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Old 05-21-2013, 08:09 PM   #1
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Brake calipers on a Ford E450 chassis

We have a Winnie Aspect 26A on a Ford, E450 chassis and have had a few sticking brake problems after a "hard" stop. Before buying the MH, we talked to someone that had one for a few years and were informed that if the MH was parked for any long (3 months or so) time, the calipers built rust and would cause a problem. On one of our first trips, the brakes stuck and burned for a few minutes until I could get it off the road. After cooling down, they worked fine for a few months. I had them checked at a truck repair shop and they had to replace 1 rotor, both calipers, brake pads and I had them replace the rubber brake hoses in case there was damage to the inside of the hoses. Almost a year later, after a quick hard stop due to a traffic lite change, they stuck again. I have been driving the MH every 2 to 4 weeks for at least 10 miles and making slow and hard stops to keep the brakes loose. This did not seem to help as they stuck again and have loosened up and work fine again. Has anyone else had this problem with this chassis? I'd hate to have to replace calipers every 12 months.
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:25 PM   #2
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I know on Ford, brake caliper slide pins were always an issue not staying lubed well.
I'd check those first.
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:27 PM   #3
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How ole is this rig? Old brake fluid that has accumulated some water can wreak all sorts of havoc on a brake system.
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:44 PM   #4
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On son's 2002 Ford F-350, the pins were practically welded to the caliper bracket. Could not even loosen them in a vise.

You need to lube those pins on every brake job. Also if one rotor is bad, I usually replace both. When they sit, they pit from the moisture in the air.
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Old 05-22-2013, 05:55 AM   #5
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Brake hang up

Sorry, I forgot to list how old the MH is; It is a 2005 which is on a 2004 chassis according to the serial vin#. The calipers were replaced after the first major hang up about 16 months ago. The right rotor was trashed so it was replaced at that time also.

Are the pins you refer to the pins that the caliper swings on, or is there a pin somewhere between the caliper and the rotor? I did not do brakes myself as I don't have the jacks and stands heavy enough to safely handle the job.

Thanks,
John
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:07 AM   #6
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Looking at the picture above:
1. Darker grey metal is the bracket. Hole if for big bolt that secures it to the front axle.
2. Lighter grey is the caliper itself.
3. Between the two is a dust boot, silver disk (actually the pin), then the bolt that holds the caliper to the bracket. This whole assembly wraps around the rotor.
4. So the caliper technically 'swings' on the bolt, not the pin. Pic of pin and bolt below.



5. Pin needs to slide freely in the bracket to take into account brake pad wear and to even out the pressure on both sides of the rotor.
6. Those pins need to be checked, lubricated, and even replaced during each brake job.

This is for a 2002. Not sure if your 2004 chassis is different but this at least gives you some info for your next discussion with the mechanic.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:00 AM   #7
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RV There;
Thanks for the pics they help a lot. I can't get the rig up to pull a wheel, but can sure get under the front end to check out the pins and make sure they are free.
Thank you for the help in solving this sticky problem
John
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:27 PM   #8
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John *Proper maintenance requires a jack-jack stands-brake inspection*
Your caliper slides are totally enclosed & if the slides are clean & the bolts lubed with (CALIPER SLIDE GREASE) you should be able to slide the calipers back & forth by hand. The previous pictures show your heavy duty version of automobile calipers. They are less likely to cause problems compared to my Ford F53.

Rust on the rotor after sitting for 2 days or 2 years is normal & will rub off as the vehicle is used again.

Used dirty looking brake fluid contains moisture & during hard or prolonged braking the rotors become red hot & turn the moisture in the caliper into steam and the brakes don't release properly & continue to drag until you smell burning & the rotors are warped.

*AT LEAST EVERY THREE YEARS* The BRAKE FLUID in the reservoir MUST be sucked out and the reservoir refilled with new brake fluid & the caliper at each wheel must be bleed until the new fluid has flushed out the old fluid in the brake lines & caliper pistons. (*Keep the reservoir filled* as you bleed the calipers) Check the caliper slide bolts for lube and free movement.

With this required maintenance we have no reason to have trouble before the pads need replacing.
Dwight
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:36 PM   #9
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Very good information Dwight. We all need to heed his suggestions about changing the fluid. We forget to things concerning brake fluid. 1. It does not circulate as it is being used to apply pressure to the pads. 2. It is hydroscopic which means it absorbs water/moisture. Brand new brakes after 1 year contain 1% water. The moisture will rust internal parts.

TeJay
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Old 05-25-2013, 11:51 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by TeJay View Post
Very good information Dwight. We all need to heed his suggestions about changing the fluid. We forget to things concerning brake fluid. 1. It does not circulate as it is being used to apply pressure to the pads. 2. It is hydroscopic which means it absorbs water/moisture. Brand new brakes after 1 year contain 1% water. The moisture will rust internal parts.

TeJay
I believe the correct term is "hygroscopic" not "hydroscopic"
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:46 AM   #11
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Loulong you are correct. I stand corrected. I always believed it was hydro not hygro since hydro also refers to water. You are never to old to learn.

Thanks,
TeJay
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Old 05-28-2013, 12:46 PM   #12
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How ole is this rig? Old brake fluid that has accumulated some water can wreak all sorts of havoc on a brake system.
x2

Bought a used 2006 30' e450, several months after buying it, right front locked up. Got it home, replaced the locked up Caliper, inspected the hoses (when in doubt, change em) and lubed everything. I would feel the wheel during every trip and it was still getting hot indicating it was still sticking a little. Bought a MOTIVE brake bleeder which was correct for my e450, and bled all the nasty black stuff out... almost a year later (10k) miles, not a single problem. You can bleed your brake system without the need for a jack, it's EXTREMELY easy if you don't mind the mess (brake fluid not good for clothes), and climbing under the RV.
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:57 AM   #13
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0077,
Glad it has worked out for so far. One word of caution. There are many factors involved with brakes. Their job is to create heat which is changing that energy of motion into heat energy. In order to do that without causing and issues with one side working better than the other it is recommended that what every you do to one side you should also do to the other. That keeps everything somewhat equal so that your braking forces are also equal. Every brake job should have the rotors machined without fail. Both rotors should be machined close to the same thickness. Why??? Because as the rotors heat up the thinner one is less able to dissipate the heat and that may cause a difference in stopping ability. The same is true for the brake hoses. If you change one you should change both. There are times when you can get away with it. From a repair standpoint we don't want a customer complaining of a vehicle pulling following a brake repair.

TeJay
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Old 05-30-2013, 02:16 PM   #14
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If you feel pulsing in the brake pedal the front rotors are probably warped and a DIY is better off to install new rotors.
(Using front disc brakes since 1960 and the cost of new rotors has come way down over the years.
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