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Old 10-11-2021, 06:41 AM   #1
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Over Heated Brakes Ford E450

On a recent camping trip from central Florida to Tennessee my TST tire pressure monitor system gave me a "hot tire" warning starting at 165 degrees F for passenger side inside dually. By the time I got the rig off the highway and into a parking lot, the tire temp was over 200 for that tire (other inside dually was about 145 degrees). The brake was not smoking but I could smell the brake burning odor and suspect smoking was imminent. All brakes were less than 2 years old since I changed all calipers and discs. I found a Ford dealer in north Florida to put rig up on a lift and mechanic said calipers showed signs of overheat and pins were dry. He recommend new calipers and rotors on the rear. I had them changed at great expense and continued trip to Tn. Coming down the back side of Smokey Mountain Natl Park the passenger side dually gave me a tire temp warning of 165 degrees. We stopped for 45 minutes to allow tire to cool then finished our trip to Pigeon Forge.

On the way home we got another high heat warning (169 degrees) from TPMS about 30 miles from home for the same inside dually wheel. Outside temp was 85 degrees and we were only doing 55 MPH with stop and go traffic on Rte 27. We stopped again to let tire cool and then got home without further incident.

I'm confused about what's happening to my inside dually brake on pax side. It always runs a little hotter than drivers side dually since it is close to exhaust system. I put an aluminum heat shield over the exhaust on the pax side and it helped a little. So here are my questions: how hot is too hot based on tire temp from TPMS? I believe the first time it hit 200 that was too hot because I could smell it. The other times in the high 160 degree temps, I'm not so sure. The TST recommended warning temperature is 158 degrees F. What is your tire temp limit for stopping? Next question: is there another cause for overheat in my rear passenger dually? I have new calipers, new rotors and minimally worn pads. Should I look for aftermarket calipers/rotors/pads that run cooler than OEM parts?

More details: rig is a '08 Coach House 27ft Class C on a Ford E450 cutaway chassis. We tow a Kia Soul toad with NSA tow bar/surge brakes. TST TPMS sensors are mounted internally on tire rims with steel bands so they may be sensing rim temperature more than tire temp.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-11-2021, 07:23 AM   #2
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Have you replaced the flexible brake lines to the calipers? They sometimes collapse internally (not visible from the outside) and slow down or prevent the pistons from retracting.
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Old 10-11-2021, 07:30 AM   #3
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Not to add anything new, but I was thinking the same as Rockwood27 and would replace the flex brake line at the wheel and see if the problem reoccurs. ~CA
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Old 10-11-2021, 04:10 PM   #4
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I "3rd" the brake hose. I advise to replace both rear brake hoses (the rubber connecting lines).

One more thing to check is your parking brake. Being a 2008 model year, the 2008 chassis is the first year E450 with parking brake cables. Make sure the passenger side cable is releasing completely.
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Old 10-11-2021, 08:04 PM   #5
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I had a front brake hose on my '70 Mustang collapse internally and stop flow to the brake, but it could have easily been the other way around, it does happen. This was in the mid '80's so not that old at the time. Any hose between the junction block where the hose from the frame drops to the axle and the wheel in question is suspect.

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Old 10-11-2021, 09:15 PM   #6
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Are you using tow/haul? That will greatly reduce your reliance on brakes coming down hills, and even to stop signs on level road.
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Old 10-11-2021, 09:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesinGA View Post
I had a front brake hose on my '70 Mustang collapse internally and stop flow to the brake, but it could have easily been the other way around, it does happen. This was in the mid '80's so not that old at the time. Any hose between the junction block where the hose from the frame drops to the axle and the wheel in question is suspect.

Charles
Yep, I have an old '73 Toyota Celica in great shape, and the left front flexible brake hose has collapsed. I bought new ones but I haven't put them on yet (it's a project waiting to be addressed).
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Old 10-11-2021, 09:31 PM   #8
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After you get the brake over heat fixed, I would be worried about the passenger inside tire being compromised from the heat. Maybe the heat wonít hurt it but stillÖ.
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Old 10-11-2021, 09:45 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by tap4154 View Post
Are you using tow/haul? That will greatly reduce your reliance on brakes coming down hills, and even to stop signs on level road.
I was also wondering if you are perhaps using your brakes a lot more than you should in the hills or mountains. That all by itself could cause what is happening. When I am decending hills our mountains I almost use no brakes at all. You should always let your tranny do the work. If by chance this is the cause it could also become very dangerous as you could boil your brake fluid and end up with no brakes at all. Frankly those temps on your steel rims on your inside tire next to the brakes don't really surprise me all that much especially if you monitor is on the rim. The inside dually will always be hotter than the outside as it closer to the rotor. I would use and do use tow haul all the time in my rig. These are basically loaded to the gills pickup trucks and you are also towing. You are stopping alot of wieght and that causes a lot of heat. I use the nsa towbar also but I really don't think they do a great deal of braking they help but I think the MH is doing the heavy lifting. So I think you need to let the tranny and tow haul do the work and I bet your problems will disappear.
Sorry for getting carried away

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Old 10-11-2021, 10:59 PM   #10
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Trans should be in tow-haul all the time, just tap the brake pedal and trans will downshift all by itself. Tires, are all 4 rear tires the same brand? Were any rotated by accident? A larger diameter tire on the inside or outside of a dual tire setup will be carrying more weight than a smaller tire, and I am not talking about a different size on the sidewall, different brand tires will most always be of different diameter. Only way to verify is to use a seamstress fabric tape and measure the diameter around the center of the tread.
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Old 10-12-2021, 05:18 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the great ideas. Regarding the flex brake lines, I paid to have them replaced by Ford dealer. I assume that was done, but have not checked them yet. We did use the "tow haul" on transmission coming down the Smoky Mountains on our return trip and brakes did not overheat which was encouraging. We did not use "tow haul" in the flatlands of Florida and the last overheat was stop and go traffic with speeds up to 55MPH. Perhaps we should keep the tow haul engaged whenever we are pulling the toad as one person suggested?

The tires are a matched set of Michelins that are 3 years old so I don't think there are different sizes. Like one poster mentioned maybe the Ford dealer rotated the tires from original pattern and had them rotating in the wrong direction. I am not at all happy with Ford dealer repair for a couple of reasons. They replaced my Centramatic wheel balancers and didn't align the inside dually valve stem with the slots in the wheel balancers so I can't air up my inside duallies until I fix it. They also torqued the nuts on the wheel covers and I needed a breaker bar to loosen it. It makes me wonder what else they did wrong.

I've developed this nervous twitch every time the overheat warning goes off at 158 degrees. Should I set the warning temp a little higher and what should that temperature be? I have checked the tire tread temp with a laser thermometer and that reading was much lower than TPMS sensors. As one poster suggested the overheat on the inside dually may have weakened that tire. Is there a way to evaluate its integrity or should I replace it?

We are planning a cross country trip to Alaska next spring so I need to get this brake issue under control. Thanks again for all the help!
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Old 10-12-2021, 06:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svcattales View Post
Thanks for all the great ideas. Regarding the flex brake lines, I paid to have them replaced by Ford dealer. I assume that was done, but have not checked them yet. We did use the "tow haul" on transmission coming down the Smoky Mountains on our return trip and brakes did not overheat which was encouraging. We did not use "tow haul" in the flatlands of Florida and the last overheat was stop and go traffic with speeds up to 55MPH. Perhaps we should keep the tow haul engaged whenever we are pulling the toad as one person suggested?

The tires are a matched set of Michelins that are 3 years old so I don't think there are different sizes. Like one poster mentioned maybe the Ford dealer rotated the tires from original pattern and had them rotating in the wrong direction. I am not at all happy with Ford dealer repair for a couple of reasons. They replaced my Centramatic wheel balancers and didn't align the inside dually valve stem with the slots in the wheel balancers so I can't air up my inside duallies until I fix it. They also torqued the nuts on the wheel covers and I needed a breaker bar to loosen it. It makes me wonder what else they did wrong.

I've developed this nervous twitch every time the overheat warning goes off at 158 degrees. Should I set the warning temp a little higher and what should that temperature be? I have checked the tire tread temp with a laser thermometer and that reading was much lower than TPMS sensors. As one poster suggested the overheat on the inside dually may have weakened that tire. Is there a way to evaluate its integrity or should I replace it?

We are planning a cross country trip to Alaska next spring so I need to get this brake issue under control. Thanks again for all the help!
I ALWAYS use the tow/haul mode. In my opinion, it should be on by default when the chassis is being used as a house on wheels. Remember, you are close to the max when it comes to vehicle load capacity so your ALWAYS hauling, even without your toad behind you and on flat terrain.

I just installed a full set of Centramatics on my Class C. I had to (on the rear tires) use a dremel tool to shave off a little to make the hole larger for the valve stems to go through without rubbing. (Centramatic Ok'd to do this)
Have them for years on my motorcycle and get at least 1-1/5 times the life out of the tires. Always a smooth ride.
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Old 10-12-2021, 06:29 AM   #13
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First thing that popped up when I googled.

During normal street use, brake rotors and pads normally wonít see temperatures climb past 200 degrees Celsius, or 392 degrees Fahrenheit. However, track days are a different story, with temperatures potentially reaching 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit as the brakes are called upon more often and more aggressively.

We suppose if thereís one very simple thing to take away from this video itís this: donít touch your brake rotors after use. Your fingerprints will thank you later.

It goes on to say in this article the wheel itself helps to difuse the heat.
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Old 10-12-2021, 07:41 AM   #14
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This is just a reminder that the Ford E350/E450 chassis changed from DOT3 to DOT4 fluid, I believe between 2012 and 2013 model years. Maybe that was done in response to increased operating temperatures.
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