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Ford Focus II (2004 - 2007) - 05 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads.  
05 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads. - mustangman
I need to change my front disc pads.

From a quick look it would appear that it will be neccesary to remove the whole caliper from the hub in order to change the pads. It appears to be fixed with 2 hex head screws with a non-standard sized hex.
( Grrr. I suppose this is to discourage diy work. )

Am I correct, or can the pads be changed, "the old way" ie: by removing pins, clips etc. and sliding them out of the caliper while it stays fixed ?

Any advice appreciated thanks.

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 19/09/2008 at 18:44

Tags: owning maintenance and servicing cam belts brakes

05 1.6 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads. - kithmo
If by focus II you mean a facelift of the first focus, then there are two rubber protusions behind the caliper with removable caps. Inside the rubber are the caliper slide pins, which have a 7mm hex hole inside them. Remove those and the pad carrier comes off.
Later focus I don't know.
05 1.6 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads. - mustangman
Kith, Thanks for your info.

My Focus is the MK2 ie: running from 05 to 07, prior to the current facelifted version.

However, your description checks out as the same brakes. I'll just have to find a 7mm hex key or socket adaptor. ( Standard hex keys are 6 or 8mm )

Thanks again.
05 1.6 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads. - Dynamic Dave
I'll just have to find a 7mm hex key or socket adaptor.


99.9% of motor accessory shops sell them.
05 1.6 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads. - kithmo
I did SWBO's last week for MOT, they must be the easiest ones I've ever done, 10 minutes each side including jacking up, removing the wheel and wire brush and copperslip on the sliders.
05 1.6 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads. - mustangman
Just for info to close the item.

I obtained pads ( £23 ) and "caliper tool" ( £4 ) and replaced them this morning.

Echo kith's comments, having removed the two 7mm hex pins, you can remove the "gripping" section of the caliper, pull out the old pads & fit the new. I improvised a clamp to push the piston back using an old metal sealant cartridge gun. Very easy.

The brakes still aren't any better though. Seriously lacking in "bite" in my view.
05 1.6 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads. - yorkiebar
What brand pads did you fit?

If Ford ones then they are poor imo on this vehicle. Best idea is to use Ferodo, mintex, delphi or similar; they all seem to provide better stopping power.

Also this car is critical on disc thickness. New discs can make a big difference on brake performance on these.

Properly set up, Focus brakes are very good indeed!
05 1.6 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads. - Peter D
They will improve as they bed in, at the moment they are only touching on the annular height spots of the worn disks. Regards Peter
05 1.6 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads. - mustangman
The pads I fitted were Ferodo. They looked to be pretty much identical to the original items that I removed. Which as a matter of interest were about 2/3 rds worn at 30k miles.

I appreciate that they will have to bed in, but the familiar "dead" pedal feeling is already present even though they are new.

Whenever I drive SWMBO's VW Eos, I nearly catapult myself through the screen the first few times I brake. The feel & power of the brakes seems far and away better than the Focus. The Focus handbrake is also poor. To get it to hold on a slope, you have to pull really hard. Beyond what perhaps it would be reasonable for a normal person to expect.
05 1.6 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads. - kithmo
Are they drum or disc on the rear ?
If drum then it sounds like the rear self adjusters are not working.
05 1.6 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads. - mustangman
kith. The rears are drums.

I've had both to bits & everything is working. There is plenty of friction material left, in fact it looks barely touched.

If you are familiar with Focus brakes, I've looked for handrake adjustment. There certainly isn't any at the drum end, so I assume it must be a the lever somewhere.
There does not appear to be any easy way to dismantle the console between the seats without risking breaking something. Not even any sign that you can peel the gaiter in some manner, to get at the base of the lever.

Anyone know how handbrake adjustments are done ?
05 1.6 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads. - kithmo
I've not had a look at SWBO's focus rear brakes yet as it's been dealer seviced up until now, I did the front pads for the MOT and am going to service the rest in October.
But I know on the mondeo the handbrake adjustment is from under the car, you have to drop the exhaust off its mountings and remove a heat shield. Make sure the cables are not sticking too.
05 1.6 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads. - mustangman
Thanks, I'll have a look underneath asap.
05 1.6 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads. - mustangman
Handbrake sorted.

I did get under this fine morning, but under the heatshields there is only floor pan.

After being a bit braver with prying bits of the console, I discovered that if you gently pry up the rear end of the bit of plastic into which the gaiter fits, you can lift it up and away reveling a 13 a/f adjusting nut. Simple. Wish I'd know earlier!
05 1.6 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads. - DP
Whenever I drive SWMBO's VW Eos I nearly catapult myself through the screen the first
few times I brake. The feel & power of the brakes seems far and away
better than the Focus.


My neighbour has a mk1 Focus and a mkV Golf, and says the same. I've driven both cars and think the Golf's brakes are overservoed rather than the Focus's poor. Our Scenic is the same - brush the pedal and the car stands on its nose. Infuriating!

I recall the brakes on my mk1 TDDi being superb, particularly after a service. In fact, I don't think I've ever owned a Ford with bad brakes - the Mondeo's and Fiesta's were also very good.


05 1.6 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads. - L'escargot
Also this car is critical on disc thickness.



How does the thickness of the disc make a difference to the braking force?
05 1.6 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads. - Number_Cruncher
>>Seriously lacking in "bite" in my view.

To supplemment L'escargot's question, what exactly does lacking in "bite" mean? Is it that the brakes don't develop any significant braking force at all, no matter how hard the pedal is pushed, or, is it that the pedal isn't as well assisted as it might be?

As this is a diesel car, it may be worth checking that there is sufficient vacuum being developed by the vacuum pump, and that the brake servo is working correctly. With the engine off, pump the pedal a few times, until the pedal feeld firm, then, holding the brake pedal down, start the engine. If the servo is working correctly, the pedal should drop a bit, as the pedal force is supplemented by atmospheric pressure on the pedal side of the servo diaphragm.

The other thing to note with braking systems is that there is an element of personal preference - personally, I hate over servoed systems as fitted to awful Renault cars and vans, and I much prefer a more progressive brake.

05 1.6 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads. - quizman
My wifes's previous car was a Focus with rear drum brakes, they were poor from new.
I drove a friend's Focus, of a similar age, which had rear discs which was much better.

So I think you will have to put up with it. Why Ford continue to fit drum brakes in this day and age I don't know.
05 1.6 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads. - Number_Cruncher
>>Why Ford continue to fit drum brakes in this day and age I don't know.

Because they're the right engineering solution. Rear discs on most cars are a triumph of marketing over good engineering. There was a time when it was difficult to provide ABS for vehicles with rear drums, but, that is no longer the case.

Rear brakes on short, high, front wheel drive cars do very little work, and the thermal stability of discs is not required. The provision of a safe handbrake is much easier on drum brakes.

The difference in brake feel is very unlikely to be due directly to there being rear discs instead of drums. There's something else going on.

Once, during my mis-spent youth, to diagnose a brake noise, I clamped off the flexis to the front brakes of a mkII Cavalier - the car became truly unsafe, and braking even with full force applied to the brake pedal was at best, gentle! With the rear brakes clamped off, the car braked almost as normal.

05 1.6 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads. - 659FBE
I would generally agree with my learned friend's comments above.

One problem which does exist with drum brakes however is the provision of a reliable auto adjust system. There have been many schemes tried, VAG wedges, PSA ratchet levers, threaded jack screws with hopeless thin operating pawls etc etc.

They all suffer from the simple problem that the inside of a drum brake is not a fit place for a mechanism of any complexity at all. Everything is against it - heat dries out lubricants, brake dust jams everything up, ferrous parts rust due to the high temperatures and so on.

The hydrostatic auto adjust of the disk brake is elegant and runs in lubricating fluid. Without the complexity of a handbrake, it's simple enough to keep on working - which it generally does. Far too many disk/drum setups fail to work optimally due to the shortcomings of the shoe adjusting system.

659.
05 1.6 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads. - bathtub tom
>>provision of a reliable auto adjust system.

You forgot to mention the Fiat 'spring loaded friction pad in an elongated slot with lost motion' system which worked fine on all the several Fiats I've had. I know most people had trouble with them, but the troublesome ones I looked at were always due to broken friction pads that had not been renewed.
05 1.6 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads. - Number_Cruncher
>>a reliable auto adjust system.

This is fair comment. I actually liked the rear brakes fitted to early mkII Cavaliers, where there was a manual adjustment effected by two large hexes on the backplates, one for each shoe. With the wheel lifted, and a long ring spanner, you could adjust the brake shoes in a matter of moments.

The auto adjust which replaced this systems on Vauxhalls is extremely reliable - it never works, and so, there's never any surprise!

In defence of rear drums, you only need to consider the attrocious mechanisms that have been dreamt up to provide a handbrake on rear axles with disc brakes. As the disc cools, contracts, and diminishes away from the pads, some compensation is required to prevent the vehicle rolling away; it's another problem which requires a mechanism to be placed somewhere unsuitable!
05 1.6 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads. - DP
The auto adjust which replaced this systems on Vauxhalls is extremely reliable - it never
works and so there's never any surprise!


That reminds me of many a happy hour spent with the rear drums off my mkII Cavalier, turning the little ratchet on the "auto" adjuster strut with a screwdriver, one miserable tooth at a time until I could just get the drums back on over the shoes.

I never got mine to work properly, despite painstaking disassembly and reassembly after gazing for hours at the photo in the Haynes manual. I thought it was just me! :-)


Edited by DP on 22/09/2008 at 20:28

05 1.6 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads. - Steptoe
My aged Volvo has this connundrum (rear disc or drum) solved nicely by having both!

The braking is done by the pads on the disc, so naturally self adjusting, and the handbrake shoes nestle snugly inside the drum bit of the disc. They don't, or shouldn't, get any wear so don't need to have any mechanical self adjustment.

I suppose this super system costs a little more though so not suitable for the mass market ;)
05 1.6 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads. - John S
On the contrary, Vectras had just this on rear disc braked cars. However, the Astra H doesn't appear to, so maybe they are saving costs......

JS
05 1.6 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads. - Number_Cruncher
>>so not suitable for the mass market ;)

Yes, as suggested by John S, Vauxhall do have a long record of fitting exactly this excellent type of rear brake - variants of it have been fitted to the rear axles of Carltons, Senators, and, the hotted up versions of more basic models like Astras Vectras, and Cavaliers.

I'm quite happy that this type of brake is fitted to the rear axle of our W124.

Vauxhall have changed over to a rear caliper based handbrake system in their recent models - it's not good engineering, and I'm not impressed.

In passing, the lower powered W124 estates are a good example of a mundane(ish) car that does gain a real benefit from having rear disc brakes fitted. As there is a significant rear overhang, a long wheelbase, and the high likeliehood of there being a heavy load carried in the rear, these rear brakes do perform a significant share of the braking, and disc brakes are a good choice.
05 1.6 1.6 tdci. - How do I fit front brake pads. - Cabusa
Bit off subject (Focus II front brakes) but:

I have a Focus II 1.6TDCI 110 Estate with VERY impressive brakes. But estate Foci have rear discs. I also SUSPECT they are electro-hydraulicly pressurised as there appears to be no vacuum booster on the firewall.

If this is so, (possibly off the same pump as the electro-hydraulic PAS?) there may be quite big variations between various models of FocusII.

My last car was a 1992 2.0 Sierra Estate which had this electro -hydraulic system and it was quite brilliant over 250,000 miles. I do not agree that rear discs are incompatible with a goos handbrake - that Sierra still had excellent handbrake efficiency at 15 years old. The only problem with age is corrosion of the return spring on the rear calliper (it`s the Teves system) - weakens the spring and the adjuster eventually stops adjusting. I`m talking about mileages around 150,000 plus, when new callipers are not exactly an insult (they used to cost around £30 and I did two in the end).

Our Subaru Legacy (1999) has drums inside the rear discs like the man says above about Volvo. These work fine too, but it`s only done 100,000 so a bit early to give a verdict.

AS

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