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Old 09-21-2009, 02:03 PM   #1
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Alpine Brake Issues - All

Everyone might I suggest we have a general sub catagory for all the brake issues on the alpines. Seems like there are a lot of them presently, and many of us new to alpines, with different year coaches don't know what we need to do, how to do it and where to have it done. I't my belief, cummings would not have the level of experience on the hyrraulic brakes most of our coaches have, but that is a guess on my part. I know Detroit Diesel in Portland is also the Allison place, and seems to me a workhorse place as well.

Internation (Navistar, INC) (www.navistar.com) owns workhorse and so could be a place to take the coach, but my sales friend, told me week before last, many of the Internationl service centers are not yet certified to work on Motorhomes.

Additionally, the Steering Gearbox Support issues and Dale's suggestion on ordering the parts should be fixed so it's up on the top part of the Alpine area so everyone sees it when they visit the forum to check up on the latest developments. We might have to break down our topics into various areas, i.e., Chassis and Brakes; engine and transmission; Hydraulics; General Questions and concerns. But that is out of my hands, it's something someone else has the power and expertise to do. And I am not trying to tell anyone how to run this forum, safety and my fellow Alpine owners enjoyment is my goal in this suggestion.

Another suggestion would be for recommended shops to be included in a sub-catagory on that brake heading, because many of us live in various parts of the country and don't want to have to take the coach to Florida, when we live in the pacific NW. I realize Yakima, WA might have a repair source, but I am unaware of what it is. The powers that bee please mull this over and see what you think.
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Old 09-21-2009, 03:52 PM   #2
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Here in the mountains we do not have anyone specializing in motorhome repairs, but we do have truck shops. So I take mine to the Cummins shop for engine work, the Allison shop for transmission issues and the Freightliner facility for chassis work.
I recently had my hydromax unit replaced by Freightliner and although it is not a part they are familiar with it didn't take more than two attempts to get the right part. I did try a Workhorse place but they didn't want to work on motorhomes.
Would be nice to live somewhere where there was "one stop shopping" but you have to make do with what you have.

I should add that Redland truck were very responsive to emails I sent them regarding the brake issue. I wish I could give them some of my business.
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Old 09-21-2009, 08:47 PM   #3
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Brake Repair

I had my coach brakes at the Freightliner facility in Phoenix when mine went out. They had a copy of Monaco recall addressing the same issue and were familiar with repair procedure.

However I don't believe they changed the fluid; I have Motive power bleeder and will do the chore myself.

Mine is a 2000 MDSS...

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Old 09-22-2009, 01:02 AM   #4
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In checking with Cummins Northwest, LLC, the shop in Coburg, Oregon is a Coach Care service Center. I will call them tomorrow to set up a service on the Genset and have the hydraulic brakes fluid system power flushed.
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Old 09-22-2009, 08:29 AM   #5
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Mark,

Do you know which model of the power bleeder fits the Alpine master cylinder reservoir cap?
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:00 PM   #6
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Can't you also use the electrical backup brake system for bleeding the system? As I recall another post discussed having someone step on the brake pedal while another person opens the bleed screw. The brake fluid will continue to flow until the screw is closed for the brake pedal is released.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:04 PM   #7
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Obviously brakes are an issue for our Alpine coaches, so to have a sub category is a great idea. Here is our story, early this year we took a trip to Key West, about 350 miles from our home in Central Florida. I had read the brake fluid like honey story and decided to have my brakes flushed at a local RV repair facility before we left . After picking up our RV I noticed they had only charged me for one container of brake fluid and I know the systems takes more than this. Upon questioning them they informed me that they didn't actually flush the brakes as I had asked, they simply sucked the fluid out of the duel reservoir on the bulkhead and replaced the lost fluid. Fast forward, we made Key West with two stops and without any issues during the trip down but in Homestead on the way back, we encountered heavy stop and go traffic and a couple of real panic stops because of cut in idiots, and is was then that we noticed a burning smell in the cab. When we managed to pull over, I discovered the right rear brakes and hub were red hot and some small amount of brake fluid but not much. Brakes continued to work OK and we did not have a soft Brake pedal. We stopped at an old gas station, had lunch and after numerous phone calls found out that no one would be open on a Sunday to help us so I decided to try to limp to the Cummings RV shop in Miami, 8 miles away and have them inspect and/or repair on Monday morning. With no longer any smell and no heat at the hub, we stopped three times to check the rear hub temperatures, we had no issues at all after arriving at Cummings. With fingers crossed we decided to try to make a run for home. 300 miles later, no more brake issues and none after that either? Knowing the brake fluid had obviously boiled, I took the coach to a brake specialist and had the job done properly and this time correctly pressure flushed. What we found during the inspection was that one of the chambers in the dual port reservoir was completely full up to the bottom of the cap while the right one was only a little down from the very top. Our brake professionals told us that overfilling this reservoir is a common problem and will not allow for fluid expansion in the event of overheated brakes and will push fluid out of the pistons as well as potentially lock a brake or two. Once temperatures drop back down to normal levels as when we stopped for 2 hours in Homestead, all systems went back to normal and we were at that point OK. Bottom line is watch who does your brakes and make sure you don't overfill the reservoir, lesson learned.

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Old 09-22-2009, 01:13 PM   #8
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Tom, the problem is you need 2 people! That is how they did it at the Freightliner shop. One person also has to constantly check the reservoir and top up.

Citroen,
Freightliner topped mine right up to the top and said they always do that. Guess I will go and find a syringe quick.
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:58 PM   #9
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You should be able to first take as much fluid out of the HMax tank as possible, then fill w/fresh Dot3, then do each corner without worrying about level in HMax. You have the contents of the lines plus caliper to that corner which is less than one reservoir full each time. I think this is true of the earliest Alpines; anybody able to confirm that?
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:13 PM   #10
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What are the step-by-step procedures for changing out the brake fluid? I know it takes two people but what are they each doing?
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:59 PM   #11
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Citreon, Who is the Brake Expert you used? Assume somewhere in central FL
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindenberg View Post
What are the step-by-step procedures for changing out the brake fluid? I know it takes two people but what are they each doing?
Brake bleeding - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Always do the one the furtherest from master cylinder first, followed by next furtherest. check fluid level at master cylinder after each bleeder is completed. (you do not have to run engine or have the key on) If you keep a good line of conversation going with the person pushing down on the pedal they can let you know how far down the pedal has gone and you can shut off the bleeder before it goes down to far. It is relatively easy process. I would start out by locating the furtherest bleeder and then opening it with a long handle box wrench. (some of the brakes have 2 bleeders per brake) They will be tight so be prepared to put some effort into getting it open. If you have a good light to watch the fluid coming out of the bleeder you can probably determine when the new fluid has made it to the cylinder. Hope this helps, if I can be of further assistance email me.
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:21 AM   #13
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My suggestion so communications are good is two way radios, since your voice will run out if you try to talk real load when the person is at the back of and under the coach. I'm not sure, but I think there is a hold button to keep the talk depressed so you are communicating and hands free. Regardless, radios would be a good idea.
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:27 PM   #14
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My suggestion for a good marriage, is do this yourself, your significant other will appreciate it more than the "discussion" that fairly decent cooperation will engender (and appreciate it a whole lot vs less than favorable cooperation). You can do it with the vacuum pump method, or you can hook a remote start button (with long leads) to the hot stud on PS under the gen slide and the elec stud on the HydroMax 12V pump and "push the pedal" yourself with the button, OR you can use the "Gravity Method" since the HMax tank is above the brake bleed screws.

For the Gravity Method, just get one wheel set up w/tubing into a steady large Pepsi jug (drink the Pepsi first), then crack the bleed screw. There should be a steady, slow flow. Now wash one window or polish some chrome. Check the jug for progress; should take aobut 10 min. or so. Obviously you do this after you emptied and refilled the HMax tank so you are drawing fresh fluid thru the lines to replace the old stuff coming out.

Another method involves drinking beer while waiting for gravity to do its thing.
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