Crikey, these brakes are good. I mean really, properly, mind-blowingly good.
The standard stoppers on a Focus ST250 are decent kit. And in good condition, with OE pads, they’re man enough for most tasks.
The problem was I’d killed them. They’d started juddering so badly that the Fondeo was almost undriveable.
The solution was, without doubt, one of the finest OE modifications on the planet – Mk3 Focus RS Mk3 Brembo four-pot front calipers (an official Ford upgrade for the ST) mated to whopping 350mm EBC USR discs and breathtakingly brilliant EBC BlueStuff pads.
Honestly, I’ve not yet even bedded-in the new brakes, but their stopping power is immense. Without even trying, they bite, they grab, they stop. We’ll show you to do the upgrade in a full fitting feature in a future issue, so ST owners keep an eye out – this is one mod you’ll want to make!
As part of the EBC kit I’ve also fitted matching EBC’s braided hoses and USR rear discs (standard size is fine for an ST) and YellowStuff pads, which were previously my favourite compound. Until trying BlueStuff, of course.
Now, from checking the photos you’ve probably noticed these Brembos are bright red, which are intended to complement the ST’s Style Pack rears. Of course, Ford supplies Brembos only in plain silver or Nitrous Blue – and even Red Editions aren’t painted to match.
So, rather than stripping the calipers for powder-coating (which is flaking like buggery off the rear brakes), I opted to paint them in Foliatec Brake Caliper Two-Part Spray, an ingenious system that mixes paint and hardener within the can.
Okay, it’s proper two-pack, so you need to wear a mask and be careful where you use it. But the results speak for themselves. It’s simple to use, it doesn’t run, and it seems to be pretty tough. It’s without doubt the best aerosol paint I’ve ever used. Check out the simple guide on how to paint your brakes using the stuff.
Oh, and did I mention these brakes are good..?
STEP BY STEP GUIDE
Our Mk3 RS Brembos were brand new, but if your calipers are still on the car you’ll get the best results by removing them – which involves clamping the brake lines and bleeding the system afterwards. Otherwise, mask the car thoroughly because two-pack paint creates a lot of dust.
Remove the original Brembo lettering – a razor-blade scraper works well, but be careful not to gouge the metal underneath. Sand down the flat area beneath the logo with 400, then 800, wet and dry paper (used dry).
Prepare the surface of the entire caliper for accepting fresh paint. On a new caliper a Scotch-Brite pad will be sufficient, but a used part will need sanding thoroughly – especially if rusty or the powder-coating has flaked away.
Strip the caliper of its brake pads, slider pins and spring clips. We chose to leave the centre bolts in place for painting. For best results, remove the two bleed screws and crossover pipe.
Mask off the holes and pistons – you don’t need to be especially neat because they’ll be covered by the pads. Spray on a dust coat of etching primer for bare metal, or a light coating of regular primer for previously-painted calipers.
Grab your can of Foliatec Two-Part Spray paint and give it a shake. Remove the colour-coded button from the lid and turn the can upside down. Push the button onto the pin with the ball of your hand, pressing firmly as far as it will go, which releases the hardener into the paint. Give the can another shake.
Dangle the caliper from a wire, somewhere that overspray won’t matter. Foliatec Two-Part Spray is toxic, so you’ll need to wear a mask suitable for two-pack paints. Spray on two or three thin coats, leaving five minutes between each coat, and shaking the can before the next. You’re aiming to get a gloss finish from the can.
Once you’re happy with the finish, leave the paint to harden. One can is recommended for four calipers, but we found it preferable to apply enough paint to cover two calipers with one aerosol. After a couple of hours, the paint should be dry enough for you to reassemble the pads and sliders – if you’re careful.
Don’t do anything vigorous with the calipers for 24 hours – if they’re still on the car, leave it parked up. Once the paint has fully hardened, scrape paint off any mounting surfaces you forgot to mask up… Sand it smooth.
Full hardening of the paint will take around a week, so don’t do anything drastic in the meantime. Finally, fit some heat-resistant Brembo stickers, which can be found cheaply on eBay (providing you’re painting Brembo calipers. Please don’t put Brembo decals on regular Ford brakes).