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Unread 01-08-2015, 12:33 AM   #11
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 3
Default Re: Cushman brakes not working

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharleyL View Post
I'm late in updating this. My brakes are all fixed. The forklift service company sold me new bonded brake shoes for $10 each, a new master cylinder for $31, and before I tried to buy from them I had already purchased the wheel cylinder re-building kits through a local auto parts store or I may have been able to get them cheaper. I paid an automotive machine shop $30 to clean and hone all 4 wheel cylinders and the master cylinder, but didn't have any luck finding the master cylinder rebuild kit locally. Getting a whole new master cylinder was the better way to go anyway. The wheel cylinder kits are for early 70's Ford F100 pickup trucks and were $5.40 each. A bottle of brake fluid and some brake bleeding, and my truckster has great brakes again.

Charley
Charley, which forklift service company or automotive parts distributor did you source to pick up a new master cylinder and new bonded shoes? Is it a NC based company? I'm in Northern Virginia outside of Washington. Just picked up an early 90's Cushman Haulster (3-wheel ATM Police, model 898474) that I'm fixing up. I've found master cylinder rebuild kits on-line for 48, and complete replacement master cylinders for 148. Wheel cylinders for my model run between 28-36, a piece.. Sheesh..... Shoes are double what you would pay for a car. Glad I found your post! Looking forward to hearing from you!

-Joe
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Unread 01-08-2015, 10:26 AM   #12
Gone Wild
Cushman
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Central North Carolina
Posts: 365
Default Re: Cushman brakes not working

Joe,

I just parted out and sold the body and chassis of a Truckster that looked like the blue and white one in your avatar. It was an 89 year model They didn't change much from year to year so an 89 is likely almost identical to an early 90's of that 3 wheel "Metermaid" body style. Does yours have an OMC engine? It will likely need work. We'll talk about it in another post.

Your brake master cylinder is located under the floor directly to the rear of your brake pedal location. There is a hole in the floor to access the fill cap, but you will have to go underneath to get to the cylinder itself. The master cylinder in these trucksters is vented to the atmosphere, and this causes the internal rusting problems. The DOT 3 brake fluid used in these brake systems is alcohol based. It will absorb moisture from the air through the vent hole. Over time this moisture will build up and begin rusting the inside of the master cylinder, the brake lines, and the wheel cylinders. I looked for a sealed master cylinder, but could not find one that would fit in the Truckster without major modification. So I cleaned up and repaired my brake system, vowing to replace all of the DOT 3 brake fluid in the system every two years to try to avoid the rusting problem. My truckster had sat on the edge of a forest, untouched for over 12 years. The whole brake system was a rusty mess inside.

I bought my master cylinder from RS Braswell, the local forklift repair shop here. 485 South Cannon Boulevard, Kannapolis, NC 28083 (704) 933-2269, www.rsbraswell.com but you should be able to find a similar place near you. Cushman Trucksters were made for industrial uses and the forklift repair shops also service industrial vehicles as well as forklifts. If you call Braswell, ask for Jerry in parts. The other guy doesn't know much. He's new. Jerry has been there for years and really knows how to find what you need. Many times when I need something, all I have to do is show him the old one and he will find a replacement for me. It sometimes helps to have the Cushman part number, but it's not always necessary with him helping me.

Also keep in mind that most of the power train, steering, electrical, and brake parts were not made by Cushman and many are standard automotive parts. Cushman bought these parts and built the Trucksters from them. Cushman only made the chassis, sheet metal parts of the body, etc. Many of the parts that you might need are sitting on the shelf of your local auto parts store, but they have no parts cross reference to Cushman, so most of them can't help you. I found an older guy at the local O Riley auto parts store who can look at my old part and then find one on the shelf for me. Steering ball joints, flexible brake lines, etc. are all cheaper from the auto parts store if you can get someone to help you find it. They even had an exact replacement tail light lens sitting on the shelf for my Truckster. It's used on a very standard design trailer tail light.

Early 70's Ford F100 wheel cylinder rebuilding kits are identical to the 80's Cushman wheel cylinder rubber parts, but I paid an automotive machine shop to hone my cylinders and bought these Ford parts to rebuild them. So the out-of-pocket cost per cylinder was about $17. New wheel cylinders from RS Braswell and other sources are $23, so in my opinion, I should have bought new.

Good luck. Ask more questions when you need help and I'll do what I can to answer them.

Charley
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Unread 01-08-2015, 01:06 PM   #13
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 3
Default Re: Cushman brakes not working

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharleyL View Post
Joe,

I just parted out and sold the body and chassis of a Truckster that looked like the blue and white one in your avatar. It was an 89 year model They didn't change much from year to year so an 89 is likely almost identical to an early 90's of that 3 wheel "Metermaid" body style. Does yours have an OMC engine? It will likely need work. We'll talk about it in another post.

Your brake master cylinder is located under the floor directly to the rear of your brake pedal location. There is a hole in the floor to access the fill cap, but you will have to go underneath to get to the cylinder itself. The master cylinder in these trucksters is vented to the atmosphere, and this causes the internal rusting problems. The DOT 3 brake fluid used in these brake systems is alcohol based. It will absorb moisture from the air through the vent hole. Over time this moisture will build up and begin rusting the inside of the master cylinder, the brake lines, and the wheel cylinders. I looked for a sealed master cylinder, but could not find one that would fit in the Truckster without major modification. So I cleaned up and repaired my brake system, vowing to replace all of the DOT 3 brake fluid in the system every two years to try to avoid the rusting problem. My truckster had sat on the edge of a forest, untouched for over 12 years. The whole brake system was a rusty mess inside.

I bought my master cylinder from RS Braswell, the local forklift repair shop here. 485 South Cannon Boulevard, Kannapolis, NC 28083 (704) 933-2269, but you should be able to find a similar place near you. Cushman Trucksters were made for industrial uses and the forklift repair shops also service industrial vehicles as well as forklifts. If you call Braswell, ask for Jerry in parts. The other guy doesn't know much. He's new. Jerry has been there for years and really knows how to find what you need. Many times when I need something, all I have to do is show him the old one and he will find a replacement for me. It sometimes helps to have the Cushman part number, but it's not always necessary with him helping me.

Also keep in mind that most of the power train, steering, electrical, and brake parts were not made by Cushman and many are standard automotive parts. Cushman bought these parts and built the Trucksters from them. Cushman only made the chassis, sheet metal parts of the body, etc. Many of the parts that you might need are sitting on the shelf of your local auto parts store, but they have no parts cross reference to Cushman, so most of them can't help you. I found an older guy at the local O Riley auto parts store who can look at my old part and then find one on the shelf for me. Steering ball joints, flexible brake lines, etc. are all cheaper from the auto parts store if you can get someone to help you find it. They even had an exact replacement tail light lens sitting on the shelf for my Truckster. It's used on a very standard design trailer tail light.

Early 70's Ford F100 wheel cylinder rebuilding kits are identical to the 80's Cushman wheel cylinder rubber parts, but I paid an automotive machine shop to hone my cylinders and bought these Ford parts to rebuild them. So the out-of-pocket cost per cylinder was about $17. New wheel cylinders from RS Braswell and other sources are $23, so in my opinion, I should have bought new.

Good luck. Ask more questions when you need help and I'll do what I can to answer them.

Charley
Charley,

I didn't know that this system was vented! That would explain why the brake fluid looked like gray, watery, and soupy.... I took the back wheels off and checked the shoes. Meat still on them. I didn't spot any leaks in any of the lines. Drums looked smooth, although the entire area will need a good cleaning with brake cleaner.

I don't think my cart sat as long as yours, but similarly, it did sit out in the mountains for a few years and based on what you said, the moisture has probably caused problems...

I flushed all the fluid out today, and stared the process of bleeding. So far, I do get a fairly "weak" response when I push the brake pedal, but they do engage somewhat. One right shoe (one wheel) doesn't move on on one side, but the other left shoe will move slightly. Haven't checked the front as of yet.

What trouble shooting process would you go through in order to determine whether all of the brake components on my cart need to be replaced? Based on your post, if I put the leg work in I can get parts, with some effort. Had a little luck on e-Bay today, coupled together with your leads and a few shops I know in the area, I'm sure I can get what I need. First off, I'd like to just determine if I do need all new wheel cylinders, lines, and a master cylinder. It would make sense that if the entire system is rusted, replacing those components would ensure that it works. I'd just like to know if I follow a few steps, if I could isolate a specific problem first.

Thanks for your help Charley, really appreciate it!

-Joe
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Unread 01-09-2015, 10:50 PM   #14
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Central North Carolina
Posts: 365
Default Re: Cushman brakes not working

Pull the wheel cylinders apart and look inside the cylinder. If the walls are rusty it needs honing or replacement. If any brake fluid is inside the rubber caps between the cap and the piston the rubber parts need replacing. It's a good idea to just replace the rubber parts when you take these apart. In my opinion, if anything is wrong with your cylinders and you can get replacement wheel cylinders at that point you will be better off. Sometimes honing doesn't get all the pitting and the cylinder will fail again. Since a new one is only a few dollars more than buying the rubber parts and paying to have the cylinder honed, to me, it's a no brainer. Since I did mine I had the left front cylinder leak, and I replaced it with a new one, bought from the forklift shop. When I was first re-building my brakes the front brake lines were almost completely rusted shut. I cleaned them out by pushing a wire through them and then flushing them out. If your lines are restricted from inside rust your brakes won't apply evenly and will do so very slowly. This is likely the cause of your problem with the non moving cylinder.

Look in the bottom of the master cylinder reservoir. Is it heavily rusted, or is it just traces of surface rust with un-rusted steel still visible? If you can't see any shiny steel, you likely need a new master cylinder. It's the 1" cylinder model, not the 3/4". Rebuilding these is not likely, since the parts to rebuild it with are difficult to find and it will need honing too. Don't buy a new one off the internet. Get it from the forklift shop for about half the price.

Look closely at the master cylinder cap and you will likely see the vent hole. The vent hole is necessary, since there isn't any expansion bladder in the design of the master cylinder to allow the brake fluid in the cylinder to change volume without the vent, but they should have used a cap design like the newer car master cylinders. Car master cylinders now have a rubber gasket in the lid with bellows type expansion piece molded in the center of each chamber. The cap is vented, but the air stays above this gasket and the fluid stays below, so the air and moisture can't get to the brake fluid. As the fluid level changes, the bellows parts of the gasket in the lid pull up or down to compensate and the air/moisture is kept away from the brake fluid.

When the brakes on these Trucksters are working properly they are very good, even better than some cars at stopping quickly.


My truckster is a 4 wheeler. If you want to see it, do a search for "Cushman Truckster saved from the forest" in this forum. It's a 1987 with a home built stake body bed.

Charley
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