Beginning model year 2008 E-Series vans received a significantly more powerful front brake package. Larger diameter and thickness rotors, appropriately sized calipers and pads all contribute to this increased braking power. Those of us with earlier year chassis can add that package relatively easily. There are no difficult or complex modifications necessary since the steering knuckles or spindle assemblies have remained very similar over the years. Honestly the most difficult was/is handling the heavier-than-stock rotor assemblies!
There are several sellers of complete front suspensions, new take off parts that include steering knuckles already fitted with rotors/calipers/pads, radius arms and all tie rod/drag link parts too. Special note should be made that the knuckles with these packages include new OEM ball joints along with radius arm/axle pivot bushings too. Since these packages were simply removed from zero miles chassis anyone lucky enough to have bought these received a great deal in so many ways.
As a caution to those who have purchased one of those packages check the front bearing grease for a proper amount. My new take-off rotor/hub assemblies were very light on grease which if not corrected leads to early bearing failure. This important step would be easy to miss.
My re-fit grew to include new ball joints and all tie rod ends too. Worn to the point replacing them was best there was no better time to wrap it all into a single procedure. I did replace the stock OEM axle pivot and radius arm bushings with urethane parts from Energy Suspension of San Clemente, CA, another thing I do to assure reliability over the longer term.
Because this swap can be done without replacing ball joints ect I won't spend much time describing that unless its pertinent to the brake swap. I did replace front shocks which is highly recommended unless the installed ones are very new.
So onward we go.................
1 8C2Z-2B120-CR Rt Caliper, OEM/Motorcraft equivalent
1 8C2Z-2B121-CL Lt Caliper, as above
2 8C2Z-2B292-C Cali Bracket, OEM (New Take Offs)
4 N811625-S101 Cali Bracket Bolts, OEM
2 8C2Z-2C150-C Cali Hardware Kits, OEM/Motorcraft equivalent
1 8C2Z-2078-BR Rt Flexible Hose, OEM
1 8C2Z-2078-BL Lt Flexible Hose, OEM
2 386493-S439 Flexible Hose Clips
1 UP-8440-M NAPA Ultra Premium front pads
2 Take Off's Rotor/hub assemblies (Details Upon Request)
2 33-187563 Bllstein Heavy Duty Front Shocks
2 N806085-S441 Shock Mount Nuts, OEM
All these parts totalled about $658 not including labor or any other parts used. My prices for new parts might vary to some degree due discounts and lucky discoveries. For example the rotor/hub assemblies were $165 for the pair shipped, caliper brackets were $99 shipped, also as a pair. Suppliers for those parts will sell to anyone so those discounts could be enjoyed by most anyone. PM me for those contacts if interested.
A few preliminary photos;
All brake parts in one shot:
Showing new '08 rotor/hubs and calipers fitted to a loose wheel:
Showing same as above with “07 & earlier rotor/hubs and calipers:
Diameter increased just about 1/2” while both friction surfaces received healthy increases both in overall thickness as well as the individual friction surfaces too--FWIW these weigh about 55 lbs each.
This swap isn't at all difficult assuming there's some DIY experience with servicing front disc brakes and/or rotors, bearings etc. For me timing was made perfect as my original brakes have about 177K miles on them, the rotors and calipers pretty much worn past the point of having a reliable and safe brake system.
Having planned on this swap since first learning of it allowed me time to source parts for the best prices. Apart from caliper brackets and rotor/hub assemblies it all came direct from a local Ford dealer. I enjoy a trade discount on new parts so I could use premium parts at lesser quality prices.
There are other pads from Carbo-Tech Engineering that are said to be very vast improvements over most everything else---at almost $300 for the front set I can't yet wrap my head around that cost. The upside to those is they're extremely easy on the rotors, tend to last well over 100K miles which is a huge selling point. For now I'll run with the NAPA Ultra Premium parts, checking them frequently to gauge their performance.
I have other photos and can discuss ball joint installation from the DIY POV including how to set toe-in until the van can be properly aligned. Please feel to comment or ask any questions---glad to help any way I can!