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Brakes don´t have initial bite

Discussion in 'Stock 2006 -2010 Explorers' started by Explorer75, November 10, 2017.

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    1. Explorer75

      Explorer75 Active Member

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      Hello all

      Since I bought my 2010 Explorer with about 33k miles I´ve noticed that the brakes don´t have the initial bite or stopping force any other car, truck or SUV has. Usually when you step on the brakes on any good working vehicles as soon as you step on the brakes and feel resistance the vehicle starts to stop. On my explorer this doesn´t happen. You start braking and get the initial resistance on the pedal and the truck won´t begin to stop, not until you press harder on the brakes then it will begin to brake. Applying the same force on the brake pedal on most vehicles will stop them on the dime, even resulting in an uncomfortable brake to all passengers. When I use other cars/SUVs this is what happens, I brake suddenly like a maniac and very uncomfortable because my explorer brakes are so bad and I´m used to them.

      I´ve been told by the shop I repair my truck at that this is common for 4th generation explorers, I even drove another explorer the other day and the brakes were equally as bad as mine.

      Anyway, so far I´ve replaced the brake hoses, master cylinder, brake rotors and pads and the result are the same bad brakes. Brakes have been bled many times, using either pressure method or 2 mand method, same result, firm pedal but bad brakes.


      Can anybody relate to this?
      Any fix?

      Thanks in advance for the comments
       
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    3. tripplec

      tripplec Active Member

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      Check your calipers (especially the front which does most of the braking). Pull the caliper out. The verify the caliper guide pins both move smooth and freely in/out. Then make sure your pads in the caliper will also move along the plates which should have a coating of grease on them to help them slide. Normally a high temp grease but you're not using that much anyway. If you pedal is spongy it can also be the bearing is worn and the brake caliper piston is moving the rotor as you apply pressure, hence a delay before it bottoms out and it stops to take on the pressure applied.

      If its the bearing its easy to test for play in them.

      Hope this helps.
       
    4. Explorer75

      Explorer75 Active Member

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      I forgot to mention that I replaced the front caliper guide pins with a kit that also includes the lube, I am sure they slide free.
      As for the bearing, how can I check that? Mine is a 4x4, does that matter?

      Thanks for the reply!
       
    5. tripplec

      tripplec Active Member

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      Nope, jack it up and grab hands on the wheel 9 & 3 oclock positions and rock side to side. You'll feel it wobble. Also 12 & 6 oclock and confirm. If tight without movement next wheel. Backs the same way as front but fronts do the most braking.
       
    6. Explorer_PL

      Explorer_PL Elite Explorer

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      Hmmmm, I know the Explorers are heavier and brake differently than other cars, but I do not have any issues with mine, and we have 2 of them from the 4th generation.
       
      Last edited: November 10, 2017
    7. Explorer75

      Explorer75 Active Member

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      OK, understood, I´ll check that over the weekend.

      Thanks!
       
    8. 07EddyB

      07EddyB Active Member

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      I have always had the same experience with mine. Back when it was under warranty the dealer replaced the reservoir and bled all the brakes. No change. I have since done a brake job all the way around. The truck stops really well - it just requires more pedal travel than other vehicles. The system is not undersized - my front brakes lasted about 80K - the rears were changed at 95K simply on principle. I've had a few panic stops over the years - knock on wood - no hits so far.
      When I drive my wife's minivan I pretty much attempt to throw everyone through the windshield upon braking until I get used to it again.
      I actually made it worse with my brake jobs - I used the Wagner ThernoQuiet pads. They are a ceramic pad and they really don't start performing until they get hot. But the dust is down and they stop well - it just takes a little more pressure in the beginning.
       
    9. Zorin

      Zorin New Member

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      Just a quick question....are you guys bedding in your new brake pads?

      Tim
       
    10. 07EddyB

      07EddyB Active Member

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    11. Explorer75

      Explorer75 Active Member

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      Yep, that´s the experience!

      I tried some pads and rotors from a small manufacturer in Canada, they were supposed to be really good. Made this a lot worse. Now I´m back to stock, back to square one. It´s bad but not as bad as before. But that´s exactly the feeling, you just need more pedal pressure, you think it won´t stop but when you really apply pressure the truck does stop. It´s really funny how you describe the "throw everyone through the windshield", I can totally relate!

      Thanks for sharing
       
    12. Explorer75

      Explorer75 Active Member

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      I´m using Akebono, which is an OEM supplier. It actually supplies the 3rd gen Explorer, not the 4th thou. They say you just need to drive moderate for about 500 miles, no bed in necessary.
       
    13. Explorer75

      Explorer75 Active Member

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      I was just looking at something interesting, ABS module bleed. Seems like air could be trapped in the ABS, for that you need an special scan tool to cycle the ABS module or drive and brake through sand or gravel and re-bleed (repeat until no air). I´ll try the gravel and report back.
       
    14. Explorer75

      Explorer75 Active Member

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      Yesterday I washed the truck and afterwards the brakes were very nosy when taking off. So i jacked it up and checked for the bearings while at it and they're fine.
      So I took the caliper's hardware appart and noticed that the pins would not move as free as when I lubed them. I proceded to clean averything and relube with something else, only had antiseize at hand, don't know if it was ok. Now I feel the brakes a lot better, initial bite is there, can't say is great but it's an improvement.

      Will report again after a few days...
       
    15. tripplec

      tripplec Active Member

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      I stopped using caliper grease after many years of doing a variety of vehicles. For whatever reason the areas rust very quickly and it does not prevent any surface from rusting. that's pin, guide plate or cast iron caliper surface. It is important for the caliper to float and also bead in with new pads and it can't if it can't move free enough. Likely they still need to break into the rotor as it was stuck in one position.
       
    16. Christobal65

      Christobal65 Active Member

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      When I bought my truck last year it had brand new Motocraft pads on it and like you I noticed limited initial bite and long peddle throw for stopping. This summer I noticed the backing plate on the pad had actually moved and was no longer firmly attached to the pad. I decided to replace the pads and rotors with Raybestos Enhanced Hybrid Technology Pads and matching rotors. This combined with fresh synthetic brake lube made a huge difference in how my brakes perform. I've gone from wondering if I'll rear end someone to wondering if I'll be rear ended.
       
    17. Explorer75

      Explorer75 Active Member

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      Yes, I´ve been driving for almost 2 days now. They´re definitely better, just need to give them a couple of hundred miles, I hope they get even better.
       
      Last edited: November 15, 2017
    18. Explorer75

      Explorer75 Active Member

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      That´s nice!
      I´ve looked at the raybestos parts, found the Hybrid pads, which rotors did you use (have the part no.?), also which lube did you used?
       
    19. damarble

      damarble Active Member

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      I have soft brakes on my 07 as well. They bite well eventually and stop quickly then, it's just that initial softness for half the pedal travel.

      I did a brake job with new slides, fresh grease, new drilled/slotted rotors, and ceramic pads and there's no discernable difference.
       
    20. Explorer75

      Explorer75 Active Member

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      Yep, been there. The previous set of rotors were cross drilled. It actually felt worse.
       
    21. 06bluez

      06bluez Active Member

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      I had the same complaints on the stock 4th gen brakes. I think it's partly due to the ABS system restrictions, and also the small-ish 12" front rotors. I swapped out the 12" stock rotors for 13" front brakes from a Lincoln Aviator. it wasn't a drastic improvement, but braking is definitely improved. More than any rotor/pad combo in stock size would give you. It's no 5th gen explorer sport brakes, but brake fade, pulsing, etc are all gone and overall power is much better...

      check out this thread for details and pictures. Front brake upgrade
       
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    22. Christobal65

      Christobal65 Active Member

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      I believe they are called the advanced rotors, I'd have to dig up the info to be sure, but they have a black anti rust coating on the non-swept areas. As for the lube it's just the green permatex synthetic brake lube.
       
    23. Explorer75

      Explorer75 Active Member

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      Thanks for the info!

      I´ll be giving this a lot of thought, probably going to go this way.
       
    24. Explorer75

      Explorer75 Active Member

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      So, after a few days after the new lube the brakes are performing a bit better on the initial bite and a lot better on overall stopping power. Still I contacted Akebono Customer Service and after a couple back and forth e-mails they are sending me a front set of performance pads for me to try :thumbsup:. The performance pads have a higher coefficient of friction than the ACT or normal ones. I will report again after the new pads are installed and broken in...
       
    25. tripplec

      tripplec Active Member

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      yes different pads will make a difference. As many have found out those engineered for quiet lacks sufficient bite on heavier vehicles that need optimized braking friction.
       
    26. Explorer75

      Explorer75 Active Member

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      Thanks 06bluez, I totally missed your post. Nice work. Thanks for sharing.
       

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