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Old 09-11-2013, 10:46 PM   #1
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Brake issues on Columbus'

There has been several reports of failed inner grease seals on relatively new rigs over on the Face Book owners group. Several of us has gone onto Lipperts Face Book page and have registered complaints.

Lippert has recently named a new head of their chassis division, Brian Hess. The notice is listed on their Face Book page. Under the announcement on their page is where we have been listing our issues. Lippert has responded that each of us should contact the warranty department regarding the failure.

I urge anyone that has a problem with their brakes not working right, or is having any suspected issues with them to go to their page and list your problem under the announcement regarding Brian Hess. The more problems that we can identify, the greater chances of getting a satisfactory solution.

Here is a link to the Lippert Face Book page. The Hess announcement is on the right side of the page. https://www.facebook.com/LippertComponents
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Old 09-15-2013, 01:56 PM   #2
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Columbus Brakes

Since getting our 320 last August we have had unreliable brakes. I listed a # of posts re: this. Three (3) different dealers each told us that when they checked the brakes that they worked fine. They each said that it must be our new F350 which of course we ended up having checked & found the truck's controller to be just fine.We keep insisting that the brakes were totally inadequate & were afraid to tow the 320. Just recently we returned it to the 3rd dealer & found out that all the prior brake checks were done simply by jacking up the 320 to see if the brakes activated & would stop "hand-spun" wheels. It seems unbelievable to me that this was what the 3 dealers considered to be a "brake check". Once I heard this, I called Lippert & heard of the seal issue. The last dealer then removed the wheels/brakes & indeed found this to be the issue! Finally we can feel comfortable taking our year old Columbus on it's FIRST journey!The lesson here is to never stop insisting on fixing something that you suspect is not correct with your RV
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Old 09-15-2013, 02:24 PM   #3
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Four new brake assemblies on our 2013 320rs pulled by a f350 after all 4 Seals failed. Lippert sent them to dealer with no problems. Everything was filled with grease.
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Old 09-15-2013, 03:02 PM   #4
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Great info Mark! It amazes me too that that would be the extent of the inspection. If you were pulling a grocery cart, that inspection might be valid!

Mmunn, how long ago did you have your brake work done?
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Old 09-15-2013, 03:15 PM   #5
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Columbus brakes

We finally got the brakes fixed with all new assemblies last month.
Mark
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Old 09-15-2013, 06:03 PM   #6
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Mine were totally replaced within the last three months. We bought the trailer 12/12.
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:01 AM   #7
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What year are the units having problems? We are picking up our 2014 340RK on the 26th. Is this something they have taken care of on the newer units?
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:16 AM   #8
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So far the reported problems have been on 12' and 13' units. I would make the dealer pull the hubs and check them as part of the PDI. There has been no evidence that any fix has been put in place by Lippert or the FR factory.
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:39 PM   #9
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Ok, the results of the brake install. The dealer was true to his word, we arrived at the dealer at 0730, and he pulled it in by 0800. We went to breakfast, and when we got back, one side was done already (the passenger side). That was good, as I had already seen the brakes on that side, and was curious about the ones on the drivers side.

An interesting note here. The service manager took over to the stack of boxes that Lippert had sent. Each box contained a full set of brakes. Backing plates, brakes, magnets, all of the bearings and seals, and NEW DRUMS! I was pretty surprised that they included drums with the whole assembly.

When I got back and checked on the tech, he had just started on the front wheel on the drivers side. I asked him what he had found, and he motioned me over. He said he found some interesting stuff on that side. I looked at the brake assembly that he had just removed. I was shocked when I looked at the brakes. Not only was there evidence of grease, but the front shoe had chunks of pad missing from the shoe! Big chunks! (See pics). The tech also had showed me where the axle had heated up and caused the base of the metal axle to "blue" from heat. Then is told me that the axle on that side had "rust spots" on the axle when he wiped the axle clean prior to the install of the new assembly. Then he flipped the drum over and showed me that the grease seal had not been completely "set" into the opening in the back. He took a plastic mallet and tapped the grease seal, which set it another 1/16" into the drum.

That means that the seal was not set all the way, which would allow water in, and grease out. Hence the bluing of the axle from heat, since the grease had been replaced with water. It appears that shoddy work by Lippert's assembly crew was responsible for the failure. The missing chunks of brake pad would be from the excessive heat build up of the axle, drum, and related seals. Further use of the rig would probably have resulted in a bearing seizing on the axle.

The new parts were installed carefully and completely (I stood and watched and chatted with the tech). The new parts all came fully greased and adjusted. I was done and out the door by about 1230. They kept all the old parts (unknown if Lippert wanted them back or not).

One interesting note here though. The service manager talked to me this morning before they pulled the rig in. He was not real happy with Lippert at this point. He felt he was getting "hosed" by Lippert on the repair hours they were willing to pay. Important to note here that as per Lippert instructions, he had about 1 1/2 hours in the job the first day to remove the wheels and brakes, diagnose, and photo the results. He then had to e mail the results to Lippert to get the approval and wait for parts. This entailed putting the rig back together and sending me down the road to await their decision. I jumped in here and inspired Lippert to expedite the delivery of the parts to the dealer, which they did.

I came back today, and it took about 4 hours to pull off the old parts, put on the new ones and hook up the electrical connections for the brakes on all four wheels. So he is in to it for about 5 1/2 hour labor. Lippert authorized 2 HOURS FOR THE WHOLE JOB. He was furious, to say the least. He told them that from here on out, he would only work on units that their dealership sold, and not ANY walk in work. He simply could not afford it. Interestingly, when I was looking for a dealer to do the work, I contacted 2 other dealers that declined to do the Lippert warranty work, for that same reason. A word to the wise if you have a brake issue. Finding a dealer to to the warranty work may be an issue.

Bottom line is that I have new brakes all around that should hold me for a while. And yes, I did have a much smoother operation of the new brakes than the original ones ever did.
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:54 PM   #10
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Those photos are scary
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