BrakeJob Dodge MB400 chassis

Started by Mlw, March 11, 2022, 12:58 PM

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Yes it really is the "problem" with my Betsy. She's to bad to travel, but to good to send off to the junkyard.

I will put her right agian, but it still is going to be a hell of a fight.


Well, it's good to find out the components were in good condition after all that work.  Beats having to do more work!
1969 D22, 2 x 1974 D24 Indians, 1977 27' Itasca


Now it is finally time to also get some good news.

At first, 73WinnieB was absolutely right on the discoloration, it was from the fabrication process.

What I did was ordering the axle nut socket needed to loosen the bolt in the USA as it was not available here in Europe. As I needed to order parts for the engine anyway I ordered it at Summit Racing

OEM Automotive Tools Axle Wheel Bearing Sockets 25243

Now the thing is that there are two types of locking nuts, one with 2 nuts and a star washer or a single self clinging nut with a lock spring. Now I've seen lots of video's removing the drums with the star washer and only one with the self clinging nut where it wasn't shown how the nut was removed as you can see in the next two video's

Self clinging


It caused a lot of confusion for me that all the video's I saw everyone was telling how the nut should only be fingertight causing me my blood preasure to go thru the roof and blaiming the former owner falsely (this time). Now of course i understand why removing the self clinging nut needed the socket to get removed.  It's just one of the very bumpy roads yo have to travel when you are fixing a 43 year old vehicle and information gets scarce.

So removing self clinging nuts aren't still a walk in the park. IIn my case it took a lot of greasing and going back and forth with a heavy duty socket wrench to get it off. Getting it back on was a lot easier however so it holds ground that in the video with the self clinging nut they tell that you actually need to replace the nut oncer you've remove it.

After that it was a world of surprises because the wheel bearing looked absolutely fine and brand spanking new. at first the brake drum wouldn't come off but after some love taps with the old persuader, it came off to reveal a very low milage break system in good condition.

Now I'm not a fan of too much government interference, but in this case you see the advantages. Another leasons to be learned here is to get the proper tools and information to get the job done and that there is always light at the end of the tunnel.


yes, this was what I already thought.

The good thing is that I have now 2 adresses here in the Netherlands that can help me to a second hand Dana 70 Axle when needed.

But as the Previous Idiot shows time and time again he has not hundreds but hundred of thousands guardian angels on each shoulder let's hope the've done their work this time too.


That should be a Dana 70HD.  It's what the class A M400 used, I'd think it would be the same.
1969 D22, 2 x 1974 D24 Indians, 1977 27' Itasca


Now, as i'm allready way to deep in this, I decided to bite the bullet and finish the job because it also pains my heart to throw in the towel now.

Has anybody any idea what Axle is underneath the 1979 Dodge MB400 chassis. I'm prety convinced it's a Dana but is it a 60 or a 70 or does anybody know where to find the info on the axle itself?


Well, let's hope you are right, but the discolloration exactly matches the shape of the last nut holding the bearing.

This shouldn't necessarily be the problem, because a bearing can be replaced. But as far as Geoff of Alretta tells me, the drums can't because they were a factory option.

Now of course you can go to a metal shop and ask if they can make them, but the costs then will be huge of course and then it's going to be the question if it's worth all the trouble.

worst case scenario i'm now looking at an engine rebuild and rear axle rebuild. The complete roof has to be rebuild and the interior needs overhauling. Economically it is absolutely not worth it because the cost are going to be way higher then this RV is going to be worth, certainly in current times with shipping costs going thru the roof!.

It's becoming a labour of love and I really need to make up my mind if it's going to be worth it for me.


The discoloration on the back of the axle flange is normal. You are seeing the heat treatment the axle got at the factory when it was built.


So after two months of soaking in WD40 and very aggressive rust removers I gave up on the passenger side caliper and contacted Geoff of Alretta. Wow this guy knows his stuff, The front calipers aren't going to be a problem. The drums at the back are a different story however:

FYI. No rear drum is available.. a factory only part and no aftermarket.. this means that you do need the rear brake system to work perfectly in order to spare the brake drums from any damage that a damaged brake shoe will cause

And that's why today the day finally came that I need to question myself if I'm going to continue with the project or throw the towel in the ring and call the junkyard to pick it up. I tried to open up the rear brakes to find that the previous IDIOT baked the rear bearings at least red hot because this is how the inside of the lid on my inside drive shaft looks like. It is burned shiny black!

the reason of this is because the unimaginable IDIOT tightened the nuts SOLID.

There is absolutely no movement in them, while they should only be finger tight and locked up with a starwasher. So now I first have to find a socket or the right tool to force them loose and let's hope that the hundreds of guardian angels on the IDIOTS shoulder did a good enough job that everything is still solvable.

Man, I really don't know how much more of this idiocy I can take.


So moving Betsy around the parking lot of the hobby garage to put her on the bridge I notices the passengerside front brake dragging heavily, so yesterday and the day before I have been working on them.

I always feared working on brakes, because they are pretty important, but finally after Jessica telling if I can do it, you can, I dove into it.

There just is something about a woman who knows how to handle her stuff  ;) :)ThmbUp

And yes, there really is nothing to it, but be smart, if you are not used to it, make plenty of pictures how they were. It will ease your job bigtime.
As I'm not done with the job and need to make more pictures this item will be upgraded later.

SO, after removing the wheel straining your back doing that you will get this beautiful view:

first you going to remove the holders for your brake pads by removing just one bolt on both sides of the caliper

Remove the brakeline so there will not be any force applied to the line when removing the caliper.

Now there need to be a copper ring at the caliper side, but as the former idiot handled the brakes as well this wasn't the case here of course. (pictures will follow)
Remove bolt one of the bracket holding the caliper

and bolt two on the other side

Now normally wiggling the caliper should remove it, but as you can see a lot of rust is there from the RV standing, so I had to apply some force.
Use a plastic or copper hammer (material softer than the caliper) so you don't damage anything.

After emptying the caliper of break fluid I noticed a lot of water in there so there is the reason the brake was stuck. The piston is really stuck so maybe I will need to replace everything. For now I filled it up with WD40, let's hope it will help getting it loose after soaking for 4 days.