Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-28-2005, 11:33 AM   #1
RivetAddict
 
swebster's Avatar
 
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Louisville , Kentucky
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,861
Images: 4
"Stuff" on Master Cylinder

On our last trip I noticed the break pedal travel was getting a little longer than usual in our 345. Today was my post maintenance day so when I went to look for leaks and top off the fluid I was surprised to see what looked like amber colored, crystal, gooey things all over the master cylinder. I also found the fluid to be alarmingly low and a leaking fitting at the MC.

The gooey stuff cleaned up with a dry towel, but does anyone have ideas on what this stuff is? Is it an indication of a larger problem with the breaking system or fluid? It was limited to the master cylinder itself and there was some residue on the MC cover gasket as well.

As always...all ideas appreciated.
__________________

__________________
Steven Webster
1986 Airstream 345 Classic Motorhome
AIR 1760
swebster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2005, 11:38 AM   #2
Retired Moderator
 
john hd's Avatar
 
1992 29' Excella
madison , Wisconsin
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,644
Images: 40
boiled over brake fluid?

john
__________________

__________________
you call them ferrets, i call them weasels.
john hd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2005, 06:06 PM   #3
RivetAddict
 
swebster's Avatar
 
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Louisville , Kentucky
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,861
Images: 4
John,
I don't think so. None of my recent trips required any significant braking nor did we encounter any really long downhills. I was looking at those headers and wondering about heat, but since the MC is forward of all but the #1 primary I didn't think that heat from the exhaust would be a factor.

This stuff looks like well....amber, more "crystalized" than "sappy". Is any of this making sense?
__________________
Steven Webster
1986 Airstream 345 Classic Motorhome
AIR 1760
swebster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2005, 06:18 PM   #4
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,190
Quote:
Originally Posted by swebster
John,
I don't think so. None of my recent trips required any significant braking nor did we encounter any really long downhills. I was looking at those headers and wondering about heat, but since the MC is forward of all but the #1 primary I didn't think that heat from the exhaust would be a factor.

This stuff looks like well....amber, more "crystalized" than "sappy". Is any of this making sense?
Power steering fluid from the hydroboost unit? Dust has caused the fluid to clump into little dust balls.
__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2005, 06:22 PM   #5
Retired Moderator
 
john hd's Avatar
 
1992 29' Excella
madison , Wisconsin
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,644
Images: 40
what fitting was leaking?

brake fluid or power steering fluid? i think terry is on to something....


john
__________________
you call them ferrets, i call them weasels.
john hd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2005, 08:45 PM   #6
RivetAddict
 
swebster's Avatar
 
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Louisville , Kentucky
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,861
Images: 4
Well now I'm questioning it too. I thought it was the rear MC circuit given the amount of fluid missing from that resevoir and the amount of fluid below the MC. The really strange part is that is was only on the MC res....nowhere else. Seems like a leeking HB would be everywhere.

I have a bunch of inspections due so I'll pull the wheel and really get in there. It doesn't seem to do anything, but I don't like unkowns.
__________________
Steven Webster
1986 Airstream 345 Classic Motorhome
AIR 1760
swebster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2005, 11:15 PM   #7
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,190
Quote:
Originally Posted by swebster
Well now I'm questioning it too. I thought it was the rear MC circuit given the amount of fluid missing from that resevoir and the amount of fluid below the MC. The really strange part is that is was only on the MC res....nowhere else. Seems like a leeking HB would be everywhere.

I have a bunch of inspections due so I'll pull the wheel and really get in there. It doesn't seem to do anything, but I don't like unkowns.
A quick and dirty way to check if it is brake fluid, or power steering fluid, is to put some water on it. If it is brake fluid, it will turn white, and wash off. If it is power steering fluid, it will shed the water, and stay there, with a rainbow sheen to the water that goes on the ground.
__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2005, 07:20 PM   #8
RivetAddict
 
swebster's Avatar
 
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Louisville , Kentucky
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,861
Images: 4
Yikes!

After many many delays, today was Airstream maintenance day. I removed the driver's side wheel so I could perform a compression check and get up close an personal with the MC "issue". I was shocked and frightened to find the forward resevoir completely empty with nothing but sludge in the bottom.

I removed the MC to get a closer look. Pretty sure the gasket on the resevoir failed and let it leak out. (that must be what the "stuff" was). Still can't figure out how the sludge got in there.

I don't want to take any chances so I'm off to the store to get a new MC. Bummer since this one is only a year old....also going to vacumm bleed the entire system, replace the fluid and replace the flex lines.

YIKES....I'm headed to Las Vegas in a couple of weeks in the AS and have been blowing this maintenance check off for weeks. I'm really glad I looked.
__________________
Steven Webster
1986 Airstream 345 Classic Motorhome
AIR 1760
swebster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2005, 10:39 PM   #9
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,190
Quote:
Originally Posted by swebster
After many many delays, today was Airstream maintenance day. I removed the driver's side wheel so I could perform a compression check and get up close an personal with the MC "issue". I was shocked and frightened to find the forward resevoir completely empty with nothing but sludge in the bottom.

I removed the MC to get a closer look. Pretty sure the gasket on the resevoir failed and let it leak out. (that must be what the "stuff" was). Still can't figure out how the sludge got in there.

I don't want to take any chances so I'm off to the store to get a new MC. Bummer since this one is only a year old....also going to vacumm bleed the entire system, replace the fluid and replace the flex lines.
Steven, the gasket should not allow all the fluid to leak out like that, it is only supposed to keep fluid from sloshing out, and getting goop in the system. The sludge may be from failed rubber parts in your brakes, the front reservoir should go to the front rotors. Didn't you have all that stuff apart earlier, to pack bearings, etc? Is it possible you may have left a compression washer off a caliper? Maybe a line is leaking? Maybe a seal on a caliper piston?
Also, if the gasket on top of the reservoir is all gooey and swollen, you have big problems with your brakes, like you have oil in the system, and everything rubber will have to be replaced.
Sorry to be alarmist, but I don't want you to wind up halfway to Vegas, and have no brakes.
__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2005, 12:19 AM   #10
RivetAddict
 
swebster's Avatar
 
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Louisville , Kentucky
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,861
Images: 4
Terry,
Actually, I'm already alarmed so your post is perfect. I did look all over the front brake system and lines for signs of a leak but found nothing obvious. You are correct in that I repacked the front bearings but I had the calipers and pads replaced by the selling dealer way back when I bought the MH. So the operations where done at different times.

The gasket is not swollen or gooey. The sludge is in the bottom of the res. I had to cut the repair short today so I'll take another, closer, look tomorrow. I did run the MC down to my favorite AutoZone and talked to the manager about the crystals but he had never seen anything like it either. He's one of those parts guys who usually knows everything about anything I throw up on the counter so this was a rare occasion.

Planning new rubber lines and MC with a complete bleed this week. I like to do inspections and maintenace like this before I leave on a major trip (must be the pilot in me), but really did not see this coming. Kind of kicking myself for falling off the regular MC fluid level checks. Lesson learned.

I'll keep you up to date. If anyone can think of anything else I should check please chime in.
__________________
Steven Webster
1986 Airstream 345 Classic Motorhome
AIR 1760
swebster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2005, 08:27 AM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 25
is the sludge clear jelly looking stuff?
__________________
urbanextreme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2005, 09:10 AM   #12
RivetAddict
 
swebster's Avatar
 
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Louisville , Kentucky
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,861
Images: 4

urbanextreme - no, it's more like sludge, fine particulate suspended in brake fluid. brown/grey in color. Thoughts?

Also - I took another look at the MC this morning and noticed some more of that crystal stuff on the nose of the MC. Any chance the hydro boost could be leaking into the MC (or the other way around)? I've not gotten into the boost system yet so I really don't know what I'm talking about here - just speculating.
__________________
Steven Webster
1986 Airstream 345 Classic Motorhome
AIR 1760
swebster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2005, 10:05 AM   #13
Rivet Master
 
87MH's Avatar
 
1978 31' Sovereign
Texas Airstream Harbor , Zavalla, in the Deep East Texas Piney Woods on Lake Sam Rayburn
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,435
Images: 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by swebster
..... Any chance the hydro boost could be leaking into the MC (or the other way around)? I've not gotten into the boost system yet so I really don't know what I'm talking about here - just speculating.
I had the MC on and off many times last year - I do not think there is a way for the HydroBoost fluid to get into the MC (unless there was a crack in the HB power brake unit) - besides, if the problem was migration from tne HB to the MC the MC would be overflowing with liquid.

The HB brake unit activates a separate rod (via a linkage), and that rod actuates the MC - there is no place that the HB fluid and the MC fluid could be in contact via leaking "O" rings.

From the description, I think the problem is within the brake system itself - MC dry with no observed leaks in the slave cylinders or the flexible lines -

Methinks the brake system is talking to you -

What would cause the Master Cylinder to "Boil Over" - and empty itself - I would think heat or the introduction of some sort of gas would be the answer. Is it possible that the fluid leaked from one of the Slave Cylinders (or one of the fittings - remember the front/rear brake system imbalance indicator (shuttle switch) hidden in the front crossmember).

It COULD be heat or gas from the hydroboost brake power unit itself.

My HB system has a small "Gas Reservoir" mounted on the rearward face of the unit. All of my documentation and service manuals say the same thing about the pressure reservoir - "Don't Mess With This". The pressure reservoir is aluminum, and sort of purple in color.
__________________
Dennis

"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

WBCCI # 1113
AirForums #1737

Trailer '78 31' Sovereign

Living Large at an Airstream Park on the Largest Lake Totally Contained in Texas
Texas Airstream Harbor, Inc.
87MH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2005, 01:34 PM   #14
RivetAddict
 
swebster's Avatar
 
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Louisville , Kentucky
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,861
Images: 4
Dennis,
As soon as I said could they be leaking into one another I realized it's impossible. I took it down to AC brake and had their service manager look at the MC. At first he ask me how old it was, when I said one year he acted surprised and said it looked ten years old. Said he had seen the crystal stuff on remans before, aluminum oxidation and brake fluid getting hot. Felt like I had something leaking, probably in the hoses.

So I have a new MC and new lines to install. Starting tonight and will fully bleed both circuits.

You know, I pullled the metal sheild that sits between the engine and the fender last year and never re-installed (thinking cooling improvements). Could it be that the headers are heating up the fuild in the res and boiling if off there?
__________________

__________________
Steven Webster
1986 Airstream 345 Classic Motorhome
AIR 1760
swebster is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Flow Thru Exhaust and Muffler LKappenman Mechanics Corner - Engines, Transmission & More... 17 09-22-2009 12:29 PM
tow a brick lately? john hd Off Topic Forum 11 04-18-2004 08:19 AM
Master Cylinder Replacement will Airstream Motorhome Forums 3 08-16-2003 07:35 PM
Test hex Our Community 8 10-17-2002 05:20 PM
Heeeelp! My brakes have failed...anyone have a similar experience? williamhenshall Airstream Motorhome Forums 9 07-12-2002 04:04 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:59 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.