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Old 03-31-2016, 01:36 PM   #1
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1984 31' Airstream310
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Locked Brakes

I purchased an 1984 315 motorhome and the brakes are locked up. It has been sitting for years, I am going to pick it up Monday and need to figure out what the problem might be. I've seen a couple of posts somewhere and this seems to not be real uncommon. Any ideas? Thank you
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Old 03-31-2016, 02:16 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.
The cause could be brake shoes rusted to the drums, master cylinder not releasing, broken return springs, friction material separated from the mounting tables, collapsed hoses.
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Old 03-31-2016, 02:49 PM   #3
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That coach has all disk brakes and the rotors likely have quite a bit of rust on them. That is probably why the wheels will not turn.You may have to take the wheels off and use a long bar on the wheel studs to try and turn them.

You could try and pull it with another vehicle to break it free. Just be careful what you hook up to.

I think if there is a lot of rust you may have to maybe remove the calipers and clean off some of the rust. Not a fun job

Keep us informed on how you make out.
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Old 03-31-2016, 02:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edcsteve View Post
I purchased an 1984 315 motorhome and the brakes are locked up. It has been sitting for years, I am going to pick it up Monday and need to figure out what the problem might be. I've seen a couple of posts somewhere and this seems to not be real uncommon. Any ideas? Thank you
The 310 has disc brakes front and rear so it could be pads stuck to the rotors, or the other items as Terry suggested collapsed brake hoses. My bet is on the pads being stuck to the rotors or the parking brake was set and the shoes are stuck to the drum. The parking brake is actually a brake drum with shoes attached to the back of the transmission.

If its the parking brake you'll have to figure out a way to get the shoes to release. Working from memory I seem to recall that the cable coming from the hand lever in the cab goes straight into the drum with no place to disconnect it except inside the drum. It's been quite awhile since I've worked on the parking brake so hopefully someone with more experience will chime in with the best way to release frozen shoes.

Brad
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Old 03-31-2016, 07:48 PM   #5
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Brad I forgot about the em brake. If it is stuck you can try hitting the drum with a hammer to jar it loose
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Old 04-03-2016, 06:25 AM   #6
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WD-40 Rust release penetrant spray should do a fine job freeing the parking brake components, since you will have to rebuild them anyway.
If the pads a are stuck just from sitting you may have a more serious issues of the dreaded preloading master cylinder, which I experienced once.
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Old 04-03-2016, 06:46 AM   #7
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If the pads a are stuck just from sitting you may have a more serious issues of the dreaded preloading master cylinder, which I experienced once.
Verifying that condition is easy, if messy. Simply chock the wheels, and slide under the driver's side front of the motor home. Locat the two lines on the master cylinder, and loosen them slightly. If fluid squirts out, the master cylinder is at the very least partly to blame.
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Old 04-03-2016, 09:19 AM   #8
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Here is a picture of the parking/emergency brake drum that sits right behind the tail of the tranny. Its works similar to regular drum brakes, shoes expand inside the drum when you apply the parking brake. Release the brake inside the cab and then, as John said, you can whack the drum with a hammer to release the shoes. If you have the hand lever type parking brake, rather then the pedal type, there is a thumb turn adjuster on the end of the lever. Back that off a couple turns before you hit the drum just to loosen the cable a bit. Good luck, hope its an easy fix.


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Old 04-06-2016, 09:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edcsteve View Post
I purchased an 1984 315 motorhome and the brakes are locked up. It has been sitting for years, I am going to pick it up Monday and need to figure out what the problem might be. I've seen a couple of posts somewhere and this seems to not be real uncommon. Any ideas? Thank you
The front caliper was locked up and once they freed it all worked well. I am having the brakes and everything else checked out before I start my 2,500 mile trek back to Washington State. I'll replace all of the tires and have a lube/oil and anything else that might be needed as well. Thank you for your help. Now the real work begins. Steve
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:52 AM   #10
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Good deal!
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:26 AM   #11
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Carefully Popping the cap on the Master cylinder. If you hear or see fluid come out, there may be a pressurized system. If fluid is discolered then moisture has made it into the system... Not a good thing... Is there anyone near you with auto mechanical skills who can help?

Our sons once worked at "brake" Businesses. They helped folks like the poor or down on their luck (out of work) "off the clock" so that they could carry on with minimal cost. I often contributed as well. I would give them a visit.. Do not just call. Then if you want a professional fix, tell them they have the business
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Old 04-06-2016, 11:32 AM   #12
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Can't help but think of this flowchart every time I see of thread of these type.

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Old 04-06-2016, 11:36 AM   #13
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I am having the brakes and everything else checked out before I start my 2,500 mile trek back to Washington State. I'll replace all of the tires and have a lube/oil and anything else that might be needed as well. Thank you for your help. Now the real work begins. Steve
These make the BEST stories. Can't wait to hear about the drive back. I'll always remember my 600 mile jont back from New Mexico with mine, and all the fun surprises along the way. That's livin. Keep us posted.
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:47 AM   #14
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Carefully Popping the cap on the Master cylinder. If you hear or see fluid come out, there may be a pressurized system. If fluid is discolered then moisture has made it into the system... Not a good thing... Is there anyone near you with auto mechanical skills who can help?

Our sons once worked at "brake" Businesses. They helped folks like the poor or down on their luck (out of work) "off the clock" so that they could carry on with minimal cost. I often contributed as well. I would give them a visit.. Do not just call. Then if you want a professional fix, tell them they have the business
Thank you, fortunately I found a mobile repair shop who could do the work for me. I had the MH towed to their shop as I did not want to trust the brakes. They took care of them and are doing some other things for me as well before I hit the road.
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