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TexasSkunk

Freightliner FRED Parking Brake

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Parking Brake Lockup on Freightliner FRED

I have a 2007 Tiffin Allegro Bay on a Freightliner FRED (front engine diesel) chassis. While driving yesterday I noticed a sudden decrease in engine power and the brake light started flashing. Checked service brakes and they were still working OK. Being on a narrow Hill Country Texas 2 lane with no place to pull over, I had to keep driving. Finally found a place to safely stop. When I did I found a heavy brake burning smell and smoke coming from the area of the rear of the transmission.

After calling Freightliner Customer service and explaining the problem, they immediately knew what the problem was. The parking brake (PB) is a spring actuated band that clamps around a disk located on the driveshaft immediately behind the transmission and is automatically actuated when shifting into park. This band is held open by hydraulic pressure when the transmission is shifted out of park into a drive gear. Something broke and stopped the hydraulic pressure so the spring actuated band closed on the drive shaft disk, effectively applying the parking brake while I was driving.

Solution: A 60 mile tow to Freightliner Austin for repairs. Oh, it gets better. The broken parts are no longer available (This is a 2007 Freightliner Chassis) so the transmission gets pulled, the entire parking brake assembly is removed and replaced by a mechanical PB setup and a foot actuated pedal is installed in the drivers compartment. Like a passenger car. So now, apparently, shifting into park will be the same as neutral with no braking action and I have to remember to manually set the new PB by pressing down the foot pedal.

Yeah, this ought to be fun, having to remember to set a manual parking brake every time I stop and release it before moving.

Freightliner is supposed to supply the parts but guess who gets to pay for the labor? R&R of a transmission, R&R of a parking brake assembly and blacksmithing a foot peddle in a space not designed for a foot pedal. Will update when I find out that this disaster cost me.

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TexasSkunk,

Thanks for the information.

I have to ask: Could a Air Brake button and setup, like the ones used on the majority of Class AD coaches be used; instead of trying to come up with a floor pedal?

You have air ride and it sure would a lot simpler to make a air cylinder bracket to replace the failed mechanical system. IMHO

Well ! Brett just set me straight about no air on board !

My bad !! Would have lost some money on this one.

A call to Freightliner Customer service might be in order though and see what is going on.

Rich.

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Thanks Brett, Made a change in my post.

Real hard for me to except the fact that they would not have parts and need to change the system with what sounds like a Rube Goldberg repair and have the owner have to cover the total labor for the rework.

I have a feeling that some other chassis builder just might jump on this one. The fact that the Fred Chassis has a Diesel powered drive train that offer a number of advantages in bridging the gap between the Gas and Larger diesel coaches.


Rich.

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All above is right. No air, All hydraulic. This "fix" came from the Freightliner customer service line. The situation was definitely not new to them so there must be many more Fred's out there with parking brake problems. Freightliner, Austin now has Fred. Will know more Monday and will post results. I have filed and NTIHAS complaint which will probably lead to nothing.

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As Freightliner take over the majority of the chassis building for our coaches, this is what we will be getting. i don't know if Spartan is any better. I would check if I'm was in the market for another coach.

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I know its a little late for your situation, but there are electric actuated, disc style driveshaft brake systems out there.

Why was it necessary to pull the transmission on your rig? If the brake is on the driveshaft should have been able to R & R that by itself??

Am I missing something on the FRED chassis setup ?

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Part of the rework by Freightliner is to install a parking brake pin in the Allison 2000 transmission that engages when the push button drive selected in placed in Park. Then you have to remember to step on the foot actuated replacement parking brake peddle on the left side of the drivers area. Gee, just like the family sedan. Oh and guess what? Remember the service brake recall on the service brakes for this unit? Where the brake pad was dragging on the rotor? Yeah, mine went in for that recall but now it has also failed. So not only do I have a parking brake not working, I have a left rear rotor that has turned blue and the antilock brake switch is a crispy critter. Three weeks in Freightliner-Austin and I am no closer to having my motorhome back than I was when it was towed in in July 10. The total bill before any Freightliner rebates is at $11,000. Questionable as to how much they are going to pay. Having a great Summer! Glad you are not here!

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