BRAKES

Fast Ford - - FF TECH -

Ford has fi­nally taken stop­ping very se­ri­ously, and the ST250 left the fac­tory with very ef­fec­tive 320mm front discs, chunky calipers and 271mm rears. They feel re­mark­ably strong, even with OE pads, and haul up a Fo­cus with ease.

But they won’t take lots of pun­ish­ment: if you act like a hooli­gan on a daily ba­sis or spend lots of time on track, you’ll un­doubt­edly find the brakes lack­ing. En­thu­si­as­ti­cally-driven ST250s tend to warp/con­tam­i­nate their front discs and de­stroy the pads, leav­ing loads of jud­der­ing felt through the pedal un­der brak­ing. Re­place­ment parts are for­tu­nately in­ex­pen­sive, but sen­si­ble money goes to­wards a pair of Mk3 RS front calipers and 350mm discs – we found they work bril­liantly when com­bined with EBC Blue Stuff pads and race fluid.

The rest of the brak­ing sys­tem is reg­u­lar Ford kit, and some­what dis­ap­point­ingly prone to cor­ro­sion. Don’t be sur­prised to find an early ST’s brake lines bub­bling around the fit­tings, so have a good look un­der­neath. We also an­tic­i­pate it won’t be long be­fore rear calipers are seiz­ing on their hand­brake mech­a­nisms; like the Mk2 Fo­cus be­fore it, the Mk3’s pad re­tain­ing springs rust into their calipers, re­quir­ing drilling out or whole re­place­ment parts. Not ex­pen­sive, but very in­con­ve­nient.

Fi­nally, if you’re won­der­ing why some STs have red-painted brake calipers, it’s be­cause they came with the Style Pack and late-model ST-3s; they’re phys­i­cally no dif­fer­ent. Only the op­tional 335mm front discs of facelift ST250 are worth a premium.

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