How to: Replace Gladhand Seals

John Baxter | April 02, 2011

Keep your air dry for better braking

Cracks or broken pieces indicate a gladhand seal replacement is needed.

Gladhands connect downstream of the dryer, so failing to care for them will allow moisture into the system and cause trouble. Replacing rubber seals before they are too old and brittle will protect your air compressor and air dryer desiccant. This also increases braking ability.





1.  When using colored seals, put the proper color (red for parking brake lines, blue for service brakes) in each type of gladhand connector.



2.  The two main types of seals are those with a convex outside surface and flat ones. The seal type varies with the gladhand type, but some are universal. The sealing surface is to the right on the convex-type seal and to the left on flat-surface seals. The portion that goes inside the gladhand is larger than the sealing portion on flat-faced seals, but small on convex seals.

3.  Seals can be removed easily by prying gently with a screwdriver. Don’t probe too far or pry too hard, as you could damage gladhand surfaces. If there is any evidence of dirt or rubber sticking to the groove on the gladhand in the air hole where the seal is installed, use a paper towel or clean rag to wipe it.

4.  Install the new seal by positioning the mounting half of the seal toward the air hole in the gladhand and aligning it squarely with the hole. Press inward all around the sealing surface to force the mounting half to lock into the groove in the gladhand. Turn the seal around a bit once in its place to ensure a proper seal.

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