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Old 08-14-2015, 07:54 AM   #1
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75 Bluebird All American air brakes?

Bus has been sitting a while, 8 years or so.

I can't seem to disengage the brakes? Lowered the manual lever and pushed the parking brake release button on the dash, but seems like the brakes are still engaged?

Any suggestions or releasing them or something to check?

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Old 08-14-2015, 08:03 AM   #2
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If there are no air leaks you can hear and you have pressure, the brake shoes are probably rusted to the drums, pretty much have to hit them with a hammer to get them free
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Old 08-14-2015, 09:03 AM   #3
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Not uncommon for rigs with airbrakes to have them rustweld to the drums. Try a little light rocking back and forth in FWD & REV gears. Nothing radical...just a little. If they don't free up, then you may have to pull the rim and bang the drums. If that doesn't work, the next level involves removing the drums...which, if they are rusted badly, may be necessary for cleanup anyway.

Good luck with it and let us know how it goes.
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Old 08-14-2015, 10:56 AM   #4
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I'll try the rocking, I don't have the equipment to pull the rims and drums...probably need a 1 inch drive air wrench? 20 ton jack?

If I do get the rim off, how hard can I bang the drums? I'm thinking a metal sledge? Don't think a rubber mallet will do too much...

How do I get the drum off?

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Old 08-14-2015, 12:11 PM   #5
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Bang on the backside(inside edge) of the drum....BFH works the best
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Old 08-14-2015, 10:32 PM   #6
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As to a jack the only jack I see in the Bluebird parts catalog is
a 12 ton. You can also obtain a torque multiplication lug wrench
set off of e-bay for under $75.00 which requires very little
strength to operate, just a lot of motion. You can usually see
the back end of the brake shoes and the actuator shaft from
the back side of the drums so if someone applies the park brake
while you watch you should see the actuator operate but the
brake shoes pull away from the drums with spring pressure only.
Before you get under the vehicle it is imperative that it be very
securely blocked up. Don't rely on the jack only!
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Old 08-15-2015, 12:25 PM   #7
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20 ton bottle jacks are cheap.

Don't use jack stands, use large pieces of wood to hold up your bus.

Wood will not sink into the ground, or collapse from being overloaded.

"Don't argue with stupid people. They will just drag you down to their level, and beat you up with experience."

Patently waiting for the apocalypses to level the playing field in this physiological game of life commonly known as Civilization
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Old 08-15-2015, 02:31 PM   #8
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To hit the backside of the rear drums, just lay under the bus, no need to jack it up
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Old 08-15-2015, 02:51 PM   #9
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If that does not work
Look into the age of the air brake lines
The lining might have collapsed and is blocking the pressure release from the brakes my 86 had the right front that wanted to hang up after sitting for months and after rebuilding everything I still had the problem? DA
I ended up with the lining in the air line to the brake collapsed (short flexible) at each front wheel
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Old 08-31-2015, 06:09 AM   #10
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Thanks for the suggestions, got side tracked for a while. The engine started running lean and would only run with full throttle. As soon as I tried to rock it, it would bog and die if I didn't let go of the accelerator.
Put filter in the gas line and rebuilt the carb, which is an odd Holley with a vacuum governor on it. Because I thought there was rust in the tank, lines but still had the same issue. When I first started, the gas gauge showed empty so I assumed the tank was empty, but I finally noticed the gas coming out was dark amber must have been 8 year old gas...I drained the tank, had over 50 gallons of gas come out...and some black tarry sludge at the very end...(got really lucky a gas station down the street was willing to take it). Put 5 gallons of gas in and it still wouldn't run, no gas, put in another 5 and it was started running nice...

So back to the original issue, banged with a BFH and no luck...spent 15 minutes rocking it in forward still no luck. But, I noticed that if I put the parking brakes on, the bus wouldn't rock at all. So I put it in reverse, after about 10 minutes of rocking in reverse it freed up!!!

Now have to deal with the old tires, has split rims on them. Read somewhere that it was better to put on budd rims. Any difference in tire price? Anywhere to get cheap tires in New Jersey?

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air, brakes, handbrake

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