Brake Maintenance

Submitted: Friday, Apr 23, 2004 at 23:39
ThreadID: 120530 Views:1755 Replies:1 FollowUps:0
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Our Caravan has travelled over 67,000km on the original brake magnets and linings and as I have heard of other caravans of various makes having problems with Brake Magnets, I made an enquiry at Bushtracker about having my vans brakes checked before my next big trip involving a lot of rough roads and this is Steves advice. Hello Brian, If you can wait until next month, we can probably do it here... It is a question of trusting someone to repack the bearings properly, and you need to get a competant mechanic for that... Even the Guy across the road can do it for you, he gets our overflow work like that.. Graham at Suncoast Diesel 5477-1556... Wait until Peter is back next Tuesday in case you need any parts.... Maintenance Tips on Brakes: Current brake problems- The only Brake Magnet problems over the years that we are aware of have been from people that did not let their tyre pressure down enough on the corrugations... I cannot think of more than 4 or 5 in eight years, and have seen too many vans to count up in the 50,000 - 100,000 km that still had good magnets. The corrugations rattle them into excessive wear if they do not let the tyre pressure down or if they travel too fast on the corrugations... In 1996 while conducting severe quality control testing of our van on outback roads, we ruined a set of brake magnets in 10,000 kms due to the corrugations by travelling with the tyres pumped up too high, and travelling at as fast a speed travel as was tolerable. I must emphasis that we ruined this set of magnets in 10,000 kms on the corrugations with abuse, but I have also seen them still in good condition after 50,000 to 100,000 kms with proper care... On linings: It is still better to have your own shoes re-lined when they wear, but it is usually an overnight wait. On longevity of the linings: I have heard about a set of brake linings coming off the shoes again. That makes about 6 in eight years that I know about .... My best research with the Manufacturing Companies, is they claim it is a result of possibly a high moisture exposure, but most likely drag on the brake contoller, adjusting the brakes up too high or riding the brakes, that causes excessive heat.... If it was a high humidity day on the bonding process, faulty manufacturing procedure or faulty bonding material, as some people try and claim, then we would have batches of them having problems over a time frame... This has not proven to be true, infact it is too rare and to random to be a batch problem. So it remains a mystery, and it is hard to argue with their stand that it is excessive heat due to the brakes adjusted too tight, the controller turned up too high, or dragging the brakes while riding them on the pedal. I have seen brakes ruined at 50,000 km, by a person that admitted he was a fast and hard traveller, and I have seen brakes that only needed service at nearly 100,000 km. It appears to be up to the use of the van by the Owner that makes the difference. Or, it is just a freak that one pair of linings come away in 500. We currently have one Client with one lining away in eight shoes, and another with reported more than half... The one coming away could be a freak, the other would be more likely the use of the van by the Owner... I am sure they will dispute that, but that is the best research I can offer on the subject: Excessive heat seems to be the issue and not any manufacturing problem in the brake linings or there would be more frequency of occurance on the same time interval. Cheers, stg at Bushtracker
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Reply By: Deleted User - Friday, Apr 23, 2004 at 23:41

Friday, Apr 23, 2004 at 23:41
I had the bearings re-greased and brake linings checked by Graham at Suncoast Diesel who is directly opp. Bushtracker - nice bloke. If you are getting the bearings done, Steve Gibbs recommends replacing the seals as well, but it would be worth checking in advance that they have them in stock as there was bit of a drama on the day locating some when I was there. If you are getting the van done, and have not had it done as part of regular maintenance, get the wheel alignment checked as well, as vans can get out of alignment just like cars can. Graham did ours as well (with a bit of technical help from the BTI guys) - you won't find too many places elsewhere that would have a clue where to start, I reckon, Phil
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