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Old 02-14-2016, 08:47 AM   #15
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I have the exhaust brake, truth be told I have been down the back side of passes in the Tetons and Bighorns fully loaded and in tow and never needed the truck brakes. It works so well I am convinced I'd never go to gas for that reason alone.

My braking strategy in the hills is engine, trailer, truck brakes in that order. So the truck brakes are always last resort. They actually work more when not in tow and are the primary means of slowing the truck, they overheated on the Needles Highway with an unloaded truck.
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Old 02-14-2016, 10:15 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Denis4x4 View Post
Ford trucks rotors are prone to overheating and warping. I replaced my rotors with aftermarket drilled and vented units and upgraded the pads. Ceramic pads are great on the track, but not my first choice for a TV. There are a lot of sources out there for brake components. Baer and Wilwood would be a good place to start.
I have a 2000 Excursion, stock brakes lasted about 40,000 miles before they started shuddering. I had the rotors milled and that lasted only about ten.
Then as Dennis suggested I upgraded the front rotors to drilled and slotted and the front pads to racing discs. The brakes lasted for almost 200k miles until I replaced them last year.
Make sure the 4x4 hubs are in good shape. Even if the rotors are not warped if their is too much slack in the hubs, brakes will shudder.
I have an exhaust brake and it helps save the brakes on long downhill runs. I live and tow in Colorado and do much mountain driving.
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Old 02-14-2016, 10:30 AM   #17
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I have a 2002 Sequoia with less than sufficient braking in my opinion. I have put new OE rotors and Hawk SD pads with Goodridge braided brake lines. They are much better than stock, but I think the StopTech Big Brake Kit would be better still.
http://www.stoptech.com/products/big-brake-kits

I'm sure there is someone that makes a quality BBK for the Excursion.
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Old 02-15-2016, 11:18 AM   #18
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I think the aftermarket pads don't last as long as OEM. I just changed the flippin' brakes on our Ram before we went full time, literally 1 week before in April 2014 and we went full time May 1.

I used Hawk Super Duty pads, and here I am in Feb needing new pads. 24K miles driven this year.
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Old 02-15-2016, 11:49 AM   #19
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24k on one set of pads? Something could be up, possibly sticking caliper? Brake controller not dialed in? I'd probably be suspicious of that.
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Old 02-15-2016, 11:59 AM   #20
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I have over 180K on my '05 Dodge Ram brakes. Manual transmission may be helping also.
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:17 AM   #21
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Tow Vehicle Break Upgrades

Same truck as Gary. Relined at 120K, and now at 210k with 40% remaining.
7,940-lbs solo, and just under 9k hitched. Solo, within 40-lbs at all wheels.

24k is unacceptable in a TV. I'd suspect brake bias to trailer, and hitch setting that allows TT front axle to bear brake burden.

I'd also check for full amperage to each wheel on the TT.

In general, then:

Whatever the pad formulation, only a boy racer (or my late mother) should be going through them so quickly.

I'd start with online forums to see where same spec truck is relining front versus rear. You might be able to find an adult or two to check with.

Late braking is the usual suspect, though. Brakes need be off before beginning any turn or corner. Anything else in these high COG trucks is unacceptable.

What works with trucks is not speed into the turn, but where in relation to the apex does one begin to re-apply power. For example, in a big truck we're looking at posted ramp speeds and coming in 3-5 below that. Exiting the highway, or into a turn.

Exiting a highway means coming down below the speed on the frontage road while on the ramp, and then accelerating UP to speed. Same problem as with TT: no slack with trailer except on that protected ramp or flyover. One need think about exiting this space, not entering it.

Same for coming to a full stop. One doesn't aim for the intersection or the other guys rear bumper, but to a spot well more than ten feet behind it. One bleeds most of the speed far in advance, and is only gliding at the end. Should be able to use my big toe to complete the stop.

Takes 3-5 years to become a decent truck driver and a good deal of the monkey skill is -- as speed declines toward a stop-- what gear I'll grab from thirteen according to the road surface, the loaded weight, and the traffic. Then mix in weather. Etc.

A full on hard stop more than twice a year at 2500-3000 miles weekly would mean I'm slipping in skill. Brakes are a last resort, not an early choice.

Overall, speed is irrelevant.

How's tire wear over the same period? That should be a close relationship.

In the dim dark past of the 1970s as radials were becoming available, changing tires, shocks and brake linings at the same juncture wasn't unusual (40-50k with Michelin). My Dad could always get 90k on brakes out of his Cadillacs. I could never break past 70k.

Brake lockup on gravel or other loose surfaces needs checking. What speed, thus what TT brake setting to use to avoid low speed lockup. Get an observer out there to work with you.

This is also where side/side TT weight imbalances, not just axle differences, may be hurting.

"Equal squat" hitch setting moves as much weight onto TT axles as is possible. Max effort from TT.

Do some testing. From 45 to zero you should be able to come to a shorter stop with the trailer hitched than without. If not, there is work to be done.

Finally, I'd agree that OEM parts may be best. Trucks are expected to do work. With Dodge, one avoids the dealer "value line" brake parts. Use the OEM part numbers.

I'd also compare to Raybestos.

I've had several vehicles redone with Praise Dyno Brake. Very happy with results.

But this truck will stay with OEM Dodge or Raybestos. Bilstein shocks (no fit meant from KONI on 2WD) and Michelin LTX or Bridegstone Duravis. All else would be a step down.
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Old 02-19-2016, 08:43 AM   #22
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The guys at Ford-Trucks.com seem to like the Hawk LTS brake pads. I put some of the front of my Excursion and they seem to work ok. I am not a big fan of drilled and slotted rotors. Too bad someone did not make stainless steel rotors. Rotors warp because they were not heat treated properly to relieve internal stresses. I don't have any complaints with my Excursion brakes but I don't full time and don't tow in the mountains that much. My front rotors are warped to some extent but I don't plan on doing anything about it till the pads are ready to be replaced.

Spend some time here. This is the best Excursion forum I have found.

http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/forum29/

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Old 02-19-2016, 09:32 AM   #23
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I am looking for better performing, longer lasting brakes for our 1996 Suburban. So I'm in a similar situation to the OP.

The front brake pads and rotors on our 1996 Suburban last less than 40k miles at best. We've tried several brands and none of them last long. The rotors seem to warp and groove even when the pads have material remaining. On the other hand the brakes on our 2005 Suburban haven't been replaced yet and we're approaching 100k.

I have not been able to find anyone, manufacturer or retailer, that thinks I'll get dramatically more braking capacity or life by buying their product. When I ask why our 2005 has lasted so long they don't have an explanation other than GM changed the design. Okay, so how do I buy components like the 2005 vehicle and put them on the 1996 vehicle? Seems like there is a market out there for a longer lasting, better braking product.

Enough of my rant. When I buy new rotors and pads for our 1996 I'm seriously considering StopTech. They are the only "manufacturer" I've contacted that indicates they have their own rotor design and material specification rather than using Raybestos and other brands in a "re-branded" package. Stainless Steel Brake Company told me they simply repackage the Delco rotors. PowerStop told me they use Delco parts are slot/drill as needed. The local Delco dealer told me their parts are made by Raybestos. I'm confused to say the least.

You can look up all the StopTech part numbers on their web site and then find their parts online or at local retail shops. I'm considering buying my StopTech parts from RockAuto.com or a local shop. Both are about the same price when S&H from RockAuto is factored in.
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Old 02-19-2016, 09:44 AM   #24
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I went with a powerstop kit for my '02 Ram CTD. I've got a year use on it now.
I can't really say anything about the difference from stock. It was one of many upgrades I went with after buying the truck used for $10k and added $8k of upgrades.
It stops, doesn't pull to one side, squeal, or vibrate. Everything fit perfect, and a fluid change.
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Old 02-19-2016, 09:49 AM   #25
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Whatever the pad formulation, only a boy racer (or my late mother) should be going through them so quickly.
You'd be wrong.
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Old 02-19-2016, 10:20 AM   #26
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Driving habits do have a lot to do with how long brakes last. I see folks riding brakes much more than they should. Take your foot off the brake and downshift. Don't tail gate. Watch ahead and anticipate. Pay attention and put away the electronic devices. If you drive in the mountains you are going to spend more on brakes. Brake pads take a few minutes to replace. I rarely turn rotors. If they are warped so bad that you can't hold onto the steering, wheel turning them won't help for long. I expect the Chinese rotors are about as good as stock. Better stuff would probably be Raybestos or Wagner. Drilling and slotting won't get you much. The rotor quality is the main thing. Try a different brand and if they warp take them back. Many have warranties on them. Changing rotors is not all that hard either. You can do it in less time than it takes to drive to a shop to have someone else do it. Always replace bearings and races as a set or knock the old races out and put the old bearings and races in the new rotors. Used OEM bearings will outlast new Chinese bearings.

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Old 02-19-2016, 11:09 AM   #27
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I installed Brake Perfomance slotted/dimpled rotors on my Titan 120000 miles ago. Now on my second set of pads. They don't fade, the pad wear is much longer and they throw less dust onto my wheels.

Weren't ridiculously expensive and I installed them in about an hour.

Mike
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:52 AM   #28
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You'd be wrong.

My mother was a "stab braker". All in at the last moment.

Was trying for a light touch.

Too many move to pickups and then drive them like cars. Won't work. At least, not well.
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