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Old 09-17-2004, 12:52 AM   #1
biketcher
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Rain = No Brakes!!!!

Since day one my SVT ZX5 (03, Pitch Black) has been a little sensitive to rain. Primarily when I try to stop. Even in the lightest of rain, I press upon the brake pedal only to find an extremely long delay before the brakes actually begin to feel as though they are grabbing (well it feels like a long delay when I'm exiting the highway at 75 mph).

So, I was aware of this idiosyncracy and, anytime it rained, I would give myself a smidge more room when I was approaching traffic, etc. I was familiar with this trait from my days of Honda CB750F (motorcycle) ownership - it just happens sometimes when the brakes get a little too wet.

Anyway, two days ago I'm heading to work at 5 am in a pounding rain when I find that, while approaching a large cluster of cars on the highway (I'm going 75 and they are ALL going below 50 somewhere) I hit the brakes but got nothing. The pedal was firm and after about 1 FULL SECOND I began to feel the brakes grab - but not very strong. When I finally slowed completely, they again felt regular. Until I reached my exit 1 minute later - then I went through it all again. Luckily, I expected it and gave myself a massive buffer between me and EVERYONE ELSE.

So, what happened? Water = Brakes = Slip = Heat = Grip = Repeat...

I figure the pads were floating on the thin layer of water on the rotor, but I wonder:
A: Why?
B: Why has the supposed SVT "specialist" at the normally ok Ford dealer swore on his mother's grave that this has never happened to him and he has never heard of such an incident or condition?
C: Will I need to purchase slotted rotors or some such thing to rectify this?
D: Has anyone else had this problem?

Thanks for your input.


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Old 09-17-2004, 12:59 AM   #2
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hmm don't think my brakes are like yours...
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Old 09-17-2004, 03:25 AM   #3
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I have noticed this too. I think it's a compination of a few things.

1) small film of water on the rotors
2) cold brakes and rotors
3) brake pads that are performance orintiated, i.e. works better when at higher temps.

As long as your aware of the porblem and make sure your carefull in the rain you should be ok. You could try riding the brakes for a breif moment in the rain every few miles. Sloted brakes could help with the problem but I have not talked to anyone that has had tried to solve this problem that way.
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Old 09-17-2004, 08:05 AM   #4
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I've never experienced anything like what you described (yet). I hope not to.

Last edited by revamp; 09-17-2004 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 09-17-2004, 08:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by revamp
I've never experiences anything like what you described (yet). I hope not to.
I have never had this problem...usually just the first stop I make in the rain the brakes are a little weak but no delays, after that they seem to be fine, I would take it to the dealership, thats outright dangerous
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Old 09-17-2004, 10:47 AM   #6
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I haven't experienced that at all...weird...i'll start checkin out for it today though...Ivan's leftovers are gonna vist this area hard today.
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Old 09-17-2004, 10:52 AM   #7
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i have never had that..but then again it rains like 2 days a year in LA
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Old 09-17-2004, 02:39 PM   #8
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No rain problems here.
In fact, in an AutoCross this spring....in a MAJOR downpour....
I got 2nd place overall by .074 sec.

This is by far the "stickiest" car I've ever driven in the rain.
I left the TC on, and "let er do er stuff".
Braking wise was nothing short of phenomenal in the rain.
Oh, Here's the thread.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I'd get that thing into the Dealer.
Something doesn't sound right.
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Old 09-17-2004, 04:43 PM   #9
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Cool. Pretty slick, WD40...
Thank you everyone for your input - I think I may need to just take it to the dealer. I called them and they said, "You don't need an appointment - just bring it in when it's raining and we'll have a technician drive it while you ride along."
UH, OK...So they want me to wait until it rains - I can do that - and then endanger one of their employee's lives as well as my own because he won't be familiar with the behavior of the brakes. I'll probably have them get it up on a lift and have them look at it first and see if there are any obvious defects.
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Old 09-17-2004, 07:59 PM   #10
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Going 75 in the rain and expecting the car to stop on a dime is bit much I would say. Are you sure they are not working or is it that your tires are slipping when you apply the brakes hard.
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