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Old 08-25-2020, 03:05 PM   #1
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Brakes Hard to Use- No Boost?

I did a search, but didn't find anything directly addressing my problem.

My MH is a 2001 Damon on a P32 Workhorse chassis and 8.1 Vortec with 22,000 miles. Ive owned it for only a month or so, and unfortunately have found the prior owner failed to disclose several issues. I've addressed most of these, but my brakes take a near Herculean effort to push down enough to get the home stopped quickly. I'm wondering if they are supposed to be power-assisted and I have a failed component. And if so, is that component part of the master cylinder or a separate part.
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Old 08-25-2020, 03:20 PM   #2
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the brake boosters are separate. make sure all your vacuum lines are in good shape if they check out you may need a new booster.
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Old 08-25-2020, 04:22 PM   #3
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Your brake booster should be powered by the power steering pump and system. If it steers OK, that system should be OK. Some have electric motor backups. Press the brake with the engine off to listen for it.

If the master cylinder is turned 90 to the firewall, there will be a bellcrank linkage that can siese up.
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Old 08-25-2020, 04:54 PM   #4
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined us!

When we bought our 2002 Monaco Windsor in 2012 the first thing I noticed was how much pressure it took to stop that 33,000 lbs! I had been using a Ford F250 PSD for 12 years pulling a 5th wheel. You might get a friend who has a similar size MH to drive yours and see what they say.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 08-25-2020, 06:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Your brake booster should be powered by the power steering pump and system. If it steers OK, that system should be OK. Some have electric motor backups. Press the brake with the engine off to listen for it.

If the master cylinder is turned 90 to the firewall, there will be a bellcrank linkage that can siese up.
TWINBOAT is correct. I just want to add that the Hydro-Boost "booster" is located between the brake pedal linkage, sometimes called a "bell crank", and the master cylinder. On the P32 series chassis this booster is powered by the power steering pump and not by an electric motor like was used on the W-series, so you should NOT hear anything "running" when you step on the brake pedal with the engine OFF.



Honestly, I don't KNOW if this Hydro-Boost booster can fail, or not, but there should be a hose or two between it and the PS pump, so "maybe" one of them is kinked or blocked???


All that said, the P32 series chassis were never known for having very powerful brakes, and many owners have complained about having to "stand on them" to get a quick stop. Depending on your GVWR, you may have a combination of disk and drum style brakes. If you can't find anything mechanically wrong, you may have to learn how to live with them, and keep a safe distance between you and the BMWs out there.
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Old 08-25-2020, 06:28 PM   #6
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Worst brakes of any vehicle I ever drove. Had it into the shop many times and they improved it to the point I only had to use one foot to stand on it.

This conversation has come up about them before. I really think they built the brake lines incorrectly sized or the ABS box is fighting the system.

If I had not traded it in on our present RV I would have bypassed the abs and installed much larger lines. Or if possible would have added or changed the calipers.

I had an airplane kit I built and the brakes were useless. Changing to the larger caliper which had shoes only about an inch longer allowed me to lock them up if needed.

And do not trust the parking brake if on a hill, always carry a 4x4 to block the tires. Mine was a brake shoe on the drive shaft.

I absolutely hated the system. Scared the crap out of me driving it home the first night. With a toad on the back I carried an anchor to toss out in an emergency.

Sorry to be so negative.

And welcome to the forum. I will see if I can find the recent thread addressing the issue.
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Old 08-25-2020, 07:36 PM   #7
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I just went thru this on my '00 P32 with 40k miles. I bought this RV in Jan and was worried first few times out in case I needed to stop fast as I had to really stand on it to get it to stop, and then it was more of a slowing down, not stopping.

Upon inspection i found 1 seized rear caliper, so I just replaced all 4. Had plans that weekend, so just the calipers and pads were replaced. Rotors werent worn or grooved, so I knew they would be fine till I got back to it. Braked a lot better, but had alot more room to improve on. I still had some pulsating so I knew a warped rotor was an issue. Next chance I had, I replaced all 4 rotors and also the 2 rubber flex lines at front, and 3 at rear. The cost to turn the rotors was almost the same as new rotors, so new ones where installed. Now it will stop on a dime. When I took it out to burnish in the pads/rotors, I could lock it up easily. I would say it takes a little more force than a pickup, I think mostly because of the linkage from pedal to booster allows for some flexing
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Old 08-25-2020, 08:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
If the master cylinder is turned 90 to the firewall, there will be a bellcrank linkage that can siese up.
Never worked on a bellcrank and was in the dark so I googled it, and thought I'd share for people who share my ignorance:

https://techtalk.mpbrakes.com/bellcrank-classic-cars

(The 2:00 movie at the end is good too.)
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Old 08-26-2020, 08:21 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone for sharing. With some investigating, I did discover yesterday that my MH has the hydraulic type booster (looks a lot like thus one: https://www.millsupply.com/hydroboos...3.php?p=321323). There appears to be a significant leak in this unit somewhere as there is what appears to be hydraulic fluid on its undersurface and some of the components below it. These types of boosters are, unfortunately, quite expensive ($450-$650 just for the part remanufactured). I'm hoping to be able to take it off and inspect it better to see if it can be saved.

I'm assuming removing the booster unit will not affect the master cylinder or cause a loss of fluid there. Any of you guys ever had to replace or repair one of these.
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Old 08-26-2020, 08:29 AM   #10
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Interesting

Quote:
Originally Posted by YC1 View Post
Worst brakes of any vehicle I ever drove. Had it into the shop many times and they improved it to the point I only had to use one foot to stand on it.

This conversation has come up about them before. I really think they built the brake lines incorrectly sized or the ABS box is fighting the system.

If I had not traded it in on our present RV I would have bypassed the abs and installed much larger lines. Or if possible would have added or changed the calipers.

I had an airplane kit I built and the brakes were useless. Changing to the larger caliper which had shoes only about an inch longer allowed me to lock them up if needed.

And do not trust the parking brake if on a hill, always carry a 4x4 to block the tires. Mine was a brake shoe on the drive shaft.

I absolutely hated the system. Scared the crap out of me driving it home the first night. With a toad on the back I carried an anchor to toss out in an emergency.

Sorry to be so negative.

And welcome to the forum. I will see if I can find the recent thread addressing the issue.
Many Thanks for the 'welcome' and advice....

I've driven my unit around 500 miles since buying it and it stops OK, however, it requires some serious muscle. My leg is still sore from the effort. I've started 'gearing down' to help with stopping and so barring some fool pulling out in front of me at 60 mph, I think it's OK to drive as is. I would like to get it fixed properly before my next long trip though!
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Old 08-26-2020, 01:17 PM   #11
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It's probably working as built and designed but it was terrible.

The leaking ??? may be from someone adding too much fluid or trying to get the air out of the system by running the steering wheel from full turns to the left then the right while it is jacked up. Just a thought. Clean the surfaces and then raise the front. Turn it right to left.

Now before you do as I suggest look up the procedure because it has been many years and I do not recall if you do it with the engine running and the cap off the reservoir .

Take a look at your rear brake lines where they T off and go to each wheel. As I recall the lines were about 1/8 inch in diameter and not much more.

I was going to find a real shop that specialized in brakes to evaluate some sort of changes. A small volume filling a larger container is how you get leverage but if the brake calipers are too small for the large job they may need a serious upgrade. Heck, they put dual calipers on some vehicles.

There were recall after recall it seemed on the "Bosh"???? brakes.

There should be some real solutions after all these years. You should be able to use your toe to brake and not have your leg ache from braking. And you are not exaggerating,
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Old 08-26-2020, 03:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YC1 View Post
It's probably working as built and designed but it was terrible.

The leaking ??? may be from someone adding too much fluid or trying to get the air out of the system by running the steering wheel from full turns to the left then the right while it is jacked up. Just a thought. Clean the surfaces and then raise the front. Turn it right to left.

Now before you do as I suggest look up the procedure because it has been many years and I do not recall if you do it with the engine running and the cap off the reservoir .

Take a look at your rear brake lines where they T off and go to each wheel. As I recall the lines were about 1/8 inch in diameter and not much more.

I was going to find a real shop that specialized in brakes to evaluate some sort of changes. A small volume filling a larger container is how you get leverage but if the brake calipers are too small for the large job they may need a serious upgrade. Heck, they put dual calipers on some vehicles.

There were recall after recall it seemed on the "Bosh"???? brakes.

There should be some real solutions after all these years. You should be able to use your toe to brake and not have your leg ache from braking. And you are not exaggerating,


The Bosch calipers that were recalled twice are not used on the P32 chassis.
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Old 08-26-2020, 03:32 PM   #13
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Bottom line; this is not gonna happen on a P-32 chassis motorhome . I am on my third one and, unfortunately, these are not known for their brake prowess. The four wheel disc brake chassis works better than the earlier front disc only but I'm still a left foot braker and keep that foot close to the pedal so I can reduce my braking reaction time as much as possible while driving in heavy traffic situations (while leaving adequate safety distance to the vehicle in front and hoping no one will swerve into that space).

Quote:
Originally Posted by YC1 View Post
..... You should be able to use your toe to brake.....
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Old 09-03-2020, 01:58 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone for sharing. With some investigating, I did discover yesterday that my MH has the hydraulic type booster (looks a lot like thus one: https://www.millsupply.com/hydroboos...3.php?p=321323). There appears to be a significant leak in this unit somewhere as there is what appears to be hydraulic fluid on its undersurface and some of the components below it. These types of boosters are, unfortunately, quite expensive ($450-$650 just for the part remanufactured). I'm hoping to be able to take it off and inspect it better to see if it can be saved.

I'm assuming removing the booster unit will not affect the master cylinder or cause a loss of fluid there. Any of you guys ever had to replace or repair one of these.
DO NOT attempt to disassemble the Hydro Boost unit. This job requires special tools. There is a spring inside which will send you to the moon if it doesn't rip your head off first. Or, maybe both.
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