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Author Topic: Can I convert to regular brake chambers from Rotochambers?  (Read 4117 times)
belfert
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« on: September 11, 2011, 04:35:52 PM »

Rotochambers are ridiculously expensive and apparently can be hard to find on the road at times.  Clifford said the Dina brakes are big enough that Rotochambers should not be necessary.  The price of a single rotochamber is high enough that I could replace every brake chamber on my bus with standard ones for the cost of one rotochamber.

Would regular chambers just bolt on to replace the rotochambers?  Would any shop do this job?  I find most shops for liability reasons won't touch air brakes except to return them to 100% operating condition as the vehicle came from the manufacturer.

Just a single rotochamber for my front brakes ranges in price from $425 to $775 depending on where purchased.   I couldn't find rotochambers at Ryder Fleet Products where Clifford says he has purchased them before.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2011, 05:29:08 PM »

If you want to bring your bus to Lakeland, FL. I'm sure John would do the conversion at central FL bus repair. He does a lot of repower engine jobs, tranny swaps, and brake jobs. He has pits big enough for the whole length of your bus and a man there that knows how to do what you're wanting done. You just have to get it here and the good part is, you can stay in the bus while the work is being done!
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Ace Rossi
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luvrbus
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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2011, 06:02:42 PM »

They are not that hard to change out Brian and I am sure John would do it, if you come to AZ I help you change over.
You don't even change brackets the regular chambers will use the same bolt pattern,same relays,same slack adjusters and same foot valve.
The Roto came and went it left faster than it came  all you need to watch is the chamber size if you have a 3030 Roto replace it with a 3030 adjustments for the throw are the same so buy the same length push rod you have cam operated brakes and both types work on the cams type
You will never see those on a highway truck or trailer you don't see Roto's on off road equipment any longer they all went to wet disk brakes in the last 10 years.
Roto chambers must be a Mexican thing when the Mexican owned Eagle they gave it a try but all those were changed I haven't seen Eagle with Roto chambers since the mid 90's.It is a very easy change

good luck   
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belfert
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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2011, 06:12:12 PM »

A somewhat related question.  My maintenance manual says the rear brake chambers are MGM TS-T3030.  I can't even find any TS series chambers on the MGM website.  Any ideas what these are?

I wish I had known about whole rotochamber thing before I paid $525 for a new one on the front last week.  The shop called for authorization to spend $500 on a brake chamber and I couldn't understand why it cost so much at the time.  I could probably have had regular type 16s on both sides for less than $300 including labor if the shop would have installed them.  (MCI wants $775 for the same rotochamber!)

I'm learning a lot about air brakes.  My Bendix air brake training DVD came yesterday and I will watch it later this week.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2011, 06:20:22 PM »

installing brake chambers is about as easy as it gets.  I know they are a huge safety item but really this is easier than most things on a bus.  Sounds like the rotos out is a straight swap, just do it yourself, once you do one you will see how easy it is and realizr there is no danger in you changing them
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« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2011, 06:25:27 PM »

Brian, so you have regular spring brakes on the drive the TS T3030 is a spring not a Roto chamber I think the new model is TR-TS or TS-TR lol

good luck
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belfert
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« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2011, 07:35:16 PM »

I was just checking MCI's online parts store and they do not list the spring brake chamber as a rotochamber.  They do list it as a type 36 while the manual says it is a 3030. MCI wants $420 for it.  I'm hoping I don't need any more brake chambers at this time.  If I do I want to be prepared with less expensive options.

Brake chambers are not a big deal to install, but my concern is that I wouldn't know how to adjust things after I replaced the chamber.  That is what I need a shop for right now.  I won't be going to the Bendix training class until 2012.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2011, 10:37:23 AM »

Brian I'm pretty sure that my Dina has been changed over from Roto Chambers all the way around.
I know the drives have 36/36 chambers as I recently replaced one.
I can see if I can get you #'s for the steers & tags this afternoon since I will be working on that bus this afternoon.
Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2011, 10:51:04 AM »

Brian I just called NAPA and verified what I got from him was.

They were MBI (Midland Brake Inc.) GC36/36 my cost was $146. List cost is $194.  (MCI wanted like $600+ for them)
That was for the drives. Like I said when I get "Dino" in the shop this afternoon, I will check and see if I can get a part #, size or something! I know they are regular chambers not "Roto" chambers!
Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
www.kylakesidetravel.net

Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
belfert
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« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2011, 12:08:58 PM »

They were MBI (Midland Brake Inc.) GC36/36 my cost was $146. List cost is $194.  (MCI wanted like $600+ for them)
That was for the drives. Like I said when I get "Dino" in the shop this afternoon, I will check and see if I can get a part #, size or something! I know they are regular chambers not "Roto" chambers!

Interesting.  The Dina maintenance manual says they used MGM type 3030 brake chambers on the drives.  The MCI parts online store shows it as a type 36 which appears to be correct based on what you are saying.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2011, 12:45:11 PM »

Brian : prob dumb question here? would your axle weight make a difference to what size replacement chambers you use? if so I can ck see what is on the front of the 89 with 11,400 on front axle.  Mine seems to be well balanced.   Bob
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
belfert
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« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2011, 12:56:54 PM »

I would probably stick with the same size normal chambers as the rotochambers.  My front axle has been weighed and is right around 11,000 lbs if I remember correctly.  It sounds like BK is going to look at what size chambers his Dina has as he doesn't have rotochambers on his.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2011, 03:15:08 PM »

Replace them size for size, according to what is supposed to be on the coach.

And all busnuts be warned:

Are the current lengths of the push rods correct, or just what the last KNOB did to the coach?

The push rods should be cut so that a well adjusted brake shows close to 90 degrees in angle between the pushrod and the slack adjuster.

Too many busnuts have spent good money buying new chambers and then followed the predecessor, cutting them wrong.

Mythbusters: This measurement has also been mistakenly adopted in the past as a check for brake adjustment. The driver is at the mercy of the last installing mechanic, and the effect of a few degrees is quite a travel of the push rod. All together, a foolish and uninformed move by some important folks who should have known better than to advocate this for drivers.

happy coaching!
buswarrior

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belfert
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« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2011, 08:01:01 PM »

Replace them size for size, according to what is supposed to be on the coach.

Are you saying I must replace with rotochambers or just that if I choose to use regular brake chambers they must be the same size as the originals?  I would certainly use the same size chambers as the originals. 

The confusion comes on the spring brakes.  The manual says the original brake chambers are 3030, but Bryce says his are 3636 and the part number MCI sells says it is type 36 also.  I would be confident I have type 36 on my bus now.

I'm not sure my chambers have ever been replaced.  My bus is a 1995 that was taken out of commercial service no later than August 2003.  I bought the bus in April 2006 and it only had just over 300,000 miles at that time.  The brakes needed all new shoes and drums when I bought it as the operator did zero work on the bus apparently.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2011, 05:52:21 AM »

Sorry, I was indicating matching size is important, style of chamber is not.

The issue is that the strength of brake application be similar to what was intended by the manufacturer for brake balance and proper stopping. You don't want one end or the other to be doing a disproportionate amount of work.

And, to muddy the waters further, you may consider long stroke chambers as well, if they will fit.

In deciding whether you need to go with 30/30 or 36/36, you'll need to know what size the linings are, and how heavy you are going to ever be, so someone smart at the brake manufacturer can advise as to which might be the right one, or they might know the reasoning for the conflict between the book and MCI parts.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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