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Old 03-08-2011, 02:50 PM   #1
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Anyone running Brake Man Superbrakes on Ford Stock Brakes?

Thinking about upgrading my pads and rotors to Brake Man. My Quigley front axle is Ford Super Duty (everything except hubs, including brakes, interestingly). Actually, I was surprised and really impressed to hear that Quigley had used the Ford front axle and brakes on my van. Too bad they don't make the solid front axle on the GMs anymore.

Anyway, looking to upgrade my braking without hopefully having to go to the 14" big brakes because I have 5k miles on a new set of Michelin 285/75/16 E tires that I love (70k mileage guarantee, Discount Tire is going to lose $$ on this set ). I will probably eventually upgrade to 17" wheels and the Big Brakes once I wear this set of tires out. Again, I am impressed that Quigley left that option open.

I would really appreciate it if anyone has any +/- feedback on the superbrake stock rotor/pad replacement.
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:37 PM   #2
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Re: Anyone running Brake Man Superbrakes on Ford Stock Brake

Quote:
Originally Posted by webbmac
Thinking about upgrading my pads and rotors to Brake Man. My Quigley front axle is Ford Super Duty (everything except hubs, including brakes, interestingly). Actually, I was surprised and really impressed to hear that Quigley had used the Ford front axle and brakes on my van. Too bad they don't make the solid front axle on the GMs anymore.

Anyway, looking to upgrade my braking without hopefully having to go to the 14" big brakes because I have 5k miles on a new set of Michelin 285/75/16 E tires that I love (70k mileage guarantee, Discount Tire is going to lose $$ on this set ). I will probably eventually upgrade to 17" wheels and the Big Brakes once I wear this set of tires out. Again, I am impressed that Quigley left that option open.

I would really appreciate it if anyone has any +/- feedback on the superbrake stock rotor/pad replacement.

I had SMB install the superbrake rotor/pad upgrade about 18 months ago.

The braking improvement is noticeable, but not huge. I did the super brake upgrade after one hair-raising brake fade experience in DV. Most importantly, I've not experience brake fade post the change and have done quite a few very steep and long descents.....but I've also learned to drive differently and use low range more effectively. That is probably helping at least as much as the upgrade.

IMHO, for the extra margin of safety it is worth the cost and less complex that other brake upgrade options. I too may eventually upgrade to f550 brakes. It is time for new tires later this month and I'm going to make the switch at the same time to 17" wheels too.

My expectations for braking performance in a 10+k pound SMB is very low....regardless of the upgrades, and I drive it accordingly. But every marginal improvement, however small, is helpful.

Good luck
R
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Old 03-08-2011, 05:45 PM   #3
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Re: Anyone running Brake Man Superbrakes on Ford Stock Brake

EM, thanks for the input. They are quoting a minimum 30% improvement in brake torque with the superbrakes (pads and rotors on the stock calipers). Sounds like you didn't experience that.

I've had my share of hair raising stops in our van, too, so that is why I am looking to upgrade.

Keep me posted, would love to hear more on the F550 upgrade and expected costs. Brake Man's front Big Brake upgrade (14" rotors and forged calipers) is ~$4,600 including superbrakes in the rear. Big $$$$.
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Old 03-08-2011, 05:58 PM   #4
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Re: Anyone running Brake Man Superbrakes on Ford Stock Brake

I ordered my SMB new with the Brakeman rotors and pads so can't really make a comparison. I did drive a new SMB with stock Ford brakes afore I ordered mine and that convinced me to upgrade. As I remember, it is much better then stock. Probably biggest difference is less brake fade. But, I've driven mountains all my life and do a lot of down shifting on grades. I feel it is a worthwhile upgrade, but if you've got the bucks, can't beat the big brakes.
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Old 03-08-2011, 05:59 PM   #5
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Re: Anyone running Brake Man Superbrakes on Ford Stock Brake

Quote:
Originally Posted by webbmac
EM, thanks for the input. They are quoting a minimum 30% improvement in brake torque with the superbrakes (pads and rotors on the stock calipers). Sounds like you didn't experience that.

I've had my share of hair raising stops in our van, too, so that is why I am looking to upgrade.

Keep me posted, would love to hear more on the F550 upgrade and expected costs. Brake Man's front Big Brake upgrade (14" rotors and forged calipers) is ~$4,600 including superbrakes in the rear. Big $$$$.

I got a quote from them for their rotors and brake pads for all 4 wheels for my 06 and 16" wheels. It came to $860. That is not including their calipers. I can't imagine their calipers to account for $3740 of that price???? I may be wrong.
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Old 03-08-2011, 06:19 PM   #6
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Re: Anyone running Brake Man Superbrakes on Ford Stock Brake

$4642.50, just got the quote this morning. It is for the 14" proprietary front rotors, forged calipers and 1" thick pads. Also comes with upgraded brake lines and different mounting hardware. I guess that's about as beefy of conventional brakes as you can get, although my M5 had 15" rotors (20" wheels). There's an idea, I've never felt a 4k#+ vehicle stop like that. Heck, for $5k, might even be doable.
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Old 03-08-2011, 07:05 PM   #7
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Re: Anyone running Brake Man Superbrakes on Ford Stock Brake

Well.... Do you you want to shorten stopping distances, or prevent brake fade?

Can you lockup your tires now? If yes, then you are already traction limited as far as stopping distance goes.

I'm just bringing this up because I'm wondering if it may be money better spent on on an exhaust brake?
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:24 PM   #8
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Re: Anyone running Brake Man Superbrakes on Ford Stock Brake

Quote:
Originally Posted by webbmac
Thinking about upgrading my pads and rotors to Brake Man. My Quigley front axle is Ford Super Duty (everything except hubs, including brakes, interestingly). Actually, I was surprised and really impressed to hear that Quigley had used the Ford front axle and brakes on my van. Too bad they don't make the solid front axle on the GMs anymore.

Anyway, looking to upgrade my braking without hopefully having to go to the 14" big brakes because I have 5k miles on a new set of Michelin 285/75/16 E tires that I love (70k mileage guarantee, Discount Tire is going to lose $$ on this set ). I will probably eventually upgrade to 17" wheels and the Big Brakes once I wear this set of tires out. Again, I am impressed that Quigley left that option open.

I would really appreciate it if anyone has any +/- feedback on the superbrake stock rotor/pad replacement.
Steve you might want to read what Badger did on his rig. I got to be one of SMB's beta tester for the Brakeman rotor pad upgrade and agree with Rob; not a huge improvement but every little bit helps. What was more noticable was the brake fade. It seemed to be reduced by a larger margin. I also replaced my fluid with their high tech replacement (I want SS lines...down the road) but what Eric did makes big time sense. Scroll down to the section he did on brakes by going hydroboost:
http://www.badgertrek.com/sportsmobile/vehicle.shtml

With my SMB trailer, I have a total of 8 tires and rims to replace. To add another 4K+ is not something I can just go out and do. I was told the brakeman 4K job does make a huge difference between the 06-07 E-350 setup but not as much as the 08 brake system that's now offered.

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Old 03-08-2011, 10:42 PM   #9
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Re: Anyone running Brake Man Superbrakes on Ford Stock Brake

Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb
Well.... Do you you want to shorten stopping distances, or prevent brake fade?

Can you lockup your tires now? If yes, then you are already traction limited as far as stopping distance goes.

I'm just bringing this up because I'm wondering if it may be money better spent on on an exhaust brake?
Kind of looking for both within reason. I have had problems with each, scary fade situations on grades and you just never know how short you'll need to stop until you do, obviously with limitations. That we tend to do a lot of driving in Baja only makes each worse, especially towing.

I can't get my wheels to lock up, but maybe that is a function of the Michelins I run instead of a more aggressive tread, in combination with anti-lock and/or traction control? That is what I always figured, anyway.

I have tried to spec out an exhaust brake and they are limited/nonexistent for the GM vans. Banks won't touch it from what they tell me, I kind of shelved the idea after that. If you know of any others I would love to hear. The van has a tow mode, but in reality the Duramax does not compression brake well without the Allison.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb

Steve you might want to read what Badger did on his rig. I got to be one of SMB's beta tester for the Brakeman rotor pad upgrade and agree with Rob; not a huge improvement but every little bit helps. What was more noticable was the brake fade. It seemed to be reduced by a larger margin. I also replaced my fluid with their high tech replacement (I want SS lines...down the road) but what Eric did makes big time sense. Scroll down to the section he did on brakes by going hydroboost:
http://www.badgertrek.com/sportsmobile/vehicle.shtml

With my SMB trailer, I have a total of 8 tires and rims to replace. To add another 4K+ is not something I can just go out and do. I was told the brakeman 4K job does make a huge difference between the 06-07 E-350 setup but not as much as the 08 brake system that's now offered.

Dave
I hear you, Dave. I have the trailer, too, and replacing all 8 tires is daunting... Excellent point.

My E-350 front end is an '04 model (that was Quigley's spec even though my van is an '08), so perhaps I should see more of an improvement with just the pads/rotors option than that seen on a newer Ford. Good to hear it helps with fade, that is what I am leaning towards if I had to choose what to go away most. I like Badgertrek's hydroboost idea, too. Would probably be an even greater improvement over the Chevy parts.



Thanks for all of the input. I think all of this points me to the pads/rotors only option, see where that gets us and do some tweaking up the lines. Maybe find an exhaust brake after that. $4k+ seems a bit far fetched...
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:03 AM   #10
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Re: Anyone running Brake Man Superbrakes on Ford Stock Brake

If you can't lockup your brakes, then a bigger brake setup will certainly help. Since I did my '09 front axle swap, I can lockup the brakes with ease now, even on bare dry pavement. The ABS on the Fords is pretty non-instrusive, so I get some pretty good tire chirp before the ABS takes over.

Does your van still have rear drum brakes?

Sorry, I haven't found an Express van exhaust brake either.
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