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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So - In the past few years I bought a 2003 Focus SVT brand new. Within 70,000 miles the right rear caliper was seized up. The slider pins had rusted to the caliper. This was a daily driver (120 HIGHWAY miles per day), never stored for long periods.

Fast forward - 2010 I buy a used 2003 SVT Focus with 30k miles. A few thousand miles of daily driving - both rear calipers seized up. This one I can understand, 7 to 8 years old and low miles. Lots of sitting time.

Yesterday the wife pulls into the driveway with our 2007 F-150 FX4 (50k miles). Smells like it's on fire as I'm standing in the driveway. We purchased this truck new in 2007 and I always maintain and take care of our vehicles. Took it apart tonight and removed the caliper. I had to pound the caliper off the slider pins, but this time the pins are clean and lubed still. I put it back together and it slides nicely. But why did I have to pound it apart? The pistons both pushed back in fairly easily. The outisde pad is almost gone, and the insde one isn't much better. Everything is rusted beyond belief. So do I replace the caliper or the bracket/pins? or both?

When I was a kid we always had Ford vehicles. My sister bought a 1988 Mustang brand new and drove it for 140k miles and never needed brakes.

Why is this simple part failing on all our cars? Has quality dropped that much? Seems like Brakes should be something that has been perfected by this point.

Points/comments/suggestions welcome. I really don't want to put $800 (calipers, slider pins, pads, rotors) in our 50k mile vehicle, but I will if that's the right thing to do.
 

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They're not necessarily failing. Slider pins are a maintenance part in an of themselves. They need proper care which is occasional cleaning and proper lubrication.
 

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Shiny Metal Titanium
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That's weird. Usually the slider pins are good and greased til pad replacement comes along if you keep driving it (if not longer)
I've owned a brand new 09 Focus. Ex Police 03 Crown Vic with 99k miles and a 94 Taurus SHO with 176k miles.
Only the Taurus had demented rear calipers. They seem like the originals and one of the previous 5 owners screwed with adjusting the ebrake cables all the way on and fubar'd the whole thing.

But you have no issues with the front?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, sorry - the F150 issues were in the front. Both SVT Focus were rear.

I didn't realize (and don't see in the manual) any inspection/lube interval for the caliper slider pins in either vehicle. They both were covered by a rubber boot.
 

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everytime brakes are done is the recommended interval! use only brake grease and brake fluid on brake parts. NO PETROLEUM!! if your piston is rusted you might as well buy new calipers. every metal to metal contact point should be lubed. make sure someone didnt put oil in the brake fluid or lube the slides with chassis grease.
 

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i am assuming you meant the piston is rusted on the part that stays inside the boot and caliper?
 

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Chassis or moly grease won't last long on brakes.

Could it just be bad luck a few times? I have a slightly sticky caliper on the driver's side of my car- I just lightly tap the brakes when it sticks to free it up. Eh, until I have no choice, sometimes I let things go on my vehicle. It's the sacrifices we make for family.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think whynot has it.... bad luck a few times. I mean a 50k mile daily driver F150 shouldn't have a locked up caliper, or need pads - but they are worn. No towing, no real hauling... just driving with the occasional load. A very easy life for a 10k lb towing machine!

Guess I'll get new calipers and pins, get the correct grease, discs and pads and call it a wash.
 

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I bought my 01 Focus LX with 109k+ miles a few years ago, now it has 130k+ miles. Ever since I bought it I've replaced break pads twice, calipers once, and I'm about to change the break pads soon once again. Now the good thing is that the break pads come with Life-Time warranty and I replace the breaks my self.

Overall, Ford replacement parts may not be the best in the business, but if anything we all know that Ford replacement parts are not that $$$.
 

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Shiny Metal Titanium
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If you keep having problems like this with your cars, maybe it's where your driving and not the cars?
Yea it could also be driving style.
I know I'm pretty hard on my brakes, I don't ease into the braking. I just use alot of it whenever I need to. Since we all know this isn't good for the braking system I fully expect to have to replace stuff here and there but oddly enough everything is in good condition including the pads.
 

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Same problem with mine! Most recently happened about 2 months ago, and that's when my dealership found out that the rear calipers for the SVT are no longer available. They were able to expend some extra effort and renew my existing caliper, but it is the second time it's happened to me. But then, I am at 224,000 miles on the car.
 

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If you keep having problems like this with your cars, maybe it's where your driving and not the cars?
You really think so? Well, I'm a daily and off-road driver in the City of Chicago. However, I bought my first car (01 Dodge Stratus) in 07, and I have not change the breaks once. To be honest I took a look in to it's break pads last week and they're in good condition?!?! weird but true. [???:)]
 

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Ohh I read it wrong. it's late. lol but it could still be a contributing factor combined with the other elements
 

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If it makes you feel any better I have had the same problem with my chevy silverado. I lube the sliders everytime I have changed pads. lost count 212,000 miles
 

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Guess I'll get new calipers and pins, get the correct grease, discs and pads and call it a wash.
Do you have O'Reilleys near you? I'm really infatuated with their lifetime rotors and lifetime pads from Wagner. Wagner has always been a good brand, but this makes me want to put their brakes on. I'm trying those on the wagon as soon as it needs brakes. The only bummer is that those pads are semi-metallic if you're someone who has to have pristine clean wheels all the time. IMO, most ceramics sacrifice braking power for low dust just like the old hard racing pads. Now if you want to get some expensive pads, I'd question the guys in the racing forums. I've heard there are some really good ones out there. Lifetime rotors though---- I will be changing them every brake job. [headbang]
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It's not my driving style. I don't drive my vehicles like I stole them (except my Evo once in a while), besides the Focus and the F150 have had very easy lives.

We do have O'reillys near us, however I was thinking of giving this company a try, I've heard really good things about them: http://brakeperformance.com/index.php
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The other question though is - how do I know for sure if the caliper is bad or not? The pistons pushed back in pretty easy, and it seems to slide on the sliders just fine now (after I freed them up). I hate to spend $100/side if I don't have to!
 
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