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
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.