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Old 07-02-2013, 02:47 PM   #1
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Hard to stop

I have a 2000 Tiffin Allegro Bay motorhome. The motorhome is 34 feet long, and has the Chevrolet 7.1 or 454 engine. The chassis is a workhorse chassis that was built in 01/2000. I believe it is a P37 not sure?. The chassis is model: P32032 I bought this motorhome about 6 months ago and it has always felt like when you apply the brakes, it takes a long time to come to a stop and you have to push the pedal very hard. Everyone has told me that it is just because if its weight and size. I have never had a motorhome before so I have nothing to compare it to.

I have made four five hour trips or drives with it so far and on the last trip, which was this past weekend, about one hour down the road, I stopped for gas. As I was walking past the passenger side rear wheels. I smelt a strong odor of what I call burning brakes. The rim was also very hot. I filled with gas, and filled the brake fluid, which was also very hot. Then I had someone walk beside the wheel as I drove the motorhome forward and backward, they said there was no sound of rubbing coming from the wheel. The first time I applied the brakes while leaving the gas pumps, the pedal went almost all the way to the floor and I had to pull it back up with my foot. I pumped the brakes and they tightened back up. I remembered that when I had pulled the motorhome out of the shed, on the night before I left, that the rear brake light stayed on and that I had to pull the brake pedal up to get the light to go off. So, I continued down the road and each time I had to apply the brakes, I pulled up on the brake pedal, making sure it was all the way up. I would stop and check the rear tire about every hour and the brake smell and heat both went away. On the trip back home I continued to make sure the brake pedal was all the way up, and I had no more problems with the passenger side rear tire getting hot.
Has anyone else had this problem and if so, what was the cure and cost.
Thank You.
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:45 PM   #2
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Sounds like your brake booster is either bad or going bad.
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:54 PM   #3
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Hi,

There could be a number of problems one of which if that coach had the brake recall done on it.

The next thing would be to bleed the brake system as there may be air in the lines causing your problem. It also may be a bad caliper.
I would take it to a Workhorse dealer and have it checked out as BRAKES are nothing to fool around with as other lives may be at stake.
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:16 PM   #4
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I'm pretty sure that the Workhorse Brake Recall only affected the chassis produced between the years July 2000 thru August 2010. You can go here for more information on the recall.
http://www.irv2.com/forums/attachmen...0&d=1284741201

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Old 07-02-2013, 05:02 PM   #5
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Richards-

Sounds like you have a P-32 chassis to me.

I had a P-30 chassis years ago. The first thing I would do is to replace both front flexible rubber hoses to the brake calipers. Then flush all the old brake fluid out with a whole new supply of fresh brake fluid. You probably have contaminated fluid, full of water- that would explain the "pedal to the floor" problem when the fluid got hot. See how it drives then.

My P-30 never felt like it had any brakes worth a darn, even after I rebuilt everything, until I hooked up my Saturn (toad) with a Brake Buddy installed. Then, I could finally stop sliding into intersections. There is much written about P- chassis brake problems here on irv2. Go to this link.

My present W-22 chassis has great brakes.
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richards View Post
I have a 2000 Tiffin Allegro Bay motorhome. The motorhome is 34 feet long, and has the Chevrolet 7.1 or 454 engine. The chassis is a workhorse chassis that was built in 01/2000. I believe it is a P37 not sure?. The chassis is model: P32032 I bought this motorhome about 6 months ago and it has always felt like when you apply the brakes, it takes a long time to come to a stop and you have to push the pedal very hard. Everyone has told me that it is just because if its weight and size. I have never had a motorhome before so I have nothing to compare it to......
Has anyone else had this problem and if so, what was the cure and cost.
Thank You.
YES, you have a P32 chassis, based on the model # you posted. They were infamous for having brakes that required a lot of effort to apply, but they almost always got the job done once the driver got used to them. Depending on GVWR, you most likely also have the infamous J71 AAPB, for which you will need to learn how to detect and prevent problems.

ONLY the W-20/W-22 chassis were recalled for brake problems, so the best thing you can do is find a competent medium duty truck service center and have them make sure all is working as designed.

For the best free info on the internet about your J71 AAPB, sugest you email Roger at oldusedbear11@charter.net. He is the acknowledged expert and can help you avoid big bucks on repairs to the "parking brake".
Good luck, replace the fluid, and get those brakes checked. Ed
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:45 PM   #7
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I had a problem very similar to yours with my 98 Winnebago on a Ford F53 chassis. From the time I bought it, it felt like I needed 2 feet to stop it. Then I had an instance where the pedal went to the floor while going down a steep hill. Took the coach to a truck repair shop. Found a leaking seal had coated by back brakes, caliper slides were rusted up not allowing the calipers to function properly, 1 caliper was sticking, and the master cylinder was bad. They repaired/replaced the worn parts and replaced all the brake fluid. The MH stops very well now.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:12 PM   #8
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richards,
Careful, careful, I realize that many offer ideas that may have fixed a problem they had but until it is inspected don't do or throw any $$$ at it until you know exactly what is going on. You must have it checked by a good technician.
Brakes must generate heat to stop, so yes they will be hot and they will smell. What concerns me is the pedal going to the floor and having to be physically returned. That is a hydraulic problem and must be addressed first before rotors, drums, shoe material etc can be dealt with.

Your coach is 13 years old. The master cylinder/complete brake system should have been flushed at least 2-3 times by now. There's where I'd start. Have the system checked and flushed to determine if you can get a consistent full brake pedal. Even if you have metal to metal at the rotors you should still have a hard pedal with no pumping. If you have to pump the pedal to get full pressure deal with the hydraulics first.

Replacing the flexible hoses leading to the front calipers is only necessary if a hose is frayed, cracking, leaking or if the unit pulls to one side and all other causes are ruled out. If they look like original equipment then replace them.
The brake booster does just that. It boosts the applied pedal force about 10X's. Get that checked as well.

When you get to the repair point buy only the best brake linings you can get. I like NAPA OEM replacements. Your Work horse dealer may have a good quality lining as well. Just don't go cheap.

Have the rotors/drums check for minimum thickness. If they are close replace them. The drums/rotors act as a heat sink and they are important in absorbing the heat generated when braking. If they are thin they will get hotter. That's the only reason they have minimum thickness standards.

If the rotors/drums pass the minimum specs then they MUST be machined. There are no exceptions to this rule. I don't care what anybody tries to tell you. If you are replacing brake material the rotors/drums must be machined.

Last but not least Google this phrase, "Burnishing brake linings ??" Read some of the many articles explaining why and how to burnish brake linings. This is a very misunderstood but very, very important procedure following lining replacement that all quality brake technicians understand very well.

TeJay
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:30 PM   #9
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Have a shop mechanic check your breakls.

I also had the same problem except I all most ran into a car in front of me, if he hadn't started moving I would of hit him for sure.
You did not say if you had a ten-dem axle or not, because the one that I have the breaks went out but I never notice it before.
I had a shop go completely over and replace everything that pertain to my breaks including the tam-done to the toon of about $8,000.00 or more.
The tan-dem axles has a break systen all by it self and mine stopped working.
The breaks works great now.
Just a thought.
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Old 07-05-2013, 09:06 PM   #10
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Pretty much sounds like the brake fluid has been boiled for whatever reason, so that must be flushed out and changed regardless. What caused this needs to be found and the whole system checked for any other problems.
As for pedal pressure, yes it it much more than one might be used to in their car and DW has said this as well. I've never thought much about it and has been said, it get's the job of stopping done pretty well, considering.
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:03 PM   #11
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2001 P32 Brake Failure

I too have brake problems. After lockup and meltdown, I recently had the front calipers, pads, hoses,ABS sensors, and fluid replaced. Afterwards still had strange ABS vibrations problems and warning lights. After much troubleshooting including disabling the ABS to drive it I have noticed that it requires much force to stop and the left front and right rear appear to be working overtime to stop. As I am new to this coach I don't know what else to have done. It is difficult to find service centers here who can make educated repairs. Especially recommending unplugging the ABS. Any advice?
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:14 AM   #12
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While it is difficult to find a quality repair shop a good brake repair follows the same guidelines. Check Post #8 above. There I have listed some of the correct things to do. If you choose to cut corners and or skip any one of the correct procedures then you are asking for further problems. Good brakes require following correct repair procedures. It also requires that the OP believe what a responder with many years of experience posts. Here are a few more items to follow.

1. Always machine rotors/drums, even if they were machined then have gotten very hot again they may have warped or become glazed. Over heated pads rubbing against an overheated rotor will transfer material onto the rotor and lodge into the open pores of the rotor. That will render those rotors useless for stopping. That surface must be machined again. Cheap linings will also do the same thing. In both cases friction can't be created and greater braking forces are required.

2. When looking for a shop just go in and talk to the service writer. Ask them if when performing a brake job they always machine the rotors. If their answer is NO then leave, they are cutting corners. If they do it with rotors they will probably do it in other areas as well. Then ask them what pad they would recommend for your specific vehicle. If they get them from a local parts house go to that house and ask them to give you a listing of all the pads they carry for your vehicle and get the prices. Some parts houses keep 2-5 levels of pads. Cheap ones are just that, cheap and the better quality ones list for more. It might range from $25 to $75 for the same vehicle. Now which ones did your dealer suggest you use. If they suggested the cheaper ones so you don't run away because of the high cost of the repair then they are cutting corners.

3. If you are having a particular problem don't give the shop full reign to replace parts until they fix the problem. Get someone to explain what they are doing and why. If they can't explain what and why they are just searching for a solution by not thinking. Any shop that just throws parts at a problem without diagnosing is way behind the times and I'd walk away.

Years ago I took a new vehicle to the dealer with an obvious rear bearing noise. I also very kindly explained to him that I did have 30 years experience with this stuff and I explained to him why and what I thought the problem was. He told me that couldn't be the problem because those bearing almost never go bad and suggested that I take one of their techs with me to diagnose the real problem. We didn't drive 40 feet before the tech said, "Yep the rear bearing is bad." The service writer never acknowledged his mistake.
SORRY, I know these posts can be long. All I'm trying to do is explain correct procedures so those that are interested can save some $$$ and maybe have a better repair outcome.

Best of luck in your search for good repairs. If you have any other questions PM me.

TeJay
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:42 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Maguyver 86 View Post
I too have brake problems. As I am new to this coach I don't know what else to have done. It is difficult to find service centers here who can make educated repairs. Especially recommending unplugging the ABS. Any advice?
First let me welcome you to the Workhorse forum on iRV2.com.

I used to live in Belle Chasse, and I don't know IF these two ASCs are still in business, but they are the ONLY two I would recommend in LA. Suggest you give them a call.
Billy Thibodeaux's Premiere RV, Inc.
1721 Renaud Dr
Scott
LA
70583
(337) 233-7494
Bus Gas Svc; Bus Diesel Svc; RV Gas Svc; RV Diesel Svc
GM Varnado & Sons, Inc.
7659 Airline Hwy
Baton Rouge
LA
70814
(225)924-5378
Coml Sales; Coml Svc; RV Gas Svc; RV Diesel Svc


If neither of them works for you, then any competent medium-duty truck repair shop "should" be able to properly repair the brakes on a P32. It ain't rocket science, but even when everything is functioning as designed, the P32's brakes aren't known for being too powerful.

Good luck, and again WELCOME.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:19 AM   #14
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Welcome to the forum.
Your chassis model identifies it as a P32. Chev sold the chassis to WH in Nov 1999 but continued to build under contract for some time after.

The P32 at 16500# plus whatever else you put in the brakes have a difficult challenge. Learn to anticipate your stops. These things do not stop on a dime at the best of times.

Some good advice from previous posters. Sounds like you have sticking calipers. The caliper slides need to be lubricated regularlyand the brake fluid should be flushed every 2-3 years as the DOT3 breakfluid is hygroscopic (absorbs moisture- water) and when overheated produces steam which is not a good transmitter of hydraulic pressure and explains the petal to the floor thing. Also considering the age, 13 years, the break hoses tend to fail internally (swelling closed) causing the caliper to stay engaged/ sticking. Externally they may appear ok.

As far as machining the rotors, some recommend the replacement of them, I did not machine mine, put in new, a complete break job. Rotors, calipers, pads.

As mentioned in post #13 any competent medium/heavy truck shop can do it.

Steve
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