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Ford Focus SE Sport 2003
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello. Seems like my recent suspension repair has a problem. The front left shock seems defective. A friend of mine mechanics (retired) drove the car and he’s fairly certain that there is a problem with the front left shock. He checked all the rest and everything looks OK (ball joints, and the horizontal bar that were not replaced). Dealer will verify it tomorrow and if required, they will order a new one under warranty.

However, when my friend looked at my front brakes, he said that even if they are not worn out that they should be replaced because they are not straight (he said burnt spots). The left calliper also is a tiny bit loose so he said I should change the whole kit. He mentioned drilled disks as the best. Does anyone have a suggestion for my Focus 2003?
 

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I'm not really a fan of drilled discs I've used them in the past, because I thought they were cool. You seem to prefer OEM parts so why not some OEM brake pads with some quality rotors.

What is a loose caliper, I'm not sure I understand I've never heard calling a caliper loose.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The calliper holds the brake pad, right? It is a bit loose. He can move it a bit by hand and he said that I should replace the whole kit for peace of mind.
 

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Maybe the brake pads just need a new disc brake hardware kit. So brake pads, brake pad hardware and rotors. You don't want your brake calipers to be dragging the pads against the rotor. They are a floating caliper they are going to move. The whole point of caliper slide pins.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Maybe the brake pads just need a new disc brake hardware kit. So brake pads, brake pad hardware and rotors

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Yes, that is what he said. Peace of mind because the hardware is 18 years old. He showed me some darker spots on the disk and I can confirm that I have a small vibration when I apply the brakes gently.
 

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If a caliper is not dragging I personally would not replace it. That is why I don't understand the loose part because it's a floating caliper. It is supposed to be able to be moved back and forth. The only time I replace a caliper is if it is leaking or dragging.

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Please read link below. I understand he is your friend but I just don't agree a caliper that is floating is supposed to move.

.

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If a caliper is not dragging I personally would not replace it. That is why I don't understand the loose part because it's a floating caliper. It is supposed to be able to be moved back and forth. The only time I replace a caliper is if it is leaking or dragging.

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That’s probably what he meant (dragging). He was trying to determine if the loose sound my car was making came from the calliper or the shock and he came to the conclusion that it was the shock but nonetheless he detected an issue with calliper (nothing critical) and he told me that I should replace the whole kit. I have no reason not to believe him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Please read link below. I understand he is your friend but I just don't agree a caliper that is floating is supposed to move.

.

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The guy has been a mechanics all his life (and a good one). He had his own garage (still has the garage but retired). He took care of my Focus for several years before retiring two years ago. If he hadn’t retired, he would have made all the repairs on my car (my trust is limited on the other guys around).
 

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Unfortunately they do not make new calipers, so they will be rebuilt units. I figured you would want coated calipers for appearance reasons.

Brake pads I would recommend OEM or Akebono pads.


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Brake rotors I recommend. If you are going to replace the calipers it would be a good idea to put new brake hoses on them.


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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks! Not an emergency at all but I'll see if I can find these parts here in Canada directly. It is definitely not expensive.
 

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Here is the Rundown

If your rotors are warped, grooved, damaged in any way, they should be replaced along with the pads. warpage can be felt through the brake pedal by someone who knows what to feel for. Calipers rarely go bad, and if they are functioning, there is no need to replace them.

Drilled and/or slotted rotors are supposed to perform better in rainy and racing conditions, they shed water better, keep dust material at bay under heavy usage, and stay a tad cooler than standard rotors. if you dont race the car or drive it like a madman, standard rotors will be fine. I dont suggest buying the cheapest rotors from the autoparts store, they can warp early.

best to get a hardware kit, pads, and rotors, grease the points that are supposed to be greased
 

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I had a pair of cross drilled rotors in the past and the holes got packed with brake pad material, and they ended up creating some pulsation fairly quick.

I say stay away from the auto parts store if possible RockAuto is definitely the way to go. But he is in Quebec Canada so I have no clue about prices and such.

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I had a pair of cross drilled rotors in the past and the holes got packed with brake pad material, and they ended up creating some pulsation fairly quick.

I say stay away from the auto parts store if possible RockAuto is definitely the way to go. But he is in Quebec Canada so I have no clue about prices and such.

While rockauto is cheap, i have found that most of the parts they carry are absolute bottom of the barrel, the same or worse than your local autozone. This isnt 100% the case, but they dont seem to carry much name brand or made in the USA/Germany/Japan/Canada parts.

I suggest checking Summit racing, see if they will ship to you in canada.

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What do you mean? They carry a ton of different brands you can choose a $10 rotor let's say for example or a $50 rotor. They carry lots of OEM parts.
A ignition coil for example what brand would summit racing carry that RockAuto doesn't carry? They have Denso, NGK and Motorcraft. I'm a brand snob I would know.

The brake pads I listed are some of the best brake pads made. The company invented ceramic brake pads.

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Summit Racing will not be a cheaper place to buy parts from. They are high-perf oriented and you pay extra to get that.

Past that, questioning some things here anyway............pads not wearing dead straight may be nothing or may be something depending on how crooked they are. You don't simply change pads because they 'look crooked', as you will likely change them too quick then on every car you ever have as there is no method on any calipers to absolutely force dead straight wear. Most all of them wear a little crooked.

Same with a 'loose' caliper, it may be fine like that depending on the amount and on a Focus loose is commonly the retaining springs locking caliper down and nothing else at all. Meaning changing calipers could be a waste of money there.

Yours and do as you will but like with so many other posts I see potential big money flowing again for possibly no reason at all. Hey, some people are not happy unless they are doing it....and super easy to scare them into it.

Warped discs? A myth, I used to cut them by the hundreds. The dark spots mentioned are the problem, or pad material embedded in disc to make varying amounts of friction and typically called 'warped' by the unlearned. You cut discs to get clean metal again, not to straighten out any warp and besides that most disc cutting machines used today introduce new warp into the part when cutting them. You can't avoid it. And if a tie rod is slightly loose there's your warped disc, it commonly produces the same effect and missed by everybody.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I can buy parts here from rockauto but add 20% on currency exchange and a bit more on custom fees.

My friend (the retired mechanics) raised the car on the lift and everything looked ok visually, except for the brakes that are not in optimal condition. But there’s the noise and that noise is not coming from the brakes that he is sure of.

This is why it is shock related he thinks, especially that the issue/noise started after the replacement. This is why the dealer will have a look at it this morning.
 
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