Jump to content


Photo
* * * * * 1 votes

Braking on a Steep Grade

brakes hot breaking on incline braking going downhill engine brake

  • Please log in to reply
33 replies to this topic

#1 bazgor

bazgor

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 24 January 2012 - 06:18 PM

I went down a steep grade with my 93 bounder, 28', P30 chassis.

When I reached the bottom, the brakes were hot. I am also towing a small suv. I Drove another 10 miles and pulled over at the next town for a break.

One half hour later, I went to leave. I put my foot on the brake to start it, and when I started it the brake pedal went all the way to the floor. I pumped the brakes a few times and still nothing. I waited another few moments and pumped the brakes again, and then they came back to normal. Does anyone know why it did that. Is there any solution for braking going down a steep incline, like an engine brake.

Thanks Gord.
  • 0

#2 wolfe10

wolfe10

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator, Super
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,837 posts
  • Location:League City, Texas

Posted 24 January 2012 - 06:46 PM

Gord,

I am sure you will get some good firsthand information on your specific brake failure question.

A couple of general comments:

Be sure that you change you brake fluid every 2-3 years. As it absorbs water (as it was designed to do to protect the iron parts of you brake system) the boiling point of brake fluid decreases from close to 500 degrees F to 286 degrees F! Temperatures in your calipers under extended hard braking can exceed 286.

The proper use of your service brakes while descending a grade is to NOT USE THEM. They are not there to help you maintain a safe speed of descent. They are ONLY to be used to slow you down enough to "grab a lower gear." Though your coach weighs many times what your car weights, brake surface area (dictated by size of wheels) is only slightly larger than on your car. So a very different driving technique is needed.

The correct gear to descend a grade is the gear that holds your speed in equilibrium. That could mean 1st or 2nd gear, even if the road is dead straight for 10 miles. If you find that your speed is increasing, firmly apply the brakes enough to slow down enough to "grab a lower gear." Physics dictates that your equilibrium speed is slower than an empty 18 wheeler and faster than a loaded one.

We assume that your toad has brakes as well. Your chassis brakes were not designed to stop the weight of the coach AND the toad.

If you drive properly, you will not wear out coach brakes -- we have 158,000 miles on original brakes and have driven a LOT of serious mountain roads.

Brett
  • 0

Dianne and Brett Wolfe
2003 Alpine 38'
Moderator, FMCA.com Forums
Chairman, FMCA Technical Advisory Committee
Member, FMCA Long-Range and Development Committee 2007-2009
Moderator, http://www.dieselrvclub.org/(FMCA chapter)


#3 bazgor

bazgor

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:18 AM

Thank you for the info. Do you know where the master cylinder is located on a p30 chassis
  • 0

#4 hermanmullins

hermanmullins

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,710 posts
  • Location:Whitewright, TEXAS

Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:57 AM

Gord,

You should find your master cylinder under your hood just to your right while facing the coach. Gord, I'm not trying to be smart with you but if you are having a hard time finding the master cylinder, might I suggest that you take your coach to good shop and let them flush and refill your brake fluid. (watch what they do and you can learn how to do it the next time yourself) At the same time you might have them look at your brake shoes or pads.

Good Luck and Happy RVing.
  • 0

"Fair winds and Following Seas"

Herman & Bobbie Mullins, F302225
Whitewright, TEXAS
'02 Monaco Dynasty, 40-foot 400 HP ISL
Chevrolet Silverado (M & G air brakes)
U.S. Navy PR-3 1956 to 1964

Southern Region Vice President for Six-State Rally Association
Lone Star Chapter FMCA Past President
South Central Lucky Rollers
Rally in The Pasture


#5 desertdeals69

desertdeals69

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,302 posts

Posted 25 January 2012 - 01:07 PM

Some years ago I spoke to a fellow that had a Pace Arrow 36 and he said at the top of a steep hill he would slow down enough to put in into low gear and proceed down the hill at 10-15 mph otherwise he would overheat his brakes. That is one of the advantages of a diesel is the exhaust brake. I have gone down more than 9% downgrades and never had to use the brakes running 35-45 mph.
  • 0

#6 johnklopp

johnklopp

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts

Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:22 PM

A little more explanation is in order for you to understand why the brake pedal went to the floor. The moisture in the fluid actually boils and created a vapor pocket in the hot brake cylinder. Once the brake cylinder cools down the vapor condenses and the brakes return to normal. Changing fluid is a good precaution and should/must be done periodically to eliminate moisture.

Another point is the DOT rating of the brake fluid. The high the DOT rating the higher the boiling point. DOT 2 (cheap) brake fluid boils at hundreds of degrees less than DOT 5 brake fluid (expensive). The next time you’re at the auto parts store take a look at the brake fluid. The boiling point will be labeled on each can.
  • 0

#7 wolfe10

wolfe10

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator, Super
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,837 posts
  • Location:League City, Texas

Posted 26 January 2012 - 09:36 AM

Since his "brake pedal to the floor" occurred AFTER stopping for 30 minutes, I doubt boiling brake fluid was the cause.

I am not that familiar with the hydroboost brake system that I suspect he has, that is why I did not speculate on the cause of the pedal goes to the floor.

Brett
  • 0

Dianne and Brett Wolfe
2003 Alpine 38'
Moderator, FMCA.com Forums
Chairman, FMCA Technical Advisory Committee
Member, FMCA Long-Range and Development Committee 2007-2009
Moderator, http://www.dieselrvclub.org/(FMCA chapter)


#8 hermanmullins

hermanmullins

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,710 posts
  • Location:Whitewright, TEXAS

Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:17 AM

Hydroboost is one of the worst thing GM ever put on a Truck Chassis. I drove a 93 Chevrolet 1 ton with Hydroboost and the heavier the load the less brakes you had. If Gord has Hydroboost likes his coach other then the Brakes he might check into seeing if he can convert to a Vacuum Booster system. I don't know if it can be done but I would sure check it out.

Gord I don't know how you approch a steep down hill grade, but down shifting to a lower gear will help.
  • 0

"Fair winds and Following Seas"

Herman & Bobbie Mullins, F302225
Whitewright, TEXAS
'02 Monaco Dynasty, 40-foot 400 HP ISL
Chevrolet Silverado (M & G air brakes)
U.S. Navy PR-3 1956 to 1964

Southern Region Vice President for Six-State Rally Association
Lone Star Chapter FMCA Past President
South Central Lucky Rollers
Rally in The Pasture


#9 desertdeals69

desertdeals69

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,302 posts

Posted 26 January 2012 - 11:14 AM

Using a lower gear is dependent on the torque converter, how good it locks up or if at all.
  • 0

#10 robertbeers

robertbeers

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts

Posted 02 February 2012 - 03:58 PM

A lot of good info in this thread. It will take more than one purge of your brake fluid to get all the water and burnt fluid out of the system so get a quality shop to do the work for you. New fluid needs to be a higher temp and synthetic brand. Your braking goal is to never touch the brakes. That is an impossible task but a good goal. On hills you go down hills in the same gear you would use going up that same hill. If you ever again encounter the same problem, you are using the brakes too much and you need fluid replaced again because it is burnt. As stated above our P30 series brakes are marginal at best so they need to be kept in top condition.













  • 0

#11 robertbeers

robertbeers

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts

Posted 02 February 2012 - 04:01 PM

Also; Assuming your coach is a class A, the master cylinder is just to the right of your feet under the floor. On My Trek it is accessible from the engine cover inside the unit.
  • 0

#12 Sundancer268

Sundancer268

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 19 posts
  • Location:Charlevoix, Michigan

Posted 03 February 2012 - 07:05 AM

DOT 5 Brake Fluid is a silicone fluid and IS NOT compatable with any other brake fluid. There is a new DOT 5? brake fluid which is compatable but you will probably have a hard time finding it. If you want to try and find the new DOT 5 make sure it is compatable with the older DOT standards and not the silicone type. My 1982 Harley used the DOT 5 and some specially built race vehicles used it also. Maybe some exotic foreign cars will also use it. Just replace it with DOT 4 or DOT 3 and change it every 2-3 years.
  • 0

#13 wolfe10

wolfe10

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator, Super
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,837 posts
  • Location:League City, Texas

Posted 03 February 2012 - 11:11 AM

I agree with Sundancer. Do not change to a silicone-based fluid. Ford has one of the best brake fluids compatible with your system with a new boiling point right at 500 degrees F.

Brett
  • 0

Dianne and Brett Wolfe
2003 Alpine 38'
Moderator, FMCA.com Forums
Chairman, FMCA Technical Advisory Committee
Member, FMCA Long-Range and Development Committee 2007-2009
Moderator, http://www.dieselrvclub.org/(FMCA chapter)


#14 OkieDave

OkieDave

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 39 posts
  • Location:Oklahoma City OK
  • I travel:With Pets

Posted 03 February 2012 - 11:56 AM

The brake reservoir on the P32 chassis and probably on the P30 can be reached from the left front wheel well. I know, it does not make sense but that is where it is. Look just inside and above the frame.

As far as using the DOT 5. DON'T.

The is from the Workhorse Chassis manual that covers P30-P32.
Do not add DOT 5 brake fluid to the master cylinder reservoir. DOT 5 fluid is silicon base whereas the correct DOT 3 fluid is Glycol based. The two will not mix and the DOT 5 fluid can cause major damage to the anti-lock brake module and other brake components
  • 0
2001 Winnebago Adventurer 32V, 8.1L Vortec, Workhorse Chassis
Towing 2006 Honda CR-V AWD
Dog, Missy

#15 hermanmullins

hermanmullins

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,710 posts
  • Location:Whitewright, TEXAS

Posted 03 February 2012 - 12:03 PM

It is always nice to quote the Mfg. However if you have a top feul dragster DOT 5 would work well.
  • 0

"Fair winds and Following Seas"

Herman & Bobbie Mullins, F302225
Whitewright, TEXAS
'02 Monaco Dynasty, 40-foot 400 HP ISL
Chevrolet Silverado (M & G air brakes)
U.S. Navy PR-3 1956 to 1964

Southern Region Vice President for Six-State Rally Association
Lone Star Chapter FMCA Past President
South Central Lucky Rollers
Rally in The Pasture


#16 christod

christod

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts

Posted 03 February 2012 - 01:01 PM

I'm a new member and new to RV ing. I have a HMC 36 Ltd Edition with w cat 3116 and an Allison 3060 transmission. When decending a steep grade I use a switch on the dash which puts the transmission into a "braking" mode, so that if i take my foot off the accelerator, the transmission starts to downshift. Obviously as it does this the revs shoot up. I am concerned about this for fear of over-reving the engine, so I use my service brakes to slow the coach to lower the revs. Should I bother to do this or just let the transmission slow the coach and not worry about the high (2500) revs?
  • 0

#17 wolfe10

wolfe10

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator, Super
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,837 posts
  • Location:League City, Texas

Posted 03 February 2012 - 02:34 PM

Christod,

Your 3116 has a governed RPM of 2600. 2500 is toward the high end, but certainly not over the redline.

I would suspect that your Allison is programmed to NOT allow engine RPM to exceed the 2600 figure.

Are you sure you don't have an exhaust brake? If not, what is your engine serial number. Beginning with engines produced the fall of 1992, the Caterpillar 3116 was fit with stronger exhaust valve springs that allowed the use of a very good exhaust brake.

Generally, the exhaust brake and transmission downshifting work together when the exhaust brake switch is turned on and the throttle is closed.
  • 0

Dianne and Brett Wolfe
2003 Alpine 38'
Moderator, FMCA.com Forums
Chairman, FMCA Technical Advisory Committee
Member, FMCA Long-Range and Development Committee 2007-2009
Moderator, http://www.dieselrvclub.org/(FMCA chapter)


#18 hermanmullins

hermanmullins

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,710 posts
  • Location:Whitewright, TEXAS

Posted 03 February 2012 - 03:23 PM

Brett, does the 3116 have a Jake Brake or Pac Brake. If I understand, the Jake Brake is in the engine and controls the valve train while the Pac Brake is an exhaust brake that controls the back pressure in the exhaust. When I use my Jake brake my transmission drops to 2 and returns to 6 when I release it. I'm sorry that I don't know enough about the systems.

Since the subject is on Braking, could you give a brief lesson on the types of Exhaust Braking?

Regards
  • 0

"Fair winds and Following Seas"

Herman & Bobbie Mullins, F302225
Whitewright, TEXAS
'02 Monaco Dynasty, 40-foot 400 HP ISL
Chevrolet Silverado (M & G air brakes)
U.S. Navy PR-3 1956 to 1964

Southern Region Vice President for Six-State Rally Association
Lone Star Chapter FMCA Past President
South Central Lucky Rollers
Rally in The Pasture


#19 wolfe10

wolfe10

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator, Super
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,837 posts
  • Location:League City, Texas

Posted 03 February 2012 - 03:40 PM

Herman,

The Caterpillar 3116 can be equipped with an exhaust brake, not an engine compression brake (same as Cummins B and C engines-- only large-displacement engines are generally fit with engine compression brakes). Prior to engine production of fall 1992, valve springs would only accommodate a low pressure exhaust brake. After that, they would accommodate a much more robust exhaust brake. Same thing occurred over at Cummins at this same time. That is why I asked for engine serial number.

The exhaust brake is wired through the Allison TCM so that when the exhaust brake switch is ON and throttle closed, two things happen. The transmission begins shifting TOWARD, REPEAT TOWARD the pre-select gear (generally 2nd or 4th but can be any gear you want-- I had mine changed to 5th). It drops one gear at a time as soon as it would not overspeed the engine in that next lower gear. At the same time, the butterfly in the exhaust brake closes, creating back pressure that the engine must work against-- kind of like stuffing a giant potato in the tail pipe.

If, for example you have a 2nd gear pre-select, it does NOT downshift to 2nd if you are at highway speed. And, if you are at a stoplight and look at the shift pad and it says "6" you are not in 6th gear, that is the gear the transmission will shift to as conditions permit.

Here is another discussion on this subject: http://community.fmc...ke-vs-retarder/

Brett
  • 0

Dianne and Brett Wolfe
2003 Alpine 38'
Moderator, FMCA.com Forums
Chairman, FMCA Technical Advisory Committee
Member, FMCA Long-Range and Development Committee 2007-2009
Moderator, http://www.dieselrvclub.org/(FMCA chapter)


#20 hermanmullins

hermanmullins

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,710 posts
  • Location:Whitewright, TEXAS

Posted 03 February 2012 - 04:18 PM

Thanks Brett. That helps me understand and should help alot of other folks.
  • 0

"Fair winds and Following Seas"

Herman & Bobbie Mullins, F302225
Whitewright, TEXAS
'02 Monaco Dynasty, 40-foot 400 HP ISL
Chevrolet Silverado (M & G air brakes)
U.S. Navy PR-3 1956 to 1964

Southern Region Vice President for Six-State Rally Association
Lone Star Chapter FMCA Past President
South Central Lucky Rollers
Rally in The Pasture






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: brakes hot, breaking on incline, braking going downhill, engine brake

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users