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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it possible my car drew from a bad batch of rotors, or are the stock rotors just not that cood at dissipating heat? I dont drive the car hard. Luckily they are being replaced under warranty.
 

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Ford's rotors just suck that much, we replace warranty rotors here ALL the time!! They are made with the cheapest metal around, like the sheet metal on your doors too!
 

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No, the stock Ford rotors are just not that good period. The company car I had before I bought the Fusion was a 2002 Taurus SES, Before that a 1997 Taurus SE. Both of those cars warped the rotors out at around 16K requiring complete replacement, but the shake was so bad during braking that even a Ford Exec. wanted to know what was going on during a brief drive. I had the 2002 replaced wth Raybestos rotors and the issue eliminated, obviously an improved product. As for the Fusion, I'm already feeling the start of the same problem and have heard some rotor squealing from the back left from time to time. Once some more companies develop some High Performance replacement rotors they will be installed and that will be the end of it. Until then I guess we just have to brake lightly.
 

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I do mostly highway driving, so at 11k I don't feel any rotor warp. I have had problems with rotor warpage (mostly Ford) but I don't entirely blame Ford for the problem. One of the most persistent problems leading to rotor warpage is the use of impact wrenches on alloy wheels. When tires are rotated or the wheels are off for any reason, there is a tendency to put the wheel back on and use an impact wrench to tighten the first lug nut to full-tight (and usually way ABOVE the recommended torque setting). You know this happened if you have a problem loosening a lug nut with a standard wheel wrench included with the car!

Wheels should be put on after lugs are lubricated with anti-sieze, and the lug nuts should be finger tightened all around before being torqued - by hand. Torque setting should be reached in two stages - roughly half the desired setting all around (in a star pattern), then fully to the desired setting in a star pattern. If the torque range specified by the manufacturer is, for example, 80 to 105 lb.ft., set the wheels to 80 with the lubricated studs. Following this should reduce or eliminate future warpage.

Also - don't let anyone skim cut or turn the rotors. When a warped rotor is machined, you create thick and thin spots on the casting, and this difference in the heat sink results in even faster warpage next time around. If rotors warp, they should be replaced.

When wheels are installed with lug nuts tightened with impact wrenches, all kinds of stresses are introduced into the nut/wheel/brake sandwich. Rotors get VERY HOT and they are the first ones to "stress relieve" the package by warping. The wheels are much heavier and are subjected to less heat, so they don't distort. The rotors are the "weak point" in the assembly, so they react to the stresses first.

Do yourself a favor and don't let anyone other than you touch the wheels. You will get long life from the discs - even factory ones.

Incidentally, Ford had a TSB on the '94 SHO which I had, telling the dealers if they used an impact wrench on the wheels, the dealer would be responsible for replacing the rotors at no cost to either Ford or the customer. I don't know why they singled out the SHO - except they were tired of paying for warranty replacement of rotors. I think the logic applies to all disc brake cars with alloy wheels.
 
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Wow. This really scares me becuase I am on my brakes a lot. I have to respond to fire calls and I am always going thru traffic. I pray for my brakes lol. But if they do warp I'm going with super performance. Like my friend has, his foot even goes near the brake pedal and his tires lock up, his brakes are like super stopping power lol, btw his car is a Mercedes Benz maybes thats why he has super brakes! :lol:
 

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Not just Ford

My '01 Chevy Malibu went through two sets of rotors, due to warping, before the warranty expired. Braking above 40mph resulted in the shakes.
 

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The only set of rotors I've ever had that haven't needed to be cut are the stockers on my '01 Ford Escape. 45k and I haven't touched the brakes (aside from bleeding 'em twice). 8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well at least they are being covered by warranty. Hopefully there will be more aftermarket brakes available the next time the rotors need to be replaced.
 

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It's not just FORD.
I've had other cars with cheap rotors....had a '03 DODGE DURANGO and those rotors warped at like 15K miles..my friend had the same vehicle and same problem...we do 80% highway driving and don't tow ect......DODGE refused to pay for new rotors and just payed for a "FREE" turn...well we all know thats a band-aid fix cuz once the rotors warp and are turned they're even THINNER and sure enough within about 5K miles or so they warped again and we ended up replacing them with aftermarket rotors.
I found out DODGE used CHEAP composite material on the rotors and they're just CRAP.
I think all manufacturers are using thinner or cheap material on todays modern cars though.
Remember years ago you could get about "2 turns" out of a set of rotors before they were too thin to be used anymore?? No way can you do that today, many cars won't even take ONE turn before thay are "under spec"
I believe manufacturers are making the rotors "thinner" to save weight and expense on the vehicles.
The FORD FOCUS go's though brakes pads and ROTORS often also.
My friend works at HONDA and he says he sees the same thing with the CIVICS.
 

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The rotors are cast - either steel or iron, I'm not sure. But the rotors are part of the "unsprung weight" of the car, and every attempt is made by the manufacturer to reduce unsprung weight, thereby lightening the car and improving its MPG ratings. Unfortunately, even good after-market alloy rotors have to fit where the OEM's go, so there is little opportunity to put in really beefy rotors which would accept the work we put them through. I think the two-foot drivers (whose brake lights you see flashing on and off as they rest their left foot on the brake) do much more damage to braking systems than the high speed crowd (most Fusion owners) who brake aggressively.
 

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Agreed. The rotors today are as cheap as they can be without compromising safety. Every car I've had in the last decade would warp the rotors. Some lasted longer than others but none last as long as the cars built 20 years ago. Aftermarket are the way to go though. You don't necessarily need a "bigger" rotor as in diameter to get longer life. Better materials and casting go a long way. Also, a rotor that's just a few more mm thicker can make a huge difference. My last vehicle was a Nissan Titan truck. Rotors were horribly undersized and would warp in less than 5k miles. They issued a TSB replacement rotor that was just a few mm thicker than the original along with different pads. Just these minor changes made the rotors last much. much longer.
 

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+1 for good aftermarket rotors/pads. Remember to keep the reciept(s) if you have a lifetime warranty on these parts.
 

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Well when I take my car back to the dealer for the ripped headliner and dented B pillar trim (all their doing) I will make it a point to have them take a look at my brakes. 3600 miles on the car and I'm getting entirely too much feedback even during light braking situations. I'm willing to bet the car was abused when it was test driven as it had 130 miles on it when I bought it.
 

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What do ya mean "too much feedback"?

To much initial bite? The want to lock-up prematurely?
 

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[quote author=cos link=topic=56672.msg1026110#msg1026110 date=1161620743]
What do ya mean "too much feedback"?

To much initial bite? The want to lock-up prematurely?
[/quote]

Pulsation.
 

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[quote author=bartman1 link=topic=56672.msg946878#msg946878 date=1158080466]
I do mostly highway driving, so at 11k I don't feel any rotor warp. I have had problems with rotor warpage (mostly Ford) but I don't entirely blame Ford for the problem. One of the most persistent problems leading to rotor warpage is the use of impact wrenches on alloy wheels. When tires are rotated or the wheels are off for any reason, there is a tendency to put the wheel back on and use an impact wrench to tighten the first lug nut to full-tight (and usually way ABOVE the recommended torque setting). You know this happened if you have a problem loosening a lug nut with a standard wheel wrench included with the car!

Wheels should be put on after lugs are lubricated with anti-sieze, and the lug nuts should be finger tightened all around before being torqued - by hand. Torque setting should be reached in two stages - roughly half the desired setting all around (in a star pattern), then fully to the desired setting in a star pattern. If the torque range specified by the manufacturer is, for example, 80 to 105 lb.ft., set the wheels to 80 with the lubricated studs. Following this should reduce or eliminate future warpage.

Also - don't let anyone skim cut or turn the rotors. When a warped rotor is machined, you create thick and thin spots on the casting, and this difference in the heat sink results in even faster warpage next time around. If rotors warp, they should be replaced.

When wheels are installed with lug nuts tightened with impact wrenches, all kinds of stresses are introduced into the nut/wheel/brake sandwich. Rotors get VERY HOT and they are the first ones to "stress relieve" the package by warping. The wheels are much heavier and are subjected to less heat, so they don't distort. The rotors are the "weak point" in the assembly, so they react to the stresses first.

Do yourself a favor and don't let anyone other than you touch the wheels. You will get long life from the discs - even factory ones.

Incidentally, Ford had a TSB on the '94 SHO which I had, telling the dealers if they used an impact wrench on the wheels, the dealer would be responsible for replacing the rotors at no cost to either Ford or the customer. I don't know why they singled out the SHO - except they were tired of paying for warranty replacement of rotors. I think the logic applies to all disc brake cars with alloy wheels.
[/quote]

Ditto: bartman1.
The Milan I have just turned 10000 miles with no problems with the rotors. My Daughters 2002 Ford Explorer has 130000 miles with one set of pads front and rear. The rotors are not warped and have not been cut.
 

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My Milan has 15,000 miles with no sign of warpage. Two things to note (and just my two cents): 1) Keep the lug nuts torqued to 90-95 foot pounds. 100 is recommended, but a little less is better for the rotors. Never use a air wrench on the lug nuts. Hand tight, then a decent torque wrench. 2) Many times signs of warpage (pulsation) are caused by some brake pad material left on the rotor. This can easily be removed by using garnet paper (wood sandpaper) that has no metal in it. A light sand in circular motion is all that is needed. Then wipe with a clean cloth. No fingerprints please. I used this on my SVT Contour and had no warpage issues on the rotors. Got over 100,000 with no problems at all. The benefit of removing the excess material is that it allows the rotors to heat/cool evenly - which is the primary cause of warpage to begin with.
 

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+1 for garnet sandpaper (150-200 grit). Funny you should mention the lower torque on the lug nuts because I was just thinking about dropping down to 95 ft-lbs and lubing my threads.
 

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[quote author=Cueball link=topic=56672.msg1027980#msg1027980 date=1161693934]
 2) Many times signs of warpage (pulsation) are caused by some brake pad material left on the rotor. [/quote]

True and I've done that b4, back when I had my Contour (which also had brakes that lasted quite sometime). That said, the car is only about a month and a half old, thus I'll leave it up to the dealer this time around.
 
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