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Old 10-09-2010, 11:17 AM   #1
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Brakes - AGAIN!

We spent over $3K last year on our 2000 36MD while returning from a trip to repair the brakes so we could get home. Left San Diego this last Thursday afternoon for the Sierras with my son, a buddy and his daughter and a couple miles from the house the front calipers locked up again! Smoke was boiling off the front wheels! I was able to limp home and my daughter lent us their toy hauler so we could still make the trip; it sure isn't the same as an Alpine, but at least we got here!

My wife called Freightliner in Phoenix where we had the work done in August '09 and Kurt, very condescendingly, said basically "tough, brakes aren't covered under warranty."

So, my options are to look for someone in the San Diego are who's trustworthy and stands behind their work (recommendations are very welcome) or repair the brakes myself (I have the mechanical skills and one of my friends is a heavy-duty equipment mechanic).

Not exactly a 'happy camper' right now!
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Old 10-09-2010, 12:43 PM   #2
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Brakes are simple, but I would not call them easy given the weight of all the junk.

What did Freightliner do for the $3k? As a min. I'd say slide-pin lube & a full brake flush was in order, but sounds like new calipers/rotors?
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Old 10-10-2010, 12:09 AM   #3
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I had my 2000 36' for 10 years and went through the recall and had no problems after the recall. However, I did do more than replace the rotors they gave me.I did have have shop do it as WRV paid some labor. This shop in Portland had done a bunch of these. I turned the rotors ,new lining, seals and flushed the whole system . There is no reason why you couldn't do the job yourself. You would need to get a service manual and carefully torque everthing. I still have the part numbers. I can't say for sure what caused your problem. I will give you one quote from Euclid on brake calipers and this applies to all calipers.
"flushing the system and lines with new brake fluid should be done PRIOR to the replacement of the calipers. This step is often overlooked and can be mistaken as away to save both time and expense. In the long run, it could potentially be a costly mistake."

The other idea I had, was to test the condition of the brake fluid before you worked on the brakes. There are 3 ways to check the condition of brake fluid. Two of them you would need equipment, but the third are test strips. To read about them, go to www.stripdip.com or www.braketeststrip.com . Euclid does recommend using these. I would take a sample of both sides of master cylinder and down at wheel you are having trouble with.

I can post some more tomorrow.
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Old 10-10-2010, 10:59 AM   #4
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Thanks guys.

EM, Freightliner rebuilt the whole system sans rotors. By the time we got stopped, everything had overheated to the point we warped the rotors, melted the ABS sensors, boiled the fluid, etc.
While I was twiddling my thumbs at FL, I discovered a Monaco (?) service bulletin about the Bosch caliper problem. That was the first I had heard of it and subsequently found the brake posts on this forum.
My understanding is Bosch has just released a new caliper with a different phenolic formulation for the piston cups that solves the hygroscopic swelling issue.

At least I caught some nice trout yesterday to take my mind off the situation!
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Old 10-10-2010, 12:50 PM   #5
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1) Congrats on the trout!
2) Bosch has released new 66mm (or is it 63mm?) calipers in a recall which were sticking reliably (i.e. failing regularly) on Workhorse motorhomes. They may do a recall on Ford rigs w/the same caliper. Alpines have a larger (73mm?) caliper that is the same design family but uses larger pistons. Presumably Bosch will go to the new phenolic compound on all their disc brake pistons going forward.
3) if all calipers were involved, there is likely a systemic problem. The Workhorse issue usually came on w/a single caliper only, tho if the driver didn't notice it might migrate to another usually on the same axle IIRC since that axle was then operating w/an impaired brake. In some cases of multi-caliper failure it was a driver riding the brakes, but in many it was old brake fluid that had absorbed too much water between flushings which allowed water into the phenolic heat shield on the pistons which swelled the phenolic, thereby sticking the pistons in the bore. The best defense for this is annual brake fluid flush which most DIY'ers can do.
4) another systemic problem can be pin slide corrosion (for coaches w/pin slide calipers). Pin slides are supposed to be lubed on a regular basis and Bosch has a manual for that. This, w/the Manual link is discussed on other threads here on the Alpine forum here and here.
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:19 AM   #6
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I agree with Mike on an annual flush, which I started doing on my Bosch brakes when I had my 2000 for 6 years. Even though FL did the whole job, I question whether they did a flush before they worked on it. Read the first page in the attachment. If they flushed afterwards, they would put old fluid through the new calipers. Also the attachment has torques for both Bosch and Meritior.

Brake pads front and rear
Bendix Fritec M-76552 D-786A

Inner front oil seal CR35066
hub cap gasket S0 330-3009

Rear oil seal Meritor A 1205 D 2526
DON'T CROSS OVER TO ANOTHER BRAND AS IT WILL NOT WORK!

Rear Outer flange gasket N1 3566160C1 or Euclid E2437

ABS sensor cable OW 4410328090
Attached Files
File Type: pdf brake caliper.pdf (1.96 MB, 129 views)
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kraig View Post
I agree with Mike on an annual flush, which I started doing on my Bosch brakes when I had my 2000 for 6 years. Even though FL did the whole job, I question whether they did a flush before they worked on it. Read the first page in the attachment. If they flushed afterwards, they would put old fluid through the new calipers. Also the attachment has torques for both Bosch and Meritior.

Brake pads front and rear
Bendix Fritec M-76552 D-786A

Inner front oil seal CR35066
hub cap gasket S0 330-3009

Rear oil seal Meritor A 1205 D 2526
DON'T CROSS OVER TO ANOTHER BRAND AS IT WILL NOT WORK!

Rear Outer flange gasket N1 3566160C1 or Euclid E2437

ABS sensor cable OW 4410328090
Thank you. Any idea of the part number for the ABS sensor itself? Never mind, I figured out it was the sensor and cable...
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