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.