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Old 10-13-2010, 06:42 PM   #1
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2008 31' Classic
2016 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Lenoir City , Tennessee
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Posts: 223
Is my brake really O.K?

Driving home from camping weekend. Notice that smoke is pouring out from side of camper. Pulled over and inspected. Smoke and mechanical burning smell coming from right (passenger side) rear wheel. Park for a while until smoke stops, then SLOWLY go home - not too much farther.

Mobile service tech comes out to inspect - says can find no problems and not even any damage to brake pad or anything else. Said something (gravel?) could have lodged and caused sticking, then when we stopped the unit backed up just enough to dislodge it.

Really? Given the amount of smoke and how hot that wheel got compared to other wheels it seems hard to believe that we are now fine and our disk brake and/or pad were not damaged.

Obviously, we know very little about brakes and are surprised that a problem such as this could just fix itself.

Comments, please?

Kelly & Matt
WBCCI - #4335
2005 Diesel Excursion
2008 31' Custom Classic "Moonshine"
2016 Interstate "BugOut"
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:49 PM   #2
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South of the river , Minnesota
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Did he pull the drum and hub? Sometimes brakes behave badly as a result of corrosion and then get better by themselves but I would think a thorough inspection would be in order. If you haven't had the bearings serviced yet it's probably time for that anyway so you might want to have someone pull all four hubs, repack bearings, and evaluate the brake situation in the controlled and considered environment of the shop.

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Old 10-13-2010, 11:03 PM   #3
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Menlo Park , California
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I've badly overheated disk brakes on a motorcycle (new pads were too thick).... the (rear) disk was blue in spots, but never caused any problems in the 40k+ miles I put on that bike. I did take things apart and removed the anti-squeal shims to get more space, but there were no other problems.

If the rotor run true and the pads are not worn, run it. +1 on greasing and inspecting the bearings...
Bart Smaalders
Menlo Park, CA
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Old 10-14-2010, 07:29 AM   #4
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2008 31' Classic
2016 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Lenoir City , Tennessee
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Thanks for the feedback.

What is ironic is that we had the entire brake system inspected by this same service facility in August. They were initially engaged to do the recall inspection and I told them that while they were at it just do a complete inspection. They did so said everything was fine.

It's not that I don't believe them - after all they've now had two chances to gouge me and didn't - it's just that I don't know enough about these things to understand their opinion on what might have happened.
Kelly & Matt
WBCCI - #4335
2005 Diesel Excursion
2008 31' Custom Classic "Moonshine"
2016 Interstate "BugOut"
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:26 AM   #5
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Dearborn , Michigan
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if tech pulled the brakes for inspection, and they checked out- sounds like it could have been bad bearings.
another good reason for a TPMS with temp sensing
A family of eight, blogging all things camping from our Airstream
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Old 10-16-2010, 05:11 PM   #6
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2006 30' Classic
Milton , Florida
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Do you have electric brakes, or hydraulic disc brakes? I experienced the same type of issue with one wheel on our hydraulic disc brakes (2006 30' Classic) and never did determine what caused the problem. It cleared for no apparent reason.

It is unlikely that your problem was bearing related.

Nick Meloy
F. A. Meloy
2006 30' Classic
Dexter hydraulic disc brake system
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Old 10-16-2010, 05:24 PM   #7
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2003 19' Bambi
Pittsboro , North Carolina
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At a mimimum: pull the hub, clean/inspect/repack the bearings, replace the grease seal, set the bearing pre-load, and then raise the wheel off the ground to spin it while someone applies the brake to make sure it works.
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Old 10-16-2010, 08:50 PM   #8
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Oswego , Illinois
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I'm assuming hydraulic disc with my comments here. There have been many posts relative to the rubber portion of the brake lines being too short and causing kinking. Rubber brake hoses are typically 3 layers thick...the outer is for abrasion resistance...the middle for strength and the inner for sealing. If a hose is kinked or a caliper left hanging while servicing the brakes, the inner layer can become separated and create a "flap" which can close off the hose for fluid to return to the master cylinder after an application of the brakes. This is usually intermittent and could cause a caliper to remain partially applied. Doesn't take much to create the heat you experienced. I don't think bearing either.

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