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Old 05-16-2015, 06:22 PM   #1
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2001 Alpine and earlier " brake feel".

Well I finally got all my new Calipers and pin kits...and installed them yesterday and today.


I also had to replace the sensors...three were melted and one had a blink code...so I replaced them all.

The brake pads were all in great shape (only 50K miles on the coach...all highway miles practically I'm told prior to my ownership).

Everything seems to work. It stops good...and no abs lights after running it down the road a couple of miles and back.

BUT..the five years I've owned this coach the brakes have always felt a little weird. I won't say spongy...just not much resistance when you mash them ...but it brakes gently and easily at about half pedal...under normal conditions.

I guess you could ram them hard and get close to the floor...but it would definitely stop quickly.

If it was anything else then spongy would probably describe it ...but most spongy brakes don't stop well at all.

It has the two piston Bosh or Bendix calipers. Are these supposed to be FIRM? Mine never have been...

How would you describe your "brake feel" ?? (...two piston caliper, RV owner replies please (apples and apples ...lol).

The two piston calipers were mostly on 2000 and earlier Alpines ...but there were a few in early 2001 (like mine).

I'm very curious how everyone else's brake pedal feels with this two piston caliper set up?


Thanks...
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Old 05-16-2015, 09:06 PM   #2
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Stan I don't remember if you also replaced the Master Cylinder, if you did, you may need to adjust the pedal bell crank at the master cylinder to get the pedal to engage sooner.
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Old 05-16-2015, 09:51 PM   #3
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Hi Dave..


No I didn't replace the master cylinder...yet, lol! I just did the upgrade that should have been done long ago with the Caliper replacements. What does a master cylinder for one of these rigs cost I wonder?


I'm a little concerned that 3 of the sensors were toast. It seems unlikely that all the calipers would all get hot ..even at different times without a common denominator linking them together somehow..


I didn't know any of them had been hot till the brakes faded and the right front wheel was hot to the touch a couple of weeks ago going to the Pate Swap Meet...and then the left front got VERY hot on the way home afterwards (40 miles). However it hadn't been driven since last September.

Now..everything seems normal on the two mile test run , except for the strange pedal feel it's always had, ...but I haven't put it out on the long road yet.


I hope the new calipers and pins, and brake fluid replacement is the end of issues for a while...BUT I have my doubts that it will be.


Thanks
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Old 05-17-2015, 07:39 AM   #4
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Again, try doing a search of brake issues on this forum--you will be surprised as to the amount of history and information that is available. There are basically two "threads" that run thru the forum--1] is for older slide-pin calipers-- some degree of annual maintenance [ie, greasing] is required on the slide pin calipers to maintain function, along with brake fluid change and flush every couple of years to prevent moisture build-up. 2] concerns the newer adjustable pedal models--upgrading the M/C, periodic changing of hydraulic and brake fluids, and atleast one recommendation to swap out the rubber OEM brake lines for steel braided.......
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:09 AM   #5
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I wouldn't say our brakes feel 'spongy'. There is a different 'feel' (to me anyway) to air over hydraulic brakes.

I'd say your fortunate to have made it home to address your brake failures. Our first time was coming out of the White Mtns towards Phoenix. Had to be towed to a Freightliner dealer in Phoenix where they held my wallet for ransom for nearly $5K. And I have my reservations about the quality of work performed since we had a repeat performance the next year just prior to a Sierra fishing trip.

A mobile HD diesel service took care of the second instance and we've been trouble free since (knocking on wood!) I do have the fluid changed and the brakes serviced every other year though - we've had our coach for close to thirteen years now.

Ours is a 36' 2000 mid-door, single slide model with just under 60K miles.
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:30 AM   #6
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Hi Scout..and thanks for helping out, you've always been a big contributor on this Forum.

As you suggested I've been looking for two weeks thru the forum threads...much of which is is repetitive.....and could be summarized as you did in a couple of paragraphs.

I'm having trouble navigating the forum site for some reason. I don't know if it's my software or the site especially the search functions. In fact it wont let me make paragraphs on this post right now?


The search function is burning up hours and the coach hits the road very soon...and I'm out of time.

Any way I'm trying to get some specific "pedal feel" answers...rather replace parts that may not change anything. It may already be as good as it gets.


( I had to post the thread then go back and edit to get the paragraph spacing???)


Thanks
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:50 AM   #7
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I've just about decided to bleed the system again...4 quarts thru it the last time. I used an air bleeder the first time..and decided that I didn't trust that method on this coach with the backup brake pressure pump. Then I bled it the conventional way, by having someone pump them up and hold while I released the pressure at each wheel bleeder. They were bled rr, lr, rf ...lf, in that order.

I just don't have any confidence the problem is fixed after working on cars for 50 years (plus)...including working nights in 1972 at a International Truck dealership to help fund my startup cost on my day time garage business.


Gut feeling I guess...unless they all feel like this one (which has felt like this since I bought it).


So I'd appreciate it if someone would describe exactly how their sliding pin brakes feel.


I'm pretty darn sure air in the system is not a problem...but I have seen one or two systems that were tough to get the last little bit purged. Maybe this is one of those ...if everyone else has firm or solid brake pedal.


Now that I have the equipment to handle the wheel weight...pulling the wheels is a 15 minute job per side...and bleeding the rears isn't quite as hard on me. I hate trying to reach the bleeders under the coach... and I won't get under it without lots of heavy support precautions. The crawling part is what is hard on me...knees are not what they used to be....and all the getting up and down is painful.


Thanks
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Old 05-17-2015, 10:03 AM   #8
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No problems here Stan--perhaps I go a bit overboard encouraging owners to use the forum as a resource tool rather than a "QandA" session. With regard to brake issues, and other issues too, it continues to amaze me how disparate the views of Alpine owners are about explaining symptoms and advocating solutions. Mostly associated with the adjustable pedals but owner responses vary from: "I wish it was better" to "I wont let the wife drive it!" Several folks with older [pre-adjustable model] have "upgrade their M/Cs from the OEM 2" piston to the smaller 1.75." As with the adjustable models, pedal travel increases a bit but most seem to like the increased braking power, or feel, if you will. Ref the earlier threads, I think the cost on the upgraded M/C is around $185, perhaps a bit more. Key issue here for our older coaches is that the fluid reservoir is remote from the M/C so an adaptor plate is used on the M/C.
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Old 05-17-2015, 01:13 PM   #9
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Howdy Scout...


I don't suppose you know where to find or what the part number is for the slide pin system MC do you (Master cylinder # with remote reservoir that is...?).


I just read most of the big 7 page thread ...which was mostly for the later modem MC's it seems.


Thanks...
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Old 05-17-2015, 04:34 PM   #10
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Still looking...


"Brake feel"..or part numbers for 1.75" master cylinder with remote reservoir (slide pin two piston caliper system) ......comments?


Anyone?


Thanks
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Old 05-17-2015, 05:48 PM   #11
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Probably need to wait for the owner who just recently "upgraded" his remote reservoir MC to chime in. I suspect the MCs are the same for early and later models [see 7-page thread for part number]. The adaptor plate appears to bolt-on where the reservoir goes on newer coaches. Someone expressed concern about taking the resevoir off the MC--lots/some little parts that can get lost. I have removed the reservoirs on some of the old MCs I have swapped for people, just to see, didnt seem too trouble some to me.....
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Old 05-17-2015, 06:22 PM   #12
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Part number is a Wagoner MC131759 for the 1.75" piston....see one currently on Ebay for $165...If you decide to order, make sure the MC you get has the white, plastic ABS sensor connection on the side.....
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Old 05-17-2015, 06:45 PM   #13
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Okaaay Scout...Thanks very much for the part numbers!


I take it you just changed the reservoir plate on these rather than trying to find one already set up for a remote reservoir ....correct?.


You upgraded the MC on your coach and really liked it , correct?


Is your coach a sliding pin caliper brake system or the quad piston calipers?


Thanks...again
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:16 PM   #14
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Nope--my coach is an early 2003 and has 4-piston calipers and the remote reservoir set-up....My brakes seem to work ok for me--nice if they had a bit more umph but it doesnt bug me enough to consider an MC swap. The two MCs I have swapped were on 2006s with the adjustable pedals--no remote reservoir. Soooooo, no experience with swapping out either remote models or the 2-piston caliper.....sorry...
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