I have a 1987 Winnebago Chieftain on a Deere Chassis. 460 motor. From what Ive been able to gather this unit has an auto

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Customer: I have a 1987 Winnebago Cheiftain on a John Deere Chassis. 460 motor. From what Ive been able to gather this unit has an auto parking brake that is supposed to engage when you put the unit in Park. However is doesnt work. There is no pedal to push or handle to pull to set the brake. There is a cable operated "Park Release" on the dash.
When I have the unit running and in Park, the "Parking Brake" light is lit on the dash however the unit will still roll. I put the unit in gear, pull the release and can then drive off. Stop, put the unit in Park and the light will come back on but again no brake/park. The unit will roll.
So what is this system even called and what are some things I should be looking for to try and fix this problem? I dont even know what to ask for when I tell people about it.
Totally lost can anyone shed some light on this for me?

Thanks!!
Answered by Jeff Myers in 2 hours 13 years ago
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Jeff Myers
8+ years of experience
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22 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Auto Body Technician, Heavy Equipment Repairs, Heavy Duty Engine Repairs, Brake and Transmission Repairs

Customer

Sir,
I am not aware of an Auto Park Brake feature on the John Deere Chassis with the Ford 460. This was a chevrolet setup and is actually called the "Auto Park Brake Assembly", The cable operated park brake that is on your dash is your actual park brake and should engage when the cable is pulled. If it is not, then there is another problem. When you pull the cable, there should be pressure against it. If not, have someone inside the motorhome work the park brake and you observe it from the underside. The park brake should be a large drum on the back of your transmission. There is a cable going to the drum that activates the brake. Have the person inside pull the lever and from underneath, see if you notice the cable moving. If so, you may just need to have the brakes adjusted or they are worn out. This is a difficult but most Ford places will tell you that the unit is not serviceable and needs to be replaced, this is untrue. If you can find a repair facility that is familiar with the larger Ford trucks, F550 and F650, they should be able to fix it for under 400 dollars.

Hope this helps and gets you going in the right direction.

Thank you for your question and support.

Regards,

Jeff Myers
Customer

ok, perhaps some more information. The pull knob on the dash is clearly marked "Park Release". When I put the unit in gear you can fell it lunge a bit and it WONT roll until I pull that release. The release cannot be pulled out and "set" like a brake, there is a spring that keeps it in the "in" position. So when I pull the release the Park light goes out and the unit can then be driven. Whats happening is the brake just isnt holding at Park. Is there an adjustment or something I can do??
Also and here is another important part. When I place the unit in Park, the "Auto Park Brake " light comes on automatically. I dont have to push or pull anything is just does it.
Does any of this help?
It sure does. If you have an "Auto Park Brake" light, then you should have an Auto Park Brake. Underneath the motor home located inside the frame rail on the passenger side, to the rear of the transmission, there should be a large black box with a large "cable" running to it. This is the auto park brake mechanism. When the coach is put into park, this unit should actuate and pull the park brake to engage. If you put the coach in park and do not hear a "thud", then it is not working. When the coach is placed into gear, the mechanism should release, sounds like a hydraulic cylinder unwinding.
Inside that black box underneath is a small hydraulic cylinder that contains fluid to activate the system. Remove the cover from the black box and inspect this container. It has a hydraulic motor mounted to the top of it. Ways to troubleshoot this system are:
1. Remove the plug from the motor and apply 12V and ground directly to the wires going to the motor. See if it actuates. If so, then check the relay and the pressure maintenance switch located in the box. The switch is mounted to the side of the hydraulic tank and the relay is on the back wall of the box. These switches have a tendancy to leak causing the system to not work.
2. This system is also affected by the neutral safety switch. Make sure that the safety switch has power going into it and out (when in gear). It is located at the base of the steering column.
If all this appears to be working correctly, the only other issue is going to be the adjustment of the brake pads inside the drum that is located on the back of the transmission. This is a very difficult process and can be dangerous if done by a novice. If none of the above works, then I suggest taking it to dealer who is knowledgeable about this unit and see what the price is to repair. It should run somewhere around 300 to 500 dollars depending on what they find wrong with pads.
The park brake knob that is on your dash should actuate the system just as if you were putting the unit into park. If the brake is holding when you pull the brake switch on the dash and not when you put the unit into park, then I would look at the neutral safety switch. It is bypassed by the switch on the dash and works with the gear shifter.

I sure hope this gets you going. If I helped then please let me know. I have some schematics that I can get you in a couple of hours.

Thanks,

Jeff Myers
Any extra information on your coach would be extremely helpful. If I could get the VIN number and the Date of Manufacturer on the coach it would help. Your system may be one of few John Deere Motorhomes that have the electric actuated emergency brake system.

Thank you,

Jeff Myers
Customer
Hey Jeff sorry I didnt get back to you sooner but I didnt get a chance to work on the RV yesterday. Im going to try the things you told me and see where that gets me. Im thinking now its just a matter of adjustment and heres why.
Yesterday I tried to drive the unit but forgot to pull the Park Release and it was lagging just like a brake was stuck which of course would be normal if the thing was working right? So I then pulled the release and off I went. This tells me and correct me if Im wrong, that the system is in fact working, just not holding enough to actually Park the unit in place. What do you think?

Thanks!!

Jim

Jim,
That is what it sounds like to me as well. Be careful when adjusting these. I hope it all works. Have a great evening and let me know how it goes. Thanks for using Just Answer for your RV needs.

Regards,

Jeff Myers
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