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Old 06-14-2007, 06:39 PM   #1
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Our 2002 Alpine has adequate brakes but I sometimes feel that they could be better. I have spent considerable amount of time on the web trying to find what model of 'Bosch' ABS brakes our unit has. Guess the next option is to try to get some information from WRV. In a discussion with a friend, who is a recently retired truck mechanic, he advised that the 'Bosch' disc brake was wearing out very rapidly on delivery trucks (class 6 and 7) due to the fact there is so much stop and go driving. According to my mechanic friend a more wear resistant pad was brought out by Bosch several years ago. This pad helped cure rapid brake wear and made the brakes less sensitive when trucks were lightly loaded. Being as our coaches are running for the most part with a fixed load I am wondering if there isn't a better pad out there. If I can find out which trucks used these brakes then it should be easy to go to a friction supplier and get a different pad. I think Kenworth, Sterling, Freightliner and Navistar use a similar brake system. Can anyone shed any more light on what size units we have on WRV coaches?
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Old 06-14-2007, 06:39 PM   #2
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Our 2002 Alpine has adequate brakes but I sometimes feel that they could be better. I have spent considerable amount of time on the web trying to find what model of 'Bosch' ABS brakes our unit has. Guess the next option is to try to get some information from WRV. In a discussion with a friend, who is a recently retired truck mechanic, he advised that the 'Bosch' disc brake was wearing out very rapidly on delivery trucks (class 6 and 7) due to the fact there is so much stop and go driving. According to my mechanic friend a more wear resistant pad was brought out by Bosch several years ago. This pad helped cure rapid brake wear and made the brakes less sensitive when trucks were lightly loaded. Being as our coaches are running for the most part with a fixed load I am wondering if there isn't a better pad out there. If I can find out which trucks used these brakes then it should be easy to go to a friction supplier and get a different pad. I think Kenworth, Sterling, Freightliner and Navistar use a similar brake system. Can anyone shed any more light on what size units we have on WRV coaches?
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Old 06-15-2007, 03:05 AM   #3
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This particular approach may be part of an answer.

Harder brake material generally results in a heavier pedal pressure requirement. Harder brake material is also tougher on the Discs.

For example: Automobile "Lifetime" pads last a very long time. BUT, more frequent disc replacement is the attendant cost. Our 2001 Taurus has "Lifetime" pads but has required disc "resurfacing" to eliminate pulsing twice in 40,000 miles. The pads are only half worn and the brakes are not as sensitive as they were with the OEM pads.

I prefer a softer pad material that requires the them to replaced more frequently but provides more stopping efficiency. In the long-run, replacing the pads more frequently and not resurfacing the discs as compared to vice-versa is probably a wash.

As stated in an earlier post, WRV installs components provided by other manufacturers. They don't modify them for a specific purpose, thereby creating a liability situation for themselves. Consequently, when a manufacturer having a good track record makes a change, WRV/we will experience the more immediate results.

Could this not simply be an example of that?

Perhaps, with the new information provided by Beagle RC Air, a better attack on this problem is to determine if a "high Performance"/"more efficient"/"softer" pad is available as being more suitable for our less frequent/fixed load stopping purposes?
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Old 06-16-2007, 08:06 AM   #4
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Has anyone had brakes replaced on their Alpine? What kind of mileage did you get before they needed replacing? Do you have the work order that would help narrow down the brake pads part numbers? Appreciate any responses! Our unit has over 60,000 miles and it is due to have the pads checked before to many more miles. The rotors on these things are very expensive, pads are cheap by way of comparsion. If they need replacing I would like to install some all ceramic pads.
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Old 06-16-2007, 09:13 AM   #5
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I was extremely happy with our 2002 brakes. They performed very well, including a few panic stops towing a Plymouth Grand Voyager with no towing brake system. When we sold our coach a few months ago it had 53,000 miles on it and the pads looked like new.

I understand that the down side of ceramic pads is that they require a lot more pedal pressure.

Dale
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Old 06-16-2007, 10:17 AM   #6
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Did a little research. It seems we have Arvin_Meritor Quadraulic Disc Brakes. They are manufactured in two size brake systems. the 4 X 64 mm size is for medium duty vehicles of up to 24,000 lb GVWR. The 4 X 70 mm size is for vehicles up to 33,000 lbs GVWR. I suspect that a lot of us are over or way over the GVWR if we include a tow vehicle. In the Quadraulic trouble shooting manual it states, as one of the causes of "excessive" brake pedal pressure, is the possibility of glazed brake pads or overheated and "blue" rotors. Now that is a real possibility. We are driving vehicles that are on the very heavy end of the proscribed GVWR. Going down a few very steep hills where the Jake or exhaust brake would not hold us might just have glazed the linings or blued the rotors. I am going to have mine inspected (38,000 miles).
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Old 06-16-2007, 02:58 PM   #7
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Inspecting the brakes is never a bad idea.

I'd do some checking before I used Ceramic pads because something has to wear away. From my days machining steel using Ceramic inserts, I'd think Ceramic is too hard if you want to preserve the discs.

Personally, I'd rather deal with a softer pad material having a greater coefficient of friction that requires less pedal pressure and wears away than face replacing the rotors.

Been there, done that with our Taurus and Mountaineer It's OEM pads for me from now on.
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Old 06-16-2007, 04:34 PM   #8
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Beagle, you are indicating that you have, give or take 60,000 miles on your coach. Are those 60,000 miles on the original pads? If so I would consider that phenomenal. When discs are being refereed to I believe we are referring to rotors. Is that correct? Ceramic pads are extremely hard requiring a great deal of pedal pressure but certainly will last a long time. I think what most of us are trying to obtain is a softer easier brake pedal. I would think the ceramic would be totally the opposite. My thought is the wear on the rotor would be substantially greater and as pointed out pads are considerably cheaper than rotors. There is no question that inspecting the pads and rotors is essential and a blued rotor will make for some real tough stopping as will a glazed pad. I just had my motor home inspected (12000 miles) and everything was as it should be with very little wear. Stretch, you said your research indicated that the type of brake system we use is of two different capacities. Is one type used on all of the Alpines? I do feel that there is a good possibility that our pads may be a bit to hard of a material. The life of the pad is better but at the expense of a very hard pedal. Personally, I would like a softer pad. I think before I really get in deep trouble I'll quit as I expect an analytical definition of the entire brake system as well as the air in between the discs and the rotor from both Bob Mahon and Engineer Mike.
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Old 06-17-2007, 01:58 AM   #9
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Ted,

Unfortunately, we engineers are often accused of delving into an explanation of things to an uneccessary depth. Quite often it is true. Could this be because we try too hard to impress others with our intelligence?
Could it also be we are poor with simple explanations but are sometimes correct? OR, could it be many Engineers really don't know much about a subject but feel compelled to interject a wordy comment to avoid appearing ignorant?

I suspect therein lies some truth.

However, I can't tell you specifically where.

What I can say is that I'd prefer softer pads, offering greater stopping ability while preserving my rotors.

Brakes convert energy to heat, the enemy of many things when the heat cannot be shed adequately. Rotors do not do a good job of that; vented type or otherwise.

Hey Mike, I have an idea. Let's work together on a design of water-cooled rotors.
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Old 06-17-2007, 07:22 AM   #10
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Thanks for the responses! This thread was not intended as a debate of friction material but maybe something may come out of it. I have very limited experience with ceramic, mostly with clutch material, and it may be that it wouldn't be right for MH's. I would like to hear from someone who has changed out their brake pads or from someone who has the information on what make and model of brakes these units have. I guess a call to WRV may uncover that. I can't imagine a parts store listing brake parts under Alpine, so there has to be a way to look up what I need should the pads need replacing.
http://www.boschautoparts.com/Products/BrakeParts/ Again thanks for the replies....
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Old 06-17-2007, 08:10 AM   #11
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Beagle, even though the great analytical minds work to preserve the engineers job, you truly will get in between their lines a very good answer that is understandable by most, possibly even me. The balance of it as you read through is basically that B***S***. Hope that is acceptable.
I think the bottom line is that the thought of softer pads just may be the answer to some of our problems. Someone did make a comment about heat and that is true so we have to be cautious just how soft the material can become. Engineer Mike is definitely required here.
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Old 06-17-2007, 07:34 PM   #12
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Trucks hauling logs out of the Sierra's above Fresno used to have water tanks on the back of the tractor, kind of like an old oil tank, about 300 gallons. Coming down the grades the water would spray on the drums to cool them.

We had a very hard stop on vacation. We crested a steep hill and let the speed build to about 70. A dog ran out into the road and stopped. I hit the binders , and came to a complete controlled stop in what I though was pretty quick. The dog lived. I did rearange the cupboards Smoke was rolling off the brakes. Upon inspection, I could not find any bluing of the rotors, and no squeeks from the pads...glazing. Everything is working normally.

I would agree with a softer pad. The way we normally use our brakes, I'm looking at 100K plus before replacement. Of course, we still need to get the recall done, and probably will get new pads then.

What I wouldn't like to see is a Volvo type system...15-20K replacing both pads and rotors.
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Old 06-18-2007, 04:23 AM   #13
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Tom and Patty,

You reference the "Recall". What year Coach do you have?

Generally speaking, a "Panic" stop of short duration will not cause nearly as much "deep-heating" as will "Riding" the brakes during a long descent or frequent stops from speed in City type traffic.

Severe heating of the brakes will usually cause the Rotors to warp, which may be felt as a pulsing in the brakes and/or slow-speed rolling motion of the vehicle while the brakes are lightly applied. In severe cases, the steering wheel may shake when coming to a stop from speed. The only fix for that is to turn the Rotors to true them, or replace them. Neither of which I want to do.

I would venture that the Rotor material is a Cast Iron derivative produced by the Meehanite process. While heat and corrosion resistance is higher than castings produced in a standard casting process, they are not immune to it.

When inspecting the Rotors, look for a "Checking" or "Bluing" on the surface. If neither of these conditions exist, severe heat generation has probably not occurred.

"Glazing" is another condition that will occur over time. Generally, the "Glazing" is a polishing action and as it continues, more brake pressure will be required to stop the vehicle, resulting in more heat and so on. Light "Glazing" is not much of a real problem and can be tolerated well enough.

General rule: Severe heat is anathema to longevity.

My advice:

1. REGULARLY visually inspect Rotors by simply looking through the holes in the wheels.
2. Avoid "Riding" the brakes.
3. Service the brakes if any "pulsing" is felt while using them.
4. Do not fall into the trap of "long-life" pads at the expense of the Rotors.

Caveat:
There are no free rides.
RV ownership/use is a "Pay me now or pay me later" world.
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Old 06-18-2007, 06:10 AM   #14
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Bob and Peg,

It is a 2000, with a build date of 10/99.

This stop was on a very steep downhill. It was a short hill, maybe 1/2 mile, in Oklahoma near Tulsa. I would venture to guess it was well past 15%. We were on the brakes for a long time full pressure. Still I felt we were stopping well for the grade we were on.

The few other panic stops we have had, were.....normal .
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