Question about 2007 Ford E-350 Super Duty Length XLT

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Help-Ford E-350 Brake problem

Sunday May 24 2009 I have a 1989 E350 with a 7.3 liter Navistar engine.

Since it was new on steep grades the brake pedal fades to the floor. Allowing the brakes to cool remedies the problem.

At the URL
the posting guy "Mickey" writes:

"Your question is getting a little dated but I just ran across it today. Have been there and done that with my 89 E350 MH. This issue was covered about 2 weeks ago and I'm surprised no one remembered the discussion...
"At the root of your problem is fact that your rig came with aluminum pistons in the front calipers. They are GREAT for transfering heat from pads to brake fluid and the piston is in direct contact with both. Ford has had a TSB for a number of years describing this problem and the fix. You need to rebuild the calipers and replace the aluminum pistons with the phenolic replacements..."
Can you point me to the discussion postings around the beginning of 2008 which Mickey says are about those aluminum pistons in those calipers, and the brake pedal fade?
Please, is there a way you may contact Mickey to give me more information as to if my particular E350 has these aluminum pistons in the calipers? Which engine does Mickey have in his E350?
If it turns out my E350 has these aluminum pistons in the calipers which is the most economical way of repair?
How can I find out if my E350 has these aluminum pistons in the front brake calipers?
At my E350's age a front brake caliper replacement is not out of the question: Are brand new calipers a better choice than rebuilt? If so, which brands of brand new front brake calipers are best, and do any of these have aluminum pistons in these front brake calipers? Which ones have the phenolic pistons (in these brands of brand new front brake calipers)?
Please, I'm wanting to find the TSB 98-5A-13, TSB 98-5A-38, and a copy of Ford recall 92S44, which may be pertinent to my 1989 E350's front brake calipers, heat transfer, and brake pedal fade.
(Luckily I"ve found TSB 98-5A-29, which is of some use for this E350 problem, if my E350 has it)...
I assume I'll be using Motorcraft super duty BRSD450 brake pads for my E350.
Is there any standard procedure to follow for sudden brake pedal fade?
By brake fluid reservoir cap is part number FO3Z2162A. (The O in this part number is a letter O, not a number Zero.Please, can you locate this new brake fluid reservoir cap? The rubber gasket in my brake fluid reservoir cap may be old.
When my E350 was brand new, the original owner had the rear axle gearing rebuilt; this allows great fuel mileage but my van isn't held back so well down grades by the gearing inside the rear axle...I'll call the original owner to try to find out which gearing is now inside the rear axle.
My VIN: 1FTHS34M1KHC35975. My E350 has the extended body type.
(Ted Abbott)

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  • 1 more comment 
  • tdmabbott May 31, 2009

    Saturday May 30 2009, adding comment ( a link) back to the FixYa posting board where I learned of the most likely cause of brake pedal fade:

    Here I'm including an internet article about the problem:



  • tdmabbott Jun 10, 2009

    This is again; please if anyone can find for me Ford Technical Service Bulletin 97-15-17 I'd really like to have a copy.
    I believe the Technical Service Bulletin 97-15-17 may pertain to my 1989 Ford E350 7.3 liter diesel and its Original Equipment aluminum brake caliper piston heat-transferring-from-brake-pad-to-brake-fluid problem, which I posted (on Sunday May 24 2009) at at this URL: .
    My Facsimile number: (510)351-6625
    Thanks. Ted Abbott,

  • tdmabbott Jun 11, 2009

    Please, I'd like to know where in paper version I may be able to find Ford TSB Article 97-15-17. I have inexpensive long-distance telephone access so I can communicate to get a copy of this Article 97-15-17 ; please list as many possible sources as you know, and where I may ask(such as a particular library reference desk, archive, etcetera) to have this Article 97-15-17 researched,found. Here is a link to the Article which supercedes No. 98-15-17, Article No. 98-5A-29:
    To maintain my 1989 Ford E-350 7.3 liter diesel correctly I'd like to know as much as I can about one of the few deficiencies in its original equipment manufacturer's design:
    Aluminum brake caliper pistons which transfer too much heat.
    Facsimile: (510) 351- 6625



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First, if the recall applies to your van, it can be done anytime. There is no time limit on recalls. Call your dealer with your 17 Digit VIN number and they can check. Please rate as solved if this is what you need. thanks.

Here is the recall:

Safety Recall 92S44 - Certain 1988-1991 F250/350 Trucks for Loss of Front Brake Effectiveness
Affected Vehicles
Certain 1988-1991 F250/350 trucks over 8500 lb GVW with 7.5L EFI or 7.3L diesel (4x2 and 4x4) and 5.8L EFI (4x4 only). Trucks under 8500 lb GVW. 5.8L EFI (4x2) and F-Super Duty light trucks are not involved in this recall. Specific vehicle information is as follows:

AFFECTED VEHICLES ASSEMBLY PLANT PRODUCTION DATES F250/350 Norfolk Job#1 1988 to 4/18/91 Kansas City Job#1 1988 to 4/25/91 Ont. Truck Job#1 1988 to 5/1/91 Mich. Truck Job#1 1988 to 5/11/91 Twin Cities Job#1 1988 to 5/29/91
Reasons For Recall
In certain extremely severe driving conditions, the vehicle may experience a loss of front brake effectiveness due to overheating of brake fluid. These vehicles have a split brake system and the rear brakes remain operational. This condition has been reported primarily in vehicles operated in mountainous regions, and on vehicles that have been in service for a minimum of one to two years and where the brake fluid has absorbed moisture from the air, lowering its boiling point. It usually involves heavily loaded vehicles driving on long, steep grades, or when towing at, or near, the Maximum Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) for towing. Warm weather also appears to contribute to this condition. To correct this condition, dealers will install insulators in the front brake caliper pistons on all the affected trucks. 7.5L EFI engine equipped trucks will also have insulation installed on selected portions of the front brake lines.
PART NUMBER DESCRIPTION CLASS DEALER PRICE F2TZ-2C361-A Kit-Brake Caliper Piston Insulator (All Except 7.5L Engines) BG F2TZ-2C361-B Kit-Brake Tube Insulator Jacket (Required Only For Vehicles Equipped With 7.5L EFI Engines) Kit Also Includes Brake Caliper Piston Insulators

Brake Caliper Piston Insulator Kit
Installation Instructions

  1. Remove the front wheel and tire assemblies.
  2. Remove the brake calipers from the rotors. Refer to the appropriate shop manual for the procedures.
  3. Remove the inner and outer brake linings.
  4. Inspect the brake caliper pistons. If the pistons are phenolic, (brown in color) no modifications are required. Reassemble the calipers as described in the shop manual. If the truck is equipped with a 7.5L EFI engine, install the brake tube insulator kit. If the truck is not equipped with an 7.5L EFI engine, install the wheels and tires and release the truck.
    If the pistons are aluminum, continue as described below.
  5. Remove the steel retainer and Nomex thermal washers from the kit.
  6. Place a steel retainer on a bench with the tabs facing up. Refer to Figure 1.
  7. Place a Nomex thermal washer over the tabs so that it rests on the barb of each tab. Then, carefully press it over the barb of one of the tabs. Repeat the procedure for each of the remaining tabs.

    • NOTE:
      Do not bend the tabs. The inner edge of the washer may crease slightly as it passes over the barb. This is permissible provided that the crease can be smoothed out once the washer is in place. The washer must be installed without tearing.

  8. Push the washer down onto the back face of the retainer. Be sure it is seated uniformly on the retainer. Once installed, do not use an adhesive or other aid to hold it in place. This is neither necessary nor permissible.
  9. Snap an assembled insulator into the inside diameter of each caliper piston. Be sure the assembly is firmly seated on the rim of the piston. See Figure 2.
  10. Install the inner and outer brake linings.
  11. Clean the caliper slide surfaces on the caliper and the spindle with a wire brush and lubricate with Disc Brake Caliper Slide Grease, D7AZ-19590-A (ESA-M1C172-A) or equivalent.
  12. Reinstall the brake calipers. Refer to the appropriate shop manual for the procedures.
  13. Install the wheel and tire assemblies.

Posted on May 25, 2009

  • 3 more comments 
  • gerry bissi Jun 01, 2009

    Also, brake fluid absorbs moisture extremely easily. Never add brake fluid from an opened can. Always use a new can. Also, even though all brake fluids say DOT 3, some manufacturers have a higher boiling point for their fluid requirements. Ford brake fluid is one of the highest. Brake fluid that has mositure in it will boil and vaporize in the calipers. This means you now have air in the system and air compresses, so your pedal goes to the floor. When the fluid cools, the water vapor becomes a iquid again and you have brakes again.

    Make sure you master cylinder cap has a good seal and only remove the cap when necessary.

  • gerry bissi Jun 10, 2009

    TSB Article 97-15-17 has been superseded by Article 98-5A-29. It is not on the electronic system any more. Only in paper version.

  • gerry bissi Jun 11, 2009

    I will see if I can find a paper copy.

  • gerry bissi Jun 16, 2009

    Sent copy to your email address.

    Please don't forget to use Ford brake fluid with the much higher boiling point than almost every other brake fluid out there. Check everyone's spec and use the absolute highest boiling point fluid you can find.

  • gerry bissi Jun 23, 2009

    did you get TSB?



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