Ford Focus front disk brakes -- how long should the disks last?

Before I did the front disks myself, I first went to a Ford dealer and without looking at the car, he said the odds are I would need new rotors (disks) because Ford made them so thin on the Focus that if you
cut them once they'll probably not be thick enough to meet the minimum thickness standard. Not his exact words, but close.
Is this true?
If so, when I do eventually need my rotors (disks) replaced, is there a third party brand of rotors that is better than what Ford installs?
I have a 2002 Ford Focus Sedan SE.
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I replaced my front pads and rotors in May. Had only 20,000 miles on the aftermarket rotors and pads (Raybestos) (half worn) but I replaced the pads any way as the rotors were really pitted up bad from the salt on the road in the winter and this was causing a lot of weird noises from the brakes. About 40,000 miles from a set of front pads on a front wheel drive car is pretty good considering the size of the rotor and the pads. This time I went with "offshore" made rotors and they seem to be OK. (Rotors only cost $20 CDN)
I just replaced the rear brakes (OEM Ford quality) not because of wear, but both the leading and trailing shoes were badly cracked. These set of rear shoes had over 30,000 miles on them and they were about 25% worn. Really dumb brake set up and the shoes have different thickness of lining, the trailing shoe has half the amount of thickness of lining compared to the leading shoe, money says that the shoe lining will crack again especially on the trailing one... This is Ford better idea-save them money?? - go figure.
What ever method one uses to remove the back drums is a matter of choice, I just remove the centre cap and use a 29mm socket and a very long bar to remove the axle nut. These nuts have to be torqued to about 170 lbs. There is another method, where the 4 rear axle nuts are removed (from the back of the drum assembly) and then the axle with the drum comes off. I do not like this method as its a some what of a bitch to get the bolts undone, air impact works good, ( also have to undo the shock lower bolt and move the shock to one side), and to replace the axle drum assembly and possible damage to the ABS pick up is awkward. Its OK if you have the car on a hoist, but on a Jack and stands, LOL! There are some mechanics out there who will tell you that the proper way to remove the rear drums on a Focus is by undoing the 4 bolts. I talked to 2 Ford Techs and they both use the, remove the axle nut method. (Time is money). You can inspect the rear leading shoes, by removing an inspection plug on the brake backing plate.
Before I did the front disks myself, I first went to a Ford dealer and without looking at the car, he said the odds are I would need new rotors (disks) because Ford made them so thin on the Focus that if you cut them once they'll probably not be thick enough to meet the minimum thickness standard. Not his exact words, but close.
Is this true?
If so, when I do eventually need my rotors (disks) replaced, is there a third party brand of rotors that is better than what Ford installs?
I have a 2002 Ford Focus Sedan SE.
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Thanks for the help.
For peace of mind, and so that I had some sense for what was going on with my shoes for future decisions, I just had a brake shop replace the shoes and I got the old ones back to study. One of the shoes was about 60% worn and cracking up, another shoe was less worn and had just a few cracks, the other two looked like new. I'm happy I replaced them due to that one shoe that looked pretty bad.
Going forward, I'm going to replace the front pads and rear shoes every 45000 miles regardless, and I'm going to check the front rotors for minimum thickness everytime I do the front pads.
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On 19 Jun 2004 08:48:51 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Frank) wrote:

The story about the "thin" rotors on the Focus has been around a long time. The real question is, what if Ford has corrected this and dealers, other mechanics and brake shops are perpetuating a condition that did really exist but has been corrected. I'd sure check with Ford corporate headquarters before I'd let some yokel get his hand in my wallet.
If whoever is doing the work can prove what the minimun thickness requirement is and that your rotors do not meet it, do check the brake man's rotor price against a local parts store. The last itme I looked the brake shop wanted in excess of 5 times what the parts store across the street wanted for the same rotors.
Freddie
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FORD ROTORS SUCK BIG TIME !!!!!!!
GET NEW, OTHER MANUFACTURER ROTORS !!!!
FOR DUSES BAD, STUPID CAST IRON AND IT SUCKS.
IF YOU BUY ROTORS FROM PEP BOYS, KRAGEN, GET THEM CRYO-HARDENED!!! LOOK UP PERFORMANCE SHOPS. --TRY THE BRAKE MAN , IN CAMARILLO, CA.--
ALSO, GET GOOD PADS, REPACK YHOUR FRONT WHEEL BEARINGS WITH A GOOD SYNTHETIC GREASE -- LIKE MOBIL 1. OR AMSOIL.
ALSO, REAR WHEEL BEARINGS SUCK BIG TIME -- GET THEM CRYO-HARDENED. USE A GOOD GREASE!!
FORD SCREWS OVER PEOPLE ALL THE TIME, THEY ARE SO CHEAP THEY GET SUED ALL THE TIME.
CHECK ALL BALL JOINTS AT 35,000 MILES... REPACK USING A GOOD SYNTHETIC GREASE.
OIL --USE A GOOD SYNTHETIC
ATF -- USE REDLINE OR AMSOIL. CATCH THAT EARLY, FORD USES A OIL THAT WILL DESTROY THE INSIDES BY BAD OIL USE AND BURN UP YOUR TRANSMISSION. IT'S FORD WAY OF SCREWING THE CAR OWNER.
LAW SUITS -- GO SEE -- WWW.FORDFOCUSBRAKEPROBLEMS.COM.
j.
Frank wrote:

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