Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - Adam {P}
Hello - me again,

I'm going to check the pads tomorrow but I'm fearing I will need new pads. Therefore, I've decided to do the job myself. I need a few pointers. I was going to change them last time but seem to recall needing some caliper tool or something.

So firstly - what do I need? Secondly, can somebody run through what to do please? I don't mind getting my hands dirty and I could have a good stab at it but with it being brakes, I want to get it right!

Lastly, what pads should I get and where from? I don't want cheapo ones and if the more expensive ones mean better stopping power then so be it. Would going to Ford be the best option or are there better places to buy better pads?#

Many thanks for any help offered,

Adam
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - RichardW
Best thing you can do is get yourself a Haynes manual for the car (but do they do one for a Focus? Don't know...). This will tell you how to change the pads. I do not know the specifics of the Focus calipers, but the procedure is basically to remove whatever is holding the pads in (usually a pin that needs driving out), remove the pads, push back the piston, fit the new pads (with copper grease on the back to stop them squealing), refit the retaining pin / bolt. On some cars the pads lift out of the top of caliper, on some others the caliper needs to be swivelled up or removed to get the pads out. Often the hardest part is getting the pin out if it is jammed in, but it usually comes with a bit of persuasion from your hammer. If the car has ABS then really you should crack open the bleed screw on the caliper when you push it back to prevent pushing the (potentially wet and dirty) fluid back through the ABS system. Always proceed carefully for the first few meters after working on the braking system to ensure you have got it back together in working fashion!

As to pads, any from a reputable manufacturer (Ferodo, Bendix etc) will be OK for normal use. If you want a bit more performance, then I have heard good things about EBC green stuff - they even avoid the problems of black alloys!

What you might find is that if the discs have not yet been changed, they have developed a rusty lip on the edge, and this will have cut through the pad material and into the backing. In this case, new discs are called for. Whilst these are not that difficult to change, I wouldn't recommend it for your first foray into brake work!

Don't be tempted to blow the dust off the brakes either - it's not exactly good for you! You should use brake cleaner fluid, and wipe it off.
--
RichardW

Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - RichardW
Oh, and...

Do not attempt to do this with the car on the wheel changing jack. At the very least, use a trolly jack under the front subframe, and even then, do not get any part of yourself under the car, especially while you are hammering the caliper. Best bet is to get both sides off the ground at the same time, and 2 axle stands under the front subframe.
--
RichardW

Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - sierraman
Don't be tempted to use bricks or blocks of concrete to support the car,these can crack under the weight.Blocks of wood are fine,or the wheel you have taken off,if steel,and a bit of wood,but,as RW says,axle stands are favourite.
When you push the pistons in make sure fluid does not overflow from the reservoir.
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - Tim Allcott
You do need the Haynes manual. Some calipers have pistons that "spiral" out, and, when you push them in, they need to "spiral" back. You need a special tool for this: I think I saw one in the German Swedish and French website yesterday for £15. Either wait for someone to arrive here who's done the job, or read the Haynes!
Tim{P}
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - Pete Mansell
I've done this job twice on my Focus 1.6. The only tool you need to remove the caliper is an Allan key. I found the job straightforward with the Haynes manual, although my car does not have the complication of ABS.

If you have to change the discs, it's even easier - they are just pushed over the wheel studs and held on by a small spring clip.

I always use Ford pads, as whenever I've tried others I finish up with squealing brakes.
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - Adam {P}
Wow - thanks for the speedy and detailed replies. Who needs Haynes when I've got you guys?!

Anyway - I won't need new discs. They were changed last yeah and there's no lip on them now (I can feel through the alloy).

I'm going to get axel stands I think simply because I intend doing a bit more light work on my car to learn and they'd certainly be useful. If I'm feeling flush then I may splash out on a trolley jack too.

ABS won't be a problem. Despite being a Ghia spec, the bean counters at Ford clearly got their hands on it so a big heavy saloon doesn't need those or even rear discs apparently. Good news for me though whilst I'm trying this.

I've heard of those EBC Greenstuff pads but was told they wear extraordinarily quickly but are they any good? Also been steered to some pads called "Black Diamond" for £40. Or of course there's the Ford ones.

Pick a set for me!

Again, I really appreciate your help. Many thanks,

Adam


Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - mfarrow
> I've heard of those EBC Greenstuff pads but was told they
wear extraordinarily quickly but are they any good? Also been steered
to some pads called "Black Diamond" for £40. Or of course
there's the Ford ones.
Pick a set for me!


Do you have a problem with the way the brakes behave at the moment? If not I'd stick to Ford.

If you've got room for one, by a proper jack. I hate using the thing Ford supplies and it means doing twice the work jacking up each wheel.

--------------
Mike Farrow
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - jc
I always avoid buying cars with rear discs if I can;they're usually a bag of worms on adjustment and also usually make for a less effective hand-brake.Abs is nice but a good driver should not need it.
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - percy
Adam, nobody has mentioned the Allen key size, I believe it will be 7mm. Good luck!
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - Adam {P}
Thanks everyone.

Think I'll still to Ford pads then and buy a trolley jack - not forgetting the all important allen key.

I'll keep you apprised but look out for

"Help - car crushed my leg - what to do" in the IHAQ threads!

Thanks again,
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - $till $kint
Halfords two-tonne trolley jack is an excellent buy.
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - AR-CoolC
I have to agree with Alan, a trolley jack is a great investment, you'll be jacking the car up "just because you can". I still have my "cheap and chearful" one after 15 years and is still going strong.
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - $till $kint
Black Diamond brakes are rather good and have a higher friction rating than the standard (but no more than 15% for your car). I don't recommend fitting uprated pads to the rear of any car unless the front ones are also uprated otherwise the brake bias will move rearwards, giving unpleasant moments as the back of your car goes sideways when you brake hard.
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - Xileno {P}
Don't forget to put a smear of copper grease on the back of the pads.

But do you really want to do this messy job? Why not just run it into Ford Rapid Service, or whatever it's called.
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - L'escargot
Don't forget to put a smear of copper grease on the
back of the pads.


......and on the mounting face of the alloys before you put them back on. I hope they're not corroded on already.
--
L\'escargot.
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - daveyjp
I'm with Xileno - before setting out on this adventure found out how much the pads, copper grease etc are then call Rapid Fit!
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - L'escargot
I'm with Xileno - before setting out on this adventure found
out how much the pads, copper grease etc are then call
Rapid Fit!


I'll endorse the recommendation to try Rapid Fit. You'll get genuine Ford parts, and their prices are very reasonable. And I've no complaints about their workmanship.
--
L\'escargot.
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - Adam {P}
I vowed I'd never go anywhere near Ford after last time but I'm tempted given Snaily's recommendation of Rapid Fit.

How much would they charge for a change? (Rough figure obviously).
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - Pete Mansell
I'm not sure about the use of a trolley jack on the front of the Focus. According to Haynes, the only suitable jacking point at the front is on the box member at each side, just in from the usual jacking point. So you appear to only be able to jack each side separately.

After I changed the pads last time, I realised I didn't save that much on Rapid Fit's price. Next time I'll probably take the easy option.
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - PhilW
Just in case you decide they are a good investment
www.autoexpress.co.uk/product_test/42999/trolley_j...l
Though as someone said above - the Halfords one for about £20 has served me well for many a year (and having had a couple of BXs it's had plenty of use!! As have:-)
www.autoexpress.co.uk/product_test/53847/axle_stan...l
Don't go under a car without good support - they are very heavy!!
If you were closer you would be welcome to borrow mine - perhaps there's someone up your way??
Phil
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - jc
If you don't want to go to Rapidfit,then try Formula1;never had problems with them.
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - Adam {P}
Thanks for the added input.

I'm still tempted to do it myself - not so much from a cost point of view but so I've got an excuse to roll my sleeves up, get Mum to make me lots of cups of tea and generally look like I know what I'm on about to any passers by.

Having said that, a Rapid Fit leaflet came through the other day according to Mum (who is an advocate of anything that doesn't involve me messing with the brakes) so I'm still undecided.

I'm still tempted by a trolley jack in general too but need to find out more given Pete's comments.

Never heard of Formula 1 JC so I'll research that.

Failing that I'll do a surprise visit on Phil...


Many thanks for the continued help,

Adam
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - Snakey
I've changed the pads and discs umpteen times on a 99 and 02 Focus and it is fairly straightforward. It is a 7mm hex to remove the caliper, and its also a good idea to clean and copper grease the sliders that the caliper moves on as well - they'll be black with old grease probably.

I would also get some brake cleaner - ideal for getting the crusty stuff off the brake caliper and mounting brackets so your new pads slide on smoothly!

I've got the Haynes manual for the Focus, and for this job I would say its not strictly necessary (apart from the torque settings maybe) - I always use two trolley jacks for each side as well.
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - borasport20
I'm still tempted by a trolley jack in general too but
need to find out more given Pete's comments.

Adam - you have mail
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - L'escargot
I'm not sure about the use of a trolley jack on
the front of the Focus. According to Haynes, the only suitable
jacking point at the front is on the box member at
each side, just in from the usual jacking point.


The Rapid Fit I use raises the car on a hoist (which is roughly the length of the sills) and put purpose-made 75 mm thick rubber blocks under the sills at the specified jacking points. No damage whatsoever. You are invited to watch the job being done and (if you're cheeky enough which I'm sure Adamski is!) they'll let you look under the car yourself. And they'll discuss any points you raise there and then.
--
L\'escargot.
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - Roly93
I always use Ford pads, as whenever I've tried others I
finish up with squealing brakes.

Sqealing brakes are not neccesarily due to the make of brake pad, it is good practice to smear a light coating of copper grease on the rear of the new pads which will stop the sqealing.
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - Blue {P}
Adam, I can seriousy second the recommendation of Rapid Fit.

I know that each branch will be different, but certainly the Durham branch is well staffed with people who know what they are talking about.

They've even sorted tracking on my Fiesta that was messed up by ATS and didn't charge! To this day I'm not sure if there was a bit of a communication breakdown that led to me not being charged, but I eased my guilty conscience by going back with some cans for the lads...

Anyway, although I've never yet managed to hand over any money to them (so far my tracking has not needed any adjustments, and they've checked it on 3 different cars) I would still recommend them and will certainly be going there when it's time to change the tyres and I think I'll get the servicing done there once the car is out of warranty.

Blue
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - Adam {P}
Sorry - I was going to reply to this thread but got distracted.

Thanks for the recommendations - I'm going to weigh up my options. I'm itching however (not because of my car infestation) to do it myself but it's nice to know Rapid Fit can be there when I inevitably screw it up.

Many thanks again for all the help - I'll let you know what happens.
Ford Focus - DIY pad change - uh oh! - jc
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