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"Thems the brakes," Part 5 "Race rotors, and the whole package"

931 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  bullit4404
Jim 253 asked me to talk a bit about slotted and drilled rotors, which I will do, then I will summarize.
If you are a canyon runner or like to lap at road courses, maybe you need something extra?
Slotted rotors have the advantage of giving you better initial "bite," helping to channel hot gases away from the pads, and keeping the pads from heat glazing. Generally you need better pads because those slots can be hard on pads and they won't last as long regardless.
Drilled rotors will not help you stop faster, but they will get rid of heat more efficiently, and help you stop more consistently. Down side is that after hard use they will eventually show stress cracking around the holes and you have watch for that and replace and repeat as necessary.
If you get slotted and drilled rotors you get the benefits and liabilities of both.
Bottom line here kids is that I can't give you all my knowledge of over 35 years in small bites. Every situation is different. What package works best for you? You can have the best pads and rotors, but if you have dollar store brake fluid, you're going to boil the fluid and lose the brakes. If you have racing brake fluid, but organic pads and cheap rotors, the brakes will fade out.
What you use your car for should suggest which direction you need to go. I can tell what's worked for me, but you might not like the same "feel" that I do??
Some companies sell matched packages, or tell you what pads and rotors work well together. Power Stop sells a complete upgrade for street or track. Performance Friction and Hawk will show you what pad works at what temperature. It's all about the whole package and what you want from it.
Even wheels can make you stop better?? What?? A few years ago I built a mustang for track use for a lady Psychologist, a great driver by the way. The first test day we had the Ford stock wheels on the car. Test went fine. By the time the second test arrived, so had 4 BBS wheels which were 10lbs lighter than the"stockers." After the first session she came in and said, "What did you do to the brakes, they work so much better, and the car comes off the corner much better." Imagine what lightening those four "flywheels" by 10lbs each did to the performance of the car, easier to stop, better acceleration. All about the package!!! Questions are welcome.
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Good post. So, unless you track, slotted and drilled rotors are primarily used so your car can look cool at cars and coffee?

Track driving, on the brakes a LOT...meaning heat build up. Freeway driving, unless you're a brake tapper from following too close, brakes are actually cool but you may need to suddenly slow at any time.

Stop & go city traffic makes brakes a bit warmer, but nothing like the track.

Point of this? back in my track days I used a different pad compound for the track than I did for street driving.
Found that street driving pads would actually stop shorter than racing pads when brakes were cold. The opposite was true for the track because of the heat generated.

My track driving days are behind me, so I'm still using stock pads, actually original, in my 27,000 mile Bullitt. Still lots of pad life left.

I'm hoping that Ford engineers did their brake homework well...
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