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Old 07-27-2015, 08:46 PM   #1
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Brake inspection without removing wheel

I called a RV repair shop asking about brake inspection and was told that they would inspect the shoes without removing the wheels. If they had to remove back wheel it would take two hours per wheel? I questioned him he said sometime it takes that much at $90.00 per hour. Maybe I'm missing something but I think I should find another shop.
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:38 PM   #2
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Not familiar with you coach, do you have disc brake or drum?

I have drum brakes all the way around. When I lube my chassis I take the time to inspect the brakes. The wear on my brake pads have been minimal over the last +6 years that I've owned the coach, almost can't see that they are wearing at all. The shoe itself has is ~5/8"-3/4" thick and appear to be wearing evenly all the way around and from shoe to shoe.

As far as the time to remove and inspect the brakes, especially on a dually, it probably a little high but if they do a thorough job it may be right. You might ask them if they have any type of checklist that they go by and what you get when they are done (other then a checked box).
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:49 PM   #3
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Two hours per side seems a little steep ; BUT ; that may include lubing the " S " cams and a road test and re-torqueing of the rear duals.
Important to know exactly what they will be doing when they have the wheels and drum (?) off.
Do you have alloy wheels or stainless wheel trim ? The stainless takes longer too.
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:50 PM   #4
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Bruce......First, how many miles do you have on your coach. My 05 Diplomat had 77K when I sold it and they still looked like new. You can crawl under the coach and look at the back side. They don't have a backing plate, like a car, that hides the brake linings.


If they had to disassemble the rears, it can be time consuming. It's not just a matter of removing the rims.
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:54 PM   #5
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Jack up right side, place jack stand under axle, remove wheel cover and TPMS ( if used ), bring Impact gun and hose to wheel, loosen 10 wheel nuts, pull tires with tire dolly, back off slack adjusters, pull drum ( if not rusted to hub ) and inspect brake shoes. Reverse order plus torque wheel nuts. Repeat on left side.


Sounds like 2 hours per side is about right, compared to looking thru a slot in the backing plate.
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:10 PM   #6
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The brake pads on a DP are designed to last 200,000 to 300,000 miles on OTR bus's, including prudent use of the exhaust or engine brake.
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxwell18 View Post
I called a RV repair shop asking about brake inspection and was told that they would inspect the shoes without removing the wheels. If they had to remove back wheel it would take two hours per wheel? I questioned him he said sometime it takes that much at $90.00 per hour. Maybe I'm missing something but I think I should find another shop.
If ANY shop told me that... they would be immediately disqualified from working on my coach.

Im a firm believer that RV shops dont employ the best chassis mechanics. There are exceptions to this... I would be looking for a shop that specializes in your chassis type.
I find this to be true of most vehicles. Specialized repair shops do the best quality work for the $$$ spent. You can be sure you will be geting charged for all the hours a clueless tech at an RV shop will be "googling" or looking up billables on Mitchells.
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:24 PM   #8
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Sounds like 2 hours per side is about right, compared to looking thru a slot in the backing plate.
Thank you. I do this for a living, a 1" impact gun weighs 30 lbs and kicks like a mule, it's a lot of work to do a wheel off inspection but it is the right way to do it.
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:37 PM   #9
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Easy to see the brake shoes as Dutch Star Don said. There is no reason to remove the drums or even a backing plate to see them.
And, yes, they are made to last at least 100,000 miles in normal use. Not sure how much we'll get out of our all wheel disk brakes but I bet it's at least that much.
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Old 07-28-2015, 03:58 AM   #10
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follow up

I am the OP and I'm reading the comments and still wondering is there a inspection opening so you can see all the brake shoes to make a determination on the conditions of all shoes? I want to thank everybody so far for their comments.
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Old 07-28-2015, 07:13 PM   #11
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is there a inspection opening so you can see all the brake shoes to make a determination on the conditions of all shoes?
Yes, you should be able to see the thickness of the shoes from the back side. Typically I peek at them wile I'm greasing the slacks.
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Old 07-28-2015, 08:53 PM   #12
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I am the OP and I'm reading the comments and still wondering is there a inspection opening so you can see all the brake shoes to make a determination on the conditions of all shoes? I want to thank everybody so far for their comments.
Bruce,
About 99% of the D/P RVs out there have fairly similar brakes. The main difference is whether they're drum or disc. Both types are easy to inspect without the removal of the tire and wheel. You do have to lay on the ground and, wiggle your way in behind any wheel you want to take a look at. On most, it's tight between the bottom of the coach and, the ground.

Obviously, the bigger the person, the tougher it is to wiggle around under a coach that's sitting flat footed on the ground. Now, you can give yourself a bit of added ground clearance by using the jacks to lift it some. And, before anyone gets their panties in a knot, of course you don't lift all the wheels and tires off the ground. ALL YOU'RE DOING IS, GIVEING EXTRA ROOM!!!

Now, that type of inspection is the norm. It's not a complete one but, it's accepted as normal throughout the industry. Obviously, if the tires and wheels, and drums (if you have drums) are pulled, you get a real close-up inspection of the face of the shoes and, a 360 degree view of the drums.

Most lug nuts on the larger D/P units are torqued in the vicinity of 450 ft. lbs. or more. A company has to have good equipment and a careful tech to get setup for the removal of a set of duals. If they do it for a living, it's minutes to get ready to pull a set of duals.

And, a very large percentage of the D/P units out there are designed so that the drums in the rear, are removable without pulling the hubs. That way there's no messing with pulling the axles and bearings and all that stuff.

I've done it a few times on our coach, an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT. I use a torque multiplier to break those 450 lug nuts loose. Then I have a wheel/tire dolly that easily maneuvers those 140 lb. tire/wheel combos around like nothing. The drum weighs around 50-75 lbs. and I can use a motorcycle jack or, if I'm rambunctious, I simply lift if off the hub. It's not advisable to lift it off, it's hard on the back.

But as stated, you get a more comprehensive inspection that way. As for them telling you "2 hours" for that inspection, well it's probably pretty close to that. To pull off both sets of wheels and tires, do a complete inspection, make sure your slack adjusters are correctly set and, put everything back together, well, yeah, it's pretty close. If a tech was really good, he could probably do it in an hour to an hour and a half.

You could save some time by using the coaches jacks to lift the rear only and double chock the fronts so it can't move. We did that constantly on our fire trucks when the tech had to change tires in the field.

Scott
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Old 07-30-2015, 06:03 AM   #13
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When guy in the truck shop almost took off his fingers doing it by hand they finally invested in two items: a roller like you describe, takes both tires and drum if they pull the axle and back off the brakes, and another if they did tires off and pulled the drum by itself. They had jacks built in and a tilt to align with the housing. These tools also save the seal during installation.
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Old 07-30-2015, 11:07 AM   #14
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When I had the 48 month service done in Gaffney last year, one of the items on the list was to lube the s-cams. They told me that they would not be doing that because it takes almost the full day because of everything that has to come off to get to the cams. They did look at the thickness of the brake shoes from under the coach and they were still very thick. In fact, they pointed them out to me when the mechanic took me under the coach and explained everything he had done.
I think a visual from under the coach would suffice. However if you have reason to think the shoes have gotten contaminated with oil or grease, removal of the drums is in order.
If you do remove the drums, have the s-cams lube while they're in there.
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