Originally Posted by I-RV
Great perseverance. Just think of what a shop would have charged you. Granted, you spent a lot of time, but I bet you have a great deal of satisfaction.
2012 Berkshire 390BH
Had mine replaced by a Tech and he took $200. Was an incredible amount of effort, he broke several of his tools; I gave him an extra $50.
According to Equalizer, you can indeed use a vice-grip type tool on the very end of the piston without jeopardizing the seal. Someone already mentioned this; it appears to me that you could "booger" the ram as far as 1/4 to 3/8 inch and you still won't ruin the seal.
He used heat and a IR temp sensor to make sure the part near the seal did not get to hot. Then a large pipe wrench, a breaker bar welded to an appropriate sized hex (allen) wrench and a big sledge hammer!!
My pads were punching thru VERY suddenly with a heluva noise and violent rocking of the coach. The replacement pads (comped by Eq) were a lot sturdier; CS at Eq said they been tested with a press and hit 12K lbs before failing. Sure be enuff for a Berk, eh??