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Old 05-09-2010, 05:22 PM   #1
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Issues with Braking

As per daveb's suggestion this is a new thread that picks up from discussions in the "Rear Brakes" thread in the "General / Technical" section. I have a 2006 E350 w 6.0L. My front end is a 4X4 conversion done using an F250 IFS setup with a Dana 44 (Clydesdale in Canada) but the back end is stock. Any insights on what is going on would be appreciated.

Here's some of the background:

I have been keeping a close eye on my brakes ever since I got into a rear ender a couple of years ago. The truck in front of me slammed on his brakes and I had plenty of time and room to stop but for some reason the stopping power just wasn't there. I rode the brakes right into the back of his truck. Crazy thing is that I had tons of room to swerve around him. It just didn't register to do so when I had room to stop. I've experience this a second time with a "panic" stop. Normal breaking is okay so I've been working with mechanics to try and figure it out.

I've also just recently developed another issue. When coming down the mountain from our local ski hill I felt a wobble and vibration when I lightly engage the brakes. When I apply more pressure they disappear. daveb's post...
http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/vie...=warped+rotors
...got me thinking about other causes rather than assuming I had a warped rotor.

When I had the van is for routine service I experienced the same wear pattern as tshyhi:
http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/vie...php?f=2&t=4720
...which was back brake insides after only 70,000km / 44,000 miles. So this week when the time came to replace my rear brakes I'd hoped to get everything resolved. With the van on the lift and all the wheels off it appeared that the driver side, front rotor was warped (I think it was anyway since it was sticking when the wheel was manually spun) and the backs (besides the pad wear) were very rusty and corroded. So I went ahead and had all four replaced (rotors, calipers, pads, etc.). Not sure it was necessary but seemed like the right thing to do.

Yesterday I picked up the van and when I got up to highway speed and touched my brakes I noticed the wobble/shudder; in fact it was worse than before. The steering wheel actually jumps back and forth quickly about an inch as its doing it. Like before if I apply the brakes more heavily it disappears. The mechanic only road tested on the street and not on the highway. He is going to have a look at it on Tuesday but in the mean time if anyone has any ideas it would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Jepa
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Old 05-09-2010, 08:35 PM   #2
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Re: Issues with Braking

Jepa,
My van is an 03' Ford V-10. I had the same problem with the steering wheel moving back and forth when the brakes were applied especially going down hill. The brakes appeared to be good so I took it to a good front end shop and they replaced the upper and lower ball joints and checked the alignment. I had 38000 miles on it at the time. No problems since.

Bob in Tucson
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Old 05-09-2010, 10:02 PM   #3
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Re: Issues with Braking

Jepa,

Did you bed-in your brakes? If not, that may have something to do with it. Just a thought.

steve
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Old 05-10-2010, 05:15 AM   #4
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Re: Issues with Braking

You are seeing the first signs of death wobble. The ford IFS rides great but the draw backs are many Brakes ball joints and axles are way to light duty for one ton application in a heavy usage situation. That is why 3/4 and 1 ton fords sales declined in the 80s and they discontinued that axle, even though the ride was great the durability sucked. Have a really good front end alignment shop check out every aspect of the axle Ball joints, (uppers and lowers) caster, camber, tie rod end play, wheel bearings, control arm bushings, etc, etc.. Chances are there is some slop some where in all of that. My guess will be ball joints. When you find out what it is make that a routine part of maintaince and you will be fine.
Good luck.
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Old 05-10-2010, 05:07 PM   #5
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Re: Issues with Braking

Yep, tried the proper brake break in. It appears the problem is a bit more serious.

The other suggestions targeting ball joints and other aspects of the suspension makes a lot of sense. I've never had confidence in the front end and have regretted going the IFS direction. I'll try and get it functioning properly and then consider a beefier solid axle setup.

Thanks fellas.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:12 PM   #6
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Re: Issues with Braking

Hi Jepa,

Sorry to hear about the rear ender. I'm wondering what the pedal felt like when that happened. I had an issue with my '06 that ended up being a malfunctioning vacuum booster pump which is specific to the brake assist.

The brakes seemed fine most of the time, but there were some instances when I lost all power assist to the brakes. A couple of times were when I had to stop short, so things were a bit on the edge. I basically pulled on the steering wheel and gave the brake pedal all that I had, and fortunately never hit anything or anybody.

From your description, it sounds like that may be what's going on there.

If you want an idea of what the pedal feels like when the assist disappears, park the van on a slight downhill incline, shut off the motor, put it in neutral and let it roll a little. Then try the brakes. Make sure you leave the key in so the steering doesn't lock. Disclaimer: do this at your own risk, if you are at all unsure or uncomfortable trying this, then don't.

I was still under warranty when I had this problem, and Ford took care of it, so I don't know what the cost of the vacuum pump replacement would be.

As for the wobble, I concur with the earlier posts.....get the entire front end checked out - ball joints, tie rod ends, bearings etc.....

Tim
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:55 PM   #7
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Re: Issues with Braking

Thanks Tim. Tomorrow its back in the shop so we'll see if we can figure out what it is. I'll post an update when I find out.

Jepa
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:38 AM   #8
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Re: Issues with Braking

Jepa,

I'm surprised to here your comments about your IFS front end and wishing you had gone solid, I love ours JMO, but if I were going to go solid swap, I would call Chris at U Joint, he can help you get the swap done very cost effectively and done correctly!!!

Sorry to hear about your problems and Good luck,

Advrider
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:00 AM   #9
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Re: Issues with Braking

Okay, I'm out of the woods for now.

The new, upgraded front Raybestos rotors didn't work out the first time they were installed. The mechanic took them off and measured them up and tried a bit of machining to get them to true but to no avail. New rotors were installed and worked perfectly. Not sure the odds of 2 sets of new rotors being bad so I'm not exactly sure what happened the first try. Regardless the van now rolls and stops nicely.

As an added bonuses the front tires no longer rub on the sway bar when they are cranked over (parking lot turns). I'm not sure if that's because the rotors are more beefy and the stance wider?

Most importantly, the van feels a lot better and confident when braking. I have yet to fully test them (after break in) but I would suggest it is obvious they will perform better.

So now I feel a little less pressured to do something with my axle setup. Advrider, I appreciate your comments about IFS working for you. The conversion company I used (Clydesdale) were genuinely interesting in helping me (too far away) and stated that they hadn't had any durability issues. In fact check out there home page to see the IFS setup they've performed with this EB; interesting to say the least.

http://www.sportsman4x4.com/

I guess they've used an F150 lift setup which may raise some eyebrows even though the van has a 5.4L and may not be as heavy as ours. To me the stance looks quite narrow. Apparently the van is now at Sportmobile Fresno for interior mods.

Anyway, I still wish I had initially gone with solid axle but maybe in the end IFS will work out for me.

Jepa
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