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Old 06-27-2021, 06:19 PM   #1
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Very desperate for help, brake light comes on, alarm, brakes weak

Need help, 1993 gulf stream Scenic Cruiser 5.9 Cummins. Air over hydraulic brakes. Every time I press the brakes, the brake fluid light comes on, makes loud beeping. Air pressure is good, over 100psi both tanks. I made a 75 km trip in scorching hot weather. Near the end of the trip, the transmission wouldn't let me shift out of 4th gear until I got in the city. Braking power seemed much weaker.

Kind of stuck on the road now. Brake fluid is very high. Front of the motorhome stinks real bad, like burning brakes. Someone told me might be the brakes just over heating. It's hot today, record setting where I am, 41 degrees Celsius, 106 degrees Fahrenheit.

Any help or somewhere to start would be great as I'm really in trouble. Thank you so much.
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Old 06-27-2021, 07:07 PM   #2
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I don't think the air temperature is your problem, I've traveled in those temperatures with no problem.

When was the last time the brakes were serviced? RVs tend to sit a lot which is hard on brakes, the parts that should move rust and freeze. If you don't know their service history that would be my bet.
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Old 06-27-2021, 08:42 PM   #3
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My experience with air over brakes is that the rear brakes are not working properly.

That will cause the front brakes to overheat, while doing most of the work.

The red light is the air cylinder bottoming out, which means the hydraulic master cylinder is moving to far while applying the brakes. Sort of like a regular brake pedal going to the floor.

Should have 2 brake fluid reservoirs or one with2 hoses leaving it.

Best advice, stop driving it, except to a brake shop.
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Old 06-27-2021, 09:58 PM   #4
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Thank you for the explanation. I made it home safely.

I could only find one reservoir up front, a guy at a auto parts store told me that's an old style master cylinder. It's a metal dome held on by a retaining wire. Under the dome is a piece of rubber with some dips and ridges in it. It was near full. I bought more fluid and filled it to the top, it stopped making alarm sounds and the brake fluid light did not go on when applying service brakes.

This rig also has some sort of exhaust brake. To some extent, it must be aftermarket. Because the on off switch looks like it's from a radio shack. When ON, if I quickly press the accelerator and let go, it seems to engage. It hisses in the rear, like some air or something. Again, air pressure is always normal.

One last thing that happened a lot today was it stalled whenever idling in reverse or drive. Neutral will not stall. I almost cannot let it idle. Must press accelerator a little to keep it from dying. It also will not start unless I press the accelerator a bit. Otherwise it just keeps turning and turning over.

One thing I will mention is that a couple days ago in neutral, I floored it and no black soot or smoke. But today, after it would start to die when idling, there was a lot more black smoke coming out the exhaust. Problem might be unrelated, but is it not getting enough oxygen?
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Old 06-27-2021, 10:33 PM   #5
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When was the last time you had the brake fluid completely flushed?

It sounds like you need to get this thing to a mechanic.
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Old 06-27-2021, 10:39 PM   #6
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Me thinks that You have more than just one gremlin creating problems..
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Old 06-27-2021, 11:05 PM   #7
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I will get someone to look at the brakes asap. I have not flushed the brakes. Thank you all for your help,.will update when I have more details.
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Old 06-27-2021, 11:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkVader View Post

One thing I will mention is that a couple days ago in neutral, I floored it and no black soot or smoke. But today, after it would start to die when idling, there was a lot more black smoke coming out the exhaust. Problem might be unrelated, but is it not getting enough oxygen?
Black smoke with a diesel usually indicates either too much fuel or not enough air. Could be leaky injectors (dumping in too much fuel) or turbo (not creating enough boost). Does it smoke when you are driving it?
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Old 06-28-2021, 12:46 AM   #9
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Damn today was a scary experience, not being able to brake near the end of my test run. Smoking brakes. Not to mention it wouldn't stop stalling every time I idled in gear. So thankful I made it back home okay.

I can't tell if there's any smoke while I drive. I made a post previously asking about what looked like a taped up air intake. I thought maybe it wasn't getting enough air cuz of that.

Again I'll be sure to get a mechanic to look at it but your continued help is very appreciated.
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Old 06-28-2021, 12:57 AM   #10
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Oh, one other thing I noticed is the rig is squeaking while driving. Like how some vehicles squeel while braking. This was happening while driving, braking or not.
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Old 06-28-2021, 04:47 AM   #11
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Just went outside to look at them now....it seems the front brake pads are crumbling, falling apart very easily. I poked at them with a pointy knife and the pad started to crumble and turn to dust. As I understand it, this means the front brakes are over heating. I can't see the rears, too difficult.
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Old 06-28-2021, 11:16 AM   #12
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Sounds like (current condition of the brake pads, squealing sound while driving, and overall brake behavior) that you may have had stuck calipers perhaps? On a more basic vehicle braking system, I had a frozen caliper that exhibited those symptoms. This was on an older Jeep that had sat for a several months. Then one of the hydraulic lines burst (rusted through, Jeep is 30 years old). I replaced the broken hard line, calipers and pads in the front, did a full fluid flush at all 4 corners, and was good to go again, brake wise.
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Old 06-29-2021, 02:11 AM   #13
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Regarding the brakes, I found a heavy truck shop very close by that I can bring it to.

Regarding the stalling, I honestly just tried to increase the idle. I'm no mechanic and I tend to learn things the hard way. Can't teach an old dog new tricks. I was examining the throttle control arm in the engine and tried to find some way to adjust idle. The only thing I saw was this cable that goes to some sort of electrical box. So I tightened that cable (kind of bent the piece of metal it was attached to as well unfortunately :X ) I am now realizing this is for the cruise control. Well I guess this is one way of increasing idle. Obviously wasn't the right way. Like I always say, hope I didn't break anything, or hope it won't break later on. Maybe I should adjust it back? I just cannot get in there enough to see where I could adjust the idle! This was the closest thing for me to adjust and being as eager as I am I just did it...

Idle is higher, I think around 650-750 RPM, depending if the AC is on? I dunno. I was kinda desperate...even though the mechanic is quite close, I still need it to not stall on me on the way there :( is it safe to have used the cruise control cable to increase the idle by like 50-200 rpm?

I think I'm going to add a signature...a disclaimer if you will...about how I do things LOL.
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Old 06-29-2021, 10:15 AM   #14
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Put the cruise linkage back IMHO.
Check all turbo and CAC boots for being collapsed, rips or pulled/popped off. Check your air cleaner has not collapsed or sucked in a nest of some kind. Right away.
I pray you can get your brakes fixed without some incident.
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