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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks,

Got a 2018 gasser w/ ~60k miles on it. I'm looking at a big upset that I'm looking to get some advice on.

On the very beginning of a drive from Salt Lake to Boulder Colorado, I was on my way up 80 East and my ABS, ESC, and Hill Holder service lights went on. I turned down my music, looked and listened for anything weird, but I was going 50-60 and didn't notice anything so figured I'd stop at the next convenient stop. That happened to be about 20 minutes away. I stop into a place to grab a bite to eat and I get out of my car. I immediately smell my brakes. I look to my back driver side tire and there is smoke coming from the wheel well. I check the back passenger side wheel as well and it's smoking and putting off heat as well. Obviously something wasn't going my way. Googling around and I find that it's likely a stuck caliper and my brake seized causing my brake to get eaten up.

I tried driving it a bit and seeing if there was anything I could do to fix the issue, but nothing did the trick. When driving, particularly backing up, I could hear a bad squealing in my back wheels. Didn't feel good about it, but I figured I'd drive back to Salt Lake and get it looked at a dodge dealership first thing in the morning. So that's what I did. And they tell me that, yes my e-brake seized and now everything regarding my back wheels are completely f'd. Guy tells me it's $3700 to fix everything and it will take a couple weeks to get the parts. I don't have a couple weeks to just hang in Salt Lake, so I ask him what can he do to get me back on the road. $1500 dollars will get me back on the road is what I'm told so I have him do it, they replace my back hub brakes and tell me that I won't have any e-brake for my drive until I fix everything else, and off I go on my 8 hour drive. ESC and ABS lights still on.

I drive back to Boulder thinking I'll post here and see if folks think there is anything I can do to get that cost down. Today, I drove the van to my office 10 minutes away like I did yesterday (2nd day being back from SLC). On my drive home, I hear some serious squealing and clunking, like sounds BAD. I stop half way home and look around my back tires to see what is going on. Nothing, looks fine, nothing is hot, have no idea what is going on. But something definitely is and I'm not driving that vehicle anymore until she's fixed. I drove her the 5 minutes back to my apartment and now I'm going to let her sit until I figure out how I should get this fixed.

Now, to the good part, attached is the work order and parts list (marked in green) that the dealership in SL gave me to get fixed when I get back to Boulder.

61714


Now that the situation is all out there a few questions:
1. Can somebody give me a second set of eyes here and tell me how the **** I ended up with $3700 in damages to rear wheels? I've never heard of anything so crazy before. I've gotten engine replacement estimates that are cheaper than this.
2. Were the folks in Utah trying to rip me off or is this really what this costs?
3. Is there anyway to cut costs here? I believe I remember reading about much cheaper brakes online than through mopar. Is there other parts that are on my list that I should get online and bring somewhere to get them put on?
4. Any recommendations for a good mechanic (non-dealership) in Boulder? I've already contacted one local RV service shop and they told me they wouldn't do brake work on a Promaster for some reason. Looking for an alternative to these expensive dealerships.


Any and all help will be very much appreciated. Thanks folks!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
@phil huh, that seems like a hard part to find around Colorado. Can you share the search engine you used in that screenshot? Does it look like that will cover the majority of the parts that I'm being told to replace? I'm assuming the full assembly includes the wiring, sensors, and such?

Thanks for the recommendation. If I can figure out how to buy one used, I will definitely try to go that route.
 

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2014 Ram Promaster 2500 159" diesel
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Lkq will ship. But you have to remember they use cable cutters on the brake cables and any other wires, so if it is still on the van ask for the cables in tack. Any year and most models should work you want the BR6 code that's heavy duty brakes. They use the wrong stock picture.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
@KilWerBzz Awesome -- Thanks for the great info. Hopefully I will order from them and have that save me a good bit of money, so I appreciate it.

One question for you folks on brakes: Seems brakes cost me $449 per back brake, which is pretty crazy. Are those cheaper online somewhere? I believe I remember reading that and I can't seem to find it. Is it recommended to buy non-OEM brakes or should I steer clear of that?
 

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2021 3500 Extended
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Had you ever replaced the brake fluid? Moisture getting into the brake fluid can cause caliper seizure. Are you positive it was the E-brake that seized?

I second Phil's recommendation to go used on all hard parts with new brake pads.

Remember, the heat generated from seized caliper can exceed 2000 degrees, so inspect the wheels and tires very closely. a few years ago we had a 3 fire extinguisher fire caused by a stuck caliper on our 33' Fleetwwon MH....I carry 2 fire extinguishers....it was, uhm interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
@Motor7 ever replaced the brake fluid... unsure. I had just gotten my 60K check, so it may have been done then, but I'm not sure.

I was told that it was the e-brake, yeah. I'm just going off of what they told me.

Thanks for weighing in, going to try to go for used parts. Just hoping the shop I found close to me will be good with me ordering all the parts myself.
 

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Exact same thing happened to me a year ago in Wyoming. The e brake line got water in it, which froze in very cold (-10F) overnight temperatures. In the morning I released the e brake lever, but the actual brake pads didn't release. A few minutes into driving on I-80 all the same lights went on and I pulled into the closest shop in rock springs WY. It took 3 days and about $3000 to fix it. Both rear brake pads, calipers, rotors, and wheel bearings were destroyed from the heat (the rotors were glowing red when I pulled in). Since then I have had the e brake lines replaced with what is apparently a newer design that is less likely to get water in it, but I am very careful now about using the e brake in cold weather.
 

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So what is the consensus to prevent this fairly common issue?

Brainstorming from things i've read in various forum posts about this issue:
-dont use the ebrake (maybe ill put a ziptie on it so another driver cant inadvertently use it).
-grease the cable
-Install a heavier spring on the ebrake return
 

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MMXVI - L2H2 in IN
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I would put something on the cable to stop water from entering the cable housing. Over time the water spray underneath the van will land on the cable and works it's way down the housing.
Something like this, zip-tied and filled with grease.
61730
 

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Even a rag soaked in oil and or grease zip tied to the forward end where the cable goes into it’s sheath would work. When that happened to me after the Ms pulled the brake on our Subaru long ago I did notice it was dragging and laid down in some clean snow reached under and yanked on the cable sideways like a madman until less slack was felt. At the time (mid 80’S) it probably saved $60 in repairs. More today I see. YMMV Lesson to wife..... Don’t ever use the e-brake when it can freeze, which in NEK of Vermont is mid-October to mid-May.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hey folks, thanks for weighing in, definitely like the solutions to fix this going forward... but I'm also looking for some guidance as I just got the following back from the shop I dropped my van off to:

Good morning Matt,
We have inspected the rear axle and the axle beam appears to be in good condition. It will require most of the parts on the list Larry miller provided. We found a few parts on the list that do not belong to your vehicle and added some others we noticed on the inspection. Total parts and labor to repair the van is $3581.00 + tax
That is just so absurd to me since I've already put $1500 into it to get the back breaks fixed so I could drive home. Does this seem unreasonable? Is there a reason folks here were suggesting I get a whole new (used) read axle and they're telling me I don't need it?

Thanks!
 

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Hey folks, thanks for weighing in, definitely like the solutions to fix this going forward... but I'm also looking for some guidance as I just got the following back from the shop I dropped my van off to:



That is just so absurd to me since I've already put $1500 into it to get the back breaks fixed so I could drive home. Does this seem unreasonable? Is there a reason folks here were suggesting I get a whole new (used) read axle and they're telling me I don't need it?

Thanks!
Maybe you could find a rear end (rear axle and everything connected to it) from a junked PM and have a shop or DIY swap the whole beam assembly with everything already on it instead of replacing the individual parts? Some shops might even find the rear axle for you. Ive found muffler/welding shops willing to work on stuff like this with me.
 

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For the folks suggesting I get a rear axle... Is that suggestion because that part will have all the other parts I need already connected to it?

Here is the parts list and invoice that the local dealership I just brought it to gave me:
61754



They said it'd be $1015 for labor and it was $166 to tow my vehicle out there.

If I purchase one of those rear axles from LQK then would that cover the majority of these parts? Sorry I'm being so thick here folks, this is just a real gut punch to me at the moment.
 

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Many of the parts on that list are available from aftermarket sellers for a third of their "dealer" prices. Check out what you can get from RockAuto first. A whole new axel from a wrecking yard might be the best way depending on price including shipping. Labor to install a full axel should be minimal.
 

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Yes, a whole used axle will have all of those parts attached except for the brake lines. That is the only way I would go, but you will have to find a competent honest mechanic to do the install. Just guessing, but it should be well under 4 hrs labor.
 

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Might need a new brake cable as they tend to torch stuff like that off tho.
 

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This really gets me mad and it's not even my van but suspect it could happen to all of us unless we take proactive action. I've read about this issue before and like the idea of adding the boots. I just slid underneath and took a quick pic of the spot where protection is needed for those that can't or don't want to. I also recall someone attaching a piece of block foam to cover both cable entry points. I guess this will be the next recall item that they won't have a solution for. And yes those hose ends are facing the front of the van and will take the brunt of all the water, wind and road grime. Suspect a small pepple could make it's way in.
20200313_172639.jpg
 

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2014-136 HR in OH diesel
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Hey folks,

Got a 2018 gasser w/ ~60k miles on it. I'm looking at a big upset that I'm looking to get some advice on.

On the very beginning of a drive from Salt Lake to Boulder Colorado, I was on my way up 80 East and my ABS, ESC, and Hill Holder service lights went on. I turned down my music, looked and listened for anything weird, but I was going 50-60 and didn't notice anything so figured I'd stop at the next convenient stop. That happened to be about 20 minutes away. I stop into a place to grab a bite to eat and I get out of my car. I immediately smell my brakes. I look to my back driver side tire and there is smoke coming from the wheel well. I check the back passenger side wheel as well and it's smoking and putting off heat as well. Obviously something wasn't going my way. Googling around and I find that it's likely a stuck caliper and my brake seized causing my brake to get eaten up.

I tried driving it a bit and seeing if there was anything I could do to fix the issue, but nothing did the trick. When driving, particularly backing up, I could hear a bad squealing in my back wheels. Didn't feel good about it, but I figured I'd drive back to Salt Lake and get it looked at a dodge dealership first thing in the morning. So that's what I did. And they tell me that, yes my e-brake seized and now everything regarding my back wheels are completely f'd. Guy tells me it's $3700 to fix everything and it will take a couple weeks to get the parts. I don't have a couple weeks to just hang in Salt Lake, so I ask him what can he do to get me back on the road. $1500 dollars will get me back on the road is what I'm told so I have him do it, they replace my back hub brakes and tell me that I won't have any e-brake for my drive until I fix everything else, and off I go on my 8 hour drive. ESC and ABS lights still on.

I drive back to Boulder thinking I'll post here and see if folks think there is anything I can do to get that cost down. Today, I drove the van to my office 10 minutes away like I did yesterday (2nd day being back from SLC). On my drive home, I hear some serious squealing and clunking, like sounds BAD. I stop half way home and look around my back tires to see what is going on. Nothing, looks fine, nothing is hot, have no idea what is going on. But something definitely is and I'm not driving that vehicle anymore until she's fixed. I drove her the 5 minutes back to my apartment and now I'm going to let her sit until I figure out how I should get this fixed.

Now, to the good part, attached is the work order and parts list (marked in green) that the dealership in SL gave me to get fixed when I get back to Boulder.

View attachment 61714

Now that the situation is all out there a few questions:
1. Can somebody give me a second set of eyes here and tell me how the **** I ended up with $3700 in damages to rear wheels? I've never heard of anything so crazy before. I've gotten engine replacement estimates that are cheaper than this.
2. Were the folks in Utah trying to rip me off or is this really what this costs?
3. Is there anyway to cut costs here? I believe I remember reading about much cheaper brakes online than through mopar. Is there other parts that are on my list that I should get online and bring somewhere to get them put on?
4. Any recommendations for a good mechanic (non-dealership) in Boulder? I've already contacted one local RV service shop and they told me they wouldn't do brake work on a Promaster for some reason. Looking for an alternative to these expensive dealerships.


Any and all help will be very much appreciated. Thanks folks!
 

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2014-136 HR in OH diesel
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The problem with your situation is that it’s been a reoccurring problem on every model since the beginning. I just spent $700 to have this fixed on my 2014 diesel. Now I’m crossing my fingers. Where is Ralph Nader?
 
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