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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I took my ST up some canyon roads the other day for the first time, and I noticed that when I came to a stop and pulled over there after a few miles was a strong burning smell. It wasn't to the point where I was overly worried, but it did make me stop and let the car cool down for a bit.

My questions to you guys--do you think this is damaging the brakes? I am not riding the brakes by any means, simply driving within the limits of the car in a spirited manner (nothing you wouldn't see on a track). Could it be the smell of cooking brake dust (the car has yet to be washed and is relatively dirty/dusty). Worse yet, could it be the clutch? I don't know what burnt clutch smells like, but I can tell you that I am not riding the clutch or doing anything stupid or out of the ordinary with the car. I am not redlining it or even coming close, but I do keep it in 2nd or 3rd gear while going downhill to reduce brake wear. Can that hurt anything?

Thanks for any input, as always.
 

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You're fine. Just don't stop to let the brakes cool. Keep moving and drive slow without touching the brakes as much as you can.

tapa tapin
 

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Actually most beginning track students and some novice students brake to early and to lightly. I am willing to bet you are driving in this manner. I have tracked my car, completely stock, and did not have the brakes heated to the point they created a smell. Next time wait a bit longer to brake and apply the brakes more firmly.

The good thing about the Fiesta brakes is that Ford installed good pads for us.
 

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I have noticed a burning smell after hard driving too. I assumed that there was something burning off of the turbo, some oil or sealant from the factory. I expect my smell will stop happening after a bit more hard driving.
 

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Your brakes will smell for the first few hundred miles on the car while the pads/rotors wear in. It should go away by 500mi. If you're beyond that, then you may be overworking the brakes. Did you turn off ESC or turn on sport mode?

What canyon roads you driving? East coast or West?
GMR is a personal favorite
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Actually most beginning track students and some novice students brake to early and to lightly. I am willing to bet you are driving in this manner. I have tracked my car, completely stock, and did not have the brakes heated to the point they created a smell. Next time wait a bit longer to brake and apply the brakes more firmly.

The good thing about the Fiesta brakes is that Ford installed good pads for us.
Interesting, I'll try that next time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Your brakes will smell for the first few hundred miles on the car while the pads/rotors wear in. It should go away by 500mi. If you're beyond that, then you may be overworking the brakes. Did you turn off ESC or turn on sport mode?

What canyon roads you driving? East coast or West?
GMR is a personal favorite
I'm maybe at 400 miles right now... West coast, it was Tuna Canyon (all downhill). Been meaning to hit GMR, haven't gone yet though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You're fine. Just don't stop to let the brakes cool. Keep moving and drive slow without touching the brakes as much as you can.

tapa tapin
Definitely cruised for a while without touching them, didn't want to warp anything. Thanks for the reassurance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just to update future readers: I went back and ran the same canyon after washing the car, and utilized harder (and later) braking, and the smell was almost nonexistent. I am 99% sure it was the smell of cooking dirt and dust that was previously covering the brakes.
 

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Just as a tip, if you've been really hard on the brakes (track work, etc) don't set the emergency brake when you park ;) You'll fuse the pad to the rotor and will leave deposits on your rotor and create a wobble.

Edit: That's assuming the ebrake uses the caliper, I haven't looked.
 
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The Ebrakes are probably separate little drum brakes as on nearly every car with rear disks but can still be an issue if used when really hot though the rear brakes do far less of the work so less heat than the fronts.

Rotor Warp, hardly ever happens, what feels like warp is almost always pad deposits caused by stopping with hot brakes and holding do the brake pedal. Not easy but can be cleaned off instead of turning or replacing rotors.

I try to have a spot to pull up to a bump, use some chocks, etc, to let the car rest against instead of using the brakes when I pull off the track and have to let the engine cool down a bit more before shutting down. Even then if really hot is best to move the car a few times to let the heat out from the pad area so not located on one place.....
 

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Edit: That's assuming the ebrake uses the caliper, I haven't looked.
looks like it does pull as here is a shot of the ST Ebrake cable attachment to Caliper
SER~us~en~file=E162666_EUR_580.JPG

The Spec for the Ebrake is 1 mm according to this adjusted via the cable nut adjuster in the car and w feeler gauge..
Insert a 1.0 mm feeler gauge between the parking brake lever and the brake caliper bracket abutment, on both sides.
General Equipment : Feeler Gauge
Tighten the parking brake cable adjustment nut until movement is observed on one of the parking brake levers.

Remove the feeler gauges


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The Ebrakes are probably separate little drum brakes as on nearly every car with rear disks but can still be an issue if used when really hot though the rear brakes do far less of the work so less heat than the fronts.

Rotor Warp, hardly ever happens, what feels like warp is almost always pad deposits caused by stopping with hot brakes and holding do the brake pedal. Not easy but can be cleaned off instead of turning or replacing rotors.

I try to have a spot to pull up to a bump, use some chocks, etc, to let the car rest against instead of using the brakes when I pull off the track and have to let the engine cool down a bit more before shutting down. Even then if really hot is best to move the car a few times to let the heat out from the pad area so not located on one place.....
They are not drum in disk.
 

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Great! Fewer parts equals less weight.

Deffinately do not want to use the parking brake after a track session.

If somebody needed larger rear brakes(hard core very fast race cars only would have a real need) it might complicate things a bit more though but some BBK, at least Wilwood, has little parking brake calipers.
 

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Nearly if not all high performance pads are dusty:)

One thing to make sure of when picking pads on a street car especially is the compound does not eat away your wheel finish and or worse on other parts!

I have had good luck with some Carbotech compounds that I used on street and track but drove little on the street and was able to leave them on all the time but they did squeal like a stuck pig sometimes.

.
 
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