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Old 11-27-2012, 05:57 AM   #1
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Question E-brake stuck on? OK, how much?

Yay! I drove my 1986 345 for 3 hours yesterday, the first time in almost 10 years! The trip went off without any serious hitches, so to speak, I got a lot of fist pumps and thumbs up along the way. It was a blast.

Of course there were a few wrinkles:
1) The emergency brake light stayed on the whole time. Or at least the light was on. But as soon as I took my foot off the foot brake the coach rolled forward, so it didn't seem that the ebrake was causing much resistance so I decided to go for it.

2) I also noticed that the rest of the dash lights weren't working, although the turn signals illuminated when I turned on the headlights which I don't remember them doing before. When I used the turn signals they would flash on the dash but would default to on as long as the headlights were on. So I thought maybe there's some kind of short in the dash wiring.

3) On the other hand, I didn't have as much power as I expected. I was in an empty coach, towing nothing. After about an hour on the road, ascending an 8-10% grade, the vacuum dropped to 0 and I was doing around 15-20 MPH with the temp climbing, which is what I would have been doing towing with a full coach ten years ago. I could still have been blowing crap through the engine, but it still seemed to be less power than it should have been. I have a Banks exhaust system, a new rear fuel pump which I've never had working on the coach before and had replaced to prevent vapor lock.

4) Also, when I stopped at a stop light after 3 hours of driving I noticed the engine was missing on at least one piston.

So I know I have to have the engine tuned up, and I suspect the fuel pump may be limiting the fuel available somehow, but if the brake were sticking, would it stick variably? Even if I did not feel it coasting on a level surface could I still feel it driving at higher speeds or going uphill? And if I have to have that ebrake replaced, how much would I expect to spend? And, while we're at it, does it really even do much?

What have you folks done along these lines?
Thanks!
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:24 AM   #2
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Jenniflow,

1. Make sure the e-brake lever/pedal is released all the way, the switch should be on the mechanism. Inspect for frozen cables and brake shoes.

2. Start with a new turn sig flasher, ck the 4 way flasher switch.

3. Replace all fuel filters, screen on carb, new gas. Inspect for restricted exhaust/ Cat converter, complete tune-up, new sp wires, filters, inspect EGR valve etc, LOF.
Confirm all cyl firing, rpm drop test.

In NYS the e-brake must function for NYS Insp. The way I tested it at the Chev Store....should bring the coach to a stop at idle in gear and hold it.

Good Luck....hope this helps.

Bob
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:42 AM   #3
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I'm not familiar with those specifically, but in many vehicles the "brake" light is also a warning of a problem with the brake system, such as low fluid. If you can't find an obvious solution related to the parking brake, I'd check the entire system thoroughly - brakes are one thing you do not want to mess around with.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:43 AM   #4
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Sounds like excellent advice, Bob, thanks! BTW, do you mean LOF = Laughing On the Floor? Or is it some other mechanical reference to something I should check or replace? Sorry, I only speak partial mechanic's language :-)
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:46 AM   #5
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Skater, just saw this. I am so glad you mentioned this because we thought there had been a leak in the master cylinder but after the fluid was replaced no one could find a leak. I will definitely check this out! I didn't think the foot brakes were working as well as I remembered but I brake with the transmission on steep descents and i could still stop the coach I didn't think past it. Thank you!
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenniflow View Post
Of course there were a few wrinkles:
1) The emergency brake light stayed on the whole time.
If the emergency brake is a foot pedal type while the ignition is on reach down and lift the peddal to the off position. If the light goes out the pedal mechinizem may be sticking or the switch may need adjusting.

2) I also noticed that the rest of the dash lights weren't working,
the is no normal path for electricity from the headlight to the emergency light system. Look under the dash to make sure the mice have not been there.

3) On the other hand, I didn't have as much power as I expected.
If the rig sat for 10 years I am surprised it started at all. Get a couple of cans of Seafoam gas treatment and put them in the tank top off with new gas and go for a drive. If things improve after 25 miles or so you power and missing problems were just old gas. The less old gas you have in the tank when you top off the better. Try this before a tune up, it costs a lot less.

Good Luck
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:17 AM   #7
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Lights in dash

While technically right here is no path from the headlights to the flashers not working correctly. When you turn on the headlights you are turning on the running lights and taillights. The taillights are probably where your problem will be. Check for ground issues with the taillights or signal lights. If you have a ground issue then it can let electricity back feed into your circuit giving you all kinds of wierd things goin on such as lights staying lit or one signal light flashing among other things. Good luck Hope this helps
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:33 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jenniflow View Post
Yay! I drove my 1986 345 for 3 hours yesterday, the first time in almost 10 years! The trip went off without any serious hitches, so to speak, I got a lot of fist pumps and thumbs up along the way. It was a blast.
Congratulations!

Quote:
3) On the other hand, I didn't have as much power as I expected. I was in an empty coach, towing nothing. After about an hour on the road, ascending an 8-10% grade, the vacuum dropped to 0 and I was doing around 15-20 MPH with the temp climbing, which is what I would have been doing towing with a full coach ten years ago. I could still have been blowing crap through the engine, but it still seemed to be less power than it should have been. I have a Banks exhaust system, a new rear fuel pump which I've never had working on the coach before and had replaced to prevent vapor lock.
That definitely doesn't sound right. Our 310 when not towing and just lightly loaded doesn't stop for grades. Of course the grades we deal with are just long 6% or 7% grades not 8-10. Still I would think you would have better response than that.

Quote:
4) Also, when I stopped at a stop light after 3 hours of driving I noticed the engine was missing on at least one piston.
That certainly didn't help on the 8-10% grades.

Quote:
So I know I have to have the engine tuned up, and I suspect the fuel pump may be limiting the fuel available somehow, but if the brake were sticking, would it stick variably? Even if I did not feel it coasting on a level surface could I still feel it driving at higher speeds or going uphill? And if I have to have that ebrake replaced, how much would I expect to spend? And, while we're at it, does it really even do much?
If the fuel pump wasn't running I can see that being a problem but if the fuel pump is running it should only help, not hinder performance.

Sorting out your brake problems so you can eliminate them as a problem while driving should be a high priority.

Good luck!

Brad
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:58 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jenniflow View Post
Sounds like excellent advice, Bob, thanks! BTW, do you mean LOF = Laughing On the Floor? Or is it some other mechanical reference to something I should check or replace? Sorry, I only speak partial mechanic's language :-)
LOF=lube, oil and filter.

Bob
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:22 AM   #10
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You might want to verify that the electric fuel pump is flowing fuel. When I purchased my motorhome you could hear the fuel pump but when I disconnected the outlet line it would not pump fuel and caused my engine to not have power.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:30 PM   #11
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This is great, there's so much to consider here, it's all so helpful in various ways. Thanks! I agree, I've got to straighten out the brake mystery cuz I don't want to go testing my get-up-and-go without any it's-time-to-stop available. And I suspect there is also a ground problem. And one windshield wiper isn't working, you can plainly see that wire either melted or got eaten.

Fortunately, I have Vinnie from the forums on the case and he's going to possibly replace the master cylinder which we suspect is the problem. Turned out when I first had someone go over - or perhaps I should say "under" - the coach, one side of the MC was completely dry while the other side was still holding the brake fluid. Vinnie suspects it's leaking into the whoosie whatsie rather than onto the ground which is why we couldn't find the leak. So, since it's been 26 years anyway, we're going to replace it. I'm going to see if I can find somewhere on the forum where it says what the part number would be for a 1986 Classic 345 MH master cylinder. If I can't find it I'll create a thread. But if any of you happen to know, just holler.

Once I get the brake thing straightened out we'll see what's causing the power shortage.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:27 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Jenniflow View Post
This is great, there's so much to consider here, it's all so helpful in various ways. Thanks! I agree, I've got to straighten out the brake mystery cuz I don't want to go testing my get-up-and-go without any it's-time-to-stop available. And I suspect there is also a ground problem. And one windshield wiper isn't working, you can plainly see that wire either melted or got eaten.

Fortunately, I have Vinnie from the forums on the case and he's going to possibly replace the master cylinder which we suspect is the problem. Turned out when I first had someone go over - or perhaps I should say "under" - the coach, one side of the MC was completely dry while the other side was still holding the brake fluid. Vinnie suspects it's leaking into the whoosie whatsie rather than onto the ground which is why we couldn't find the leak. So, since it's been 26 years anyway, we're going to replace it. I'm going to see if I can find somewhere on the forum where it says what the part number would be for a 1986 Classic 345 MH master cylinder. If I can't find it I'll create a thread. But if any of you happen to know, just holler.

Once I get the brake thing straightened out we'll see what's causing the power shortage.
You must be talking about Airslide Vinnie. He keeps claiming he's a trailer guy but we all know deep down he's moho all the way.

Cheers, Dan
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:10 PM   #13
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Yup, Vinnie is in the house!

Well, now a whole new wrinkle has developed, the question of smogging the coach in California. Looks like it's gonna be ugly. I'm going to see what choices Californians have made about dealing with this thorny issue. If it's too ugly, she's on her way to Baja!
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:41 PM   #14
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"leaking into the whoosie whatsie rather than onto the ground which is why we couldn't find the leak."

Not uncommon for for the "whoosie whatsie" to fill up with fluid when the master diaphram seal springs a leek.... Make sure it's still intact, better safe than not knowing.



Does it 'kinda look like this....Oh No it's a hydroboost whoosie.

Bob
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