Calipers, steel piston VS. Phenolic

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Calipers, steel piston VS. Phenolic

Postby jaywish - May 27th, 2020, 8:04 pm

Hi,

My 2012 came with phenolic pistons. I am going to change the calipers.

I could buy steel piston calipers as there is a particular brake pad material I like from Centric called extended wear. It is only available for the steel piston units.

Are there any physical compatibility issues in changing over?

Why plastic vs steel anyway?

Thanks,
Jay
12 Ford Escape AWD Limited Silver/Charcoal 302a, 17" wheels+Cooper CS5 ultra, Park Assist, Mods-> steps, 16" 6 spokes+Cooper Discoverer Sport M+S snows, Compustar Alarm/Remote Start, Husky floor & trunk liners, Centric front drilled, slotted, cryo rotors & Wagner OEX1047B pads.
89 Merc Grand Marquis Colony Park GTLS, Light Adobe/Tan, Mods = HO, Explorer intake, SS Duals, big brakes fore & aft, auto air shocks, posi, Hella H1's & H2's, 16" HPP rims, police sway, aluminum driveshaft, tranny cooler etc.
03 Merc Marauder DPB/Charcoal, HS, 6disk, spoiler, organizer Mods = M&Z control arms, oil deflector, SilverStars, U-Haul Tranny Pan
02 Mercedes SL500 Silver Arrow.
08 Lincoln Town Car Signature Limited with HID's Mods = posi, Z rated Cooper 235/55-17 Zeon RS3-A tires, Addco 1" rear Sway, Compustar Remote Start, floor liners, trunk organizer, Winter 05 Mustang GT rims, Nokian Hakkapeliitta R-2 235/55-17
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Re: Calipers, steel piston VS. Phenolic

Postby bangster - May 27th, 2020, 10:50 pm

I think that the phenolic/plastic pistons are supposed to be less likely to heat up and boil away the brake fluid. I had a Grand Marquis, and the CVPI version of the same car had the plastic pistons, and it was hit or miss if some non police cars had steel or plastic, sometimes from the factory you could find both on the same car. I was going to get some from the junk yard, but it wasn't worth the effort, and I found a few that had broken plastic pistons (to be fair, I also found steel ones that rusted into the bore, had chunks missing).

I think for normal usage, either one is fine, and no pluses or minuses other than as you state not all brake pads come for either/or style retainer clip.
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Re: Calipers, steel piston VS. Phenolic

Postby jaywish - May 30th, 2020, 7:44 am

Thanks for the information. It seems to be the way of it.

Jay
12 Ford Escape AWD Limited Silver/Charcoal 302a, 17" wheels+Cooper CS5 ultra, Park Assist, Mods-> steps, 16" 6 spokes+Cooper Discoverer Sport M+S snows, Compustar Alarm/Remote Start, Husky floor & trunk liners, Centric front drilled, slotted, cryo rotors & Wagner OEX1047B pads.
89 Merc Grand Marquis Colony Park GTLS, Light Adobe/Tan, Mods = HO, Explorer intake, SS Duals, big brakes fore & aft, auto air shocks, posi, Hella H1's & H2's, 16" HPP rims, police sway, aluminum driveshaft, tranny cooler etc.
03 Merc Marauder DPB/Charcoal, HS, 6disk, spoiler, organizer Mods = M&Z control arms, oil deflector, SilverStars, U-Haul Tranny Pan
02 Mercedes SL500 Silver Arrow.
08 Lincoln Town Car Signature Limited with HID's Mods = posi, Z rated Cooper 235/55-17 Zeon RS3-A tires, Addco 1" rear Sway, Compustar Remote Start, floor liners, trunk organizer, Winter 05 Mustang GT rims, Nokian Hakkapeliitta R-2 235/55-17
jaywish
 
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Re: Calipers, steel piston VS. Phenolic

Postby F1CHRIS - March 13th, 2021, 6:35 pm

Hello -

This might be a dumb question, but I need to buy front brake pads for my 2012. I just discovered that there are these 2 types - Steel & Phenolic pistons. Is there an easy way to tell which one I have before I take it apart ? Trying to get prepared to put new front brakes on it...
Thanks !
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Re: Calipers, steel piston VS. Phenolic

Postby jaywish - March 13th, 2021, 7:10 pm

All can say is this. I had a 2008 v6 awd Limited and a 2012 V6 awd Limited. Both were plastic pistons.
12 Ford Escape AWD Limited Silver/Charcoal 302a, 17" wheels+Cooper CS5 ultra, Park Assist, Mods-> steps, 16" 6 spokes+Cooper Discoverer Sport M+S snows, Compustar Alarm/Remote Start, Husky floor & trunk liners, Centric front drilled, slotted, cryo rotors & Wagner OEX1047B pads.
89 Merc Grand Marquis Colony Park GTLS, Light Adobe/Tan, Mods = HO, Explorer intake, SS Duals, big brakes fore & aft, auto air shocks, posi, Hella H1's & H2's, 16" HPP rims, police sway, aluminum driveshaft, tranny cooler etc.
03 Merc Marauder DPB/Charcoal, HS, 6disk, spoiler, organizer Mods = M&Z control arms, oil deflector, SilverStars, U-Haul Tranny Pan
02 Mercedes SL500 Silver Arrow.
08 Lincoln Town Car Signature Limited with HID's Mods = posi, Z rated Cooper 235/55-17 Zeon RS3-A tires, Addco 1" rear Sway, Compustar Remote Start, floor liners, trunk organizer, Winter 05 Mustang GT rims, Nokian Hakkapeliitta R-2 235/55-17
jaywish
 
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Re: Calipers, steel piston VS. Phenolic

Postby F1CHRIS - March 14th, 2021, 5:53 pm

I think that I am just going to play it safe and buy both, to avoid wasting time...Then, take back the one that I don't need...Thanks !
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