Australian Falcon XE Member
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Perth, WA
Thats (IMO) exactly what you experienced...
You were braking for extended periods, brakes work by converting kenetic energy (ther wheel turning) to heat. Normally heat is disapated, but when the disk, capiler and pad do not get a beak they cant shed enough heat as it is making....
Ford brakes are infamous for this, even the series 1 AU's will do it, although I believe that they have helps the situation now with better stock brakes, plus the new option of HiPo brakes on some models...
There are a number of solutions, the easiest (cheapest) is driving style. Instead of riding the brakes down hill, shift down a gear or two. Autos make this harder, but if you can get into a gear that locks up the torque converter (usually around 2K rpm) they will engine brake enough to maintain a speed.
Otherwise you can spend some money on bigger disks, or even just a quality set of ventialated brakes.
Harder compound pads will help no end also, not the $50 repco shyte that most people speand on a pair of pads, usually they are around $100. Bendix do make a reasonable 'performance' pad, they certainly dont measure up to the more expensive ones when tested on the trake, but for a fraction of the cost, they work real well on the road (IMO).
Also, its never a bad idea to bleed your brake lines every year or two. (this didnt cause you problem, else the brakes would have locked up on you) but good fluid can help (slightly) to disapate abit more heat.