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#1 kristriple

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 12:20 PM

Hi there, I have a bit of a problem with the brakes on my 2.5T titanium X.

 

I did a fast run on the way home the other night, 6 miles, 10 corners. By the time I was home, the brake pedal was hard and they had virtually stopped working. When I got out of the car they were stinking.

Ive been discussing this in another thread and ive been informed that all mk4 models have the same brakes regardless of engine size!

Someone suggested fitting Focus ST225 brakes, but this seems like to much hassle. EBC/Brembo discs and pads seems like a better idea. 

Im convinced that there must be something wrong with them. Surely the standard ford fitments cant be this bad!?

Anyone else having problems?



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#2 BigD

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 01:21 PM

You need to check the brakes out as it sounds like at least one is overheating, so the pad may not be fully retracting from the disc, causing excessive friction/heat/burning smell.

 

Common causes of that would include:

1. Faulty caliper/piston

2. Defective flexi-hoses

3. Bent guide pins

4. Handbrake lever stuck

 

I had a similar problem on my Mk3, which I won't go into detail about again as I've gone over it about ten times already.  But I found out which wheel was at fault by going for a short run - just a couple of miles, and gearing down to slow down rather than using the brakes.  Let the car come to a stop on a quiet road, without touching the brakes, then check the temperature of each - they should all be cool.  If any are significantly hotter than the others (and be careful doing this as you can proper burn yourself), then you've got problems with that wheel/brake.

 

If that all checks out good, then unfortunately the problem may come down to driving style (depending on how "fast run" is meant to be interpreted).  The Mondeo isn't an F1 car, and shouldn't be driven as such.



#3 kristriple

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 08:04 PM

Thanks for the advice!

Your right it's not an F1 car. However, it is essentially a performance version of the Mondeo. I would expect any car, performance version or not, to manage the equivalent of two laps of knockhill without the brakes overheating.

It was both front wheels that were hot. There is a fair chance that someone has put cheap pads and discs on it at some point in its past was my guess. I wondered if anyone has similar complaints on the mk4, so that I know if it's safe to put Ford pads and discs onto the car or if I need to get after market parts.

My last car, a fiesta zetec s, NEVER had this problem.

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#4 wase16ll

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 09:21 PM

overheating brakes, tend to give a soft pedal as it starts to boil the brake fluid.

the smell tends to suggest the brakes are sticking or that you have given them a serious workout..which kind of contradicts the overheating issue???

but the point you made about a hard pedal/brakes not working, tends to point to a possible servo problem..

be far better off fitting uprated pads/discs if you regularly drive it that hard, otherwise, ford or other quality makes will cope well enough for the odd occasion..though dont expect a long lifespan of the pads/discs.
would also recommend changing the brake fluid as well as checking condition of servo/pipework etc, whichever brakes you fit

#5 FOCA

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 09:57 PM

Mondeo mk4 2.5T = 117BHP, 7.7secs to 60 about 150mph and 1600kgs and 300mm brakes - the Focus ST has the same engine, weighs a whopping 200kgs less and gets bigger brakes (320mm) - the Fiesta zetec is much slower and lighter - even if the brakes were brand new stock ford you could roast them with 1 lap of knockhill, never mind 2 laps- the care was never really designed for that - the hardest most people brake frequently is realatively gently, from 70mph, most drivers don't "push" their brakes very hard - so if you asked most mk4/2.5T drivers they would probably say their brakes are "ok" - i would put money down that if you replaced your discs/ pads you could still roast them in the same circumstances

 

Not only that - you may have glazed your pads, warped your discs and boiled your brake fluid

 

My opinion, change your driving style or upgrade your brakes

 

Titanium x is just s trim level, not actually a "performance" version - the same brakes are used across the range to save money



#6 kristriple

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 11:29 PM

Glad you spotted the new thread FOCA. Cheers for the reply on both. And you big D.

This "designed" thing is bothering me! It's designed to have a 2.5T, but it was never designed to be driven fast? It's designed to do 150mph but not to slow down again? So where does "design" come into it with this car? It looks like there was no design.

I used the fiesta as an example. I never had this problem with any of my other motors either. Not it such a small distance anyway. Much further before it got this bad. S40 1.9td, civic 1.4, 318I, omega 2.0, omega 2.2. All of them would have survived a good few laps at knockhill.

Poor wording (again!) On my part. When I say performance version I'm talking about the engine, not the titanium x trim level. This car was described in a review I read before buying the car as an "ST Mondeo in disguise".

Maybe there is a problem with them and I'm complaining for nothing. Or maybe I expected more than what the car had to offer in the first place. I'll find out next week when the car goes in to get worked on.

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#7 kristriple

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 11:33 PM

overheating brakes, tend to give a soft pedal as it starts to boil the brake fluid.

the smell tends to suggest the brakes are sticking or that you have given them a serious workout..which kind of contradicts the overheating issue???

but the point you made about a hard pedal/brakes not working, tends to point to a possible servo problem..

be far better off fitting uprated pads/discs if you regularly drive it that hard, otherwise, ford or other quality makes will cope well enough for the odd occasion..though dont expect a long lifespan of the pads/discs.
would also recommend changing the brake fluid as well as checking condition of servo/pipework etc, whichever brakes you fit


Cheers. I'm confused myself! Not surprised that you are! Ha


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#8 BOF

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 12:37 AM

Hi there, I have a bit of a problem with the brakes on my 2.5T titanium X.

 

I did a fast run on the way home the other night, 6 miles, 10 corners. By the time I was home, the brake pedal was hard and they had virtually stopped working. When I got out of the car they were stinking.

 

 

 

When you say that the 'brake pedal was hard', you do mean that you felt resistance in the normal position in the brake pedal travel, but the feeling was 'wooden' and it didn't cause much braking? If the pedal had sunk down, it would be a totally different diagnosis.

 

Firstly, you can fade the brakes on any production car if you try hard enough...However, if you can't do at least one stop from Vmax safely without the brakes going away, the car isn't safe to drive to that speed.

 

Given that there are two broad categories of fade (fluid 'boiling' and the various brake pad problems - here, probably overheating), if we can eliminate 'fluid', then we've got pads and temperature.

 

(You'll probably still have to change the fluid, for one of two reasons

  • this process has abused the fluid enough so that you can't trust it
  • you can't trust that the fluid was in decent condition, after its previous life, possibly at the hands of someone who thought saving money on brakes was smart and who possibly either fitted sub-standard fluid or left it too long between changes

It doesn't sound as if fluid was your immediate problem though, depending on the interpretation of the pedal symptom.)

 

Brake pads and materials are a compromise - there is not a magic 'just fit this, and all problems go away' solution. That said, it does sound as if you can find something more suited to your requirements.

 

It was both front wheels that were hot.

 

Sticking brakes are more common at the back than the front, so assuming that we can eliminate that (...ideally, you do some more testing...) then the temperature isn't being raised by sticking, then it should be possible to get an improvement by changing pads. Enough? Get the improvement without introducing other problems? These are good questions, and, ultimately, you won't know until you've tried. Bigger brake disks would also help get rid of the heat, but it is unclear whether you need to go that far.

 

(BTW, you say that it was the front wheels that were hot. Does that mean that the rears weren't hot at all, or were they just substantially less hot than the fronts? If the rears are doing no work in stopping the car, that will put all of the effort on the fronts and will make the problem worse.)

 

(Also, I need to make a comparison with tyres here - there is no point in saying buy this brand of pads; most pad manufacturers make several ranges, and buying the 'bog standard' pads from someone who also makes performance pads probably won't help, just as buying tyres by brand doesn't help.)

 

So, for example, EBC, who you mention, make a 'comparable with OEM quality' pad - I'm pretty sure this is a negligible improvement over the atandard OEM pad. You would need, for example, to be in with the yellowstuff and redstuff 'performance' pads before you get a worthwhile improvement over OEM. Redstuff may even need a little warming before it really bites, so this is where the compromise comes in - are you prepared to suffer that in order to get a pad that keeps working to higher temperatures?

 

Note also that the bigger wheels on a TitX should allow a slightly bigger disk...but be careful, if you would ever intend ton go down in wheel size, eg, to fit winter tyres.

 

One thing that is worth looking out for is whether you can see any manufacturers ident on the back of the pad (Ford, Ate, etc). If you can see that, and it is one of the respectable makes, it probably isn't 'cheapskate fitted inadequate pads'. If you can't see any ident, then it might just be inadequate pads, and, in that case, going to OEM quality might be a step forward (although, you might still want a bigger step than that).

 

My feeling (ie, guess) is that you will end up with a slightly bigger wheel size and slightly better pads, but i don't know how to be sure whether, eg, just slightly improved pads will do the job.

 

Edit:

I should have commented on the possibility that you have glazed your pads - however, as the cure for this is often suggested as giving the pads a serious work-out, I originally felt that this removes the glazed pad possibility. This is wrong; you could have glazed the pads so badly that even a work out such as above has not been able to get the pads back to normal operation. 


Edited by BOF, 15 March 2014 - 01:52 PM.


#9 kristriple

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 03:55 PM

I'll try and get all of the questions you have asked answered....

Firstly, your description of the pedal feeling "wooden" is perfect! The pedal didn't go any further down than usual, but there was resistance (as you put it) and there was a lot less braking power than usual.

Secondly, your questions on how hot the brakes were. The front brakes were VERY hot, the back brakes were warm. I put the back of my hand next to the each wheel after it happened.

Thirdly, im fairly convinced that none of the brakes are sticking (im certainly no mechanic!). There are no unusual noises, grinding or trailing. And the brakes don't get more than mildly warm if I drive the car sensibly. However, I will get the brakes checked over when the car is in to be looked at next week. I'll also get the manufacturers ident checked at the same time.

 

I have made several vague statements or FOC since I joined, im going to have to be more careful. I understand your point on the different grades of pads that you can buy from the likes of EBC. I had a set of green stuff pads on a focus. I don't know what brakes were on the car before I fitted them (it was 5 years old with 50k miles) but the difference was considerable.

 

Based on what you've said so far, I need to change the brake fluid (incase of the 2 reasons you have stated) and change the pads. Will the discs that are on the car be adequate? Im guessing I need to find out if they are "cheap" before an honest answer can be given on that?

 

When you say that putting bigger discs on might help, would that involve changing the callipers as well? I don't want to spend vast amounts of money, ive just bought an Evo X. I would however, like the car to be capable of doing what I bought it for in the first place. 5 doors, with enough room for the kids and dogs, and still be able to "open it up" when im by myself (on the odd occasion). 



#10 wase16ll

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 07:44 PM

if your fitting upgraded pads, then this will wear the standard discs a lot quicker..better off changing together

#11 BOF

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 09:22 PM

(Oh, I hate the way this site works! I've just spent half an hour replying, tried to delete a spare bit of text, and it has deleted the whole answer....as it has done that before, I'm not happy. And now, cut and paste has stopped working. But that's not your problem.)

 

...the pedal feeling "wooden"...

 

If that's the case, it might be glazed pads. One thing it isn't is fluid fade, however I wouldn't trust the fluid that you have now, but there is no rush to get that changed.

 

 

If the rear brakes are warm, then at least they are doing something. So, it doesn't sound as if the lack of braking from the rear that is increasing the load on the front.

 

If you have liked the Greenstuffs on the Focus, then that would my starting point here. On the Mondeo, which is a heavier car, there is a case for going a bit harder with the pads, to say the yellows or the reds (or, for extremists, the Blues, assuming that they are approved for road use). Just to labour the point, the Ultimax pads wouldn't be on that list, even though they are EBC Brake Pads. 

 

Disks should be OK, provided that there is enough metal left on them. Crap ones will wear faster, and ones that are worn down aren't worth keeping with new pads, because they'll need changing soon, and the advice is that, when you change the disks, you should fit new pads...

 

Does anyone else drive the car? You might find it acceptable to 'drive around' pads that haven't warmed up, but maybe other drivers would be, err, a little concerned, about pads that took a little warming up before they really did the business.



#12 kristriple

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 01:02 AM

Sound advice BOF.
Are the yellows the grade between green and red?
The missus drives the car, we share 2 motors. As long as it stops the car she wouldn't care. It the red's were unsafe when cold it would be a different story. My understanding is that they feel like they are grinding when cold? Almost like a car that has been parked up or in storage for a while? (This description is more than likely wrong!)

Just so it's straight in my head, the pads I have fitted just now are made of a material that heats up quicker than some of the pads we have mentioned. Or, to put it differently, the pads we have mentioned resist the build of heat better.
The discs won't end up being heated to the same point as before, so an overall cooler temperature is maintained in both the pads and discs. Therefore (hopefully) curing the problem.
Correct?

I'm trying to grasp how the problem I have now starts with the pads and ends with no brakes. And how changing just the pads will cure it.

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#13 BOF

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 02:21 AM

I think that the best description of pads that need to warm up before really getting on with it is that, at first you don't think that they are going to do much and then suddenly, when the heat has built up a bit, they do their stuff. Now, this is a bit disturbing when you press on the brakes and nothing happens, and I can understand that many people find this brown underwear moment is not something that they like. Of course, it is often followed by a moment during which you are pressing on the brakes fairly hard, because nothing is happening, and then suddenly lots starts to happen, and that can be a bit embarrassing, too (embarrassing and a relief). Not comfortable, overall.

 

It is not really a matter of how quickly the pads heat up, so much as operating temperature range for the material. So, as an (oversimplified) example, imagine that you have two materials, a) that operates well from 0 to 500 C and B) that operates from 100 to 600 C. the material a) is fine until it gets to 500 and then it looses effectiveness. Contrariwise, B) is still fine at 500, and that's all well and good, but there is a big problem getting to that 100 C, because you are doing it with a pad that doesn't have the grip to generate much temperature. (There is some friction even out of the optimum range, of course, otherwise it just wouldn't work.)

 

(You may think that the difference between what I have written about the operating temperature range and what ou have written about how fast they warm up is splitting hairs. It isn't. The difference concerns the temperatures that the rest of the braking system has to survive, because once the fluid gets to its boiling point, all bets are off {and, it isn't long before your pedal just sinks to the floor without doing anything}. There is a slight difference, in that some materials have better heat insulating properties than others, and that can help keep the fluid temperatures within workable limits, but that isn't the problem that you are having, and it isn't the biggest thing - that's the working temperature range of the pads.)

 

Here is the EBC page on their brake pads; there isn't, as far as I can see, a simple comparison table between the materials, so you have to look up each material and make your mind up. I'm sure, at one point, I've e-mailed them to ask for advice and they are happy to do this.

 

http://ebcbrakes.com...cts/brake-pads/

 

By the way, I'm not saying that EBC are the only organisation that can supply decent brake pads. As well as EBC, you could go for Mintex or Pagid (and probably others). Mintex have made some good pads, but I've just looked at their catalogue and I can't see any sign of performance parts listed (maybe there is a separate catalogue for performance parts that I need); same for Pagid, who are part of the same organisation.



#14 BOF

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 10:42 AM

I'm trying to grasp how the problem I have now starts with the pads and ends with no brakes. And how changing just the pads will cure it.

 

 

I didn't really deal with that. I think what is going on is that the pads have 'glazed'; that is, there is a layer of material that isn't really the friction material of the pads, and that's what you are stopping on. Now, generally, the advice given for this is to give the pads a bit of thrashing, which should get the pads really hot and wear this glazed layer away. The trouble is, you've already followed the advice and the improvement  hasn't actually happened.

 

So, having said that, it is possible that if you just replace the existing pads with 'standard Ford' (whatever is fitted as standard, from whichever supplier(s) Ford use) pads, the problem might go away. Or, it might be improved for a while and then the new pads glaze over and the problem comes back.

 

I should also point out that in the previous post where I tried to describe two sets of pads, a) and B), the system seems to be interpreting that second as a smiley. So, that para should have been more like:

 

It is not really a matter of how quickly the pads heat up, so much as operating temperature range for the material. So, as an (oversimplified) example, imagine that you have two materials, type a that operates well from 0 to 500 C and type b that operates from 100 to 600 C. the material a is fine until it gets to 500 and then it looses effectiveness. Contrariwise, type b is still fine at 500, and that's all well and good, but there is a big problem getting to that 100 C, because you are doing it with a pad that doesn't have the grip to generate much temperature. (There is some friction even out of the optimum range, of course, otherwise it just wouldn't work.)



#15 kristriple

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 04:07 PM

I got your meaning, despite the smileys.
This explanation, I understand! Very similar to how I would explain motorcycle tyres operating.

I mentioned EBC and brembo because they are the brands I have used before. Best to stick with one you know and trust eh?

It appears that the yellows stretch across both temperature rages. Sticking with your example, it works between 0 and 600. This would be the best option for me. However, green and red are the only options available for the mk 4 mondeo. The greens are described as "standard quality". The red's "upgrade quality". (This descriptions appear at checkout)

Is there a brake fluid that you would recommend?

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