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2000 Ford Focus-Conversion to Rear Disc Brakes

How easy would it be to convert my 2000 Ford Focus (with rear drums) to rear disc brakes? Would I be able to keep the 15" alloy wheels that came with car, or would I have to go with the size wheels that would come from the donor car?

Since I am due for rear brakes on my car and I do my own work, I though that this would be the time to make that conversion.

Thank you.


Why do you need a disk brake? Disk brake is easier to bind your wheel and hurt gas mileage.

I want to convert to rear disc brakes because of their better stopping ability & fade resistance. If their set properly, there should be no problem with fuel mileage. When disc brakes are at rest, the pads are very close to the disc and if they do touch, it so light, that it wouldn’t affect fuel mileage.

It will cost way too much. It isn’t worth it and you won’t ever need disc brakes. You’ll have to change the parking brake cable too. The part alone will cost over $100.00. That’s just for the cable. The brakes will not be one bit better and you may need a different proportioning valve too. There are some unknowns here. Whole new spindles may also be necessary.

The rear brakes are only doing 30% of the braking power at best. Rear disc upgrades are usually not going to help your overall braking power. You need to upgrade the front disc brakes to get any noticable improvement. Either way, your looking at an aftermarket set-up unless Ford sells racing parts at your dealership.

I’m suspecting the real reason is looks. You hate the look of the drum through your open alloy wheels.

From the spindles out 100% . spidles,calipers,hub/brngs,rotors,nut,grease cap,cables,gravel shield,$$$$

I’m suspecting the real reason is looks. You hate the look of the drum through your open alloy wheels.

Ding, ding, ding! I think we have a winner here! The rest of BK’s post is also correct. Your best bet would be to upgrade the front brakes if it’s stopping power you’re interested in.

Has anyone (not racing) ever had their rear brakes fade?

Your question implies that you are planning on getting the parts from a Focus that has rear discs already. Keep in mind that you might be advised to get pretty much the entire braking system off the donor car. It is possible that the front brakes, master cylinder and proportioning valve are different. The last item may be replaced by an adjustable valve, probably. If my assumption is correct that you already know that some Foci came with rear discs, I suggest that you try a Focus enthusiast site. I am relatively sure that you will find someone that has done this or, at least, thought about it and dismissed it as impractical.

Good luck and have fun with your car.

The reason I want to do what I want to do has nothing at all to with looks. It’s something that I want to do. I’m well aware of what parts I would need. I would take the whole spindle & knuckle from the rear disc brakes of a Focus SVT. Also, I would take the parking brake cables so as to know all would work as it should. the biggest hing I’d have to check before going ahead with this project, is that the wheels (they’re 15") would clear everything without scraping.

“the wheels (they’re 15”) would clear everything without scraping"

then try your wheels on the donor car first!

but read BNBs post from yesterday. there’s more than meets the eye regarding switching the brakes to disc.

you should get a shop manual. look through it to see the difference in brake parts for rear drum and rear disc. there ARE differences in the whole system, not just at the rear hub.

I’ve had scary brake fade when towing a fully loaded band equipment trailer. !!dude!! But I would not know which to blame, front or back, or just a light duty truck(92 explorer) pulling heavy duty work.

I actually do have a shop manual for my car. I will check it out just to see what is needed. Yes, I would check to make sure everything fits properly before I do anything.

You WILL find out everything that you need to know at a Focus site. Several to many people have done this project for sure.

Look guy’s the wheel cylinders on these cars are insanely bad! No matter where you get them from. They start leaking and the next thing you know it’s time for a new bearing. Go ahead with the conversion to the rear disc man, I’m doing mine in two weeks! Summit racing carrys the SVT rear disc conversion for $550 and it come’s with every thing you need, and the porportiong valve doesnt need to be changed due to the fact that the SVT has the same one. All the lines come with the kit and if your a skilled mechanic then it should take 2 to 4 hours to complete.

Good Luck with your conversion,
2000 Ford Focus SE Zetech “SVT Killer”

Hey Mark,
I own a 2001 SE wagon and I have been doing some reasearch before I convert mine to SVT discs. All signs point to minimum 17 inch wheels. The size of the discs are 2mm larger than stock. I believe all SVT vehicles came with 17 inch wheels. Very curious to know how it all goes. By the way, I changing mine because the drums look so ugly.

Keep in touch,