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Old 03-14-2015, 06:19 AM   #1
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Brake question

My 2004 Alpine Coach has sat all winter. When I drove it yesterday, the brake pedal went almost to the floor and felt spongy. Also the brakes were very hot after driving 25 miles. How major of a fix am I looking at?

Bill Vietti

2004 Alpine Coach 40' triple slide
400 Cummins
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Old 03-14-2015, 04:10 PM   #2
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Bill,

Kind of hard to tell without getting into it.

Best (least expensive) answer and the starting place: change brake fluid and make sure the pedal to master cylinder is free.

THEN see if the symptoms have gone away. Hot brakes are dragging brakes. Could be pedal/master cylinder sticking and not releasing, could be a problem with caliper pistons seized in their bores. But until you change the fluid and check for complete release of master cylinder when off the brake pedal, it is just speculation.

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2003 Alpine 38'
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Old 03-14-2015, 04:53 PM   #3
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Were all the brakes hot?, could be the hot ones were working and you need to check the others.

Good luck
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Old 03-14-2015, 07:02 PM   #4
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Bill Hello & Welcome to IRV2 and the Alpine Coach Forum.

If the winter where you store the Alpine is damp, it could be a buildup of rust on the brake rotors. This can cause some drag and the rotors will run hotter than normal until the rust wears down. This can also happen on drum brakes. On drum brakes, you can also have a buildup of moisture on the bottom that can cause an excessive buildup of rust in one spot.

I would also flush the brake fluid, like Brett suggested.
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Old 03-18-2015, 07:01 PM   #5
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Do a search of this forum "Brake Failure - Total Brake Failure"
This is my experience.Pay special attention to what caused my problem.
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Old 04-05-2015, 09:46 AM   #6
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Brake repairs

I had the brakes repaired at Olathe Ford RV in Gardner, Kansas. It was not easy for them and it took quite a lot longer than I or they thought it might to figure it all out. However, they were working me in to their busy schedule and I appreciate the fact that they were willing to work with me on that.

Understand -- I am nearly totally incapable of describing any sort of mechanical failures or repairs. I can talk eyes all day long as I was an optometrist for 40 years, but when it comes to mechanical things with an RV -- shoot me.

According to them, the brake fluid was totally gone. They could find no leaks when they purged the system. Also the ABS sensors were both melted. The brake pads, however, they determined, were safe. They refilled the master cylinders and took it for a drive. Upon returning, the brake pedal still went to the floor. Upon inspection they found a cable under the dash that was not making connection, thereby causing the brakes to engage even when not applying the brake pedal. They said they securely fastened this cable in place, refilled the brake fluid, replaced the ABS sensors, and I was on my way (2 weeks later).

I drove it 150 miles and all seemed fine, although I still don't like how soft the brake pedal feels. Is there an adjustment for that?

Also -- as suggested by tjshively, I had them insert a grease cert. They claimed that was not the problem, but I had them do it on your recommendation. Thank you for that.

Bill Vietti
Shawnee, KS
2004 Alpine Coach
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Old 04-06-2015, 11:28 PM   #7
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I asked the mechanic again and he said there was a bundle of wires were loose and not allowing the brake padel to return fully to rest position. Thereby putting mild pressure on the pedal at all times. So the brakes were on mildly at all times in driving and therefore burned away the oil.
./
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:35 PM   #8
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I suspect based on your description that Ford didn't bleed the brakes properly. You have to take the wheels off to get at all the bleed screws (there are two per wheel and the one that's facing outward is inside the wheel & next to impossible to access w/out removing wheels). Gotta bleed all 8 fittings.
That would explain ongoing spongy feeling.
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Old 04-16-2015, 08:32 AM   #9
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Could also need to do the master cylinder upgrade. I did my 2004 and it feels a lot better.
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Old 04-17-2015, 02:50 PM   #10
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4-wheel brake bleed is a great time to do the master cylinder upgrade, since you've paid for the labor for wheels off & brake bleed; adds maybe 90 minute to shop time to bench bleed & swap the m.c.
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