Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-23-2011, 07:53 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 11
Smoking Brakes on a Sportsmobile?

All,

I am the proud new owner of a not so new Sportsmobile. I recently purchased a 1996 Diesel 4x4 and was coming down a local mountain pass and the brakes started smoking badly and losing power. I was doing the recommended pump and release but that did not seem to help.

My instinct is that these vans are designed for this kind of driving, but being new to these vehicles, I may be overly optimistic. Should I be looking for a break problem or are there limitations? This was probably an 8% grade at about 40 mph average.....

Any info on the brake system for this vintage and what these bad boys can handle would be helpful.
__________________

nevadagold72 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2011, 11:10 PM   #2
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 11
Smoking Brakes on a Sportsmobile?

All,

I recently purchased a 1996 EB Diesel 4x4 Sportsmobile. I was coming down a local mountain pass (8% or so grade at about 40 mph average) and the front breaks started smoking and losing power. I was taking all precautionary driving measure while driving (i.e. pumping brakes). My impression is that these vehicles should be able to drive i these conditions without frying the brakes? Is this not the case or should I be looking for a problem with the brakes. Any info would be appreciated as I am new to these vehicles and am looking for guidance on general capability.
__________________

nevadagold72 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2011, 08:24 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
jage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Franktown, CO
Posts: 7,599
Re: Smoking Brakes on a Sportsmobile?

nevada, I combined your posts since I wasn't sure which to keep. Your first 3 posts have to be approved before appearing.

About the brakes, you can smoke the brakes on anything if you ride them coming down a grade like that. I always use my engine to brake and if necessary (engine braking not adequate or a sharper curve than anticipated) pump the brakes over longer periods (3 seconds braking harder, 2 seconds off) rather than just holding a constant pressure and at that normally 80% of the descent I never touch the brakes.

The SMB is heavy ~10K and the brakes are not adequate to treat it like a sportscar- they are not overbuilt by any stretch of the imagination and there are several upgrade routes. In addition your pads and rotors have had a service life that you're unaware of. Certainly smoking the brakes is not good and indicates something needs to change.
__________________
and then
everything changed
jage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2011, 08:33 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Pasadena, CA
Posts: 785
Re: Smoking Brakes on a Sportsmobile?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nevadagold72
All,

I am the proud new owner of a not so new Sportsmobile. I recently purchased a 1996 Diesel 4x4 and was coming down a local mountain pass and the brakes started smoking badly and losing power. I was doing the recommended pump and release but that did not seem to help.

My instinct is that these vans are designed for this kind of driving, but being new to these vehicles, I may be overly optimistic. Should I be looking for a break problem or are there limitations? This was probably an 8% grade at about 40 mph average.....

Any info on the brake system for this vintage and what these bad boys can handle would be helpful.
Don't know what brake setup came on a 1996 E-350 van, but can say that I've got to use both the tranny and brakes to manage speed on long mountain descents. Relying on the brakes alone will fry them and to state the obvious, that can make for a very dangerous situation.

Which pass were you coming down and how long was the descent?

For any of the big ones in the eastern sierras (tioga, monitor, conway, sherwin, etc....), I descend in 3rd gear and use light braking to control speed. For the really steep ones (tioga), I go down in 2nd. Never had any problems with brake fade. At times that means I'm coming down at 20-30mph. Annoying to those behind me, but I couldn't care less about their schedule and I do use all turnouts to allow for passing.

Rob
__________________
2006 SMB 4x4, EB-51, 6.0psd
EMrider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2011, 08:43 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
LenS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,180
Re: Smoking Brakes on a Sportsmobile?

My van is a 2500 Chev Express extended van. I do the same thing as stated above on lone down grades. Coast. If that doesn't work, shift to 3rd (40mph ish). If that does not hold speed with LIGHT breaking then I shift down to 2nd (25pmh ish).
Have had some grades that even in second I had to pump the brakes to hold the speed.

On long grades use the brakes last and engine braking first.
__________________
Len & Joanne

The Green TARDIS
LenS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2011, 11:01 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
carringb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Corvallis, OR
Posts: 4,314
Re: Smoking Brakes on a Sportsmobile?

On a '96, you will have rear drum brakes. It is not uncommon for those to need adjustment. If the van has ever sat a long time, or the previous owners never did any hard stops in reverse, then the adjusters are probably seized, which means you rear brakes are not doing anything. I would check that first, then look at the front pads. Use OEM or better. A lot of parts store stuff is greatly inferior than OEM. If it costs less, its for a reason, when it comes to brake pads.
__________________
2000 E350 extended wagon dually
V10 w/ Banks Powerpack, Diablo Predator
Buckstop Outback bumper/grill guard
Reunel rear bumper
carringb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2011, 06:02 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
UJOINT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: AVL NC
Posts: 969
Re: Smoking Brakes on a Sportsmobile?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb
On a '96, you will have rear drum brakes. It is not uncommon for those to need adjustment. If the van has ever sat a long time, or the previous owners never did any hard stops in reverse, then the adjusters are probably seized, which means you rear brakes are not doing anything. I would check that first, then look at the front pads. Use OEM or better. A lot of parts store stuff is greatly inferior than OEM. If it costs less, its for a reason, when it comes to brake pads.

What he said.
__________________
Chris Steuber
02 E350 7.3 (V4)
05 E350 V10 (V7)
17 Focus RS,90 SHO,49 Willy CJ2A
ujointoffroad.com
UJOINT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2011, 03:10 PM   #8
Site Team
 
daveb's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Turlock Ca
Posts: 9,832
Garage
Re: Smoking Brakes on a Sportsmobile?

I agree as well, especially on a new to you vehicle, it's a good idea to do an all round check-up. But theses things are heavy and I also downshift dropping down a grade. On unusually steep grades I go into 2WD low, something you can do with a SMB 4x4 conversion.

Not sure but can't you keep the hubs unlocked and shift into 4WD low if needed?
__________________
2006 Ford 6.0PSD EB-50/E-PH SMB 4X4 Rock Crawler Trailer

Sportsmobile 4X4 Adventures..........On and off road adventures
daveb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2011, 02:58 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
SierraHawk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 202
Re: Smoking Brakes on a Sportsmobile?

For many reasons it would serve you well to rebuild the brake system. You might also think about upgrading the brakes, rebuilding the front end (ball joints, tierod ends, etc) and replacing the bearings & seals on the diffs while they have the outboard stuff off. Opening the diff will also allow you to assess the gears and replace all fluids. Don't forget to change the transfer case oil.
SierraHawk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2011, 09:00 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
yvrr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Newark, CA
Posts: 795
Re: Smoking Brakes on a Sportsmobile?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
Not sure but can't you keep the hubs unlocked and shift into 4WD low if needed?
I've used 4WD Low on some paved but steep roads and later thought about not locking the hubs so I asked Quigley about it at one of the SMB rallys. They recommended against using 4WD without locking the hubs since that would put a lot of stress on the rear differential...with the hubs locked, that stress is shared between the front and rear differentials...at least that is what I think they said.
__________________

__________________
Jack
'01 Ford EB50p Quigley 4WD
yvrr is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:16 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×