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Old 04-28-2008, 04:19 PM   #1
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Re: Lost My Brakes

i don't know much about fixing them, just wanted to state that my last bus with hydraulic setup had 4 wheel disk brakes.
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Old 04-28-2008, 08:47 PM   #2
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Re: Lost My Brakes

Based on the heat issue and the smells you described I would venture to say you have a stuck piston in the caliper. If you spit out a brake pad (it does happen, believe it or not) you would have hyperextended the piston and that would cause your soft pedal. Likewise, leaking could cause this condition. The brake light on the dash was most likely triggered by the pressure differential switch which is an amazingly simple device that turns the light on if the pressure in one circuit of the brakes (rear in this case) is lower than the other (front).

I'm not sure how comfortable you are working on the bus yourself, but it all really is going to start with a good visual inspection. You need to get that wheel off and get a good look at what is going on back there. Is everything wet? Does the caliper look cocked or otherwise misaligned? Are the brake pads in decent condition? How do the rotors look? Take some pictures if nothing else.

For what it's worth, those brake parts aren't THAT expensive. Your rotors can most likely be machined. The pads are most likely cheap and widely available. The calipers might cost you some money, but that's only because of their shear size. I wouldn't mess around with rebuilding the calipers. Just get a remanufactured unit. By the time you get the seals, piston, etc you might well be paying more than for hte reman.
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:51 PM   #3
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Re: Lost My Brakes

Glad you made it home safely, and as for the issue with the brakes, I'm close to worthless..
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Old 05-01-2008, 01:36 AM   #4
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Re: Lost My Brakes

This is where that big jack and jack stands are nice to have. If it were me I'd do it myself. Who ever does it will either use the international vin number at a international dealer to get the parts they need or use the number stamped on the caliper to get a replacement. I would guess you could end up paying a shop somewhere around the $1000 or up mark. This is just a guess based on they would replace the bad caliper and the pads all around and then they might throw a rotor at you and the labor would be maybe 4 hours at around $100 a shop hour.
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Old 05-09-2008, 08:21 AM   #5
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Re: Lost My Brakes

this is the only thing that worries me on these busses without air brakes.
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Old 05-09-2008, 09:41 AM   #6
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Re: Lost My Brakes

Originally Posted by ironshore
Told you I didn't know much) But yes, the bus has disc brakes all around and that one is leaking. The bus was purchased a few months ago from the school district, but had been out of service for some time. I imagine the seals and stuff are all dried out. Unfortunately, looks like I have to sink some $$$$$ into it and get it all checked out. Any suggestions on what to have my mechanic took for when I take it in?? Obviously, safety things like brakes, but is it just regular stuff like fluids or is there some specifics I should tell them to look for? Thanks again. Sue
Hi Sue,

If you have a heavy truck dealer/shop nearby that's qualified to do DOT inspections that's what I would (and do) do. I take my bus in once a year and ask to get a DOT inspection. This is not something they take lightly since at the end of the process they give you a legal peice of paper signed by the inspector that certifies your vehicle is up to Federal standards and is capable of operating in a commercial environment. It's not just someone's opinion about the condition of the vehicle; they have to check a lot of boxes on that form. At my local truck shop they give me the signed paper and the DOT sticker but I do not display it since I am not a commercial vehicle. I think the last time I did this is was about $250 (that's memory from last year; it's due again now) but wow! is it piece of mind to know they inspected every operational system and they signed a Federal document at the end that says I'm good to go. If they turn up anything at least I know what I need to take care of.

All the best...
Les Lampman
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