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I just got an '05 ZXW. I notice that I have about 1.5 inches of pedal depression before the brakes engage. During those 1.5 inches a small "hiss" can be heard near the footwell. I just flushed the brake fluid, being careful to remove all bubbles.

When the brakes do engage, they work great. It's just that initial play that is concerning.

Is this typical of MK1's, or is there something I should look at?
 

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The more the brakes are worn the lower down the pedal before doing something, been that way for 50 years. Should be the same with the handbrake. New brakes restores much of it.

The hiss is the power booster working.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The more the brakes are worn the lower down the pedal before doing something, been that way for 50 years. Should be the same with the handbrake. New brakes restores much of it.

The hiss is the power booster working.
Ok, thanks. I'll get new pads and rotors.
 

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Drums if on the back have more effect with that.
 

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Don't forget to check brake master cylinder and brake booster. I have changed out both of these on an 07 although I think a leaking booster was the main problem. The squishy sound makes me think these should be checked.
 

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They MUST hiss in normal use or not working right. Every brake booster on the planet does it. It shows the booster is retaining vacuum, it does it for maybe 2-3 times with engine off then nothing, an emergency braking thing if the engine has died.
 

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They MUST hiss in normal use or not working right. Every brake booster on the planet does it. It shows the booster is retaining vacuum, it does it for maybe 2-3 times with engine off then nothing, an emergency braking thing if the engine has died.
yea you are right, (and my problem may be completely unrelated to the chap with the original question) but that "squishy" sound may be more of what I felt - spongy brakes. There was still some initial hiss with the car off but the spongy brakes (and no visible leaks) made me think I had air in brake lines or bad master cylinder. After bleeding brakes I replaced the master cylinder and this helped a lot but the brake pedal still a little soft. Over time it got worse and after a year the spongy brakes became dangerous. Perhaps my new master cylinder was bad so I replaced it with another new MC (OEM but it had Bosch on it) and also purchased a reman brake booster from autozone (with the intent of returning it if I did not need it). Anyway I found the brake booster was leaking dirty brake fluid while the mastercylinder had pristine oil. So I replaced both the Mastercylinder and brake booster together and the brakes are good as new (literally, because I bought this focus new). Any idea what was going on with this issue? I thought a bad brake booster would make the pedal stiff (not spongy) and why was the brake oil so dirty at the booster while clean in the MC? I have an 07 Duratec 2.0.

Thanks in advance, I pick up many nuggets from all you pros.
 

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Drums if on the back have more effect with that.
2007 2.0, 150k last year- Had rear wheel bearing issues so I got the drums with wheel bearing included from advanced auto (mistake because they rusted immediately and look terrible). I also got new brake shoes to replase while I and was in there but it looked like the quality of the advance auto brake shoe material was deferior to OEM. I had about 1/3 to 1/2 of the brake shoe material left so I decided to leave the OEM in and take care of it at a later date with OEM shoes. Anyone know if 1/3-1/2 brake shoe material is okay for now and should I stick with OEM brake shoes.?
 

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Does it matter if you have already made the decision to? Your response is straight from lemmingworld.

I did this, should I have did this?

(shaking head sadly)
 

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After 150k miles, I had planned to replace the shoes-and I had the parts-but decided I should find better shoes. For context, I had never worked on a brake drum until I got this car, so I was wondering
1) whether brake shoes 2/3 worn down are still okay for several K miles (after all, it took 150k to get to this point) or should they be replaced asap? I still plan to replace the shoes but don't know how critical here. And
2) Are brake shoes one of those parts I should stick with OEM or are there better aftermarkets? The only aftermarket shoes I found locally, looked junk.

Braking seems okay except I have dealt with warped front rotors- I changed 3 sets of rotors in the past 6-7 years (don't know if this is related or just hard braking)...

thanks, if you have insights
 

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You have the same warped rotor issue everybody else has, meaning there ain't one. The problem is much more likely to be pad and shoe material getting swedged into the rotor surface to be that instead. The difference in hardness produces the 'warped ' effect. Recutting them removes that not any warp there.

I proved that out over and over back when I used to cut rotors and drums. To begin with, there is NO WAY you can cut the parts back to 'not warped' as every machine commonly used to do that work in parts stores has a flaw to it that produces parts that seem to be warped. I used to show it to people all the time.

I use aftermarket non-Ford shoes and pads on everything I have and for 40 years, it is the competency of the person working on and driving the car that is the issue there.

150K is enough for rear shoes and when I commonly change them. They can go longer but ruining a drum over it is stupid unless you have money to throw away.
 

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That "warped" rotor effect you described makes total sense. Not a single professional mechanic has ever explained it to me that way before. Thanks.

On another note, I will go ahead and change my brake shoes next month.
 

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yea you are right, (and my problem may be completely unrelated to the chap with the original question) but that "squishy" sound may be more of what I felt - spongy brakes. There was still some initial hiss with the car off but the spongy brakes (and no visible leaks) made me think I had air in brake lines or bad master cylinder. After bleeding brakes I replaced the master cylinder and this helped a lot but the brake pedal still a little soft. Over time it got worse and after a year the spongy brakes became dangerous. Perhaps my new master cylinder was bad so I replaced it with another new MC (OEM but it had Bosch on it) and also purchased a reman brake booster from autozone (with the intent of returning it if I did not need it). Anyway I found the brake booster was leaking dirty brake fluid while the mastercylinder had pristine oil. So I replaced both the Mastercylinder and brake booster together and the brakes are good as new (literally, because I bought this focus new). Any idea what was going on with this issue? I thought a bad brake booster would make the pedal stiff (not spongy) and why was the brake oil so dirty at the booster while clean in the MC? I have an 07 Duratec 2.0.

Thanks in advance, I pick up many nuggets from all you pros.
Your old master cylinder was leaking fluid into the brake booster. Brake boosters don't contain any brake fluid to leak unless the master cylinder was leaking into it from the back.

Sent from my LG-LS997 using Tapatalk
 
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