What’s the Best Way to Upgrade the Braking System on a Ford Focus RS for Competitive Track Days?

Track days promise heart-pumping adrenaline, speed, and the thrill of pushing your car to its limits. But to keep that thrill safe, a robust braking system is essential. If you’re preparing your Ford Focus RS for a competitive track day, upgrading the brake system should be high on your list. This article will shed light on how to improve the braking performance of your Ford Focus RS. We will focus on key components such as brake pads, calipers, and disc kits.

Upgrading Brake Pads

Upgrading your brake pads is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve your car’s stopping power. High-performance brake pads provide better heat absorption and dissipation, improving the overall braking performance.

A lire en complément : How to Effectively Lower a BMW M4 for Better Aerodynamics without Compromising Daily Drive Comfort?

When selecting brake pads for a Ford Focus RS, you should look for track-focused pads. These pads are made from a harder compound than standard pads, offering a higher level of resistance to heat and wear. They provide superior braking performance, but may wear down more quickly than regular pads.

Because of their heat resistance, track-focused pads are excellent for endurance racing where the brakes will be used frequently and hard. They typically have a higher friction coefficient, which means they provide more stopping power when the brakes are applied.

A lire aussi : Can Retrofitting LED Headlights on a 2008 Honda Accord Improve Nighttime Driving Safety?

Choosing the Right Caliper

The brake caliper plays a significant role in your car’s braking system. It squeezes the brake pads against the surface of the brake disc, generating the friction needed to stop the car. Upgrading your Ford Focus RS with a high-performance brake caliper can significantly improve its braking performance.

Performance calipers are often made of lightweight materials, such as aluminium, which dissipate heat more effectively than the cast iron used in standard calipers. They also often feature a larger piston area, allowing for more force to be applied to the brake pad, and therefore more stopping power.

When upgrading your calipers, it’s important to balance front and rear braking performance. A common upgrade is a ‘big brake kit’, which includes larger calipers and discs for the front wheels, and sometimes the rear. The larger the brake disc and caliper, the greater the braking force, but this must be balanced with the need for the brakes to fit within the wheel.

The Importance of Brake Discs

Brake discs are the part of the braking system that the pads press against to create the friction needed to stop the vehicle. Upgrading your brake discs can significantly improve the braking performance of your Ford Focus RS, particularly on the track.

There are two main types of high-performance brake discs: drilled and slotted. Drilled discs have holes drilled into them to allow heat to escape, reducing the risk of brake fade under heavy use. They also help to keep the pads clean and provide a bite for the pad to grip on to. On the other hand, slotted discs have shallow channels or slots in the surface of the disc, which help to move heat, dust, and water away from the surface of the disc.

When selecting a brake disc, consider a disc with a larger diameter. A larger disc provides more surface area for the pad to grip, resulting in better stopping power. However, you’ll need to ensure the disc fits within your car’s wheel.

Upgrading Brake Lines and Fluid

Your brake lines and fluid are often overlooked when upgrading a braking system, but they play a critical role in your car’s braking performance.

Standard brake lines are usually made of rubber. Over time, these can become soft, leading to a spongy brake pedal feel. Upgrading to stainless steel brake lines can give a more responsive feel. These lines are more durable and resistant to expansion under pressure, giving a firmer, more consistent brake pedal.

Brake fluid is responsible for transferring the force of your foot on the brake pedal to the calipers. It needs to withstand high temperatures, especially during track days. Standard brake fluid can boil during hard use, resulting in brake fade. High-performance brake fluid has a higher boiling point, reducing the risk of brake fade on the track.

The Final Word

In the quest for speed, don’t forget the importance of being able to stop effectively. Whether you’re a seasoned track day veteran or a novice, upgrading the brake system on your Ford Focus RS is a valuable investment. From brake pads to fluid, each component plays a vital role in keeping you safe and competitive on the track. Find the right balance between performance and longevity, and remember, the best braking system is one that is well maintained and regularly checked for wear and tear.

Brake System Upgrades: A Comprehensive Approach

When upgrading the brake system on your Ford Focus RS for track days, it’s crucial to adopt a comprehensive approach. This involves making selective upgrades to specific parts of the braking system – like brake pads, calipers, and discs – and also considering other elements such as brake lines and fluid.

The first step is to upgrade your brake pads. Consider track-focused pads, which are made from a harder compound than standard pads and provide superior heat resistance and stopping power. However, these pads may wear down more quickly than regular ones, so regular inspection and replacement are essential.

Next, consider upgrading your brake calipers. Performance calipers, often made of lightweight materials like aluminium, dissipate heat more effectively than standard calipers and offer more stopping power due to their larger piston area. Balance is key here, so you should upgrade both front and rear calipers.

Brake discs are another important consideration. Drilled and slotted discs are two high-performance options that offer better heat dissipation and stopping power. A larger disc diameter can increase stopping power, but you must ensure the disc fits within your car’s wheel.

The role of brake lines and fluid in your car’s braking performance is often overlooked. Upgrading to stainless steel brake lines can improve responsiveness and durability, while high-performance brake fluid can withstand higher temperatures and reduce brake fade.

Remember, upgrading your braking system involves more than just changing parts. Regular maintenance and checks are key to ensuring optimal performance and safety on the track.

Conclusion: Upgrading for the Future

Upgrading the brake system on your Ford Focus RS can give you the competitive edge you need on track days. From high-performance brake pads to lightweight calipers, larger discs, and durable stainless steel brake lines, each upgrade contributes to improved braking performance and safety.

However, upgrades alone aren’t enough. Regular maintenance and checks are crucial to ensuring your braking system remains in peak condition, especially if you regularly participate in track days. Always remember to balance performance with longevity and to check your components for wear and tear.

In closing, while it’s easy to focus on speed and power when preparing for track days, never underestimate the importance of a robust, reliable braking system. With the right upgrades and regular maintenance, your Ford Focus RS will be ready to take on the track with confidence and safety.