how to cut apart a spring brake - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    You could use the containment methods described previously and use a pipe type cutter to open the can. Similar to how they open oil filters for inspection. This would not have a kerf to pinch shut.
    Steve

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    Quick story...friend's KW has a spring brake diaphram start leaking. "Expert" tells him, "just take the clamp off and change the diaphram...I do it all the time" ("Expert" has been in the business over thirty years and, almost unbelieveably, only had service diaphrams leak). Friend knows he is doing something he shouldn't be, (neither bothers to read the warning on the can!?!) but proceeds anyway, fortunately he removes clamp while he is situated to one side of the can. "Expert" remains practically right in front of can. Lid and spring exit POST HASTE brushing friend's knee and passing close enough to "Experts" face...(he's already lost one eye to a nailing accident) that he feels it go by. Spring and lid land ONE CITY BLOCK away in a vacant lot after passing through a fairly busy intersection barely missing several cars. Lesson was learned by all...pure luck no one was maimed or killed.

  3. #23
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    Lathefan,

    Good story. You are not supposed to service the spring brakes. FOr anyone reading this post please keep in mind that I am doing this project for a manufacturer. DON'T try this on your own vehicle!!!!

    MarshSt,

    I like your idea of a giant pipe cutter. We have thought of that but I haven't given it a try yet. We were hoping to figure out method where the technician would put the brake in place, close the doors, push cycle start, and it would do its thing behind the safety of lexan doors. The pipe cutter is a "definitely maybe" at this point. Thanks again to all who have contributed to this post. I will try to keep you updated to let you know the final design and whether or not we are able to make it work. If not - no money in it for me. If so - decent money plus good reputation with the manufacturer for future work.

    Joe

  4. #24
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    You might want to look at these tools they use to open oil filters on airplane engines:
    http://www.aircraftspruce.com/menus/...ltertools.html

    There's no spring, but the cutters work pretty well.

    Roger

  5. #25
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    I say pipe cutter type mechanism, plasma cutter maybe?

  6. #26
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    well it seems as though you are intent on killing yourself, so let me give you one more piece of advice.

    go to a truck shop and find an old mechanic to take one apart for you, so you can clearly see the beast within.

    i have known two people that caught it in the face, both lived to tell about it, after a hospital stay, both to this day will never touch one again.

    the can be dismantled safely, but you need to know what you are up against, knowing is not something that some manufacture rep is going to impart upon you.

    oh yes and btw, get paid well for the trouble [img]smile.gif[/img]
    and remember there is a reason they are trying to outsource this little project.

    "not all things that can be done, should be done"


    bob g

  7. #27
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    I have found that trying to dissuade someone from attempting to do something they are determined to do is a waste of time, all the warning go unheeded and they succeed in killing or maiming themselves because they weren't secure enough about themselves to say "maybe I should just pass on this".

  8. #28
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    this is not some home shop guy trying to save a buck. there trying to dissasemble for warrenty inspection. a real requirment. pasma cutting would nearly destroy it. pipe cutter aproach sounds good. no heat, do contamination and not jammable. any swarft found in side is clearly due to the manufacturere not your inspection prosess to. i think the dangers have been made clear anough, but i think its just a simple case of clamp, cut, then relise spring pressure slowly. then machine opens. very doable safly to me.

  9. #29
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    I'm going to go ahead and join the crowd that knows everything, assumes that Joe Miranda is an idiot and has no problem with repeatedly over-emphasizing the clearly stated warnings plastered on the devices in question, bringing to mind the phrase, "you have an astounding grasp of the obvious."

    What disturbs me is that there could be one who might respond thusly;
    Any competent mechanic could easily devise a fool-proof method of containment that would provide a 10 to 1 safety factor over the energy contained in a moderately strong spring, featuring safety interlocks that unfailingly respond to any pressure application.

    You'd think the finger-waving crowd was placing the need for releasing the energy in a spring on par with say, driving a Corvette at 150 MPH. NEVER EVER EVEN LOOK AT A CORVETTE, 'cause Corvettes weigh let's say 3,500 lbs, (did you add fuel and passengers?) and 150 MPH is 132FPS, stir that all together with all those concrete bridge abutments and you can easily see that the near instantanious release of some 60 million FPE would really ruin your day. I can't even think about the potential destructive energy in those diabolical devices known as airliners at 40,000 feet, wont even go near an airport.


    OK Joe, enough fun, no doubt you can easily provide adequate containment and work out a method of maintaining alignment while using the debrisless, (made that up) pipe cutter method to separate the can halves and then slowly releasing the energy through a hydraulic bleed-down in total safety. Jeez, sometimes you'd think no one had ever had a need to operate or analyze a device that contains some energy. Think of those fools at Lawrence-Livermore and Fermilab.

    Always searching for perspective, Bob

  10. #30
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    Joe, after thinking about it for a moment, it seems to me that a ridgid assembly on a heavy ring gear, (truck flywheel/torque converter?), confined with three heavy flanged guidewheels, displaced at 120°, inside the ring and a hydraulic motor geared to the ring gear, (modify the Bendix gear) with the assembly carrying a commercially available, (read easily replacable) circular cutter, (Ridgid makes them) and advance the cutter with a star wheel, would be up to the task and leave the containment of the bottom of the can accessable.

    If you replace that (IMO, inadequate) pneumatic system with hydraulic, you'll already have the power source for the hydraulic motor.

    Is that the class of response that you were looking for? :rolleyes:

    Bob

  11. #31
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    That's the kind of thing I was also thinking about as I read through this string. Some sort of circular drive/guide for the cutting mechanism, which then orbits the assembly being dismantled, behind a fair amount of polycarbonate safety shielding. Conceptually sounds right, but the practical details would need careful working out.

    "What could possibly go wrong?"

  12. #32
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    please consider this as well

    when the spring is good the force is relatively straight, but when the spring is broken it can be off to the side,

    don't assume that because the spring is broken that the tension is dramatically reduced, it could be broken near on end and not in the middle and still have in excess of 3000 lbs force contained.

    if you are going to cut one apart, (and i assume that because this is a warranty investigation so the units should not be overly corroded)use the cageing bolt to cage the spring if possible, if you cannot cage the spring, i wouldnt do open it.

    i am still left asking why they dont open these in house, or go to their manufacture and have them open them. but i think we all no the answer why,,,, liability!!

    let someone else kill themselves ,,, its the corporate way.

    bob g

  13. #33
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    Geez. I've realized that there are two types of people on this forum. Those that get things done and those that tell you 100 reasons why you shouldn't do it. I see this over and over again. You shouldn't do this, can't repair a gas line, can't work with electricity, can't make a wheel spacer, yada yada yada. We are so damn lucky that the Chinese have stepped up to the plate and volunteered to make all this stuff for us since we obviously have lost the ability to do it ourselves!

    When someone asks for advice on this forum I assume that the person is a competent individual, not some moron who needs his hand held as he goes through his life. Not everyone has experience in every field so if something out of the ordinary pops up the smart thing to do is to ask advice. Some of us do and the usual suspects jump down that persons throat thinking he is an idiot.

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  15. #34
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    Maybe off topic a bit, but I am surprised by the number of responses saying, in effect, Throw the bomb over the wall and let someone else get killed by it. If these things are so dangerous, how come you are just throwing them in the scrap where they are an accident waiting to happen to somebody else? Why not give a thought to a safe disposal method, one that isn't setting up a trap for someone who doesn't even know there is a spring in those things, let alone one big enough to be lethal?

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    What about a pneumatic/hydraulic 2piece interlocking cage (read: Heavy Steel) with a rotissery clamp through the middle to hold the can. A slot in the cage just large enough for the debrisless (I know he made it up but I like it too) cutting wheel and spin the sucker till it's cut then as the cage un-interlock (made that one up) the spring energy is released.

    How long is the spring anyhow? just make sure the cage is long enough to contain it until it reaches it's full extension.


    oh yeah, and be careful, I've heard rumors that these things can be dangerous.

  17. #36
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    Just a quick thought from a novice. Instead of Pnu/Hyd compression, why not use a screw with a gearmotor drive? If the Pnu/Hyd system fails they both release completly, if a gearmotor fails it still holds the spring in compression. Just a thought.

  18. #37
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    I have not read over the previous posts so forgive me if someone suggested this already. Years ago I sold a shop a good sized turret lathe [a W+W 2A IIRC] for rebuilding torque converters. These required a clean cut so they could be rewelded and a way to drain the oil etc. the turret lathe was perfect because it was able to hold everything in place, catch the oil, cut etc and it was a cheap lathe for the swing requred. The relevant point here is that a turret lathe has very powerfull thust on the ram, ie, I remember that at W+S #3 can exert 2 or 3000 pounds for drilling etc and it must be 10,000 pounds for a 2A. Seeing that you can pick up a turret lathe cheap and the bigger the cheaper, seems like a good start for a custom modified machine where the bulk of the work and the expensive work will be already done.

    [ 01-11-2007, 03:33 PM: Message edited by: surplusjohn ]

  19. #38
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    Thanks to all the "can do" responses. The rest of you ... hope you never need a job in my neck of the woods. It's dangerous ... no s..t! So is getting out of bed in the morning! I was asking for suggestions on how to do it - not whether I should do it. I didn't pick this trade up in my spare time. I have been in this business - yes it is a legitimate business - for 30 years. Sheesh!

    Joe

  20. #39
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    Joe, us Ohioans are used to getting things done. Elyria and Youngstown were steel towns and you can't turn rocks into steel if you are aftaid of a little danger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stu Miller View Post
    Maybe off topic a bit, but I am surprised by the number of responses saying, in effect, Throw the bomb over the wall and let someone else get killed by it. If these things are so dangerous, how come you are just throwing them in the scrap where they are an accident waiting to happen to somebody else? Why not give a thought to a safe disposal method, one that isn't setting up a trap for someone who doesn't even know there is a spring in those things, let alone one big enough to be lethal?
    Yes this is an old thread, but if I found it, others will too. I have a customer that is a mechanic at a garbage dump. One of their dozer drivers hit a can that someone had thrown in the trash, the spring went through his chest and killed him. Here's what I do..... there is a manmade pond deep in the woods. I throw them into the pond. It will take 5 or 10 years, but the can will rust out, and release the spring tension. If anything, the spring will end up a few feet into the mud. The likelihood of someone getting hit by the spring is infinitely small.


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