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Fitting Focus St225 Calipers On My Mk3 Mondeo?


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#1 jesus_man

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 03:03 PM

I love my car, but these brakes will be the death of me.  The car had warped rotors when I bought it.  I replaced them last summer and with around only 15k miles, they are warped again!  So it seems I have a sticking caliper or two.  I want to remedy the situation, but I learned of an upgrade from the ST225 Focus and that it's a bolt-on operation given that I can source all the parts.  I certainly want to get by as inexpensively as possible, but have a quality setup when I am done.  The trouble for me is sourcing the parts and verifying they are correct.  Because if they are not, I am in a world of hurt being that I need the car every day and I will likely be renting garage space to get it done.

 

I am actually living in Germany and don't speak German so going to a parts store might not end well.  

 

What should I do?  Should I just buy new stock calipers, and rotors and be done?  I'm afraid to find out what the cost is on those as I just replaced ONE rear caliper for 250 Euro!

 

Lastly, a good source for parts that I have used in the past is www.rockauto.com and I just noticed they do carry parts for my car.  Anyone else use them?

 

Thanks!



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#2 BOF

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 09:22 PM

I am actually living in Germany and don't speak German so going to a parts store might not end well.  

 

 

Well, there is a possibility that it won't go well, anyway. If you have to insure or register (or TUV)  your (modified) car in Germany, that will probably be a world of hurt, anyway.

 

What should I do?  Should I just buy new stock calipers, and rotors and be done?  I'm afraid to find out what the cost is on those as I just replaced ONE rear caliper for 250 Euro!

 

 

You could probably buy secondhand and get them reconditioned. I honestly have no idea  about the costs of these particular parts, but it is usually cheaper.

 

I replaced them last summer and with around only 15k miles, they are warped again! So it seems I have a sticking caliper or two.

 

It should be possible to detect whether you have a sticking calliper from the temperatures. Or, possibly, just jacking up a wheel and spinning it. 

 

Were the disks of a decent manufacturer and specification (do you know the material specification - the probability is that you don't, because they aren't often published)? is there anything else wrong with the brakes (eg, do they stop you when you want to stop?). What pads are you using?



#3 jesus_man

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 07:55 AM

Ahh, yes, forgot about the TUV!  I am not subject to that, but whomever buys it, likely will!  That, then, will be the deciding factor.  Maybe I just order up some reman calipers (anyone know of a good source?), and maybe new pads and rotors.

 

As to the caliper pistons sticking - we were on a long drive in Holland when I began to hear some humming noise and it would change if I went around a corner or touched the brakes, but would come back.  Mind you, the rotors were already warper prior to this trip.  But it got loud enough I was thinking wheel bearing.  We pull into this Ford garage and have them take a look.  They also pried back the calipers because they said they were dragging and after a spirited test drive, found no other faults.  Once we got home, I took both calipers off, greased the slide pins, compressed and extended the pistons to try and loosen them up.  The humming noise hasn't returned, but the rotors are getting worse.

 

I left most of my tools at home (USA) and have been hiring out most of the work, so I am pretty sure the discs are as cheap as they come, pads are probably also bottom shelf.  They stop ok, with the pedal pulsing and the steering wheel shaking.  

 

Ok, so upgrading calipers seems like a bad idea on a German car.  Maybe I seek out reman calipers, some higher quality rotors and possibly ceramic pads to get rid of all that horrible brake dust.

 

Thanks BOF!



#4 BOF

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 09:21 AM

Note that if you are actually living in Germany (as in, having Germany as your registered residence and having no other place that you can claim convincingly is also your residence) you have, I believe, 12 months after you move to register your car there and then the German laws apply. (This is historical data that may have changed).

 

Now, if the car has to be TUV'ed, I strongly suspect that you have to have pads (bear with me on this) that meet regulation 90, and if your pads do meet reg 90 that should be enough for the pads to be legal. (If you've got anyone you can check this with, please do, because I'm jumping a bit to conclusions, but that should be what reg 90 is about, so my feeling is that the Germans have to accept it...).

 

Now reg 90 does allow you quite a choice of pads - not the extreme end of the race pads and track-day-only pads, but, essentially anyone who wants to get their road pads qualified and has the time and the budget to do it can do (assuming a reasonable coeff of friction, which road pads will usually have...well, they will these days, or they won't bother, because they won't get them qualified for normal road use).

 

Now, where is this going? Well, if I were you, I'd be fitting performance pads and decent quality rotors. Actually getting an idea of what will work for you is the difficult part, but that would be my objective.

 

Rotors would come from Pagid, Mintex, Brembo, EBC etc. these are decent brake manufacturers who know about perf brakes - slightly uncomfortably, you can't tell anything about much other than that, and these can be 'ordinary' rotors from 'good' brands, but you have to take a chance. Well, unless you know someone who you trust, who has tried them and who has a similar driving style to you, and who will advise you what has worked for them.

 

Pads: You mention dust; if dust is at least reasonably high priority, I'd consider EBC Greenstuff, which are supposed to be low dust (some of that will be the dust that is generated is less black than most, so 'the visual impression of low dust' might be more accurate). See here for some comparative data on EBC pads.

 

Now, I might try, instead of the EBC pads, pads from Pagid, Brembo or Mintex (actually, or Ferodo, but there are few of the Ferodo pads that are reg 90 approved, so be careful...mind you, that's true for Pagid, too, but they tend to separate the motorsport and road dealers more). Now, these are perf brake organisations, but it is difficult to find out where the pads commonly on sale for road usage fit into their range. So, Pagid for example have some excellent sport pads, but how do what is on sale for road cars relate to those pads? Don't know and can't find out, but they won't be the same.

 

Declaration of interest (sort of):

 

I am currently upgrading my Mk IV to EBC Yellowstuff and Pagid front rotors. Primarily, I'm trying to kill some grabbiness, so my problem is different from yours and I don't know how well it will work. If I was doing it again, I might not choose the Yellows, because they are at the top end of the price range, so I might gamble on the cheaper (!!!) Brembos or Pagids. But, the Yellows are the only thing that gives me any indication that they might do anything about the grabbiness, and that seems to be down to the fact that they are not fully up to maximum braking perf at low temps...we'll see how well that works.

 

The Pagid rotors are currently on offer at Euro Car Parts. Whether these are any different from Mintex rotors (the TMD group includes Textar, Mintex, Don and Pagid), I don't know. All I can say is that these are people who know braking, so I hope they are good, but I don't actually have any knowledge of whether they are, or not. I find the standard Ford rotors tend to rust quite quickly, and as the rust wears off quickly, that leads to relatively fast wear.

 

Actually, also note that rotor warping is not usually (ever?) down to warped rotors. What happens is that material from the pads is adsorbed on to the surface of the rotors when hot (very hot, as in glowing red hot). This means that the thing not to do is to remain hard on the brakes (or the handbrake) after you have worked the brakes hard and come to a stop, as that is the condition in which this is likely to occur.

 

(The result is that the areas with the transferred material have a different coefficient of friction from the 'plain' disc surface, and that is what is felt as 'warping', although you'll struggle to measure any run out, which you would be able to do if the 'warping' really was the disk rotor becoming warped.)



#5 jesus_man

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 10:23 AM

We are here on military orders, so while we are subject to an inspection, it is much less stringent than the TUV.  It is a basic safety inspection.  I am seeking info from UK sources due to the language barrier, so please forgive me for that!

 

That is a lot of info and I will be looking into it.  Thank you very much!  

 

My driving style is generally not aggressive and I like to use the engine for braking and only use my brakes when necessary.  I slow down gradually and therefore don't maintain speed up until the last point then slam on the brakes.  I like spirited driving, but I mostly drive to conserve fuel, and that equates into less brake wear too.  There is no avoiding panic stops here and there, but if I do, I try to let off the brakes and roll forward so as to allow the heat to dissipate.  I think what I have is an uber cheap setup and factory original calipers that are not working as they should.  

 

Another thing to consider is that I will be selling this car in a year or two, so I don't want top of the line stuff.  I just want good quality for a fair price.  That being said, once I fix the calipers, do I spend 50 Euro to get the current rotors machined or do I put that money into a new set?  Maybe they would be ok if they are not constantly dragging.  They show no wear at this point.  

 

I am familiar with the concept of the pad material causing the *warped rotor* feeling.  I would like to put these on a machine and see if I could measure any runout.  The steering wheel shakes fairly violently now.  I can feel the brakes grabbing with light pressure at slow speeds.

 

Here is what I am looking at for replacing the calipers:

http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=3203880&cc=939096 

 

I do not know of any other sources here for calipers.

 

I know of EBC and Brembo, and they do have a good reputation, the others I will look into and see who has the best pricing.  Brembo is about half the price of the premium EBC rotors.



#6 jesus_man

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 10:47 AM

Just got back from my local parts store.

100Euro for OEM calipers per side.

150Euro for a set of ATE rotors (says they are OEM replacements)

 

It looks like the calipers may work just fine, but I should be able to get higher quality rotors for the same price, if not cheaper.  Still on the fence about buying new rotors or machining what I have.  



#7 BOF

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 11:01 AM

Another thing to consider is that I will be selling this car in a year or two, so I don't want top of the line stuff. I just want good quality for a fair price. That being said, once I fix the calipers, do I spend 50 Euro to get the current rotors machined or do I put that money into a new set? 

 

If there is any doubt, go new. The metal alloys used do vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and while they should all be good enough, what defines good enough? The OEM material meets the Ford spec, but my feeling is that Ford, historically haven't been as keen as some manufacturers in spending money here, particularly when most people won't notice the difference. Well, not in the first 100k miles, anyway.

 

If the rotors are hardly worn, you'll probably get away with machining them, but there is still the issue of how good the metal alloy is.

 

Mostly, in the short term, you can get away with curing callipers by hitting them (with a rubber hammer or a metal hammer via a wooden block). Hit, sweep away the dust with a brush (most people use a wire brush, but I use a normal, nylon, household one, because, although it takes more brushing, you don't have to be as careful with a nylon brush as you would have to be with a metal one), repeat a few times and then repeat some more. At this point, you ought to be able to operate the brakes without them sticking; if not, do the hitting and brushing thing some more.

 

Really, to do this, you want to know which ones stick to start with; it is probably good to clean up the non-sticking ones, too, but you'll want to know which ones need the most attention.

 

And, if they were sticking, cure them and fuel economy should improve.



#8 jesus_man

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 11:47 AM

Sounds like I have some frustrations to vent on the calipers!  Should I remove them from the car?  I'd like not to have to break the seal for the fluid.



#9 BOF

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 01:37 PM

No, don't remove them. Just hit them, dust will come out, brush away and repeat. Actually, I should have pointed out that if the bit that slides is badly corroded (or the bit it slides on), then just hitting them may not help, and you may have to take to pieces some more.

 

Actual corrosion, rather than a build up of dust is a bit of a pain; the real cure then is to replace parts, but you can get a period of breathing space (six months, say) just by cleaning things up. I'll leave it to you to decide if cleaning uop every six months is something you'd be willing to do, or whether that makes it automatically the case that you'd rather buy a cure.

 

Anyway, we haven't yet found out whether anything is sticking, or not.



#10 jesus_man

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 01:54 PM

Ok, sounds easy enough.  It is worth a try at least.  The Ford tech in Holland seemed to believe it was indeed the calipers that were the culprit.  As I mentioned before, I forced the piston on the caliper in and out to attempt to loosen them up.  The noise hasn't returned and we just returned from a 7-8hr drive past Sunday where it should have if it was going to.  I do also believe it is corrosion that is my issue and not just brake dust.  So in the end, I might have no choice but replace them.  Then I would feel confident to put on nicer rotors and pads.

 

I have been offered a set of plain rotors and mintex pads for £79.99 from MTEC brakes.  However for just a little more, I could get grooved.  Just don't know manufacturer of the discs.

http://www.mtecbrake...oducts_id=19249



#11 FOCA

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 02:39 AM

The st225 rotors (discs) are 320mm and the mk3 Mondeo 300mm, it does not sound like a big difference, but 320mm is a much larger surface area, for both cooling, and disc/ pad contact area, as well as having an increased leverage - , the st225 calipers have much larger pads than the mk3s

 

So from high speed, the st225 brakes should outperform the mk3 ones (some people that have done the conversion have reported a "spungy" pedal, though, possibly due to the bigger slave cylinder volume, some owners say they re-adjusted their braking technique to compensate)  

 

+ you could end up paying as much for upgraded (300mm) mk3 ones as st225 (320mm) ones

 

the 16" spare or space-saver may not fit over the st225 calipers (they will be tight, anyway) and you may need a 17" spare

 

It is possible you have play in your steering, front suspension or subframe bushes, or unbalanced wheels/ unevenly worn tyres-  another thing worth mentioning is lightening the car makes the brakes work a lot better (mine is lightened 150+kilos, it makes a massive difference on the brakes, so much so i never bothered with the conversion and left the stock Ford brakes on) - you don't need to go to such extreme lengths but some sensible lightening (eg leaving the clutter at home, fitting lighter wheels etc, and when was the last time you used your spare wheel?) would help

 

Im thinking you are liable to be slowing/ stopping from higher speeds (unrestricted autobahn)   me too    :lol:      



#12 jesus_man

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 07:43 AM

FOCA - I wish I were continuing on with the 225 conversion, but it is best I don't at this point.

 

The steering feels ok for now, but I know that with the wheels wobbling back and forth upon braking, it will eventually cause bushing to wear.  I can't get my summer tires to balance.  I have had two different shops try twice each.  They are not horrible, but noticeable.  They were fine with the last set of summer tires, so it leads me to believe the tires are the issue.  Might look into balancing BB's as I did have good luck with those on an offroad rig with 35" tires!  I have had my mechanic look the car over and check for other wear items and he reports all is well.

 

I do keep the car fairly well picked up.  I don't like clutter, but since I take my two kids to daycare each day, there is a certain amount of stuff that has to stay with me.  And then maybe I'm a little paranoid, but I also carry a few tools, a blanket, jumper cables, a couple ratchet straps, a fire extinguisher, and a few other odds and ends around.  I know that adds up, but I'd rather be prepared for the worst.  And I don't generally push the car too hard on the Autobahn as I usually have family in the car.  100mph is about as fast as I care to run, but generally slower than that.  There are many times, even running just 80MPH that trucks pull out in front of you and you have to get on the binders fairly hard to avoid rear ending them, but I try to anticipate that when I can and slow the car before I have to use the brakes hard.

 

My plan of action, when I have a couple hours, is to see what I can knock off the calipers and take a closer look as to what might cause them to be stiff.  For 200 Euro, I can replace them both, another 50 to machine my current rotors and see if that fixes my problem.  If it comes back, new rotors.  If not, then I should be good until I sell the car.

 

About how much distance from the rotor should a pad rest?  



#13 FOCA

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 09:47 PM

Personally i would not bother  getting the old discs machined, they are already quite thin (to start with, skimming them will reduce the thickness, reducing the  the mass of metal (cooling efficiency) and the lifespan as there is a minimum useable thickness) and you may as well replace them with new ones (with pads) -  

 

Mintex mk3 front discs and pads for £47 -

 

http://www.ebay.co.u...=item5400cf29bd

 

you can get the run-out checked when you fit them, so with thge new discs and pads fitted (and the run-out sorted) it may sort things if not you will have at least eliminated these things (+ the new discs/ pads won't do the braking efficiency any harm ) 

 

Apart from the 150+kgs  off the car itself, i rationalized the kit i carry by removing duplicates (eg doubling up on tools etc) i weighed everything and used the lightest options, i carry minimum tools, a floor pump and tyre weld (no wheel/ tyre) - lightweight sleeping bag - even  lightweight jump leads etc-  even if you can reduce the weight a bit - it matters for braking, accelerating tyre/ suspension  wear, cornering, and MPG  



#14 jesus_man

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 08:27 AM

FOCA - that is the direction I am heading.  Replacing everything!  I just need to sort the calipers out first.  If they are indeed dragging, I'll ruin another set of rotors in short order!  Now to find the time...

 

Thanks for the link, I might very well do that!  



#15 jesus_man

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 01:37 PM

I contacted that ebay seller by phone.  They don't ship outside UK, so I have contacted another to see what they can do.  However new vendor is £10 more.  This is going to be an expensive brake overhaul!



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