95 Escort Brakes and O2 sensor

What is involved in switching to rear disc brakes on a 95 Escort Wagon? I can get parts (heck the whole back-end) off an Escort GT pretty cheap so price really isn't an issue. While I'm at it, whats the appropriate year
donor vehicle?
In case you are wondering, my brakes seem weak. The pedal pressure is fine, it doesn't feel especially spongy, but especially when going down hill you easily run out of brakes even with your foot all the way down. I replaced the front pads a while ago with nice ceramic pads and it seemed to improve the situation, but its back to being as crappy as ever now (after 1 year) and I can't imagine its a problem in the front any more.
Also, are there any good diagnostic tools available for this car (considering that its pre-OBD2), my fuel economy seems to be down around 30 mpg, which seems lower than it should be and I wanted to try to check if the O2 sensor is working properly.
dan
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On Fri, 04 Feb 2005 00:02:51 +0000, Dan wrote:

The standard brakes should perform adequately during normal driving conditions if everything is functioning as it should. Either your expectations are too high or there is a problem you've overlooked. It could be a lot of things. Leaky caliper or wheel cylinder, bad brake booster, etc.

For mixed driving, 30 mpg is good. EEC can only detect specific, obvious problems with an O2 sensor. If it's just "slightly off" then no code is set.
Rodney
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I'm not sure what the definition of "adequate" is. The car stops, but I've measured the decelleration on this car (a while ago) versus my 1990 Jetta. The Jetta could stop literally 50% faster (i.e. 50% more decelleration). After changing the front pads it seemed to get better (though still wasn't comparable to the Jetta) now its back to where it was before, approximately. Interestingly, the Jetta is about the same weight and the brake rotors are actually slightly smaller (10.25" on the Escort, versus 10.1" on the Jetta... The Jetta does have rear discs though.
I can't imagine its a leaky caliper or wheel cylinder because I'm not losing fluid. I suppose a caliper could be sticking, but that doesn't seem plausible either because if that were the case I'd expect the braking to be uneven, which it isn't. Also, it was my understanding that a faulty brake booster pretty much universally causes the pedal effort to increase but doesn't otherwise impact the braking. My pedal feel is actually pretty good in the Escort (better than the Jetta) it just can't stop well.
So any idea whats involved in swapping in the GT's rear disc brakes?

Mixed means mostly highway and rural, not much "city" driving. My father (who used to own the car) claimed to get 40 mpg in similar driving. I'm not expecting to get the same gas mileage because he drives it more gently than me, and I figure I get worse mileage in the winter since I think we use oxygenated gasoline here, but I would figure I should be getting maybe 33-35 mpg. I was thinking perhaps a slightly contaminated MAF or oxygen sensor which might be reading slowly or slightly off. Perhaps brake cleaner (at least on the MAF sensor)...
dan
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Have the brake lines been power bled?
Matt
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

The brake lines haven't been bled (possibly ever). It was my understanding that brake bleeding would improve the "feel" of pedal, and the pedal doesn't feel that bad (my Jetta for instance feels much worse despite having much better braking). I have been scared of bleeding it because I have had very mixed results in the past when trying to bleed (using a variety of different techniques).
dan
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Brake bleeding can get pretty messy, but most shops have power bleeders and the service is pretty cheap. Just shoot a little penetrating oil on the bleeder valves before you bring the car in.
I don't know, you're comparing German engineering to Ford engineering, might be apples and oranges.
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have a newer upgraded master cylinder to solve the pedal travel sponginess check with you local Ford dealer for this.
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