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donrolandofurioso

Your thoughts on high-performance brake pads?

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I started at the first test & tune day with brand-new (high quality) brake pads. After the HPDE and the last TA event they now are maybe 50%, and I am certain that after the next TA weekend they are not worth keeping anymore. Obviously brake pads wear rather rapidly during TA and hot-laps events.

(Some people say I should brake less - I tried that in turn 1 and that didn't work out well at all...)

 My car has rather large brakes for its weight and power; so far I have not experienced any fading or inability to lock up my tires. So here is my question for all the experienced drivers here: Does it make sense to upgrade to more race-oriented brake pads such as Hawk Blue? What are the advantages? And where do you buy high-performance pads?

I do realize there is a premium to pay for a purpose-built race pad in terms of purchase price, but I am also assuming that those pads are much harder on the brake rotors. In your opinion, is it worth to switch?

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I think pad life is dependent on the compound, weight of the vehicle (your RX-8 sits at around 2800-3000lbs), and how hard you are on the brakes. If your pads are not designed for high temps you I would expect them to wear a lot quicker than a dedicated track pad. Hawk offers a variety of pads from daily, street and light duty track, and dedicated track pads which range in heat temperatures. Below is a chart that shows their line up and respective heat ranges.

Compound-Graph.jpg

 

I've attended the same events as you and have not noticed excessive amount of brake pad wear. My car is roughly 500lbs lighter and I would say I am pretty hard on the brakes, especially going into turn 1. I run the Hawk DTC-60s (ordered the DTC-30s but due to quality control issues at the plant was sent DTC-60s) and cheapo blank rotors I got off RockAuto. I swap front pads and rotors at every event as the DTC-60s do not have much bite until they are warmed up and the guys at Hawk recommended having dedicated rotors so I didn't have to keep bedding in the DTC-60s. 

My daily and autocross pads are Hawk HPS but I don't think they would last very long on track, not to mention the performance wouldn't be anywhere near that of the DTC-60s. Dedicated track pads do have a higher cost but I think it's worth it for the performance. You can order them from Speed Factor Racing, if you want something local, or online. I believe I picked mine up from Teknotik along with some ATE Type 200 brake fluid. 

 

If you are looking to upgrade your pads to something more performance oriented, you can look at the above graph and find what pad/temperatures work best for your application. If  you want a pad that is a good dual purpose pad that can be used on the street and the track you can look at pads such as the HP+, Blues, or DTC-30s. They may produce more noise and dust than your average pad however. 

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Posted (edited)

For a dual purpose car, you can use a dual purpose pad. Hawk HPS is a decent one. But keep in mind this type of pad is meant for mostly street use and occasional track use. I only have experience with Hawk pads so I can’t speak to Pagid, Carbotech, or Porterfield. 

Hawk Blues are golden, but do tend to be hard on rotors. 

The DTC-70 pads are less aggressive on the rotors and wear longer. I know a guy that uses them on the street no problem. I will probably use the DTC-70 next. 

If your car is more track use than street use, consider more a race pad. The advantages are consistency and confidence. I’ve over-baked pads and lost pedal during a race, that is less likely with a proper race pad. I get mine at Classic Motorworks. Dyrk can get you the right parts. For what it’s worth, the DTC-60 is a good rear pad when used with the 70 up front, but that’s for 3000lb cars. 

Edited by mcorrie
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Some good information here...

I do realize that I forgot to mention the usage of the car. The RX-8 was bought for the sole purpose of racing; the only street driving I do is to and from the event. So everyday usage concerns including noise and cold performance do not matter to me. I might do the odd Autoslalom, but the vast majority of the quick driving will be done at GMP

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Posted (edited)

EBC yellows

Most aggressive pad you can get without going to a full race pad, and have good street manners, yet still take the heat of track days.

What my RX8 will get once the hawk HPS are done.

Hawk Blues are great but your neighbors will hear you coming down the block with the noise!

Edited by nopistons
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I loved DTC-60s at Gimli on my STI.  They wore cartoonishly-fast in street and autocross driving.  Felt great, but my gold wheels were black in one autocross and 1/3rd of the pad was gone.  They NEED heat.  

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