"Thems the brakes," Part 4 Brake pads - IMBOC
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb "Thems the brakes," Part 4 Brake pads

Brake pads are often the least considered part of the braking system, and yet I would argue they are the most important part. These 8 little "pucks" with a total area of maybe 50 sq/in are responsible for stopping your 4000lb car from 60 miles an hour in about 300ft. Pretty impressive. Let's dive in, here are the major types and characteristics.
1. Organic pads: The cheapest; made with glass rubber resin and sometimes asbestos. Temp range 100-400F
These pads are not recommended for anything and are often dumped in North America and sold as "white box."
2. Ceramic pads: made with ceramic compounds and resin. Temp range 100-500F They are low dust and quiet, but they do not shed heat well. Good for small car daily drivers. Not recommended for tow vehicles, will overheat rotors.
3. Hybrid Ceramic/Semi Metallic Ceramic plus metal compounds Max 5% Temp range 100-550 Good for medium sized vehicles quiet, low dust. Not recommended for heavy tow vehicles like pick ups. Same reason as #2
4. Semi Metallic pads HD: Brass, copper, resins Temp range 100-650F These are a pad that is usually OE on pick ups and were OE on rear of Bullits. They make more dust, but are capable of shedding more heat and maintaining sufficient torque when hot.
5. Carbon Metallic or Ferro Carbon pads: These are made with metal and carbon compounds and resins Temp range 100-750F all the way up to 1800F depending on compound. These are high performance pads that can be noisy, shed a lot of dust, but can withstand a lot of heat and not fade. Names like Performance Friction and Hawk are popular. I run Hawk HPS pads on my Bullit. Temp range 100-700F Good for street and lapping. #5's can be hard on rotors and require a break-in/bedding protocol. OE front 08 Bullits?
I would suggest you buy pads for any car that meet or exceed OE specs. Look for SAEJ661 or J248 or ISO6313 ratings as these insure tested product. Box or literature should say asbestos free. When you buy the main brands like Wagner, Raybestos, etc, you usually also get the shims and hardware which will make your pads work well and be quieter. Buy good brake pads, your life literally depends on it!!!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 02:18 PM

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WOW....Thanks Pat. I am leaning a lot from your "Thems the brakes" series. A always thought Ceramic was a step above Semi Metallic. Looks I was wrong.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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They were largely an answer to dust and noise. They have their uses. I run the hybrids on my Honda Ridgeline and they work fine. Also, regulations are reducing the amount of metal in brake pads.
It's on the heavier stuff I'm hearing about issues.
During the recession, the OE manufacturers were putting such poor pads on cars that ceramic was an upgrade. And, it depends on whose ceramic or hybrid you are dealing with. Some are better than others.
And, one more thing, ceramic pads insulate the calipers/fluid from heat, but the rotors take a beating. So, you can do repeated stops within the heat range and then fade occurs between the rotors and pads.
As the saying goes, there's no free lunch.
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Last edited by bullit4404; 03-08-2018 at 03:36 PM. Reason: addition
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Final post on brakes is up, enjoy.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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