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Brake Pads Experience Thread

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I would like to use this tread to collect brake pads reviews, especially since I have only experience with Hawk brake pads. There are many other oprtions out there, e.g. Carbotech, Axis, Porterfield.

 

Here is my experience (please us the same format):

 

Pad: Hawk HP+

Car: 2006 GTI/2008 MX-5 – Street Cars

Location: Front

Calipers: Stock

Impressions: very good pad for a non-track dedicated car. Very good initial bite, even on the street. I have not had any overheating issues and they remain constant during the track session, including the heavy GTI. Also, rotor friendly.

 

I highly recommend this pad as the first upgrade level for the track without going full race pad.

 

Pad: Hawk Blue

Car: 1995 Golf – Kermit – Race Car

Location: Front

Calipers: Stock

Impressions: as a race pad, the brake won’t be firm until they reach operating temperature. Initial bite is good without being aggressive and very progressive increase of stopping power with increase of brake pedal pressure. I would describe them as linear. It is a very good choice for a car that weights less than 2500#. This compound is aggressive on rotors.

 

Pad: Hawk HT-10

Car: 1995 Golf – Kermit – Race Car

Location: Front

Calipers: Stock

Impressions: very similar to Hawk Blue with the benefit of being kinder to rotors. This is my current pad.

 

Pad: Hawk DTC-60

Car: 1995 Golf – Kermit – Race Car

Location: Front

Calipers: Wilwood Dynalug Pro

Impressions: these pads come up to temperature quick (which is good). Pedal and braking feel remains constant during a whole sprint race. Easy to modulate with a bit more aggressive initial bite than the HT-10. They might be too much for Kermit and it looks like they wear out quickly. I'm also using Ti backing plates to reduce chances of boiling the brake fluid. I have yet to assess rotor wear.

 

Pad: PFC-01

Car: 1995 Golf – Kermit – Race Car

Location: Front

Calipers: Wilwood Dynalug Pro

Impressions: I'm in love! Thank you guys for suggesting these pads. They are meant to be for Kermit. Braking torque is extremely constant during breaking and they are very easy to modulate. No brake fade even after a 45 min race. They last longer than the Hawk DTC-60 (but not by much) and they seem to be easy on rotors.

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Pad: Hawk HP+

Car: 2003 VW Jetta GLI, 1997 Mazda Miata - Street, HPDE Cars

Location: Front, Back

Calipers: Stock

Impressions: I'll just repeat Edison's review: Very good pad for a non-track dedicated car. Very good initial bite, even on the street. I have not had any overheating issues and they remain constant during the track session, including the heavy GTI. Also, rotor friendly.

 

These are the only pads I've used, haven't had a good reason to try anything else!

 

robert

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PAD: Carbotech XP-10

Car: 2006 Mazdaspeed 6 - HPDE/Open Track Days

Location: both axles

Calipers: OE (interestingly they were the same front calipers from the '06-'07 Mustang GT, even had Ford stamped on them, part of the bin-sharing between Mazda and Ford I guess)

 

Impressions: I moved to these from Carbotech AX-6's which just didn't hold up to the heavy pig that the MS6 was and faded to non-existence within 4-5 laps of heavy use. I loved these pads, best pads I've ever run, easy on rotors, no grooving whatsoever, totally linear feel, though they did take a while (about a full lap) to get to operating temps. And if you ever came in for a black flag and went out after they'd had a chance to cool, it could catch you off guard, that happened once and I had to drive straight into 3 running CCW at TWS as I couldn't scrape enough speed to make the corner. Lesson learned, they don't work cool or cold :) I actually wanted to run these on the STi's, but they just cost too goddamn much for the platform; almost $500 for both axles, crazy! Also, these are NOT For daily use. They squeal like crazy even with shims and people will stare at you like you're nuts for driving a car with brakes that loud. But hey, maybe some of you like being looked at light after light!

 

PAD: EBC Yellow

Car(s): 2008 and 2010 STi - HPDE/Open Track Days

Location: both axles

Calipers: OE Brembo

 

Impressions: They work well, but will eat your rotors pretty quickly - and leave a ton of grooves - if you run them below about 50% pad on the backing. Not sure why the material seems to change as you go deeper into the pad, but they get progressively worse as you go deeper into the pad. The upside is that they are dirt cheap, I can get front and rear axles covered for about $210 and have only once gotten them to fade. And they was only because I was running them CW at TWS in June at 95 degrees ambient and about 1/3 of the pad left; so not much in the way of a heat-sink left. I'd recommend these for budget minded people who don't mind throwing pads out once they get below ~50% remaining, assuming you want to preserve your rotors that is, if you don't, run them deeper and watch the grooving take over :)

 

 

PAD: Hawk Blue

Car: E36 325 - HPDE's/Open Track Days

Location: both axles

Calipers: OE

 

Impressions. I've still only got 2 solid events in on this car (Nov and Dec - I'm not counting the cluster at H2R in the rain) but I've been impressed by the pads in general. I'm still getting used to the no ABS thing (as evidenced by the flat-spotted 888 my first time out) but these have a very good pedal feel and I have yet to push them enough to fade. The only caveat is I'm often not sure how much pressure it takes to lock the wheels and will do so at random spots when it's not expected. I'm not sure if that's a function of the pad, the brake system with ABS deactivated, or the driver. Hope to learn more this weekend!

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PAD: Porterfield R4-E

Car: 1999 Eclipse GSX (2.0L configuration)

Location: fronts

Calipers: OE

Impressions: They made a lot of noise, the dust is a iron-ferrous compound and will ruin your wheel finish if left on (or gets wet), eats rotors fast....but excellent stopping power and initial bite. I would change rotors every 2-3 weekends, but that was OK when they were $20 O'Reilly specials. Operates similarly through even the highest heat ranges, but did take a lap or two to warm up. In fact these were the culprit responsible for the following video:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yEEpN_06_8

 

PAD: Carbotech XP-12

Car: 1999 Eclipse GSX (2.3L configuration)

Location: fronts

Calipers: Evo VIII Brembos

Impressions: Happy medium, A- type rating. Let me explain. I switched from the OE setup to the Brembos due to the above. In doing so I moved to the Carbotechs because 1) they didn't destroy my wheels, and 2) the didn't eat the rotors...which are a tad bit more. The rotors basically last me ~8 events now. They do take a while to warm up and like most brake pads are more susceptible to falling off once past 1/2 life. Squeal like a pig comes to mind on the street. The initial bite is not as hard as the Porterfields, but they do have a lot of stopping power (hence the 11s that I used to teach turn 1 brake zones at TWS). With the increase in power and thus higher front straight speeds it seems that XP-16 may be the next serving.

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Car: 2000 Boxster/Boxsera

Locaton: Front

Calipers: Boxster Stock (Brembo) and Carerra Stock (Brembo)

 

Pad: Stock Boxster

Impressions: Good for street, but will fade quickly on the track. You'll be fine pushing for 3-5 laps, but after that, the fade is very noticeable.

 

Pad: Stock Carrera

Impressions: Stock Carrera pads (rotors and calipers) on a Boxster are as good as Hawk Blue at the track. These are the same as the Boxster S, but black instead of red. The best part is they're relatively cheap, although they will wear out quickly when you discover how great they work. For AX or occasional track use, this is a great setup.

 

Pad: Pagid Yellow

Impressions: Mortgage your house to use any Pagid pad. They're very expensive, but work really well although you'll sound like a city bus until they get hot (not warm...hot). They wear quickly if you're the kind of person who actually uses the brakes well. For the money, they're not worth it.

 

Pad: Pagid Orange

Impressions: Really the same as the yellow, but don't last quite as long.

 

Pad: Performance Friction PFC97

Impressions: This pad caused my car to get the nickname "Sparky". Under heavy braking in an autocross or on the track, these pads throw sparks. When returning from the track after their first real use, my car was covered in dirt so I washed it. The dirt was actually bits of metal from the pads and/or rotors. These pads destroyed my paint job. They work well with little to no fade but like the Pagids, they're very noisy until they get hot. These are frighteningly terrible when cold. If you use them on the street, start braking very early and hope you still have heat in them the next time you brake. Although less expensive than the Pagids, they're still not cheap.

 

Pad: Performance Friction PFC01

Impressions: Less damaging to the paint job, but just as expensive. Still a very good pad with almost no fade. Same cold problem.

 

Pad: Hawk HP+

Impressions: This pad will kill you. After bedding per Hawk's instructions, driving about 100 miles around town and to the track, one full warm-up lap and two hard braking zones later, the pads had faded and I nearly went off across the grass. The pads were warmed up sufficiently as evidenced by their stopping power in the first braking zone. With a sphincter factor of 10, I limped back to the pits, went to OG Racing's store at the track, and bought a set of Blues after confirming my issue with other high HP car owners. I changed to the Blues and finished the session. I will never put this pad on any car I own ever again.

 

Pad: Hawk Blue

Impressions: Excellent pad!! Works out of the box, even after taking off a set of HP+ and using the rest of the session to bed them, they were amazing. These pads work even when very cold and stay very linear throughout the heat range. The only down-side is the rate they eat rotors. You'll replace rotors after two sets of pads, if not sooner. Still, a great pad hot or cold, and very linear with a strong initial bite.

 

Pad: EBC Yellowstuff

Impressions: A surprisingly good pad for the price. I cooked them when they were at the point to replace them. A friend with a Carrera, a little heavier car, cooked them right after his first full session. However, all the way down to that cooking point on my car, they were good. Not as good as Hawk Blue, but similar performance when cold, although not as quick a bite as the Blue. I like the broad heat range and the price. However, for seriously hard braking, the yellow will turn burnt brown.

 

Pad: Performance Friction PFC06

Impressions: This pad is good across a broad temperature range. I've used them on the street in severely below freezing temperatures and had zero issues unlike the other PFC pads I've used. The bite is medium to strong, but not jarring. There is zero fade. The stopping power is consistent across the heat range, and I haven't been able to cook them. These are a true endurance pad, designed for extremely long endurance races where changing pads 12 hours in isn't an option. This is by far my favorite pad. Even though expensive, the long term cost is good due to their long wear and relatively low abuse of the rotors. I got these pads when OG was out of the Hawk Blue and DTC-80/90. After using them for several months and at least 10 hard on the brakes track days plus daily driving, I still have very usable rotors and over half the pad material left. I love this pad.

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Hawk Blue - It's all I use. Solid on my MX5, solid on my Exige. Have never experienced any fade with these pads. Only downsides are as already mentioned. A bit down on bite until warm, and they chew through rotors like mad.

 

Also they squeal on the street.

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Various vintages of M3s and differing preparations.

 

PFC-01 front, stock Textar rear. Great track day stuff. Never faded, if bedded in properly, no judder

 

PFC-01 front. PFC-97 rear. Better. Helped the rear brake bias, same stuff as above. Decent racing setup

 

Raybestos ST-43 front and rear. OMFGWTFBBQ. In a car that weighs less than 3000lb w driver, just perfect. Predictable, modulatable, non-fading, if the ducting is adequate for the ambient temps, never a problem.

 

Hawk HP+. Brilliant autocross pads. Terribly terrifying on track after lap 1.

 

Hawk HT-10. Loud. Powerful. Dusty. Not as refined and easy to control as the ST-43.

 

Hawk Blue. It was great. 10 years ago. Compounds have come a nice ways since then.

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MINI OEM pads: Great street pad, dust like crazy, but are very quiet, it is hard to clean this dust. They are awesome on the track for a warm up lap, then not so much...

 

Hawk Ceramic: Great street pads, quiet and much lower dust than OEM. I have even abused them on the track a few times and they held up surprisingly well, but I would not do it again. $175 does 4 corners

 

Carbotech XP10s: Very noisy for the street, they just never get warm/hot enough. They are great for me on the track, never any fade, but I did get them hot enough one time to smear a little material on the rotor. Almost pushed me to the XP-12s, but after the brake ducts, the 10s were good enough. Very dusty, but it cleans off easy. $175 for the front only.

 

Carbotech XP8s: Similar to the 10s, just a little cooler range, still noisy for the street, slightly less dusty, and slightly cheaper. $150 does the rear.

 

Carbotech Bobcat: I will likely switch to these after I finish killing the Hawk ceramics for the street, this way I do not have to worry about bedding in so much when I change from street to track.

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Throwing in some doozies to mix it up a bit :D

 

PAD: Autozone specials

Car: 1989 Toyota Tercel EZ

Location: fronts/rears

Calipers: OE

Impressions: Keep in mind that this car is quite light (classified) and runs 195/60/14 street tires. With that out of the way, the brakes are surprisingly capable of lasting 2 14hour endurance races and testing in between. Initial bite is more of a nibble and they started to fade a about the 9th or so hour. Can't comment on dust...its a LeMon's car after all.

 

PAD: Hawk HP+

Car: 1989 Toyota Tercel EZ

Location: fronts

Calipers: OE

Impressions: Great initial bite if your into jaws and what nots. Testing showed these were crowd favorites for this platform, despite having to be tentative to not lock the wheels.

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Hawk HP+. Brilliant autocross pads. Terribly terrifying on track after lap 1.

 

 

I was starting to think I was the only one terrified with these pads with the other comments here. I can't stress enough how incredibly terrible these pads are. You will die if you use them.

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I am surprised at the number of people who dislike the HP+. They've worked well for me. Of course, I'm not running R-comps or slicks, and perhaps I'm just not using my brakes right. Now I am questioning my own reality!

 

robert

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I would too if you were up posting at 4am :blink: I think there is more of a correlation with vehicle weight and power (aka attainable speed). It's interesting to see how this data builds.

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Just another two cents..

 

90 miata, stock w/suspension and rcomps HP+ were fine at ax and track for me. Currently has DTC30 front, HP+ rear (can't kill em).

 

94 supercharged, Fronts HP+ lasted 2 days, then DTC30, ok, lasted 4 days, then DTC60, my fave, great initial bite, suits my style, longer wear, 8 days, then tried xp10, ok, weaker initial bite, but easy to trailbrake. Settled on DTC60 front and DTC30 rear. Works for me.

 

Everything previously mentioned about squeal, dust, cold, on both hawk and carbo pretty much spot on for me too.

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'08 MX-5:

 

OEM pads: surprisingly good for street and track. IIRC, fronts lasted ~6K miles w/ lots of track time.

 

Carbotech XP10F/XP8 R - better bite on the track, but they squeal a lot on the street. No fade at all, ever. The brake dust is a lot friendlier to wheels than most other pads, but you have to bed them in to the rotors. I really like them, but I have a set of Hawk Blue fronts to try next, mainly b/c the Mazdaspeed price was good good not to try them.

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Pad: Carbotech XP10

Car: 2009 Pontiac G8 GT

Location: Front

Calipers: Stock

Rotors: Stock

Impressions: Great Stopping power for my HP and Weight but left Grooves in the rotors after 3-4 weekends, and only lasted 2 weekends, mind you im a VERY aggressive driver. will probly never use again on this car. Also left dust on my rims that will not come off. Price isn't so friendly either

 

Pad: Carbotech Bobcats

Car: 2009 Pontiac G8 GT

Location: Front/Back

Calipers: Stock

Rotors: DBA 4000 Slotted

Impressions: Very Good Pad for on the Street and what i use day in day out, I get a little squeal out of them every once in a while but not that bad, Good pads for my Rear when driving on the Track, didn't wear very quick and didn't eat the rotors

 

Pad: Hawk HP+

Car: 2009 Pontiac G8 GT

Location: Front/Back

Calipers: Stock

Rotors: DBA 4000 Slotted

Impressions: Best Pads I have found yet for my car for the track, not quite as much stopping power as the XP10's but i have learned to compensate for that, far more friendly to my rotors and they last way longer. dust washes right off

 

 

From the looks of it I am the Exception and not the rule, very different experiences than everyone else, maybe I got sold 2 bad sets of XP10's

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I used stock pads on the track for a long time. Then, I went to XP-10s on the Front and XP8s on the back. I have discovered that if I hammer the brakes I can melt anything. However the XP-1-s work for me unless I go Turbo on them.

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My experiences:

 

Hawk DTC-60: lot's of torque, good release from lock, no torque ramp with temp increase, get's up to temp fast, I only fade them on ECR, very gentle on rotors, my wheels aren't eaten after only washing them once last season, lol; I buy this pad in bulk

 

Hawk DTC-30: too low heat range, they lasted 2-sessions

 

Hawk Blue: The sledgehammer of pads. They have crazy torque ramp with temp, slow release frrom lock, rotor eaters, wheel paint destroyers, but they work every time you press the pedal

 

PFC 97: They behave just like Hawk blue with a slightly better release and less torque ramp. If DTC-60 didn't exist I'd run these pads.

 

Carbotech XP12: require lots of pedal pressure, extreme pad taper, material basically falls off them at the track, they lasted 1-hour, and they cost $160 for a set...what a waste of cash. I had 2 sets and they both did this after 1-hour of use: 291lyqh.jpg

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Could it be something bound in your caliper or possibly a bad wheel bearing? Any chance you contacted Carbotech to reveal your findings?

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Could it be something bound in your caliper or possibly a bad wheel bearing? Any chance you contacted Carbotech to reveal your findings?

 

I would have to agree the problem is probably with the car, I have had 4 weekends on my set of xp12's and have one more left in them at least. they wear faster when they get past half. They have also worn nice and evenly and are quiet on the street. Colin had them also and his were quiet on the street but Kevin's were loud so I guess it depend on the car.

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I would have to agree the problem is probably with the car, I have had 4 weekends on my set of xp12's and have one more left in them at least. they wear faster when they get past half. They have also worn nice and evenly and are quiet on the street. Colin had them also and his were quiet on the street but Kevin's were loud so I guess it depend on the car.

 

Blue, DTC-60, and PFC-97 don't have this problem, and it's a good thing since I had PFC-97 spares that I ran the rest of the weekend on.

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I've used:

 

Carbotech XP12

 

Ferodo DS2500

Ferodo DS3000

 

Porterfield R4

 

PFC 01

PFC 06 (on car)

 

Pagid Orange

Pagid Yellow R19/R29

Pagid Black

 

Hawk DTC 60

Hawk DTC 70

 

 

For a race pad my wish list is:

-high torque, because my car tends to have a soft pedal, but not grabby to the point of overbraking or triggering ABS prematurely

-linear response

-high temperature range

-quick release for trail braking

-stable pedal position and feel thru a long event like a 90 minute enduro

-endurance compound like lifespan, nice to get 4 days per set of fronts

-doesn't chew up rotors

-dummy proof bed in and no tendency for uneven pad material transfer (like Ferodos)

 

From my list I choose to run PFC 01 or 06 as a first choice and Pagid Yellow or Black depending on the track, though Orange is also good for less brake intensive tracks. I didn't like the Hawk DTC 60/70 at Sebring and went back to Pagid blacks, my lap times improved, they gave a more solid and predictable pedal. I could get to threshold quicker and trail brake more confidently.

 

I thought the Carbotechs were pretty good also, but maybe a little too much torque unless your in a heavy car.

 

The Stoptech Trophy BBK on my M3 came with their Street Performance pads which is what I ran at TWS last weekend, they worked great for a street friendly pad, no fade, no squeal, very low wear, running SRF fluid. I was impressed. It's hard to get this sort of street/track balance without some sort of compromise, these things were good.

 

In the end, brake pads selection can be subjective and personal. It's easy to overpad a light car that might actually slow you down overall. So much of it depends on the use, what the car is, and what's expected of the pad. Almost all of the pads above will squeal. I like PFC because they work great, concentrate on real racing products, and are known as a leader in brake pad compound R&D. I've been told by people I trust that they are at the top of industry at the moment. If you can't tell, I really like their products.They are also one of the few pads that don't seem to crack, flake, wear unevenly or be brittle.

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I've run a lot of different pads on the race car over the years.

 

Fronts in the brembo 2000 Cobra R calipers and 3 different types of rotors:

 

Galpher...stock pads in calipers great in AutoX and low dust.

 

SBS track pads....ok but wore quickly. Cheap.

 

Carbotech XP10, XP12 and XP14....ok. Low bite, easy on rotors, lasted 4 race weekends....got outbroke constantly but did not fade.

 

PFC 01's....God's pad. Easy on rotors...I have gone 2 full seasons on a set of stockers. Great bite, great in high heat and make for nice daytime glowing rotor pictures.

 

sigpic2.jpg

 

Rear:

 

Carbotech XP8, hawk HTC 10, hawk blue (terrible wear), cobalt (unknown type) and PFC 97's. settled on the 97's.

 

My personal experience is that I am best known for being one of the latest and hardest drivers on the brakes in all of American Iron. the 01/97 combo works fantastic and has only failed me after I heat soaked my rotors at Miller in 2009 and couldn't get them cool. Pads were fine but I boiled SRF until I nearly tripled my ducting to the rotors. At the national championships in 2009, the Hawk rep was walking around the paddock asking folks what pads they ran and why they should be running DTC 70's....he asked me and I told him PFC 01's and he merely said thanks and walked on. If the Hawk rep won't try to convice me to change, that told me I already had the right pad.

 

For initial bite, good modulation, heat up quick and get the job done with a reasonable life expectancy on pads and most definitely rotors....I will use NOTHING but PFC's. Your mileage may vary!

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Ok, need to order a set and I'm convinced enough to give the PFC 01 a shot. Where to get them? Any discount for NASA/SCCA? Thanks.

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Ok, need to order a set and I'm convinced enough to give the PFC 01 a shot. Where to get them? Any discount for NASA/SCCA? Thanks.

 

http://www.porterfield-brakes.com/

 

Give them a call and tell them what you want. They're extraordinarily helpful and their prices are great. No discounts necessary.

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Save a little dough over Porterfield's site. OG Racing http://www.ogracing.com/ will save you a few dollars. These guys:

 

http://www.raceshopper.com/performance_friction_brake_pads.shtml

 

may save you even more. I haven't bought from them, but I hear their pricing is unbeatable.

 

-Michael

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