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Old 09-16-2012, 02:01 PM   #1
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Brakes dragging/ brake lights staying on after shutdown

After almost 7000 trouble free miles on our 2003 Newmar Mountain Air, we experienced a troubling issue today, luckily close to arriving home after a 600 mile trip.

We stopped at our office to offload some video equipment we had used while shooting a commercial at coastal VA, and I noticed a hot asbestos odor, and the rear tire and wheel housing area seemed hotter than normal. Upon arriving at our home, about 4 miles away, smoke was coming from all 4 wheel wells, with no demanding braking conditions on the way. Placing the transmission in neutral at 5 to 10 mph resulted in the motorhome coming to a rather quick fashion, with no drift on a slight grade, making it rather obvious the brakes were remaining applied to some extent.

In addition, after shutdown, the rear brake lights remained on until it seems all the air had bled from the system. Since all the brakes seem involved in this problem, Im guessing there must be some issue with the air brake valve/controller on the firewall. The brakes have always seems quite stiff, with little pedal travel, but being our first experience with air brakes, I though perhaps this is normal. I will be contacting our local Freightliner shop tomorrow, but would like some perspective from other owners that may have experienced a similar issue. I obviously dont want to drive the MH 40 miles to the FL dealer with this issue.

Input would be greatly appreciated !

Jim
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Old 09-16-2012, 02:21 PM   #2
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What is the air pressure in your primary and secondary tanks? The warning buzzer should have sounded when pressure dropped below 60 psi. One brake locking up happens, but all 4 sounds like a pressure/ or pedal malfunction.
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:20 PM   #3
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Front and rear air pressures were normal throughout the problem...
I suspect the brake pressure modulator/valve, based upon the hard pedal force needed to stop and the lack of travel in the brake pedal itself....

The one time my Wife drove the MH, she complained of how much force it took to stop.....I thought perhaps she was just being to "soft". but now I think she had a point.....the pressure needed to achieve braking is far greater than anything I have ever driven.....just thought is was "normal" for a 33K lb MH, but perhaps there has been an ongoing issue that finally reared it's head.

Jim
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:40 PM   #4
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Is this a floor mounted treadle valve, if so, there is a roller mounted to the pedal, sometimes the roller becomes stiff an will not turn, which in turn gives you the feeling of a hard pedal, also, there is a piston made of aluminum that meets the roller on the floor mounting plate. I seen in the past that the piston will have a build up oxidation which will cause the brake pedal to hang up.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:33 AM   #5
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Tims52,

Bingo !! The piston was sticking and thus partially applying the brakes and keeping the brake lights illuminated. Some Liquid wrench penetrating oil followed by white lithium have fixed the issue. Question becomes, give that the treadle valve is relatively inexpensive, would it be good preventive maintenance to
have it replaced....MH has 65K miles and is 9 years old....

Thanks for the quick fix !!

Jim
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:10 PM   #6
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No, I have worked on heavy duty equiptment for 40 years, an I have seen this problem more than once. As long as everything is working properly there is no need to change the treadle valve. Glad I could help
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:35 PM   #7
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Sounds like something to put on the maintenance list.
I'll throw this in as well ; 3 months after purcaseing my coach , it developed a hard launch from a stop condition , I tracked it down to a rusted pivot hinge on the base of the throttle pedal. The binding was causing me to tromp the throttle, with a sudden take off the result.
FWICF, the rust was from the RV dealer shampooing the carpet.
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