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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just recently in the area I live, we received a very large amount of rain. During this kind of rain fall, my brakes decide to take on their own ways.

The short version, when I use the brakes for the first time after starting, the pedal moves maybe 1/4 inch, then goes rock hard and the brakes fail to engage. The fix best used to reengage the brakes, pump them. Usually works.

This will only happen once in a day, but only during rain conditions. Never have this issue in fog, summer time, ect. After going to Ford for ideas, they inform me that my rotors are potentially damaged because they are black and blue from overheating.


So: Q1) Why do my brakes seem to fail in the rain.
Q2) What do people recommend for aftermarket pads and rotors (for all season use), performance or otherwise, as I want to replace them anyways
 

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Moved to Brakes, Suspension & Chassis

First question kinda sounds like you're sometimes hitting the brakes so soon after startup that there hasn't been time for the vacuum to build in the booster - makes 'em feel hard without the power brake effect.

Second - I haven't seen blued rotors except from sticking calipers dragging a lot, are yours spinning OK when released?

You'll get some replacement recommendations here, one of the common ones is Centric blank rotors with Hawk HP pads.
 

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You'll get some replacement recommendations here, one of the common ones is Centric blank rotors with Hawk HP pads.
This is the all around best and most common brake combo for the focus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
First question kinda sounds like you're sometimes hitting the brakes so soon after startup that there hasn't been time for the vacuum to build in the booster - makes 'em feel hard without the power brake effect.
At the time of the most recent incident, I had already been on the road for 8 kms (5 miles) doing upwards of 90km/h (55 mph). Normally when it does happen, I've just left my driveway and gone about 300 feet before first needing to use the brakes. So the short range I can maybe understand, but on the highway at random makes no sense. Unless my booster just hates rain...


Brakes have never been my strong suit, so when I can, I'll make a YouTube video of the rotors spinning and post the link here
 

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My guesser isn't workin' good then, can't figure the rain connection & you ran the engine long enough for vacuum to build.

You get good vacuum any time the throttle plate isn't opened up wide, so even if the check valve isn't always working you'd only loose boost from that after harder accel. for a sec.. Check the hose/connections though, simple & fast to look at that in case something's damaged/loose.

For the blued rotors, checking for brake drag is simple - just jack & spin wheel, should spin easily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Is there any other ideas for Rotors? My local parts people carry the Hawk pads, but don't appear to carry Centric Parts.

This is what I have to chose from Products - Lordco Parts Ltd. (Then click on High Performance tab)
 

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You've got SSBC for stock type & Powerslot for performance there from a quick look.

Have you checked for any brake drag yet? Still wonder about those blued rotors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
They don't spin all that well. My front rotors are also chewed up, lots of groves. Brake squeal has started too, but under light braking only.

My local carrier, Lordco, can only carry the super fancy brakes by Stop Tech, so I can't get the lesser Centric. Stop Tech seems to own everything too. The powerslot page is nothing more than an add for Stop Tech.

See what SSBC has to offer
 

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Might be time to rebuild/replace with rebuilt front calipers.

If you whack the back of one with a soft hammer & it spins well, then stays hard to spin after hitting the brakes again, they're hanging up.

Check everything else of course, pads/sliders hanging up can do the same thing.
 

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It is perfectly normal to drive in rain and then on the first brake attempt the brake is hard and does not stop, you have WATER on the discs and it must first burn off before brake begins to work. You describe that perfectly................

'At the time of the most recent incident, I had already been on the road for 8 kms (5 miles) doing upwards of 90km/h (55 mph).'

After traveling long distance in a good rain you should ALWAYS apply the brake a bit to drag to dry them off before you need the harder stop. I used to drive 30 miles to work and at the end of it a sharp exit ramp and I was always going too deep into that stop (running the stop sign actually) because I wouldn't remember that, had to retrain myself in the rain to always be slowing down early because of the issue. Water logged brakes hydroplane the pad just like tires do in water. The car will NOT stop as well. Grooving either the pad or disc may alleviate that somewhat but grooved stuff wears faster.
 
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