Fiesta brakes - Snakey
This may seem like a strange post, but I'm curious as to why , under heavy braking (ie emergency stop scenario) the brakes on my 98 Fiesta (solid disc front,drum rear,no ABS) DON'T lock up!

Every other car I've had (all sizes, apart from ABS equipped ones obviously) lock their brakes in the dry as well as the wet if you brake hard enough (Not that I do this all the time, you just get a feel for when its going to happen!)

The discs,pads and shoes are all nearly new and the fluid changed completely about 2 months ago.The pedal feel is great and theres no pulling or wandering. Dunlop SP tyres on the front.

I'm just wondering if theres enough braking power - or are Fiesta brakes just not that powerful?

I'm not a boy racer that wants to shred his tyres, but the fact you have enough braking power to lock the wheels is somehow reassuring.
Fiesta brakes - steve_rt
well, seeing as everything seems fine, i could only suggest you get a braking force test done on rollers, that might highlight any odd readings!
Fiesta brakes - Snakey
Well its due an MOT soon (hence my 'testing') so that may throw up any weaknesses.

Even my old Polo (with no servo assistance argh!) had the power to lock the wheels
Fiesta brakes - madf
If i brake hard in my 2001 Fiesta (185 R14 tyres) I can lock the fronts in the wet...

Try an MOT testing station.. cheap brake test.
Fiesta brakes - fiesta man
mk4 fiesta brakes are terrible - 240mm solid discs on a car weighing 1000kg is pathetic, so i'm not suprised you have difficulty locking your wheels, and if you do ever get them sufficiently powerful to lock the wheels you'll no doubt discover they can't handle the heat and fade like mad.

The only way to make a mk4 fiesta stop is to fit the 258mm discs from a zetec-s, and even then don't expect too much.

Just my tuppence worth, but whilst I rate the fiesta, it can't be denied that the brakes are a major weakness.
Fiesta brakes - Snakey
I've not 'tested' locking the brakes in the wet - I assume that they would lock. The braking is even and theres no juddering or pulling etc so perhaps the brakes are just simply poor.

I only drive the car once or twice a month (wife's car!) so the difference is noticeable from my Focus 1.8 which has reasonable brakes.

Upgrading the discs to vented might be an option - would they still fit with the existing calipers though?

Fiesta brakes - madf
If the car is used very little, you may have a slight rust covering on the pads. A few hard stops will help remove that.. (SWMBO's 106 has the same problem..)
Fiesta brakes - Blue {P}
Take it out and give the brakes a good thrashing, it might cure it. My old MK5 Fiesta was more than capable of locking the wheels quite easily, and I only ever suffered fade on an old MK3 model with terrible discs...

We have left our Micra standing for a few weeks, in that time the front discs rusted to such an extent that now even after lots of driving, when we break heavily it is the REAR *drum* brakes that lock up long before we feel any significant stopping power through the front discs. I personally reckon they might be shot, but my dad who used to drive the car when it was fine thinks they were always like that.

If that's the state of Micra brakes then it's shocking!

Fiesta brakes - Snakey
Thanks for your comments...

The cars just passed its MOT (with a new timing belt installed as well!) and the braking was obviously up to scratch

Perhaps Fiesta brakes are simply that poor!

The only thing I did notice was that the MOT tester mentioned the rear brakes might need adjusting - but these are self adjusters and if I adjusted them out any further, the brakes would bind. The handbrake holds the car nicely so I think I'll leave well alone for the time being!
Fiesta brakes - RichieW
My little brother has a T reg Fiesta 1.4 Zetec and those brakes scare me silly. This is coming from someone with a 1990 mark four escort who feels considerably safer in a car branded "Police Aware" by his friends when ever it is parked up!
Fiesta brakes - Grease_monkey
pink fluffy dice

You swear; I delete. Simple really. DD.
Fiesta brakes - fiesta man
you can change the brakes, but you will need to change the calipers too. You will also need to inform your insurer that you have modified your car, which despite being in the interest of safety, will increase your premium.

changing to 240mm vented discs won't mean they stop the car faster in general useage, they will simple be less likely to overheat during repeated heavy braking.

to get better performance you are looking at upgrading to the zetec-s discs and calipers, which may or may not also require you to change your wheels - they won't fit under 13" rims.

looking at another aspect of fiesta brakes...

the mounting of the master cylinder and servo unit is very bad - it doesn't half flex, which gives a spongy feel to the middle pedal - someone was very slack at dagenham when they designed the little shopping trolley.
Fiesta brakes - Snakey
I've always thought the pedal feel was spongey - even after new discs,pads and shoes and a full bleed of the system!

By the sound of it, upgrading the brakes isn't really worth it, especially as I only expect to keep the car another year or so.

Value my car