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Old 09-25-2015, 06:35 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
Glad you've found a place to fix it.

What I'm wondering is what's it going to be like trying to find service shops once you take Bella across the pond
finding a place is the first step.
My friend Marcus, who drives a 345 in Germany send me a panic message that his brake pedal was going to the floor. When he checked the master Cylinder, both reservoirs were empty and caked with jelly like crud.
Just prior to him picking it up in Ohio to ship to Germany the previous owner (who is a nice guy and just a victim in this case) spent 1200.- to have the Brake system checked and serviced.
When Marcus got the 345 to Germany, he had to pass the very strict German inspection system, which cost him thousands of Euro to achieve. Supposedly the brake system was 100% gone thru and inspected (yet again)
The fact is that no one ever even opened the Brake reservoir to check the fluid, neither in the US nor in Germany. It takes prob 20 years for brake fluid to turn to jelly like that.
So my point is: finding a place is just the first step.
Owners of these old rigs should familiarize themselves with the location and the checking of the Master Brake fluid, because no one else may do it for them.
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Old 09-26-2015, 07:22 AM   #16
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Agreed Peter. It probably didn't help that Airstream turned the master around to face the other way making it bloody hard to check or refill. My shop had to resort to filling little tiny Dixie cups to fill the new master cylinder.

As for finding someone to work on Bella across the pond......it's going to take some investigating but I would approach a coach lines company if I were Martin, as they would have all the big lifts and try and work out a deal with the boss and a good mechanic for the time.

If Martin is in Worthing Sussex he could try my Grandfathers old coach company, King of the Road. I remember as a child going into the garage, the smell was amazing and most of the mechanics were WWII fitters, Lancaster and Spitfire mechanics. There are times I really wish my parents had stayed in England.

Cheers
Tony

PS If Carroll Shelby wants to sue me for using naming my coach "King of the Road", he's in for a wee bit of a fight.

The driver in the first pic is my Great Grandfather, who started the company. My Grandfather bought him out in the 50's.

Last pic is my Great Grandfather in the white jacket and my Grandfather in the suspenders getting ready for an outing circa 1947. Both men were some of the rare civilians allowed into the D-Day preparation areas pre D-Day, as they ferried troops in and about South Western England.
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Old 09-26-2015, 07:51 AM   #17
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Cool pics, Tony
Too bad they screwed up on the bus when they put the tag axle in the front
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Old 09-26-2015, 08:06 AM   #18
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Cool pics, Tony
Too bad they screwed up on the bus when they put the tag axle in the front
They didn't! Tag is in the right place as it was an experimental coach with the passengers facing to the rear. Grandad was at the back driving so he could look at the paying passengers as he was describing what was coming up. The passengers would then have lots of time to look at what just passed them by without having to crane they're necks around; you know us old timers don't like to turn our heads much.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 09-26-2015, 08:11 AM   #19
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It's a small world, I was born in Hastings, Sussex less than 50miles from Worthing.

The crazy thing is 'motorhomes' (not RVs) are so popular in Europe (and the UK in particular), that although parts will be non-existant, there are many many 'garages' willing and able to work on them....there is even a motorhome fleet center less than 4 miles from my house in the UK (Motorhome Servicing for all Makes in Kent).

That said, part of my frustration is I'm actually pretty capable of doing any repairs myself, but work crazy hours (I guess many people do, so not claiming to be unique) so want to spend what time I have away from work using Bella not working on it (he says sitting here speckled with POR-15 chassis paint from spending yesterday afternoon painting the rear chassis extensions, in prepare for installing the 'new to me' rear bumper later today), so when I give up work I actually expect do most repairs.

I guess you could question why I spent time yesterday painting rather than trying to fix the brakes; well, I checked all the obvious stuff (leaks, levels, etc) so next step will be to start dismantling; if I start doing that it could be three months before it comes off the ramps!
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Old 09-26-2015, 09:20 AM   #20
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Martin, if you take the 20' to Europe, you may benefit from knowing Marcus in Germany, since he has gone through sourcing many parts and shops.
Marcus just send me the pictures of his MC again. Remember this is after 2 "reputable" shops got paid good money to make sure the brake system was up to par.
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Old 09-26-2015, 10:17 AM   #21
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I will definitely check Peter, and I will definitely touch base with Marcus when I move back (I am assuming Marcus = Roquefort on the forum?)
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Old 09-26-2015, 01:54 PM   #22
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I will definitely check Peter, and I will definitely touch base with Marcus when I move back (I am assuming Marcus = Roquefort on the forum?)
Yes, Martin, that's him
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Old 10-31-2015, 04:33 PM   #23
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The brake problems have dominated everything else recently but a quick update on the tank.

The mechanic has removed the panels Airstream NE installed, so that he has access to the tank, and it is pretty obvious that two of the seams of the tank (on opposite edges) either have split or the weld didn't take (the run marks are visible).

At the moment I believe the first option, because it is also apparent that the tank was installed directly on the extension arms (no padding) and using a set of rigid steel straps (1/8" thick) have been used to strap it down. It looks like this has flexed the tank and popped the seems.

It will have to come out for repair and maybe complete replacement with a new standard tank. Yet another case of someone doing what they thought was correct but actually causing bigger issues down the line.
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Old 10-31-2015, 06:48 PM   #24
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Ouch. That's got to be a hard pill to swallow.

What you said about how it was mounted sure makes sense as to why its leaking. Something to consider, there are companies that can line the inside of the tank and will guarantee no leaks.

Gastank Renu

Brad
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Old 10-31-2015, 07:05 PM   #25
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I would guess poor welds. A tank rigidly mounted on rigid mounts isn't likely to move. The surge of gas moving will stress the ends of the tank and a poor weld is the weak spot. Padding on the mounts might relieve stress at that point but not at a weld joint.
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Old 12-18-2015, 12:38 PM   #26
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No details from the shop, but I just got a message saying the tank is back, installed, and Bella has just been out on a test run, and apparently drives and stops 'really' well...

I guess everything is relative but I can't wait to test drive myself.
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Old 12-18-2015, 12:58 PM   #27
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Awesome news Martin! I bet you are itching to give her a spin.

One step closer to being finished .
-Dane
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Old 12-18-2015, 02:13 PM   #28
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Gas to make it go! Brakes to make it stop! Awesome! Now pack some clothes, food and drink and head on out!
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