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HELP!!!! Econoline E150 Front Brake Problems!

07-09-2007, 06:04 PM
Back in November of last year I was experiencing a slow 'pulsing' near the end of the front wheel braking cycle ( as the wheels make their last rotations before the vehicle stops ). One thing led to another and now after $800+ for new disk rotors, pads AND new calipers....the problem appears to be resurfacing AFTER ONLY 9OOO MILES!

Unfortunately, I had two different shops do the prior work ( one the rotors and pads, the other the calipers ). So now the shop that did the calipers says the rotors are 'warped' ( high and low spots )....'they don't make those rotors like they use to!'....and that this is causing the slight 'pulsing' sensation as I near the end of the braking. He showed me several micrometer readings around the outer edge of one rotor disk but the variation wasn't more than 10-15/1000 of an inche or so....but from outer to inner edge the difference was on the order of 20-30/1000 inch. Both rotors were consistently 'worn' showing about the same general thinkness on the order of 1020/1000 of an inch. The pads were about 30% worn.

Noticing that there was a slight and continuous 'rubbing' of the pad on one rotor ( and I didn't sense any high spots as the rotor rotated ) as I manually rotated it - whereas the other rotor rotated freely and I did not sense any high spots on that rotor ( probably because the pad wasn't 'rubbing' ), I questioned whether this might not be a caliper issue. As you might suspect, this possibility was 'out of the question'! As you may further suspect, the problem could be easily resolved by replacing the rotors for a mere $415! And no, these 'bad' rotor disks cannot be 'turned down' because they would then fall below the .963/1000 of an inch spec! Oh yes, I will need new pads!

Something be wrong here, I say. I haven't take the vehicle to the shop that did the rotors and pads yet but I'd bet that shop will be claiming its the calipers!

Surely, I'm gonna be stuck in the middle and I feel someone is crap'n me! Anyone have any the 'gold standard' method of determining the root cause of this persistent problem?

Of note but prbably not related, I get a lot of 'dust' accummulating on front aluminum alloy wheels. Also, the vehicle is a light duty vehicle..never overloaded, mostly highway miles and never any hard braking.

This forum has given me solid and very helpful advice on a number of occasions AND saved me many dollars by showing me how to resolve various mechanical problems on my own.

I would appreciate any assistance you can provide.


07-16-2007, 07:39 AM
#1 if any shop used an impact wrench to put the lug nut back when they put your rims and tires back on they effectively wasted some of your money. You must use the proper torque, otherwise they will either fall off or cause the rotors to warp, the later is my guess in your case.

Here in Virginia we have annual safety inspections and every @#$#$ year the inspector uses an impact wrench to put the lug nuts on and every year I stand there with my torque wrench to back them off and properly tighten them.

Oh the dust is because they used soft brake pads. They let the rotors live longer (again if they are properly torqued) and are quiet. Drawback is they make a ton of dust. I prefer Ceramics but they are costly and will eat the rotors a tad faster - very little dust.

Hope this helps some.

07-30-2007, 07:29 PM
I own a 99 e150 and have had the same problems. The rotors will rewarp the first time ya hit rain no matter how long or short since you replaced all the brake parts. problem is that 90% of the braking is on front wheels and rotors are just simply on fire and will warp very easily. I fixed by installing 3/4 ton rear wheel cylinders (same footprint) which increased rear brake effectiveness by about 40%. the 3/4 ton's are about 3/16 inch bigger than 1/2 ton. increase the surface area and you increase the that rear brakes do something there isnt as much load on front brakes...i did research this thru ford dealers to get to the root of the problem.

01-21-2008, 12:01 PM
I had the same problem, and a mechanic friend of mine recommended slotted and drilled rotors for the front, with EBC green stuff pads, I had gone thru two sets of warped rotors before this, With the help of a friend and $250 later all of my front brake problems were gone, this was about a year ago and still stopping strong. I found the rotors on ebay and did a search for the pads. hope this helps

05-11-2008, 06:58 PM
Hi, I'm Not a brake Xpert. However, with similar symptoms on my '99 E150/half-ton 4.2L,snooping around it seems the Rotor Business is a tad overcooked. Supposedly, there is a CEMENTITE deposit of sorts that build-up on the rotors. This patchy deposit can cause the Pulsations at the end of moderate-slow braking. Anyway, I got out the drill with a sanding disc(wood paper type?), and attempted to gently/harshly spin and brush & DEGLAZE the invisible deposits off the rotors. I gives a new swirl pattern to the rotors(also,cleans the rust and buggers). Anyway, IT worked!! I've done it a couple times,when I rotate the tires and or replaced the pads(get soft ones that don't chew the rotors nad make noise). So far, I've avoided the Turn/Replace $Rotor$ blues.Please excuse my errors, but there is stuff out there about this issue.Good Luck!:rofl:

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