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Brake Pad Experiment at Road America I

Many threads have discussed brake pad choices. The common "thread" among them all is application. What is not often mentioned is the impact of one's driving style.

In my case, I am experimenting with Hawk HPS and HP+'s on a modified 450 rwhp Z06 running Michelin Pilot Sports. My applications are DEs and open road racing. Suspension is stock.

The question that I was trying to find out was: can I find a brake pad that works both on and off the track. Why? Running in open road races in Nevada and Nebraska allows me the luxury of driving there - my ride is no a trailer queen. Yes, I could swap out pads, but why if I could find a happy medium?

What I have found so far is that a set of Hawk HPS pads will easily last out a full day at Road America's 4-mile track on the above vehicle. That translates into five 20 minute sessions at an air temperature of 75 degrees. Lap times were all sub-three minutes. So I was not grannying around. While hardly the stuff of Mario Andretti, the long straights and tight curves made this event very good practice for open road races.

This weekend I am going back to RA to test out the HP+'s. Just on the street, their grab is very obvious although dusty and noisy (this I already knew going in). I am looking forward to seeing just how that translates into lower lap times.

Will report back on what I have found. :jammin:
 

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I am currently using HP+'s on the street and on the track. They worked great, but once you start getting deeper into the turns, you will want more. I will probably start swapping in HP-10's on the front for the track, keeping the HP+'s on the back all of the time. I can see the day coming when I'll just bite the bullet and switch out all four for the track... Good Luck
 

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I was at RA this past April 16/17 with SpeedSeekers (..2:45 stock, 2nd time out on a track) and used CarboTech 8's front and rear (..I ordered 9's for the front but received 8's instead).

The 8's on the front we almost as good as Hawk Blues I used last October at RA, but without the toxic waste dump residue on the car and wheels afterwards which is why I now despise Hawk Blues.

I have left the CarboTech 8's on the car since I'm seasoning new front rotors, and man, do they work great on the street except for the dusting (..which is easily removed). However, once I season the rotors, I will put back my ceramic pads for the street since they create zero dust.
 

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Curious, any of you guys running Porterfields? R4 specifically? I've seen nothing but bad things from Hawk pads. From relatively poor grab, to huge amounts of toxic dust that permanently RUINS painted finishes on wheels, to poor life (1 set lasting a single day). I would never run Hawks again.

I've just purchased 2 pairs of Porterfield R4S (street/track) for my 2 cars, going to see how they work for a compromise pad.


Dope
 

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Another excellent pad is Wilwood. I have "J" pads front and rear and after first DE left them on; they are great on the street tho probably not for stop and go traffic like rush hour. They stop like crazy, are consistent and don't appear to dust as much as the stock Z pads. They may be rougher on the rotors but at $25 or 26 per rotor who cares. The "J" has been replaced by the "H" which may be even better.
 

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When looking for an all purpose pad, also look at you driving style. Every wonder why one person tauts a brake pad as the best and the next says they are trash!!! Brake pads come in two style, linear and progressive. For example, Hawk plus and 10's are linear (high initial bite) while hawk 8 and 14 are progressive (more pedal=more stop power). When autocrossing and DE's look at what you style is and get the appropriate pad.
 

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I fried and faded :ity: my stock pads at willow on my last DE..
Based on some advise from the site I ordered carbotech 9 and 8............. will see :) :)
 

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I would recommend using a full race pad. I've had good luck with Cobalt Friction Spec VR, others are pleased with Performance Friction 01. Both of these can be driven on the street but not as good as street pads for that use (noise, dust, etc). The favorable pad wear you were getting might be attributable to the laptimes. If sub-3 minutes means sub 2:40 then it's not the case, if you were running high 2:50's you might have been taking it relatively easy on your brakes, especially in a 450 hp car. Just food for thought, not to knock down your driving or anything.
 

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I can report on Carbotech XP9's on the front and back. I am bone stock except for Borla cat-backs. At Mid-Ohio this past weekend, temp. around 70 every day.

I had brand new pads. Three days, four 30 minute sessions per day. that's 6 hours total on the track with these pads. I was running laps in the low 1:50's, so I was moving pretty good, braking very late and very hard on the back straight at 135mph consistently.

I never, ever detected the slightest bit of fade. They were always there, modulation feel was perfect.

I put my street ceramics back on after the weekend. I used about 1/2 of the fronts and about 1/3 of the rears. Carbotech's are my pad of choice going forward.

I tried Hawk HP+ front and rear last year when I started DE's. Did not like them at all. They wore out fast, squealed like a banshee ALL the time on the track, and seemed to feel as if they were either ON or OFF. No modulation in between.

but as someone said, it's all in how you drive and your particular braking style and other factors that determine the best pad for you I suppose.

The important thing is to keep this amazing car on the track as much as possible!! :cool:
 
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