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Old 05-27-2011, 07:52 PM   #1
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Flushing the brakes lines

I just had the brakes serviced, and the shop foreman told me that there are two pistons per wheel rather than the customary one piston. This led to a time-cosuming (5 hours) job in order to flush all eight lines. The tech's report shows that 12 to 18 (one line 24) ounces of dirty brake fluid was flushed out of each line.

In any case, it was $583. Two years ago I had it done and it was $189. Now the question I have is, did last year's tech miss the inner caliper lines? Has anyone else had this done recently? What is your experience?

The repair report says: "perform ABS end of line bleed with laptop." The foreman said there is a device which allows computer readouts of the brakes or ABS or ??, and asked me if there is a readout on the dash. Any idea what he was talking about? I intend to go back to have him 'splain it to me again, but wanted to hear from you guys first.

I trust Brattain's, and the foreman did lop off an hour's worth of $$ because of the sticker shock, but it would be good to know what to expect next time--and be able to make sure the job is properly done.
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Old 05-27-2011, 08:02 PM   #2
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I would agree that there could be 2 pistons per wheel, but there is still only one line per wheel. Something sounds a bit fishy to me.

A product that can be used for brake flushing, is a product called a " Motive Power Bleeder ". It sells for around 80.00. It looks like a pump up sprayer bottle, with attachments made to fit a master cylinder. You fill the bottle with brake fluid, pump up to 10 lbs, the start bleeding the brake lines. This makes this a one man job! You can put a clear hose on the bleeder line, then bleed to the line looks clear.

Hope this helps!
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Old 05-27-2011, 08:58 PM   #3
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On our Alpines you need to pull the rear wheels to get to the out side piston. At least I do. Last year I flushed mine but only did the inner piston on my rears. This year I removed the rear wheels and flushed both pistons. I got about 2 tablespoons of slightly darker fluid out of the outer rears as compared to the other 6 ports on the front and rear. I used a "Motive Power Bleeder". I had to fabricate an adapter because non of the adapters that came with mine would work. I believe a Bosch adapter will work.

John, If I remember right there are 4 lines going to the ABS and 4 back out to the wheels from the ABS. Bleeding the RH rear wheel will also bleed the corresponding ABS line. Most of us consider it one line. On mine the fronts travel from the master cylinder back to the ABS in the rear storage ceiling and back to the front wheels. the rear run is a Little shorter.
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:39 PM   #4
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John, there are two pistons on each side of each caliper. Because they are fixed calipers, not sliding like the early Alpines, you need to bleed both sides of each caliper. So, there are eight bleeders one for each pair of pistons two at each wheel. Like Wayne said you have to pull the rear wheels to get to one of them. One line goes to each wheel at the inner caliper than splits and goes to the outer. If you only bleed the inner than there is only a short line to the outer that does not get flushed. 12 to 18 ounces sounds about right. When I had mine done I paid $100 but they didn't do the outside front or rear. I don't know about the computer stuff.
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Old 05-28-2011, 12:20 AM   #5
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John, the above is as I have heard it explaind before. If you search there was a thread about auto-shut off bleeders, but don't think it paned out, something to do with size of the bleeder screw. Don't think we paid that much to have ours done. Think I could do the fronts, and inner rears. Next time I have it done I will check on the price prior to authorizing work. Really think you paid to much. Cummins in Coburg, OR did not take but 1 hour or so to do ours in 09. Guess it's time again this fall.
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Old 05-29-2011, 12:10 AM   #6
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John,

I seem to remember paying around $595 in Southern California to have the complete flush done to for the whole system, which included removing the wheels, caliper/pistons, cleaning, de-rusting and lubricating them, and replacing all the fluid with Valvoline premium synthetic fluid, when I had it done in '09, and it took about 2 1/2 to 3 hours to do. They have worked fine ever since, and I plan to do it again in February of 2012.
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Old 05-29-2011, 12:47 AM   #7
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All - we had ours done in 09 at Cummins in Coburg, OR, along with replacing the PS Forward Smartbed hyd ram, rebuilt solenoids in the vanity slide and the new brake line across the rear end assembly with stainless steel, while they had it apart they bled the system. I can dig out the invoice but all that work came to 1200 dollars.
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:16 AM   #8
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Thanks to everyone for the input.

Today I had another go at the service manager, and when I asked him how long it would take to flush the brakes on a motorhome with only one piston per wheel, he said a little more than an hour. For ours, with two pistons per wheel, it should be an hour-and-a-half to two hours. Of course, rear wheel removal and replacement would take a skilled mechanic a half hour or less, so I was overcharged when they charged me for five hours worth of labor. It should have been 2 or 2 hours labor.

Now I know. Next time....
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:36 AM   #9
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John/Lori,

A few weeks ago, we gathered (3) 2001 Alpines together and flushed all the brakes and installed new Koni's all the way around. We started at 7:30AM on a Saturday morning and finished at 11PM the same night. There were 3 of us working with about a 1/2 hour lunch & dinner break. Thats a total of about 15 man hours per coach and we were hard at it. The shocks did not take very long given that we already had the wheels off and they were easy to get to. Granted we dont do this every day, but still its a quite a job.

Our 01 coaches have the same "new style" brakes as yours. To do the job right, the front and rear wheels need to be removed. (IMHO) All 4 calipers have bleeder valves, one on the inside and one on the outside, so it would be all but impossible to bleed the outside of the calipers without removing the wheels. We used about 1.5 gallons of fluid per coach.

I would like to meet the mechanic that could pull all 6 wheels & flush the brakes and reinstall the wheels in 2 1/2 hours ! Now maybe 2 guys could do that job in 2 1/2 hours (5 man hours), but even that would be really getting it done.

If you have your coach serviced by this place, I would recommend that you watch and see if they are actually bleeding all 8 bleeder screws. Maybe they have some trick to get to the fronts without removing the wheels....

Anyway, thats just my 2 cents worth based on "first hand experience".

Jeff
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