Last month I replaced the crank seal on the big V6, and it cured my irritating oil leak that used to cause a horrid smell of burnt Valvoline as minute amounts dripped off the engine and on to the hot exhaust. Or so I thought… Now I’m not so sure, as after a good blast the hot oil smell has started to return. Further investigation is definitely required. As is a new auxiliary drive belt and tensioner too. Removing it last month to gain access to the crank seal allowed me to take a closer look, and it could really do with being replaced. Plus, since removing and refitting it last the battery light occasionally flickers on and off. Now this could be a very expensive alternator job, or (fingers crossed) is just the aux belt slipping a little. I’ll price up a new belt and tensioner and address that issue in the coming weeks.
Before that though, I have the Focus ST caliper upgrade to complete! Last month I ordered and took delivery of a set of EBC Ultimax discs and YellowStuf pads for the Focus ST brakes. I also ordered a set of the same for the Mondeo ST220 rears, so I know I’ve got a complete set of upgraded brakes all round.
Fitting the Focus ST calipers couldn’t be any simpler, it really was just a case of unbole the standard Mondeo caliper and chuck it in the bin, and then bolt on the new Focus ST unit. No wonder nearly all ST220 owners make the swap!
After a day’s work, all four corners were soon sporting new EBC discs and pads all round, along with the Focus ST calipers up front. A flush through with new brake fluid was all that was left to do and the entire braking system had been overhauled.
I took it steady for the first few miles to ensure the pads and discs were all bedded in nicely – something that doesn’t take too long thanks to EBC’s clever coating which is specifically designed to speed up the process. Despite taking it easy, I could instantly feel the improvement over the stock ST220 set-up, which is quite honestly shocking!
But with the brakes all bedded in I was able to test them a bit harder, and they have made such an improvement! Approaching roundabouts used to be like a game of Russian-roulette, praying that nobody from the right decided to go before you got there, as you’d simply not stop in time! Now, I have so much more confidence on the brake pedal! Don’t get me wrong, you still know it’s a huge slab you’re trying to haul up – especially if you’re carrying any real speed – but now it at least feels like it will stop. Maybe not as ferociously a lightweight track car, but at least it will stop! Previously it honestly felt as if it wouldn’t even slow down, let alone stop!
I can see why Mk3 Mondeo owners rant on about fitting Focus ST calipers all the time, and it’s not just an internet myth among forum-goers. Believe the hype people, this upgrade actually works!