Friday, 14 October 2016
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Hi Everyone,

Can anyone tell me on here if they have a 2006 Hobby 700/750 and if so how are the brakes?? The brakes on my Hobby are spongey. I was informed by the dealer I bought the motor home from that is is normal in a Hobby of this age. Can anyone varify this as I do not believe him. The brakes do work but you cannot get a firm pedal under braking. There are no fluid leaks so could possibly be the master cylinder??

Many thanks Pete
more than a month ago
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#8796
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Hi Pete

Am I correct in thinking that your Hobby is on a twin axle on a Alko chassis with drum brakes on the rear? as is ours on our Frankia. If this is the case then the brakes are not the best in the world, especially when you get straight out of a modern vehicle and into the MH.

A few years ago there was discussion in the motorhome press about this set up suggesting that the design was lacking. When I first brought our MH 13 years ago I had everything checked out and all was fine. If yours is the set up as suggested then you may also fine is that, occasionally when you apply the brakes the pedal will feel hard and nothing happens. a quick lift of the foot and the brakes will work! again a design issue, apparently.

It would be worth getting the brake fluid changed as it does deteriorate and the system bled.

Hope this helps

Spinner
more than a month ago
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#8797
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Hi Pete,

Spongey brakes are usually a sign of air in the system.

If the pedal gets firmer when you pump it this would confirm it. The cause or aerated brake fluid could be due to its age because brake fluid absorbs moisture from the atmosphere or the brakes could have boiled at some stage in the past introducing air that way.

Cheapest way to rule this out as a problem would be to bleed the system and/or change the brake fluid :)

If it ain't broke..... Don't fix it!

more than a month ago
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#8798
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Thanks for the replies. firstly it's a Fiat Hobby with disc brakes all round. Secondly our MH was taken back into the dealers 2 days after picking it up to have some sensors changed which had failed after picking it up and to have the brakes bled through and sorted out due to this spongey brake problem. When they rang us tell us the problems had been "fixed" before they brought the MH back they said that the pedal was still the same as this was how it is in older MH like these?? The brake fluid was changed in Sept 2015 at its MOT and its only done 9894km since I'm thinking maybe the master cylinder??
more than a month ago
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#8803
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If it has been fitted with non genuine brake pads the pedal can feel 'odd' too.
I would expect a late vehicle like yours to be better. I would return it to the dealer if your not happy.

Mind you saying that our renault traffic vans at work are fine when driving but if you press the pedal hard when in traffic, it just keeps sinking. Until they reach the bottom.
There are all like this and its standard, so im told.
more than a month ago
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#8805
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As you say Tom 1 that is just what the brakes are like on our MH. This afternoon I have spoken with both the main hobby distributor in the UK and Alko the chassis manufacturer and they have both said that the brakes should not be like this, it sounds like an inverted seal on the master cylinder, so I have rung Oaktree Motor Homes where we purchased our motor home from and after some discussion they have agreed that we have to find a garage here in the Canary Islands who can fix the problem and they will pay for it.
more than a month ago
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#8806
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Well that's good Pete, you need confidence in your pedal.
My work van has been like it for 6 years, but it stops on the nose and isn't a problem when driving.
As I say the other vans are the same.
more than a month ago
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#8821
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I have just had a coversation with someone who had the same issue on an older fiat.
It all started after he had a brake pipe changed.
They did the same, changed fluid, master cylinder etc.
But it was the same.

It turned out to be air trapped in the light laden valve on the rear axle.
Took him 3 years to cure it!

Obviously dont know if thats the case with yours but maybe.
more than a month ago
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#8823
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Hi Tom1,

Many thanks for that info, I will definitely get it checked out, hopefully this week or early next week, I'm trying to find a garage here on Fuerteventura who will test the brakes out for me......

Cheers
Pete
more than a month ago
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#8835
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Oak tree Motor Homes I have found will put thing right or they have for me in the past. My last three motorhomes came from them only because the dealership gave good service.
more than a month ago
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#8838
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Hi Mel64,

Thanks for your info but I doubt we would use them again. They had 1 month to get the MH ready for collection. They knew that I would pick it up on 1st Oct and would be setting off back to the Canary Islands on 6th Oct. They assured me it would all be fully checked, valeted and serviced ready for the off. Having spoken to numerous people about the brakes it would appear to me that the mechanic they use doesn't know what he is on about. A guy called Pete rang me and my wife on the Tuesday afternoon to inform us the MH was on it's way back to us, the sensors had been changed and the brakes bled through although that the pedal was just the same, That's how it is in a van of this age and basically we had to live with it!!!!
Another problem, we picked the MH up on the Sat 1st and took it home, on the Sunday it wouldn't start, after several phone call's to Oaktree and speaking to several different people there they decided to send a technician/mechanic out on Monday morning. Some sensors had packed up. They took the MH back to base to sort this out and the brakes. When they brought the MH back on the Tuesday Ken? (I think that was his name) stated that the brakes were "soft" you had to be careful with them but that they do work, which is exactly how thy are, a very spongey pedal but they do stop you in a normal braking situation but I would think an emergency stop would be scarey!!! I have spoken to Dave there and he has agreed for us to get a garage here in Fuerteventura to quote for sorting them out and they will pay for it.
Another problem, the blinds didn't work. Again Oaktree have said they will look at them when we get back to the UK next spring, but we need them working now as we will be using our MH this winter in the Canary Islands.
Another problem, there is a crack in the shower side which you don't actually see until you are in there having a shower.
Another problem the skylight in the living room was broken.
Again as Jason the sales rep went through everything, you do not have the chance to take it all in and test the equipment for yourselves. He did raise the blinds but didn't clip them onto the anti insect screen so we could see if they stayed up, again we only found this out when we arrived at our first stop over in France. We thought we would have time to go through everything before we set off but with the MH going back to Oaktree for the Monday/Tuesday we were struggling to get everything packed and ready for the off on the Thursday.
The most annoying thing is that for the money we paid for this motor home, and the promises made to have it all serviced, valeted and thoroughly checked before we collected it.( I know they have said bring the MH back and we will rectify the problems) but we believe they should have been rectified before we picked it up not after!!!!
After saying all this we do love our motor home, it is so comfortable and lovely to drive. I will sort out all the minor problems and hopefully will find a a garage here to sort out the brakes before we leave the Canaries in spring......

Cheers Pete
more than a month ago
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#8839
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Hi Mel64,

Thanks for your info but I doubt we would use them again. They had 1 month to get the MH ready for collection. They knew that I would pick it up on 1st Oct and would be setting off back to the Canary Islands on 6th Oct. They assured me it would all be fully checked, valeted and serviced ready for the off. Having spoken to numerous people about the brakes it would appear to me that the mechanic they use doesn't know what he is on about. A guy called Pete rang me and my wife on the Tuesday afternoon to inform us the MH was on it's way back to us, the sensors had been changed and the brakes bled through although that the pedal was just the same, That's how it is in a van of this age and basically we had to live with it!!!!
Another problem, we picked the MH up on the Sat 1st and took it home, on the Sunday it wouldn't start, after several phone call's to Oaktree and speaking to several different people there they decided to send a technician/mechanic out on Monday morning. Some sensors had packed up. They took the MH back to base to sort this out and the brakes. When they brought the MH back on the Tuesday Ken? (I think that was his name) stated that the brakes were "soft" you had to be careful with them but that they do work, which is exactly how thy are, a very spongey pedal but they do stop you in a normal braking situation but I would think an emergency stop would be scarey!!! I have spoken to Dave there and he has agreed for us to get a garage here in Fuerteventura to quote for sorting them out and they will pay for it.
Another problem, the blinds didn't work. Again Oaktree have said they will look at them when we get back to the UK next spring, but we need them working now as we will be using our MH this winter in the Canary Islands.
Another problem, there is a crack in the shower side which you don't actually see until you are in there having a shower.
Another problem the skylight in the living room was broken.
Again as Jason the sales rep went through everything, you do not have the chance to take it all in and test the equipment for yourselves. He did raise the blinds but didn't clip them onto the anti insect screen so we could see if they stayed up, again we only found this out when we arrived at our first stop over in France. We thought we would have time to go through everything before we set off but with the MH going back to Oaktree for the Monday/Tuesday we were struggling to get everything packed and ready for the off on the Thursday.
The most annoying thing is that for the money we paid for this motor home, and the promises made to have it all serviced, valeted and thoroughly checked before we collected it.( I know they have said bring the MH back and we will rectify the problems) but we believe they should have been rectified before we picked it up not after!!!!
After saying all this we do love our motor home, it is so comfortable and lovely to drive. I will sort out all the minor problems and hopefully will find a a garage here to sort out the brakes before we leave the Canaries in spring......
more than a month ago
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#8840
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Oooops sorry for posting the same thing twice, but my screen froze so I didn't think it had been posted.......:o
more than a month ago
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#8852
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It is probably no help but I have a Hobby 555 on a 59 plate and the brakes are brilliant.
As you say these things should be sorted before you take van home and ready to use as vans don't come cheap.
more than a month ago
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#9089
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Do you know if the brake fluid has been changed, on modern braking systems this is important, brake fluid is hygroscopic, basically means it absorbs moisture, as you brake the brakes become warm this transfers to the fluid which of course over time means that there will moisture in the system, spongy brakes is one dilemma the other of course is if the brakes become very hot and the moisture "boils off"(going down alps pyrenees etc) then more spectacular results can happen. Most manufacturers recommend change every two years. I as an old geezer was taught before pushing brake piston back open bleed nipple or pipe allow all the bad fluid directly behind the piston to be expelled, don't forget that the brake system does not circulate,, modern garages probably don't have time to do this sort of thing.
Oh I started my "time " in 1966 and Fiat brakes were considered a bit soft, we have a Fiat based motorhome, nothing changes I feel :) :)
more than a month ago
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#9093
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Hi Rodders, the brake fluid (according to an invoice I have) was changed in Sept 2015. I managed to find a garage here on Fuerteventura that have checked the brakes out and they have said it would appear to be the master cylinder. They have ordered one in for me and I am now waiting for it to arrive. Will update later......
more than a month ago
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#9095
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My dad owns a garage and he will only bleed brakes as Rodders describes and fluid is always changed when due.
Mind you lots of his work is from other garages because they are either to stupid or lazy to do a job properly, so as Rodders also says they prob wont bother changing the fluid as they should.
more than a month ago
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#9099
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I think that maybe in my original postings I have not worded the problem with my brakes correctly. When I brake the brake pedal keeps going down to the floor slowly while under pressure as though there is a fluid leak somewhere which we do not have anywhere on the system. Alko who manufacture the chassis inform me that its an inverted seal in the master cylinder therefore the master cylinder wants changing along with the brake fluid as well. I am waiting for the garage here now to get the parts in, but as we are in the Canary Islands it is manana, manana..........
more than a month ago
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#9100
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Right, gotcha, on a number of modern systems before pushing the caliper pistons back the bleed nipple a the master cylinder should be opened as the reverse pressure will invert the seal, if you didn't do the brakes last then speak to the person who did.
more than a month ago
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#9101
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The brake pads were changed by Oaktree Motorhomes when they did a full "service & MOT" on it before we picked the MH up. Their mechanic said the brakes were fine (after they had it back in for it not starting and to bleed the brakes as I wasn't happy with them). We were told for a MH of this age this was how the brakes are!!!!! I have spoken to Oaktree since arriving in the Canary Islands and they still stand by the fact that the brakes were fine when the MH left them as it passed it's MOT even though the pedal goes to the floor and they had bled the brakes. They have agreed for us to get the brakes fixed here on Fuerteventura and they will pay for it.
more than a month ago
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#9103
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Saying the brakes passed the MoT test is a cop out as all that tests is the braking efficiency, although part of the test does stipulate that the brake should be applied to check if there is any loss of pressure, easy to get round that one though eh.
I'm very pleased that you have a successful outcome though, and I do feel that telling us where you are located is bit naughty considering where I and others further north are situated :) :) :) , enjoy the rest of your stay hope the weather is all that you want :) :) :)
more than a month ago
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#9106
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A quick update......the master cylinder arrives on 24th Nov and our MH is booked in for 9am that day. Fingers crossed this solves the problem......

For you Rodders.......the temperature here this afternoon is a very nice 25 degs with blue skies. If any of you get the chance you should try wintering in the Canary Islands you can't beat it :) :) ;)
more than a month ago
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#9107
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Wow That'll certainly do, Took the Dalmatian to Vet in Bedale this morning, Huge winds rain so hard the A1 was flooding (again), certainly envious Thanks for the update. :)
more than a month ago
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#9614
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Afternoon all,

An update on the brake saga. We eventually had the master cylinder changed before Christmas. But that was a problem in its self!!!! Came to the morning our MH was supposed to go into the garage and it would not start!! We had to wait until 5.30 for a mechanic to come out and diagnose the problem. It turned out to be the crank shaft senor was broken, the one that was supposed to have been renewed by Oaktree on 3rd October. The mechanic said it hadn't been replaced just repaired. Ha well cutting a very long story short as they don't rush here we have now had sensors changed and master cylinder. Ferries are booked for our journey home. We leave Fuerte on 17th Feb, ferry from Fuerte to Lanzarote, then Lanzarote to Cadiz with a final ferry of Dieppe to Newhaven. Wer'e expecting to make it back to Yorkshire for 29th February........ It's earlier than we thought we would leave the islands but plans change.....
Cheers
Pete
more than a month ago
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#9615
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Bloody dealers, best of luck with the trip back :D
more than a month ago
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#9617
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Hi Pete
Hope you have an uneventful trip home ... keep us updated ... will be thinking of you until you are safely home with no hic-ups ...

Kathy and Max dog
more than a month ago
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#9618
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Thank you both for your best wishes we will keep you all updated although whether we will be able to upload any photo's is debatable as Sue still hasn't managed to sort out the re-sizing thing!!!!!

How's Max doing Kathy?? Our oldest dog Mollie who is 14 and diabetic is on this trip with us, she's been in the Canary Islands now since 2013 but we just want to get her home to the UK now. Fingers crossed she will make it.....

Pete
more than a month ago
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#9620
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Hope the weather warms up before you get home or Mollie will need thermals :D

What are you using to upload with phone, tablet or laptop ... if it's your phone what make model have you got? Tablet is it android O/S or Apple iPad and if Laptop which photo software are you using ... if you message me with the details I maybe able to help Sue out as they all have their ways of resizing and it is not easy to find the how too's ... drives me crazy ;)

As to Max, I have been told there is nothing that can be done surgically but he stands a chance if the muscle can be built up (What is left intact) ... he is undergoing physio and massage with hydrotherapy twice a week ... he has almost found his inner Labrador and started swimming ... but not quite ... don't know what was done to him to scare him so badly, but we are slowly getting him to relax ... until he is confident in the water the therapist cannot work on his leg ... he is doing his best poor lamb ... he will be 7yrs old in May so deserves all the chances I can give him...........

Kathy & Max dog
more than a month ago
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#9621
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Hi Kathy, Sue here........Persevere with Max, he will come good in the end, but it's heart breaking to see them suffer and wonder what the hell some people do to their pets!! Mollies back legs are not good and that is what will most likely finish her off but she has had a good life. Finn & Cachita the 2 dogs we have re-homed here will definiteley want thermals!! We have bought them woolley jumpers and water proof coats in readiness.
I have an iphone 6s the photo's down load automatically to my Lenovo laptop with onedrive. It let me post the first photo's we put on here but now I can't post anything for Pete photo wise. Any help would be appreciated :D :D

Sue
more than a month ago
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#9623
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Hiya Sue,
I look forward to pictures of Finn and Cachita in their jumpers.

You say your pictures are stored in Onedrive ... which is Microsoft's Cloud file storage ... There have been issues with Cloud and resizing photo's in lots of forums ... do you also have a file your store the pictures in on the laptop or are they all on Onedrive (Cloud)?
What editing software do you use ... or do you just try and upload straight from Cloud?
You can get loads of free editing (see http://www.techradar.com/news/the-best-free-photo-editor) or just resizing software is also free ... try http://www.nchsoftware.com/photoeditor/
Download what ever you think you like ... I have Photoshop which is not free and rather cumbersome for quick work ... so I also have Photo Pad for quick resizing and also batch resize ...
I would pick the photo's you want to resize and using the resizing software/editor of your choice ... resize and then save to a file on the laptop or a new designated file in Onedrive ... then you should be able to upload to the forum etc

Sorry this is so long winded ... hope it makes a little bit of sense :D

Kathy & Max dog
more than a month ago
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#9628
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A trial for uploading photo's thanks to Kathy for her help

Cachita & Finn in their winter gear.........
more than a month ago
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#9629
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Cachita & Finn
more than a month ago
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#9630
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They are so cute ...
But not sure why it's on it's side ... I saved the picture to my photo file and it presented the right way up ... but it was still a very big picture ...
I am going to see what happens when I resize the picture and try to post it here ... fingers crossed

Edit ... right it seems your pictures are still a bit big ... try resizing to say 1000 pixels in width or height ... see if that works
Attachments (1)
more than a month ago
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#9631
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Thanks for that Kathy......I'm giving it a go now with NCH software.....
Will let you know how I get on.....
more than a month ago
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#9634
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Hi Sue, Pete and puppies

NCH is a nice simple editing suite I am toying with the idea of upgrading to their paid version and dumping Photoshop as it is so cumbersome now ...
Anyway forgot to say if you experiment with resizing the biggest side to what ever you feel happy with (it depends what you want to do with it ... i.e post on here or any social media or for your own albums) ... Just remember to save any resized images as a "Save as" or it will overwrite your original. Most of all have fun with the software and effects ... it can get addictive
Kathy and Max dog
more than a month ago
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#9638
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If the brake pedal goes to the floor on light pressure or reasonable "normal" braking applied pressure, at standstill engine switched off ,then apart from air in system or fluid leak I suggest it probably is the Master Cylinder especially if the fluid stays at the same level in the fluid tank after releasing the brake pedal,

Now forgetting the brake pedal going to the floor if it's spongy with Vacuum in the servo ie. you have had the engine running, to test if there is air in the system .Switch off engine pump brake pedal , the pedal should become hard ,if it doesn't then possibly it has air in the system ,or as above Master Cylinder , or as in one case I had in my garage after wrong diagnosis we replaced the master Cylinder , because the Brake pedal crept to the floor , we remained the vehicle ,and found very slight play in the non adjustable front wheel drive bearings on the O/S it turned out to be the" outer" part of the bearing was turning in it's hub , we replaced hub and bearings ,problem solved , never met this problem before .
My advice is don't guess get professional advice not form your mates or down the Pub etc. take it to a Fiat Commercial Dealer it will cost , but if brakes fail you could be a long time dead!!!!
ps. I swallowed the cost of the Master Cylinder but the customer kept the cylinder on his car, from memory that was approx. £130 (trade price)
The above is what can happen or how it could be , but, if you suspect you have a problem take to the Professionals please
Tony A.
more than a month ago
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#9639
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Hi Tony,

Thank you for your response. We are on our way back to the UK next month where our motor home will be getting a thorough check over with special consideration given to the braking system.

Cheers

Pete
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