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Old 06-14-2017, 12:49 PM   #1
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Scary moment

Poor "Clora Mae" (our 1989 Rockwood motorhome). She's having hip problems - her brakes went out yesterday... with us inside her! Talk about a frightening drive. Hubby thinks it's the almost 30 year old master brake cylinder that needs new seals. We were able to coax her back to the dealership safely with lots of pump stomping the brakes to restore enough pressure at stop lights.

She's also developed a cough - backfiring when we go uphill. Likely wires got crossed when they installed the new plugs and wires. It could also be the old girl needs a new fuel pump, that's not uncommon on the Ford 460 engines when they reach +/- 30,000 miles.

I miss her and I'm trying to be patient while she's at the 'doctor '.
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RVM169 | Charlene & Allen | 1989 Rockwood 32' Class A, "Clora Mae" | 2018 travel: Mar, Merrillville, IN| Apr, Moline, IL| Jun, Columbia, MO| Oct, Kansas City, KS.
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Old 06-14-2017, 01:13 PM   #2
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He's to a speedy recovery that does not hurt the wallet too much
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Old 06-14-2017, 03:04 PM   #3
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You can get the brakes diagnosed and fixed lots of places and it should not be a guess. At her age, it could be lots of things.

As for the engine issues, if the shop you are at now does not find and correct it instantly, find a Ford dealership that does a lot of trucks. They will have someone that knows 460s.

Frank
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Old 06-14-2017, 04:14 PM   #4
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Prayers sent to Clora Mae get well soon, summer is here.
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Old 06-14-2017, 05:10 PM   #5
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Get well wishes for Clora Mae!
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Old 06-14-2017, 05:28 PM   #6
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I know your pain as we have experienced all of that and more. We did loose our brakes last year on an unexpected big downgrade out in the middle of nowhere. We got away with it and things cooled off, m/c topped off and it went back to normal. I suspect that the brakes are marginal at best with these units. It's a cargo truck chassis, then they build a house on it add waste and fresh water tanks, the owner fills up every available storage space with stuff. Although we can go up the passes in the fast lane now, I still drop in line with the tractor trailers going down. Before I went thru the engine it was gutless and on any medium and larger upgrade the m/h was a slug. I would get impatient get on the gas foul a couple plugs and it would backfire LOUD! It was very unnerving and frustrating. I would find a reputable truck repair shop as most dealers won't take it in due to the age and unfamiliarity with older chassis.
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Old 06-15-2017, 11:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dsallach View Post
He's to a speedy recovery that does not hurt the wallet too much
Well.... as we all know, these are expensive toys. Holes we throw money into.

We paid 5k for her, knowing she's an old gal and had been neglected in a back parking lot of a church since 2012. Slim maintenance records previous to that. So expecting another 5-10k to get her in good operational order wasn't out of the question.

You might ask why we didn't then just skip that process and buy something newer for our 10-15k? Reasonable question. Two answers: she's top of the line for her age, and she's only got 30,000 miles on her engine. Those two things combined make her worth all the repairs and modifications.

Quote:
Originally Posted by F76Marion View Post
You can get the brakes diagnosed and fixed lots of places and it should not be a guess. At her age, it could be lots of things.

As for the engine issues, if the shop you are at now does not find and correct it instantly, find a Ford dealership that does a lot of trucks. They will have someone that knows 460s.

Frank
Yep Frank, you're right about the repair shops!

We were referred to this particular Ford dealership by the local RV supply shop so I at least felt confident that they were familiar with motorhomes. When I first called the dealership to ask about getting a tune up on a 30 year old motorhome, they didn't bat an eye. That was a good sign.

I did some comparison shopping at other Ford dealerships, some of whom responded with, "um, I'll check on that and call you back". While they may be familiar with Ford engines, perhaps not so much familiar with ones that pull a house behind them everywhere they go.

Do far, I have confidence that they know what they're doing, based on the RV supply recommendation. Experience will ultimately tel us whether that judgement is solid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin along View Post
Prayers sent to Clora Mae get well soon, summer is here.
It is, and I'm itching to GO!!!

That being said, we're still 10 years from retirement and only have limited time to take her out and stretch her legs. But if she's home with me, at least I can sit in her glam her up.
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Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
Get well wishes for Clora Mae!
Thank you, appreciate the well wishes for our gal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpony56hd View Post
I know your pain as we have experienced all of that and more. We did loose our brakes last year on an unexpected big downgrade out in the middle of nowhere. We got away with it and things cooled off, m/c topped off and it went back to normal. I suspect that the brakes are marginal at best with these units. It's a cargo truck chassis, then they build a house on it add waste and fresh water tanks, the owner fills up every available storage space with stuff. Although we can go up the passes in the fast lane now, I still drop in line with the tractor trailers going down. Before I went thru the engine it was gutless and on any medium and larger upgrade the m/h was a slug. I would get impatient get on the gas foul a couple plugs and it would backfire LOUD! It was very unnerving and frustrating. I would find a reputable truck repair shop as most dealers won't take it in due to the age and unfamiliarity with older RVs.
You make an interesting point about brakes being marginal at best with these things. Part of the reason we chose to drive her around town on various errands, to sortof put her through paces to intentionally find her problems BEFORE we take her on a road trip. She's too old and been parked for far too long not to expect some significant repairs.

Hoping to hear something back today, but realistically not expecting anything until middle of next week.
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RVM169 | Charlene & Allen | 1989 Rockwood 32' Class A, "Clora Mae" | 2018 travel: Mar, Merrillville, IN| Apr, Moline, IL| Jun, Columbia, MO| Oct, Kansas City, KS.
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Old 06-15-2017, 11:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpony56hd View Post
I know your pain as we have experienced all of that and more. We did loose our brakes last year on an unexpected big downgrade out in the middle of nowhere. We got away with it and things cooled off, m/c topped off and it went back to normal. I suspect that the brakes are marginal at best with these units. It's a cargo truck chassis, then they build a house on it add waste and fresh water tanks, the owner fills up every available storage space with stuff. Although we can go up the passes in the fast lane now, I still drop in line with the tractor trailers going down. Before I went thru the engine it was gutless and on any medium and larger upgrade the m/h was a slug. I would get impatient get on the gas foul a couple plugs and it would backfire LOUD! It was very unnerving and frustrating. I would find a reputable truck repair shop as most dealers won't take it in due to the age and unfamiliarity with older chassis.
If you lost your brakes going down a steep grade and they were ok again when they cooled you need to flush out your old brake fluid and replace it with new brake fluid. Old fluid absorbs moisture and causes a loss of brakes when the fluid gets hot going down a steep grade. It should be flushed every few years too be safe I know the feeling when the pedal goes to the floor and you can't stop.
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Old 07-09-2017, 08:58 AM   #9
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Update on the repairs-
So we'd dropped her off at the dealership three ago. For two weeks we hear nothing. Finally hubby calls, and found out that they've only got one tech that knows older Ford big trucks. Okay, no problem right? Wrong. Problem is, he's very slow, has way too many trucks on his plate, and doesn't talk to the supervisor or the service desk.

The guys at the desk couldn't tell us what was going on with it. The supervisor couldn't tell us. And when we insisted on getting an update, they got the tech on the line, he said the master cylinder needed to be replaced and that's all he knew, after having her in the bay for two weeks. And goodbye. Not even as opportunity to discuss his findings on the brakes.

At that point we decided to look for a new mechanic. We didn't feel like the dealership was the right place for us. We asked around and found a mechanic that has worked on Ford big trucks for 35 years. He said he'll get started on her this coming Monday. Crossing my fingers he can get it done by Saturday, as we're taking a trip up Chicago way for a disc golf tournament.
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