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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just installed Centric rotors with Hawk HPS pads on my '02 SVT on the recommendation of fellow focus owners from here and other forums.

I had them installed at a brake shop because two lug nuts, each on my front wheels were cross-threaded (badly!) by the tire shop (last time wheels were off). I made the tire shop pay for new wheel lugs and paid to have them install the brakes while they were at it.

I've only driven a few miles stopping hard a few times to feel the new friction surfaces. My initial impression is there is no bite. The pedal is mushy and I have to use a lot of force to get sufficient stopping power. Even the parking brake has no bite parking on a slopped surface.

My question is, for those who have used this combination, are these symptoms of a break-in period? If so, when can I expect friction performance to increase? So far I'm a little unsettled. This was a fair amount of money and I'm so far very disappointed.
 

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There is a break in on all brake pads/rotors. In order to get a new set of pads to seat to a new/machined rotor I typically will drive while riding the brakes lightly to get everything hot (do not apply full pressure, just enough to wear the slightest amount off of both the rotors and pads.) Too hot and rotors can warp, so there is a fine line to this. 40-50mph for 1/8-1/4 mile with very light pressure is usually enough.
 

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Titular Wit Here
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I have the stock rotors, with Hawk HPS pads... yes there is indeed a break-in period. At least a few hundred miles of use before they will bite strong and hard. I have always noticed this ANY time the pads are replaced on every vehicle I've ever driven. [dunno]
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have the stock rotors, with Hawk HPS pads... yes there is indeed a break-in period. At least a few hundred miles of use before they will bite strong and hard. I have always noticed this ANY time the pads are replaced on every vehicle I've ever driven. [dunno]
Were you happy with the bite after they break-in period?
 

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Titular Wit Here
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Yes, they are better than stock, and as an added bonus, there is WAY less brake dust on the wheels than the stock pads.
 

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how much did you pay for everything? i want to upgrade my pads and rotors this week..so plz let me know..
 

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hmmm...i didnt have any issues when i installed mine. no break in period per say. ive got the centric slotted rotors and hawk hps pads and the bite is awesome! did they happen to bleed ur brakes when they did the install? i know the first time pushin on the brakes, the pedal went to the floor cause the piston had to be pushed back into place. a couple more pushes and they were set.
 

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Shiroi kabocha
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The proper bed-in procedure is listed on the box of the pads, I followed that when I got those same pads and mine grabbed hard the day I installed them.
 

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The Librarian
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you dont have to bleed the lines if your changeing the rotors an pads.
[scratch]
Um, yes, you certainly do.
And, the worse the brakes were when replaced, the more important it is.

BurnsRubber, here's a good write up for how to bed in the pads properly:
http://www.zeckhausen.com/bedding_in_brakes.htm
^^^Right from the guy that sells the Centric rotors.
(Well, at least where I got mine from)
 

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how much did you pay for everything? i want to upgrade my pads and rotors this week..so plz let me know..
I just ordered this set from CFM the other night for $320 plus shipping I believe. Not a bad deal if you ask me, the dealership quoted a brake job at $605 for the OEM parts!
 

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soon to be turbo!
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WD40 iv'e have changed brakes out with out bleeding the lines just compress the piston place the new pads in put the new rotor on bolt it all back together stomp on the brake pedal until it starts to stiffen up then go on to the other side an do the same method.
 

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did you cleaned your rotors with brake cleaner to remove oil? i would say thats what causing this???
 

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Titular Wit Here
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You know, I completely forgot about the procedure on the box. Now that the subject came up, I recall the shop I took it to did that business for me (and yes, they really did, because it is a well-respected shop and not some parts-changer outfit). And yes, I don't change my own brakes. So sue me.
 

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The Librarian
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WD40 iv'e have changed brakes out with out bleeding the lines just compress the piston place the new pads in put the new rotor on bolt it all back together stomp on the brake pedal until it starts to stiffen up then go on to the other side an do the same method.
While that works on occasion, (you lucked out) that's not the the preferable nor the most desirable method by any means.
1) Brake fluid breaks down (there's a pun [;)]) over time, and absorbs moisture.
By the time you replace the brakes it's definitely time to replace the fluid.
Was yours black or dark in color and not clear like honey?
If so...it should have been replaced.
2) ABS pumps do not take kindly to forcing fluid through them in reverse under pressure.
^^^As in, depressing the caliper piston without loosening the bleeder valve.

I highly recommend speed bleeders, as they take all the guess work out of bleeding brakes.
1 person can do the job easily without the need for that 2nd person to pump the brakes while the other person releases the valve.
I picked mine up from C-F-M when I ordered the HPS pads.
They replace the standard bleeders and are relatively inexpensive,
especially when you factor in the amount of time and effort they save when bleeding brakes.
 

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You should have (and perhaps still can) "bed" your brakes as described here (it's also great fun to do!):

http://www.zeckhausen.com/bedding_in_brakes.htm

I have the same combo and LOVE 'em (MUCH less dust, too, as mentioned above). In fact, I can't wait until the rears need to be replaced so I can put 'em back there, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks all for the very helpful advice !

I'm going to try the "bed-in" procedure posted by WD40, and others.

http://www.zeckhausen.com/bedding_in_brakes.htm

When I did my hard stops last night I went to a complete stop, which is exactly not what you're supposed to do according to this procedure. I don't think I got the brakes hot enough as this procedure requires anyway.

I just washed the car and the rotors oxidized almost completely evenly over the rotor surfaces. I’m only speculating, but I interpret this to mean there isn't any residue coating, oil or grease on the surfaces.

Re bleeding the hydraulic system. I don’t have any experience in this area. What’s the diagnostic for knowing you need to bleed the system? How do you bleed the system? I would assume a brakes shop would not deliver a car to their client that needs bleeding. I don’t know what the shop did to the car yesterday. They may have done some bed-in type procedure of their own. I’ll call them tomorrow and find out exactly what they did.

For what it’s worth, the bite has improved, marginally. Though I haven’t used the brakes much. It’s amazing how much you can drive around town without using the brakes.

RocSVT: I got them from c-f-m, paid the same price as SBII, about $320, and another $50 in freight from FL to CA. I paid $180 to have them installed. I would have liked to do it myself; but the lug problem spoiled my Saturday dedicated to installing the brakes so circumstance forced me to have the shop do it. It’s a fair amount of money. It’s more a question of how much is your free time worth to you?

If someone from c-f-m is reading this, I suggest you improve your packaging method. The box was almost complete disintegrated and DO NOT use "popcorn" packing material! I can not stand that stuff! When paying $50 for shipping I expect better packaging.
 
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