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Old 02-02-2023, 08:47 AM   #1
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Pulling wheels... checking brakes?

There are a couple things I would like to do on my coach. I would like to check the brakes (I bought used 3 years ago and I have never had the brakes checked) and I would like to check the ABS ring to see if it's all 'rusted' or otherwise clogged up (the ABS light comes on and I have other ABS issues).

Looking at the process scares me - I have to get a jack that can lift a corner including the rear corners with the double wheels and then I have to have a stand that can support that weight once off the ground. Breaking loose the lug nuts and then retorquing them to correct torque seems like it might take some rather specialized equipment or interesting techniques.

What's the general consensus? Take it to a shop and pay someone to check the brakes? (I can live with the ABS issues I have).

When I had the tires changed shortly after purchase - I took the rig to a local RV place to do the swap. After quoting me $35/wheel (which I thought was outrageously cheap at the time) I ended up paying more like double that because he had underpriced the job (father / son operation - son said $35 & Dad upped the charge when I picked it up). I checked with a trucking company after and they quoted a price higher than $35 but lower than I paid. Are truck shops capable of pulling my wheels and checking brakes?

What does the brain trust here in IRV2 say?

Arden
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Old 02-02-2023, 09:05 AM   #2
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My gut feeling would be for you to find a heavy duty truck shop to do the checking for you. They will have the equipment to safely jack the coach up and secure it so it won't fall and hurt or kill someone. The wheel nuts on your coach may have to be torqued to 450#, maybe a little less or a little more. You aren't going to do this with homeowner's tools. Also a test drive with a scan tool should help diagnose the occasional ABS fault light. Knowing where to look for a problem can save time and money.
Brakes are quite essential. Let someone who has experience on heavy duty vehicle brakes handle this one.
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Old 02-02-2023, 09:48 AM   #3
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Sounds like you haven't pulled the ABS codes? The codes will direct you in what needs to be done. No need to start pulling stuff apart just because.
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Old 02-02-2023, 02:34 PM   #4
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The ABS warnings are something that you should definitely check in to. Your brakes may work fine but one day when, for example, the pavement is wet and you hit your brakes harder than normal, it could cause your brakes to lock up and force you to go into a skid. Nothing to mess around with. And generally, easy to diagnose and fix.
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Old 02-02-2023, 04:28 PM   #5
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I have a reasonably current code scanner and there don't seem to be any ABS codes captured and recorded.

Saying that... I just realized that I'm probably no looking or configuring the scanner right. I can read the engine codes fine - I wonder if I am not selecting the correct vehicle/chassis. Hmmmm... need to look at that closer next time I'm out at the coach.

Thanks for the input - I always appreciate the wealth of experience and knowledge here in the forums.

Arden
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Old 02-02-2023, 04:37 PM   #6
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If paying to have wheels pulled probably good idea to have front bearings re-packed if not oil bath type.
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Old 02-02-2023, 06:42 PM   #7
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I'm guessing your coach has air brakes?

A lot of times the speed sensor simply slides out enough away from the tone wheel to cause a issue.

Tires/wheel don't need to come off to access the sensor.

If you're comfortable getting under the coach, the wheel speed sensors are pushed into the back of the brake "spider" (the piece the shoes are attached to.)

Just follow the wiring that's zip tied to the rubber brake hose that runs from frame to brake chamber. You'll see where the sensor is at the end of wire

You should be able to pull them out by hand. But if your ABS light is on, I'd try and push them all in as far as I can by hand, or maybe get a screwdriver and push them in. They self clearance once the wheel turns.

If you can remove them, you can check them with an Ohm meter. Just follow the wiring up to the ABS module.

The system is very robust and simple. Most I see with issue is either the sensor defective, or having too much air gab between tone wheel/sensor, or the wiring harness damaged/corroded. Not many controllers or modulator bad.

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Old 02-02-2023, 08:43 PM   #8
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The brakes are classic hydraulic (not air operated). I have already pulled all the sensors and ohm'd them out - they all present about the same resistance, so I assume they are okay. I also reseated all the connectors - checking/confirming there was no connector corrosion. What I HAVEN'T done is follow the wiring all the way back to the ABS controller - the wires enter (disappear into) one of those split plastic flexible wiring tubes and that has so far seemed overwhelming.

I pushed the sensors back into the holders - and I thought I pushed them until they stopped, but perhaps I should check them again (using the screwdriver idea).

Without going too far afield from my original question (pulling the wheels/checking brakes) - my ABS 'issue' started after having put about 1500 miles on the unit after purchase. We had a horrible night of rain on our first long trip and the following morning while driving, I went through a significant puddle where the ABS light came on immediately. It didn't affect my braking and I figured it was probably water in a connector and hoped it would dry out over the day. The ABS light appearing continued (and continues) after each time we started the engine and drove on. The time to ABS light illumination varies - with sometimes the light appearing almost right away and other times taking up to 20 minutes before coming on.

Some days later, after the puddle (we were actually on our way back home), I was driving on the freeway and noticed the engine was 'surging' or rev'ing up about 200 RPM and then it would drop back down. I pulled into an RV repair place who graciously read the codes and looked things over. While they didn't have any answers - they also didn't think it was directly transmission related and suggested I could continue.

Searching this incredible wealth of knowledge and experience (IRV2) I found two strings where this problem was described and the root cause was determined to the ABS unit reporting a locked rear wheel to the transmission (Alison 1000) which then pulled the torque converter out of lockup mode. I have since experienced this surging with MOST trips I have taken the rig on and have further noticed that once the ABS light 'appears', there is no further surging (I assume that the ABS stops sending info to the transmission).

My plans for spring (ie warmer weather) is going to be to locate the ABS unit and reseat all the connectors on it, checking for tightness and corrosion. Who knows... I may 'get lucky' and that's all it has been all this time.

We now return to our regular scheduled discussion of wheel pulling, brake checking and now bearing lubrication (GREAT idea - thanks)

Arden
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Old 02-02-2023, 11:29 PM   #9
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Don't take this as an insult, but if you're asking on here and saying that it scares you, you need to hire a professional.

Truck/RV brakes are quite large and heavy. Getting them off may be okay, but lifting them back into place without damaging seals, brakes and YOURSELF can be tough. Unless you can use the heavy-duty jack stands and jack to get your coach in the air on other projects, it may just be cheaper to hire someone.
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Old 02-03-2023, 06:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
Don't take this as an insult.
No insult taken... I know I should take it to a pro (and I will) - but I have 'trust issues'
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Old 02-03-2023, 07:09 AM   #11
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I don't have the equipment to jack my rig so if I had doubts on my brakes right now I'd take it to a truck shop. I do a visual inspection ~two times a year when I lube the chassis, I have drum brakes so I look at pad thickness, brake canisters etc.



I get an ABS every once in a while but I can pull the codes, I have a diagnostic module. I know other coaches have the ability to display blink codes on the dash.

So I'd check to see if you can pull the codes. You may have to take it to a shop if you can't figure it out but something to definitely look at.
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Old 02-03-2023, 06:00 PM   #12
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I'd say if somebody checks your brakes there is and 80% chance they will tell you that you need a brake job. On the other hand you may have ABS issues because your brakes are worn or not adjusting. Might as well have them checked and have them show you the condition.
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Old 02-03-2023, 06:47 PM   #13
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A bad wheel bearing can cause ABS light as well...
Without a scan tool to retrieve codes, it's a crap shoot.
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