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Australian Falcons Discuss the australian born and bred models here. Includes the 80's 90's and present day Falcons offered by Ford Oz.

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Old 07-04-2004, 23:12   #1 (permalink)
JR
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NEW wrinkle in the BA bad brakes saga???

Everyone who's had the dreaded BA brake shudder will know both how bad and how frustrating it can be, and many, like myself, are saying "stuff Ford, I'll just fit the DBA slotted rotors".

There may be an unintended side effect of this. The problem is Iím not sure if the better rotors or the better pads cause it or a combination of both.

At 13,000km, my BA was due to have the front brakes machined for the second time. Instead I chose to replace them with DBA slotted rotors and a new set of standard Ford brake pads, as my original front pads were stuffed.

The shudder was gone and everything seemed fine. At 26,000km, another new set of brake pads was required (it seems 13,000km is all I can get out Fordís standard soft BA front pads).

At this time, I switched to Bendix Performax pads, as I was told they were better than standard, but didnít produce as much brake dust as Bendix Ultimates. Performance from the brakes improved noticeably again, and I was happy. Recently though, theyíve been producing an increased amount of dust, and I wondered how long they had left in their life?

Last Saturday, at just over 46,000km on the odometer, we decided to change all 4 pads to a new type that a friend supplied that are supposedly as good as or better than Bendix for half the price (Iíll reserve judgment on the claim till Iíve put a few thousand Kís on them).

At 20,000km between changes, the Performax had lasted 7,000km longer than the standard Ford pads despite being semi-metallic, but the side effects that could have been caused by these pads seemto be quite nasty.

It seems since the Performax pads were fitted, braking temperatures have risen high enough to completely melt the outer rubber boot on the trailing piston in each front caliper. Further, the backing ďpaperĒ (for want of a better term) on each of the actual pads has completed burned up and disintegrated (have my brakes actually been on fire at some point without me knowing?), as when we opened the calipers to change the pads all the charred debris from this backing fell out into a pile under the car.

Unfortunately I donít have pictures as I wasnít expecting anything as serious and didnít have it with me at the mechanics.

The end result is I now have to have (at least) the calipers outer piston seals replaced, and weíve yet to pull them down to look at the inner piston seals.

It seems this is a pad issue and not a disc issue, but Iíd be interested to hear from anyone out there running non-standard brake combinations if theyíve had anything similar happen.

Please note that while the calipersí outer piston seals seem very second hand, Iíve yet to have any deterioration in the braking performance that I can feel, but there is the possibility that the extra brake dust Iíve noticed recently is a result of a gradual loss of performance that has yet to become too large for the pistons to compensate against with extra force.

The other question here though is how sensitive are these calipers (and the associated materials) to braking temperatures and how close to tolerance are Ford running them?

I canít think that Iím the heaviest or latest braker on these forums, yet Iíve not heard of this on another BA Falcon here on the forums.

Cheers
Jason
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Old 07-05-2004, 02:58   #2 (permalink)
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Re: NEW wrinkle in the BA bad brakes saga???

Is it just the BA or you?

My AU II has done 35,000 around town and the brakes are great, havent touched them at all!

You've either got a fat toe or the BA brakes really do suck.
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Old 07-05-2004, 03:29   #3 (permalink)
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Re: NEW wrinkle in the BA bad brakes saga???

Seems scary that those brakes are used on a 1800kg XR8 as std or even a car as quick as an XR6 turbo.
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Old 07-05-2004, 04:50   #4 (permalink)
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Re: NEW wrinkle in the BA bad brakes saga???

My 4.0 NA BA Fairmont has had two sets of rotors and two machines, at 25,000 kays. I have never had a set of rotors machined or replaced on any car I have ever owned in more than 25 years, so the BA's just have crap brakes. It's bullshit, and needs to be addressed seriosuly with Ford.
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Old 07-05-2004, 05:24   #5 (permalink)
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Re: NEW wrinkle in the BA bad brakes saga???

DR XR - you are dead right. Some of the other XR owners seem happy with their "standard" (and I use that term loosely as I think these brakes are sub-standard) brakes, I'm not one of them.

I purchased my XR8 near new not knowing about the problems with these very poorly performing brakes. I thought I was buying a performance package but as it is plain to see the standard brakes are just not up to stopping a heavier and faster vehicle than the std Falcon, and they don't even do that too well.

Cazz I'm with you. This is a serious problem and it is not acceptable to bandaid the problem with machining and then replacing continuously for the life of the vehicle.

Other manufacturers ship their cars with excellent brakes, there's no reason why Ford can't.

Hey you folks at Ford - how about a decent solutin to this serious problem. What about a subsidised option to upgrade to better brakes, or better still, fit good brakes to begin with. (Particularly in the XR "performance" range.)

I'm spewing about this and Henry would turn in his grave !!!
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Old 07-05-2004, 05:52   #6 (permalink)
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Re: NEW wrinkle in the BA bad brakes saga???

This brings up a Very interesting point Jase, does this sort of thing happen with other performance calipers?
As mine are a Standard use Ford Caliper.
I think i may check mine tomorrow, havnt looked at them since the crash.
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Old 07-05-2004, 20:36   #7 (permalink)
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Re: NEW wrinkle in the BA bad brakes saga???

Guys, brake technology has changed a lot in the last 25 years. You can't tell me that brakes have not got better - they have and by quite a bit. Trouble is, the Australian motoring public think that as they never had to machine discs on their 72 XA, they shouldn't have to now. Wrong, wrong, wrong. The carbon content of rotors has changed considerably compared to rotors of old, and as such provide better stopping across a range of temperatures and conditions. The downside is they wear out quicker. Brakes rely on friction, the more friction, the better braking and more wear. That, combined with the aggressive pad compounds that are available today and increased weight of cars due to more safety and luxury equipment (which we, as a market demand), generally mean that you will not get 80,000klms from your OEM brakes. If you do, well done.

That said, I don't believe for a second that 20k klms is acceptable wear for brake pads or rotors either but again it depends on the use and the user. The greater concern for me would be the outer seals melting due to increased temps from different pads. I really doubt that is the reason though as Performax pads operating range is up to ~450 degrees which is only slightly above that of normal pads which would be around ~380 degress. If the pads were hot enough to melt the seals, they probably would have disintegrated themselves, not to mention boiled the brake fluid and fused to the disc. Very strange.

I have a race car which we run standard seals and calipers (mazda) with pads rated up to ~800 degrees and slotted rotors. The seals have not melted yet (it isn't a falcon either though). I will use two sets of front rotors to one set of pads in a season. 10 years ago it was the other way around and this car only weight 880kgs.
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Old 07-05-2004, 22:53   #8 (permalink)
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Re: NEW wrinkle in the BA bad brakes saga???

First let me address the Bendix pad issue. I have left two sets of pads with Bendix from a Falcon (one pair Metal King Plus, the second set bendix Ultimates) because both sets lost their insulated backing coating even though the brake temps were not excessive. I never had this happen before so I commented that they needed to look into why it's happening now. Bendix reps are lazy or something because I'm still waiting for replacement pads after over 6 months. My third set have done it yet again.

Now, if you are concerned about brake shudder why are you fitting DBA Slotted rotors? These thingsa vibe and moan under moderate to heavy braking and I find it hard to understand that someone complaining about brake shudder would put up with this characteristic NVH. The DBA standard rotors are much better. However, I am yet to see a late model car that didn't end up getting the same brake shudder even with DBA discs fitted. If it was that simple why wouldn't Ford switch from PBR to DBA discs and be done with it???

Lastly, in my experience pretty much all cars that have large free floating brake rotors with sliding calipers end up with this brake shudder. The solution is there but it requires regular maintenance and is intolerant to morons using rattle guns to fit wheels or too lazy to clean things before they fit them. I have an AU Falcon that proves this point after a brake replacement - no shudder, no hassles, plenty of kms.
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Old 07-05-2004, 23:15   #9 (permalink)
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Re: NEW wrinkle in the BA bad brakes saga???

Quote:
Originally Posted by 75Hardtop
That said, I don't believe for a second that 20k klms is acceptable wear for brake pads or rotors either but again it depends on the use and the user. The greater concern for me would be the outer seals melting due to increased temps from different pads. I really doubt that is the reason though as Performax pads operating range is up to ~450 degrees which is only slightly above that of normal pads which would be around ~380 degress. If the pads were hot enough to melt the seals, they probably would have disintegrated themselves, not to mention boiled the brake fluid and fused to the disc. Very strange.
I'm not wedded to the theory - certainly I don't profess to being mechanically knowledgeable enough to even know what else could cause such a thing. The car did one track day early in the cycle of the Performax pads life, and I may have overheated the brakes AND fluid that day, but I've had 19,000km out of them since with seemingly no problems.

I automatically related it to the pads as I know the calipers were in perfect condition when they were fitted 20,000km ago, and now they're looking more second hand than a hooker at the end of a busy night.

I don't want this to turn into ANOTHER warped disc whinge thread - I posted it as I was both shocked and concerned to see the condition of the front calipers on my car and was hoping for some educated responses as to what may have caused it - I'd be greatful for some theories.

It's not as if I have changed my driving style or practices with this car - I am a late braker, yes; this is the first auto I've owned, yes; but as you say if the seals on a set of front calipers should be good for up to 800 degrees and the pads wouldn't work at even that much, what else would cause the shocking deterioration of the outer trailing piston seals that I've experienced?

Any constructive help would be appreciated here.

Cheers
Jason
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Last edited by JR; 07-05-2004 at 23:37.
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Old 07-05-2004, 23:51   #10 (permalink)
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Re: NEW wrinkle in the BA bad brakes saga???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie Pete
First let me address the Bendix pad issue. I have left two sets of pads with Bendix from a Falcon (one pair Metal King Plus, the second set bendix Ultimates) because both sets lost their insulated backing coating even though the brake temps were not excessive. I never had this happen before so I commented that they needed to look into why it's happening now. Bendix reps are lazy or something because I'm still waiting for replacement pads after over 6 months. My third set have done it yet again.

So the insulated backing thing is a late model Bendix peculiarity then? This is the first time I'd ever used Bendix pads, and as such had never experienced it before.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie Pete
Now, if you are concerned about brake shudder why are you fitting DBA Slotted rotors? These thingsa vibe and moan under moderate to heavy braking and I find it hard to understand that someone complaining about brake shudder would put up with this characteristic NVH. The DBA standard rotors are much better. However, I am yet to see a late model car that didn't end up getting the same brake shudder even with DBA discs fitted. If it was that simple why wouldn't Ford switch from PBR to DBA discs and be done with it???

The DBA slotted front rotors have done 36,000km and I'm yet to feel anything more than an occasional minor shudder under heavy braking. This compares to the OEM front rotors which were nearly vibrating my back teeth out after 8000km.

The DBA's are certainly noisier, but I presume this is a combination of the slots and the semi-metallic pads, and I'm extremely happy with their performance overall on my car and glad to put up with the increased sound as a trade-off for basically no shudder at this stage.

I should also state that the back rotors are still stock and in great shape with no machining needed at present.
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