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Old 05-26-2013, 07:00 AM   #1
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Brakes fading on 1991 F53 chassis

I have had my brakes fade on my 91 Damon Challenger with a F53 Ford chassie. First time I had been just parked for awhile and when I went to take off, I didn't have any brakes. I thought it might have been and adjustment, as I don't back up much. I backed up and applyed the brakes severeal times and the brakes came back. The second time I had been in traffic and was pulling up in front of a friends house and the brakes went away. I thought they may be hot, so I waited awhile and backed up a few times and applyed the brakes. The brakes came back. Does anyone know what could be causing this problem. I don't want to be in an emergency situation and have this happen.
Wichallenger
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:18 AM   #2
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Sounds like you need to bleed your brakes. Backing up should have nothing to do with how the brakes behave.
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:18 AM   #3
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I am not sure what brakes you have on a 1991 F53. So can you give us a little more information?
Do you have shoe brakes on the rear or disk brakes?
Do you have the Bendix Hydro-Boost brake system?
What does the pedal do when this happens?
Does the pedal go to the floor or is it hard with very little braking or is it spongy?
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:18 PM   #4
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Loss of Brake Pressure

I have a similar issue--1998 Winnebago on 1997 F53 chassis--On my first outing this year, started down a steep hill and applied brakes--Pedal went straight to the floor--absolutely no pressure--limped into campground using the transmission to slow down--parked in campsite for 1 1/2 days--I had pre-arranged a tow truck to tow the coach to a repair shop. Started it up and brakes were back working fine. I still had it towed but have not heard from the shop yet. I have no clue what could have caused the issue.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:27 PM   #5
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When was the last time the brake fluid was flushed and changed? Should be done every few years.
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Old 05-27-2013, 05:07 PM   #6
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Sounds like you need to bleed your brakes. Backing up should have nothing to do with how the brakes behave.

I believe that old of a chassis uses rear drum brakes. Drum brakes use reverse direction braking to self adjust the shoes using the self adjusters.

The OP should get a thorough brake inspection performed. Make sure the rear axle seals are not leaking or the rear wheel cylinders are not leaking or other issues. Intermittent loss of brake pedal can also indicate a master cylinder issue. Don't want to toy around with brakes.
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Old 05-27-2013, 05:24 PM   #7
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Check your Break flued every now and then.

I had the same thing happened to me and it was just after coming down a steep grade and the traffic had stopped and my foot went to the floor even as I pumped the petal it still went to the floor if it wasn't for the traffic moving out as I was just about to hit the car in front of me I would of hit him.
The breaks started to work so I drove it to a shop where they work on it before and they replaced everything that pertained to the breaks to the tune of $$$$.
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Old 05-27-2013, 11:36 PM   #8
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As already mentioned, has the brake fluid been flushed recently. The fluid should be flushed annually at a minimum, every other year at the maximum.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:15 AM   #9
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As already mentioned, has the brake fluid been flushed recently. The fluid should be flushed annually at a minimum, every other year at the maximum.

Where did this annual at minimum flushing requirement come from? While there is nothing wrong with that, who says that must be done? Ford says every 2 years on the Motorhome chassis.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:20 AM   #10
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Those of us who are anal about their brakes do it every year, and I also lube the caliper slide pins every year.
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:15 PM   #11
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I did not say Ford recommends flushing the fluid every year. It all depends how clean of a system you want to have. The more often the system is flushed the longer the components that are in contact with the fluid will last. This site has a graph for DOT 3 that shows the effect of water contamination of the fluid boiling point over time.
Why Change Brake Fluid
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wichallenger View Post
I have had my brakes fade on my 91 Damon Challenger with a F53 Ford chassie. First time I had been just parked for awhile and when I went to take off, I didn't have any brakes. I thought it might have been and adjustment, as I don't back up much. I backed up and applyed the brakes severeal times and the brakes came back. The second time I had been in traffic and was pulling up in front of a friends house and the brakes went away. I thought they may be hot, so I waited awhile and backed up a few times and applyed the brakes. The brakes came back. Does anyone know what could be causing this problem. I don't want to be in an emergency situation and have this happen.
Wichallenger
If you're having brake failure....................and you're not sure how to troubleshoot and fix it yourself.........TAKE IT IN TO SOMEONE THAT DOES
Don't play around and take your brakes for granted. Especially rely on a forum to troubleshoot and fix the problem.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:39 AM   #13
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I just heard back from the truck center. So far they have not been able to duplicate the problem. Brakes have full pedal and pressure. They did find that the rear seal on the drivers side is leaking and the pads are covered in grease. Also the rear calipers are not moving as they should do to rust on the slides. I told them to clean everything up and replace the rear pads and seal, then continue to look for the issue---I may just tell them to replace the master cylinder as a precaution and flush the fliud. I cant take a chance on another no brakes situation.
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Old 05-30-2013, 12:09 AM   #14
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brakes fading

I have put 200 very careful miles on with no problem. However, I am taking the advice of the forum and have ordered a new master cylinder and am going to have the system flushed. Thank you all for your input.
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