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2013 Ford Taurus SHO Brake Upgrade: Enhancing Performance and Safety

The 2013 Ford Taurus SHO is a powerful and prestigious vehicle, known for its exceptional performance and luxurious features. However, one area where it may fall short is the braking system. Upgrading the brakes on your 2013 Ford Taurus SHO can greatly improve its overall performance and safety. In this blog article, we will discuss the various aspects of upgrading the brakes on your 2013 Ford Taurus SHO, including the benefits, options, and installation process.

The Importance of Brake Upgrades

When it comes to your safety and the performance of your vehicle, the braking system plays a crucial role. The stock braking system of the 2013 Ford Taurus SHO may not always meet the demands of enthusiastic driving or sudden stops. Upgrading the brakes can help address these limitations and ensure you have the stopping power you need, when you need it.

Enhanced Stopping Power

One of the primary benefits of upgrading the brakes on your 2013 Ford Taurus SHO is enhanced stopping power. With a performance brake upgrade, you can experience shorter stopping distances, allowing you to react quickly in emergency situations. This can give you added confidence on the road and provide an extra layer of safety for you and your passengers.

Improved Heat Dissipation

Another advantage of upgrading your brakes is improved heat dissipation. During intense driving or heavy braking, the stock braking system may generate excessive heat, leading to brake fade. Brake fade occurs when the brakes lose their effectiveness due to overheating. Upgrading to high-performance brake components, such as slotted or drilled rotors, can help dissipate heat more effectively, minimizing the risk of brake fade and maintaining consistent braking performance.

Enhanced Control and Handling

Upgrading the brakes on your 2013 Ford Taurus SHO can also enhance control and handling. With a more responsive braking system, you can enjoy improved modulation and feel. This allows for smoother and more precise braking, which can greatly enhance your overall driving experience. Whether you’re navigating winding roads or maneuvering through heavy traffic, upgraded brakes can provide the control and confidence you need.

Choosing the Right Brake Kit

With numerous brake kits available in the market, selecting the right one for your 2013 Ford Taurus SHO can be overwhelming. However, considering a few key factors can help you make an informed decision and choose the brake kit that best suits your needs.

Performance and Compatibility

When selecting a brake kit, it’s essential to consider your driving style and performance requirements. If you frequently engage in spirited driving or track days, you may want to opt for a high-performance brake kit that offers superior stopping power and heat dissipation. On the other hand, if you primarily use your vehicle for daily commuting, a more balanced brake kit that offers a combination of performance and comfort may be the ideal choice.

Compatibility with OEM Components

Another crucial factor to consider is the compatibility of the brake kit with your vehicle’s OEM components. Ensure that the brake kit you choose is designed specifically for the 2013 Ford Taurus SHO and is compatible with the existing brake calipers, rotors, and other hardware. This will not only simplify the installation process but also ensure that the upgraded brakes function seamlessly with the rest of your vehicle’s braking system.

Budget and Warranty

While it’s important to invest in high-quality brake components, you should also consider your budget. Brake kits are available at various price points, so it’s essential to find a balance between performance, quality, and affordability. Additionally, check if the brake kit comes with a warranty. A warranty can provide you with peace of mind and protect your investment in case of any manufacturing defects or premature wear.

Performance Brake Rotors Explained

Performance brake rotors are a popular upgrade option for improving the braking capabilities of your 2013 Ford Taurus SHO. They offer several advantages over stock rotors, including enhanced heat dissipation, improved bite, and reduced brake fade.

Slotted Rotors

Slotted rotors feature machined slots on their surface, which help dissipate heat and gases more efficiently. The slots also help remove brake dust and debris, keeping the rotor surface clean and ensuring consistent braking performance. Additionally, the slots provide a bite point for the brake pads, enhancing initial brake response and reducing stopping distances.

Drilled Rotors

Drilled rotors are another popular choice for performance upgrades. They feature evenly spaced holes drilled into the rotor surface, which aid in heat dissipation and provide additional weight reduction. The drilled holes also help prevent the buildup of gas and heat, reducing the risk of brake fade. However, it’s important to note that drilled rotors may be more prone to cracking under extreme stress, so they are best suited for street and occasional track use.

Vented Rotors

Vented rotors are characterized by their internal cooling vanes, which promote better heat dissipation. The vanes allow air to flow through the rotor, carrying away heat generated during braking. This design helps maintain consistent brake performance, even during prolonged or heavy braking. Vented rotors are an excellent choice for those looking for improved durability and fade resistance.

Upgrading Brake Pads for Enhanced Performance

Brake pads are a critical component of the braking system, and upgrading them can significantly improve the performance of your 2013 Ford Taurus SHO. Performance brake pads offer greater stopping power, improved modulation, and reduced brake dust.

Ceramic Brake Pads

Ceramic brake pads are a popular choice for those seeking enhanced performance and reduced brake dust. They are composed of a ceramic compound that provides excellent stopping power, even under high temperatures. Ceramic pads also generate less brake dust compared to other types, resulting in cleaner wheels and reduced maintenance.

Semi-Metallic Brake Pads

Semi-metallic brake pads are known for their versatility and durability. They are composed of a mixture of metals, such as copper, steel, and iron, which offer excellent stopping power across a wide range of temperatures. Semi-metallic pads are well-suited for high-performance driving and heavy-duty applications, making them a popular choice for enthusiasts.

Organic Brake Pads

Organic brake pads, also known as non-asbestos organic (NAO) pads, are made from a blend of organic materials, such as rubber, glass, and Kevlar fibers. They are a budget-friendly option that offers smooth and quiet operation. While organic pads may not provide the same level of performance as ceramic or semi-metallic pads, they are suitable for everyday driving and lighter braking requirements.

The Advantages of Stainless Steel Brake Lines

Upgrading to stainless steel brake lines can offer several advantages for your 2013 Ford Taurus SHO. The stock rubber brake lines can expand under pressure, resulting in a spongy brake pedal feel and reduced braking performance. Stainless steel brake lines, on the other hand, are more resistant to expansion, providing a firmer and more responsive brake pedal.

Improved Pedal Feel

One of the primary benefits of stainless steel brake lines is the improved pedal feel they offer. With their reduced expansion, stainless steel lines provide a firmer pedal, allowing for more precise brake modulation. This enhanced pedal feel can greatly improve your overall driving experience, especially during spirited driving or emergency braking situations.

Enhanced Durability

Stainless steel brake lines are highly durable and can withstand more extreme conditions compared to rubber lines. They are resistant to corrosion, abrasion, and damage from road debris, ensuring a longer lifespan. Upgrading to stainless steel brake lines can be a worthwhile investment, providing you with reliable and long-lasting performance.

Resistance to Moisture Absorption

Rubber brake lines have a tendency to absorb moisture over time, which can lead to a decrease in braking performance. Moisture in the brake fluid can cause corrosion within the braking system, resulting in reduced efficiency and potential damage. Stainless steel brake lines are non-porous and do not absorb moisture, helping to maintain the integrity of the brake fluid and ensuring consistent performance.

The Role of Brake Fluid in Performance

While often overlooked, brake fluid plays a vital role in the overall performance of your braking system. It is responsible for transferring the force from the brake pedal to the brake calipers, enabling the vehicle to come to a stop. Upgrading to a high-quality brake fluid can enhance the performance and longevity of your upgraded brakes.

Higher Boiling Point

Brake fluid operates under high temperatures, especially during heavy braking or aggressive driving. Stock brake fluid may have a lower boiling point, leading to brake fade and a decrease in braking performance. Upgrading to a high-performance brake fluid with a higher boiling point can help combat this issue, ensuring consistent brake performance even under extreme conditions.

Improved Water Absorption Resistance

Brake fluid has a tendency to absorb moisture over time, which can lead to a decrease in its boiling point. This moisture absorption can also cause corrosion within the braking system, leading to potential damage and reduced efficiency. High-quality brake fluids, such as DOT 4 or DOT 5.1, offer improved water absorption resistance. These fluids are formulated with additives that help prevent moisture from accumulating in the brake system, ensuring optimal performance and longevity of your upgraded brakes.

Compatibility with Upgraded Brake Components

When upgrading your brakes, it’s important to ensure that the brake fluid you choose is compatible with the upgraded components. Some high-performance brake fluids may have different chemical compositions that may not be suitable for certain brake materials. It’s crucial to consult the manufacturer’s recommendations or seek professional advice to ensure compatibility and prevent any potential issues.

Performance Brake Calipers: Aesthetics and Functionality

Upgrading your brake calipers not only enhances the aesthetics of your 2013 Ford Taurus SHO but can also improve braking performance. Performance brake calipers offer increased clamping force, better heat dissipation, and improved durability.

Increased Clamping Force

Performance brake calipers are designed to provide increased clamping force on the brake rotors. This allows for more effective braking, as the calipers can apply greater pressure to the brake pads, resulting in enhanced stopping power. With increased clamping force, you can experience shorter stopping distances and improved overall braking performance.

Superior Heat Dissipation

During intense braking, the heat generated can be detrimental to the performance of your braking system. Performance brake calipers are often designed with advanced heat dissipation features, such as larger cooling fins or internal cooling passages. These features help dissipate heat more efficiently, reducing the risk of brake fade and maintaining consistent braking performance.

Enhanced Durability

Performance brake calipers are typically constructed from higher-grade materials, such as aluminum or stainless steel, which offer increased durability and resistance to corrosion. This ensures that the calipers can withstand the demands of aggressive driving or heavy braking without compromising their functionality. Upgrading to performance brake calipers can provide you with peace of mind, knowing that your braking system is built to last.

The Installation Process for Brake Upgrades

While upgrading the brakes on your 2013 Ford Taurus SHO may seem like a daunting task, it can be accomplished with the right tools and knowledge. It’s important to follow proper installation procedures to ensure the effectiveness and safety of your upgraded brakes.

Preparation and Safety Measures

Before beginning the installation process, it’s crucial to gather all the necessary tools and equipment. Ensure that you have a suitable workspace with adequate lighting and ventilation. It’s also important to take appropriate safety measures, such as using jack stands to secure your vehicle and wearing protective gloves and eyewear.

Removing the Old Components

The first step in the installation process is removing the old brake components. This typically involves removing the wheels, brake calipers, brake pads, and brake rotors. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions or consult a repair manual specific to your vehicle to ensure proper removal and avoid any damage to the surrounding components.

Installing the Upgraded Components

Once the old components are removed, you can proceed with installing the upgraded brake components. This may include installing new brake rotors, brake pads, brake calipers, and brake lines. It’s important to carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions and torque specifications to ensure proper installation. Pay attention to any additional steps or specific procedures required for your specific brake kit.

Bleeding the Braking System

After installing the upgraded components, it’s crucial to properly bleed the braking system to remove any air or contaminants. This involves opening the bleeder valves on the brake calipers and allowing the old brake fluid to drain out while replenishing it with fresh fluid. Bleeding the brakes ensures that there is no air trapped in the system, which can lead to a spongy brake pedal and reduced braking performance.

Testing and Bedding-In

Once the installation and bleeding process is complete, it’s important to test the functionality of the upgraded brakes. Before hitting the road, perform a thorough inspection to ensure all components are securely fastened and there are no leaks. Once you’re confident in the installation, it’s recommended to perform a proper bedding-in process for the new brake pads and rotors. This involves a series of controlled stops to gradually transfer a layer of material onto the rotor surface, optimizing the braking performance and ensuring proper pad and rotor break-in.

Maintenance Tips for Upgraded Brakes

Once you have upgraded the brakes on your 2013 Ford Taurus SHO, proper maintenance is essential to maximize their lifespan and performance. Here are some valuable maintenance tips to keep your upgraded braking system in optimal condition:

Regular Inspections

Regularly inspect your upgraded braking system for any signs of wear, damage, or leaks. Check the brake pads, rotors, calipers, and brake lines for any abnormalities or indications of excessive wear. If you notice any issues, promptly address them to prevent further damage or compromised performance.

Brake Fluid Flush and Replacement

Brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs moisture over time. This moisture can lead to corrosion and decreased performance. It’s important to periodically flush and replace the brake fluid to maintain its optimal performance. Consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual or a professional technician to determine the recommended interval for brake fluid replacement.

Proper Cleaning and Lubrication

Maintain cleanliness and proper lubrication of the brake components to ensure smooth operation. Clean the brake calipers, rotors, and pads regularly to remove any brake dust or debris that may accumulate. Apply a suitable brake lubricant to the contact points between the brake pads and caliper brackets to prevent noise or uneven wear.

Proactive Pad and Rotor Replacement

Keep track of the wear on your brake pads and rotors and replace them proactively when they reach their recommended minimum thickness. Continuing to use worn brake pads or rotors can compromise the performance and safety of your braking system. Regularly inspect the thickness of the brake pads and measure the thickness of the rotors to determine if replacement is necessary.

Driving Habits and Considerations

Be mindful of your driving habits and consider the demands you place on your braking system. Aggressive driving, frequent heavy braking, or towing may accelerate wear and require more frequent maintenance or replacement of brake components. Adjust your driving style accordingly to prolong the lifespan of your upgraded brakes.

In conclusion, upgrading the brakes on your 2013 Ford Taurus SHO is a wise investment that can significantly enhance its performance and safety. By choosing the right brake kit, upgrading brake rotors and pads, installing stainless steel brake lines, and using high-quality brake fluid, you can experience enhanced stopping power, improved heat dissipation, and superior control and handling. However, proper installation and maintenance are equally important to ensure the longevity and effectiveness of your upgraded braking system. Regular inspections, brake fluid flushes, proper cleaning and lubrication, proactive component replacement, and mindful driving habits will help you get the most out of your upgraded brakes and enjoy a safer and more enjoyable driving experience.

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