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Old 11-14-2009, 04:57 PM   #1
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'87 Bounder brakes

Hi all

Our 1987 34' fleetwood Bounder has some braking issues.

We are thinking of moving across states and if its worth keeping our existing coach (doing a few things to get it road/trustworthy!) Its been sitting for a long while ( this thing is our fulltime home) it will definitely require new tires.
A friend who moved the coach for my Wife (before i was here in the states)from the last RV park mentioned the brake pedal was soft and the pedal went pretty far down to the floor.

I know that braking issues like this on cars can be air in the system, worn master cylinder and/or wheel caliper seals leaking.Also from the long period of being stationary could be the main cause.

As yet i havent driven it yet to make sure, but just out of curiosity are these the main causes of soft brakes? Are there anyother suggestions?

Plus if it needs brake parts where can you get new parts from?! For a 1987 bounder on a John Deere chassis with ford 460. I do know its got a Rockwell industries front axle.

Would it be as easy to drain/work on the brakes myself on this age of coach,or is this a put it in the shop job?
If this becomes a cost & time problem it may be easier to get a smaller cheaper 5th wheel or bumper pull & cheap truck to move. The 87 could become a very expensive money pit !
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Old 11-14-2009, 05:21 PM   #2
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Water commonly accumulates in the brake fluid, then puddles up in the cylinder bores - either master cylinder, wheel cylinders, or both - this craters the iron bores, and allows fluid leakage - and is worse in long-term standing units, since all the water has to do, is sit there and do it's damage, undisturbed.

You MIGHT get off with minor repairs/replacement - or it COULD be much more...

Good luck.
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Old 11-15-2009, 03:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary - K7GLD View Post
Water commonly accumulates in the brake fluid, then puddles up in the cylinder bores - either master cylinder, wheel cylinders, or both - this craters the iron bores, and allows fluid leakage - and is worse in long-term standing units, since all the water has to do, is sit there and do it's damage, undisturbed.

You MIGHT get off with minor repairs/replacement - or it COULD be much more...

Good luck.
Ah forgot about water collecting in the system.Remember now that brake fluid absorbs water (well old stuff used to ,not sure about the synthetic stuff)
Thankyou for the advice.
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:26 PM   #4
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Welcome to irv2 Pauland Ro.
Gary's advice is a good one for starters changing the fluid is easy enough than take on a few rides for reaction.
I had same chassis and brakes held up till 60,000 miles before I had to have them worked on.
Biggest problem with that chassis was the manifolds cracking or popping bolts that held them on. Bolts expansions would also crack the head bolts mounts.
The Fords I owned after that I had headers by Banks placed on them.
There are other company's that make them if price is a factor and new exhaust pipe mounts and tail pipe would help also.
Once that is done you will be happy. As for ride new shocks later will make for a better ride. No matter what chassis you get on a coach there is always room for improvement.
Good luck with your experience and welcome to RVing.
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Old 11-16-2009, 12:40 AM   #5
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So that vintage ford 460 suffers from exhaust manifold cracking & manifold bolt problems.. mmm will keep an eye/ear out for that! thanks.. plus problems with head bolts too?! Grrr hope that isnt on all engines...
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:32 AM   #6
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Not the head bolt but bolts that go into the header for manifold. When the manifold heated up bolts would pop like a bullet.
Thats why manifolds were replaced with Banks systems eliminating the Ford manifolds.
The heavy exhaust system placed stress on manifold bolts on rear end of manifolds both sides, a lighter exhaust system helped also.
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:05 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info on the headers etc. Will most aftermarket headers fit the 460 in our John Deere chassis? I know not all will due to width & space between the engine/headers/chassis members.Or are the headers sold by Banks the only ones recommended/able to fit.

Something else to think about as when we are ready the coach will be travelling a fair old distance.
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