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Old 10-16-2021, 09:39 AM   #1
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E350 Brake Upgrade Needed !

Just returned from the first overland trip after buying a nice used 2002 E350 SMB - V10 - Quigley. I had an Agile Rip Kit installed before the trip knowing that suspension issues most likely would present - but other than that - the front end suspension was original to the build.

It's obvious that the braking system is undersized for this van - weighing in at around 10,000 pound - braking downhill coming out of the mountains was challenging.

So I'm looking for suggestions and real life experiences from E350 owners who know what it would take to upgrade the brakes overall (front and rear) without having to re-engineer the entire front end. Like - is it possible to upgrade to braking for an E/F450 - E/F550, without rebuilding "everything" including suspension - or would just exchanging out to heavier rotors/pads/calipers, etc., work.

Thanks for any and all posts and threads and your experiences. Thanks !
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Old 10-16-2021, 11:32 AM   #2
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I used 2005 F350 axle in my 4x4 conversion (2000 E350). This gave me bigger brakes, required 17" wheels, and changed the bolt pattern to 8 on 170.

I haven't noticed any brake fade on curvy or hilly roads. It stops pretty quick and straight. I would like to get a bigger master cylinder, I think that would lower pedal pressure a bit.
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Old 10-16-2021, 11:37 AM   #3
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Dynatrack Big Brake Upgrade
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Old 10-16-2021, 02:44 PM   #4
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To add to the above comments, recently I swapped pads to Hawk Super Duty, added steel braided brake lines front (custom) and rear (UJoint Off Road), and this has made a nice improvement. The Hawk Super Duty pads do get a bit more dusty and I do get a little more brake squeal as a result but that's a compromise I'm accepting for better brake performance both with and without towing a 6500lb travel trailer.
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Old 10-16-2021, 03:43 PM   #5
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Doublevan, is your complaint stopping power? Or brake fade/overheating?
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Old 10-16-2021, 11:50 PM   #6
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I recently put ssbc 8 piston calipers and rotors on my rig and it was so much better
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Old 10-17-2021, 03:18 AM   #7
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I had a diesel E350, I retrofitted the E450 hydroboost unit. It made a considerable difference. But I'm not sure if it will be as simple to do in a gas van.
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Old 10-18-2021, 06:00 PM   #8
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Posting my brake issues because of difficulty in stopping safely - especially when stop signs and stop lights seemed to be at the bottom of steep downgrades out of the mountains in MT - ID - WY - etc.

Just returned from Idaho 4x4 Rally - I had my van weighed out there - and it basically topped out at about 10,300 pounds. I had serious issues trying to come to a safe stop after exiting mountains near Tetons - and other stop lights at the base of mountains - had to run into yellow hashmark areas and and duck into a side street so I wouldn't run into stopped vehicles.

I'm hoping some detailed suggestions on different rotors ? - what are "ssbc" pistons - remember - lots of new owners here seeking suggestions and not that "schooled" in understanding you SMB Veterans with years of conversions - shop experience - and "in your own" garage retrofits, etc.

SMB only had 3700 miles when bought used in Provo Dec 2020. I started trip with just over 6000 miles - so rotors were just fine. Now getting some pulsing after ID trip.

I figure I need heavier duty rotors and better pads - steering/alighnment is SPOT ON - from rotation and align in Ponduray ID after rally.

Do not really want to spend $3000 for rebuild/swap out of axle from E/F450 or 550, larger rotors, pistons MC, etc. What worked for you under similar circumstances without tearing all the brake components out and starting over.

Any suggestions appreciated.
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Old 10-18-2021, 06:04 PM   #9
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Vandalay -- what are "ssmc" 8 piston calipers and rotors ?? -- are they a standard fit for an 2002 E350 v10 SMB ? Where obtained -- and is your van the same make/model year/engine and similar weight - as mine ?

Thanks for a reply --
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Old 10-19-2021, 05:29 AM   #10
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^^^ ujoint sells the ssbc brake setups, but couldnít find specific info on their site. Pic of the setup here. Itís not a cheap setup, but honestly I donít think thereís a cheap option for reliable brakes.

I bought the hawk pads others have mentioned. They help but Iím still not as confident in my brakes as Iíd like to be.
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