Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
grail

Brake Pads

Recommended Posts

What's everyone using for brake pads nowadays? I've had Hawks in the past and they seemed to work well for the WRX. I was also looking at the Ferodo DS2500s. Will need to handle time attack at Gimli and also AutoX.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried several different brake pads on my STi including DS2500 and Hawk HPS and HP+. The HP+ and DS2500 were similar to each other. They both worked well on the track once they got some serious heat in them. Both grabbed really well going into turn 1. Neither one was great for autocross, but they both worked fine. They seemed to get better as you got more runs and they held a bit of heat, but the first stop was always less than stellar. Both squealed a lot during daily driving so I hated them for that.

One trick I heard from another Subie guy - but didn't try myself - was to do some hard braking on a clear section of highway on your way to autocross, so you're basically bedding them in before the race, so there's a nice transfer layer on the rotors which helps them bite. Sounded like a good idea, but I was always carrying crap in my truck and backseat so I never wanted to do that.

The HPS were crap on my Subaru. Terrible initial bite, really soft feel, and they would fade as well. I would NOT trust them at Gimli. Even for AX they weren't good. I remember having issues where they simply wouldn't grab hard enough no matter how hard I pressed on the pedal. For street driving they were okay, but the factory pads were better for bite and feel.

I think Hawk now has a line of pads somewhere between HPS and HP+. Can't remember exactly. It would be great if they could make one that was in the middle of them. HPS was better for street (no noise) and HP+ was better for AX and Track. Neither was suitable for both, IMO.

Good luck on your search! I've heard other guys like some other brands. Check with Jim, I think he found some decent ones. Also brakes is one area where the WRX and STi are quite different so his advice is probably more applicable than mine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started out with the different level of Hawk brand brakes and were not happy with any of them. I tried some Racing Brake (TM) { http://www.racingbrake.com/ } performance brakes on a suggestion from Curtis and they performed well to excellent depending on the environmental conditions. Cooler weather degraded the performance and produced squeal. On the other end of the spectrum, I never experienced any brake fade on an autoslalom course. Not too sure on which level of pads I did use as I first installed them 4 years agso you would have to do some investigation on the website. I had to swap them out for my OEM pads for winter. All in all they lasted 3 seasons, one was a co-drive so I can attest to their durability. Not too aggressive on the rotors either. Will I buy them again, YES.

I did not run the car with the pads for time attack at Gimli so not much input there. I will say that if you plan on doing some hard time on the track at Gimli, whatever you use for autoslalom, will not live up to your expectations ... period. It is a PITA but swapping out the pads for track days is probably a good idea if you have a bit of a competitive streak.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used the AXXIS ULT ceramic brakes in both my Eagle Talon and the RX8.  Maybe it was just familiarity, but I liked them on both cars.  Fairly good for daily use as well, quiet, but did dust quite a bit.  Mostly AutoX use, I only had the RX8 up at Gimli but they were fine on that car when I had it up for lapping days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ferodo DS2500s were very loud on the street when braking very lightly. I barely brake on the street though, so YMMV. 

PBR/Axxis ULX/Ultimate were awesome for street and autocross. Lots of dust though. 

I ran Hawk DTC4 for track in my STI. Anything else faded real bad by the end of a lap, and that was with 3" cooling ducts to the front brakes. Though they feel good after the first stop, DO NOT use them for autocross! I burned through about 1/3rd of the pad in 6 runs! Just too cold for them to work properly.

I think you'll be disappointed by one pad for everything. It was cheaper to just get two sets of pads and swap before a track day. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the input guys. I'll most likely be changing pads from street pads to track pads the day before an event. Maybe I'll remove my fog lights and use them as brake cooling ducts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Jim Eh. said:

I will say that if you plan on doing some hard time on the track at Gimli, whatever you use for autoslalom, will not live up to your expectations ... period. It is a PITA but swapping out the pads for track days is probably a good idea if you have a bit of a competitive streak.

 

10 hours ago, Corey said:

I think you'll be disappointed by one pad for everything. It was cheaper to just get two sets of pads and swap before a track day. 

 

I agree with these guys. Best bet is to find a suitable street/AX pad and a separate track pad. Unfortunately I never found a good street/AX pad for that car.

Side note for anyone else viewing this thread with similar question for a lighter car - In talking with other folks at Autocross, it seems the lighter the car is, the easier it is to find a decent brake pad for street/AX. E.g. Miata or MR2, no problem with HPS or similar "mild" performance pads at autocross and for daily use. The S2000 and RX8 are also brake fairly well with street pads, from what I've gathered. Anything over 3000 lbs and you'll have a tougher time. Street pads are still "okay" for AX, it's not like you'll slide off into the grass or anything, but they just won't feel great or be as aggressive as most drivers would like them to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just my 2 cents, your type of car will play heavily into decisions on tires and brakes (as others have mentioned). Unless money 'no object' of course! So be cautious of people's experiences, though well meaning. The type of car really does matter, and which event your doing.

In my experience only: stock '03 civic used only for autoX and time attack. No commuting at all. On oem ventilated rotors, 200 tread wear tires. And lapping day considerations are not included here; far more wear and tear on those days.

Stock pads were ok for grip and lasted forever at autoX. But completely gone after two or three Gimli Time Attacks. Fade was experienced too, so little confidence in them in Gimli.

Hawk HP+ were again ok for autoX (second pivot usually grabbed better than the first (no heat I guess, plus could be a function of cold tires too) and again lasted for ever. But amazing great grip for Gimli!!! I can go DEEP into corners with confidence. (Good tires help too of course). Also the HP+'s can last me a couple seasons. BTW, my HP+'s have never honked or squealed like they usually do for others, and especially on light cars like mine. Weird, but another data point.

My second-hand experience: cars that are heavier and higher horse power than me go through brakes (and tires) much faster. To be expected, but still a surprising juxtaposition just how much faster. I have even heard of some cars going through a set of tires and/or pads in one day. 

I'm not sure if you are using a WRX, as mentioned in the OP, but that class of car does fall into the faster car category. So I'd say the HP+ level of brake pads or higher for Gimli usage. And if you're willing to switch pads between disciplines, then race pads could be the ticket for you if you're really serious about lap times. The drive up could potentially be a concern though when race pads are cold.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't mind the HP+ on the WRX for AutoX and Gimli. But I tend to take care of brakes pretty good. I may start with them and change mid season.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

EBC Yellows have been decent for us with a dual purpose car. No noises on the street and definitely more bite over HP+ when hot. HPDE days at gimli, no fade and faired well at the couple AS's it did. We do have the accompanying slotted rotors too which helps keep the pads square.

They are by no means a full track/race pad and you can make them overheat if you try but with a mid weight car with 110hp over stock, they didn't skip a beat!

Car was driven year round. For that particular car, it was the most aggressive pad available...and still is!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, nopistons said:

EBC Yellows have been decent for us with a dual purpose car. No noises on the street and definitely more bite over HP+ when hot. HPDE days at gimli, no fade and faired well at the couple AS's it did. We do have the accompanying slotted rotors too which helps keep the pads square.

They are by no means a full track/race pad and you can make them overheat if you try but with a mid weight car with 110hp over stock, they didn't skip a beat!

Car was driven year round. For that particular car, it was the most aggressive pad available...and still is!

What car? Or, more specifically, how heavy was it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Beau said:

What car? Or, more specifically, how heavy was it?

Matrix, FWD model, OE brake setup, exceptionally large (wide) wheel/tire combo for the chassis.

Never weighed it but suspect it's right around 3000lbs with driver/gear. Maybe a bit less.

We also did a friction break on the rear pads (EBC Red Stuff) to get more weight transfer to the front. More effort on the front pads too. Not sure how much this attributed to additional wear but we were happy with the results.

FWIW, I use them on my 2721lb race car, same pad setup. No fade w/o ducting but do not last long in this scenario. Again, the most aggressive pad available for my caliper configuration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These were my favorite pads when i was running the TT. HP+ required 1 throw away run by a co-driver and bit possibly a bit harder, but ate rotors and squealed worse than a city bus on that car. These didn't make the noise, didn't have the required heat up phase, but had a bit more fade when I lapped at Gimli (so i bought Hawk Blue's for that and swaped)

Carbotech™ AX6™

The AX6™ is specifically engineered for Autocross applications. A high torque brake compound delivering reliable and consistent performance over a very wide operating temperature range of 50°F to 1000°F + (10°C to 537°C+). The advanced compound matrix provides an excellent initial bite, high coefficient of friction at lower temperatures along with very progressive brake modulation and release characteristics. Many drivers use the AX6™ for street driving as well, even though Carbotech™ doesn't recommend street driving with AX6™ due to possible elevated levels of dust and noise. AX6™ is NOT recommended as a race compound in most applications.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had some pretty alarming brake fade with the OEM AP1 S2K pads at Gimli so I switched to Winmax pads.

They have a pretty good selection based on what you intend to do (street, autox, HPDE, endurance, etc). I have the W3's which are basically an autox/road type. They don't have the initial cold bite that the OEM pads had and do require a bit of heat but once they're up and running they're excellent. Super easy to modulate and I haven't been able to get them to fade yet.

They're also a bit cheaper than the Carbotech/Project Mu stuff I was looking at prior to purchasing. So far pad wear has been excellent, no squeal once bedded, rotor wear is pretty good.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you start with good rotors(true), you can safely swap the pads. Again the pads have to be good as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, white_cross said:

When you guys change pads between autocross and track events do you have to machine the rotors too? 

Just make sure to "bed" the pads to the rotors whenever you swap them. If you swap at Gimli right before going on the track, then you can probably do the bedding on your first lap or two just as part of the lap. Maybe or maybe not, I'm guessing it depends on how hard you use your brakes. However if you're swapping back and forth on the street or for AX, or just to try some new ones, you really should take time to do a proper bedding process. Manufacturers specify different ways to do it, but it basically boils down to getting the pads really hot and doing about 5-10 really hard stops all back-to-back. What's supposed to happen is some of the brake pad material is transferred to the rotor in a nice, even way and that helps make them work together better, and also reduces the amount that a hard brake pad will dig into your rotor and cause unnecessary wear. At least that's my take on it. I'll tell you that it definitely helps with a better pedal feel and definitely helps with reducing high pitch noise for aggressive pads.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From my experience with swapping pads your fine as long as you don't have rotor warp or grooved up rotors. But you don't want bed them in on your first lap since they need to go through a cooling cycle so that the film of pad gets attaches the rotors (thus race cars do "installation laps" with new pads). I would put my pads on at home, and drive out normally. Then after filling up the tank in gimli i would do 5x 50-10km hard brakings then 5x 80-20km before pulling into the track (don't full stop). then during the whole registration process the rotors have the time to cool down. I just make a conscious effort not to hold pedal down when i come to a full stop or use the e-brake once parked otherwise you cook the pad to the rotor. Same process as when you finish your laps though. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Wilwood pads have very little bite when cold and Jeff Kiesel recommended the Carbotech autocross compound pads. I called today and the Carbotech guy said that he knows of 20 National Champions who used their pads but ran a competitors sticker so that other people didn't know what they were running, that is interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×