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Old 04-16-2021, 01:45 PM   #1
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Has anyone serviced/replaced a Bendix Air Dryer?

My 2010 Journey Express 34Y has a Bendix Air Dryer. The thing is quite large and has not had service since new and 37,000 miles.
Freightliner says the service interval is 3 years. No mileage mentioned.
Has anyone had experience with the servicing of one of these? I'm wondering if they can go longer or if problems might start. A new one is about $400.
It does not have a "spin off" filter element and it looks like removal is the only option for servicing.

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Old 04-16-2021, 02:10 PM   #2
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You know, I have never got a good answer about when is the time to replace the cartridge to these things. Freightliner puts out very conservative numbers and yet when I talk to several FL mechanics they just look at me like... sure will do it and take your money, but if it was my coach I wouldn't even consider it unless you drive the South-Eastern USA where it's high humidity and you have 300,000+ miles.

So this is one of those subjects where people say all types of things (this post included) based on hand-me-down information. ...But I'm interested in the FACTS ONLY!

My 2004 Itasca Horizon 40AD with a Freightliner XC Chassis came with a Haldex Type Air Drier (DQ6050) and there are several other types, and models, used over the years, so I don't know if one type is better than another.

==> I also don't pull my lanyards that often.

TIP: Turn your wheels all the way to the left so you and reach behind the front passenger tire to reach your lanyard pull loops. There are 3 in my coach. However, if you have not done this in a while, you should first get under the coach and squirt a lot of WD-40 on the purge-valves so when you pull out on the lanyards they will reseat when you let go.

My Haldex does not use a screw-on cartridge, but it's not that hard to change... IF YOU AND GET ACCESS TO IT!

* And where it's located has lots of dirt and grim and when you service this air drier you really don't want to get any dirt in it!!! So, the irony of doing preventative maintenance like this is creating more problems than you had before the service.

In my coach, with 110,000 miles and 17 years of use, where I drive mostly in the summer and 80% in dry states, I don't seem to have any problems. And last year, when I had FL inspect my primary and secondary air tanks, they found no moisture inside. So I really have no plans to replace my Haldex Air Dryer cartridge inside that bulbus top cap unless someone can make a persuasive argument that I need to do so!

I found the price of my air dryer filter varies between $80 and $200 depending on the source. And FL loves the 2 hour minimum charge + 1 for a coffee break. So you probably are looking at a $500 bill for this service, but that just a guess.

So what is the price to replace a typical air dryer on a Winne with FL chassis?

Also, if you do this service, should you also replace the check valve or other parts while you are doing some preventative maintenance in this area?

Here's a diagram of my Haldex #DQ6050 Air Dryer that is not the same as that OP.
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Old 04-16-2021, 02:37 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply.
That is the kind of info that I was asking for. No wonder I haven't seen many mentions of it.
Since mine works well and there is no water from a tank purge, I'll probably let it go as is for our trip.
Thanks,
Richard
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Old 04-17-2021, 05:38 AM   #4
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I changed mine a month ago. It is big and heavy but the job was fairly easy. I had to remove a few bolts to disconnect from the bracket and then two lines going to it. Remove the entire assembly.
Once on the bench you remove the outer bolts and cover and then you can access the filter. I used a cloth strap wrench to remove and replace it.
Reverse procedure to install.
Overall about an hour and a 3/10 on the difficulty scale.
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Old 04-17-2021, 05:58 AM   #5
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I ordered a genuine Bendix re-manufactured unit from ebay. I expect a fairly easy install and good service from this reman. I'll also have the original one that I can overhaul, if needed.
Thanks to all that replied,
Richard
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Old 04-21-2021, 08:56 AM   #6
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I was hoping some other people would rebut my assertion you don't need to change your air dryer so we can identify specific situations where someone did find water in their tank, because they did not change their air dryer.

So far I have never heard from anyone who has claimed this in any thread I have read or researched on multiple forum sites.

So you are an owner who can definitely say it's a mistake not to change your air dryer cartridge every so-and-so miles, I know a lot of us would like to hear from you!
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Old 04-21-2021, 11:29 AM   #7
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Well Freightliner recommends I change it every 3rd oil change. I did it myself, took about an hour, and cost me $40
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Old 04-21-2021, 11:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imnprsd View Post
I was hoping some other people would rebut my assertion you don't need to change your air dryer so we can identify specific situations where someone did find water in their tank, because they did not change their air dryer.

So far I have never heard from anyone who has claimed this in any thread I have read or researched on multiple forum sites.

So you are an owner who can definitely say it's a mistake not to change your air dryer cartridge every so-and-so miles, I know a lot of us would like to hear from you!
Sorry that I don't have experience with air dryer problems, but I finally found a Bendix video that explained the operation of the Bendix AD-9. An important point in the video was the explanation of how the desiccant is "recharged" during its cycles. The way the AD-9 works is that it reverses air on part of the cycle to expel oil and water and then air dry the desiccant. Apparently, Winnebago went the extra cost to provide an air dryer that can go a loooong time without service.

I'll be putting the reman one in, but might not of needed it. I'll look at the old cartridge to see if anything stands out.
The "spin on" desiccant filters might not last as long.
Richard
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Old 04-21-2021, 07:14 PM   #9
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Caymanedge: That's because FL what's an out in the event they get sued. Winnebago uses the same strategy on some items, as does Cummins.

Plus different type air dryers are designed differently so there is no one rule to cover all models.

...Still waiting to hear from someone who has found water in their tank, because they did not change their air dryer?
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Old 04-22-2021, 01:40 AM   #10
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My first RV, 2003 Itasca 32T Horizon, was driven by first owner, in the winter, in New England, a lot. Second owner drove on the east coast, a lot. I picked up in Texas, naïve, happy, new diesel driver. After one year, I noticed all sorts of drippy stuff around what I later learned was the air dryer. At about 35000 miles, 6 years old, I started having major problems with the air system, yep, the air dryer was clogged, discontinued unit, Freightliner replaced with a newer unit, no more problems.

So my new RV, only driven in rain a few times, mostly dry miles, but I was nervous. At the 5 year point, 30000 miles, I insisted that Freightliner service the air dryer. They reluctantly agreed, later said the original was nearly clean, looked like new. Now on the 11th year, still majority of dry driving, haven't given the air dryer a second thought. I hardly ever pull the lanyards on the air tanks, and when i do, only air comes out.

Just my experience.
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Old 04-22-2021, 07:43 PM   #11
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Journey39n: Is your conclusion that some types of air dryers an how they were designed have everything to do with how long they last, like forever, vs. other typed that don't make it past 40,000 miles?

I wish there was a ratings system truckers used to know which type of air dryer is better than others?

For years I kept asking every FL mechanic I got a chance to talk to, what they thought about replacing my air dryer and most didn't have the experience.

Sure they could screw on another cartridge, but none really seemed to think it was money well spent.

Journey39n: Are you saying your 2003 Itasca 32T Horizon had a substandard air dryer or there was a problem with your system that sucked in moisture and FL fixed that and replaced the air dryer at 35,000 miles?
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Old 04-23-2021, 01:20 AM   #12
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My conclusion was that driving the RV in very wet conditions resulted in an air dryer that needed to be serviced, and that driving in mostly dry conditions leads to a long life for the air dryer.

After all, they do call it an air dryer. Just my opinion of course.
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Old 04-23-2021, 08:12 AM   #13
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I'm not sure this is accurate, but when it rains the humidity in the air is 100% or close to it.

And when it is not raining in the southern states the air contains a lot of moisture (humidity) due to the winds coming from the Gulf of Mexico and Southern Atlantic.

And hot air carries more moisture than cold air.

So maybe it is a function of where you drive your RV with respect to how often (or never) you have to change your air dryer cartridge?

I hope for a definitive answer as I have no problem throwing money at my RV so long as I know it has a purpose! ...And I find it odd FL shops mechanics don't seem to care about this service that much. Maybe because there are so many different types of air dryers it's a PITA to service them in a timely manner?
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Old 04-23-2021, 08:37 AM   #14
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Depending on vocation, Bendix recommends a one-, two-, or three-year air dryer cartridge replacement on vehicles equipped with a Bendix compressor:

For severe service applications, such as residential refuse trucks or school buses, the air dryer cartridge should be replaced every year or 100,000 miles.
For pick up and delivery operations, or for double- and triple-trailer line haul trucks, every two years or 200,000 miles is recommended.
Line haul operations using a single trailer should swap the filter out every three years or 300,000 miles.
Recommended intervals for trucks equipped with non-Bendix compressors are six months (50,000 miles), one year (100,000 miles), and two years (200,000 miles), respectively.

More frequent intervals may be required depending on a vehicle’s age, its compressor condition, the operating environment, the vehicle’s vocation, and its usage. In conjunction with the guidelines, fleets can determine the functionality of their filters by checking for moisture in the air brake system monthly. If moisture is present, the air dryer cartridge may require replacement.

“In addition to the guidelines for maintenance noted, fleets who acquire used trucks should change the air dryer cartridge as part of their prep work to bring the truck into operation,” noted Fred Andersky, director of marketing – charging. “Changing the cartridge and sticking to a maintenance schedule, like our 1-2-3 approach, helps ensure long life and improved reliability of the air system, critical components, and the truck itself. Bottom line, the right air dryer and cartridge can help a fleet and owner-operator lower their operating costs.”

For more Bendix information go to:

https://www.truckinginfo.com/152756/...your-air-dryer

For us Haldex Air Dryer owners here's some information I found on this subject:

https://www.fcocrv.org/wp-content/up...aintenance.pdf

Excerpt: Freightliner Custom Chassis (for RVs) uses 2 types of air dryer’s :

The first design that was used is called the Midland Pure Air Plus this Air Dryer was used on chassis built prior to 11/28/03 and has to be serviced every 18 months.

The second design used by Freightliner Custom Chassis is called a PURest Air Dryer by Haldex, this air dryer was put on Chassis built on or after 11/28/03 and has a scheduled change interval of 36 months. Below are images of both air dryer designs on our chassis to help you determine which product you have on your RV.

Freightliner chassis are equipped, as standard equipment, with a heated automatic
moisture ejector on the wet tank. This eliminates the need to climb under the coach to drain air
and water from the tanks daily. You still must pull all three drain lanyards for 10 to 15 seconds
every 6 months to drain moisture if any from the tanks. A fine mist is normal due to
condensation. If a large amount of moisture is present it should be completely drained and the
air dryer serviced.
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Old 04-25-2021, 05:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imnprsd View Post
For years I kept asking every FL mechanic I got a chance to talk to, what they thought about replacing my air dryer and most didn't have the experience.
The responses of the FL mechanics does give a good indication of your questions about air dryers. It seems most people ignore them, unless there is a moisture problem in the system.
I have experience using air compressors, while doing high end automotive painting (Corvettes). High humidity always created a problem. It's just a natural affect of compressing, cooling, then de-compressing air.
Even Bendix mentions that you may need to service your air dryer, when you actually see higher amounts of moisture, when draining the air tanks. My opinion is that you already HAVE a problem when you see some water squirting out.
You drive in dry areas, so you are not likely to have any moisture problem, unless oil is coating the filter. The only way to REALLY know, is to remove and inspect the cartridge.
Soon, I will inspect the cartridge in my original Bendix AD-9 dryer. I may have to cut open the cartridge to see the desiccant pellets, but I'll report my findings on that 37,000 mile cartridge. Most of its life was in fairly humid conditions.
Richard
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Old 04-26-2021, 06:38 AM   #16
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Yesterday, I dismantled the original Bendix AD-9 dryer and took some photos.


The dryer has a large desiccant cartridge and a larger pressure casing around it. I found that the insides were quite clean. The area outside the cartridge is the "dry" area. I found that "dry" area to be clean and free of any signs of previous moisture. Under the cartridge is the "wet" area (see photos). There were a few small droplets of water there, but that is to be expected. That water would be expelled during the venting process. Very little or no corrosion. I would have cut open the cartridge to see the desiccant, but a warning stated "strong spring loading", so didn't do that.
My opinion is that this dryer could have gone many more miles before service would be needed. This system, on our Journey, "lived" in the southeast, but has made travels throughout the USA, including the west coast and Florida. 37,000 miles, 11 years.

I wish that I could have opened the cartridge, but it is made of fairly thick steel and there was danger from the spring loading. It's not like your common oil filter cartridge. It's designed to hold well over 100 psi.

To sum it up: Can you go over 100.000 miles before servicing? A big "PROBABLY". In mostly dry areas, almost certainly. In very humid areas, you might want to check it. I think our pressure holding tanks are the last line of defense against water. If no water is coming out of those vents, you're likely safe.
Richard
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Old 04-26-2021, 02:43 PM   #17
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Shyking: THanks for the additional informaton.

Was it difficult to service?

How long did it take to R&R?

Did you consider reinstalling the old cartridge? Is this okay?
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Old 04-27-2021, 07:30 AM   #18
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Skyking: Thanks for the additional information.

Was it difficult to service?
How long did it take to R&R?
Did you consider reinstalling the old cartridge? Is this okay?

Not too hard to service. Maybe a 3 out of 5. It is heavy. Maybe 20 Lbs. This Bendix AD-9 must be removed to do any service. The reason for that might be that it usually doesn't need any. Raising the rear of the RV makes it easier. Once out, the unit is easy to take apart, if you have something to loosen the cartridge.


I replaced the original AD-9 with a factory re-newed one, so that R&R took about 2 hours. There were 3, very tight, threaded adapters that needed to be moved to the new unit. If you were to replace the cartridge on your original AD-9, maybe 3 hours, with a likely external cleaning needed.


My reman unit had a new cartridge. If I was servicing my original unit and wanted to save the money, I could re-install the old cartridge, since there were no signs that it was worn out. For piece of mind, if I had it all apart, I would replace the cartridge.


Again, for RVs with the "spin on" desiccant filters, periodic filter replacement is probably necessary.
Here is a photo from someone's spin on filter from a 2001 RV.
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