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Old 07-15-2007, 11:16 AM   #1
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Spongy brakes

Since my first used car I have been cursed with braking issues.

Whether repaired myself OR at a local shop or dealership eventually I loose that firm/high pedal feel.

I have arrived at that spongy place with E350.
The front pads have been replaced, and the rear shoes also.
I can pump up the brakes and get a high firm pedal, but subsequent application produces that spongy feeling again.

I'm sure these symptoms are indicative of a specific brake problem which minds greater than me can identify.

What say you oh great sages?

Michael
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Old 07-15-2007, 11:28 AM   #2
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Michael,
Have you noticed an increase in your engine rpm's lately? Don't know about Fords but if you disconnect the vacuum line from engine to brake booster and place your thumb over the engine hose, the engine rpm's should drop down. Hook back up to brake booster and if the rpm's are not back down where they should be then you have a leak in the brake booster diaphram.
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Old 07-15-2007, 11:38 AM   #3
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In my experience, generally when you can "pump up" the brakes, you have a master cylinder that is going bad. You may also have air in the system that needs to be bled.
Gas or diesel? Vacuum boost or hydroboost?
Dave
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Old 07-15-2007, 11:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyrzowt
In my experience, generally when you can "pump up" the brakes, you have a master cylinder that is going bad. You may also have air in the system that needs to be bled.
Gas or diesel? Vacuum boost or hydroboost?
Dave
Dave, thanks for the reply.

1998 E350 Diesel, 7.3TD. Looks like a vacume booster.
I'll bleed the brakes next.
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Old 07-15-2007, 12:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidz71
Michael,
Have you noticed an increase in your engine rpm's lately? Don't know about Fords but if you disconnect the vacuum line from engine to brake booster and place your thumb over the engine hose, the engine rpm's should drop down. Hook back up to brake booster and if the rpm's are not back down where they should be then you have a leak in the brake booster diaphram.
Craig, thanks.
I'll poke in the engine compartment latter this week and see if I can locate the vacuum hoses you speak of, report to follow.

M

M
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Old 07-15-2007, 12:29 PM   #6
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Rivet Step One.

Hi Michael,

I understand. My particular demon is fuel pumps. Once bought two defective new pumps, one mechanical and one electric, the same day away from home. Finally got a mile away from home by reconnecting the original electric, which worked for a while after cooling. Had to get on my motorcycle and swap the two new ones in two different towns the next day.

To the point. Step one with brakes that need is always bleeding the brakes. Periodic replacement of the brake fluid is considered normal maintenance. Plus, itís cheap. Good place to start. Good luck.

Vaughan
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Old 07-19-2007, 11:06 PM   #7
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Hello Artstream,

On fords trucks,the rear brake shoes need to be in correct adjustment to the drum in the rear ,alot of time the (star) adjuster /cable assembly doesn't work that great ,so check the rear adjustment and on both sides .you also may have a antilock dump valve ,locate on the drivers side frame rail that could be having trouble with the internal valves in it .ford had alot of trouble with those .You will get a spongy pedal if its defective .Id start with the rear drum adjustment first before anything else gets done .With towing ,the rear shoes may be wearing faster than you might think could happen ,if your van
is doing more trailer stopping than it should ,with an E350 it may be hard to tell .

good luck ,

Scott of scottanlily
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Old 07-20-2007, 08:30 AM   #8
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Hi Scott, and thanks!

U certainly know your Ford brakes.

With the help of Lou and Larry "Loudruff" see Driveway Rally thread, I replaced the rear shoes and found the emergency brake cables busted on both sides.

Did a ruff shoe adjustment, and thought the back-up star wheel adjuster would help, but after repeatedly backing up the breaks still seemed a bit low. At a stop in WI, I found a Ford truck dealer and had them take a look, they found the shoes way out of adjustment, re-adjusted them, and gave me a clean bill of health. That has helped, but the brakes are still not like new. Thanks for the info on the dump valve, thats a new one on me, and I will look into it.

Best regards,

Michael
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