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Old 04-05-2004, 07:33 AM   #1
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Ford truck brake issues...

I bought my 2000 Excursion with 45k miles on it. The rotors were warped, so as part of the deal, the dealer turned them. The re-warped within 3000 miles, and have been getting progressively worse. In fact, they got so bad that the ABS would kick in sometimes on dry pavement. It was scary.

I have replaced the rotors with SP Performance slotted rotors and the pads with Hawk pads from RACEshopper.com. The performance of the new rotors and pads seems to be very good, but it still takes a significant amount of pedal depression, more than what I'm comfortable with, to stop the truck. I read somewhere that it may be brake line issues, so I'm considering replacing my brakelines with stainless steel braid.

Has anyone out there with a Ford 3/4 chassis had similar issues? Any thoughts? Pros and cons?

Thanks!

Roger
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Old 04-05-2004, 07:40 AM   #2
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bleed

roger,

did they have the brake lines open?

you may want to consider re bleeding your brake system before going the new hose route.

trucks with abs can be difficult to get bled properly on the first try.

john
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Old 04-05-2004, 07:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john hd
roger,

did they have the brake lines open?

you may want to consider re bleeding your brake system before going the new hose route.

trucks with abs can be difficult to get bled properly on the first try.

john

Nope... Just pulled the calipers off the mounts to R & R the rotors, and pushed the pistons back to install the new pads. That's why I'm a little concerned...

Roger
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Old 04-05-2004, 08:21 AM   #4
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We've done the remove the caliper and push the piston back trick a few times. It didn't do anything to the braking system. Braided hoses will stop some of the flexing that does occour in the standard rubber connections from the brake lines to the calipers. I seriously doubt however that there is enough play there that could lessen the brake pedal travel as you describe.

If the brake travel has always been an issue with both stock and non factory parts, it could simply just be the way the beast is designed (after all it is a Ford we're talkin about here!).

I'd be inclined to give it a good flushing and bleeding. Since installing the braided hoses would require the same bleeding, etc, it might make sense to install the braided hoses at that time, but not sure you'll notice much out of the braided hoses in regards to peddle travel (if I am reading this correctly).

Eric
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Old 04-05-2004, 10:00 AM   #5
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I am given to understand that it is not acceptable practice to just push the pistons back on ABS equiped brakes, that one should use the bleeder to release the pressure.

I am not a professional mechanic, but I got this information from one who is.

Mark
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Old 04-05-2004, 10:03 AM   #6
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Interesting Mark! I didn't know that... I'm reasonably sure my mechanic does tho... I'll ask him!

Roger
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Old 04-05-2004, 10:12 AM   #7
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i agree the bleeder should be use . but i see the local guys doing brakes not using the bleeder. i had a 2500 suburban and it would heat up the rotors and warp them. was a new vehicle, after a few trips to get the rotors turned i called gm and complained that the rotors were defective. they finally replaced them. no more troubles. gm didnt want to replace the $250 rotor. stop and go traffic will heat the rotors to the point that they warp. if you sit with the brake on while they cool down.
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Old 04-05-2004, 01:19 PM   #8
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I don't know if Ford changed anything between 2000 and 2003 but I had a 2000 F250 SD CrewCab V10 and I had the same problem with my rotors that Roger had. However, I've got 60,000 miles on my 2003 truck, which is identical to the 2000 and have had no rotor issues with it. I tow the same loads and drive the same routes, I think they may have revised the rotor. As far as the amount of pressure required at the pedal, we have another 2003 F250 SD 4x4 regular cab lwb and it's brake pedal requires much less push than on my CrewCab. I can't figure out what the difference in the two would be.

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Old 04-05-2004, 01:33 PM   #9
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We've only got 19K on our '03 F-250 Crew-Cab & I have not noticed any problems with rotor warping or brake pressure. I'll get back to this thread and post my impressions, no pun intended. BTW: Regarding brake pressure; is it when towing, solo, or in both cases??
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Old 04-05-2004, 02:00 PM   #10
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Ford had a problem with the F150s/F250's in the mid 90's like this and it may be continuing. The issue was that they were using a single piston caliper. The caliper was marginal for the job and would hang. Caused the rotor to run hot and warp. Had 2 different trucks with the same issue. I wanted to upgrade to the 250 but was told the only way to get away from it was to go to the 350 as it used a 4 piston caliper and would not have the same issue. The front calipers on the F150 of the time were the same as they used on the Marquis, and Crown Vic. Just not up to the job.

I had free brake jobs for the life of both of these trucks since the problems happened in the first 12k 4 times. I used to joke that I took it in for an Oil change and a brake job

One way to see if this is the case today would be to get the Caliper part number from Ford and see if it is the same as a Caliper for a passenger car.
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Old 04-05-2004, 02:05 PM   #11
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Thanks Brett...

I haven't looked at the calipers on the Crown Vics lately, but the ones on the X are HUGE. The rotors themselves weigh about 30lbs/corner. I know that this was an issue on the early X, but Ford seems to have resolved it with 2002 and up. One of the issues was apparently lug nut torque. They originally recommended 140-145 ft/lbs, but have revised that up to 150-165 ft/lbs. The info I've been able to find indicates that may have been part of the problem... although I certainly don't understand the dynamics of why 25 ft/lbs more torque on the studs would keep the rotors from warping... maybe the rotors run more true in the calipers when they're hot? It's a mystery to me...

Roger
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Old 04-06-2004, 11:00 PM   #12
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use bleeder

Roger,
Is the amount of pressure needed to stop the same with the new brake setup as the old, or did it get worse? With ABS systems when depressing the caliper pistons the bleeder should be opened or damage to the ABS valve could occur. This doesn't always happen, but it can. If the brake pressure is the same as before, then going to a SS braded line will reduce brake fad. Rubber brake hoses do expand slightly when pressure is applied and replacing them with better lines will reduce the amount of expansion and result in better braking. Hope this helps.

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Old 04-07-2004, 07:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whistler
Roger,
Is the amount of pressure needed to stop the same with the new brake setup as the old, or did it get worse? With ABS systems when depressing the caliper pistons the bleeder should be opened or damage to the ABS valve could occur. This doesn't always happen, but it can. If the brake pressure is the same as before, then going to a SS braded line will reduce brake fad. Rubber brake hoses do expand slightly when pressure is applied and replacing them with better lines will reduce the amount of expansion and result in better braking. Hope this helps.

whistler
I think it's about the same as with the old pads. The problem is that it's really hard to tell because the rotors have been soooo warped for so long, I just sort of nursed them until I could get them replaced. Understand that the X only comes out to play about once a month or so... so it's tough to recognize slight changes; particularly when the changes go from a shuddering, teeth chattering, dash-rattling ABS-laced stop to a nice, smooth controlled braking...

Roger
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