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2004 E-350 brake upgrade?

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Old 11-13-2017, 05:21 PM
AaronE350
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Question 2004 E-350 brake upgrade?

Hi, I'm new to my E-350 Super Duty (building a camper conversion) but I've done a bit of easy work on previous vehicles (brakes, suspension, starters, radiators, stuff like that).

I've had concern with my brakes a couple times going downhill. I try to stay off the brake as much as possible, but this big ol' girl just loves to accelerate on the downhill, and even with downshifting and trying to stay off the brakes as much as possible I've smelled my brakes a few times. I've never had it get to the point of an actual braking performance problem, but I had a vehicle in the past that had a problem with hot brakes and boiling fluid and I'd like to help ensure I don't encounter that again.

Have other people had issues with the stock brakes? Is there a common upgrade/fix? I could throw on any drilled/slotted rotors and see what happens, but I'd like a little more feedback on specific options before experimenting.

On a previous vehicle I had, a common upgrade was to use a rotor from a later year of the same model as it was a bit larger and had more mass to absorb heat, but was a direct bolt on replacement. Is there a similar simple direct upgrade for the '04 E-350? Or maybe a different rotor option that was available with a tow package or something?

Thanks!
 
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:45 PM
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There’s a detailed thread somewhere on this forum about upgrading to ‘08 front brakes.
However I highly recommend Powerstop Z36 “truck and tow performance” kit.
Ive had two sets over the last 200,000 miles and they’re great. These brakes will throw your toupee on the dash. They are guaranteed noise-free and I have a few hundred thousand miles of experience to back up that claim.

For the the record I have no affiliation with them except being a highly satisfied customer.

They sell a kit with pads and rotors- that’s what I got and I wouldn’t go back. However there are experienced, knowledgeable people on this forum that swear drilled/slotted rotors are useless on street vehicles. Might be true, but I’m sticking with it.

You could get just pads if the rotor/pad kit is too expensive. But I highly recommend saving your dollars and just buying the 4 wheel kit from Rockauto.com.

Let us know what you do.
 
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Old 11-13-2017, 07:56 PM
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Pads make the most difference
 
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Old 11-14-2017, 06:13 PM
AaronE350
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Originally Posted by Im50fast View Post
There’s a detailed thread somewhere on this forum about upgrading to ‘08 front brakes.
However I highly recommend Powerstop Z36 “truck and tow performance” kit.
Ive had two sets over the last 200,000 miles and they’re great. These brakes will throw your toupee on the dash. They are guaranteed noise-free and I have a few hundred thousand miles of experience to back up that claim.

For the the record I have no affiliation with them except being a highly satisfied customer.

They sell a kit with pads and rotors- that’s what I got and I wouldn’t go back. However there are experienced, knowledgeable people on this forum that swear drilled/slotted rotors are useless on street vehicles. Might be true, but I’m sticking with it.

You could get just pads if the rotor/pad kit is too expensive. But I highly recommend saving your dollars and just buying the 4 wheel kit from Rockauto.com.

Let us know what you do.
That's the type of info I was looking for. Thanks!
 
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Old 11-14-2017, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Im50fast View Post
There’s a detailed thread somewhere on this forum about upgrading to ‘08 front brakes.
However I highly recommend Powerstop Z36 “truck and tow performance” kit.
Ive had two sets over the last 200,000 miles and they’re great. These brakes will throw your toupee on the dash. They are guaranteed noise-free and I have a few hundred thousand miles of experience to back up that claim.

For the the record I have no affiliation with them except being a highly satisfied customer.

They sell a kit with pads and rotors- that’s what I got and I wouldn’t go back. However there are experienced, knowledgeable people on this forum that swear drilled/slotted rotors are useless on street vehicles. Might be true, but I’m sticking with it.

You could get just pads if the rotor/pad kit is too expensive. But I highly recommend saving your dollars and just buying the 4 wheel kit from Rockauto.com.

Let us know what you do.
I didn't see the powerstop Z36 on Rockauto, I did a cheap fix to my E350, swapped pads, they were long gone, the rotors I suspect due to the pad wear, they are too, it's not a daily drive or driven on trips so no worry but it needs rotors. I replaced my rotors last time I did my brakes, they couldn't be turned, and the replacements, very disappointed as they must have been built to spec with no extra for future turning, they are toast, so much for quality. I installed Duralast gold pads, not impressed as it doesn't stop much better than my 73, and it has 4 wheel drum on it, that big van did have great brakes, yet they seemed to eat up the rotors.
 
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Old 11-14-2017, 09:37 PM
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I just installed the powerstops on my work van. I'd warp Napa good rotors within around 6 months so I'm gonna see how these do. Cost wise it was about the same price to get the powerstop Z36's as to get the good Napa american made rotors. They look real nice. We'll see how they do once I get some miles on them. BTW this is on a loaded down Cheby 2500. My E-350 hasn't had any brake issues yet but doesn't get as rough treatment.
 
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Old 11-24-2017, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by vettex2 View Post
Pads make the most difference
This has been my experience. Good pads can make a night and day difference on the same setup.

Originally Posted by Spaznaut View Post
I just installed the powerstops on my work van. I'd warp Napa good rotors within around 6 months so I'm gonna see how these do. Cost wise it was about the same price to get the powerstop Z36's as to get the good Napa american made rotors. They look real nice. We'll see how they do once I get some miles on them. BTW this is on a loaded down Cheby 2500. My E-350 hasn't had any brake issues yet but doesn't get as rough treatment.
Cheap rotors can warp or crack, but a lot of times low quality pads can deposit material onto the rotor and cause it to feel warped when braking.

As far as the drilled slotted debate, with all things equal non-drilled have a slightly higher thermal capacity that drilled due to mass....but I don't think the difference makes much difference in 99% of the applications.

One option for braking performance is to add more airflow over them to help them dissipate heat better. Removing the fog lights on my track car and adding ducts to channel air from the opening to the front brakes eliminated my brake fade on the track.
 
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Old 11-24-2017, 10:48 PM
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Beginning model year 2008 E-Series vans received the bigger E450 front brake package. Front rotor size increased from 12.83” to 14”.

More here: https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1...th-photos.html
 
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Old 11-25-2017, 05:47 AM
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Brake fade

jayro88,
i like your comment about air ducts from the fog lights to the brakes.
However ive never noticed an issue with brake fade on a van. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist.

Im just saying the initial bite is what concerns me most.
 
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Old 11-25-2017, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Im50fast View Post
jayro88,
i like your comment about air ducts from the fog lights to the brakes.
However ive never noticed an issue with brake fade on a van. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist.

Im just saying the initial bite is what concerns me most.
This type of mod is designed more to prevent fade during repeated panic stops and not too many people track their Econolines.....although I do have a couple of pics somewhere of my e250 going around Gingerman. Only way it might help on the road is during mountain driving.
 
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