To cage or not?

Discussion in 'Trucks [ Eighteen Wheelers ]' started by Timdogg, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. asavage1576

    asavage1576 Light Load Member

    Mar 18, 2013
    Now a days spring brakes are a sealed band. You can't even open them up. So I rarely ever cage a chamber. Welcome to the wonderful world of being a truck mechanic. I've been goin 5 years.
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  3. T800H

    T800H Medium Load Member

    Apr 2, 2010
    The Keys
    pay attention to the warnings here, my neighbors kid 23 y/o was killed working on a brake chamber, I don't know the details nor do I want to know, but she came crying one day to my house begging my wife to stop me from working on my brakes, days after she laid her only son to rest, when I got home my wife was crying and begged me to not work on my brakes, I explain to her how it was not supposed to be done.

    no one is prepared to bury their kids, It must've been a gruesome site, I don't even want to imagine.
    icsheeple Thanks this.
  4. mastertechs

    mastertechs Bobtail Member

    Apr 26, 2015
    Thanks for all the helpful information and advice.

    My goal is to learn as much as possible to avoid making that kind of mistake.
  5. spyder7723

    spyder7723 Road Train Member

    Mar 31, 2013
    sarasota, fl
    Cage it every time and that will be one mistake you never make.
  6. BigMike570

    BigMike570 Bobtail Member

    Apr 30, 2015
    Pottsville, PA
    New CDL driver but have worked on trucks since I was 13 with my family's heavy truck service and we also do towing.
    Have done a lot of readjusting air chambers to correct the orientation so they can match the old chamber
    Here is my take on your topic
    1. When taking apart an air chamber (only the side near the rod on a 30/30 piggyback) is the service side and we have always caged the chamber
    2. after you cage the chamber take a pair of vice-grip pliers and close them as close to the top of the chamber on the rod as you can so the service side spring doesn't surprise you when you take off the clamp
    3. there is never a good reason to attempt to take apart the emergency side of an air chamber, the emergency side spring is under tremendous pressure which is why the clamp is normally crimped on compared to the service side with you can take off.
    4. An air chamber costs about 50-75 dollars for a piggy back unless you are dealing with chambers for a disc-brake system or the new 30/60 chambers that we have seen on Freightliners which our nearby dealer doesn't stock because of their price of about 350-500 dollars depending on availability of them.
    Hope this helps and feel free to make any comments on my process described above.
  7. scotasmus

    scotasmus Bobtail Member

    Apr 28, 2015
    If you are changing entire chamber you do not have to cage but it does take the tension of the slack adjuster. If base is in good shape just change the piggyback it is much quicker. But then you have to cage. If spring is broke and you can't get caging tool in make sure you aren't in front of it when you pull that clamp.
  8. icsheeple

    icsheeple Trailing the Herd

    Nov 1, 2013
    Kansas City, KS
    I'm no mechanic, but I try. I've never done brakes myself, but it seems caging the brake chamber is quick and easy.

    I wouldn't want to be near one when it goes.
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