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Old 03-26-2009, 08:34 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 20
Brake Problems

I own a 2005 36FDTS, VIN 75410, Alpine Unlimited, with an adjustable brake pedal. My husband drove it home from Dallas 15 months ago and he felt the brakes were soft and excessive pressure was required, so we began reading this forum to see if anyone else experienced this problem. We have not used this coach one time because we are very concerned about the brake issue as we have read all posts regarding poor brake performance and problems stopping. I will be driving this coach if there is a solution to the brake problems (my job). My questions are:
1. Besides changing fluid to Rycon 46 premium oil, is there a fix someone has come up with that will give better brake performance and reliability, without excessive brake pressure?
2. Has anyone examined the design features of operating the engine cooling fan, power steering unit and hydro-boost system from the same pump and the hydraulic line routing to do so? If so, is there a re-design to improve braking performance. (based on the forum posts, it appears these items all use the same pump)
3. Are the hydraulic lines routed to and from the fan, PS unit and hydro-boost system to the pump or is the routing from one to the next system back to the pump? We are trying to get an understanding of what we are dealing with and if it is fixable. I have not seen any posts on a permanent solution to the braking problems. I really would like to be able to drive and use the coach for its intended purpose and not just look at it in the yard. Would appreciate any information regarding a fix to the braking problems.

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Old 03-27-2009, 09:44 AM   #2
Senior Member
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 1,097
I found that there was no stopping problem, just pedal pressure required. Moving the pedals back to the driver helps. I also found that the new oil helped. I have seen one coach that the owner changed the placement of the pivot point in the brake linkage, which changed the leverage in the system and reduced the pedal pressure. While my brakes are OK now, I would like it more like my 2002 was, so I plan on doing the same to mine when I get a chance.

I don't think there is any problems with the hose design or routing, although I can't be sure of that. The design is not simple (not just in and out) and I didn't take the effort to follow all of the hoses.

Also if you are towing a car, does it have a supplemental brake system installed, this is important if you are having brake issues.

Dale Gerstel
2007 Limited SE 40fdts
Las Vegas, NV
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:54 AM   #3
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Washington
Posts: 101

I had the same problem with my 2005 after having some brake work done. Turns out the brake lines were not bleed properly. After bleeding the excess air out of the line the brakes worked great. It sounds like you may have just bought this coach, who knows what work the dealer or previous owner did. very cheep fix
Tom and Sue
2005 Alpine FDQS
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Old 03-28-2009, 12:30 PM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: St Georeg Utah
Posts: 19
oil change

I got the 04 38 foot two weeks ago the first time a drove it the brakes were so bad, hard to stop and had a bad feel. I took it to the truck shop my good friend has, as he did all the work on my trucks ( I owned a large company for 28 years) the hydro boost system is new to me as, all the trucks that I ran had air brakes. He told me that the hydo system is a good one and a lot school buses and on a lot of class 5-6-7 trucks use the system. So what to do to fix it. WE took the old oil out of the pump system and them took all the dot 3 oil out of the the tank in the front of the alpine them filled the tank with dot 3 and them took that out, this was done to clean the tank, this was done because the dot 3 in the front was bad, (very bad) them filled it once more. We bleed the brakes, the back first and then the front we put a small line on the bleed valve and put all the oil from the 4 brakes in cups so we could look at it. All the oil was dark brown (BAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) WE had to bleed down the brakes 4 times on each wheel to get the new clear oil. I will add to this that the first time in the bleeding that the oil was hard to get out and by the 4th time it was ok to go through the system. NO air was in the system that we found. Next we put rycon 46 in the pump system. I will add that we bleed down the system with the pump system off to see if the electric back up was working, it was. With all systems now changed this what I found on my 04 the stearing was very easy to turn, like new. the brakes are 200 % better, it will hold at a stop light with very little foot effort. This it what I think I will do check the dot 3 oil every year. The oil that came out of my system was so bad I will watch the rycon 46 for any changes. Make sure the you use a good shop that can spot any trouble. I hope this helps this system is ok if it working and the oil is good and is not all that hard to fix.
Dwight Warner
04 38 FDTS
St. George Ut
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:07 PM   #5
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 20
Thank you for your reply. We do have an 1800 lb trailer with electric over hydraulic brakes made especially for hauling a jeep rubicon on. Since we have never used the motorhome because we are concerned about the brakes we have never used the trailer. We are going to have all the items checked based on the responses received. Again, thank you.
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