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Old 09-07-2021, 10:17 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Windsport 27K
State: North Carolina
Posts: 348
THOR #11007
Catastrophy Narrowly Averted - F53 Brake Lines

The story of catastrophe narrowly averted - and then a few questions.

I was literally minutes away from pulling out for a long weekend Friday afternoon. Only thing left is to raise the jacks, grab the dog, and pull out. Wife to meet us later at NFS campground a couple hours away. When raising jacks, the left/front sounded a bit "off"; but not concerning as it's been parked on gravel for a couple of months. Went to stow the landing pads, and found that L/F one covered in an oily substance.

First thought? Hydraulic leak on that leveler. Well - we've been to that campground a couple times in the past and sites are fairly level. With some strategic parking and maybe a couple boards - we don't need the levelers and can have those checked out later. Wife agreed we could make do, and was leaving work to meet me at the site. But something told me to look closer.....

Yep. Not a leveler leak; but a corroded hole in one of the brake lines just north of the ABS pump. Had I pulled out headed into traffic - it might not have been pretty a few miles down the road.

Now the questions. I have a mobile repair service coming in the next day or so to temporarily patch that line to make the rig safe to drive - for a while anyway. But since this seems to be a corrosion issue (based on my observation of rust at the leak site), I want to completely replace all four brake lines at once.


Quandary - the local place I use for routine maintenance won't touch it. The local Thor dealer blew me off completely - "we don't do it, even if we did we don't have staff, and we won't help you order parts". The TWO closest commercial Ford dealerships can't handle a 28' Class A. I've found a Freightliner/Volvo commercial shop within reasonable range who says they can install - IF I can get the parts.

Anyone ever dealt with this before? Are brake lines a Thor part or a Ford part on an F53 chassis? If you've never been under there, it's multiple feet of 1/4" (or less) diameter metal pipe - and I have no clue if it's something to "standard order" or must be fabricated on site.

I have one more Ford dealer to call tomorrow. Then I seem to be stuck with a 2-hour drive either way to the nearest place that rhymes with "Stamping Squirreled". Not a happy thought...

If there's a bright side to the story, while crawling around underneath the rig - I discovered we have a Safe-T-Plus stabilizer bar installed; which was not listed in our purchase docs for this used rig. Saves me a few dollars for the CHF I'd planned for some spring upgrades.


But I'll still need to find out why that leveler sounded noisy - which perhaps saved my (and others) life.

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Old 09-07-2021, 10:22 PM   #2
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Model: 2018 24.1 AXISSIXxSIX
State: Arizona
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THOR #13932
Any brake shop in Any town.
Midas muffler type places will do just fine.
Brakes lines are very easy to fabricate.
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Old 09-07-2021, 10:25 PM   #3
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Model: '17-Vegas 24.1
State: California
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THOR #13362
Thor dealers don’t do Ford chassis fixes.
If you can’t find a Ford Commercial Truck Service Center near you that will repair in a timely manner, then there are many local small repair mechanics that can.

So, if it’s brakes…then call all the brake guys in your area.

IMHO…It’s probably not a huge deal. Just a new brake line or a splice, a fitting or two, and a bleed.

Please follow-up with a post once you get it corrected so others will know what to do if they are confronted with same issue.
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Old 09-07-2021, 11:17 PM   #4
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As you might guess, I used to restore old cars. One of the best things to come out of Europe is cupronickel brake lines. It bend easily, doesn't work harden, double flare easily and does not corrode. Why most auto and truck manufactures still use power coated steel lines is a mystery. I used is exclusively for 20 years, when it had to be imported. Now it all over Ebay, Eastwood, Summit,etc. Go to any specialty brakes shop and have them fabricate what you need. Cupronickel used to be patented, but the patent is now off, so be careful where you buy it, if you are a do-it-yourself type.
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Old 09-07-2021, 11:18 PM   #5
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THOR #7035
Ducksface steered you in the right direction. Any brake shop can fab up replacement brake lines.
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Old 09-08-2021, 10:19 PM   #6
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THOR #11007
Thanks all, for the entirely reasonable and logical advice. Sadly however, I seem to be past the event horizon into a black hole of local shops who repeat "we don't do that...why don't you try X?" X then repeats the process.

But - a GOOD NEWS UPDATE!



I did get a mobile service technician out today to patch the offending line and make me "mobile" again. Can't say enough about our local Advanced Maintenance franchise! Prompt response, reasonable price I guess - never used a mobile service before, and some good solid advice. Tech indicates that I DON'T have a systemic corrosion issue needing line replacement - my leak was due to abrasion of one line against a wire bundle conduit. (6+ years old unit). See the "before" attached - I'll get an "after" shot tomorrow. MacGuyver Tech is confident that with periodic verification inspection; his patch will last for the foreseeable future and the other 3 brake lines are solid.

Bottom line - I'm ready to be back on the road as soon as work schedule allows. Now if I can just find someone local-ish to replace tires in the next few months....
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Old 09-09-2021, 04:20 PM   #7
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Not sure about NC but here in AL i use the local Caterpillar dealer. They have a truck shop and work on anything truck here. Mine is a 34E hurricane and they have big bays. Good luck, thx Dennis.
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Old 09-09-2021, 04:38 PM   #8
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Except for
Cut
Flare both ends
Male/male connector
I don't think I know of a Way to fix a brake line other than brazing.(and that doesn't look like a brazing place or application.)
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