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Old 08-20-2011, 09:28 PM   #1
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Brake caliper stuck on 2007 freightliner fred. Anybody else have this probkem

Hello,

My wife and I were heading out to Castlegar BC from Hillsboro Oregon in our 2007 Safari Simba (FRED). We made it about 15 miles before the ABS light came on followed shortly by the smell of burning brakes. I was able to pull off the highway but It required me to almost floor the pedal for the last 100 yards. When I got out I immediately noticed smoke and brake fluid around passenger side front tire. Luckily there were no flames.

We had it towed to the Portland Freightliner shop hoping for a timely fix to salvage our vacation prepaid items. Luck was not on our side, the closest parts were in Reno NV and will not arrive until Monday, Bummer.

According to the mechanic, the caliper stuck and the resulting heat basically melted everything. Even the wheel bearings need to be evaluated. The estimated repair cost is a little over 2k. This is for new calipers, rotors, and pads on front axle.

This just happened to be our first trip since last December. I was wondering if this idle period contributed to the brake failure. I had noticed some recalls for bosh brakes on motorhomes due to moisture swelling the calipers which resulted in them sticking. I'm not sure if my brakes (Bosch) are similar. Just seemed a bit coincidental.

I'm interested if anyone has had similar problems and really interested in any preventible maintenance suggestions

Thanks,
Dave
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:02 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rotzla View Post
Hello,

My wife and I were heading out to Castlegar BC from Hillsboro Oregon in our 2007 Safari Simba (FRED). We made it about 15 miles before the ABS light came on followed shortly by the smell of burning brakes. I was able to pull off the highway but It required me to almost floor the pedal for the last 100 yards. When I got out I immediately noticed smoke and brake fluid around passenger side front tire. Luckily there were no flames.

We had it towed to the Portland Freightliner shop hoping for a timely fix to salvage our vacation prepaid items. Luck was not on our side, the closest parts were in Reno NV and will not arrive until Monday, Bummer.

According to the mechanic, the caliper stuck and the resulting heat basically melted everything. Even the wheel bearings need to be evaluated. The estimated repair cost is a little over 2k. This is for new calipers, rotors, and pads on front axle.

This just happened to be our first trip since last December. I was wondering if this idle period contributed to the brake failure. I had noticed some recalls for bosh brakes on motorhomes due to moisture swelling the calipers which resulted in them sticking. I'm not sure if my brakes (Bosch) are similar. Just seemed a bit coincidental.

I'm interested if anyone has had similar problems and really interested in any preventible maintenance suggestions

Thanks,
Dave
ROTZLA:
I don't KNOW that your 07 FCCC "fred" chassis uses the exact same calipers as were recalled and replaced by Workhorse on more than 50,000 of their W-series chassis, but there are literally thousands of posts about that subject in the Workhorse forum, if you care to read them. The ones WCC used (and recalled) were referred to as: Bosch 2 piston (66MM) pin-slide calipers.

The bottom line is that Bosch used a phenolic resin covered piston in the calipers. They concluded that moisture, which seems to accumulate in the brake fluid, especially when not used frequently, caused the pistons to swell in the bores and they would sometimes stick in the applied position, causing the pads to drag and create excessive heat and all the associated damage to other components.

You'll probably have to repair them at your own expense unless either FCCC or Bosch begins their own recall, as many WCC owners had to do before they found the problem and began the recall. The good news is that Bosch has susposedly changed ALL their products to a newer phenolic compound which is less likely to swell, and they have "adjusted" the bore size to allow for some swelling, and improved the outer seals.

About the only PM you can do is to replace your brake fluid at least every 2 years and make sure the slide pins are properly greased. Good luck. Ed
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:10 AM   #3
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I'm interested if anyone has had similar problems and really interested in any preventable maintenance suggestions
Rotzla, Over the past few years that Workhorse owners have been dealing with this issue, I have been predicting that other manufacturers that used the Bosch hydraulic 66mm pin slide calipers would also be subject to the same anomalies that we have endured since 2001.

Offering preventative maintenance recommendations, I have had been a lightning rod of criticism about the Bosch calipers for many years.

The best thing that you can do until Freightliner Custom Chassis identifies this as a systemic supplier originated problem is to flush your brake fluid annually. Even so, it is likely that the phenolic material that comprises the pistons in the calipers may have already absorbed too much moisture and this will present at some point as a stuck caliper.

You will find quite a bit of information here:
Official Release - Bosch Brake Caliper Recall 51101-C

The recall number that you see applies only to vehicles built on Workhorse chassis.
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Old 08-21-2011, 06:51 PM   #4
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Thank both of you for helpful replies and pointing me to a wealth of information. I had no idea how extensive the Bosch brake issue was. As driVer mentioned, I suspect my chances of getting Freightliner to determine the issue as being systemic vs an isulated occurrence are pretty slim.

In my brief research on the topic, i.e. reading the vast # of posts on the topic, it looks like my calipers are of the 73mm variety vs 66mm. The theory still holds that both calipers share a similar phenolic material and hence are subject to the failure when exposed to the RV usage patterns.

I'm thinking that I will post my "experience" onto the Freightliner forum, mostly to let other FRED owners know of this potential issue with their rigs. I was also planning on writing to Freightliner, Bosch, and NHTSA to make them aware of this issue.

The other decision I need to make is whether I need to have the rear calipers looked at and/or replaced.

We mostly do dry camping with our rig and tend to take it into pretty remote areas, like BC, Montana, and Alaska. Experiencing this type of problem in one of those areas would be a real pain.

..Dave
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:22 PM   #5
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Thank both of you for helpful replies and pointing me to a wealth of information. I had no idea how extensive the Bosch brake issue was. As driVer mentioned, I suspect my chances of getting Freightliner to determine the issue as being systemic vs an isulated occurrence are pretty slim.

In my brief research on the topic, i.e. reading the vast # of posts on the topic, it looks like my calipers are of the 73mm variety vs 66mm. The theory still holds that both calipers share a similar phenolic material and hence are subject to the failure when exposed to the RV usage patterns.

I'm thinking that I will post my "experience" onto the Freightliner forum, mostly to let other FRED owners know of this potential issue with their rigs. I was also planning on writing to Freightliner, Bosch, and NHTSA to make them aware of this issue.

The other decision I need to make is whether I need to have the rear calipers looked at and/or replaced.

We mostly do dry camping with our rig and tend to take it into pretty remote areas, like BC, Montana, and Alaska. Experiencing this type of problem in one of those areas would be a real pain.

..Dave
AND it's not a new issue - Western RV (Alpine) Motor Homes had this exact problem with Bosch Brakes in 2002. Bosch did do a recall after the NTSC got on their case. Guess how I know

PHESPE
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:36 PM   #6
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Recall notice from freightliner regarding stuck Bosch calipers arrived in today's mail. It's been almost a year since I had mine stick and had to replace them at my cost of 4500. Should be an interesting phone call tomorrow. Recall sounded a bit like they were still working on a final fix for the issue
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Old 07-27-2012, 10:44 AM   #7
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Recall notice from freightliner regarding stuck Bosch calipers arrived in today's mail. It's been almost a year since I had mine stick and had to replace them at my cost of 4500. Should be an interesting phone call tomorrow. Recall sounded a bit like they were still working on a final fix for the issue
FWIW, the "Workhorse" recall of the failed BOSCH calipers included reimbursement of previous repair expenses incurred "if" the repairs and time frame met specific conditions. Not everyone got back every cent they had been previously charged, but lots of owners did get some of their money back.

I suggest you make copies of everything you have pertaining to the caliper failure and "ask" what is the FCCC / BOSCH proceedure for getting reimbursed. Also, I can't imagine "what" was actually done to justify a charge of $4500.00 . Part of the Workhorse deal was a total rebuild of ALL the brake components for ~$1500.00 , if done while the calipers were being replaced. Good luck!
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:10 PM   #8
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Freightliner calipers on 2007 Simba Safari FRED

We've had the same problem. Brakes went out while we were pulling into our campground in Ft Myers, FL. ABS light on, hot brakes, fluid spilling out, etc. Interstate Fleet Maintenance came to the site to replace calipers and hub seals ($600). A few months later: the same problem occurred again. Afraid for our lives, we took it to Orlando Freightliner, near our home; all breaks overheated, ABS sensors burnt, rust found, hubs leaking, etc. etc. (cost of $3000). We were told that Interstate Maintenance had used "bad parts". hmmmm. One month later, we drove 60 miles, and front wheel heated up AGAIN due to another bad caliper. Also the brake light stayed on - bad brake switch...($1000). Freightliner's only advice to us was to use the exhaust brake more, as if all of this is our fault. Now we read all of the problems that others have had, and we've heard hints that Freightliner will be doing a recall. Its disheartening that Freightliner and Bosch would put lives on the line, knowing that they had a problem!
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:26 PM   #9
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There is a current recall for Tiffin FREDs on freightliner chassis and, I believe, one other company (Winnebago??) for the problem with brake calipers. I am surprised yours would not have been included.
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:27 PM   #10
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We've had the same problem. Brakes went out while we were pulling into our campground in Ft Myers, FL. ABS light on, hot brakes, fluid spilling out, etc. Interstate Fleet Maintenance came to the site to replace calipers and hub seals ($600).
We've been talking about this issue (Bosch calipers) for the past 5 or more years. My only regret is that you just joined the site (a little too late) however we bid you welcome.

FCCC is developing a campaign in regard to this problem and if you are listed as the owner of record, you should be or already have received a recall or interim procedure notice. Hang in there, Freighliner will get this thing fixed for you shortly.

Keep your receipts, FCCC may have or offer an avenue for reimbursement for previously accomplished repairs.

Although I do not own an FCCC product, I can tell you with all certainty that they will make this right for you.

Call 800 FTL-HELP in the morning and they will advise you.
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:41 PM   #11
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There is a thread on one of the forums about yet another nail or somethign like that the key word is BOSCH.

I believe Freightliner has issued a recall on those,, Might be another company but you might wish to check for a recall..

As the other respondent said.. Same brakes I have on my workhorse.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:44 PM   #12
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When writing on this forum last night we already had an appt with Hills Truck Sales in Elkhart, IN, as we had that hot brake smell again yesterday. WTH! After spending all this money we were advised that the brake pedal is still sticking and the calipers need to be replaced AGAIN! The tech called FCCC and was advised that the recall is about to come out, but there are no parts available thru Freightliner; the tech has to call the caliper parts manufacturer directly and it could take days or up to a month to get the parts. Meanwhile, in order to drive back to the campsite we had to keep pulling the brake pedal back up after braking! This will be covered under the recall, but we have spent so much money in the last year just sitting around waiting for our brake problems to be resolved.
We have all of our bills and we'll try to get some dollars back from Freightliner.
One good note: Hills Truck Sales is right off I80 in Elkhart if anyone needs a good place for repairs.
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