Scary Moment, Rear wheel lock up.

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Gromett, Jul 10, 2016.

  1. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    Coming back from the shops I had just got up to 40mph after a mini roundabout when there was a thud then the rear drivers side wheel locked up. Loads of tyre squealing noise, smoke and an urge to visit the toilet.

    I got stopped safely enough and pulled onto the side of the road. Waited for the smoke to clear and got out to inspect the damage.

    Nothing visible at all. The tyre fortunately didn't blow. No garages are open locally so I decided to try and pull the van forward to see if it would move or if the wheel was totally locked. It juddered a bit, popped then started rotating.

    I managed to limp back to the campsite at 10-15 mph with my hazards on. I was 2 miles away from the campsite so it was a bit of a worrying drive.

    Need to get a mobile mechanic out to take a look at it now. Grrr. More expense I could do without. At least it happened on a wide road and didn't blow the tyre and put me in a ditch or anything.

    All credit to the locals in Woodhall Spa though. A nice couple and a gentleman walking past all stopped to see if they could assist. The couple lived at the end of the road and had come running out to see if there was any one injured. I think they thought I had hit someone.
    They offered to help me in anyway I could until I could get the van sorted. Very nice of them.
    The gentleman offered to go underneath the van to have a look for me.
     
  2. Puddleduck

    Puddleduck Funster

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    Hope it's not as bad as feared Gromett. I'd be useless in that sort of situation and go girly.
     
  3. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Don't know if you are on drum or disc at the rear but sounds like a brake shoe lining has debonded.
    If so get it fixed asap or it could jam again.
     
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  4. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    Thanks. It is disc/drum. Disk for the footbrake and drum for the handrbake.

    Thanks for the pointer. Hope it is the brake rather than the bearing.
     
  5. TheTwoOfUs

    TheTwoOfUs Funster

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    If it's an AL-KO chassis it might be the springs retaining the shoes in the drum handbrake which has snapped. I had that recently on ours.
     
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  6. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    Thanks, but not ALKO. Just a bog standard fiat ducato panel van.

    I am not going to worry about it until next pay day.
     
  7. Feltwell

    Feltwell Funster

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    Gromett, I've had *plenty* of experience lately in Ducato rear brakes, trying to stop mine from squeaking (turned out to be the front brakes - Doh!)

    How old is your Ducato? If it's got the "top hat" style rear brakes, i.e. a rear disc brake for main road brake with a small drum brake in the centre for the handbrake, I'd offer money it's the handbrake that's the problem. 2 main things seem to happen with them:-

    - They get a build up of crud and brake dust and start to jam on
    - No one ever seems to know how to adjust them properly.

    The second one was my problem! 2 different reputable garages had a go at it before I gave up and did it myself using Fiat instructions, since when it's been perfect. After 1 garage had adjusted it, my brakes jammed on when I was slowing for a junction, much as you describe.

    Crucial details I found were:-

    - There are two adjusters for the cable - one at the front of the van, and one at the rear where the cable from front to rear of the van links to the separate cable that joins the 2 handbrake mechanisms together. This rear adjuster was hidden above my waste tank so no one had ever adjusted it and this was the main problem - the garages had only been adjusting the front adjuster, whereas the rear one was the problem, and that was causing the handbrake to jam on occasionally.

    - The handbrake mechanisms themselves are adjusted by you peering through one of the wheel bolt holes with a torch and turning a toothed adjuster with a screwdriver - easier than it sounds - but it's important to get it right and to do both sides the same.

    If you've got the X244 model I'll try and post up the Fiat instructions if you need them. Main thing is to make sure whoever does it follows them to the letter, even if they have to move tanks or pipes to get to the rear cable adjuster!

    It's really not difficult if you're a confident DIY'r and want to save the cash, but you'll need a good jack and axle stands as you'll be crawling right underneath.
     
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  8. Kool Kroozer

    Kool Kroozer Funster

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    Hope all gets fixed and good.. Luv woodhall spa
     
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  9. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    it really does sound like the friction lining of a brake she has delaminated and come loose. It happens a lot in older vans and cars. Were the brakes noisy before the wheel jammed?
     
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  10. Feltwell

    Feltwell Funster

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    Delaminating is possible, but mine hadn't. Only way to say for sure is to have it apart. The handbrake shoes don't tend to wear as they're not in use as road brakes. I have heard tales of them distorting and that causing problems, for what they cost you may want to change them whilst you've got it all apart - up to you. Be warned, as is usual with drums, the springs on the shoes are a pig to get on - I ended up modifying an old screwdriver in order to hook them on.

    Gromett, forgot to say, this place were great for brake bits - much better than the local Euro Car Parts:-

    http://brakeparts.co.uk/#!/

    Ohh, if you do decide to do it yourself, the place above strongly recommended "Pad Goo" for the metal to metal contact points as working better than copper grease. They weren't just trying to get an extra sale as they gave me a couple of tubes for free!
     
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  11. RogerThat

    RogerThat Funster

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    Blimey, hairy moment!

    Has the skidding created a flat spot on the tyre, or is it salvageable?
     
  12. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    Yes there was a lot of squealing.

    Anyway, Thanks everyone for the tips. I don't personally do mechanicals any more. I prefer to get stuff to do with brakes, suspension and steering done by experts. I will be booking the van into a garage next pay day.
     
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  13. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    Not sure. I think I got unlucky and both times I have stopped the van I have stopped with the part of the tire affected on the floor. Once I get it moving again I will check the tire out and see if it needs replacing. It was a pretty new tire and I only skidded for perhaps 30 meters or so. Hopefully not damaged beyond a bit of a scuffed point.

    Thanks again everyone. It does sound like the brakes now, I was a bit concerned initially it was the bearings that had seized.
     
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  14. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    I won't be doing it myself. I had the brakes adjusted last year during the MOT. they got to both adjusters and tweaked the ones in the wheel. I had new shoes fitted at this time as well. (Might have been a year earlier). I am guessing it is the handbrake as well now.

    I am going to get it looked at by an expert. I don't mess with brakes myself these days.
     
  15. ambulancekidd

    ambulancekidd Funster

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    Glad your ok, its easy enough to replace the motorhome or the brake parts but your life is a bit more difficult. Hope its easily repaired mate.
     
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  16. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Its doubtful the wheel would lock with a seized bearing.
    More likely the inner race, roller/ball bearings and outer race would lock up and the whole bearing would spin, either on the stub axle or less likely in the hub.
    Last thing you need as it would probably require a new stub axle depending how badly it was scored by the rotating bearing.
     
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  17. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    Somebody recently posted up the diagram on how to adjust the brake shoes on the Ducato. For the life of me I can't remember who it was. But there is a little adjuster inside the hub. As soon as I saw the diagram I went out to ours and adjusted it, the handbrake suddenly started holding the van on hills!
     
  18. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    My problem is not to do with the handbrake holding. It does that fine.
     
  19. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    I know, but the adjustment principal will be the same I would suggest. Unless something has broken inside the hub.
     
  20. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    Payday, Bought the parts from a local motor factor because no garages can fit me in for 2 weeks. Drove past a Bush place who said If I could leave the van they can sort it.

    I bought the parts and asked if they could do it while I wait, they said yes but not today. Booked in for Friday :)

    Bought new pads, shoes and fitting kit. Hopefully the drum part of the disk isn't badly damaged as they didn't have them in stock and there were to types with different hole size.

    Fingers crossed all is well as the handbrake only holds on a slight incline currently.
     
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