STanced: Brake It Down For Us, Adam
While we never set out to make our Focus STanced an all-out performance build, we have all along tried to choose our mods with both appearance and performance in mind. After all, Ford engineers spent a lot of time making the Focus ST such a special car, and we’d be doing them a disservice if we went too far in rearranging the ST’s superior DNA.
With the Accuair-designed and built custom air suspension system, we obviously wanted the ability to slam the car whenever we wanted, but we also wanted to be sure we could include a programmable track-height setting as well, along with some serious performance-minded suspension components. We’ve already had Focus STanced on a race track and plan to do so as often as possible.
The stock ST brakes are plenty good. After many (literally) hot laps around Willow Springs Raceway under the baking SoCal sun we noticed only a minor loss of performance, and that was mostly due to the pads overheating and gas building up on the rotor surface. In other words, we did see some room for improvement, so we hit up our friends at Adam’s Rotors to see if they had a set of stock-size rotors for us that would improve braking performance and (because this build is also focused on appearance) offer us a good look from behind our 19″ 3-pc fifteen52 Tarmac TR wheels.
Adam’s rotors is an interesting company. They’ve taken what many of us had always seen as a pretty mundane replacement part and turned it (pun not intended, promise) into one more cool item an enthusiast can use to give his or her car a good look and boost in performance. Their rotors, in addition to being super-high quality items, are available in a huge variety of drilled/dimpled/slotted patterns, various coatings, and even hub colors – all waiting to be chosen by the end user. They do not keep any finished product in stock, but rather they wait for you to choose your options and then build a set of rotors exactly the way you ordered them. What’s also cool is that from the first email inquiry to the actual ordering process, you’re dealing with the owner (whose name we hope you’ve already guessed).
“Our product is fully made to order and customizable – we’re the only company doing what we do.
With thirteen patterns, three zinc finishes, and five hub coatings, you can have your rotors how you want them and not with just a few basic off-the-shelf options. On top of that, we’re fully made-to-order and all-inclusive…our pricing includes a pattern, silver zinc, and shipping within the US.
Lastly is our service and near instant replies – you talk directly to the owner of the company and you get the answers you need, when you need them. We’re against the standard/typical corporate vibe/feel/speak, and think our customers appreciate that too. Our process is much more one-on-one; like you’re talking to a buddy or fellow enthusiast.”
When installing new rotors it’s the best time to include new pads. Rather than go with OEM replacement pads, we chose to hit up Adam again and ask him to include a set of Stoptech performance street pads. These pads are a bit more aggressive than the stockies, but they’re still well-suited for street driving. After bedding them in properly (if you’re not sure what this entails, please do yourself a valuable favor and research the process), we found the new pad and rotor combo to offer excellent initial bite, progressive action, low noise, and reduced brake dust.
While we admitted earlier that good looks were a prime consideration in going with a rotor swap, we also knew that using a slotted design would help alleviate the aforementioned gas build-up we experienced on the track. And though we don’t consider a drilled rotor to be a must-have for street or track use, we have to concede they look pretty damn good. So while the view through the Tarmac wheels is definitely enhanced, those extra details will also prove beneficial during extreme track conditions. Consider our cake both possessed and consumed.
Yes, this particular update is one of the more simple ones in the overall scope of this project, but we think you’ll agree it was also pretty much a no-brainer. Affordable, easy installation, aesthetically pleasing, and effective – what more could you ask for? We suggest you get with Adam next time you need to replace your rotors – or better still, why not upgrade now? They’ve recently updated their website (www.adamsrotors.com), so the ordering process is even more streamlined and user-friendly.