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Brakes, suspension & tyres Ford Focus 2001 - 2005 Petrol 1.6 ZETEC

OnDemand step-by-step maintenance & repair BETA

Ford Focus 2001 - 2005  | 1.6 ZETEC Brakes, suspension & tyres

  • time 20 minutes
  • difficulty 3
Start with the front wheels
With the wheel off the ground, check for wear in the wheel hub bearings by grasping the wheel and trying to rock it. Very slight play is OK, but if the movement is appreciable, you should seek further advice
Now remove the wheel
Check condition of the brake discs. Some light scoring is normal on the area in contact with the brake pads, but if heavy scoring and/or cracks are found on the disc or around the wheel bolt holes, the disc must be renewed. ALWAYS replace both front discs & pads
Now locate the brake pads, there are two, one on each side of the disc. Locate the brake pad's wearing surface, it's the wear material that is pressed against the brake disc to slow the vehicle when the brake pedal is applied
Using a ruler, measure the approximate thickness of the remaining wear material on the brake pad. If it is less than 2.0mm, all front pads need replacement. If you need to replace the front pads, click below
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Front brake pads replacement

Warning: Disc brake pads must be renewed on BOTH front wheels at the same time – never renew the pads on only one wheel, as uneven braking may result. Although genuine Ford linings are asbestos-free, the dust created by wear of non-genuine pads may contain asbestos, which is a health hazard. Never blow it out with compressed air, and don’t inhale any of it. DO NOT use petroleum-based solvents to clean brake parts; use brake cleaner or methylated spirit only. DO NOT allow any brake fluid, oil or grease to contact the brake pads or disc.
1 Apply the handbrake. Loosen the front wheel nuts, then jack up the front of the vehicle and support it on axle stands. Remove the front wheels. Work on one brake assembly at a time, using the assembled brake for reference if necessary.
2 Using a flat-bladed screwdriver, prise the outer brake pad retaining clip from the caliper (see illustration) . Hold the clip with a pair of pliers as this is done, to avoid personal injury.
Prise the pad retaining clip from the caliper
3 Prise the plastic covers from the ends of the two guide pins then, using a 7 mm Allen key, unscrew the guide bolts securing the caliper to the carrier bracket (see illustrations) .
Prise the covers off to locate the caliper guide bolts . . .
. . . then slacken and remove the bolts
4 Withdraw the caliper from the disc (see illustration) , and support it on an axle stand to avoid straining the hydraulic hose.
Withdraw the caliper, complete with brake pads
5 Remove the outer pad from the caliper by sliding the pad out of the caliper with its securing clip, then pull the inner pad from the piston, noting their fitted positions (see illustrations) .
Unclip the inner pad from the piston . . .
. . . then unclip the outer pad from the caliper
6 Using brake cleaner, brush all dust and dirt from the caliper, pads and disc, but do not inhale it, as it may be harmful to health. Scrape any corrosion from the edge of the disc, taking care not to damage the friction surface.
7 Inspect the front brake disc for scoring and cracks, and measure the pad friction material thickness - if it's less than 1.5 mm, renew all four pads.
8 If new brake pads are to be fitted, the caliper piston must be pushed back into the cylinder to make room for them. Either use a G-clamp or similar tool, or use suitable pieces of wood as levers. Clamp off the flexible brake hose leading to the caliper then connect a brake bleeding kit to the caliper bleed nipple. Open the bleed nipple as the piston is retracted, the surplus brake fluid will then be collected in the bleed kit vessel. Close the bleed nipple just before the caliper piston is pushed fully into the caliper (see illustration) . This should ensure no air enters the hydraulic system
Open the bleed nipple as the piston is pushed back
Caution: The ABS unit contains hydraulic components that are very sensitive to impurities in the brake fluid. Even the smallest particles can cause the system to fail through blockage. The pad retraction method described here prevents any debris in the brake fluid expelled from the caliper from being passed back to the ABS hydraulic unit, as well as preventing any chance of damage to the master cylinder seals.
9 Fit the new pads using a reversal of the removal procedure, and tighten the guide bolts to 28 Nm (21 Ibf ft).
10 Tighten the roadwheel nuts to 85 Nm (63 Ibf ft).
11 On completion, firmly depress the brake pedal a few times, to bring the pads to their normal working position. Check the level of the brake fluid in the reservoir, and top-up if necessary.
12 Give the vehicle a short road test, to make sure that the brakes are functioning correctly, and to bed-in the new linings to the contours of the disc. New linings will not provide maximum braking efficiency until they have bedded-in; avoid heavy braking as far as possible for the first hundred miles or so.
TIP! - Virtually all cars have this inspection window in the brake caliper body, you can usually see the brake pad thickness from here
Now quickly check all the brake pipes for condition, check for any leaks, also inspect the rubber gaitors for integrity.Should the front strut need to be replaced, click below
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Front suspension strut replacement

Removal

1 Release the brake hose from the bracket on the strut (see illustration) .
Unclip the brake hose from the strut
2 Remove the nut from the anti-roll bar link and disconnect it from the strut (see illustration) . On models fitted with ABS, disconnect the wheel sensor wiring.
Undo the anti-roll bar link rod securing nut
3 Unscrew and remove the pinch-bolt securing the steering knuckle assembly to the front suspension strut, noting which way round it is fitted. Lever the steering knuckle/hub assembly down and release it from the strut (see illustrations) . If necessary, tap the knuckle downwards with a soft-headed mallet to separate the two components. Note: Support the steering knuckle/hub assembly when released from the strut, to prevent any damage to the driveshaft.
Lever the hub assembly down . . .
. . . and disengage the strut
4 Support the strut/spring assembly under the wheel arch, then remove the upper mounting nuts (see illustration) .
Remove the three upper mounting nuts
5 Lower the suspension strut from under the wheel arch, withdrawing it from the vehicle.

Refitting

6 Refitting is a reversal of removal. Making sure that all the relevant bolts are tightened to their specified torque.
Anti-roll bar link nut 50 Nm (37 Ibf ft)
Roadwheel nuts 85 Nm (63 Ibf ft)
Suspension strut lower pinch bolt 90 Nm (66 Ibf ft)
Suspension strut upper mounting nuts 25 Nm (18 Ibf ft)
It is a similar procedure with the rear wheels. Check for wheel bearing movement, then remove the wheel
Check condition of the rear brake discs
Locate rear brake pads
Measure brake pad wear thickness. If it is less than 2.0mm, all rear pads need replacement. If you need to replace the rear pads, click below
- Close + Open

Rear brake pads replacement

Warning: Disc brake pads must be renewed on BOTH rear wheels at the same time – never renew the pads on only one wheel, as uneven braking may result. Although genuine Ford linings are asbestos-free, the dust created by wear of non-genuine pads may contain asbestos, which is a health hazard. Never blow it out with compressed air, and don’t inhale any of it. DO NOT use petroleum-based solvents to clean brake parts; use brake cleaner or methylated spirit only. DO NOT allow any brake fluid, oil or grease to contact the brake pads or disc.
1 Chock the front wheels, and engage 1st gear (or P). Loosen the rear wheel nuts, then jack up the rear of the vehicle and support it on axle stands. Remove the rear wheels, and release the handbrake.
2 Work on one brake assembly at a time, using the assembled brake for reference if necessary.
3 Push back the caliper handbrake arm to obtain some slack in the cable, pull up and disconnect the cable from the caliper arm (see illustration) . Once the cable has been disconnected, don’t operate the handbrake arm excessively, as this will make refitting the cable more difficult.
Disconnect the handbrake cable from the caliper arm
4 Unscrew and remove the two caliper retaining bolts (see illustration) . Withdraw and support the caliper on an axle stand, or tie it to one side with wire. Do not allow it to hang down unsupported, as this will strain the brake hose.
Remove the second bolt from the caliper
5 Remove the pads from the carrier bracket, noting their fitted positions (see illustrations) . Brush all dust and dirt from the caliper, pads and disc, but do not inhale it, as it may be harmful to health. Scrape any corrosion from the edge of the disc.
Remove the inner pad from the caliper bracket ...
...followed by the outer pad
6 Inspect the rear brake disc. Measure the thickness of the pad friction material - if it's less than 1.5 mm, renew all four pads.
7 Before fitting the new pads, screw the caliper piston fully into its bore (see illustration) , at the same time pressing the piston fully to the bottom of the bore. Special tools are available for this operation, although it may be possible to use long-nosed pliers engaged with the cut-outs in the piston. Brake fluid will be displaced into the master cylinder reservoir, so check first that there is enough space to accept the fluid. If necessary, syphon off some of the fluid. Any brake fluid spilt on paintwork should be washed off with clean water, without delay – brake fluid is also a highly-effective paint-stripper.
Use a special tool to screw the piston back into the caliper
Warning: Do not syphon the fluid by mouth; it is poisonous.
8 The caliper piston must be rotated so that one of the cut-outs is positioned to engage with the lug on the back of the inner pad (see illustration) .
One of the cut-outs must line up with the lug on the brake pad
9 Fit the new pads, applying a little copper-based brake grease to the contact areas on the pad backing plates, and taking care not to get any on the friction material.
10 Refit the caliper back into position making sure the flexible brake hose is not twisted, engage the piston cut-out with the lug on the back of the inner pad (see illustration) , and tighten the two securing bolts to 35 Nm (26 Ibf ft). Do not depress the brake pedal until the handbrake cable has been reconnected, since the extra pad-to-disc clearance makes reconnecting the cable easier.
Arrow shows the lug on the rear of the brake pad
11 Reconnect the cable to the caliper operating arm.
12 Firmly depress the brake pedal a few times, to bring the pads to their normal working position. Check the level of the brake fluid in the reservoir, and top-up if necessary.
13 Tighten the roadwheel nuts to 85 Nm (62 Ibf ft).
14 Give the vehicle a road test, to make sure that the brakes are functioning correctly, and to bed-in the new linings to the contours of the disc. Remember that full braking efficiency will not be obtained until the new linings have bedded-in.
Take a good look around brake system and the suspension arm, check for any leaks.Should the rear shock absorber need to be replaced, click below
- Close + Open

Rear shock absorber replacement

Removal

1 Chock the front wheels, then raise the rear of the vehicle and support it securely on axle stands. Remove the wheels as required.
2 Position a jack under the lower arm/coil spring to support it.
3 Open the tailgate/boot and remove the interior trim panel to gain access to the shock absorber top mounting nut.
4 Using an Allen key/spanner to hold the piston rod, undo the shock absorber upper mounting nut (see illustration) .
Undo the upper mounting nut on the shock absorber
5 Unscrew and remove the shock absorber lower mounting bolt, then withdraw the shock absorber from under the vehicle.

Estate models

6 Chock the front wheels, then jack up the rear of the vehicle and support it on axle stands. Remove the wheels as required.
7 On the left-hand shock absorber, undo the rear exhaust silencer heat shield bolts. Remove it from the vehicle, so as to gain access to the upper mounting nut.
8 Place a jack under the lower suspension arm/coil spring to support it. Unscrew and remove the upper mounting bolt, then the lower mounting bolt (see illustrations) . Withdraw the shock absorber from under the vehicle.
Remove the upper bolt . . .
. . . and the lower bolt

Testing

9 Check the mounting rubbers for damage and deterioration. If they are worn, they may be able to be renewed separately from the shock absorber body (check the availability of parts).
10 Mount the shock absorber in a vice, gripping it by the lower mounting. Examine the shock absorber for signs of fluid leakage. Test the operation of the shock absorber by moving it through a full stroke, and then through short strokes of 50 to 100 mm. In both cases, the resistance felt should be smooth and continuous. If the resistance is jerky or uneven, the shock absorber should be renewed.

Refitting

11 Refitting is a reversal of the removal procedure, tightening the mounting bolts securely. Note: The supporting jack under the lower suspension arm/coil spring can be raised or lowered to refit the shock absorber if required.
12 The final tightening of the mounting bolts must be carried out with the vehicle weight on the road wheels.
Shock absorber-to-hub carrier: Nm Ibf ft
  Models without load-levelling suspension 115 85
  Models with load-levelling suspension 84 62
Shock absorber upper bolt (Estate) 115 85
Shock absorber upper nut (except Estate) 18 13
Roadwheel nuts 85 63
Check rubber exhaust mountings
Before refitting the tyres, take a look at the tyre tread, there is a UK legal requirement to have a minimum of 1.6mm remaining tread depth. Also check sidewalls for any kerb damage
Finally, check the condition of the spare wheel / emergency tyre repair system
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