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Thread: How do I find an air leak ?

  1. #1
    Senior Member ChanceMaster's Avatar
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    How do I find an air leak ?

    I am losing pressure from my secondary tank after sitting overnight . Seems to go down to around 50 psi. Sometimes the primary tank loses pressure as well, but not everytime. I wonder what the best way to discover the source of the air leak ? Any tips or suggestions for this mechanically inept driver would be appreciated.

    Also : During normal operation, the air pressure is as it should be. I cannot hear any obvious leaks.

    Sent from my PC36100 using EO Forums
    Last edited by ChanceMaster; 08-29-2012 at 06:25 PM.
    Team Driver for FedEx Custom Critical (White Glove)

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    Nobody travels on the road to success without a puncture or two.
    Navjot Singh Sidhu

  2. Tractor Owner-Operator$ Needed
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  4. #2
    Senior Member The Enemy's Avatar
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    Re: How do I find an air leak ?

    O.e thing you can do is get a spray bottle with soapy water and start spraying at your secondary tank, then the lines and go from there. Look for bubbles after you spray and you might find your air leak.
    moose likes this.

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  6. #3
    Senior Member ChanceMaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Enemy View Post
    O.e thing you can do is get a spray bottle with soapy water and start spraying at your secondary tank, then the lines and go from there. Look for bubbles after you spray and you might find your air leak.
    That might work, ill try it. Thanks.

    Sent from my PC36100 using EO Forums
    Team Driver for FedEx Custom Critical (White Glove)

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    Nobody travels on the road to success without a puncture or two.
    Navjot Singh Sidhu

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  8. #4
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    Re: How do I find an air leak ?

    Pin hole air leaks are like trying to find needles in a hay stack. The Enemy's way is most likely the best way. You may get lucky & hear it if you're ears are in tune.

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  10. #5
    Senior Member ChanceMaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deville View Post
    Pin hole air leaks are like trying to find needles in a hay stack. The Enemy's way is most likely the best way. You may get lucky & hear it if you're ears are in tune.
    My ears are in tune to any noise that affects the truck owners bank account or my potential to earn.

    Sent from my PC36100 using EO Forums
    Team Driver for FedEx Custom Critical (White Glove)

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    Nobody travels on the road to success without a puncture or two.
    Navjot Singh Sidhu

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  12. #6
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    I used freon at the air compressor out port and quickly tightened it back up and used my freon leak detector to find the leaks. I even found a screw into the air line leading to the roof mounted air horns that was behind interior trim, it was one you could never hear. The soapy water in a spray bottle works for the more obvious leaks. Spray all connections, exhaust ports on brake valves and any where air lines are retained by clamps.

    Scott
    Last edited by Mdbtyhtr; 08-30-2012 at 12:14 AM.
    R.E."Scott" Maclean III
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  14. #7
    Senior Member ChanceMaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mdbtyhtr View Post
    I used freon at the air compressor out port and quickly tighted it back up and used my freon leak detector to find the leaks. I even found a screw into the air line leasing to the roof mounted air horns that was behind interior trim, it was one you could never hear. The siapy water in a spray bottle works fir the more obvious leaks. Spray all connections, exhaust ports on brake valves and any where air lines are retained by clamps.

    Scott
    More good advice . I hope its not happening in an interior / inaccessible place.

    Sent from my PC36100 using EO Forums
    Team Driver for FedEx Custom Critical (White Glove)

    Expediter since 2010

    Nobody travels on the road to success without a puncture or two.
    Navjot Singh Sidhu

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  16. #8
    Senior Member The Enemy's Avatar
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    Re: How do I find an air leak ?

    Few other things i forgot to mention. Look for spots of chaffing along your air lines,, second, check your air tanks for any exterior rust or corrosion. It might be a tiny pinhole letting air slowly escape the tank..

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  18. #9
    Senior Member jjoerger's Avatar
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    Re: How do I find an air leak ?

    We found a leak on the fitting on the back of our air gauge. Heard it when I pulled the dash out to change a light bulb. Also found a pin hole on an air bag. Slow leaks are really hard to find. Soapy water works well.
    Jim and Shayne Joerger
    FedEx Custom Critical D8183

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  20. #10
    Senior Member ChanceMaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjoerger View Post
    We found a leak on the fitting on the back of our air gauge. Heard it when I pulled the dash out to change a light bulb. Also found a pin hole on an air bag. Slow leaks are really hard to find. Soapy water works well.
    Ok...didn't even think of the air bags..thanks ! Just left the truck for about 3 hours...secondary was below 50 psi. More than a pinhole I'm thinking .

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    Team Driver for FedEx Custom Critical (White Glove)

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    Nobody travels on the road to success without a puncture or two.
    Navjot Singh Sidhu

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  22. #11
    Senior Member ChanceMaster's Avatar
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    My NEXT question is : will the parking brake still hold if pressure drops in both air tanks during the night while sleeping ? I'm a little concerned. ( straight truck ) .

    Sent from my PC36100 using EO Forums
    Team Driver for FedEx Custom Critical (White Glove)

    Expediter since 2010

    Nobody travels on the road to success without a puncture or two.
    Navjot Singh Sidhu

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  24. #12
    Senior Member BigCat's Avatar
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    Yes if the pressure drops the brake will hold. That's the reason the knob pops out if it gets below 40-60 psi.
    NEW Ride!

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  26. #13
    Senior Member zorry's Avatar
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    Chance,since you asked that question, if you drop below 60 lbs or so there are large springs in your parking brakes that will lock up your brakes.
    If you're moving and have sudden large air lose,you'll be stopping,wether you want to or not. Get to the shoulder quickly.
    You'll be stopped until you can regain air pressure.
    You can bypass the spring brakes ( called caging the springbrake ) but once you release them, if you have little air you'll have zero brakes.
    Zero brakes are only fun until you have to stop.
    OOIDA # 463 ( Yeah, an old fart ). Expediting....It beats working for a living

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  28. #14
    Senior Member BigCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorry View Post
    Chance,since you asked that question, if you drop below 60 lbs or so there are large springs in your parking brakes that will lock up your brakes.
    If you're moving and have sudden large air lose,you'll be stopping,wether you want to or not. Get to the shoulder quickly.
    You'll be stopped until you can regain air pressure.
    You can bypass the spring brakes ( called caging the springbrake ) but once you release them, if you have little air you'll have zero brakes.
    Zero brakes are only fun until you have to stop.
    Yea definitely don't want to drive with caged brakes. Lol We did that when I did decked tractor loads just incase one had a slow leak. You don't want the air to leak and lock brakes up with a 4 way load.
    NEW Ride!

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  30. #15
    Senior Member ChanceMaster's Avatar
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    I thought I remembered the mention of spring brakes from driving school, but thought perhaps that was exclusive to trailer brakes. Good info everyone, thanks for all the advice. I don't know much about mechanics but really trying to learn what I need to know to keep rolling.

    Sent from my PC36100 using EO Forums
    Team Driver for FedEx Custom Critical (White Glove)

    Expediter since 2010

    Nobody travels on the road to success without a puncture or two.
    Navjot Singh Sidhu

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