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Brake information
#1
Hello guys. I just recently purchased a 1968 model 32' or 33' (can't remember specifically) Newell. I am seeking someone who knows this era of the great Newells. My first concern (and the only one to get it back to road worthiness) is the brakes. The model I have is built on a Ford dually frame with a 477 super duty engine in it. It has no brakes to speak of. The emergency brake is a system that is set up around the drive shaft and is supposed to, when applied, constrict a sort of strap on the drive shaft. But, my mechanic (and the friend who sold me the coach) thinks that someone left it on and drove it, because it is no longer tight enough to tighten down on the drive shaft. 
The second and most pressing brake issue is with the braking system itself. It has no pedal to speak of. The mechanic seems to think it is a hydroboost braking system, but I have trouble believing that because hydro brakes did not really hit main stream until a few years later and were mostly on diesels then. However, we know that the lines and wheel cylinders are all in working order, and that the master cylinder (or the reservoir at the very least) is by the steering column, because the linkage is visible there and that is where you fill with brake fluid at.
I hope there is someone here that can help point me in the right direction. Thanks!
#2
You may be in uncharted territory here with a vintage that early.

Some basic diagnostics will help narrow the problem, but will take some work.

I would bleed the brake system and replace the brake fluid. Who knows how long it has been in there.

Second thing I would do is disconnect the brake lines at the master cylinder, and screw caps on the master cylinder. If the pedal is firm, then the problem is downstream. If it is not then the problem is with the master cylinder or booster. At least doing this you can cut the problem in half.

Would you mind adding some details to “we know the lines and wheel cylinders are in working order”? Were the wheels removed, and movement verified?
Richard and Rhonda Entrekin
99 Newell, 512
Subaru Outback Toad
Inverness, FL (when we're home Cool )
#3
Thanks, Richard. I will top up the fluid and give the capping diagnostic a shot. I was not present when the wheels were off and brakes checked, so I may have to personally check them during this whole process, but my mechanic is also the previous owner and a good friend. So I will rule out master cylinder, booster, etc. before diving into the rest of the system.
I have never had a situation where a dead pedal pointed to the booster. Usually a dead booster would make you have to stand on the pedal to apply brakes, do you think that would be the case here? Also, from what I understand, if it were a hydro system, losing the brake booster would more than likely be simultaneous with a power steering problem.
Anyway, as I know more, I will update here. Thanks for the reply!


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