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Old 08-16-2007, 11:02 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by jagcb750
Alright, here is an update. It finally cooled off outside enough for me to work on Nancy. I checked the Master Cylinder and indeed the chamber closest to the front of the coach is empty. It appears that it has leaked out, but I cannot see where it might have leaked out at. I'm sure I will be finding out really soon when i tear in to it this weekend. Is the front chamber for the front brakes? Oh and what kind of brake fluid should I buy? Regular old Dot 3?
I don't know if the front chamber is for the front brakes. I do know that I once got my fluid low enough to suck air and produce spongy brakes (brake light came on only with hard pressure on the pedal) without any leaks in the system. Apparently the pads had worn enough to suck up all the fluid in the reservoir plus some.

Turns out that contrary to my expectations the shop was not checking the brake fluid when I took the rig in for lube and oil change. I suppose because it is kind of hard to get to the master cylinder.

When I did the brake job, I put in DOT 4 brake fluid. I was planning to put in DOT 5 but was told that all rubber parts would need to be replaced. Not sure if they needed to be replaced with something special for DOT 5 or just couldn't use DOT 5 on rubber parts that have DOT 3 on them. So I put in DOT 4 which supposedly has a higher boiling point than DOT 3 but doesn't require replacement of all rubber parts.

If anyone has more detail on brake fluid characteristics and DOT ratings, I'd love to learn more.
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Old 08-17-2007, 08:05 AM   #16
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i think what he meant is that the set (one side) of dual wheels is being stopped with one brake. so, in that case it is 2 wheels and one brake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guy99
Surely you are not suggesting that one of the dual wheels isn't stopped by the brake? So, if I could step on the hydraulic brake hard enough, six wheels would lock, correct? Therefore if the electric (tag) brakes are not working I have 6 out of 8 (3/4) of my wheels braking.

The brakes on my toad will stop the motorhome too, eventually.
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Old 08-17-2007, 09:32 AM   #17
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jagcb 750----While checking your braking system, do take a close look at the master cylinder. You mentioned that the front chamber was empty. If you find fluid between the front of the master cylinder and the back of the hydro-boost, then you probably have a leak in the master cylinder. If so, you would need to overhaul the cylinder, or better yet, replace it with a new one. They are not very expensive new and often times the old one is pitted enough on the inside that it may not hold up very well after overhaul.

I had a similar problem with my 88 classic 290---a new master cylinder cured the problem---about a hundred dollars,in my case.

Good luck Bob
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Old 08-17-2007, 09:37 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagcb750
Alright, here is an update. It finally cooled off outside enough for me to work on Nancy. I checked the Master Cylinder and indeed the chamber closest to the front of the coach is empty. It appears that it has leaked out, but I cannot see where it might have leaked out at. I'm sure I will be finding out really soon when i tear in to it this weekend. Is the front chamber for the front brakes? Oh and what kind of brake fluid should I buy? Regular old Dot 3?
Each chamber supplies a piston on each of the front brakes and one of the rear wheels. That is why you only have minimal stopping power. Check the pads next to see if one set is so worn that the piston has moved so far it is leaking fluid. Do you have any grinding noise when you brake at low speed? If pads are OK then refill cylinder and check for leaks at the calipers when you have someone pump the brakes.
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Old 08-17-2007, 09:56 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richinny
i think what he meant is that the set (one side) of dual wheels is being stopped with one brake. so, in that case it is 2 wheels and one brake.
I think you're correct. But ultimately it is the contact between the road and the tire (and the ability of the brake system to inhibit the rotation of the tire) which provides the stopping power. It doesn't matter whether there is one brake or two for each rear tire pair, as long as the swept area of the single brake is adequate to inhibit the rotation of both tires, both tires provide braking.
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Old 08-19-2007, 01:09 PM   #20
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Here is an update. I filled up the master cylinder with fluid early saturday morning and took Ol' Nancy out and just like like that. Instant brakes.. Didn't have to bleed them out or anything. I guess if I would have done that first than I wouldn't had to have posted here about this issue, but then we all wouldn't have had the opportunity to read all the interesting comments that members posted on this topic.. Thanks for all the help. This has been an interesting and helpful read.. My wife and I took Nancy out on about a 80 mile round trip to an RV site next to Cumberland Falls in a place called Eagle Falls.. It was like a scene out of Deliverance.. We had a good time and the brakes held out really good. Every once in a while though there was a rubbing sound coming from the rear of the coach which I was assuming was the tag axle brakes not disengaging properly.. A little sticky maybe...I will have to check them out.. I figure I will have to put her on a lift or something in order to check them?
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Old 08-19-2007, 02:23 PM   #21
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JaG, you'd be surprised how much can be accomplished on a flat solid surface without a lift.
I do a lot of my own work, on my back, on my creeper, under the bus. A good bottle jack and appropriate axle stands will get you by for so much of the work if you have the room in your driveway.
Good luck and keep posting your progress for us to follow, Please!
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Old 08-19-2007, 06:24 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagcb750
Here is an update. I filled up the master cylinder with fluid early saturday morning and took Ol' Nancy out and just like like that. Instant brakes.. Didn't have to bleed them out or anything. I guess if I would have done that first than I wouldn't had to have posted here about this issue, but then we all wouldn't have had the opportunity to read all the interesting comments that members posted on this topic.. Thanks for all the help. This has been an interesting and helpful read.. My wife and I took Nancy out on about a 80 mile round trip to an RV site next to Cumberland Falls in a place called Eagle Falls.. It was like a scene out of Deliverance.. We had a good time and the brakes held out really good. Every once in a while though there was a rubbing sound coming from the rear of the coach which I was assuming was the tag axle brakes not disengaging properly.. A little sticky maybe...I will have to check them out.. I figure I will have to put her on a lift or something in order to check them?
No jacks needed.

Pull the tag axle tires up on some small ramps made from 2 x 6's. Much safer than any kind of jack.

By the way, DO NOT under any circumstances put a jack or jack stand underneath the tag axle. To do so can cause the axle to go out of alignment.

Andy
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Old 08-19-2007, 07:31 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlenCoombe
JaG, you'd be surprised how much can be accomplished on a flat solid surface without a lift.
I do a lot of my own work, on my back, on my creeper, under the bus. A good bottle jack and appropriate axle stands will get you by for so much of the work if you have the room in your driveway.
Good luck and keep posting your progress for us to follow, Please!
I second Glenn's observation. With good jack stands (you can get 6 ton stands for under $30 at Harbor Freight), a good jack and/or using your levelers, and a creeper much can be done.

Never get under your rig while it is being supported only by a jack or levelers, always have supports with adequate weight capacity. If a jack or leveler blows a hose or seal, the rig will slam down, not ease down as will happen with a slow leak.
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Old 08-19-2007, 09:52 PM   #24
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I have been planning on getting some jack stands anyway. This would be a good opportunity. I live in the sticks so I don't have a good driveway. I had a great driveway at the house I just sold this past April, but now I have a lot of gravels and a yard full of dieing grass. I thought maybe I needed to lift up the coach to spin the tag axles tires and apply the brakes to see that the electric brakes are engaging and disengaging properly. I thought that it might be the easiest way to see if they are working properly.
@guy99 does Harbor Freight have a website? $30 bucks seems like a bargain to me.
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Old 08-20-2007, 12:29 AM   #25
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I understand the issue with rural driveways. Mine is all 'road base'. I put a sheet of plywood down to work under the rig.

Here's a link to the online Harbor Freight site:

Harbor Freight Tools

Their shipping is based on total order cost not weight so shipping isn't bad. The also have retail stores, there is a link on the site to locate the stores. In Kentucky they have stores in Lexington and Louisville.

My rig, a 310, doesn't have a tag axle so I know nothing about tag brakes, sorry.
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:37 AM   #26
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Jag,
Rememer that the tags are electric and engages by the brake controller under the dash "sensing" decelleration. Applying the service brakes with the brake pedal will not engage the tag brakes.

There are some threads here on testing the tag brakes. A search might turn up some useful procedures.
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Old 08-21-2007, 10:34 AM   #27
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@Swebster:
Thanks, that helps me out. I was unaware about that. I will do a search on testing them.
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Old 08-22-2007, 06:29 PM   #28
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Install a new master cylinder, bleed the front and rear axle wheel calipers throughly and it will be all good. Use DOT 3 brake fluid.
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