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Old 04-10-2006, 09:38 AM   #1
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Whenever I back up the rear brakes chatter. I checked with FL a year or so ago and they said that was "normal". Lately the chater is so bad that it scares my dog and is heard by everyone in the campground. I'm beginning to think "normal" is another answer for there is no cheap fix. Anyone else experience this chatter?
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Old 04-10-2006, 09:38 AM   #2
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Whenever I back up the rear brakes chatter. I checked with FL a year or so ago and they said that was "normal". Lately the chater is so bad that it scares my dog and is heard by everyone in the campground. I'm beginning to think "normal" is another answer for there is no cheap fix. Anyone else experience this chatter?
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Old 04-10-2006, 11:06 AM   #3
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No Chatter, but lots of squeeking and moaning. They told me they could install softer brakes at my expense..Good Miles
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Old 04-11-2006, 05:44 AM   #4
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I get plenty of squeeling and moaning too. I've tried the "official" FL brake burnishing procedure but it doesn't help. It's bad when it's cold but once it heats up it doesn't squeel so bad but I get chatter under heavy braking. I pulled the tires off last night to have SmarTire sensors installed (sure looks funny sitting on jackstands) and puled the drums off as well. I can see that the pads are hard and glazed by the surface pitting in them. I sanded them off with 400 grit sandpaper and roughed up the front drums a bit. We'll see how that works this weekend.

Part of my problem is the true Jake brake. That thing is like throwing the anchor out and I hardly have to use the brakes. I need to skip the compression brake and stand on the foot pedal more often to keep the glaze off the shoes. Just an adjustment in driving habits. If softer pads are available, they'd definitely be my choice when it comes time to replace them.
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Old 04-11-2006, 06:38 AM   #5
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I dont know about the chatter, but the squelling and such, I had the same problem
on my Harley. After a conversation with my mechanic, he gave me a bottle of
STOP SQUEAL, pt#860, the manuf. is BG Products! It came in a 1oz. bottle, and
worked on the Harley! I think it will work on MH. TENN.
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Old 04-11-2006, 09:02 AM   #6
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Hi All,
Does anybody know if the rear shoes on the Freightliner chassis have the same kind of self adjusters that were used on cars years ago (and maybe still are)? The kind that when you backed up and hit the brakes, a little lever would move (if need be) to another notch on a cog wheel and when the brakes were released, a spring would pull the lever turning the cog wheel and via a screw mechanism would tighten up the slack in the brake shoe adjustment.

This mechanism works great but if you never or seldom back up, they never have a chance to work and you are left with rear shoes that are way loose and will chatter and squeal when you do back up. Going forward, they will tend to squeal and be less effective. Normally, they would get adjusted every day when you back out of a drive way or back into a parallel parking spot. But I can see where RV's may not get much chance for this to happen.

I have had this happen on several older vehicles i.e. a 1989 GMC Van and the solution was to back up and repeatedly apply and fully release the brakes until the slack comes out of the adjustment. If they are really far out of adjustment, this can take 15 or 20 brake applications to tighten them up but does get them working again if it uses this type of adjuster. Also, it takes a little more than gentle application of the brakes.

Of course, if the Freightliner adjusters don't work like that, disregard this suggestion. I haven't pulled the rear wheels and drums off of either the Horizon or the Journey but it seem likely that they would use the same or some similar mechanism for rear shoe adjustment. Disk brakes work entirely differently.
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Old 04-11-2006, 11:01 AM   #7
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My front brakes makes so much noise I think the wheels are coming off.
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Old 04-11-2006, 11:59 AM   #8
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I've noticed the groaning and squealing whenever I back up and apply the brakes, especially if the rig has been sitting and brakes are cold. Never had a problem with forward braking.
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Old 04-11-2006, 12:29 PM   #9
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Air brakes don't have self-adjusting brakes in the same manner as hydraulic brakes. Hydraulic brakes use a self-adjuster mechanism that expands the distance between the bottom of both brake shoes. This is actuated when you step on the brakes in reverse gear.

Air brakes utilize a camshaft, which is a straight rod with a pair of spiraled wedges (or cams) on the end. When you twist this shaft, it expands the shoes so that they contact the drum. On the other end of this shaft is an arm called a Slack Adjuster which is connected via a pushrod to the brake diaphragm assembly.

These arms are set to have a small amount of freeplay - in very similar fashion to a clutch pedal on a car or truck. Today's slack adjusters are self-adjusting but you still need to check them by pulling on them when you grease the chassis to make sure that they don't have any excessive play, in which case the self-adjusting part isn't working so good. These units will self-adjust whenever you apply the brakes because they operate on a type of ratcheting mechanism. You do not have to be apply the brakes in reverse in order to adjust them. Unlike hydraulic brakes, air brakes will self-adjust during normal brake usage.
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Old 04-11-2006, 05:06 PM   #10
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Flyer,
Mine has done what your talking about but only a couple of times. It's done it after it's been sitting for a while and backing up. After I drive it a few miles it has never done it. I've just passed it off as surface rust on the drums. I know it will scare the **** out of you. You either got to let up the brake or lock it down before it chatters the whole MH apart.
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Old 10-29-2007, 10:31 AM   #11
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I had persitent squeally with the brakes ~ after using the air compressor to blow out the brake dust: the squealing stopped. However, I still have occasional mechanical chatter ~ but the mechnic says all is in good order {?}.
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