Brake chambers are often used to turn the air pressure in a brake system into a force which can halt large vehicles. However, like any car part, these can get worn over time and malfunction, risking the entire system. Installing replacements can be done by an individual, however not for the complete novice. You will require some auto knowledge, the right tools, and a guide to follow like this one under.
PREPARE YOUR WORK AREA
The first thing that you will have to do is prepare your work area. Ensure that the car is on a level surface, and keep wheel chocks underneath the wheels. Then, locate a place underneath the damaged brake chamber.
REMOVE BRAKE CHAMBER
Take the chamber caging tool (T-tool) off with a 3/4-inch wrench; from there, you can thus take the plug off from behind the chamber itself. You will have to push in the caging tool as far as it will have to go behind the brake chamber. Then, turn it clockwise until you sense it lock. Continue to do this until the tool cannot be pulled out. Tighten the nut of the caging tool afterward with your wrench.
There will be cotter pins that will have to be removed from the clevis pins next. From there, you will have to get the slack adjuster released. Also, detach all of the air lines as well as the fittings with your crescent wrench.
Once you have done this, there are two mounting nuts that need to be taken off from the brake chamber in order to take it out and set it aside.
PREPARE ROD DISPOSAL
At this point, the nut in the caging tool can be unscrewed and the jam nut taken out from the chamber rod with a pair of channel locks. Take the clevis off the chamber rod at this point too. This will let you measure the base of the brake chamber to this rod. Write down the results for later use.
TRIM NEW CHAMBER ROD
Secure the new chamber into a table vise, and extend the chamber rod, measure it out to match your last length. Create a mark on the rod where you want to cut with a soap stone. Then, cut off the excess with a hacksaw. Some work with a metal file should smooth out any rough edges left. Rethread the clevis afterwards until it is seen on both ends.
REINSTALL CAGE TOOL
Reposition under the vehicle with the new brake chamber. The caging tool has to be placed behind the brake chamber, so start by turning the caging tool again until it locks. If it does not pull out, it is not right. Then, put the nut back in and tighten it completely.
PUT THE BRAKE CHAMBER IN
Position the brake chamber with the holes against mounting bracket so you can tighten the mounting nuts to the stud. Reconnect the air lines to the chamber, and put the clevis pins and cotter pins back in place. Read manufacturers’ instructions afterwards if you require any help with brake adjustment, or consult a mechanic.