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Old 07-19-2013, 10:10 PM   #29
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1982 28' Airstream 280
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A couple years back, I replaced the master cylinder on my '82 280 (with 4 wheel disc brakes). What led me to replace it was I decided to check it one day and it was dry which surprised me. I also had no visible leaks. I was about to just fill the reservoir but first used a mirror to look into the reservoirs. See the attached pic for what I found! So time to replace. It wasn't difficult to replace, but a little time consuming. I did it all from laying underneath.

I looked on line, but there were just too many choices. Probably due to thinking Napa would have one and it might be a bit less money then the real auto parts store, I tried them first. He looked it up and said it was special order and it would take about 2-3 weeks. So I walked a cross the street to a real auto parts store. I had already taken the old one off and brought it with me. The old one was a Bendix model and had a part number on it. My parts guy looked it up and said he would have it for me the next morning!

The new one is remanufactured but it is the heavy duty and correct part from Bendix and a little more expensive, but it works! Only my opinion, but don't cheap out on this part and I think it is imperative to take the old one with you to the parts store. I no longer buy anything from the Autozone type of stores and rarely buy from Napa. If you get the correct replacement, you won't have to be dealing with the push rod length issue.

Again, just my opinion, but I don't think it would be possible for the brake fluid and power steering (hydroboost) fluid to cross. Just in case your not familiar with changing master cylinders, make sure you bench bleed the master cylinder before you install it.
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:57 AM   #30
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Thanks PeterH and bkahler. The diagram really helped. That's a nasty picture, dadstoy! Mine looks fine by comparison.... after a quick wipe it looks like this:

It really doesn't look like there is much wrong with it, and the old fluid I sucked out was pretty respectable. Just don't know where I lost it all to.
Thanks for the tip on bench bleeding... I found a couple of good videos on it.

This is the vehicle up on jackstands:



When I get it all back together I'm tempted not to put the steel plate back.... the passenger side doesn't have one, and is no dustier than the driver side, plus it's a nuisance for getting at the MC, not to mention plugs etc.
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Old 07-20-2013, 02:23 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterH-Airstreamer View Post
Brad, you were lucky to have no brakes, mine locked up . And this is the scary part, which I would not believe if someone would tell me: It took over 200 miles of incremental pre-loading of the Master cylinder. Once I untighten the mounting nuts the brakes gradually released.
Wow! At least you didn't have to worry about any speeding tickets
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Old 07-20-2013, 02:32 PM   #32
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When I get it all back together I'm tempted not to put the steel plate back.... the passenger side doesn't have one, and is no dustier than the driver side, plus it's a nuisance for getting at the MC, not to mention plugs etc.
Don't leave the steel plate off it was added by GM for a reason. It helps direct the airflow across the engine which aids in cooling.

The Argosies didn't have these panels so I'm going to be fabricating one just to get that cooling benefit.

Brad
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Old 07-21-2013, 05:50 PM   #33
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I was looking at a video on bench bleeding a master cylinder, and the person then fitted the MC and bled it in place. I realised that my attempt at bleeding, following the Chevy chassis manual, was totally inadequate..... basically I had been letting it dribble, and in the video the guy has it squirting wildly everywhere! So I got big plastic basin and put it under the MC, and rebled it. Five minutes later, it felt just right. There is no sponginess whatsoever, and in fact the brakes are better than they;ve ever been. I am beginning to suspect that the MC has not been checked in years (certainly not by me) and that it was down at the bottom of the reservoir before being parkied, and the succeeding year has seen it seep or evaporate or whatever to below the seal levels. I just took the 345 for a drive and everything is good.
BTW, I changed the spark plugs with the front wheels off, and that is definitely the way to do it, easiest spark plug change since the Triumph Herald.
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Old 07-22-2013, 08:05 AM   #34
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Great news on having brakes fixed, since my brake repair I always test the brakes in our driveway, long enough to feel comfortable.
Maybe with your temperatures it managed to freeze dry it and my problem of so much crap was due to humidity, either case it comes down to lack of daily use.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:30 AM   #35
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Great news on having brakes fixed, since my brake repair I always test the brakes in our driveway, long enough to feel comfortable.
Maybe with your temperatures it managed to freeze dry it and my problem of so much crap was due to humidity, either case it comes down to lack of daily use.
Well, I'm not sure I'm out of the woods yet, time will tell. I have read a couple of threads on other forums recently where people say it is indeed not uncommon for the hydroboost to fill with brake fluid from a leaking MC, often with little or no external sign of fluid. Here's one quote I copied:

.....also be sure to check the booster isnt full of fluid too, master will leak out the back and fill it up. a secondary siphon or a small siphon will get it out.

I did buy a replacement MC, but I'm taking it back and I'll wait until I can be quite sure I've bought the right one.
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