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Tag brakes dragging

So yesterday I was driving the coach in rural Ohio.  All of a sudden my tire air pressure monitor system told me that my driver’s tag tire was loosing air.   At the same time, I started smelling the unmistakable smell of hot brakes.

I pulled over and checked the air pressure.  It was fine but the tag wheel was very very hot.   My belief was that the caliper was jammed in the “on’ position.  I tried a couple of things to free it up.   1) I banged on caliper with a hammer And 2) I rocked the coach forward and reverse with the brakes applied.  This helped but did not solve the issue.   

I drove carefully to my destination 30 miles away.   I watched the temperature of the wheel all the way.  The temps were approaching 200f by the time I stopped.

It turned out that there was a truck mechanic right across the street.   They dropped what they were doing to come over to coach and take a look.   They pulled the wheel off and pulled the caliper loose.   It turned out that the rubber boots that keep grit from jamming the guide pins were missing.  The guide pins were completely dry of grease.  With the caliper loose and the pads removed, it was easy to push the guide pins out from the inside.  

Once they greased the pins and reassembled it was clear that they had solved the issue.  (The caliper moved easily in and out by simply pushing and pulling on the outside). The mechanics got new pads from the parts store and I was back in business.

I tell you this story to share a couple of insights.  

1). I never have monitored tire temperatures on a regular basis while driving.   If I had, I might have known that I had a problem earlier.

2). The mechanics said that this sort of failure is very common.   The tag wheels gets coated with dust blown up by the other wheels.   This contaminates the guide pins and causes them to jam the caliper movement.  

I am not sure how long the fix will work and will do more research when I get home.  Hopefully this story will help someone down the road.

Bill Johnson
2003 Newell #653 Quad Slide Cat C-12 engine with Motorcycle lift 
2011 Jeep Wrangler, 2018 BMW 1200GS Adventure Motorcycle
Auburn, Alabama
Bill,  when I bought 567 in 2010, a thorough inspection of the underneath side was performed.  One of the most significant items found was drive axle calipers not moving.  The boots were missing and since stuck, only one pad was making contact on both sides.  The tag boots were missing as well but not stuck.  I made some delrin plugs with a bead and used a piece of 1-1/2 coolant hose and hose clamped to the caliper and the plug.  They are still there and in fine shape.  Checking the boots is a yearly pre season inspection as well as verifying the calipers are free on all wheels.

The drives were a different story, one wheel seal was leaking which required the caliper removal. Both calipers were replaced with rebuilt calipers from Belgium.   That’s another story!
Gordon Jones
Just had the same thing happen to me, right tag. Trying to get it taken care of before we leave for Michigan in about a week.
Jack and Dianna Hunt
Coach #663
2003 - 45' triple slide

So..when they take off the can get easy access to the calipers. Pulling the pads will allow you to see if the caliper can move. It should be free and easy to move in and out. Like I said above the fix was to grease the guide pins.

I have no idea how long this fix will last. I saw a Bendix video that said that the pins do not need grease. For sure I will be on the hunt to find boots to cover the pins.

Good luck!
Bill Johnson
2003 Newell #653 Quad Slide Cat C-12 engine with Motorcycle lift 
2011 Jeep Wrangler, 2018 BMW 1200GS Adventure Motorcycle
Auburn, Alabama
when i bought my 02, several of the pins were frozen as well.

2002 45'8" Newell Coach 608  Series 60 DDEC4/Allison World 6 Speed HD4000MH

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