the trip home - symptom #1.

Within 2 days of arriving home, while jockeying the unit on my property, the ABW would not go out. My lot is pretty level, so I decided to pull the clevis pin and rely on tire blocks. and work out the issue. Novice error #1: The system was still working, as the brake mechanism would release when put in gear, facilitating removal of the clevis pin without undue pressure (or danger to the fingers!). To be fair upon inspection, there was significant fluid around the system under the hood, and particularly by the RBS (mine was brown, not green). I ordered a GM OEM pressure switch from Amazon and installed it a few days later.

Upon installation, the ABW light would extinguish as appropriate when moving the shift lever, and the pump could be heard running, but only for 1-2 seconds (big overlooked clue). When I crawled under the coach, I found the cable was not moving the brake mechanism at all when released and I was unable to re-engage the clevis pin. I should have paid attention to this - second big overlooked clue).

Further inspection showed some fluid leaking around the joint between the 2 "halves" of the actuator, a sure sign of a leaking seal in the hydraulic piston portion. I removed it and had it rebuilt by a local specialist (reasonable cost of ($125). I reinstalled the unit and found no improvement in the mechanism movement. I was convinced the cable linking the actuator to the mechanism was frozen, so I ordered a new cable from Brazen, and for good measure, I also ordered their US21 - UltraStop P32 Park Brake Pressure Switch Upgrade Kit.

While I was waiting for the parts to arrive, I decided to cut the cable and remove it in prep for the new part. After cutting it with a saws all, I re-tested and there was only about 3/8" of movement on the front of the actuator.

HUGE CLUE #3! At the moment, I was perplexed. I assumed the pump was good, sinceit would turn on and off. Same goes for the newly installed RBS. BTW, I had also flushed the system and also "broke" the hydraulic fitting to be sure there was no air in the line.

When the parts arrived, I immediately installed the Ultra Stop replacement RBS.

VOILA! the pump would run for SEVERAL seconds (not 1-2) and move 4 +/- inches.

After installing the replacement brake cable, I again had a functioning system.

Bottom line, the brand new GM OEM RBS was faulty. It would allow the pump to run, but was turning off the pump at what I assume was much to low a pressure point, preventing the actuator from fully articulating. Had I replaced it with a working unit as step 1, proper operation would have resumed.

To be fair, I needed a new RBS, and the actuator was on it's way to failure, so no big loss with those repair points. The cable was a casualty of my lack of expertise on the system. I am pretty sure it would have been a much more expensive experience if I had it to a pro shop for repairs, but that wasn't possible, the shops in my area that had history of working on these were either out of business, or not interested.

One final note - the Actuator end pressure switch included in US21 from Brazen requires removal of the stock wiring harness connector. A special pin removal tool is needed to do this, and I didn't have one. I struggled with it for a bit, and opted to use Lockitt PosiTaps to make the connections (https://tinyurl.com/y6zs7khb). I will also be using these connectors to build a Genie Box ala Old Used Bear). The kit is is expensive - I think Brazen should include an adapter cable for the actuator pressure switch, instead of the current approach (or have it built with the correct connector).
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Old 01-24-2023, 07:36 AM   #10
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Auto park issues and resolution

Thanks for your summary for future folks having trouble with these aging systems. They are getting very old now and in addition to the routine failures of the OEM switches and relays now the main actuators are aging out and will be failing. This is a complicated system but when understood can be maintained with the help of Ultra RV products and their line of well engineered lifetime quality parts. They should be a first stop to diagnose auto park problems for those who donít understand the system. I got towed three times due to system failures and shops that didnít understand the system. Once I got to Alan Sanders at Ultra my problems finally were solved. I think itís a best practice to just replace all the switches and the relay with their parts. Then keep an eye on the actuator for leaks and replace the actuator at the first sign of leakage.
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Old 01-24-2023, 01:57 PM   #11
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Thanks for your summary for future folks having trouble with these aging systems. They are getting very old now and in addition to the routine failures of the OEM switches and relays now the main actuators are aging out and will be failing. This is a complicated system but when understood can be maintained with the help of Ultra RV products and their line of well engineered lifetime quality parts. They should be a first stop to diagnose auto park problems for those who don’t understand the system. I got towed three times due to system failures and shops that didn’t understand the system. Once I got to Alan Sanders at Ultra my problems finally were solved. I think it’s a best practice to just replace all the switches and the relay with their parts. Then keep an eye on the actuator for leaks and replace the actuator at the first sign of leakage.
DougASE: I completely agree with your suggestion about www.urvp.com and their improved parts and expertise. Regarding your comment I put in bold, below is link to a device created by the "original" J71 AAPB expert known as oldusedbear.

If properly assembled and used, I think it can help keep watch over the AAPB system: https://www.rvautopark.com/wp-conten...SSORY_rev1.pdf

For future readers, oldusedbear was a great help to many over the years, but he has been unable to participate for several years now. His complete "auto park library" is being kept online by his family at: www.rvautopark.com
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Old 01-25-2023, 11:01 AM   #12
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Yes EdGray, the Old Used Bear is one of the best online resources. I have the whole thing printed out in the event it goes away at some point.
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Old 03-21-2023, 10:21 AM   #13
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After fighting ours for a couple years I gave up and took it to a Transmission shop and they installed a parking pawl... All I had to do was put it and park and it always worked... No more failures after that.
It was not expensive to do..

(ours was a older 94 Workhorse p32 chassis)

Bob
I just had the same done to the 4L80E in our 1998 Sea Breeze. Guy had to install all of the internal parts for the parking pawl as well as the activation rod. Love it! Best $450 I ever spent. NO MORE AUTOPARK!
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Old 03-21-2023, 10:25 AM   #14
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Bob. Installing a pawl on your transmission to use the transmission as your parking break I believe is a problem. The whole reason for the auto park system is that the weight of the P32 rigs greatly exceeds the ability of these transmissions to carry the loads of the normal pawl/internal parking brake function in the transmission. Works fine for much lighter pick up trucks with the 8.1 but not for 20000 pound RVs.
I plan on chocking the wheels as I have always done on any significant incline. Park is great for gas and rest stops where there is just a slight incline.
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