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Brakes inconsistent / not smooth at low speed?


Zero Gravity

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I have an ST with the street pack wheel/caliper upgrade. It's hard to describe this. I find the brakes to be inconsistent and not smooth at low speed around 10 mph and below. Or another way to put it: even pressure on the brakes doesn't result in equally even braking power.

Somewhere in this forum I thought I saw someone else notice something like this. I'm wondering if this is a common issue with the street pack wheels/calipers or if there's something specifically wrong with my vehicle that the dealer should take a look at.
 

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DMG632

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In the last review I read last week they said the brakes are more like a "on/off switch". So maybe your brakes are working as designed.
 


themishmosh

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Don't notice this at all on my ST. It is also not twitchy like in reviews, which seem to be equiped with the track package. Braking is easy to modulate and is very strong when needed. Best brakes I've had on any car.

Did you look at your rotors for signs of abnormal wear? How many miles? Is the car broken in?
 
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blwnsmoke

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The brakes definitely "feel" different but I believe that is attributed to the electric brake booster instead of a vacuum or hydraulic unit. It definitely took some time for me to adjust to it.

As stated, by far the best performing brakes I have ever had.
 


Chicago ST

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I have a theory about this. I noticed the same thing, especially in sport mode at low speed. I don’t think it’s the brakes being grabby, but the transmission down shifting aggressively.
 
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themishmosh

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I have a theory about this. I notice the same thing, especially in sport mode at low speed. I don’t think it’s the brakes being grabby, but the transmission down shifting aggressively.
You may be on to something. I definitely can feel the trans when shifting gears. At low speed, it is particularly herky jerky. Doesn't this trans have rev matching?
 


buzzard302

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You may be on to something. I definitely can feel the trans when shifting gears. At low speed, it is particularly herky jerky. Doesn't this trans have rev matching?
I only have a Limited with the 4 cyl, but my 10 speed trans is fairly jerky coming to a stop. Interestingly, I am in a loaner 2020 Limited right now, which is identical to my vehicle. It is less jerky, but still noticeable. My brother has a 2019 F-150 with the 10 speed trans and his is jerky when coming to a stop as well. I think it is just how the 10 speed is.

My brakes are touchy, but always felt they were consistent. Again, I am a Limited and I know the ST brakes are a different animal.
 


Ronxlt

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I have a theory about this. I noticed the same thing, especially in sport mode at low speed. I don’t think it’s the brakes being grabby, but the transmission down shifting aggressively.
I agree with this. I can feel the aggressive down shifting in Sport mode. At first I assumed it was the brakes.
 


Zero Gravity

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I don't think it's the downshifting. It's the brakes. Recent MotorTrend review had nice things to say about the ST overall but on the downsides said "Awful brakes on the ST" and added that "...though all 11 judges complained about the Explorer ST's brakes, which function more as an on/off switch than a brake pedal in the traditional sense."

That's what I'm feeling at low speed. At normal driving speeds the brakes are terrific with smooth and strong stopping power. But I think the trade off is that they are not refined at low speed where they tend to be on or off instead of smooth even modulation.

I would consider this a word of caution for the ST with the street pack upgrade for someone with a commute with a lot of stop and go traffic. The overall ST may still be worth it, but if your vehicle is anything like mine or the one/s Motor Trend reviewed, you'll be disappointed in the low speed braking feel if that's a lot of your day to day driving.
 


dstewart51

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I found the brakes don't bite quite as hard after a few thousand miles on, you also get use to them and its not a thing. I commute 130 miles/day into down town LA, lots of slow speed stop and go. Not an issue.
 


blwnsmoke

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I found the brakes don't bite quite as hard after a few thousand miles on, you also get use to them and its not a thing. I commute 130 miles/day into down town LA, lots of slow speed stop and go. Not an issue.
You are absolutely right. Brand new I found them very sensitive. 6,000 miles on the odometer now and they are great. As you said, I'm sure a combo of adjusting to them and them breaking in.
 


BobT2k

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You are absolutely right. Brand new I found them very sensitive. 6,000 miles on the odometer now and they are great. As you said, I'm sure a combo of adjusting to them and them breaking in.
Same here as well.... 6k in and I'm either used to the street pack or they get less sensitive... they still stop well though.
 


Zero Gravity

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Good to hear the feedback from others with more miles on their ST. Sounds promising. I've only had mine a few weeks so hopefully still in the break-in period.
 


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