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1971 Ford Escort

The rally suspension was way too hard for normal use, so I swapped the front struts for stock units from an RS 2000 Escort. After doing so, I took it for a drive around the block and lost the brakes. They worked, but only after a few pumps. With a friend's help I bled the lines, and tried again. Same thing. We checked everything in the braking department and bled them again and again, always with the same result.
With a 1600 km trip to the Gold Coast coming up the next morning, and two passengers relying on my car, we worked under lights till after midnight trying to bleed the lines and get the brakes to work properly. We never did, and I drove the distance with bad brakes, running into the back of a friend's car once.
I later found the problem. It turned out to be slightly different spindle diameters on the struts that allowed the wheel bearings to move around and thus the brake disks to hammer the pads back into the calipers. Nothing to do with the brake system itself at all.
Although it was heaps of fun to drive, the Escort was a never-ending demand upon my time. It had been so modified that everything needed further work, and the episode with the brakes was only one of many such similar frustrations. I sold it and determined not to buy a heavily modified vehicle again.

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Ford Escort


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