Brake pads for track cars. Suggestions and feedback.

Discussion in 'Track Prep & Tech' started by Nige, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. Nige

    Nige Paid Member Paid Member

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    I`ve looked and couldn`t find a `Trackday Brake pad` thread. If there is one, I`ll move this to there, but it seems a question that`s often asked so I thought a thread with people`s experiences would be useful.

    After tracking my Golf for 6 years, I have used a lots of EBC stuff but I have tried others. I have a thread running on another forum, but felt it worth posting here.

    I`ve used MANY sets of EBC Yellows. They don`t fade, last reasonably well but do suffer from a `wooden` feel. I find it very hard to feel what the brakes are doing and struggle to modulate at the point of locking. If I was racing, I wouldn`t use them, but for trackdays, especially at the ring, I found the payoff in feel was worth the much reduced running costs.

    So far I`d mark the pads as below. These are relative to each other and purely MY views. No deceleration tests were performed. Marks out of 10, higher = better.

    Ferrodo DS2500 (Pedal feedback and Feel, Overall braking performance, wear, cost compared to other pads)
    6,6,4,5

    Carbone Lorraine RC6 (Pedal feedback and Feel, Overall braking performance, wear, cost compared to other pads)
    9,9,6,3

    Carbotech RP2 (Pedal feedback and Feel, Overall braking performance, wear, cost compared to other pads)
    5,5,6,4

    Axxis ultimate ceramics (Pedal feedback and Feel, Overall braking performance, wear, cost compared to other pads)
    6,6,6,7

    EBC Yellowstuff (Pedal feedback and Feel, Overall braking performance, wear, cost compared to other pads)
    5,4,5,9

    EBC Orangestuff 8,8,6*,8 * The brake wear is accelerated when running hot brakes, more so than on any other pads I`ve used. When cooled sufficiently, they last well




    People rave about Pagids, but I`ve never found the compound I want available in my pad.


    I`ve run EBC Yellows for several years with no problems. They work well, never fade and are very cost effective. Some people seem to hate them, I`ve had no issues at all.

    In the past I`ve also run Ferrodo DS2500`s and Mintex Extremes. I usually get through 3 sets of pads then I change the disks.

    I`m on my 3rd set of Yellowstuff on this set of disks and was going to order some more pads today (I already have a a spare set of new disks ready to fit). However, I thought I would have a look at other alternatives now I have the larger pad / disk setup.

    I know there is the `if it isn`t broke, don`t fix it` approach, but I`m willing to try something else, I did that with the tyres and have never regretted it, otherwise I`d still be on 888`s and think they were the best around...

    I tried EBC Blues but couldn`t get along with them, feel wasn`t as good as Yellows for me and neither was retardation. Spoke to EBC about it and they think its down to my car, brake setup and weight.


    Ran a set of Carbone Lorraine CL6 pads. They did 170 Miles at Spa and 1300miles on the Ring before wearing out.
    [​IMG]

    They squeal, all the time. I don`t care about that at all, but for a road car, they would become annoying. Even when hot on track, they still squealed. The brake dust was more than the Yellowstuff but braking feel was superb. I could modulate the pedal pressure MUCH better than the Yellowstuff. I was able to brake and feel when the tyres were JUST about to lock during high speed braking, something I felt was lacking with the previous pads.

    Retardation was imcreased and pedal pressure reduced, I thought these pads were brilliant.

    Unfortunately, the wear rate meant they didn`t last much longer than a set of Yellows. At several times the price, even for the improved braking performance, I`m struggling to justify another set. If I was doing UK trackdays only, they would last several trackdays and I`d be happy with that, bu on the ring, as I do a fair few laps, I don`t quite feel they are worth the extra cost.

    I was going to get a set of CL6 Endurance pads, these cost a little more but are supposed to offer slightly less performance with increased pad life, however, these are to order so I looked elsewhere.

    Pagid won`t make the RS29`s on my backings unless I can get an order of 25 pads, which makes that a non-starter.

    Reading up on Carbotech and the XP12 pads sound to be similar in performance to the CL6 pads, I was about to order a set, but was speaking to them in the US and they told me about their RP2 compound. It sits somewhere between the XP10 and XP12 with 2 to 3 times the pad life. Sounds just what I`m looking for.. They are looking to get back to me with price and timescale as they will have to make me a set.


    Carbotech RP2`s arrived, Brilliant service. I hope the pads perform up to my expectations.

    They don`t stock this pad, these were made and dispatched last week and arrived today.
    [​IMG]

    Fitting them, along with new disks this weekend, bedding them in and then the first outing will be Knockhill. I wasn`t blown away by them at Knockhill. I`ve spoken to their tech dept in the US about my experience with the pads and other compounds or compound tweaks that may be more suitable, nothing decided yet.

    I`m chasing great pedal feel, no fade, good brake performance and good life.

    I have other choices and am waiting for contacts to get back to me before deciding which to try next.

    The RC6`s are still the best pads I`ve used, but quite some margin too.


    Axxis ultimate ceramics were run at Anglesey yesterday after getting a set from the US, they seemed to take some bedding in, but once they were, I had no issues with them at all. I don`t have enough miles on them to see how they are wearing, but they seem to be better than the RP2`s in every department. Pedal feel is good and they are very competitively priced.

    I shall be buying another set and use those instead of running Yellowstuff in future. I liked them a lot.


    EBC Orangestuff
    I was obviously very interested when I heard EBC were developing a new track pad and I offered to give some feedback on the new compound.

    The initial pads were tested late last year and I found them to perform VERY well, the bite and feel were much better than the Yellowstuff, I could really modulate the pedal just to the point of locking. I hadn`t realised at the time, but my brakes were running pretty hot.
    [​IMG]

    I noticed the disks were showing score marks on the surface, which appeared very quickly and only with the Orangestuff.

    The friction material didn`t last particularly long, I`d probably get just over a trackday on a set of pads !. This was fed back to EBC, along with photos and they used it to tweak the compound over the winter.

    First time with the latest compound was Rockingham and the disk scoring was much reduced. It was probably the same as the Yellowstuff and nothing to worry about. The latest compound felt just the same as the previous one, great pedal feel and retardation.

    Unfortunately, the pads wore pretty quickly, very quickly in fact. They were wearing at a rate of 26Miles/mm. That would give a life of approx 260 Track Miles before the friction material was worn out. In comparison, the Yellowstuff I fitted wear at 57Miles/mm, half the wear rate. :o

    I knew my brakes were getting hot, so I doubled up on the Brake cooling by adding a second duct from the front bumper
    [​IMG]

    EBC Sent me a set of disks and pads to trial, so these were fitted before Bedford.

    We were running on the GT circuit which has a couple of hard braking zones. The car did 200 Miles on track. The new pads / disks were bedded in on the sighting laps until the pedal went soft and the front brakes were smoking... Went for a drive around the complex using NO brakes and then left them to cool for 30 minutes. The pad was then rock solid all day.

    Following the trackday at Bedford at which the car did a little over 200 Miles, it was time for another check of the brakes.

    After 200 Miles, the pads had 11mm of Friction Material remaining
    [​IMG]

    New, they have 13mm
    [​IMG]

    Thats a wear rate of 1mm/100 Miles (in my car at Bedford)

    This is a vast improvement on the previous test and by increasing the brake cooling, I have reduced the wear rate from 1mm/25 Mile to 1mm/100 Miles. The Brakes were very hot before. I was melting plastic dust caps after a hard session, now they run much cooler.

    Whilst the Orangestuff performed fantastic at the higher temps with ZERO fade, they do seem to have accelerated wear rates when running particularly hot. The Yellowstuff with the same configuration lasted twice as long, but when the Yellowstuff run cooler, they wear at a slightly slower rate. The Orangestuff difference is quite pronounced.

    There was no disk scoring this time, the disks looked like new with no visible wear.

    I ran Orangestuff on the rear for the first time and to be honest, the rear is now overbraked. I run an AP Bias valve and has to have it set to full rear braking reduction but when running low fuel, the rears have a tendency to lock. With the Yellowstuff this isn`t as much of an issue, I still have to reduce rear bias as the fuel load decreases, but even on fumes, they don`t lock like the Orangestuff did. A RWD car with better weight distribution won`t have this issue, but on a stripped FWD car, its something to consider. Pedal feel when running Orange front / Yellow rear was identical to Orange all round.

    Overall, I`m VERY impressed. They still have the improved modulation and overall retardation increase over the Yellowstuff, with increased cooling, the life appears to have been significantly extended. They are certainly my EBC pad of choice, the Yellowstuff feel much more wooden in comparison.


    Others I`d look at are Ferrodo DS1-11 (need a minimum order of 5 sets), Mintex 1166 or 1177, Pagids and even Performance Friction, if they made a pad for my setup, but these are over 200 a set, its a fair chunk of money to spend on a `test`...
     
  2. Ben S

    Ben S Forum Junkie

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    Nige, use the table tool :thumbup:

    Thoughts on improving this thread:
    Can these pads be used with standard discs or are uprated discs required
    A noise rating, some people drive to the track and on the road sometimes (even a "Noisey? Yes/No")
    What does "overall braking performance" cover if we have no deceleration data?
    Operating temperature info needed
    May be a good idea to state the vehicle & anything relevant to braking e.g. rough vehicle weight, weight distribution (which you have mentioned) disc & caliper setup you are running.
     
  3. Nige

    Nige Paid Member Paid Member

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    Yep, all valid points.

    I just use any disk, either from my local motor factors or EBC plain ones. I`ve found NO difference from different disks either in feel or life.

    Noise, I suppose its worth adding, I think the only ones I noticed squealed on the road were the Carbone Lorraines.


    The overall braking performance was a subjective value, how I felt the pad performed during braking on track. Some pads just gave that `wow, these brake well :clap:` feeling and others, more of a `meh... [:s]`. Looking at data doesn`t always give the same feedback, I can stand on the pedal at the end of a 120MPH section and any of the pads I`ve used will shed speed very quickly, all at very similar rates, what is the difference is the feeling you get through the pedal so instead of stopping in a cloud of tyre smoke, its to the noise of tyres `chirruping` as they almost lock. :thumbup:

    I`m running the 288mm setup, both on 4-stud disks and now I`ve changed to 5-stud, the stock 5-stud disks, same swept area in both cases.
     
  4. Mike_H Forum Addict

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    Good info Nige - thanks.

    I think brake setup depends a lot on the car and the brakes you have fitted to it. I've always found I could get away with fairly mild pads as the car is pretty light, and the brakes are from something that weighs 40-50% more. If I used something too hard I'd be struggling to get enough heat into them.

    Have you found much of a difference in your braking needs since you added the Aero. In theory you should be getting round the corners quicker, but the extra downforce should slow you down a little on the straights when you're above 100mph, so presumably neutral or slightly reduced need for braking?

    I know you've put a cost rating in as well, but a rough price would be useful.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  5. Ben S

    Ben S Forum Junkie

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    Would be good to hear experiences related to use of Ferodo DS3000 and EBC Blue Stuff pads.

    I can't offer similar experience as yourself, I basically did some reading, looked around at what others were using & went for DS2500.
    Your chart would suggest that the Orangestuff will be cheaper and better in every way.

    After a search, I couldn't find OrangeStuff or BlueStuff for the 280mm G60 setup. We may need to add "where to buy" to this thread! lol
     
  6. RobT

    RobT Forum Junkie

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    Good thread. Might be useful to have a front / rear pads differentiation?

    I dont use much rear brake but enough to totally ruin a set of standard pads in one session. So I use Pagid fast road rears and cannot remember last time I bought some.....and they work well enough to blue the disks.

    But i hear Pagid have stopped making them or changed them somehow so would be interested to hear what folks use for track action on the back also.

    Fronts I use Performance Friction PF01 on 300mm PF disks. Just amazing. Zero fade, excellent feel. But not cheap.

    I used to think DS2500's were wooden and rapidly went off with age. DS3000s are much better but eat discs up.
     
  7. Toyotec

    Toyotec CGTI Committee - Happy helper at large Admin

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    A similar thread was started here in What brake pads?.

    The actual pad data i.e. brake disc temepature (Assuming OE discs are used) vs pad friction, that come from the pad manufactuer, would be great as a reference, in addition to the veiws expressed.
    My post 14 in the above link does touch on this infomation along with my opinions.
     
  8. Mike_H Forum Addict

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    Funny you should mention rears - I was testing my rear brakes to make sure they were even at Curby. With the back up in the air and a helpful assistant stood on the brakes, I could turn the wheel easily. I tweaked them up a notch and they still didn't lock by hand, but were locking up on track

    Conclusion - the car is so light at the back, and I run so little rear brake, it doesn't really matter which pads I run.
     
  9. RobT

    RobT Forum Junkie

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    Thats what I thought - and then standard rear pads literally fell apart / stuck to disk when I tried em. Fast road pagids were cheap but obviously have just a touch more heat tolerance - but what i dont need is grippier rear pads which I fear many of the performance pads with a higher heat tolerance might be
     
  10. Nige

    Nige Paid Member Paid Member

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    Sorry Eddie, I missed the other thread.

    Rob, yeah, I`m finding that with the Oranges on the rear, they are too good. Yellows seemed to work well as did Blue when I tried a set.

    I didn`t like the Blues on the front, needed lots of pedal pressure for less retardation on my car.
     
  11. RobT

    RobT Forum Junkie

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    Of the yellows and blues, which gripped least?
     
  12. Nige

    Nige Paid Member Paid Member

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    Blue.
     
  13. Ben S

    Ben S Forum Junkie

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    Do one of your opinion-reviews for Blue then :)
     
  14. Nige

    Nige Paid Member Paid Member

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    EBC sent me a set of Blues to test, it was an early development compound.

    I took them off at lunchtime and didn`t run them again, the combination of my car, caliper and brake style meant the Blues were not suitable for my setup.

    The newer compound is supposedly much better, but I haven`t tried it.


    That`s all I`m going to say on a free set of development compound pads I tried. ;)
     
  15. RobT

    RobT Forum Junkie

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    So the blue compound has now changed?.....might be better or worse than the yellow if I buy some today then...
     
  16. RobT

    RobT Forum Junkie

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    Was thinking greens for the rear maybe
     
  17. f2 ed Forum Member

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    You'll make green fade Rob
     
  18. Mike_H Forum Addict

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    I wouldn't touch EBC Greens - seen a few sets delaminate or have chunks of pad material break off.
     
  19. samfish

    samfish Forum Member

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    Anybody else using some of the higher-end Mintex F-series pads?
    They rarely get mentioned, but are widely used in motorsport.
     
  20. Nige

    Nige Paid Member Paid Member

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    A mate uses the F4, likes them, but they don`t last. I`ve never used them myself. If racing and chasing the last m of braking, I`d try em, but not for trackdays. /mm is too high.
     

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