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Old 09-16-2018, 12:47 AM   #1
Kiltym
 
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Default Brake longevity

When are Westy's due for new brakes? We have 60k on the originals and thinking it's about time, but if we can get another 10k, we'll take it!

Thanks in advance for sharing experiences.
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Old 09-16-2018, 01:11 PM   #2
Wasaabi
 
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Default Re: Brake longevity

Original pads + rotors replaced at 88k front, 95k rear. Impressively heavy duty. Lower mileage Westy owners might do brakes once every twenty years...
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Kiltym (09-17-2018)
Old 09-16-2018, 01:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Brake longevity

Since we are on the topic, a tip from Dr. A: do not use the transmission as your brakes. Maintaining speed on decent is okay within reason, but don’t use the tranny to actually slow yourself down. Give it some help here and there with brakes (especially in Colorado). Brakes are way cheaper than transmissions and they are long lasting on the Sprinter T1N.
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Old 09-16-2018, 03:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: Brake longevity

It's fairly easy to see the pad thickness through the wheels. You will get a brake warning light when they get near their end of life. Mine made it to 95k miles, but I don't have a camper Sprinter.
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Old 09-17-2018, 04:58 AM   #5
CaptnALinTiverton
 
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Default Re: Brake longevity

I did my brakes, rotors and calipers at 86,500 miles.

Doktor A never told me not to downshift. My cousin was service manager for Chrysler and said it was fine. I do it all the time and it is actually very necessary on some of the hills I've been on, some over 11%. I have stopped for brakes to cool on many roads even while downshifting.
Of course you have to be careful not to cause extreme RPMs but I don't think that the ECU will allow that anyway.

Andy, if you're watching, please prove me wrong.

AL
Tiverton
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Old 09-17-2018, 03:19 PM   #6
Wasaabi
 
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Default Re: Brake longevity

You can downshift, but use your transmission to hold your speed as opposed to using it to actually slow yourself down. So brake first, the downshift. Dr. A told me that using the tranny as brakes is what caused problems in some of the FedEx vans.
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Old 09-18-2018, 02:37 AM   #7
CaptnALinTiverton
 
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Default Re: Brake longevity

Big trucks use engine brakes all the time. I'd like to see evidence of harm before I buy it. Perhaps it causes more pressure in the cylinders or something else but the load on the tranny should be no more in one direction than in the other. I welcome all experts to submit relevant comments. (I have total respect for Dr. A's opinion but what was stated sounds like hearsay on the subject or a somewhat related story). Besides, the German engineers make no mention of it in the books that I've noticed.

AL
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Old 09-19-2018, 11:55 PM   #8
OldWest
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Default Re: Brake longevity

1. Lifespan

Don't remember for sure, but think my front pads and rotors were done at 60-70k and rear pads and rotors around 100k.

Sprinter rotors tend to wear out at same time as pads, so it seems both Sprinter pads and rotors get replaced at same time.

2. Parts

Europarts-Sd.com carries various replacements and they can tell you the right fit (apparently, Sprinters of the same year may have different brake parts).

My original front pads made a lot of brake dust but the replacement ones I got made a lot less dust. Don't remember what I got but I think I posted on Yahoo Westfalia Group.

3. Inspection

Dr A gave a good tip for quick check. Use a penlight or small flashlight in the early evening to check the outer brake pads. The alloy wheels have more space to stick the flashlight inside the wheel.

Obviously, it's better to remove wheels to check inner and outer brake pads.

Amazon sells green-yellow-red brake pad thickness gauges to stick to the brake pads to determine thickness.

4. Rust

Sprinters in snowy areas may have rotors rusted to the wheel/axle hubs. May require a sledgehammer to separate rotors. But YouTube videos have rusted on rotors being separated by using nuts and bolts.
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Old 10-25-2018, 04:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: Brake longevity

Just replaced pads on all four wheels at 90,000 miles. Front rotors need replacing but Freightliner, in Kansas City, needed three days to get them; theyíll have to wait until we get home from this trip. Donít go to Freightliner if you have another option; we didnít; it was $1,200. He said the rear pads still looked thick enough but were crumby when he poked at them.
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Old 10-31-2018, 05:25 PM   #10
onemanvan
 
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Default Re: Brake longevity

Somewhere between 35K and 40K my front brakes started making a metal on metal grinding noise when descending a steep grade. Inspection revealed the rotors and pads were well within spec - however the rotors did have hotspots on them. I ordered and installed a replacement set of pads and rotors from Europarts-sd for $160 ( https://europarts-sd.com/item.asp?cID=99&PID=2544 ). Since then no more problems...
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Last edited by onemanvan; 10-31-2018 at 06:52 PM.
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