Tuesday, March 3, 2020

[Focus] More brakes, track wheels and tires

[note: this post, like an air-cooled 911, is back-dated to when these events occurred] 

[also note: I have condensed multiple forum posts into this entry, please forgive awkward transitions]

I recently read on the forum that our factory calipers are $130/each. I didn't think this could possibly be the case, but... here it is.

Brembo calipers, specific to our cars and painted nitrous blue, are $130 each plus $50 core charge. Free shipping. Whaaaaaat?

My factory calipers have already started to discolor from heat, and are a little chipped from rocks, pad changes, and fluid contact. For $180/ea I am happy to keep these nice new ones on the shelf. For this money I have to wonder, where are all the Focus RS-based big brake kits?

Small brake and tire update. I've not heard from Mountune UK since 10/11, so I have no idea if they shipped me the street pads they promised. My car is off the road while I wait, and I'm tired of waiting. It also cost me $35 to ship the pads (more accurately, backing plates) back to the UK and I asked to be reimbursed, haven't heard anything. Will update with new information as it becomes available.

I started investigating how I can swap between a street pad and track pad using the same rotors. It appears to be a lot of hassle. There is a lot of hearsay and low-confidence information about which compounds can be mixed on the same rotor, 'scrubbing' the rotors with an almost bedding-like procedure to clean up the disc face before swapping the pads back and forth, re-bedding every time you swap to re-establish a friction surface on the rotor, all kinds of stuff. It seems like a lot of hassle, so I've decided to just use a dedicated set of pads and rotors for street and for track. If you're in there for the pads it's not much more effort to swap the rotors at the same time. I have had zero issues with the OE parts on the road, and the prices are good, so here's the plan going forward:


Rotors: OE

Pads: OE

Wheels:  Fifteen52 Podium 19x8.5 et45

Tires: 245/35 Michelin Sport 4S


Rotors: DBA 4000-series

Pads: Ferodo DS1.11

Wheels: Konig Freeform 18x8.5 et43

Tires: 245/40 Hankook Ventus R-S4


Fluid: TBD (Castrol SRF if I could find it)

The Focus soldiers on as my reliable daily. There wasn't much going on over the holidays but now that 2020 has rolled in I've signed up for two track days, one in March and one in April, both at Laguna Seca.

Since the last update, I've installed Mountune UK's 'fast road' pads that they sent me with stock brake discs. They work fine but they squeal intermittently at normal driving speeds, and I don't see any performance difference in street driving conditions compared to the stock pads, so I will not be going with Mountune again.

I purchased the Konig wheels when they were on sale last year, and now with a track day on the horizon I ordered up some tires. I had a scare when Tire Rack showed that the Ventus R-S4 is out of stock until 3/20, a week after my track day. Thankfully they had a few "2017 production" tires left over that were nicely discounted. The first step before tire fitting was to ceramic coat the wheels using the same Gyeon stuff I've used before with success. These wheels will theoretically be constantly coated in brake dust so anything to simplify cleaning is a win.

The Freeforms are a nice bright silver color. I prefer dark colors on NB but I think these will look pretty slick.

My right-rear tire starting losing ~10psi/day this week, so while I was at the tire shop I had them repair the tire. This is no doubt the result of all the local construction around my office.

I didn't snag a photo but AutohausAZ got the Castrol SRF unicorn blood in stock and I purchased some. Next step is to install the track brake setup and make sure everything is ready to go. In theory this is as far as I can go with the stock braking hardware - braided lines, fanciest fluid, endurance track compound brake pads. If they still overheat the next options are more drastic - 2-piece rotors, aggressive brake ducting, or completely different calipers.

Track day is on the horizon so I installed the track wheel/tire setup for a couple days of street driving just to make sure everything fits and clears and works.

Konig Freeform 18x8.5 et43 with Hankook Ventus RS-4 tires in 245/40. For comparison, my street setup is 19x8.5 et45 with 245/35 tires.

I think it looks great! No issues with fit-up and the offsets are perfect with the stock suspension. No issues in street driving so far with rubbing or funny business, not that I expect any. Barely any time on the tires but I first impressions are that of a less-sharp turn-in, a little more steering effort, and slightly improved ride, which all make sense with the larger sidewall of the 18.

This weekend I install my track brake setup (pads, rotors, new fluid) and park the car until the track day on 3/14.

No comments:

Post a Comment