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Discussion Starter #1
The only way to get full discs on a 2013 SE (5Mt) is the 201A package which is about $1600 in Canada. Has anybody driven both the rear drum and rear disc configs and if so is there an appreciable difference ie better stopping distances, less fade or anything else? Besides the discs, 201a includes 17" wheels, fog lamps and some appearance stuff but nothing critical to me so I am wondering if the $1600 is worth it because it would help on resale or if it is just a good deal for the stuff it includes?

Thanks
Phil
 

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The only way to get full discs on a 2013 SE (5Mt) is the 201A package which is about $1600 in Canada. Has anybody driven both the rear drum and rear disc configs and if so is there an appreciable difference ie better stopping distances, less fade or anything else? Besides the discs, 201a includes 17" wheels, fog lamps and some appearance stuff but nothing critical to me so I am wondering if the $1600 is worth it because it would help on resale or if it is just a good deal for the stuff it includes?

Thanks
Phil
The disks are much better than the disk / drum set up on the base car, both to drive, as well as to service. The appearance package essentially turns a base SE into what was a SEL premium package (minus leather for canada as standard). The SE sport or SEL with DCT base packages were much better value in 2012 vs 2013.
 

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The SFE package also comes with 4 wheel disk brakes, the package was $95, but not with the 5mt. In the midwest I would actually prefer rear drums though.
 

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The SFE package also comes with 4 wheel disk brakes, the package was $95, but not with the 5mt. In the midwest I would actually prefer rear drums though.
I wouldn't prefer drum brakes, they are enclosed which means it will trap water and rust from the inside out. My last car had rear drums and they totally suck to drive on, or when it came time to have them worked on. I live in the mid west, but drum brakes suck full stop all the time.
 

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where are drums trapping water?? I've never taken a set of drum brakes apart that have had water in them, i've also never had the corrosion issues with drums like I have with disks. You actually had water in your drum brakes when you took them apart??
 

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where are drums trapping water?? I've never taken a set of drum brakes apart that have had water in them, i've also never had the corrosion issues with drums like I have with disks. You actually had water in your drum brakes when you took them apart??
I've had corroded brake shoe mounting hardware and springs both on my cars in the past, as well as when I had to help change the drums on my brother's 2003 Taurus. All the hardware was corroded much worse than any set of calipers I've ever seen in my life.

That's evidence that water and other road debris were jammed inside the drum for long enough to corrode it badly. It also froze up the star wheel on at least the one side, but likely on both sides. Also the rust was so bad on the side where the drum was completely shot that the car wasn't really that stable on the jack stands, so rather than change the worse side I had to button the car back up before it fell on me.

Was there standing water? Not that I recall, but the springs that held the shoes on were badly rusted, as well as the springs that hold the shoes together and locked to the self adjuster mechanism were badly corroded.

The pistons and brake pads usually have held up better in my previous experiences. I strongly dislike working on drum brakes, let alone driving with them.
 

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Rl

Phil:

We just purchased two 2013's - one SE with 201A and one without. No appreciable difference with brakes - rear discs vs. drums. However, at higher speeds or with repeated stops, there could be a difference. Option 201A is worth the money - not only for rear disc brakes but for many additional features: leather seats, steering wheel and shifter boot, power driver's seat, ambient lighting, Sirius radio, brighter trim inside, perimiter alarm, fog lights, rear wing and 17 inch wheels/tires. 201A is $ 2,640 in US dollars. By the way, the SE without it works fine and has nice features for the price:16 inch alloys with decent tire size, SYNC with MyFord (works fine), all electrics, cruise and more. Both cars are impressive in design, engineering and driving dynamics. And they are very attractive inside and out.
 

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Phil:

We just purchased two 2013's - one SE with 201A and one without. No appreciable difference with brakes - rear discs vs. drums. However, at higher speeds or with repeated stops, there could be a difference. Option 201A is worth the money - not only for rear disc brakes but for many additional features: leather seats, steering wheel and shifter boot, power driver's seat, ambient lighting, Sirius radio, brighter trim inside, perimiter alarm, fog lights, rear wing and 17 inch wheels/tires. 201A is $ 2,640 in US dollars. By the way, the SE without it works fine and has nice features for the price:16 inch alloys with decent tire size, SYNC with MyFord (works fine), all electrics, cruise and more. Both cars are impressive in design, engineering and driving dynamics. And they are very attractive inside and out.
Only the US forces leather as part of the $2500+ 201 A package. The leather seats are not worth the extra money, especially not for black leather. Give me back the choice for stone leather and I might choose it. Otherwise the only good thing about the 201A package is the rear disk brakes. They make a huge difference in stopping performance in traffic or from freeway speeds repeatedly. Drums fade much quicker.
 

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My issue with drum brakes is that I feel they trap brake dust in, so you need to clean them periodically (more than disc brakes). Plus, disc brakes (in my opinion) give you better stopping power because you're grabbing a moving disc, rather than trying to rub against a moving surface.

I think the disc brakes will lock easier, but with 4 wheel ABS, this shouldn't be much of an issue. Personally, I haven't felt a big difference between my 2010 Focus (which had rear drums, but 4 wheel ABS) and my 2012 Focus which has all 4 disc brakes with ABS.

But if I had to choose, I would always take disc breaks for the rear over drums. They're also easier to work on than drum brakes. And you can make better visual inspections with disc brakes, instead of having to remove the wheel and drum just to check the status of your pads.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the feedback; I did not know about the US-Cdn differences on the 201a. I just checked on the 2012 options and they are better for my purposes but I think they might have been altered; I thought at one point you could get the Sport Package without 201a for about $350; now though, you have to get 201a to get the sports package so the the total for both is about $!200 vs $1600 for 2013. Oh well. I think I will bite the bullet given the comments here but I feel that Ford should not be selling the Focus with drum brakes in this day and age. I am pretty sure that there would only be a small cost difference at production level for discs all around.
 

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This topic has been beaten to death so many times.

You will not appreciately improve stopping distance with rear discs. If you want quicker stops, you need tires that stop better, not disc brakes.

Fade also is a non-issue unless you're racing.

Working on the brakes is the single biggest benefit of rear discs. To me, for $1600, you can have the rear drum brakes completely and professionally replaced at 4 or 5 times with brand new drums for that kind of money, which is probably more than you will need throughout the entire life of the car.

And keep in mind that even if you do change out your own disc brakes, parts aren't free (you're not going to do a swap for under $100 with rotors unless you use garbage parts).

Bottom line: It's not worth it for the performance. Spend the money on rubber. If you just need it for the looks or the status or whatever, that's your call.
 

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If you drive hard then get the discs since the drums have bene reported by car rags to heat up quick and creates a dangerous situation with leaving almost all the braking duty to the front wheels. From a performance standpoint it is a big difference and for me I wasn't willing to compromise.
 

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I agree with Pretherious.

The front brakes do 80% of the stopping after weight transfer in any case.

I don't think you will notice any difference in real world between disc and drum brakes.

That said - discs are easier to work on - plus you can see the amount of lining remaining without having to pull the drums (and maybe the rear wheel bearings) - so if you have the option of either one for about the same money (a 2012 SE Sport appearance vs. a 2013 Base SE), the discs would be preferred.
 

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the average driver will notice no difference in performance.

therfore its a matter of looks, or ease of maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hey RonMaiden: Interesting point can you point me to the reference you mention? Thanks.

Hey Pretherius: I agree with your analysis if it was just the discs for $1600 but I'm still pondering if the discs plus sat radio, touring suspension, 17" alloy wheels, fog lights etc is worth that much. I'm leaning towards yes but still haven't decided for sure. Appreciate your comments.

Phil
 

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I live in the midwest also, and I will not ever own another vehicle with rear drum brakes. Disc brakes by design, are self cleaning. You can even get them wet and they still work, drums on the other hand will lose about 75% of their braking capacity when wet until you dry them out.

All 3 of my current fords have 4 wheel discs, both trucks had them, the 08 fusion, the 05 explorer had them too. The last vehicle I drove that had rear drums was an 01 cavalier, and those brakes sucked in the winter. They were always getting wet in the winter, not to mention they got road salt in there too. I had to replace the rear drums and shoes every spring the whole time I owned it.
 

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I live in the midwest also, and I will not ever own another vehicle with rear drum brakes. Disc brakes by design, are self cleaning. You can even get them wet and they still work, drums on the other hand will lose about 75% of their braking capacity when wet until you dry them out.
they dry out in moments.
converting vehicle motion into heat will boil the water pretty fast. and your brakes get hot!, That why you brake fluid needs to withstand almost 500°F (260°C)
 

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yes, i agree that they do get this "rusty" film on them when moisture is present (the disc brakes do), but I'd be more concerned about excessive the dust trapped in drum brakes causing issues with the ability of the pads to do their job. I do like the idea with the discs that they do sort of clean themselves (at least as far as excess brake dust goes). The thin layer of moisture/rust, I can deal with because it usually goes away after a few stops anyway.

I think the beneifts of discs outweight the drums in my opinion. I will only take a car with drum brakes if it's given to me or if the car is a huge steal compared to one with disc brakes. but aside from that, I probably won't buy another car again with rear drum brakes, ABS or not.
 

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Alot of it does come down to keeping cost down using drums but there's no arguing which is better but if you drive with a little spirit the discs are much more rewarding and last longer.

Article exerpt-----------
Which ones are Better?
Disc brakes operate better than drum brakes because of the difference in dissipation of heat in both systems. While drum brakes get overheated due to the heat trapped inside the drum, the rotor cools faster and offers better braking ability. Today most cars have a combination of both brakes in their functioning. Front wheels are fitted with disc brakes and rear wheels are fitted with drum brakes. There are high-end cars that come with disc brakes fitted in all wheels. Drum brakes are cheaper than disc brakes. A combination of the two braking system helps in keeping the price of a car to be reasonable, while offering adequate braking ability. If you opt for disk brakes, there is a lesser risk of frequent problems.

The choice in fact is quite simple and opting for disc brakes is always the better decision as they offer better service in a wide range of driving conditions and also last longer.
 

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IMO the look alone is worth the price;drums are one thing on a car that screams cheapness and is why drums are still being offered.
 
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