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1968-2013 Full Size Vans Econolines. E150, E250, E350, E450 and E550

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Old 07-14-2007, 02:23 AM
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Question 2001 E250 Brake Job- DIY?

Hi everyone! New to the forums, but not new to Ford Vans. I've got an '84 former FedEx delivery with about 289,000 on it as well as our "nice van", the 2001 E250 with a Tuscany conversion (low roof). We enjoy the hell out of our vans since we have a couple kids (one still in diapers), a dog, and in-laws who always seem to be dropping in and wanting tours of the mountains. The '84 is used for a small retail operation my wife and I own. Both are rugged and reliable as old Army mules.

Anyway, the local yahoos at the tire store up here over-torqued the lugnuts on the front wheels at the last tire rotation on my '01, and ever since I've had a really irritating vibration from the front whenever I apply the brakes at a low speed. I'm thinking it's about time for a brake job anyway (about 52,000 miles), and plan on getting the rotors machined at that time. I'm thinking about doing the job myself. What gives me pause is that I haven't done a brake job on a car since I rolled a '78 Fairmont, and that was before the days of ABS. I wondered if anyone on the board had done the job themselves on a newer Ford van with ABS and if they had any good sources for procedures or gotchas. I've got the tools and the mechanical inclination, but don't want to get in over my head on new stuff that might have changed since the old Fox platform.

Thanks in advance for your replies!
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Old 07-14-2007, 07:46 AM
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Rear's are the same as they've always been if you're going to do those.

Fronts shouldn't be a big deal. The ABS sensor is on the back side of the rotor looking into sawtooth teeth on the rotor so there's nothing special you have to do there. Just watch the brake line and sensor wire when you take the caliper off if you let it hang.

I've not done a 250 but I've done an 88 E-350 camper that I had and it was nothing different except it had 2 pistons per caliper and that's probably what you'll have. My 2000 E-150 is also simple. If it's the same as mine you'll need a bearing seal because you'll have to remove the inner wheel bearing from the rotor and then replace it when you put the rotor back on. You'll need bearing grease also.

Because of the overtorquing, I would be concerned about the lugs and I wonder if you should just replace the rotors. There not all that much anymore. I don't remember what I spent on my RV but I replaced both calipers, both rotors, shoes, and put in synthetic brake fluid and it wasn't that bad of costs and I like to do things as cheap as I can.

Here's my suggestion: replace rotors, shoes, and both inner and outer wheel bearings and bearing seal. You're gonna have all of that out anyway. Probably all parts for less than $200 if you get the cheap stuff at AZ or Advanced. If you want cheaper you could forget the bearings as they are $15 a piece, but I would still repack them as its just too easy if you have the rotors off anyway.

Again, not sure on the 250's but my 150 just has 2 metric headed bolts on the back side holding the caliper. don't overflow the fluid when you press the pistons back into the caliper assembly as that fluid eats up stuff. And make sure you press that piston evenly and retract it all the way into the assembly as you'll need every millimeter to get the caliper and new shoes back on the rotor. I use the old brake shoe and a C-clamp to press the pistons back. Brake shoes stay on the rotors when you remove the calipers. Mine have springs on the outer pads that set into holes in the caliper and I have to bend them out to get the calipers off. One thing when putting the calipers back on is that the rubber boots that hold the caliper bolts must be retracted much like the pistons, before you reinstall as those rubber boots can keep the caliper from sliding back onto the hub assembly. Just push them back with your thumb. This is about the only thing that's not obvious on this job.

Oh, and you should have a torque wrench for the wheel nut. I screwed up on mine the other day and didn't get it torqued far enough and I had some front end vibration. When I checked that nut it was loose so then I did it right and torqued it. It's a big nut. Can't remember the size but it was larger than 1". Might be 1 1/4". I know it was my biggest 1/2" drive socket.

No doubt one of the easier jobs on these vans to do. If you've done one before then this should be no problem. Fairly simple mechanically.
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2000 E-150 Jayco Conversion (5.4)
1989 E-150 Conversion (5.0)

-previous Fords
1989 E-150 Trans-Aire (5.0)
1988 E-350 26' Jayco RV (7.5)
B.C. (Before Children)
1991 Escort (1.9)
1982 Capri (2.3)
1971 Pinto (2.0)

Last edited by 2000Ford2000; 07-14-2007 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 07-14-2007, 09:10 AM
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Pads

Removal

WARNING:
Brake fluid contains polyglycol ethers and polyglycols. Avoid contact with eyes. Wash hands thoroughly after handling. If brake fluid contacts eyes, flush eyes with running water for 15 minutes. Get medical attention if irritation persists. If taken internally, drink water and induce vomiting. Get medical attention immediately.

1. If new pads (2001) are to be installed, provide space for the brake fluid displaced from the disc brake caliper (2B120).
Remove and discard enough brake fluid from the brake master cylinder (2140) to allow room for the brake fluid displaced when the caliper piston (2196) is pressed to the bottom of the caliper bore.
2. Raise and support the vehicle.
3. Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
4. If so equipped, unclip the speed sensor wiring from the front brake hose (2078).
Click the image to open in full size.
5. Remove the two disc brake caliper bolts.
Click the image to open in full size.
6. CAUTION:
Do not allow the disc brake caliper to hang from the front brake hose. Use wire to support the disc brake caliper from a convenient underbody component.
Remove the disc brake caliper from the front wheel spindle (3105) (E-150) or from the front disc brake caliper anchor plate (2B292) (E-250, E-350, E-450).
Click the image to open in full size.
7. Inspect:
* the disc brake caliper for brake fluid leakage. If the disc brake caliper is leaking, it must be rebuilt or installed new.

* the pad thickness. Do not install pads worn to or past the specified thickness above the metal backing plate or rivets.

* the pads for contamination. Do not put oil- or grease-contaminated pads on vehicle.

* the brake disc and hub (1102) for minimum thickness. Install a new brake disc and hub if worn to or below minimum thickness.
Click the image to open in full size.

Installation
1. Note:
Bottoming of the caliper piston is not necessary if reusing the original pads.
If installing new pads, use a C-clamp and a pad to press the caliper piston to the bottom of the caliper bore.
2. CAUTION:
To prevent deterioration of the caliper sleeve boots, do not use petroleum-based lubricant.
Fill the rubber caliper sleeve boots with Silicone Brake Caliper Grease and Dielectric Compound D7AZ-19A331-A (Motorcraft WA-10) or an equivalent silicone compound meeting Ford specification ESE-M1C171-A.
Click the image to open in full size.
3. Install the disc brake caliper.
Position the disc brake caliper in the front wheel spindle (E-150), or in the front disc brake caliper anchor plate (E-250, E-350, E-450).
Install and tighten the disc brake caliper bolts.
Click the image to open in full size.
4. If so equipped, attach the speed sensor wiring to the front brake hose.
Click the image to open in full size.
5. Install the tire and wheel assembly.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 07-14-2007, 10:39 AM
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What great replies, complete with diagrams! Thanks much.

Based on the likelyhood that the over-torquing bent the rotors a bit, am I wise to budget around new rotors anyway? Should they definitely be replaced?
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Old 07-14-2007, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockyMtnVan
Based on the likelyhood that the over-torquing bent the rotors a bit, am I wise to budget around new rotors anyway? Should they definitely be replaced?
I do not think over-torquing would bend the rotors but uneven torquing will warp them when they get hot and make the pedal pulsating as you apply them.
Always use a torque wrench on the lug nuts of disk brakes.
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Old 07-14-2007, 02:12 PM
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If the rotors are in spec after turning then use them
no need to go the extra expense when not needed
the factory rotors seem to be of higher quality
than most after market
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Old 07-14-2007, 02:25 PM
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Ask around, I've heard that some shops have equipment that resurfaces brake rotors in place. This would eliminate any issues of bearings, new seals, repacking the bearing grease & adjusting bearing load. I just did a front brake job & found brand X rotors from China for less than the cost of resurfacing the old rotors. However this vehicle had rotors that come off in your hand after calipers are removed & I'm not sure if '01 E-250 still had rotors integrated with wheel bearing hubs. Can we presume that loosening & properly torguing the lugs nuts did not make the vibration diminish?

Although you frequently see recommendations to remove some brake fluid from the master cylinder, to make room for fluid when you press the piston back into the caliper bores-I DO NOT recommend it. Read recommendations for changing brake fluid first & consider that a brake job is the perfect time to do this important & usually neglected service.

IMO you should remove all the old brake fluid you can from the master cylinder reservoir using a large (60 cc) syringe w/Tygon hose attached as a suction pump first. I flush the syringe full of fluid back & forth to stir up any sediment in the reservoir before withdrawing it for disposal. Then fill the reservoir with fresh brake fluid. The idea being to start off with all fresh fluid. Then open the bleed screw, push a piece of Tygon hose on the bleed nipple & direct the old fluid from the caliper cylinder into a can for disposal, as you gently press the piston back in to make room for the new pads. IMO this is far better than forcing the old & possibly contaminated fluid back up into your vital master cylinder.

Usually a little patience & gravity will cause the fluid to fall & fill the cylinder, even when replacing calipers. Be sure not to let the reservoir drain down until its empty or you'll need to bleed the system. I've used a rubber stopper or piece of plastic film under the master cylinder's cap, to eliminate venting & prevent premature draining of fluid until I've finished swapping calipers. However if you're quick little fluid will leak, besides, you want the old fluid out of there. Be sure to top up the reservoir.

I'd also be talking to the manager at the shop where "yahoos" over tightened your lug nuts. If you remain silent the same "yahoos" might be doing this over & over, whether it was overtightening or uneven tightening. I'd also ascertain that the "irritating vibration" was indeed a brake issue & not a common tire issue.
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Old 07-15-2007, 12:09 PM
rebocardo rebocardo is offline
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On the disc brake caliper bolts, you might find a 1/2" swivel long handle ratchet with a breaker bar attached on the handle handy for breaking free the caliper bolts, unless you own an compact impact gun, handy. This doesn't mean you should use the same for putting it back on, fwiw.

Last edited by rebocardo; 07-15-2007 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 07-15-2007, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Club Wagon
I'd also be talking to the manager at the shop where "yahoos" over tightened your lug nuts. If you remain silent the same "yahoos" might be doing this over & over, whether it was overtightening or uneven tightening. I'd also ascertain that the "irritating vibration" was indeed a brake issue & not a common tire issue.
In asking around I've found that most up here think these "yahoos" can't get anything right, and no amount of complaining seems to help much. Wish I'd known before buying tires from them. It's a franchise of a national tire chain, and though the owner is a nice guy who had a lot of goodwill, it seems he can't keep even semi-skilled labor in the house. There are a lot of "former customers" of that shop, I'm finding. So, I'll ask, but I think I know what the answer will be, and I gotta think about my blood pressure.

I think source is the lug nut issue. Just after they rotated the tires, I took a 1000-mile trip to PHX. The shuddering was so annoying that I took it to a location down there and and them loosen and re-torque the nuts. The tire tech said he could barely get a few of the nuts off with an impact wrench and was about to grab for his breaker bar. He retightened them with a torque wrench to spec (140 ft/lbs, I think?). No improvement on the road.

Thanks for all your help!
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Old 07-15-2007, 09:14 PM
 
 
 
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