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Old 03-22-2019, 06:28 PM   #1
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Motorcraft vs WBR caliper question

Hi folks, I have a 2001 SMB 2WD E250 with 130k miles. Purchased it last year, changed out front pads and rotors about 5k mi ago. Last weekend, front passenger caliper seized up while driving, was pulling hard to passenger side. Pulled over, and after it cooled down it unseized and we went about our day.

Took it to my mechanic and he strongly suggested new calipers and hoses. I was dumbfounded at the $900 estimate, but ok my guy is expensive but I trust him. And heck, everything is crazy expensive here in SF Bay Area.

So the van is in to do the job, he had ordered what I presumed were new Motorcraft calipers. He then called me later today and said he got a tip that WBR calipers were even better, he ordered a set of those and he called to tell me they looked and felt so much better than Motorcraft, and it would be the same price and he recommended I use the WBR calipers.

What the heck? He’s always beat into my head that noting beats Motorcraft. Online world seems to concur.

I then did a quick scan of the web, and very little commentary out there on WMB, but I do realize these are remanufsctured OEM calipers. I call him back and he told me that both Motorcraft and WBR are remanufactured. Once again, he seemed pretty adamant that WBR looked and felt so much better, and then he told me that “Motorcraft took their remanufacturing to Mexico” and it’s just not as good as it used to be... (?)

Anyway, does anyone have any feedback on this decision that he put to me? Hard to do an online comparison, it does seem like WBR is a respectable brand, but I’m always inclined for Motorcraft... This decision has strangely sent my head spinning...
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Old 03-23-2019, 01:09 AM   #2
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$900.00 seems pretty high to me. I just did this and paid $62.00 ea for calipers, $40.00 for pads and $40.00 ea for hoses. For just the fronts, add in about 1.5 hrs labor and about $10.00 for brake fluid and your at about $350.00, or so depending on the labor rate. I can't speak to the quality of the rebuilds though, I've had issues with all of them. If I could, I'd only buy new, but that's getting nearly impossible. The calipers I just installed came with one seal installed crooked, and not fully seated. It was an easy fix, but what happened to quality control? Anyway, sorry I can't help with any brand recommendations but I wonder how your mechanic judges quality by "feel"
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Old 03-23-2019, 05:10 AM   #3
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Is this the same brake job under question over on FTE?
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Old 03-23-2019, 10:20 AM   #4
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Do it right, and just drop in a new take-off front axle (usually from any of the 4x4 converters, but you might be able to find a low mile take off on car-part.com)

Besides new brakes, you'll be getter much larger brakes, a better sway bar design, superior radius arm joint, and new i-beam bushings and ball joints at the same time. Labor won't be much higher than a brake job, since it's really just a half dozen bolts and some brake line swaps to change over the whole axle, plus an alignment.
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Old 03-23-2019, 01:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arctictraveller View Post
...I wonder how your mechanic judges quality by "feel"

I always chuckle when I see this... "The machine work was excellent!" after your average guy sees a shiny machined surface, never evaluating the tolerance and functional surfaces and fits.


What he says about the Mexico rebuilds is so true, for example the starters and generators I used to use many years ago. You could peek inside and see the bullshit sanded armatures, instead of turned on a lathe and smooth. Sanding is quick-n-dirty and cheaper, but it embeds abrasive grains into the soft copper, and wears out the carbon graphite brushes prematurely, just about the time the warranty runs out. Often they reuse the old bearing, after knocking them out, never good for a bearing.



In any case, I'd advise you go with whatever your trusted mechanic advises, so long as he warranties both parts and labor for a reasonable time frame (especially after a $900 front brake job) like 12mos/5k miles. He's likely got his favorite as a result of doing a lot of brake jobs, line mechanics get to see a lot of different rebuilt products, they loose money on comebacks, so they've got 'skin in the game' as well as you. Good luck
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Old 03-23-2019, 01:57 PM   #6
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Totally different application, but I installed some WBR rebuilt Brembo 6-pots on another vehicle a few years ago and they've held up great. The pistons, seals, fitting, and finish all seemed to be of high quality. Little things like no crud in the bleeder fitting holes from poor masking during finishing, and fluid pumped through the caliper came out clear with no contaminants. That said, I think you run a risk with any rebuilt caliper of whether the caliper is in good condition before being rebuilt.
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Old 03-24-2019, 11:48 AM   #7
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Thanks to all for your helpful replies! I’m gonna stick with his recommendation and go with the WBR calipers, I’ll report back on how they work out.

And yes JWA, I also posted this question on FTE. Great responses on both threads, and different info on each!
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Old 03-25-2019, 05:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarinBlaine View Post
And yes JWA, I also posted this question on FTE. Great responses on both threads, and different info on each!
Its good to get more than one perspective---don't blame you a bit MarinBlaine.

I'll look forward to any updates you care to post----should be interesting.
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