F-350 Brakes

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Gravel Rat, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    Hi guys

    I'am going back into landscaping this fall doing mainly clean ups (brush and rubbish) which I have been doing but I got out of landscaping for about 5 months. My current truck which is a 89 Ford F-Superduty (F-450) is bagged I need to replace it. I have been debating for month or so I would like to have a 4x4 for some jobs I do and recreational purposes. To have 4wheeldrive means going to a F-350 I don't want to spend big bucks to buy a 99 or newer F-450 4x4.

    My last F-350 which was a 80 2wd its brakes were terrible put more than 3000lbs on the truck and you had poor braking power and the truck only grossed 9800lbs with that load. I went to a 88 F-Superduty 4 years ago the brakes were great gross the truck to 15,000lbs brakes were still good. I sold the 88 bought a diesel 89 F-Superduty it hauls and stops good and gets better mileage.

    Good braking power is really important in my books its enough to give up 4wheeldrive for as I spend 80% on highway and easy jobs that don't need 4x4. If I max the gvw on a F-350 to 12,000lbs and it has troubles stopping I may not want to deal with that again. You have to keep in mind the hills we have here are 10-12 percent grades so they are long and steep.

    When I'am hauling rubbish I nowhere near max out the truck usually 2000lbs at the most when I haul topsoil the loads get in the 4000lb-5000lb range.
    I'am not maxing out a F-Superduty by anymeans with a tare weight of 7800lbs add 4000lbs of payload the truck grosses 11,800lbs still have 3200lbs of gvw left so lots of braking power left.

    Now with a F-350 I know I never will get the tare weight of a diesel F-350 4x4 down below 7000lbs like my 1980 will probably weigh 7500lbs empty put 4000lbs on the truck is close to max gvw. I'am wondering if the truck will have any braking power with a 4000lb load of topsoil ?

    I was wondering if the F-Superduty is overkill or its what a 1 ton truck should be. Like I said the truck is never maxed out putting 2000lbs on it is a piece of cake it actually makes the truck ride smoother :D

    I was hoping going to a F-350 4x4 would make it a better daily driver but from other info I have read a F-350 will weigh the same as my current truck so essentially I'am driving the same weight truck with lighter suspension so it probably wouldn't handle as good.

    So to sum up the rambling is the brakes on newer F-350s up to the task of handling max gvw to over loads on a regular basis ?
  2. xcopterdoc

    xcopterdoc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 752

    The F-350 SD should have all wheel disk brakes and they are far better than the old drums on the mid 80 models. But even at that, there are two sizes of rear disks and pads. I THINK 8600 gvw and above use the larger pads and disks. Way better braking power! Best thing to do is look at the door sticker, get the gvwr and the vin, contact a dealer parts dept and see what you have. I have had the best luck with OEM dealer pads on fresh cut rotors on MOST of the larger Ford trucks. I dont always buy dealer parts but in some cases its best.
  3. airtractrdrivr

    airtractrdrivr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 126

    I own a '99 F350 1 ton dually with the V10 gas motor, and it is one awesome truck. There is nothing wrong with the brakes on these trucks. They will handle any load up to the max GVWR for the truck with no problems. If you are pulling a trailer, you need to have trailer brakes, even if you are under the max weight rating though. In Oklahoma, the DOT requires trailer brakes on vehicles used commercially.
  4. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    The 89-97 F-350s use disks and drum brakes the 99 trucks use disk brakes on all 4 corners that is why the 99 and newer trucks stop better. My question is are the 88-97 trucks with the drum brakes much better than the 77 and 80 F-350s I used to own.

    Like I said if the truck can barely handle the max gvw then I don't know if its worth having. My 77 and 80 were barely adequate to stop at max gvw the manufactures gross was 10,000lbs but I register the trucks for 12,000lbs. The manufactures gross on the 88-97 F-350s is 11,000lbs my current truck has a manufacturers gross of 14,500lbs.

    If the truck can't gross anymore than 11,000lbs that would give me a rough payload of 3500lbs if the trucks tare weight is 7500lbs. A 3500lb load isn't much that is about 1 1/8 yards of 1"1/2 drain rock or 1 590 Case backhoe bucket full.

    I'am wondering how people did without the 1.5 ton trucks offered by Ford (F-Superduty) and Chev (3500HD) because a regular F-350 and C/K 3500s can only pack 3000lbs technically.

    Using a trailer in my line of work is out of the question some of the places I go into have access roads and turn around spots just big enough for my truck to fit with a 23' OAL. I wouldn't beable to drag a loaded trailer up most of the dirt driveways either definatly need a 4x4.

    So what ever I haul gets carried on the truck being its hand loaded or machine loaded.

    The reason why I would like to have 4wheeldrive is when I deliver a load of lumber or topsoil I sometime have troubles getting back out of the long dirt driveway I went down. The local tow trucks won't come and get me because they won't beable to get me and themselve out because they are 2wd too.

    You city slicker landscapers don't know what is like getting dragged back out of a nasty driveway where the road is just wide enough to fit the truck ;)
  5. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    as you know i've got the '89 F350 with a 8x12 deck on it. I really have no problem with the brakes on it... on several occasions i've had a ton or 3,000 # on it and it's easy to manage, definately. It just makes the ride more comfortable honestly. Now, as for big weights, i've had maybe two tons on it a couple times, and once i had 4.5 tons on it plus another guy with me. Thats roughly just almost 16,000# gross. I know that is way overloaded. it handled it ok, well as well as any vehicle would that is overloaded by two or two and a half tons lol.... at that time the back brakes were out of adjustment and the front ones did most of the work. I was exceptionally careful. It still did the job fine but it was hard to stop, you had to plan each stop ya know? I know it would do alot better now that the brakes are fixed it makes a big difference even just driving around empty no trailer... i'd say it would handle the max gross weight rating fine. I don't know the differences between 1980 and mine but i think it'd be fine and if you need 4x4 what choice do you have? Can't you convert a F-Superduty to 4x4? Couldnt' you somehow swap in a F350 front end? It won't be quite as heavy duty but the majority of the weight is likely going to be on the rear anyway...
    As another alternative, change out the spring packs on a F350 to F450 springs and swap in disc brakes on the rear....
    Somehow there has to be a way to make it work.

    Oh my trucks got disc on front drum on back of course.
    Take care,
  6. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    here is big blue... 460 big block with a 3 spd c6 a/t, 3.55 gears and dual exhaust (nothing but glasspacks then 2.5" pipes, exiting on the passenger side stock location through 3.5" tips). gets 7-8.5 mpg usually (in town with trailer/highway w/o trailer). once got 9 on highway w/o trailer but had about a half a ton in the bed.
    it's a big mean heavy hauler!

  7. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    Wow that truck is in good shape :cool2:

    I have been really thinking about do I want a heavy gvw truck because I don't know what kind of workload I will have this fall. If the truck is going to be used mainly getting me to my jobs then a F-350 4x4 will do I don't need a 15,000lb truck for that.

    The trouble is finding a diesel F-350 4x4 with a lwb dually cab and chassis I can put a 12' deck on. I can find a F-350 4x4 with a 460 gasser but I don't think I can suffer with the bad fuel mileage again :dizzy:
  8. bnrhuffman

    bnrhuffman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    My 97 4X4 F350 stops good. I think it stop almost as well with 4000lbs in the bed as it does empty. Its got a GVWR of 14400 which gives it 6000lbs of payload. Ive had 6000lbs in it and the brakes did suffer some but not to a dangerous point. It helps that its a manual tranny because I get some compression braking from the Powerstroke. May be different if it was an automatic.
  9. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    GR- Thanks, but it's not in that great of shape... the body has a couple rust spots (well actually mainly only on the driver door at the one mirror mount, and in the floorboards it's rusted through in some spots), the paint is flaking/chipping, has a few small dents and dings, etc. The frame has some rust on it as well... The bed is in pretty good shape though.
    Since i got it, I painted the bed and put on new sideboards (solid white oak, way heavy stuff), painted the wheels, straightened the bumper, cleaned the truck to a halfway decent stage (it is filthy again), and a few other things i did to it. I mean it's a good solid work truck, it is in good shape mechanically. 170k miles on the truck, 100k on a Jasper rebuilt engine, and two years ago the tranny was rebuilt (it has the towing cooler on it also). Would be nice if it had an overdrive, but with an automatic you wouldn't use it when towing which is what the truck does most of the time, so i guess it's ok this way. With a 5 spd manual i could tow in overdrive, but the cost of swapping the trannies, then putting in the clutch pedal and shifter etc. would make it not worth it, plus i have had a 5 spd Ford 3/4 ton before and it's enjoyable to drive just kickin around but for work i prefer a/t, easier to do other things or just relax while driving between jobs. Also, as bnrhuffman said, I get a little bit of engine braking just from the fact that it's only a 3 spd. If i let off the throttle going at 55, it will coast to 45 pretty quick, and so on.

    Anyway, go to www.auto-rv.com and look in there... lots of trucks like your looking for if you don't mind to drive a ways. They have those auto and rv magazines in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. Michigan is obviously closer for you, but i know there are similar publications in most areas i think.
  10. Smalltimer1

    Smalltimer1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,223

    Check with your local electric company to see when they will have a surplus truck sale. Around here, there are plenty of F-350 4x4's that the utility bed can be removed, then sold, take that money and invest it in a dump box.

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