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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Put the ST on a friend's lift today to rotate the tires and take a look at the brakes. I took a few pictures along the way.

View from, basically, the driver's side wheel well.


View from under the firewall. The charge pipe and turbo area.


View beneath the oil filter.


View from passenger front wheel well.


Center (strangely shaped) muffler/resonator.


Rear brakes


Rear diffuser
(I'm kidding. It's a bumper cover. Nothing is diffused here)


Nose at eye level on the lift.
That appears to be a sizable central bumper bar blocking quite a bit of airflow to the radiator.



Since I had the car at Summit Point several weeks ago, I've experienced some front brake squeal.
I saw that the rotors were a bit worse for wear from the view through the wheel spokes.
Pulling the wheel showed it to be a bit worse than I imagined.

The front rotors, particularly, the passenger side are grooved and heat checked.
The rubber dust boots appear to have also been partially burned away due to the heat.



The pads were roughly chunked, grooved and have axial cracks effectively separating the pad.
(cracks not immediately visible in the picture)



Grassroots Motorsports Magazine says this front caliper is from a Euro only Transit vehicle.
It's definitely a decent sized pad for the weight of the car, but with my very, very limited
time on track with this car, there was certainly a part of the equation not up to the task.
Without further analysis, it would be hard to know if it was a lack of cooling airflow, inferior
fluid temperature capability or the pads getting overwhelmed. Regardless, the car performed
well, but this shows it won't survive a full event on what came with the car.




4000 miles on the car. It's a bit distressing, but not unexpected with some, even light, track use.
2:55pm on a Saturday, and I'm moving to the hard stuff.
 

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Thanks for the insight. Some other members tracked the car and said the brakes were "better than they thought. I'm not sure what to make of this, but for sure, a big brake kit would be a nice addition. If stock pads can chew up the rotors this much over on weekend, this definitely has me concerned.

What track? fast/slow? technical?
 

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I'll place a call to porterfield to see if they can make us some track pads. The results above are expected from a street pad, so nothing shocking to me.
 

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I can see where Summit Main would be harder on the brakes than NJMP. The brakes worked great there. NJMP has more cooling time in between use. After one day of tracking the brake still work great. The front tires are a little worse for wear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the insight. Some other members tracked the car and said the brakes were "better than they thought. I'm not sure what to make of this, but for sure, a big brake kit would be a nice addition. If stock pads can chew up the rotors this much over on weekend, this definitely has me concerned.

What track? fast/slow? technical?
Summit Point, main circuit. It's a relatively fast track
 

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That's a street compound. I'm actually quite surprised it held up as well as it did. I'm curious how it would do with track specific rotors and pads, plus a fluid flush. Does hawk or porterfield make a pad yet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just spoke to Porterfield - they don't have a pad for our cars yet. I will take my pads off and send them measurements so that they can start making them.
With all the media coverage this car is getting, I am very confident that most of the major suppliers will have pads by spring.

There will be two types of buyers, however, and everyone would be smart to educate themselves on just what they are buying. Many only want an aftermarket pad that will dust less. Performance is a secondary concern. I don't understand what makes those people tick, but they will buy most of the pads.

The rest of us want a pad that will endure track use. It will be a "compound class" pad and will provide a great deal more performance than Ford was able to install within the necessary constraints of being a regular production vehicle.

While this thread has been oddly dead, I have gotten several messages asking if I am absolutely stating that a big brake kit is necessary. Absolutely not.
Looks and vanity aside, a big brake kit is an absurd waste of money for 90% of people who spend the money to get one. To me, if you only buy a big brake kit for street use and "the look", you are far smarter to buy a ring or tennis bracelet for your woman. Even if she leaves you in a week, with the jewelry, you would have gotten more for your money than a BBK on the street.

Brakes are an entire system and the performance I experienced and the degradation I also experienced is because each part of the equation wasn't performing at its fullest. In order for brakes to work very well, all of these parameters must be working equally:

Heat range of the pads meet the use demands
Heat range of the fluid within the what will be produced by the use
Cooling airflow to the caliper to keep it from transmitting too much heat to the fluid/pad

Basically, if the pads or fluid or caliper get hotter than the other components then the entire system breaks down. Heat bleeds from the hot component to the cooler ones and the performance disappears. For me, I would say that over 100% MORE performance can be extracted from the factory components solely with some optimization.

Clearly, better pads need to be in use. The OEM pads are made to last on the road only. They have an aggressive bite so they degrade themselves quickly and they apparently (from my use) have a low tolerance for abuse. Fine, no complaints, they need replaced with something that can withstand track use. My preference, Performance Friction compound pads (let's see what they offer).

Also, clearly, the calipers will benefit from the dedicated cooling. I've utilized dedicated backing plates and cooling hose and intake ducts on several of my cars. A version of what Ford provides with the Laguna Seca Boss Mustang would be great (I've installed one of those). I would love to see a vendor work up a cooling kit that could use the black plastic adjacent to the fog lamps and then send some cool air to a backing plate mounted behind the front disc.

The fluid is also OEM and not up to this type of use. Some ATE or Motul or AP, among a dozen other brands, would also help prop up that end of the equation.

Brake hoses are an item I am not as concerned with. These cars are only 6 months (or less) old and those hoses will be fine for now. There needs to be some examination of whether a change in hoses would mess with the settings for the torque vectoring/stability control. It's probably a non-issue, but why replace something that may not need replaced and then invite problems. Let a proven vendor do some research and testing first. Hoses are easy and inexpensive to change if necessary, but I don't see much need. Very, very few of these cars are going to see continued line pressure on these brand new hoses to be able to tell any major difference.

Beyond that, the factory calipers and rotors are, for 95% of us, JUST FINE.
It's not a popular opinion, but it's fact. Big calipers and rotors decorated with slits or commas are just jewelry for nearly everyone of the people that will own this car. Sure, I would LOVE to have a big brake kit because after my one event on track, I see that I could, probably, personally benefit. My car will see track use next year and the extra margin of performance, for me, might be welcome.

I think it's a far more elegant solution, however, to work with what Ford provided and maximize its performance. Like I said, I think if these brakes were working within their designed in heat ranges, the performance would be just fine.

Me, I'll do fluid and proper pads and see how it performs. If temperatures remain an issue (testing with temperature paint, etc.), then look into dedicated cooling. If the little bugger is fast enough to require more swept area or a larger volume of fluid being moved, I'll be surprised, but I will cross that bridge when I get there (if ever).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think Ford should have fitted bigger brakes on the car.

Sent from my GT-N7100 using Tapatalk
I did several sessions on a race track with m ST and the heat set the rubber dust seals on fire. In 100 miles on track I ruined my front rotors (maybe all 4) and destroyed the pads.
Even with that, I don't think the car needed bigger brakes from the factory.

It's a 2700lb car that originally came with smaller front discs and rear drums. What's on the ST probably is a (depending on the metric) 75% improvement in [various] braking capabilities and performance.

Larger brakes would be sexier (to some), but then fitting a smaller spare wheel would be impossible. Larger brakes are heavier and can compromise handling performance. Another step larger would have likely caused the need to change the master cylnder and possibly the brake pedal ratio.

If they make 10k of these cars, it's a fact that probably fewer than 10% will ever see time on a track or in a scenario where continued hard driving would ever make brake fluid and pad temperature to be an issue. The aftermarket will certainly fill the void for those obsessed with jewelry within their wheels and introduce anodized two piece rotors festooned with slots and designs and neon colored loaf of bread sized calipers. What the manufacturer provided with this car is very likely going to be the better solution.
 

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Even funnier, 90% of the cars with big brake kits will never turn a wheel on a track...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Even funnier, 90% of the cars with big brake kits will never turn a wheel on a track...
I fully support neat modifications and I love a huge/cool caliper just as much as anyone else. It's just that I hate when people want others to believe that in order to enjoy their car's potential that they need to spend untold thousands more dollars just for that ability.

This car only needs a brake kit for 1 in 500 of its buyers. I would be shocked if more cars than that ever see the use necessary for a brake kit. Save your money for other modifications and quit living your life with the pride that could come from what people see from within your wheels. Big deal. Out drive them..... Impress them that way first.
 

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Big deal. Out drive them..... Impress them that way first.
I don't know how many pathetic fools I've talked to in the BMW and MS3 community who will dump thousands into their car and then tell me that they can't afford to attend an HPDE. I guess it's much better to look fast than to actually BE fast...
Morons.
 

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Porterfield got my measurements. The rear pads are the same as a 02-04 Focus SVT. Fronts are unique. Both can be ordered in the R4 compound, which is excellent for track.. Fronts $175.95, Rears $139.95
 
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