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Best street/performance brake pads?

Discussion in 'E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006-2011)' started by RockbendBill, Sep 1, 2010.

    RockbendBill guest

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    I've searched for options on better-than-OEM brake pads and can find no clear winner. Axxis? Stop Tech? Somebody else?

    I just want better performance from the stock brakes. As my track-racing buddy says: "You've got to whoa before you go!"

    What do you guys use?

    Thanks.
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    CRKrieger

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    I like Metalmasters. Originally branded Repco, then Axxis, most recently PBR, I know of no other pad that has gone by so many names ... :confused:
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    az3579

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    I have 100% faith in Hawk HPS or HP+ pads for street/track usage. I had no brake fade on the track with them (though the E30 is a pretty light car). Only downside is that they dust - a LOT. But, more importantly, they work.
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    MGarrison

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    Better in what sense? Whatcha lookin' for? What kind of driving - street, auto-x, or track?

    Any pad that offers better performance on the racetrack is likely to be some sort of a compromise for on-street driving. Metalmasters did me pretty good on track for a long time, but in winter on-street driving, that first brake application backing down the driveway on the sub-freezing mornings didn't generate a lot of stopping oomph. Metalmasters do offer improved fade resistance over stock pads, if you're looking for something to hang in there a little better when pushed.

    RockbendBill guest

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    Thanks for the responses so far!

    My track-racing buddy likes the Metalmasters too, and has used them on his 735 for 20+ years. I just thought there might be a newer/better option.

    I'll look into the Hawks.

    At this point I am looking at street and possibly auto-x use. I just thought there must be something that stops quicker than the stock pads, maybe a little less dust, but great for daily driving.
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    330indy1

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    I have been quite happy with PBRs Ultimate Ceramics on the 330i, no squeaks, great stops like OEM, and far less dust.
    It motivated me to put the new PBR Deluxe Ceramics on the M for the same benefits.
    Good luck
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    E92Dreier

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    This made me remember that first moment of sheer panic with my old hawk track pads. You know, when you are paying too much attention to your morning coffee and fiddling with the radio dial, maybe it's lightly misting -- then you hit your brakes on a steep declining driveway and you continue to pick up speed, you goose the accelerator, pop it in first, ride the brake pedal harder and hope for the best.

    Since then, I have tried a variety of pads -- and rotors. But, I have found the OEM brakes on my 335i fade free, even on light track use and autocrossing. I also always start my descent in 1st gear (not neutral)!

    I am interested in new pads simply because of the amount of dust from my OEM setup. But, they have been so trouble free that I am hesitant to make any changes.
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    CRKrieger

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    I still fail to see why anyone thinks that autocross is hard on brakes. You barely get them warm.
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    CSBM5

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    All depends on the "autocross". :) At the Sandlapper chapter autox events at the Performance Center, I got the brakes plenty hot in the M5 (Stoptech BBK too) with some major braking zones (80+ to ~25) (here's an example of an early run while I was still learning (and overdriving portions) of the course back in '07 but note all the upshifts from 2nd to 3rd gear which in the E39M5 is 68mph). Also, my local car club (not cca) here in eastern NC has 3 out of 4 venues being airports, so our courses can be pretty fast. In any event, these might get the brakes pretty hot but nothing like a track. Try changing wheels/tires on my car within 30 min of an autox run if you think the brakes barely get warm.:eek:
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    Zeichen311

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    @RockbendBill: You might want to check out Bavarian Autosport's line of Pagid Red pads. They're exclusive to BA by Pagid and seem to target the characteristics you seek. Haven't tried them yet myself.

    Also:
    Be careful what you wish for. BMWs are equipped with formidable braking systems right from the factory. You can already stop in a shorter distance (and with greater control) that most of the cars on the road. In panic-braking situations, I'm rarely worried about the hazard in front of me--and always worried about the guy behind me.

    I'm not saying they're a waste of money, just that for the intended uses you gave ("street and possibly autocross") the OE pads are bloody good.
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    Brian A

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    Apart from track usage, "better" pads will not stop the car quicker. If you can activate the ABS, pad material is irrelevant. Track usage is different because of the tremendous heat build-up and the brake system's sensitivity to it.

    I just burned through a set of Ferodo 2500's (which I was happy with for street/AX/track). To do an AX, I put back on a set of half worn generic pads which I hated originally (they came with the car). I was pleasantly surprised how the generics were much less bad than I remembered. To me this means a lot of pads are awfully good.

    Anyone have experience with Cool Carbon pads?
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    MGarrison

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    I didn't really dig cool carbons all that much. They work fine, but, at least the couple of sets I used years ago, had this ceramic insulating layer to minimize heat transfer, (and thus reduce fade or boiling the brake fluid at the caliper/piston). It appeared that, in order to insure the pad material adhered to the ceramic, that the ceramic layer couldn't be of a uniform thickness. So, the life I got out of the pads always varied, and wasn't that much, 1-2 weekends tops, including Fridays, (as I recall - it's been awhile). So, I never found them to be a particularly great value for their cost, although I think they were pretty rotor friendly and good in the brake-fade department.

    I ultimately settled on Performance Friction (currently PFC 01's) for track pads, which stop, modulate, and release well, but are less rotor-friendly. I've heard there are some Hawks which perform similarly, or perhaps better, depending on one's preferences, but I haven't tried them (yet). Race pads pretty much suck for street driving, particularly in the rain or cold temps.

    PBR Deluxe are supposed to be a lower dusting street compound, haven't used them for awhile, but recall them to have 1 or 2 good stops in them before they'd start to fade - definitely not a pad for track useage, and probably not auto-x either. As per a previous comment, except for the dust, the stock pads offer quite good performance.

    I used metalmasters for years for track events - if, as I did, one gets to the point where they're driving and braking hard enough to burn through a set of metalmasters in one day of driving (in my case, a Friday instructor/advanced student open track day - 4 to 5 1/2 hr. sessions), then I'd say it's time to move to a harder pad compound. But that's not particularly relevant to a pad choice for occasional auto-x and street driving.

    RockbendBill guest

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    There doesn't seem to be a clear winner out there - a choice either track performance or same-as-OEM-except-dust performance.

    So far, other than the brake dust problem, there doesn't seem to be a compelling reason to change my brake pads at this time. If I start tracking it, certainly, but not now as a daily driver.

    Thanks!
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    BMRDRVR

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    I'm having Hawk hps pads installed in 10 days ahead of my first track event Oct 2-3. They were recommended by my tech advisor at Fall Line Motorsports. These guys know BMWs and they know racing, and they also know this is my daily driver. I'll let you know my impressions in a couple of weeks.
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    sundevilruss

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    I have similar thoughts concerning brake pad replacement but am more concerned at this point with maintaining the same performance as the stock pads (all my driving is done on the street) but with a significant reduction in brake dust. I haven't done much reasearch but have had great experience with Bavarian Auto and this link is to their brake pad info page.

    http://www.bavauto.com/assets/prodinfo_pages/whichbrakepad.html
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    CRKrieger

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    The pads with the best reputation for dust are PBR (fka Axxis fka Repco) Metalmasters (my preference for a dual street/track pad) and Deluxe (best for street, but capable of occasional track use). They are not dustless. No pads are. But they tend to dust grey instead of black. It's pretty close to the same color as your alloys, so they will be dusty but not look it nearly as soon as they will with pads that put out black dust. I think you'd like Deluxe.

    1996 328ti guest

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    I really don't know what is meant by a 'performance brake pad'.
    My definition of performance may be different than others.
    I consider a performance pad capable of performing under repeated extreme conditions.

    I used Ultimate Axxis for a short period of time. Despite fresh Ate brake fluid, those pads faded pretty quick. Street driving they were fine. I learned that lesson. Just as I did driving on Z rated tires in snow.

    Choose the right tool for the job.
    Just as all-season tires are a compromise in all seasons, so are 'street/track' pads. A compromise. Brakes are something I don't compromise.
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    BMRDRVR

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    I now have about 6 hours of hard track time on my Hawk high performance pads, installed in mid September. Bottom line: they stopped the car, but I definitely had to adjust to them. I felt as though my OEM pads were "stickier," more sensitive under my foot, but of course the only test they ever got was in easy city or highway driving. On the track, coming into corners at 115-120 mph, I relied on the Hawks without reservation and they performed flawlessly, but I guess I just expected something "more." In fairness, I also got new slotted Brembo rotors and stainless steel brake lines (and ATE super blue racing brake fluid), so my expectations for the package ran quite high. I would still like to get deeper into the brake zone so if I do brakes again in anticipation of track days, I will probably cough up for a full big brake kit. That oughta set me up for high expecations!
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    MGarrison

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    Might be worthwhile to chat w/ your Fall Line guys before that big a leap. You might find full race pads (perhaps Hawk HT10's, but Fall Line should have a recommendation) combined w/ brake ducting directed to the rotors or rotor centers will get you what you want, before opting for monster brakes. Those 6-piston Brembo calipers do look cool, though!
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    BMRDRVR

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    Whew! For a minute there I was worried you were going to overlook the cool factor.

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