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Ray M.
Ray M., Ford Master Tech
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 3018
Experience:  30+ years in trade, Ford Master Tech, Journeyman Automotive Tech
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I would prefer a technician with extensive experience and

Customer Question

I would prefer a technician with extensive experience and training specifically with the F250 Super Duty trucks, and towing.
My concerns are with;
F250 Brake pads, integrated trailer brake controller, and trailer brakes.
2008 Ford F250, super duty diesel towing 2005 5th wheel.
Truck has 120k miles with original pads.
Also has integrated brake controller. Total combined weight is 20k
Rear axle weight is 6100 lbs
5th wheel weighs 12k. Tandem axles. Entire brake assemblies were replaced not long before I purchased it in fall of 2015.
I am an easy driver, tow no faster than 55, and keep a lot of distance from lead vehicles.
First,
the pads on the truck are still the original pads at 120k miles. Still have some pad left. But I believe I have seen a decline in braking effectiveness. I want to know more about brake pads, and how to get the best pads for my application. I've read a little, that the OE pads may be harder ?? than the Motorcraft Pad I would get over the counter at the dealer. Some pads are softer and allow more friction for better stopping, and some wear the rotors more than others. I doubt that rotor wear would be an issue with my driving and towing habits. So I need the best stopping ability. WHAT ARE THE BEST PADS FOR THIS COMBINATION?
Second,
The truck has the integrated brake controller. When stopping normally while towing, the controller only shows about 20% power going to the trailer. I have to push the brake too hard to get the controller to apply more, or 100%. If I apply the trailer brake manually, I get a better. IS THERE ANY FURTHER ADJUSTMENT ON THE BRAKE CONTROLLER? IS THERE ANY DIAGNOSTICS TO DETERMINE IF IT IS WORKING AS IT SHOULD BE?
Third,
as stated earlier, the entire brake assemblies on the 5th wheel, were replaced no long before I purchased it last fall. But I have not pulled them down to take a look at them, but will be soon. The braking seemed to be very adequate the first few trips. I have made about 6-8 short trips of less than 100 miles, and 4 trips of about 1000 miles each since purchasing. Of course I will be checking to make sure all 4 drums are receiving about equal voltage, and that shoes and parts are as they should be. IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD BE LOOKING FOR?
Fourth,
the capacity of the truck is maxed out. the 12k 5th wheel is a little less than the trucks towing capacity, but the axle weigh is right on max at 6100 lbs. The truck drops 5" (measured at the rear bumper). After a few short trips, I began to notice a shudder when starting from a dead or near stop. I had the transmission flushed and checked, because it was due, and as a precaution. I first thought it was axle wrap. When I get to a concrete pad I am going to check the split drive shaft good. I believe it is out of phase, and that is the cause of the shudder. It begins at around 5 mph, and is noticeable up to around 20-25 mph. I am considering one of two fixes for this. Either an added spring leaf, or air bags. I am leaning towards air bags. It is a matter of needing a couple hundred pounds assist. I have a bolt on B&W gooseneck hitch, with the B&W companion 5th wheel hitch, which may hinder air bag installation. Opinions on this. Other than changing the tow vehicle or 5th wheel.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Ray M. replied 5 months ago.

Hi Ja customer

The best pads for your truck would be the premium pads from your Ford dealer parts dept, they engineered for the best braking with your truck. The trailer brakes will need to be adjusted, after replacing the shoes and hardware they will seat in an find the normal resting spot, this allows the shoes to be readjusted and set up properly. The shudder you are feeling is caused by the extreme driveline angle when the truck is loaded to max capacity, installing airbags will allow you to adjust the ride height to stock again with the load on the truck. The trailer brake system is designed to work at the most effective force and uses, all the trac control and ABS sensors to control it, you can adjust the braking force at the dash from levels 1 to 10.

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