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  #1  
Old 03-01-2007, 08:44 PM
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Exclamation *** Soft Brake Pedal Resolved ***

From day one, my F150 has had a soft brake pedal. You pump it once and itís solid as a rock! I took it in to my selling dealership and the service manager and I test drove a used 06 on the lot to see if it was just an 06 thing. I was really hoping that this used reference truck didnít have the same issue as mine. Thankfully it didnít (have the same soft pedal). The reference truck had a nice solid pedal. David informed me that he would ďconsultĒ with the engineers and get back to me. A week later he called and said that the engineers couldnít really isolate any one component but offered a few suggestions. I dropped off the truck yesterday and they ran a diagnostic on my brake booster. It tested fine. They replaced the master cylinder and adjusted the actuator rod (located between the booster and MC). I picked it up tonight and PRESTO! Brakes feel just as they should. FIRM ON THE FIRST PRESS !!!!!!

I know that there were a few here that have already had the MC replaced and still have the soft pedal. I can say from experience that if the MC and brake booster have already been replaced, it more than likely is the actuator rod. I installed a Wilwood aluminum race MC in my mustang and had to adjust the actuator rod several times before it felt right. Adjust it too far out and the brakes are actually engaged before ever touching the pedal. Adjust it too far in and the pedal feels very soft, like air in the lines. One could easily make this adjustment in their garage, but why bother if itís under warranty!
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Last edited by rms8; 03-04-2007 at 04:10 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-01-2007, 08:55 PM
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very interesting, i've got the same thing going on

i posted a question about this a couple months ago and nobody had any clues.
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  #3  
Old 03-01-2007, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 306stang
very interesting, i've got the same thing going on

i posted a question about this a couple months ago and nobody had any clues.

All it takes is that rod being a 1/16" too far in to give the pedal the wrong feeling. Well, at least on the Wilwood MC in the Stang. Not sure how sensitive the MC is to the rod length since I wasn't the one working on it.

I have to get out of the habit of pressing the pedal twice now!!!
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Last edited by rms8; 03-01-2007 at 09:13 PM.
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  #4  
Old 03-01-2007, 09:12 PM
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do you know where and how to get to it? is there a tsb or something? mine isn't really as it should be either....been following the threads for awhile hoping for something solid. thanks for getting back to the group!
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  #5  
Old 03-01-2007, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jims94vmx
do you know where and how to get to it? is there a tsb or something? mine isn't really as it should be either....been following the threads for awhile hoping for something solid. thanks for getting back to the group!

The rod is located between the MC and the booster; therefore you must pull the MC forward. You donít have to disconnect any lines unless they prevent the MC from moving far enough forward. The Rod has a ball on the MC end that you would turn with a wrench. Once the correct length has been determined, cinch down the locking nut.
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  #6  
Old 03-01-2007, 10:36 PM
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I might have to look in to this to see if I can get my pedal to firm up a little bit as it has always been soft sice I got it. Well I think I'll look at it tomorrow if i get a chance.
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  #7  
Old 03-01-2007, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rms8
From day one, my F150 has had a soft brake pedal. You pump it once and itís solid as a rock! I took it in to my selling dealership and the service manager and I test drove a used 06 on the lot to see if it was just an 06 thing. I was really hoping that this used reference truck didnít have the same issue as mine. Thankfully it didnít (have the same soft pedal). The reference truck had a nice solid pedal. David informed me that he would ďconsultĒ with the engineers and get back to me. A week later he called and said that the engineers couldnít really isolate any one component but offered a few suggestions. I dropped off the truck yesterday and they ran a diagnostic on my brake booster. It tested fine. They replaced the master cylinder and adjusted the actuator rod (located between the booster and MC). I picked it up tonight and PRESTO! Brakes feel just as they should. FIRM ON THE FIRST PRESS !!!!!!

I know that there were a few here that have already had the MC replaced and still have the soft pedal. I can say from experience that if the MC and brake booster have already been replaced, it more than likely is the actuator rod. I installed a Wilwood aluminum race MC in my mustang and had to adjust the actuator rod several times before it felt right. Adjust it too far out and the brakes are actually engaged before ever touching the pedal. Adjust it too far in and the pedal feels very soft, like air in the lines. One could easily make this adjustment in their garage, but why bother if itís under warranty!
Don't get used to it.. Same thing happened to me with the same diagnosis. THey replaced my master cylinder and all my lines. Great for about 2 months. Now they're back to their old chitty selves.. Sorry to burst your bubble man. I sincerely HOPE though that you dont have the same problem as me and they did fix it. My truck has been in 5 times alone just for brakes and each time theyve done something different..
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  #8  
Old 03-02-2007, 01:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwool15
Don't get used to it.. Same thing happened to me with the same diagnosis. THey replaced my master cylinder and all my lines. Great for about 2 months. Now they're back to their old chitty selves.. Sorry to burst your bubble man. I sincerely HOPE though that you dont have the same problem as me and they did fix it. My truck has been in 5 times alone just for brakes and each time theyve done something different..

Your dilemma is most unfortunate indeed. My advice would be to start fresh with a different dealership. Having the experience in auto mechanics that I do, I can honestly say that I feel 100% confident that the problem I was experiencing with the brakes on my truck has been resolved. The simple fact that they took the time to check the actuator rod speaks volumes. This is a little known part which can play a very large role. As I stated in a few posts above, if this rod is not set correctly, it can give the brakes the feeling of being very soft because it is not fully depressing the piston within the MC. If you simply push the pedal one more time you have effectively doubled the pressure.

Think of it this way. I have a 347 in my stang. Itís a 302 with a longer stroke made possible by a longer rod (and crank). Now apply that analogy to the length of the rod which is pushing the piston in the MC. If the rod is too short, then each time you press the pedal youíre only getting, say for arguments sake, 50% travel. You can attain that stiff feeling in the pedal if you just press the pedal one more time. This is like pumping the brakes, but you only need pump them once to attain this vs pumping several times for brakes with air in the lines or a very weak MC.

If your truck is still under warranty, take it to a different dealer and have them check the rod since you already have a new MC, or you can simply pull the MC forward and pull the rod out, note how long it is and go from there.

As I said, knowing what I know through 15+ years of building motors/working on cars, I can say that my previous issue with the brakes is now a thing of the past. I canít imagine how they can be solid at this point and in just a few months go soft again, UNLESS Ford has a very serious problem with QC on their MCís.

Keep us posted on the progress of your brake issue!
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  #9  
Old 03-02-2007, 10:09 AM
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I have noticed that after I tow a trailer for a while my brake pedal will tighten up. I believe that it is due to the rears being used more and readjusting the pads. After a while the pedal will get soft again. Also, how much do you use the e-brake? It is self adjusting but only when it gets used. If you never use it the shoes could be no longer toching the drum and accounting for some of the problem.
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  #10  
Old 03-02-2007, 11:17 AM
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wookie... you don't have drums in the back of your truck. All disc brakes are self adjusting because of the hydrolic fluid filling any pad ware. Can't say why yours get soft? Your brake booster may be faulty.
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  #11  
Old 03-02-2007, 11:36 AM
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!!! How To Get --your-- Issue Fixed !!!

******* UPDATE ******

The service manager just called me at home and wanted to know if I thought the brakes were better. I told him it was a night/day difference. I asked if a TSB would be issued based on the knowledge gained from this. He explained that it takes ~ 12 dealerships to call in with the same issue/resolution for a TSB to be issued. He submitted what he referred to as a "EDSR". He said that he spoke to the engineers this AM and that they fully agreed that the difference in my brakes had more to do with the rod adjustment than the MC. This is exactly what I speculated in the above posts!

So, for all those still experiencing this issue, INSIST that your dealer adjust the rod. As I previously stated, just the absolute TINIEST adjustment makes a HUGE difference! Been there, done that. Trust me on this.

If any of you need to have your dealer call someone with experience in this matter, might I suggest they have their dealership service manager contact

David Owens (srvc mngr)
Fox Valley Ford
(630) 907-3100

Good hunting!
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  #12  
Old 03-02-2007, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wookie
I have noticed that after I tow a trailer for a while my brake pedal will tighten up. I believe that it is due to the rears being used more and readjusting the pads. After a while the pedal will get soft again. Also, how much do you use the e-brake? It is self adjusting but only when it gets used. If you never use it the shoes could be no longer toching the drum and accounting for some of the problem.
The F150 hasn't had drum brakes in the rear since 1996.
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  #13  
Old 03-02-2007, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rms8
The F150 hasn't had drum brakes in the rear since 1996.
wrong, they havent had them since 99 or early 00 i think

I cant think of the exact annacronym, but the ESDR or w.e is basically an online dealer forum where they post up problems, and answers etc. Its run by ford, and ford will pull info from there to make TSBs. All of their digital diagrams and stuff is on the web now too.
-Patrick
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  #14  
Old 03-02-2007, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patman03SprCrw
wrong, they havent had them since 99 or early 00 i think

I cant think of the exact annacronym, but the ESDR or w.e is basically an online dealer forum where they post up problems, and answers etc. Its run by ford, and ford will pull info from there to make TSBs. All of their digital diagrams and stuff is on the web now too.
-Patrick

Thanks for the clarification.

The point is not a single thread on this forum (complaining of the same brake problem) ever mentioned the actuator rod adjustment being performed in an effort to correct the pedal feel.

So get out there and get your rods adjusted !!!!


Pun INTENDED!
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Last edited by rms8; 03-02-2007 at 12:37 PM.
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  #15  
Old 03-02-2007, 08:16 PM
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ttt
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Old 03-02-2007, 08:16 PM


 
 
 
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