View Full Version : brake pads

01-02-2003, 09:53 PM
Carbotech or Cobalt ?

I've heard really good things about both.. Don't care about dust but would like to street the pads too. Not just races...

Tyler Durdan
01-03-2003, 01:34 AM
Heard nothing bad ever about Cobalt...my recommendation is with them. I just put kvr's on my 97, and give them two thumbs up also. Just my .64 cents and some change.

01-03-2003, 09:09 AM
First, I would recommend getting a second set of pads for the track. Reason being that any pad that is good on the street will not last more than two track weekends - TOPS. Any pad that is good on the track will not last more than 10,000 mi. and a few track weekends - oh yeah - and they don't work so good w/o heat. I made the mistake of running Panther Plus' on the street and got 3 weekends and about 7K mi. out of them (then had to replace the pads and the rotors). Waste. For my second set, I also bought some OEM pads along w/ another set of P+'s and managed to get 3 track events, maybe 500 street miles out of the P+'s (w/ about 60% life remaining) and all the street stopping I need. I have better performance on the street and I'm not wasting a $135 set of pads by grinding them away while cold at stoplights.

That said, I run Carbotechs and have had a great experience. I boiled my fluid the first weekend out (Wilwood sh!t fluid) - but have never had pad fade ever. Wear depends on how you use them. I know peope who've done 8 events on one set. My current set would likely go about that long. Braking has a lot of feel and is easy to modulate. It isn't like Hawk Blues, but not too far off. Rotor wear is great, considering, unless you use them on the street. With true mixed use, I'd guess new rotors for every 1.5-2 sets of pads (my rotors still look great w/ track only use). Dust is dark, but not as thick as Hawks; although almost equally hard to clean off. They work well enough on the street that if you really want dual use, want to drive to the track w/ them, or are too lazy to change between events that are a few weeks apart its isn't an issue. They've worked well enough for me that I would use them again, but I would step up to the XP's.

The only Cobalt pads I know about are the Ferodos - which are hardcore racing only, akin to a Hawk Blue. I know Andie is a great guy though and thoroughly knows his stuff (iirc, he's resonsible for the P+ compound at Carbotech from when he was w/ Larry). I would totally trust his recommendation (or Matt's at Carbotech). Either way, you can't really go wrong.

01-03-2003, 10:01 AM
Cobalt has a new pad from what I hear.. the "GT-Sport" compound. There was a really good review on HT for them. My roommate just got P+'s for VIR.. I'm gonna drive his car and see if I like them. I might buy a set of Cobalts just to compare. I definately need some better pads before the next session though..

01-04-2003, 04:57 AM
Okay I'm going to kind of butt i here, but what about rotors? It's recommended that you resurface rotors with pad changes (esp. between brands/compounds...?) so wouldn't using different pads for street/race not be so good for your rotors and/or stopping ability (since you never really bed one of the 2 different sets of pads that you have on the rotors?) ... or am I completely off?

01-06-2003, 08:34 AM
Adey - you are generally right about the rotors, but that is true only to a point. Generally, there is nothing wrong with running rotors w/ multiple pad compounds. The problem comes when the rotor becomes worn or glazed. While multiple sets of street compounds will be quicker to glaze rotors (necessitating turning or cleaning), track compounds tend not to glaze when properly bedded.

I know quite a few people that run two sets of rotors - one for their street pads and one for their track pads. I'd guess they're also equally mixed between those who believe in different rotors and those that will not use a turned rotor on the track b/c of fear of cracking (i.e., use it on track until it needs turning or is too thin, then switch for street use).

Personally, I have always used one set of rotors. Sure, I replace them more often, but I haven't had any problems with glazing or warpage from dual duty. In a perfect world, I would run two sets of rotors.

01-06-2003, 11:04 AM
I have always been with the school of thought that you should not pair new rotors with new pads. Break in the pads on old rotors and then switch to newer discs. With track use, I never have them turned. They begin to stress crack at stcok thickness, thinning them out will only make the stress cracking worse.

If you have glazed the rotors, generally this is caused by over heating the rotor, they should also not turn color (blue or white). If this does occur, I would replace them. Many time you see the glazing on cars that have the discs in the wheel to prevet the wheel from getting dirty from brake dust and street cars where the driver tends to rest their foot on the brake pedal.

If this occurs with track use, try to adjust your braking, shorter braking zone with more pedal pressure. or move to a more aggressive pad.

If I had a dual duty car, I would just swap out the pads, leave the rotors alone until the are cracked or severly grooved. This is for no other reason than sheer laziness:p :p

01-06-2003, 12:59 PM
Originally posted by bbp
If I had a dual duty car, I would just swap out the pads, leave the rotors alone until the are cracked or severly grooved. This is for no other reason than sheer laziness:p :p

I like the way this man thinks.. :) :thumbsup:

What kind of pads do you use bbp?

01-06-2003, 01:07 PM
I have been using Hawek Blues on the race car. Have liked them lots. I have also used PFC pads. Both worked well.

01-14-2003, 07:45 PM
carbotech p+ sound a lot like the porterfield r4s. But the p+ look like they may be more for competetion and the r4s more for street. I think the r4s operating temps are rated 0-9xx opposed to the p+ which are closer to 1xx-11xx but work up to higher temps than the r4s. But just throwing another option out there. I use, and have had no problems with the r4s pads, but they only have 1 track weekend and about 7,000 street miles on them.

01-15-2003, 08:49 AM
Oh yeah - one more thing. Matt and Larry have been lowering the price of the Carbotech line. They haven't gotten to the 240sx pads yet (I asked) - but they will be coming down. Most of the pads have dropped at $10+ a pair (Civic Si pads dropped $30!! )

If anyone is shopping and considering P+ or XP's, you might want to wait a month.

And DSC is right - P+ are not optimal for street (especially in winter)

01-15-2003, 10:08 AM
according to Matt, the P+'s are WAY better track pads than the R4S.. but I'm sure he's a bit biased.

Nasa members get a discount on Carbotech pads too.

01-16-2003, 12:27 AM
are any of you guys running stock rotors? If so, do you get nissan ones from the dealer or do you prefer some other brand. It's hard to pick between crappy drilled/slotted/bling bling rotors and ones that actually work good. Since I have a turbo and make about 100hp more then stock I was thinking that my stock brake setup might not be good enough for track use, even with good pads. Of course there is the 300zx swap that everybody is doing, I just wanted to hear an opinion from people that have taken this car to the track. BTW, I'm looking at running with AARRF (hopefully) at Brainerd and St. Cloud just so you know what tracks I'm talking about. I am also thinking about going down to Iowa for that track event that West and Tnord were talking about.

01-16-2003, 12:32 AM
I'm running the same pos stock blanks that were on the car when I bought it. I have a 2nd set here, no clue what they are. Just plain old blanks...run em till their dead and but a new set. Blanks from autozone and places like that are cheaper than a new set of pads.

01-16-2003, 12:55 AM
i'm using stock rotors. i think most 240 racers are. but at the same time, most 240 racers aren't running 100hp over stock. depending on how much street use the car sees, and how much money you have. just testing out a set of race compound pads might be worth it before you dump $500 on a brake upgrade. and yes, i think the 300zx upgrade is the best option for our cars. if i were in your position, i'd almost say it's a worthwhile investment.

and about AARRF :rolleyes: . i hate them. they suck. the people suck; both staff and competitors (although there are a few good people there). they have a horrible way of running things, disgraceful "fining" system, and it's even somewhat dangerous to run with them. that said, it's track time, and it's cheap. i'd be glad to let you know more about them if you like, but that's the gist of it.

i have other connections that can get you on at brainerd, although expensive. also, i'm a member of an orginization that races at blackhawk farms, if you're interested.

01-16-2003, 01:18 AM
Yeah, I might be more interested in Blackhawk farms. I haven't been on a track yet, just so you know, I'm not trying to pretend I know all the ins and outs of racing. I really want to get into it. I have done some auto-x but not at an official meet. I just drove the tracks that we set up for FSAE practice in both the FSAE car and my integra I used to have.
I found a pretty cheap brake upgrade alternative. Running some rotors from the '90s lumina and wilwood billet dynalite calipers from jegs. I can get the adapters made free, so that's not hard. The specs on the rotors are: 10.5" x 26mm 5x4.5" bolt pattern and are available at fleet farm for about $15 each. Does anybody have an opinion about these? The main reason I would run this setup over the 300zx setup is cost (rotors are a lot cheaper) and I could still run my 15" steel wheels. Now maybe it would be worth the money to go to 15" Al wheels that fit over the 300zx setup instead.

01-16-2003, 08:10 AM
Adam - get the z32 upgrade. You need more rotor and more caliper out there and I think the z32 will be the way to go. Also, upgrading over those steelies should be a noticeable upgrade. Having more power, you will need more width to put some meaty tires on. You can buy many used 16" wheels for cheap.

01-16-2003, 08:28 AM
I agree.. biggr wheels.. and 300zx brakes.. I think that would be a HUGE upgrade in your situation.

btw - I currently have Brembo blanks w/ Porterfield pads and ATE Super Blue fluid. GOOD STUFF> Had no brake fade problems at all at LMS or VIR. Of course, my car doesn't even have STOCK HP. lol

01-16-2003, 08:48 AM
The 240sx stock brakes are almost sufficient for a stock motor. I would think that 100+ HP increase would need the bigger brake setup. Your idea of piece stuff together would make me nervous personally. But if it works then great!

I have a pair of cast calipers, with 2 pistons each in my garage. I am not sure what the fit, maybe I'll dig out the part number. I think they may be Maxima calipers. I was told they are a direct bolt on item. Havent tried it yet as it is not a legal mod for IT. Anyone heard of this?

I use Brembo blanks, keep running them until the little cracks become BIG cracks and begin to make me nervous. As I have mentioned before, I also use Ford HD brake fluid and have never had fade problems. I have also fashioned some brake ducts that go from the fog light holes back to the center of the rotor. Can post some pics if anyone is interested.

01-16-2003, 09:56 AM
Word of warning to Dave - don't put in the duct b/f VIR in Feb. VIR has long straights and Feb. has cold temps. That means brakes get really hot - then REALLY cold. HOT cold HOT cold - CrAcK

VIR is pretty easy on brakes, as is - but using ducts in winter/spring is a known cause of cracked rotors.

Oh yeah - I use Brembo blanks (with a few little cracks) :thumbup: and ATE blue :thumbup:

bbp - I think the Maxima is a two piston direct bolt on. Better than OE, but not as good as z32.

01-16-2003, 10:00 AM
bbp - I think the Maxima is a two piston direct bolt on. Better than OE, but not as good as z32.

do they require bigger wheels? is clearance a problem?

240 2NR
01-16-2003, 08:31 PM
Can anyone compare the fade and operating temps of the KVR carbon kevlars from Don and the porterfield R4s? I've been running the KVR's and have been reasonably pleased with them. They're better than what I had before, though I think I have some brake issues to clear up before spring. At the same time I have never heard a bad review of the porterfields.

In anycase I'm planning (funds allowing) to upgrade to Z brakes up front and at the same time I'll obviously need new pads. The deabte right now is between the R4s pads or the cheaper and already fade free KVR's. Personally I'd like to try something new just to try something new, but I also like the cheapness of the KVR's.

Oh and they'll be used for solo I and II.

01-16-2003, 10:46 PM
am i the only person (ignoring bbp's hawk blue full race pads) using Hawk pads?

01-16-2003, 11:11 PM
Originally posted by bbp
do they require bigger wheels? is clearance a problem?

They shouldn't - IIRC the part is the same as the S13 Silvia K's, or so say the minds at Freshalloy.

01-17-2003, 08:05 AM
240 2NR - I hear a bunch of guys using the Axxis Ultimates for Auto-x b/c they have excellent cold bite.. Pads don't tend to have big fade issues in auto-x. I would think the KVR's would do you just fine for autoxing.

01-17-2003, 08:43 AM
I just saw a bit on the carbotech gt-sport pads over at honda-tech. I think I'll buy them for my next pad and see how they do.

click here for the gt-sport thread (http://www.honda-tech.com/zerothread?id=387517)

01-17-2003, 08:44 AM
Yeah Ultimates are supposed to be on par with the R4S's. I've heard only good reviews about them for hard mixed use cars. Still, Porterfields are like a religion - their followers are always fanatics (which in the automotive world means the rest of us are probably missing out).

Travis - who many times have I said I think you need more brakes? I should qualify that though - when you guys run, is it a single lap a la SOLO I or is it a multilap time-trial? HPS would probably be great for a SOLO I-type deal.

240 2NR
01-17-2003, 11:16 AM
I'll answer for travis. The autocross days at BHF start with 2-3 lapping sessions of 4 laps somewhere around 80%-90% or so. The autocross later in the day is a single lap time trial run about 4 times with close to an hour in between runs. Each lap sees speeds close to 100mph and has two corners, turns 7 (the last one) and 1, where you are braking from 90mph+. Brakes get a pretty good workout.

As a novice I'd say I'm pretty hard on my brakes (long braking zones) and have yet to overheat my KVR's. I think an aggressive stret pad is what is needed for auto-x sessions there as time trials are run almost cold.

01-17-2003, 11:32 AM
That explains it. In 2-3 laps, the brakes are just up to temp. In one lap, they're cold. If I did that, I'd use HP+ or HPS, too.

heh - one cool (35 degree) day last year, I was driving on a toll road and almost broke the wooden arm b/c my car wouldn't stop thanks to ice cold Panther Plus pads. Moral: good hot pads are not good cold pads.