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Old 09-20-2020, 12:00 PM   #1
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2014 F53 - Rear Drivers Caliper Leak

So, as a habit I roll under the RV to check to see if anything is loose, leaking or hanging...well glad I did.

Two things, the two nuts on the transmission mount were loose. That's an easy fix.

Second, not so fun...the rear drivers side inside tire was all full of what appears to be brake fluid. Closer inspection, shows that the caliper is showing signs of a leak. Albeit, not a huge leak, not dripping, but definitely at one point or continuously while driving the caliper is leaking. If I had to guess, one of the the cylinder seals is popped.

I don't think I want to drive it as-is. Probably going to have it towed from the campground.

Question is, has anyone had similar service, about how much does this cost? I would assume they would replace the caliper at a minimum, maybe do a rear brake job.

Lastly, we are near Hot Springs Arkansas, if anyone knows a good place to have this repair done near here...that would be appreciated


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Old 09-20-2020, 01:18 PM   #2
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Check your brake fluid level, if leaking it will be low.
Smell and compare that leaking oil to your brake fluid and rear differencial oil.

Distintive difference in smell, but the inner grease seal may actually be leaking.
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Old 09-20-2020, 04:42 PM   #3
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Yeah, definitely brake fluid. I'm thinking grease has more of an earthy sulfury smell, this stuff does not smell like that and is pretty thin.

The only thing other than the inside of the rim that has fluid on it is the lower part of the caliper near the spring clips.

It must have happened within a few miles of where we are now, since I didn't notice any degraded braking (towing a jeep too, I'm sure it semi compensates).

My reservoir is pretty much full, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot that got out. There was enough to spray/coat the inside of the rim and outside of the inside tire...I'd guess an ounce or two at most.

If it was anything else other than brakes, I'd drive it for service...no way am I taking 22kLBS down the road with compromised stopping power.

I can only imagine what the towing bill is going to be...oh well (I'll put it on my Amazon card - at least I'll get some points out of it), time for a beer and wait for stuff to open tomorrow (its Sunday) to find a place to take it tomorrow.

Good news is the campground has tons of open spots (and I have plenty of beer and bourbon) and we can stay as long as we need to, if a part isn't around right away.


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Old 09-20-2020, 07:39 PM   #4
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Ford had a recall on our 2014 f53 for brake calipers. I'm not sure if it was all F53's but our 18K was inspected and required the replacement of the front calipers. When they did the inspection they checked all four. I think the recall was in 2015 or 2016. It would be nice if this repair would be covered. Good luck.
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:00 PM   #5
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Thanks a ton for that information on the recall. That might make this a bit less painful $$ wise. I'll post an update tomorrow sometime with the results.

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Old 09-21-2020, 07:15 AM   #6
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rmueller,

We live in NW AR and have been to Hot Springs dozens of times. I know of no closer location than perhaps a few places in the L Rock or Fort Smith area that can or will work on an RV chassis.

If you are concerned about a big tow bill you do have three other wheels that are working and I'm sure even the leaking caliper is still giving you a fairly high rate of braking. Yes I'd drive carefully but not worry about loosing brakes or the ability to stop your RV. Maybe separate the TOAD and have the DW drive that extra weight. You're not that far from the LR area.

There's an excellent RV repair facility in the Conway area called Moix RV (501-327-2255). They may or may not have anybody that will work on the chassis but may know of a good repair facility that will. If you call them tell them somebody from the Winnebago Club of AR (Ark-A-BEGO's) recommended their shop. They are very good folks and have always been very accommodating of folks traveling and having issues. I recently told some other RVers in a bind and they were very accommodating and helpful.
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Old 09-21-2020, 08:50 AM   #7
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Hi Tejay,

I found that the closest place that will touch a motor home is in Russellville at Coswell Ford. It's a 2hour tow from Catherines Landing RV.

They will come down and tow it back.

Everyone else I called, as soon as you say, RV...they all get shook and won't touch it.

The Coswell guys were confident and will work on it on Wednesday.

I was thinking about driving it, you know they all say 'safety third'...but I'll blow the $$ and everyone stays safe. My luck, the stuff would start on fire.

Thanks for the advice.

I knew someday something would happen on the road, I didn't realize just how hung out to dry I would be.

Apparently, there is a recall https://www.nhtsa.gov/vehicle/2014/FORD/F-53#recalls.

I'm dismayed, but not surprised, that neither Ford or Fleetwood contacted me to let me know that the brakes might fail...from what I understand brakes are a fairly important part of the vehicle

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Old 09-21-2020, 10:17 AM   #8
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Sounds like you've got things under control. I understand how one can feel left out in the cold/heat when you're far from familiar places. There's another forum member EDinAR not to far from you either. You may have seen some of his posts.

I'm not familiar with the folks at Coswell. Let us know how that works out for you. It's good to get Ford places that will work on a Ford chassis. As far as I've learned the last place one needs to look is at Ford Customer Service. Most of the time places they recommend have changed hands and won't work on them or when they do they don't do well.

One of my past students who own/runs a truck repair shop told me, "If we can't lift the hood and WALK into the engine compartment we don't work on them." That pretty much says it all.

Good luck with the repairs. At least the weather is really nice. Not to hot and not to cold. Typical early Fall AR weather!!!
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Old 09-21-2020, 08:32 PM   #9
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My guess is diff. oil. They use a synthetic now w/o much of a smell.
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Old 09-21-2020, 09:22 PM   #10
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Reacher,

I had an experience last year when we had to take the differential (DF) cover off a DANA 80. That is the DF used on the 18,000 lb Ford F-53 chassis. The Ford fluid was the most awful smelling fluid I know I have ever smelled. And it costs about $26 a quart. It was awful smelling even when new in the container.

rmuller,

Generally speaking manufacturers save a lot of $$$$ by not alerting customers concerning things that may break when it causes no safety issues. Which means as long as nobody can be hurt they don't have to alert you!!!



Here's an example. Seat belts!! Seat belt releases are now designed with the latch release as a push down button instead of a press in button. WHY??? In a role over accident it's possible for a seat belt to unlatch. How??? The latch is released by pressing in on a button. You can get it to release as well by slapping it hard on the back side like might occur in a roll over.

Not all manufacturers recalled their belts just changed the designs on the next model year. You may have a recall for your brakes but the leak hasn't proved severe enough to cause the driver any safety issues. Sometimes when these things happen and you take it in they will tell you there's a TSB concerning the leak and they fix it under warranty. You might get lucky. I think in situations like that they have to fix it for free so they don't have to recall all of them. That's just a guess!!!

Remember the Ford Pintos that were recalled because of fuel spills when in a rear end collision. Well guess what?? The same faulty design was used on other models but not recalled because nobody sued. It's all about the bean counters and the bottom line which we know is the $$$$$$$$$.
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Old 09-21-2020, 09:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeJay View Post
Reacher,
Sometimes when these things happen and you take it in they will tell you there's a TSB concerning the leak and they fix it under warranty. You might get lucky. I think in situations like that they have to fix it for free so they don't have to recall all of them. That's just a guess!!!
Tejay;
A TSB doesn't mean they fix it under warranty. It's just a document that tells the tech how to fix a specific problem that has been identified. And a TSB has nothing to do with a recall either. I had several items fixed on a Buick Regal that was out of warranty, and there was a TSB on that specific issue. It still cost me the repair.
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Old 09-22-2020, 04:57 AM   #12
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Towing

I'd give Coach-net a call. You MAY be able to join the towing service and then be towed. It's worth a phone call.

(877) 801-0333

https://coach-net.com
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Old 09-22-2020, 08:42 AM   #13
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Coach-net and all the rest have delays before the towing kicks in...

Given I've never had problems in the past 6+years with this unit, I think I've banked the $$ I would have paid for Coach net - of course now I get to blow it all on this tow.

Depending on this experience, I might consider it for the future since this unit is getting older.

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Old 09-22-2020, 09:56 PM   #14
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HS,

I did not in any way mean to indicate that any or all TSB's or (Tech Service Bulletins) were fixed as a warranty. It's only a manufacturers notice to the tech that they are aware of a particular issue and it provides a list of instructions on what they will cover and allow the tech to do. Sometimes it is covered as warranty.
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