In a previous thread I described a total failure of my 1999 Alpine coach brakes ( 1999 Alpine Coach Brake Failure
). Now that I have completed the process of replacing all 4 brake calipers, rotors and pad sets, it is very clear how this failure happened. The pads did not simply wear out. The inboard pads on all 4 wheels were so badly corroded that they literally disintergrated. The Outboard pads on the front wheels were in relatively good shape and less than half worn. The outboard pads on the rear were more worn, but not badly corroded. Here are some photos:
This is the Left-Rear Caliper where the inboard pad was totally gone and the pistons were in direct contact with the rotor.
This is the remains of the Right-Rear Pad
This is the remains of the Left-Front Pad
This is the remains of the Right-Front Pad
The easiest pads to inspect are the front outboard pads through the holes in the front wheels. Shame on me. I was decieved into thinking that the remaining brake pads were in similarly good shape.
I purchased this coach in 2006 from a private party in Minnesota. I have stored it in a garage located in dry Colorado. So most of the corrosion probably occured the 6 -7 years it was in Minnesota. I suspect it was driven in the winter on salt covered roads.
If you have an older Alpine Coach that has spent a lot of time in humid climates and have not had the brakes fully inspected, you should do so to avoid my experience.
Replacing the brake pads (and/or calipers) is a relatively simple job that is not much different than doing the job on a car or light truck. The big difference is that everything is bigger, heavier, and more difficult to manipulate. Replacing the rotors is a different story. Removing the rotors requires removing the hubs. This requires special tools and equippment. I spent a lot of time researching part numbers and finding sources for all the parts. I also built many of the special tools I needed to do the job. I plan to write this all up and post it in another thread.