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 Post subject: Antone upgraded brakes?
PostPosted: August 18th, 2017, 2:50 pm 
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Joined: August 3rd, 2014, 3:05 pm
Posts: 47
Just wondering if anyone has upgraded their brakes?

Even though mine are always in good shape they are much less powerful than I would like. e.g. this week they overheated coming into and through LA.

Seems to me a fully laden Chinook is right at the top of the E350 weight limit. An added tow car increases the load even with supplementary brake system (e.g. Blue Ox Patriot system, which is what I have).

Wondering if there is a popular upgrade. e.g. Different rotors (slotted/cryogenic)? Upgraded aftermarket pads?

If you've done an upgrade how much difference has it made?

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PostPosted: August 18th, 2017, 9:43 pm 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
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Location: 1999 Concourse
I researched and then made an upgrade in the late fall of 2014. Many years and miles since then and I wouldn't change it. Very, very pleased.

Like you, I felt the stock Chinook was "under-braked." I'd been driving an E-250 camper van before the Chinook, so it's not like I had sports car expectations. I felt the E-250 was fine, but the Chinook.... no. I lived in fear of the stale green light. And my brakes were in great condition.

At the time, I thought maybe it was because my year has rear drums. Well, as part of my research I contacted a friend who not only has a Ford van (E-350 dually), but also manages a fleet at work. He knows a lot about the ins and outs, parts, etc. I explained what I didn't like, and then asked what would be involved in changing the rear drums to discs. Surprisingly, he said he didn't think that would make all that much difference, and that what he would do (indeed had done) in my position would be to go to the 2008-newer front brakes. They are much beefier (which I can attest to, having seen my old ones side by side with the new ones). He suggested that I look into having an entire take-off front end put on. This gives the brakes, but also the newer front end suspension components, which are somewhat improved (2008-newer). I contacted Quadvan in Portland, OR (whom he recommended) because they were taking off brand new E-350 front ends (suspension/axle/brakes) in order to convert the vans to 4WD.

Upshot was, I was able to drive up there (bonus for gorgeous drive up 395 with fall colors), he put on the new front end in his tidy shop in less than a day, and I drove out with noticeably more powerful front brakes that felt like they were matched to the vehicle. Zero complaints. Now when a light turns yellow, I don't worry about stopping (instead I think about what's going to shift in the back :D).

I don't think that ALL of the newer front end has to be put on in order to get the newer brakes. In my case it was a no-brainer, because he had a brand new 2014 take-off ready to put on my Chinook, and since I had 50,000 miles on, I didn't mind that it also included all new tie rods, ball joints, etc. But my main focus was the brakes - the rest was just a bonus.

I think some other folks have done just the brakes by ordering only those parts and putting (or having them put) on.

Likely there are other things (frozen rotors, etc.), but seeing the heft of the 2008+ parts I'm glad I went that way. I would do it again without a second thought.

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PostPosted: August 20th, 2017, 12:28 pm 
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I found this very informative thread.

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/forums ... 11255.html

Full parts list , pictures, driving impressions.


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PostPosted: October 22nd, 2017, 3:17 pm 
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Our 2004 Premier (Turtle) is gonna need a new set of tires come spring, and I was thinking this would also be a good time to do the front-end brake and front-end upgrade (2008+) discussed in this thread.

We have about 60K on the Rig, so although everything looks and feels solid on the front end, I was thinking that it might make sense to do the "full package" front-end suspension as well as the brakes. Has anyone had this work done by an actual Ford Dealer? Or is it something that must be done by a "QuadVan" type place. If the latter, does anyone have a good recommendation of someone to do that type of work here on the East Coast (I'm in Boston)? Not that I am adverse to a little road trip...but would do local if someone has a good recommendation. North Carolina or thereabouts is also closer to me than Portland OR. Thoughts?
David


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PostPosted: October 27th, 2017, 2:14 pm 
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Joined: July 17th, 2016, 5:00 pm
Posts: 140
I ordered all the parts to upgrade my front brakes to the 08+ calipers/rotors earlier this week in prep for my upcoming cross country trip in a couple months. I will be preforming the job tomorrow and hopefully will have time to take some photos. Seems pretty straight forward, the same as if you were changing the normal brakes you just need to use the 08+ calipers, rotors, and you need the caliper brackets.

I ended up not going with the OEM ford stuff after talking with a handful of people about quality vs price. A couple mechanics i know said there are many better products for cheaper price. So after some research i ended up ordering the top quality heavy duty "Truck/Tow" caliper,rotor,pads kit from rock auto. It comes with new caliper and brackets, pads and slotted rotors for only $418 with a 3yr 36,000 mile warranty. Then I ordered OEM caliper bracket bolts and OEM rubber brake lines and clips which were cheap.

Link for the brake kit i ordered.
http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php ... 76&jsn=476

Excited to get these on and see the difference it makes. Since I installed the 33" tires braking has been not great to say the least haha.


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PostPosted: October 27th, 2017, 4:44 pm 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
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Location: 1999 Concourse
Granted, they were experienced pros with a great shop, but the place (one guy with an occasional assistant) had my entire new front end on in just a couple hours. (Course maybe that's actually faster than just the brake parts?) It would also have been necessary to put on a newer Ford anti-sway bar - because of different mounting method on new front end - but I ended up going with an aftermarket larger bar anyway.

I bet you'll love the difference. I went from always being nervous about the brakes (due to their under-design) to now just knowing that, yes, my brakes are just FINE. I mean, of course I still drive defensively, but I no longer feel like I have *especially* poor brakes as before. What a relief.

Sounds like you know your way around a vehicle, so I bet you'll have them changed in no time.

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PostPosted: October 27th, 2017, 5:00 pm 
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Joined: October 12th, 2015, 5:54 am
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Location: Santa Cruz
It's interesting the number of complaints about the early brakes. I've never felt that they were inadequate, and I've never experienced fade even down the steepest, longest grades. But I don't tow much and I have stock tires. I had trouble with the rears since they had never been serviced, were badly worn, and basically fell apart in my hands. But now that's all sorted, the factory brakes feel fine to me.

That kit is definitely priced fairly, and I'd possibly go for it if I needed a complete front overhaul. I just wish the rotors weren't drilled. It's interesting in their ad that they tout cooling from the cross drilled holes (which do not actually cool worth a darn), but they make no mention about cooling from the vanes (which move a lot of air and actually do the cooling). Anyway..

Do you know if 16" wheels work with this kit?
Will they give you the $90 core for your pre 08 calipers?

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PostPosted: October 27th, 2017, 9:19 pm 
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Joined: June 26th, 2017, 9:38 pm
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Location: Southern CA
The vanes will blow air out radially, so will the extra cross-drilled holes let them work better by having openings to let the air get sucked into the disks?

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PostPosted: October 28th, 2017, 6:24 am 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
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Location: 1999 Concourse
I had just come from driving a 7,000# SRW E-250 van, which as I understand it has the same brakes - so maybe that's why they felt scary to me? (They were in good shape.) Although that said, I'm not the only one who has mentioned it, so maybe yours are just better than most for some reason.

On the other hand, seeing the 2014 parts and pieces next to my originals made the originals look somewhat puny.

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PostPosted: October 28th, 2017, 3:00 pm 
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Joined: October 12th, 2015, 5:54 am
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Location: Santa Cruz
Blue~Go wrote:
I had just come from driving a 7,000# SRW E-250 van, which as I understand it has the same brakes - so maybe that's why they felt scary to me? (They were in good shape.) Although that said, I'm not the only one who has mentioned it, so maybe yours are just better than most for some reason.

On the other hand, seeing the 2014 parts and pieces next to my originals made the originals look somewhat puny.


Oh I know what you're saying. I've certainly heard cases of people wanting more braking power in loaded E-350s. I just personally haven't experienced a problem with performance. Apart from my rears being all new, my system is bone stock, so nothing special.

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