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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 92 Escort LX-E 4-door 1.8 engine. Are ceramics the best pads for this vehicle or semi-metallic? I had a mechanic put on ceramics last time and they have lasted about 2 years (I drive the car daily 64 miles). Is there a good quality semi-metallic pad that doesn't cost quite as much? Can anyone recommend any particular brands?
 

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I think it depends on how you drive. The ceramics typically need to be hot to work well and are hard on rotors, but are low dust. Quality semi-metallic pads are good for everyday driving. So, I think it depends on your driving and your wallet. I don't use ceramics because a set I tried were horrible when wet ( I run "open" rims).
 

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I use ceramic in my truck and only for my rear brakes. If you have them up front it sometimes feels like they are slipping and it won’t stop otherwise. Until they are warmed up that is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the input everyone. I think I will go with semi-metallic on the pads. They are quite a bit cheaper. Putting premium pads on my Escort at this point (191K miles) would be like putting a miniskirt and go-go boots Hillary Clinton. Does anyone have experience changing the rear brake pads on this model? Any special snafus I should be on the lookout for?
 

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If you have the rear disc setup, you will need to remove a cap screw on the rear of the caliper near the e-brake cable bracket. Inside is an adjuster screw that accepts an Allen key bit, turn that to loosen and it retracts the piston in the bore of caliper. Do not try to force (c-clamp) or turn piston itself. Then remove the lower (and only) caliper bolt. The caliper can then be "flipped up" using top slide as a pivot. If slides are sticky, this can be difficult. Use suitable pry bar to rotate caliper up. If really stuck, several careful hammer hits may be necessary. Make sure the slides move freely and are well lubed up with proper compound before reassembly. The pistons will return to clamping position with several pedal pumps like normal. If removing rotors, be sure to remove hold down screws. They often times need to be drilled out. Be sure to remove all of screw head so there won't be rotor seating issues. The screws do not need to be reinstalled, just there for assembly.
 

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I'm currently running ceramic pads on slotted rotors, and they don't brake as well for the first stop in the morning (I have a 1 mile 7%+ downhill grade to start with), but once the first major braking is done, I swear by them. The rear brakes are just semi-metallic riveted shoes (8" drums). There is a huge difference for stopping power between the OEM 1st gen brakes and the new stuff. I rarely lock a wheel now, but will stop a whole lot faster. There is also zero brake noise (another good thing about ceramic). Dust is there, but it's a lighter color. As far as wearing out a stock rotor, that really depends on what the rotor is made of; I would say the stock ones are fine, as semi metallic is just as hard as ceramic.
 
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