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Old 02-19-2012, 12:40 PM   #1
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Air Brakes Frozen

So, it's the middle of winter here in Wisconsin and everything is frozen. Including the air brakes on my RV. I have an appointment to have some service done on it during the off season and I can't get the sucker to move.

It fires up, jacks come up, air pressure comes up, pull the parking break to release the brake, I hear the hisssss, shift into drive, hit the gas and nothing happens. Well, I shouldn't say nothing happens, the torque of the engine causes the coach to lean to the left and the engine tries to turn the wheels, but it goes no where.

So I assume the air lines are frozen. I've read some tutorials on how to free up the lines, but they make reference to parts that I'm not sure I have. Also most of them assume some sort of knowledge of and air brake system such as "What the air brake system looks like".

So it seems that I need to determine which line is frozen, loosen the hose fitting letting the air out. Then reconnect it. Then inject alcohol into the lines via the injector (not sure if I have one of those) and then turning something called a "Petcock" (insert joke here). I'm not sure how to determine which like is frozen, or how to preform the other tasks.

If anyone has any ideas, or knows where I can find a tutorial with pictures, that would be great.

What I've tried:

1. Swearing at it.
2. Drinking Beer.
3. Swearing Louder at it.
4. Heating what I think are the air lines with my wife's hair drier.
5. Getting sweared at.
6. Placing a space heater under what I think is the air system for 45 minutes (which has "bad idea" written all over it.)

No luck.

Thanks
Brian
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Old 02-19-2012, 12:46 PM   #2
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You could try unhooking the air outlet from the compressor adding alcohol in the line reattaching and release the brakes let it sit for a while could take 10 minutes it may work.
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:11 PM   #3
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Thanks. I need to find my compressor then. Any idea where that is located typically? What kind of alcohol are you referring too. Is there something specialized for this task or are you just talking about rubbing alcohol?

Brian
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:26 PM   #4
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It is brake system alcohol available at truck stops or gas and deisel stations, compressor should be attached to your engine. Best to call a mobile mechanic if you don`t know what you ard doing. Less problems that way.
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rest and Relax View Post
It is brake system alcohol available at truck stops or gas and deisel stations, compressor should be attached to your engine. Best to call a mobile mechanic if you don`t know what you ard doing. Less problems that way.
Thanks, I have no idea what I'm doing. I mean I can dissconnect and reconnect a hose and follow directions, but I'm not sure what the components look like. Digging out my Good Sam card right now.

Thanks,
Brian
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:10 PM   #6
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Here my opinion.
working around air brakes my guess is the shoes are frozen to the drum especially if your unit sits out all winter the snow blows into the drum area and trust me the shoes will stick to the drum tight.
block the wheels and have some one engage the air knob back and forth while looking at the brakes in the rear.
1 if you can hear the chambers exhausting then the lines are not froze.
2 if you can see the rod comming out of the air brake chamber and its moving you have frozen shoes.
If this is the case you have a few options.
1 realease brakes with air knob and easily rock unit back and forth to free them.
2 jack unit up remove wheels and beat around the drum to free up the stuck shoes.


We have a unit at work that does this every year because it sits 9 mo out of the year.
good luck
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Old 02-19-2012, 04:31 PM   #7
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x2 with f1100turbo's cause of the problem, the shoes are frozen/rusted to the drums. I've even had this happen in the middle of the summer where the shoes actually rusted to the drums. 1st option, release the brakes and the stab the pedal hard 3-4 times, I've found that this some times frees them, next try backing up, something about the drum turning back sometimes frees them. If this fails, there's only one thing left to do, chock the wheels front and rear both sides, and if there's room to slide under by the drums take a BIG hammer and beat on the drums/shoes till the shoes free up. Ask any truck driver (me being one) and they'll tell you this is normal procedure to free up frozen drums.
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Old 02-19-2012, 06:23 PM   #8
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Thanks. Whacking them with a hammer did nothing, but then again It's possible I wasn't hitting it hard enough. I'll give that a whirl tomorrow with a bigger hammer!

Brian
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Old 02-19-2012, 06:26 PM   #9
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Did you you do it the air valve applied or pulled ?
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:35 PM   #10
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Be careful with that hammer you could crack the brake drum$$$$$$$$.
Better chance it's the air line.
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