In late May, we installed a set of SP Performance slotted rotors and semi-metallic pads on our shop 2015 Ford Focus ST. The original OEM pads and rotors had seen their fair share of use, ranging from stop and go traffic to long road trips. They even saw some time on the famous Charlotte Motor Speedway!
Installation of the new SP Performance pads and rotors was basic and strait forward. First, we raised our Focus using an automotive lift and then we removed its front wheels. We then began with the brakes on the drivers side. We released the factory metal caliper clip and then unbolted the caliper itself from its bracket. From there, we hung the caliper safely out of the way using a metal hanger and zip-tie combo. This was all done while taking great care not to tug, bend or damage the attached brake hose. In fact, many shops simply hang calipers with their attached brake hoses, this is wrong and it will lead to damage to your brake hoses and potential brake system failure.
Once the brake caliper was removed, we then removed the OEM pads and then used a specialty tool to compress the piston back down into the caliper. Thereafter, we unbolted the aforementioned caliper bracket. Next, we removed the factory rotor. Upon removal of the weathered factory rotor, we cleaned the car's hub and wheel studs.
From there we installed the new rotor, installation was simply the reverse of removal. We slid the new rotor on, bolted back on the caliper bracket, installed the new pads, then bolted the caliper on (don't forget to lubricate caliper slide bolts if you do this sort of brake work). This entire process was then repeated on the passenger side (never do just one side of brakes, always do brakes in pairs: passenger side / driver side).
After installing the brakes, we performed a proper break-in and then the following day we headed out on a road trip. We drove from Central Connecticut all the way to Carlisle, PA for Ford Nationals (quite the test for this new setup). With that said, these SP Performance brakes performed masterfully during highway driving, in-town driving and in wet, dry, hot and cold conditions. Since then, they've been a terrific set of brakes and have given us improved stopping and great reliability.
We highly recommend these brakes! Look for them in our online store this coming August!
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