EBC Brakes Technical Articles

Buying and fitting new brake pads for your car

Buying and fitting new brake pads for your car

Brake pads and discs or rotors can be home fitted by most mechanically minded folks observing safety guidelines especially with the use of a suitable manual.

The choice of pad brands is endless so this short guide gives you some insight from a manufacturer who blends its own pads, produces them 100% in the UK and makes some of the finest pads on the market at less than manufacturer prices.

First beware of ultra low prices. The materials used in brake pads varies and is NOT controlled by most governments allowing the use in some cases of Asbestos or Ceramic fibers (not Ceramic particles which are perfectly OK) and are cancer causing. The dust in worn brakes can be dangerous if inhaled and as you wont know what was in your vehicle originally be mindful of this. Low priced pads however are almost always low quality and we will discuss this later.

There are two basic types of pads on the world markets, Premium Organics and semi metallic. These make up 99% of all brake pads sold. Manufacturers almost exclusively use semi metallic in new car builds because of the low price of this material but there are better products around at good prices.

What makes a BAD brake pad?

Pads all look similar and the smiling shop assistant wants to take your money and ring it quickly into the cash register will gladly sell you WHAT HE HAS ON THE SHELF telling you they are great pads and that he has sold “Loads of them and never had a complaint”. That may or may not be true.

Firstly a shop keeper is extremely unlikely to have the first clue about what a brake pad is made of let alone know the difference between blends. Shop owners are guilty of selling “Boxes” or brand names and you need to be the expert here to get the best value for your money so let us make you just that – a well versed consumer.

A bad brake pad will almost always do these things:

  • Wear out fast
  • Be noisy emitting grinding sounds under load
  • Be unstable in braking pulling left or right at random and causing panic
  • Wear your brake discs out 2-5 times faster than a decent brake pad type
  • Cause masses of brake dust
  • FADE under heavy braking as though your brakes were oiled and fail to stop your vehicle. Heavy loads in your car or towing will really highlight this so beware

The latter failure is extremely common is low priced brake pads and it might be too late when you find out that the pad in the flashy “Household Name” box is not all it is cracked up to be.

The things to ask your provider of brake pads that will set you on the right course are along these lines:

  • Where are the brake pads made?
  • Is that factory ISO approved?
  • Are the pads he is offering you DOT tested (for the USA) and FMVSS marked with a two letter code such as FF, FE, GF, GG printed on the pad or an ECE R 90 number (for Europe) with an E letter followed by two digits showing country of testing and a 5 digit number. Ask to look at the pads in the box.
  • Is the brake pad you are selling me the same grade as the ones in my car (referring to the R 90 number or the FMVSS letter grading)

If he doesn’t know the answer to these questions you are taking your chances.

Shop-keepers are also very good at telling you something is a “Well known brand” but the caution here is that many brands have a top grade of product for car manufacturers and an aftermarket grade of a far lower spec for the unsuspecting punter. So brand really means nothing here plus the guy talking to you may have worked the previous week as a Pizza delivery driver the past week anyway.

Semi metallic pads are basically just that, a pad that is up to 50% steel fiber (steel wool) compressed with some resins and a few additives but due to the very low prices of steel fiber these are the low cost brake pads where many of the quality problems exist.

EBC brake pads by comparison are 100% UK made in an ISO facility, 100% ECO friendly and toxin free being the first (and at the time of writing ONLY) brake pad that is blended with ALL sulfides including the nasty antimony removed. Plus EBC make the worlds leading range of what are called “premium Organics”. These contain little or NO steel fibers but instead contain higher tech aramid fibers that are more gentle on your discs or rotors, almost always less dusty, perform great and can bring your brakes back to better than new feel and performance.

How to choose the right GRADE of brake pad

Check out the range of EBC brake pads on this link for various driving styles and needs. EBC make a range of brake pad grades available online at very nice prices, the Ultimax brake pad being way lower in price than manufacturer pads and a pad to beat anything out there in terms of stopping power and stability.

Regular street use –Urban Driving – Ultimax Grade
Sport street use on lighter cars – Greenstuff 2000 grade
Sportscar/Muscle Car grade – Yellowstuff grade
Faster street use on Premium cars – Redstuff ceramic grade
Heavy street vehicles and 4 x 4 – Greenstuff 6000 grade
Trackdays and Racing – Orangestuff grade
Replace brake pads

After you have chosen the ideal compound with which to replace brake pads, check the brake rotor condition as this will be essential to having good brakes once the new pads are installed. It is important that rotors are not severely scored or hollowed.

The brake pads must be carefully matched to the set you are removing to make sure you have selected the rights parts, never try to force brake pads into the calipers, never machine file or sand brake pads to make them fit. If they do not slip into the caliper aperture you may have the wrong parts.

The need to replace brake pads is when they are worn to a level where the brake pads have only one eighth of an inch of friction material (lining) on them or as fitted to most European cars the dashboard brake warning light has come on. In many Asian designed cars there is a small spring device attached to the pad called a screech clip which emits a brake squeal when pads are worn. If you hear brake noise such as brake squeal it may be the time to replace brake pads as these have worn to a dangerous level.

How To Change Brake Pads
ebc brake pad

If you decide to change these products at home, this will guide you through all the pitfalls. Knowing how to change brake pads is not a common piece of knowledge and as brakes are such a serious part of any motor vehicle we recommend you don’t start the work without some guidance like this.

Once you have chosen the part numbers you need, decide what grade of pad you need. The EBC parts number will change according to the compound for example a green pad for a street car with start with the initials DP2 and a Red low dust pad will be the same number but start with a DP3 and yellow full race grade with a DP4.

Spending a few dollars more on a decent pad will bring huge returns, you will never know what a bad brake pad is until its too late. Most brake pads look the same and work the same up to a certain speed and just when you need them the difference will show itself. Things like brake fade can even lead to a complete loss of brake or installing the wrong friction level can also reduce stopping distances to once you have learned how to change brake pads it is a good thing to make sure you choose good products.

The best brake pads will cost between $60 and $100 some higher grades a little more. Any brake pad retailing for less than $40 just cannot contain the good stuff that more expensive pads do, there has to be a reason and everything is a trade off. Some brake pads work very well but wear your brake rotors away at three times the speed of others being made with a heavy steel fiber content, in the long run that’s bad economics.

So take your time choosing the right components before you start your brake install and you wont be doing the job again six months down the road.

How and when to replace brake rotors

All cars truck and SUV have brake rotors, usually four of them and they are quite expensive. When the time comes to replace brake rotors here is how to know if you really do need to replace brake rotors or if you can skim them at a much lower cost and get more miles out of them. First rotors are a disposable items and will need replacing anywhere from 15,000 to 70,000 miles into their use depending on your driving style and the type of brake pads used.

Some brake pads are much more aggressive than others. A sign of a fairly aggressive pad is one which makes a lot of dust. Tests have shown that over 90% of brake dust is actually Fe or iron material coming from your rotors so a less aggressive pad will wear rotors less and also produce less dust. Some rotor wear must happen for the rotor to self clean and function properly, no wear at all usually will result on rotor black spotting where with a self cleaning pad, the rotor surfaces get mildly scrubbed us as you drive the car to keep them smooth and keep them true. Before you replace brake rotors look at these photos which will guide you on whether you need to replace brake rotors or you can salvage them.

Before you replace brake rotors look at these photos which will guide you on whether you need to replace brake rotors or you can salvage them.

ribbed rotors

This is a typical cross drilled rotor and what it will look like after about 40-50,000 miles commonly fitted to Jaguar, Mercedes and Audi cars. The drill holes do not cover the entire rotor surface and thus different surface areas exist across the rotor and some areas will wear faster than others. leaving behind nasty ribs.

If fitting new brake pads, the time to bed the pads in will be significant due to the ribs which prevent the pads from seating properly, bed in times can take 1000 miles more than normal and brakes will be poor and noisy during this time. A skim from the rotor surface of 0.005 inches on an on car brake lathe will solve the problem.

The next photo is a partially worn OEM style rotor that still has life left in it. You should measure or have your garage measure using a micrometer (not a vernier) across the centre of the rotor and if the rotor is still above its minimum thickness, you may not need to replace brake rotors but they can be skimmed and used for more miles.

pro cut
Maintenance of brakes and brake repair

You should not attempt DIY brake repair unless you are a competent mechanic, these are safety critical parts of your car but having said that there are various inexpensive instructional DVD’s out there to help you achieve this work with reasonable safety. First you need to diagnose what the problem is. Maybe your brake pads are just worn or you are experiencing brake vibration which have different needs.

Brake repair falls into two main categories within the reach of a DIY mechanic and these are the replacement of the brake rotor or the brake pads or simply topping off the brake fluid.

When brake pads are worn to beyond their service limit their performance will quickly deteriorate and could result in total loss of brakes. Jacking up the car and looking into the brake caliper will quickly show whether there is friction material left on the brake pad backing plates. Look to have at least 5 mm or 3/16th of an inch of friction material left on each pad and check all four pads both front and rear as sometimes one pad on the piston side wears more than the opposite side. If the car has not seen regular brake maintenance it is possible that the pad wear has been accelerated by a seized caliper and this is a more complicated brake repair to undertake. Replacing the pads is quite straight forward, locate the components you need for your vehicle before starting the brake repair and replacement of the pads or rotor. Inspect the brake rotor also before commencing the brake maintenance as it is wise to replace all worn parts at the same time. Brake rotors should be inspected for wear or heavy scoring and replaced if below their service limits.

Worn brake rotors are usually detectable by a lip on the outer and inner edges of the rotor at the limit of where the brake pad contacts. If you have deep wear patterns on your brake rotor, either replace it or you may save money by taking the vehicle to a brake shop and having the rotors turned. The best type of lathe to use is an on car brake lathe and where to find one of those is shown on this link. Pep Boys Pro-Cut center Locator. The brake repair should be conducted in a safe garage or driveway location, never on a public road for safety reasons and the vehicle wheels should all be chocked to prevent the car rolling or falling off the vehicle jack. Always “Chock” the vehicle will an axle stand or at as a minimum use one of the wheels removed under a sturdy part of the suspension near where you are working in case the jack lets go as serious injury may occur. After the brake repair don’t forget to check and tighten all nuts and hardware and road test the vehicle in a safe quiet street and test the brakes. If you notice any strange noises check them out or take the vehicle to a qualified brake repair shop for a further opinion.

Brake Repair

Brakes are important and regular service is advised. You should inspect brakes every 5000 miles for basic pad wear and replace disc pads when there is 2 mm or one eighth of and inch of friction material remaining on the backing plate. Do not let brake pads wear down father than this or you may suffer brake fade and brake failure making your next brake repair costly.

There are numerous brake repair shops around the world and your choice of where to have your brakes serviced should depend on the degree of brake repair needed. If all you need is to replace worn pads or scored and damaged brake rotors then this is achievable by most mechanics as a DIY work.

Brake repairs normally involved jacking up the car and removing the wheels one at a time, remembering to safety chock the wheels and placing car jacks or a solid support under the car for safety and checking pad thickness in the brake caliper. Pads can be removed with basic tools and care should be taken to clean the caliper parts and slider and remove all rust dirt and debris.

Good brake save lives so make good choices and buy the best pads and rotors you can afford, cheap brakes don’t last as long and may fail.

The Brakes

On any modern motor vehicle the brakes are the first thing you should look after. Just because they are under your car and out of sight until some horrible noise or even worse a failure to stop occurs most of us ignore the brakes on our cars.

Generally the brakes on a car are good for 20,000 miles but it is quite good sense to take a look at your brakes every 10,000 miles and inspect for brake pad wear. This is done by jacking up the car and using car jacks for safety and removing the front wheels from where .From there you can see the available amount of wear material left on the brake pads and see if the brakes need changing.

Maintaining the brakes on your car can save you money because the brake pads often wear out 2-3 times faster than the brake rotors. Leaving it too late to change the brake pads will possibly cause damage to your rotors and then the brakes will need a good chunk more money spending on them.

Modern brakes can be quite low in cost to service with a set of decent brake pads costing as little as $60. Don’t go for anything cheaper or you will be back changing those brakes a lot sooner than you had hoped plus the performance of the brakes does depend a lot on the quality of the components you select.

Once you have selected the right parts prepare for the job properly, have the tools ready, remember to use car jacks and place something behind the wheels to stop the car rolling and remember the all important rules to keep oils greases and lubes away from the brakes as the two don’t go together happily. Brake pads must be kept clean and grease free, even the grease from your fingers can sweat into the pad surface and reduce the brake pad effectiveness.

EBC Automotive Brake Tech – brake calipers

Brake calipers are a vital part of your brake system. The brake caliper is what brings the disc brake pad into contact against your brake rotor and generates the stopping power of the vehicle.

Seized calipers or seized sliding parts of the brake caliper will cause many problems including brake drag, brake overheat and hot spots on brake rotors, cracks in brake rotors and very commonly rotor ribbing or rotor galling which shows up as record style grooves or ribs on the rotor in a general pattern. See below:

brake caliper

Whilst fine ribbing of brake rotors is quite common and not in general a reason to replace the brake rotor the reason for the ribbing marks needs to be understood.

Whilst it is not within the ability of most mechanics to strip and refurbish a brake caliper, certain service work can be carried on by competent technicians or by your dealer. Do NOT please attempt to rebuild brake calipers as this is a SAFETY ISSUE if you are not totally qualified to do this. Our following notes guide people in the basics of making sure your caliper is working properly.

There are several types of automotive brake caliper.

Most cars use a single piston sliding caliper which has a single large piston, on the inboard side of the caliper into which the hydraulic fluid enters. Through a slider mechanism the opposing half of the caliper is pulled towards the piston clamping the brake pads on to the brake rotor. These sliding calipers as they are know are prone to seizure due to corrosion in two areas.

brake pad malfunction
Rotor damaged by worn pads contacting rotor after pad suffered premature wear due to caliper pistons or caliper slider seizure.
brake pad malfunction line
Pads on one side of the vehicle badly worn, others look fine. Clear sign of a one side caliper seizure.

Slide Rails

It is most common in European cars that these slide rails become rusty and the free movement of pads cannot take place. On every brake pad change, clean these slide rails with a wire brush and apply a VERY THIN coating amount of high temperature grease on them, take care not to contact the brake pads with ANY greases or lubricant which can ruin the brake pads and can CAUSE TOTAL LOSS OF BRAKE in driving.

brake caliper rust 4 brake caliper rust 6
brake caliper rust 3 brake caliper rust 2

If the pads cannot slide freely on the slide rails because of this rust or scale, the outboard pad will not release staying in contact with the brake rotor after the brake is released , will cause overheating of the brake rotor, hot spots on the brake rotor, brake vibration and eventually brake pad surface scoring on that side of the brake pad and rotor . If your brake rotor looks like this in the picture below, it has to be turned or replaced and new pads fitted. The matching faces on the brake pad will show rib marks.

brake caliper 5

Again EBC Brakes wants to draw customer’s attention to the numerous advantages of slotted rotors or drilled and slotted rotors such as our GD series or USR series sport rotors which eliminate rotor ribbing, eliminate rotor scoring and rotor damage, help brake pads last longer and run cooler.

EBC brake line fitting videos for car

Learn how to fit your high performance brake lines safely and professionally with these helpful videos. Brought to you by EBC Brakes and presented by Nick Hine. The following videos include step by step advice and instructions on how to successfully fit a brake line to your vehicle.

Best Pads for Track Day Driving

Trackday driving is surely the toughest test of any brake pad compound.

  • Stock Calipers rarely overhauled or seals renewed.
  • Full weight vehicles with seats and even the spare wheel on board.
  • Full carrosserie inside.
  • Minimal cooling systems to brake rotors pads and calipers.

Yet a lot is demanded from these track days of your brakes.

What can you do to improve this experience and safety?

The MINIMUM is to swap the pads out to a performance grade pad and surprisingly the heat threshold needed is higher than some pure race applications as the temperatures at the heart of the pad are even higher than on many race cars. Plus driving style encourages drivers to jump on the brakes rather than use them to slow and position the car.

Then brake discs or rotors must be in decent condition, either replace rotors or have them skimmed or be prepared to have extended pad bed in times and perhaps some scary moments as the pads seat themselves. Pads and rotors do not only have to be matched up and contacting in 95% plus of their surface area there is always a Chemical curing of pads known as “green Fade” which happens a couple of times during the final bedding stages and is often a cause for a driver to criticize the pads when in fact going thru this green fade stage and allowing the pads to cool would have delivered a very usable brake system in most cases.

Brake pads which have worked very well for entry level track day driving or drift racing are the EBC Yellowstuff grade brake pads, a high friction pad that beds in quickly and lasts pretty well.

A slightly longer lasting version of the Yellowstuff grade is the new EBC Orange grade full race pads which have been beefed up for longer life and an even higher heath threshold.

Pre bedded race brake pads
ebc bluestuff brake pads

Brake pads are used of course for many forms of sport and race driving as well as stopping cars on the street. The compounds used in race track driving for brake pads is always uprated to handle the heat and wear abuse that brake pads will suffer during race track use but one thing has always plagued decent brake pads, their BED IN time. Until now pads could take 3-6 laps of driving before the brakes became fully effective and people not understanding this point could go through some scary moments or worse coming to terms with the actual braking marker points that they would use.

The harder you make a brake pad compound in an effort for make a brake pad last longer the more you will extend the time until the pad first takes up the shape of the brake rotor and secondly the early life brake fade has gone.

There are two types of brake fade. There is first of all what we call “Green Fade” as the pad is bedding in and then the more serious “Dynamic Fade” caused when a compound is either overheated or serious caliper drag has overheated the brake pads beyond their physical limits.

EBC has now installed machinery to solve the problem. The British made finishing line produced for EBC Brakes by Unitec literally “Toasts” the surface of pads after finished production and grinding to remove the surface volatile components that cause this green fade.

In pre bedding pads, race drivers can fit the pads and achieve a decent brake with a few braking actions rather requiring an expensive race car or valuable track time to be used up bedding in new brakes.

With the huge numbers of drivers now using EBC Bluestuff Brakes products for track driving this gives EBC a major advantage over competition by offering a pre bedded brake pad and allowing the use of harder and longer lasting grades of race brake pad which would take far too long to bed in on the track.

Pre bedding of course does not remove the need for brake rotors to be in appropriate condition and drivers are always advised to apply race pads to flat and smooth brake rotors or to have them turned on such as the famous Pro Cut on car brake lathes to render them flat or replace the brake rotors before race use.

Not all brake pad compounds need pre bedding, softer brake pads may bed in quite quickly and not require pre bedding.

Brake Pad Hardness
ebc bluestuff brake pads

Brake pad hardness Is an expression usually applied to describe the friction material durability. It is generally perceived that a HARD BRAKE PAD is one that is more suitable for race conditions.

This however is an expression more than a real hardness change especially because in modern day brake pad manufacture pads are not made harder to prolong life or to gain performance.

Brake pad hardness has been used as this general terms because there has been no standard way in which brake pad manufacturers could describe their different products. It is true however that some brake pads are physically harder than others and when measuring the surface hardness in real terms there is a vast range of hardness across the world wide range of brake pads.

Performance and race type brakes, generally referred to as hard usually contain a large proportion of steel fibers and these can be abrasive and very damaging to the brake rotor. It is this meaning for the term brake pad hardness that disc or rotor manufacturers refer to when grouping brake pad hardness. Rotor manufacturers are trying to say that hard or very abrasive pads may damage their rotors and are not normally recommended for street driving.

However some manufacturers have managed to produce sport and race brake pads that do not use, or use very little steel fibre and are not mechanically hard at all. These are the families of Aramid fiber based brake pads using modern day fibers such as Dupont Kevlar or Twaron. Kevlar of course is six times as strong as steel when used in a matrix form and is far less abrasive than steel fibers so it is an excellent, although expensive, binding fiber that can be used to replace steel fiber.

The basic properties of a sport or race brake pad need to be its higher friction level, plus its ability to handle higher temperatures of sport and race braking plus its wear life ability. If all of these can be achieved without the need for brake pad hardness to be a mechanical hardness then you have a perfect situation.

It is becoming more and more accepted that NAO or non asbestos organic pads made with Aramid fibers are far less abrasive on brake discs and most aftermarket brake discs or rotors work well with them.

So if you are looking for a harder brake pad and by that you mean you want a sport or race pad that grips well and can handle heat plus lasts well enough in track driving then an Aramid fiber, Kevlar or similar brake pad base would be the right choice.

Best Brake Pads
ebc brake products

Want to know which are the best brake pads to buy for your car truck or SUV? Check out this informative fact file about quality, standards, testing and make your own choice.

Every modern vehicle relies on brakes to stop them, usually all four wheels these days employ disc brake systems so to choose the best brake pads for you car takes some research and there are guide pointers that will help you.

Brake pads are quite easy to install and provided recognized maintenance procedures are followed fitting your own brakes is within the reach of most amateur mechanics.

Choosing the best brake pads is the next thing. To do this, decide what you are looking for. If price is your only criteria and we sincerely hope it is not then read no further simply shop for the lowest cost parts on the internet and take your chances. If you want quality parts once you have decided on your budget look for the following.

First if you drive a European Car there are new brake safety regulations that test all brake pads for cars and seeing this marking on the reverse of the pads will guide you to the best brake pads for European cars. In the USA market a system of grading using what are known a friction letter grades or FMSI numbers guides you to some degree by having friction coding letters on the reverse of the pads.

Most US and Asian built cars are factory equipped with letter grade E or F pads which are not necessarily the best brake pad choice for performance use and switching to a pad marked with the letter grade G will give you more initial bite on your brakes and move you up the performance gradient slightly. Having said this the FMSI grade letters are only a friction indicator and not an indicator of “Torque” and higher friction pads may create more dust or wear out more quickly.

So the compromise has to be made in choosing the best brake pads for your own particular needs by evaluating what you want from your brakes, what type of driving style you have and where you will be using your vehicle.

There are of course other considerations such as the reputation of the company you intend to buy from and where they make their pads, many pads are sold in shops by what are known as “reboxers” and in many cases, asking the man behind the counter he will not have a clue where the product inside the box comes from.

The old adage is “Buy the product not the box” and the guidance on standards numbers, reputation of the manufacturer and where their facilities are can help you make your choice. Look for manufacturers, who possess such accreditations as ISO 9000 in their facility, they will always be a decent choice for a brake pad supplier.

Best Brake Pads – Part 3

For your car SUV Light truck or motorcycle are the ones that stop you the fastest, safely without nasty side effects and are reasonably priced. We all can agree on that. Sorting through the hundreds of online sellers and their various sales pitch can be quite a minefield so lets try and help you.

First of all brake pads fall into two general categories, Original parts and aftermarket parts. Original parts are almost always the more expensive route and if money is no object and you are satisfied with the brakes on your vehicle then the decision making ends there. However many people do not find the brakes on their vehicle as good as they need them to be and the aftermarket suppliers have some interesting alternatives. You will often see forums crammed with drivers placing their vehicle under extra duty such as towing or regular driving over downhill descents on their daily route and they certainly need better brakes.

First Original parts are built with two criteria. First they want to get you through your warranty period and second they want to buy brake products at the lowest price possible. This combination of criteria does not always mean that buying original parts will give you the best brake pads for your driving style.

Also driving styles and uses of vehicle vary a lot. For example no original builder selects and fits brake pads to a car that are designed to excessive speed driving, attending track days or full blown racing so original parts will not be the best brake pads for you to choose if those extreme styles of driving are on your agenda.

Second brake dust although important to original car builders does not take precedent over safety or acceptable cost levels so an aftermarket supplier may end up being a good alternative for the best brake pads to reduce dust.

Another great way the aftermarket can assist in selecting the right types of brake pad for your driving style is the variety of compounds they offer. The best brake pads for normal urban driving may be the original quality or a standard aftermarket grade whereas the best brake pads for faster drivers may be a softer type of pad made from Aramid fibers such as Dupont Kevlar. Drivers who require low dust brake pads may also find a ceramic enhanced compound their choice for the best brake pads.

Track day or weekend warrior drivers certainly need to consider an upgrade to any stock or standard original brake set up and the best brake pads for their type of use will likely be a high temperature grade of pad that can withstand the extra heat of track driving. Brake fade or loss of brakes can be avoided by choosing a brake pad compound designed for this extra duty application. Longer or more continued track driving will require a full race pad.

The temperatures reached between the pad and the rotor in normal daily driving is around 350 to 450 C. In track day use temperatures can shoot up to 700-800C and in full race use even higher. This requires two totally different approaches to what is the best brake pad for your needs.

Brake pad reviews

Here are the facts you need to know when evaluating what is the best brake pad for your driving style.

MATERIALS AND ADVANTAGES

Over the recent years brake materials have advanced considerably and are made of such high tech materials as Dupont Kelvar and Ceramics. These new age fiber materials have advantages over common semi metallic pads in one special way that as a binding fiber they occupy a smaller percentage of the pad matrix meaning more of the real stopping power material can be blended into the pad. Semi metallic pads can contain up to 50% steel fibre which does nothing for performance except create sparks and scratch rotors. Yes steel fiber give a high grip but it does not combat fade and it causes rotors and pads to wear out at almost the same speeds in a world where the brake pad is supposed to be the disposable item. Kevlar fibers or Aramids as they are generally know are 6 times as strong as steel and for this reason you can use less of them down to as low as 6% by weight.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN THE REVIEW

When considering brake pad reviews look for a balance of pad performance, life, buying price and rotor damage. On occasions brake dust is a target desire of motorists and some brake pads fare better than others in this area. However extensive research shows that zero brake dust is impossible to achieve. Brake dust is actually rotor material in 90% or more of its volume and as much as you don’t want to wear rotors away keeping them honest with a fine and smooth gentle scrub of a low abrasive component within the pad is highly advisable and will create some dust. Semi metallic pads are themselves 50% approx in steel fiber content and harder generally on rotors so they will without doubt generate more dust than an Aramid (Kevlar or similar) fiber based pad. The only advantage of steel fiber in a brake pad is that it is cheap.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT COMPOUND

A common error of the driver when looking through brake pad reviews is the “Bigger is better” syndrome. Dont go for a full race pad for a street use car or a hard grade pad for a smaller lighter car or you wont get the desired performance, click HERE for a link on how the choose the optimum compounds. Some brake pads are designed for limited duration race use and some for longer full time racing. Other pads are designed for spirited street use or for driver of premium cars who want less dust from their pads.

HOW RELIABLE ARE THE REVIEWS

Forums contain some very aggressive characters who use a variety of expression levels to point out their positive and negative comments. Dont place too much faith in people who bad mouth products without a logical reason, look for brake pad reviews by groups of drivers and try to extract a balanced view. The saying is one mans meat is another mans poison and often people choose and buy the wrong grade of brake pads and then write aggressive comments about them that are often out of date as the technology moves on or simply a cover up for their own error in choosing the pad grade in the first place.

How to make brakes

Brakes consist of numerous elements and usually include a brake caliper which applies pressure onto the brake pad which in turn clamps on to each side of a brake rotor made usually of cast iron or stainless steel and causes deceleration.

Automotive brakes which employ the cast iron brake rotor technology in 99% of cases usually use brake pads made of semi metallic or organic materials impregnated for durability and performance demands with metals and fibres. These brake pads are produced by blending the fibres, with the other ingredients and binding them with a petroleum based resin into a preform cake or puck that resembles the actual shape of the pad required. These friction material cakes or pucks are then placed onto a pressed steel backing plate and under heat and pressure in a press the plate and friction material are fused together.

Many brake pad manufacturers apply glue to the steel backing plate to enhance the bonding of the two parts but in recent years mechanical inter locks have been devised which remove the need for glue. After the initial molding process which produces a green or semi cured product many brake pads require baking for 3-5 hours in an oven to finally cure the brake pads and remove volatile elements which would cause the brakes to fade under aggressive use. The brake pads are then painted or powder coated to prevent corrosion and surface ground sometimes adding edge chamfers or expansion slots to enchance various performance aspects of the brakes.

Many motorcycle brakes also use semi metallic or organic brakes but recent advances in technology have brought sintered metal brake pads into the world of brakes. The advantage of the sintered metal pads are that a more compact brake pad in size can be made which also has considerable durability advantages over its earlier stablemates. This allows the brake caliper to be smaller and reduces the all important unsprung weight of a motorcycle. Sintered brakes are usually made from a copper alloy blend although sintered iron was tried with little success for cost reasons in the 90’s.

Sintered brakes are made still employing a steel backing plate which is always copper coated and it is this copper coating to the steel backing plates which forms the adhesive layer. Much in the same way as with organic and semi metallic brakes, the puck or friction material compact is pre formed and positioned of the copper coated steel backing plate and the two married together are placed in one of two different kinds of furnaces where under applied pressure the copper between the puck and the copper coated plate fuse together and effectively brake the two components together. Bonds strengths obtained in the production of sintered brakes are many times higher than with simple glue bonded brake pads and as such are a safety enhancement.

Unlike organic or semi metallic brakes sintered disc pads do not require any curing after the furnace braking. It is normal however to coin or grind the surface of the friction material to produce a perfectly flat surface to the components and speed up the bedding in time. Some manufaturers coat the surface of their brake pads with special materials to help bed-in.

The Truth About High Performance Brakes

Brakes are the most safety critical part of any moving vehicle and in the case of cars and motorcycles quite often when brakes are used in anger, standard is just not good enough. The sport street use or trackday and race use of motor vehicles and motorcycles has led to a need for higher performance brakes such as disc brake pads and brake rotors or discs.

So what does high performance mean and how do we measure this performance ? Brake pads which are made of blends of petro chemical resins and other ingredients are made to a budget by car builders and are one of the first thing to be changed on a vehicles brakes when users are involved in sport or race use. A high performance brake pad will be one which has good friction level and pedal feel on first application and can hold this level of performance throughout the whole braking cycles. Brakes must not “Fade” or fall on in performance under the heat of braking. Not only must high performance brakes work effectively under heat and load they must have good durability. Additives such a copper or coke are blended into pads used on high performance brake systems to enhance durability.

Brake fluids are also tested in high performance brakes and because most fluids are hygroscopic meaning they absorb moisture a higher specification fluid is needed and even that will need regular changing and flushing to keep brakes up to par with the target usage.

Finally the brake rotors themselves must be of a decent quality G3000 Grey iron or better and if possible made from virgin alloy ingot rather than reprocessed irons which are common in 99% of aftermarket brakes. Years ago rotor castings used for automobile brakes were annealed or atmosphere aged to allow the castings to settle after being made. No longer does this happen due to cost restraints on brakes particularly by car builders and so the duty of care falls upon the brake pad to work effectively but not to cause damage to the brake rotor by overheat.

By virtue of the physics involved, brakes work by exchanging kinetic energy or momentum into one of three other energy forms, these being heat light or sound. There are no others. Therefore as it is desirous not to have immense noise from brakes and light would only be obtained by massive over heating of the brake rotor, heat is the method by which the energy exchange in brakes occurs.

This means that brakes can glow orange in high performance use, pads can overheat and fade and rotors could even develop cracks if the brake system is not designed correctly.

In automobile applications cooling of the components within the brakes is usually aided by the ducting of cool air which involves scoops in the front vehicles body work directing cool air as the car is driven onto the brake components. This can reduce overheating of the brakes by 30-40% and prevent caliper seal damage as well as rotor over heat and pad fade.

Car Brakes
ebc brake products

Car brakes are a serious safety item and to get the best from your car and avoid a possible accident you need to treat such items and the servicing of them with great respect.

The modern petrol engine car can generate up to 400 horsepower with 2 tons of metal travelling at speeds of over 120 miles per hour. The heat generated in stopping a car from such speeds is enough to heat up 7 gallons of water to boiling points so that indicates the amount of energy that is transformed by car brakes into heat when you use the brakes hard.

Braking hard like this shows up the quality of cheap and nasty car brakes in a flash when brake fade and even complete loss of brake effectiveness can occur. Modern car brakes consist of a hydraulic brake system employing four brake rotors and four brake calipers all inter connected and balanced. Temperatures of the brake pads alone can pass 1000 degrees in heavy braking and brake fade on cheap car brakes can be as low as at 400 degrees.

Braking hard like this shows up the quality of cheap and nasty car brakes in a flash when brake fade and even complete loss of brake effectiveness can occur. Modern car brakes consist of a hydraulic brake system employing four brake rotors and four brake calipers all inter connected and balanced. Temperatures of the brake pads alone can pass 1000 degrees in heavy braking and brake fade on cheap car brakes can be as low as at 400 degrees.

Brakes have changed very little in their basic concept since first introduced in the mid 1950’s after drum brakes because less fashionable and the industry standard has become disc pads working on cast iron brake rotors. Cast iron is a very useful material in this application since it is relatively inexpensive and able to withstand huge temperatures in use of brakes without degradation of the material matrix. In heavier vehicle such as cars and with such uses even steel would distort and buckle and would not be an ideal choice for brakes. Motorcycles however do use stainless steel brake rotors in most cases because the brake rotors on a motorcycle are external and run at quite low temperatures. A recent study of from motorcycle brake temperatures showed that the brake rotor itself never exceeded 280 degrees C in temp whereas car brakes regularly hit 300-400 degrees and even more. Cast iron brake rotors, which are made thicker on car brake application than a steel motorcycle rotor are quite heavy and this tends to limit from being used on Motorcycles where weight is an important consideration.

Car Brakes – Part Two
ebc brake products

Car brakes should always be chosen depending on the type of vehicle you drive and what sort of performance you need from them.

General Road Use

If you just need car brakes to suit general road use on all types of vehicle that just require an OEM replacement part then you won’t go far wrong considering purchasing EBC Ultimax2™ Brake Pads and Premium Brake Rotors. These brakes are also great for faster cars that only require an OEM replacement part.

Ultimax 2 Brake Pads Ultimax2™ Brake Pads are the best car brake pads available for general road use as they work well in all climates, can handle the weather conditions in all seasons and are 100% ECO friendly.
RK Series Premium OE Brake Rotors Premium Brake Rotors are perfect for general road use as they are high quality, strong and coated in a Geomet™ anti corrosion paint offering a long lasting and hard wearing car brake product.

Spirited Street Use

The best brakes for spirited street use if you need an upgrade from OEM standard parts are Greenstuff brake pads and USR slotted car brake discs. For higher horse-powered vehicles the best car brakes available are Redstuff brake pads and GD Series or USR slotted car brake discs.

EBC Greenstuff 2000 Brake Pads Greenstuff brake pads are great for more spirited road use as they have 25% better grip than OE and are designed for higher performance, especially on lighter cars. This is because of the softer car brake compound.
EBC USR Rotors USR slotted car brake discs offer a high friction and silent running solution as the vents help not only to remove road debris but also aid in the quiet running aspects of this car brake. Also coated with anti-corrosion Geomet™ paint for longevity.
EBC Redstuff Brake Pads Redstuff brake pads are suitable for prestige, faster import cars such as European & Asian cars and offer a low dust solution.
EBC GD Series Brake Rotors GD sport car brake discs are great for spirited driving as they are not only self cooling due to the wide aperture slots, but also feature the famous dimpled finish which aids in brake pad degassing.

Fastest Street Use

EBC Yellowstuff Brake Pads Yellowstuff car brake pads are suitable for the faster driving style on the street as they have an improved brake effect of up to 40% and are extremely heat resistant so can withstand plenty of heavy braking.

In Car Brakes – Part Three we’ll look at race series car brakes and brakes for larger vehicles such as truck and SUV.

If you are considering a car brake upgrade at any point, it’s always the safest option to choose a reputable car brake installer or fitting station.

Squeaky Brakes
Ultimax 2 Shims

Want to know what causes squeaky brakes or how to tell a quality brake pad from a bad one? EBC Brake pads are 100% British made and totally asbestos free. They are made with aramid fiber technology which blends higher quality pads and reduces rotor wear by half compared to semi metallic pads. This is especially true in race use.

The sport ranges of Greenstuff, Redstuff and Yellowstuff are well documented but general points about EBC Ultimax2™brake pads that make them a great buy are these.

Fully slotted and chamfered and many items shimmed.

On the Ultimax range if experience shows us a system is prone to squeaky brakes or brake noise the pads are automatically chamfered but even if not chamfered Ultimax is a very quick pad to bed in and any initial noises usually when the rotors are not matched or bedded quickly go away.

The slots in the pads prevent center line cracking and the chamfers have several benefits.

Chamfers prevent tip drag which causes pad areas not supported by the caliper pistons to drag as the backplate flexes by microns under braking. Tip drag leads to glazing and squeaky brakes mid life.

Chamfers also re-align the stresses in the pad surface along the angled faces of the chamfer to reduce the tendency of the pad to lift at its edges. Rather like the ropes on a tent peg hold better because they are at an angle whereas when you want to remove a tent peg you pull it vertically up and it comes out of the ground easily.

By preventing edge lifting you prevent moisture ingress under the pad compact and prevent what we call corrosion debonds.

The Ultimax2™brake pads compound is EBC’s most long serving and most successful brake compound. It is a G rated friction meaning ideal and approved performance on European (and Asian) cars and because most Asian cars are built with E or F grade friction the Ultimax pads once bedded feel much stronger in the brake than Asian made parts such as are originally fitted to cars. Many Asian made pads would not pass this UK R 90 test.

Ultimax2™brake pads boast the widest range of ECE R 90 approvals in the world and this regulation is a great test for all vehicles.

All EBC pads are now coated with a polymer brake in coating containing an abrasive particle that speeds up bed in and gives a positive brake response from first use. Saves the driver leaving the garage and going straight through a red light.The coating prevents bed in brake lag and is a major safety feature of all EBC pads.

Ultimax2™brake pads also have a great balance of compressibility, heat sink and scrub factor.

Optimum compressibility is the means by which good pads set themselves apart from bad ones and is a very exact formulation technique only found by trial and error in thousands of tests and years of experience. Ultimax is a clear winner in this field and is based on the 70 year pedigree of our factory with engineering knowledge handed down methods through two generations.

Heat sink or the ability of the pad to absorb heat and remove it from the immediate pad/rotor interface is GOOD with Ultimax but far better with copper inclusive pads such as Greenstuff and Redstuff. All EBC pads are baselined to a minimum heat transfer factor to ensure no hot spotting or rotor overheat occurs.

Scrub factor is that little piece of science few people understand, it is the ability of the pad to gently clean a rotor and keep it “Honest” throughout its life without creating lots of dust or fast rotor wear. Several secret ingredients in EBC brake pads achieve this comfortably.

Squeaky brakes often occur in early use of the car and in most cases if the rotors are not badly worn or scored the noise will stop within 300-500 miles.

If you still have squeaky brakes after this 1000 miles it is because the pads have still not bedded in properly and the condition of your rotors is so bad they are clearly in need of replacement or turning.

Hydraulic Brakes
BSD Rotors

Hydraulic brakes for motor vehicles have improved much over the years and now form the basis of the stopping system on almost every car, truck, motorcycle and ATV.

Consisting of a brake pedal or brake lever on a motorcycle connected to a master cylinder by a mechanical linkage hydraulic fluid is pressurized and flows towards a slave cylinder or caliper which contains the frictional elements. These are known as disc pads and contact against a brake rotor to provide friction and stopping power.

Hydraulic brakes provide leverage ratios far higher than mechanical brake systems, they are compact and easy to maintain and service and do not suffer from wear in linkages etc that have obsoleted their predecessors which were linked or mechanical or even cable brakes.

The brake fluids used in hydraulic brakes must be changed and flushed periodically as most hydraulic brakes use glycol fluids which are hygroscopic which means they absorb moisture.

Another great advantage of hydraulic brakes is that flexible, even rubber fluid transfer lines can be used making it easy to route the hydraulics around hard to reach areas on a vehicle. Some rubber lines or hoses as they are know in hydraulic brakes are braided with steel casing to allow them to accept higher line pressures and the prevent chafing of the rubber lines inside.

The seals used in hydraulic brakes can be made from various rubber compounds and seal the sliding components with the brake and prevent leakage. It is often possible to completely overhaul hydraulic brakes especially motor vehicle calipers which are costly to replace.

Many other vehicles use hydraulic brakes such as cranes and lifts or elevators, aeroplanes, mining vehicles, the uses and application for hydraulic brakes are endless and all use similar systems and components.

It is typical to see efficiency ratios far higher in hydraulic brakes because of the very low friction involved and mechanical advantage ratios of 30 to 1 are quite common. It has to be considered that higher mechanical advantage is inbuilt the more unit movement there will have to be of the actuator and in some cases this restricts the leverage ratios designed into hydraulic brakes, even so the efficiency, flexibility, ease of service, costs and actual product weight makes the hydraulic brake a clear winner in its field.

Front Brake Pads
Front Brake Pads

Most modern vehicles have two sets of brakes, mainly modern cars have two disc brake systems including front brake pads and rear brake pads respectively.

The Front brake pads are probably the most important single component on your car and will undertake 70% upwards of the stopping power on your vehicle. It is essential therefore to use quality front brake pads.

Low quality front brake pads can lead to some serious consequences and choosing the right compound is important. When braking a motor vehicle as already stated 70% of the brake effort is achieved by the front brakes. Then consider that there are many difference disc pad offerings on the market, some good and not so good but more importantly, THEY ALL HAVE DIFFERENT FRICTION LEVELS.

There are several grades of brake material used on front brake pads and rear brake pads and it is essential that you do not fit LOWER friction brake pads to the front of your vehicle than are fitted to the rear.

European cars are all built with what are known as high friction pads bearing the friction grades G or GF. If you buy any old pad from a retailer and get sold a pad with a lower letter code such as an E or an F code (printed on the rear of the pad) and fit this to the front of a car with the original G rated pads still in the rear it is highly possible you will throw your car into a tailspin under heavy braking. European manufactured pads all now confirm to a new brake safety regulation to prevent this details of which can be seen here: ECE Regulation 90.

So the next time you buy front brake pads, check carefully as your own safety could be at risk if you buy a cheap pad , save $20 and write off your car and even injure yourself.

A good front brake pad should cost between $75 and $100 and if you pay less you will likely get less.

Ceramic Brake Pads
Front Brake Pads

Do Ceramic brake pads really work and what do they do exactly?

That’s a question a lot of people have and the answer is in fact its just a buzz word for an organic brake pad made with less metallic fibers and perhaps man made fibers. A very good pad that contains some Ceramic PARTICLES is the EBC Redstuff which as a low metallic also has the benefit of low dust.

However Ceramic brake pads are generally a term for a group of pads known as NAO or non asbestos organic pads and EBC Brakes was of course the pioneer of this technology back from its early roots 70 years ago when it was part of the BBA group and manufactured products known as Top Dog in the UK. These Aramid fibers used in Ceramic brake pads are certainly NOT Ceramic fibers because although some good friends from the Far East do actually use Ceramic fibers they are a carcinogen and as dangerous if not more dangerous than asbestos.

The organic pads made by reputable suppliers MAY contain small amounts of Ceramic particles (not fibers) in a granular form but this does nothing more as an additive than the other naturally mined ores that are common in brake pads such as vermiculite or barites crystals that help build a decent brake pad. If you have a car that is fitted with Ceramic brake pads and your dealer or service provider tells you they must be replaced with a Ceramic pad, tell him to read this article because he is in fact blowing smoke. There is NOTHING a Ceramic based brake pad can do that a good non asbestos organic pad cannot.

Aramid fibers came about when the world changed away from asbestos. The fork in the road gave rise to two distinct choices, organic pads or semi metallic pads.

So basically you have it Ceramic brake pads are just a non metallic type pad and essentially a buzz word and you need pay no more attention to people pushing them as a eutopic solution to brake problems as green cheese.

Do you need special brake pads for ABS Brakes?
ABS Brakes Illustration

Basically it’s a myth put about by people trying to sell you higher priced parts but there is no proven engineering behind any claim that ABS brakes use different brake pads to non ABS system vehicles.

A brake pad can work just as well on both ABS Brakes and Non ABS Brakes and a decent pad is all you are looking for.

ABS Brakes have been around for some years now and some systems are better than others. Basically ABS Brakes have an interrupt device that senses when the wheels have locked up and for a split second releases the brake whilst you still have you foot on the brake pedal to allow the wheels to rotate again slightly. This happened hundreds of times a second and will allow much shorter stopping distances under good control in heavy braking or when braking on slippery surfaces such as water ice or snow.

Brake lock-up causes cars to slide and rear wheel lockup will cause a vehicle to spin out of control, therefore control of all four wheels is essential and it is logical to have ABS Brakes on all four wheels.

When choosing pads for your ABS Brakes look for the following:

  • First if you do not want to pay out for higher priced original parts there are plenty of quality pad manufacturers around and you should be confident that an aftermarket brake pad can be just as effective or even better than original parts. A friction level that is compatible with your vehicle is desirable and one that has such marking as the ECE R90 brake safety regulation which outlaws cheap imports in Europe or the USA FMSI letter grading is a good starting point on evaluating pad choices. A pad that is made in an accredited factory such as one with ISO 9000 approval is also another good way to be guided.
  • Keeping your vehicle brakes well serviced is a must for the modern driver where speeds and hazards are on the increase on most roads.
  • If you plan to do your brake pad or rotor install at home refer to the manufacturers service guide, do not attempt this work unless you are a reasonably competent mechanic and have the right equipment.
  • However messing with the ABS system electronics is NOT something you should try and if your vehicle develops an ABS Brakes fault we strongly suggest you return the vehicle to a competent main dealer.
Brake Pad Backplates with NRS Hooks

Just received another upgrade from world leader in sport pads and discs EBC Brakes. EBC Backing plates get made with NRS system hooks. This patented process created by NUCAP of Canada called NRS or the NUCAP RETENTION SYSTEM builds the best pads in the world with higher shear strength than any pad built and EBC are the ONLY UK producer (and one of few in the world) who use and are licensed for this process.

The NRS hooks are applied on a production line that costs almost £1.0 million to install at the new EBC Pineham Pressworks where all EBC steel backing plates are made and is a carefully controlled process that up-forms the hooks using unique tooling on a slow action press supported on nitrogen springs that gently creates the Velcro-like hooks on the steels.

In the molding process ( video showing process shown here …)

The friction material and bi directional hooks become heavily bound and cannot come loose.

This not only creates improved pad shear strength but prevents corrosion debonds and edge lifting in longer service life of the pads in conditions of damp salt water atmospheres or rainy climates.

Many EBC pads are now made using NRS.

This picture shows the EVO and Impreza plate for the pads used in the Brembo Caliper EBC numbers Redstuff DP31210C and Yellowstuff DP41210R and also the new Bluestuff and Orangestuff versions.

EBC Evo Plate
This image shows close inspection and measurement of the NRS hooks to ensure compliance in the EBC pressworks inspection room.
EBC Fanny Plate
Closer inspection under a magnifier to check hooks are correctly formed and comply with the strict NRS licensing rules.
EBC Old Brake Selector Tables

Please use the tables to help select compound choices and get an idea on how to select and blend them with whats on your automotive vehicle or motorbike. These tables are only a rough guide. If you need further advice please contact our friendly team of technicians.

Automotive UK Brakes Selector

Driving Style Best Pads Best Rotors
General road use on all types of vehicle requiring premium OEM part replacement Ultimax D Replacement Series
Faster cars requiring premium OEM part replacement Ultimax D Replacement Series
Spirited street use as upgrade from Ultimax Greenstuff USR Series
Spirited street use on higher horsepower cars Redstuff USR Series or GD Series
Fastest street use Yellowstuff D Replacement Series
Fast street, multiple track day and race Yellowstuff BSD Series
Track day formula for fast street and occasional track day Yellowstuff D Replacement Series (or GD if race series allows)
SUV, 4x4 modest brake upgrade Greenstuff 6000 Series GD Series
SUV, 4x4 maximum stopping for towing and loads etc. Yellowstuff GD Series
SUV and 4x4 modest brake upgrade with lowest dust Greenstuff 7000 Series GD Series
New NDX formula for track day and longer race use, street use OK Bluestuff D Replacement Series (or GD if race series allows)
Race and track use only (not R90 approved) Orangestuff BSD or D Replacement Series

Motorcycle Brakes Selector

Riding Style Best Pads Best Rotors
Street Sport Aramid Organic X or XC Rotors
Fast offroad Enduro or sport ATV Carbon Enduro OS Series Oversize Kits, SM Series Supermoto Kits or C Suffix Stainless Rotors
Superbike Street Double-H™ X or XC Rotors
ATV Utility R Series Sintered MD Series Carbon Steel Rotors
Superbike Street & Track (also great for supermoto conversions) EPFA Sintered XC Rotors
Motocross Race MXS Sintered OS Series Oversize Kits or C Suffix Stainless
Severe Duty ATV SV Sintered MD Series Carbon Steel Rotors
Supermoto Brakes EPFA or Carbon Supermotard Contour Rotor Kit
Cruiser Brakes-Organic Type for polished or Show rotors FA series Rotors For Big Twins
Cruiser Brakes – Sintered
For heavy bikes, hard braking and longer life
Double-H™ or EPFA Series Rotors For Big Twins
Cruisers (front and rear ) and heavy streetbikes (rears only) for longer life Semi-Sintered™ V-pads™ Rotors For Big Twins
Road Race and Trackday brakes for faster motorcycles New GPFA Grand Prix sintered series XC contour rotors
Street Use Superbike with Streetfighter Looks EPFA Sintered Pads VR Rotors
On Front OK to fit or have on rear
Original Ultimax only
Ultimax Ultimax or original
Greenstuff Greenstuff, Ultimax or Redstuff or original
Redstuff Redstuff or Original
Yellowstuff Yellowstuff,Green,Red,Ultimax or original
How to Choose the Best Big Brake Kit
EBC Apollo Balanced

In this technical article, we are going to run through some of the fundamental braking theory on which EBC Brakes’ unique Balanced Brake Kit™ is based. We will explain why ‘bigger isn’t better, balanced is better’™ and provide the inquisitive customer with all the facts and knowledge they should be aware of before investing in a performance caliper and rotor upgrade kit.

Introduction

For decades car enthusiasts have purchased 'Big Brake Kits' in a mission to improve the braking performance of their vehicles, yet most Big Brake Kits sold in today’s marketplace supply the hardware to upgrade just one of the vehicle’s axles (either front or rear). The consequence is that the braking torque on the upgraded axle is increased significantly, meanwhile the other non-upgraded axle is often left as stock, with the original brake pads and/or original rubber brake lines fitted. The result is that the vehicle fitted with this ‘Big Brake Kit’ likely now has a totally imbalanced braking system, potentially leading to longer overall stopping distances due to the front & rear tires not sharing the braking load proportionately.

Contrary to what the ‘Big Brake Kit’ (or ‘BBK’) name implies, fitting a massively oversized rotor or a brake caliper with a much larger combined piston area than stock is not a steadfast way to improve overall braking performance. In fact, this kind of approach to brake system design is potentially dangerous and is more likely to decrease overall system performance rather than improve it. That’s why EBC Brakes has adopted an altogether different approach for the design of our ‘big brake’ kits, one where EBC carefully selects the optimum brake rotor and caliper combination for each vehicle application. Further still, whilst it is common for front ‘Big Brake Kits’ to include pads and sometimes even braided brake lines for the front axle, EBC also provides matching friction brake pads and braided brake lines for the rear axle, at zero extra cost to you. This unique approach is based on core vehicle dynamic principles and an appreciation of the importance of achieving an appropriately balanced brake system to improve vehicle handling and minimize vehicle stopping distances. EBC has developed a range of vehicle specific brake upgrade kits that make it effortless for our customers to realize the maximum braking performance from their vehicle, by giving them every component they need in one complete upgrade package. Alas, when it concerns EBC Brakes the abbreviation ‘BBK’ adopts a new meaning. Introducing EBC’s Balanced Brake Kit™.

Braking Fundamentals

Before we go into some of the more involved aspects of braking theory it’s important to acknowledge some of the core principles. Firstly, in order to decelerate a moving vehicle all braking torque must be transmitted through the cars contact patches with the road i.e. the cars 4 tires. Fans of Formula 1 will recall commentator Martin Brundle’s quote when one of the drivers locks a wheel under braking: “the wheel is only decelerating whilst the wheel is turning”. Well that isn’t quite accurate, since this logic would imply that when a tire is locked up it has absolutely zero friction with the tarmac, but there is certainly something we should take away from Brundle’s quote here. The exact physical principle Brundle is referring to is: the coefficient of static friction is greater than the coefficient of dynamic friction. What this means is that a tire generates more grip when there is no relative movement between it and the tarmac (i.e. no slip) than when there is dynamic motion between itself and the tarmac (i.e. the tire is slipping or is locked up). Without wishing to go into the finer details of why exactly this is (lots of results on Google if you want to read up further on this) what this principle fundamentally states is that a tire is capable of transmitting more force into the tarmac if it is not slipping. This is easily demonstrated by imagining two identical cars pulling away from a standstill. One driver dumps the clutch and spins away all the engine power, meanwhile the other driver progressively feeds in the clutch to pull away with minimal tire slip. It’s obvious which vehicle will achieve the better getaway.

The fact that the coefficient of static friction is greater than the coefficient of dynamic friction is also the reason why an ABS system releases the brake momentarily if the wheel locks. Releasing the brake for a fraction allows the wheel to regain the same rotational speed as the vehicle, restoring the condition of zero relative motion between the tire and the tarmac which in turn increases the coefficient of friction between the tire and the tarmac. A tire with more grip can transmit higher braking loads, which ultimately means the car is able to decelerate at a higher rate. This is why an ABS assisted stop is shorter than if the car simply skidded to a stop with all wheels locked up.

Taking into consideration both things we just learned:

  • All braking torque must be transmitted through the 4 tires into the tarmac
  • A tires ability to transmit force decreases when it begins to slip

We can substantiate that the maximum possible rate of deceleration for any given vehicle is achieved when all the tires are right on the limit of the available grip, just before any of the tires lock up. Suddenly the importance of having a properly balanced brake upgrade becomes apparent if lowest possible stopping distances are to be achieved. If the front brakes are locked up but the rears are doing hardly any of the work, all the surplus available grip from the rear tires is not being put to good use towards decelerating the vehicle. This is the fundamental flaw with front only ‘Big Brake Kits’ and explains how it is possible to spend thousands on a performance brake upgrade but end up with a vehicle that brakes worse than stock…

Now all this talk about being on the limit of available grip and brakes locking up is commonplace if you’re a racing driver, but chances are you won’t be locking up brakes if you’re using your car on the public roads for a trip down to the shops. Hence you might be reading this article and thinking ‘why should I bother with a performance brake upgrade if I don’t drive my vehicle on the limit all of the time?’. Well EBC Brakes do not infer for a moment that just because you fit one of our Balanced Brake Kits™ that you should be pulling emergency stops on the limit of locking wheels every time you hit the brake pedal, but the truth is that having a properly balanced brake set-up reduces the tendency to lock up under braking in the first place. The fact that all four corners of the car are doing their fair share of the braking means that you have more headroom to brake later and decelerate harder in a controlled and safe way before any of the tires exceed the grip available, whether this be on the public highway or indeed on a race track. Furthermore, having a properly balanced brake system also translates to improvements in the vehicle’s handling, reducing the tendency to oversteer or understeer when braking at corner-entry or whilst trail braking. Quite simply, when it comes to performance brake upgrades: bigger isn’t better, balanced is better.™

With all that extra braking performance on tap, fitting a Balanced Brake Kit™ is like buying a new sports car. Sure you won’t do 0-60 mph in 5.0 seconds every time you pull away from standstill, but on that occasion you find yourself on a clear road (or track) with the sun shining it’s nice to know that you’ve got performance in reserve to have that truly spirited drive.

Anyway, back to the theory. Having already established that the maximum vehicle deceleration is achieved when all 4 tires are operating at the limit of available grip but without locking up, it seems convenient to define the equation which governs the grip produced by a tire:

Force on tire equation
Where µ = coefficient of friction of the tire and FΝ = Normal force or load acting through the tire.

The above equation shows that if either the coefficient of friction or the load through the tyre is increased, the maximum force that the tire can transmit to the tarmac also increases. Fitment of a higher quality/grippier tire seems like a blatantly obvious way to increase the available grip, but the fact that increasing the load acting through the tire also serves to increase the available grip is perhaps slightly less obvious. Assuming the vehicle has the same quality of tires fitted on all 4 corners (strongly advisable by the way!) we can simplify the above equation, disregarding the coefficient of friction term as a constant and concluding that the available grip from a tire is directly proportional to the loading through the tire. It now seems like we have the very straightforward task ahead of us in our quest to determine the sweet-spot for balanced braking nirvana. Simply drive the vehicle onto a weigh bridge to determine the weight distribution over the front and rear axles, then design a brake system to match. For example, if we took a vehicle with perfect 50:50 weight distribution, the perfect brake balance would also be 50:50. Seems too easy? Well, this approach would be entirely accurate under static conditions, however when we consider dynamic conditions and more specifically a vehicle decelerating from speed, another crucial factor comes into play: weight transfer.

Weight Transfer Under Braking

Weight transfer is the action of the vehicle’s weight getting thrown forwards onto the front axle under braking. There are several factors that will dictate exactly how much weight is transferred under braking, as we shall see in just a moment, but no matter how much you attempt to minimize weight transfer it can never be reduced to zero. This means that whenever you hit the brakes, the front axle becomes more loaded whilst the rear axle becomes simultaneously unloaded, which in turn has a knock-on effect on the brake balance.

This seems like a good point to introduce the equation for weight transfer:

Weight Transfer equation

Hence we can see that:

  • A higher deceleration = more weight transfer
  • A higher overall vehicle weight = more weight transfer
  • A higher center of gravity = more weight transfer
  • A shorter wheelbase = more weight transfer

The most important observation from the above equation is that weight transfer is proportional to the rate of deceleration: hit the brakes harder and you’re going to get more weight transfer. Assume for instance that a car has a perfect 50:50 weight distribution when at a standstill. This same vehicle performing a typical 0.5g stop might have a 60:40 weight distribution biased to the front, whilst the same vehicle performing an emergency stop of 1.0g or greater might have a weight shift as dramatic as 75:25. The diagram below illustrates how the rate of deceleration affects the vehicles weight distribution.

Average stop illustration
Average stop = 0.5g decel
Emergency stop illustration
Emergency stop = 1.0g+ decel

Any increase in weight on the front axle increases the available grip from the front tires, whilst the lightening of the rear axle in turn reduces available rear grip. An increase in the available grip on the front axle should be matched by an increase in the braking torque for the axle, since the tires can now be worked harder before the available grip is exceeded and they lock up. Hence we can see that the principle of weight transfer constantly impacts the sweet spot for brake balance. Suddenly the task of designing that perfectly Balanced Brake Kit™ looks a little trickier.

If the driver braked with the same rate of deceleration every time, this would make a brake engineers task considerably easier as they could then set the system up to operate well under those exact conditions, but given that it is entirely unreasonable to assume that the vehicle will decelerate at the same rate every instance the brakes are applied, what we actually end up with is a brake set-up with a certain degree of compromise. This compromise allows the vehicle to perform well under the wide range of situations and conditions that the vehicle might encounter.

Given the numerous factors that we now realize come into play, you might be thinking ‘how exactly do you achieve a balanced brake system then?’. The first step is always to define the desired attributes of the final system. This will in turn highlight where a compromise should be made, or more specifically, whether the vehicles brake system needs a ‘front bias’ (over braked front axle), ‘rear bias’ (over braked rear axle), or a ‘neutral bias’ (even split between front and rear axles).

Generally there is a trade-off between outright braking performance (i.e. shortest stopping distances) and a more conservative balance which favors drive-ability and forgiveness when approaching the limit. A vehicle with a rear brake bias is unforgiving and rarely desirable since any locking of the rear brakes causes oversteer, which is unduly difficult to control for the inexperienced driver. On the other hand, a vehicle with a front bias is the conservative approach and very common in road-vehicles, since locking the front brakes leads to understeer, but understeer is comparatively much easier to control for the driver than oversteer. Finally, a neutral brake balance gives the best trade-off between control-ability and outright performance and is therefore considered the optimum brake set-up if shortest overall stopping distances are the goal.

Despite a neutral brake balance giving the shortest stopping distances, you might be surprised to hear that all vehicle manufacturers set their cars up with a 5-10% front brake bias from the factory. The reason manufacturers adopt this conservative approach is because it makes the car easier and more benign to control for the average Joe driver, however, the trade-off is that some braking performance is sacrificed because the rear axle is not doing as much of its share of the braking load as it could be. Before we continue it should be noted however that a small number of modern vehicles do use a bias valve that sends more braking torque to the rear axle if the vehicle is heavily loaded (more passengers for example) but this device only adjusts the brake bias of the car under heavily loaded conditions. This bias valve should therefore not be confused as having an impact on the general brake bias of the vehicle, the vehicle itself will still be set up with a 5-10% front bias.

The philosophy of an EBC Balanced Brake Kit™ is to supply new components that together make a fine adjustment to the vehicle’s braking system (whether a rear bias valve for loaded conditions is fitted or not). By careful pairing of the components, EBC can move the bias rearward ever so slightly, back towards a more neutral brake balance rather than the 5-10% front bias a vehicle has from the factory. This more neutral brake balance ensures that the available grip from both axles is utilized fully under harder braking, giving better vehicle handling, reduced brake component wear and shorter overall stopping distances. Let’s go into a little more detail around how exactly EBC Brakes select the components of a Balanced Brake Kit™ for a specific vehicle.

Fine Tuning Braking Torque

Lets start off with a diagram and equation for braking torque:

Braking torque illustration Braking torque equation
Where µ = friction coefficient of pads, r = torque arm radius of pad on the rotor (which is taken as the midpoint on the rotors pad track), F = force applied by brake caliper (NOTE: the constant 2 comes from the fact that the caliper force F clamps the pads onto both sides of the brake rotor)

From this equation it can be seen that:

  • Use of a higher friction brake pad = higher braking torque (EBC’s specialty)
  • Fitment of a brake caliper with larger clamping force (i.e. a caliper that uses larger pistons) = higher braking torque
  • A larger torque arm radius (i.e. fitting a larger brake rotor) = higher braking torque

Thinking about the brakes on a typical road car for a minute, this explains why we generally see larger diameter rotors fitted on the front axle, usually accompanied by larger brake calipers that use larger pistons. The differences between the braking components used on the front and rear axles are all evidence of vehicle manufacturers tuning the brake balance, fitting larger components on the front axle to shift the brake balance forward in order to account for the effects of weight transfer that increases the load on the front axle under braking.

Now for some myth busting:

Before going any further, notice how the above equation makes no mention to the number of pistons fitted in the caliper, it only refers to the caliper’s clamping force as F. Since Force = pressure X area the number of pistons in the caliper has zero effect on the caliper’s clamping force, the only thing that matters is the pressure and piston area, or in the case of multi-piston calipers, the combined summated piston area. Since the generated system hydraulic pressure is proportional to the force applied to the master cylinder, providing the master cylinder is not changed then any given force on the brake pedal will result in an identical system pressure. We can therefore ignore the pressure term for a given pedal effort, stating that the caliper clamping force F is directly proportional to the caliper’s combined piston area. It is therefore straightforward to deduce that increasing the caliper’s combined piston area will increase the clamping force produced by the brake caliper (at the expense of having a slightly longer pedal travel, due to the higher volumetric displacement associated with a larger piston area).

Quite simply this means that a 4-piston caliper fitted with larger pistons will have the exact same clamping force as a 16 piston caliper fitted with tiny pistons, providing that the combined piston area of both calipers are the same. It is surprising how often customers are miss-sold calipers with higher quantities of pistons, being persuaded through misguided marketing that the more pistons a caliper has, the ‘better’ the braking is. The only arguable benefit of using a higher number of smaller pistons is a potentially more even force distribution across the backplate and a slight improvement in pad cooling (since more of the pad backplate is exposed to fresh air) but in the grand scheme of things these benefits really are marginal and the fact that all EBC calipers use serrated nose pistons as standard totally nullifies this advantage, since serrated nose pistons allow better air circulation over the pad backplate than what could be achieved with several non-serrated nose pistons anyway. Furthermore, the first calculation EBC makes when designing a new brake caliper is to determine the optimal force distribution for the chosen pad shape, which in turn dictates the optimal number of pistons for the brake caliper. For example: take a 132mm width pad, EBC would choose a 4-pot design for this relatively narrow pad, whereas some competitors opt for a 6-pot design. EBC do make a 6-pot design, but it uses a different and larger brake pad that is 20mm wider and 4mm deeper. This larger pad needs 6-pistons to achieve an optimal force distribution, the smaller pad simply does not need 6-pistons. Hence care should be exercised when comparing different brake calipers, just because a caliper uses more pistons does not necessarily mean it is superior. It is quite simply not correct to compare calipers solely based on the piston count, instead more scientific measures should be used for comparison, such as combined piston area and pad area/pad volume.

In truth, the only thing you can guarantee by purchasing a caliper with a high number of pistons is that it will have a high price tag, because caliper pistons are machined to extremely tight tolerances and are therefore very expensive to produce. More pistons means more cost, so calipers designed with an unnecessarily high number of pistons will be very expensive, and if they are not very expensive it probably means that corners have been cut elsewhere, reducing the cost and quality of other components in the brake caliper design to reach a final price point that the customer will accept.

EBC Brakes have no interest in entering the ‘top trumps’ contest with other caliper manufacturers who unnecessarily include high numbers of pistons in their brake calipers solely for the purposes of false marketing. Instead EBC Brakes opt to allocate budget to components that actually make a difference to the performance of our products and add value to our customers, such as all of our brake calipers using stainless steel X-over pipes, stainless bleed nipples, stainless pad wear plates, serrated nose pistons and also hard anodizing the caliper body before the final paint top-coat. All these things add up to produce a brake caliper that is of the highest quality and will look great and perform great for years to come.

Now that we’ve busted that myth, lets turn our attention back to the equation for braking torque. The torque arm radius r is determined by the size of brake rotor fitted and generally a brake rotor should be the largest diameter you can accommodate under the wheel rim. A larger rotor usually has a larger swept area which increases the rotor’s ability to absorb and then dissipate heat, a key requirement for high performance brake systems. The fact is however that fitment of a larger brake rotor than stock means that in order to maintain the same brake torque on the axle, the size of the brake caliper pistons need to be reduced accordingly. By careful selection of the appropriate rotor size and piston sizes, it is possible to adjust the mechanical components of the vehicle’s brake system with finesse in order to achieve the desired brake balance across the front and rear axles. This is the balancing act considered during the design of every EBC Balanced Brake Kit™.

Nevertheless, up till now we have ignored the critical µ (pronounced “mew”) term in the equation, the coefficient of friction of the brake pads themselves …

Effects of Pads on Brake Balance

It’s no secret that fitting higher performance brake pads can significantly improve your vehicle’s braking performance, even when retaining the stock brake calipers and brake rotors. Quite simply, increasing the coefficient of friction of the pads proportionately increases the braking torque on that axle. Providing the tires are of high enough quality to allow this additional braking torque to be transmitted through to the tarmac, then the vehicle’s stopping distances will decrease appreciably.

It’s also fairly obvious to conceive that if you fit higher performance pads on the front axle, but leave the stock pads fitted at the rear, you are going to shift the brake balance towards the upgraded axle considerably. For this reason EBC Brakes always recommend to our customers that when upgrading pads they must not ignore the rear. You should always upgrade the front and rear axles together. Despite this recommendation we regularly hear of people fitting much higher performance friction pads at the front but neglecting the rear, who wrongly assume that the rear pads “don’t do anything anyway”. Unfortunately, we see the exact same enigma being adopted by manufacturers of conventional ‘Big Brake Kits’.

No front ‘Big Brake Kit’ supplied on today’s marketplace contains any components for the rear axle whatsoever. By supplying high-performance pads for the front axle only, the customer often leaves the rear axle with stock pads installed, assuming the big brake kit they’ve spent thousands on contains everything they need to realize significant improvements in braking performance. Another common issue is that because the vast majority of performance brake calipers use racing brake pad shapes, often it can be the case that the manufacturer of the race pad shape does not even make pads to fit the vehicle’s stock rear caliper, making it difficult to match friction profiles for the front and rear.

By not having matching friction pads installed front and rear the overall vehicle brake balance will be affected. This problem is exacerbated when things start to get hot. A stock brake pad is manufactured on a budget and typically begins to fade when temperatures soar past 400 degrees C. When the brake pad fades what we technically mean is that its coefficient of friction is falling. Observation of our braking torque equation above shows that if the coefficient of friction decreases, the braking torque decreases proportionately. This is a big problem for brake balance. The rapidly fading stock rear pads quickly give up when the going gets tough, which in turn shifts all the braking load onto the front axle. This massively overworks the front axle, causing front pad temperatures to increase thus accelerating brake pad wear. If the vehicle continues to be driven hard front pad temperatures may rise to a point where even the high-performance pads begin to fade, leading to brake fade on both axles with vast increases in stopping distances.

For this reason every EBC Balanced Brake Kit™ includes matching friction high-performance brake pads for the stock rear caliper, at zero extra cost to you. This means that the front and rear pads have the same friction coefficient vs. temperature profile, so that as the pads are worked hard their frictional characteristics vary equally in response to the elevated temperatures. This not only results in a balanced brake system from ‘cold’, but also means the vehicle retains a totally balanced brake system at elevated temperatures. This is one of the key factors that differentiates an EBC Balanced Brake Kit™ from a conventional front only ‘Big Brake Kit’ and gives EBC Balanced Brake Kits™ the edge in braking performance, reducing overall stopping distances.

Effects of Braided Lines on Brake Balance

Brake lines are often overlooked when it comes to brake caliper upgrade kits, but the fact is that brake lines also play a crucial role in brake balance. The brake lines form the hydraulic link between your foot and the brake caliper. A vehicle’s brake lines are made up of either ‘hard lines’ (inflexible metal tubes that run through the vehicle chassis) or ‘flexi lines’ (the flexible hose that links the brake caliper to the hard line in the wheel well). To all intents and purposes the vehicle hard lines have zero flex, meaning they do not degrade braking performance. However, all mainstream vehicle manufacturers fit their vehicles with low cost rubber brake lines from the factory, which are prone to flex and thus do play a role in braking performance and pedal feel. It is fairly typical for a front ‘Big Brake Kit’ to be supplied with upgraded braided brake lines for the front axle, what is not common is for the ‘Big Brake Kit’ to also come with brake lines for the rear axle.

Unlike motorcycles which in most cases have a lever for the front brake and a pedal for the rear brake, the hydraulic braking system on your average road car is interconnected and all connects back to a single master cylinder. (Some race cars may be fitted with dual master cylinders and sway bars, but we shall disregard these since this type of arrangement has near infinite adjust-ability to brake balance allowing the driver to tailor the brake balance precisely to their individual preference). Assuming the vehicle uses a single master cylinder, the system performance is only as good as the weakest link. This means that if the front brake lines are upgraded to braided stainless alternatives, but the rear brake lines are left as the stock rubber lines, the rear lines will be much more prone to flex under hard braking and therefore any money spent on upgrading the front lines is rather wasted. The brake pedal will have as much flex as the weakest link, in this case the stock rubber rear brake lines.

Quite simply, you will never find a car braided brake line kit that does not come complete with all the lines required to replace the flexible hoses on both the front and the rear axles. When a car’s hydraulic braking system is all interconnected, what you do to the front you must also do to the rear. Despite this, all front only ‘Big Brake Kits’ are supplied either with just the front lines, or sometimes without any lines whatsoever. Here lies another performance advantage to buying an EBC Balanced Brake Kit™, in addition to supplying braided lines for the front axle, every EBC kit also includes rear stainless braided brake lines (and pads) at zero extra cost to you. By fitting braided lines to both the front and rear axles, brake pedal feel is improved significantly and the end result is that all the brake fluid pressure is transferred to exactly where it is needed, the brake calipers.

Conclusion

So there we have it, the art of producing a balanced brake upgrade is one that involves fine tuning of the braking torque until the brake bias is proportional to the available grip on each axle. By carefully selecting brake calipers and rotor sizes for front axle, then accompanying them with pads and lines to fit the vehicle’s stock caliper and rotor on the rear axle, every Balanced Brake Kit™ contains all the hardware you need to realize the ultimate braking potential of your vehicle right out of the box. Additionally, every Balanced Brake Kit™ is designed to work with the vehicle’s stock master cylinder and is fully compatible with the vehicle’s ABS systems, allowing maximum braking performance to be realized without compromising on safety features and without the need for the costly replacement of several other components of the vehicles brake system.

EBC Big Brake Kit
Surface crazing or cracking on brake discs
Minor surface crazing

The picture above shows a normal cast iron brake disc that exhibits what we call crazing. These are tiny hairline cracks that are extremely small and not of real concern. These are microns deep and are exaggerated by the black brake dust generated under normal driving. This does show that the brake discs have been quite hot and could encourage you to have your discs Pro Cut skimmed which can be performed several times during the life of your brake discs or rotors.

The Pro Cut skim removes only 4-6 thousandths of an inch and does not cause the discs to go below thickness.

There is good logic for this type of “Renovation” of your brake discs rather than replace the discs with new ones for the simple reason that a good USED disc is actually a better performing product than a new one. New discs require lengthy bed in times during which time the disc materials “Settle” and grain structure alignment takes place. Also the Pro-Cut machine is brilliant at taking a minimal skim from your discs WITHOUT REMOVING THEM FROM THE CAR which exposes you to a re-seating process and possible disc distortion and vibration arising.

If your discs show the above crazing continue to use them and/or undergo the Pro Cut skimming and monitor them every 1000-2000 miles visually. If the crazing gets significantly deeper the discs may have to be replaced.

Crazing is caused by the discs working hard, it is not a sign of a poor disc quality but it may be a sign that the brake pads you have fitted are not removing heat from the braking surface adequately. Quality brake pads do this well and cheap pads do not. Cheap pads are made mainly from resins and fillers and do not include the thermally conductive elements included in better products.

A good set of brake pads will always costs between $60 and $150 or UK pounds £50-£100,anything less and you probably have been sold a low grade pad. To select the right QUALITY PADS for your vehicle use this selector chart.

How to bed in new rotors
EBC Yellowstuff with USR

How to bed in new rotors on your car after a brake service or when going racing. The important thing to remember is that when replacing rotors you need to bed them in even more gently than pads. It is a regular misconception that a new rotor can be installed on a car and there is no need to bed them in.

The conclusion for those of you who don’t want the explanation is that to bed in new rotors you drive them gently for the first 1000 miles.

To bed in new rotors you need to first understand that all rotors are made from cast iron which is a natural material, very common in fact and it contains certain elements that can change or combine in their particle structure during both their formation into a cast object and in early use as a brake component which dramatically affect the performance, stability and strength of the iron material.

A Typical cast iron material used in aftermarket brake discs or rotors is grade GG25 or GG20 and almost all discs from Asia will use these grades and contain these elements.

Carbon Silicon Manganese Phosphorus Sulphur Nickel Moly Chromium Copper
2.2 1.00 0.65 0.07 0.07 0.05 0.02 0.15 0.20

EBC new High Carbon GG15HC material is an even higher specification and contains these elements

Carbon Silicon Manganese Phosphorus Sulphur Nickel Moly Chromium Copper
3.72 1.74 0.05 0.05 0.108 0.40 0.45 0.16 0.80

More Carbon and Silicon in the GG15HC produces a more thermally stable disc that is quieter, resists cracks , dampens vibrations better and handles heat better.

Assuming that a brake disc has been made properly, with a good pearlitic structure to begin with, the onus then rests on the user to not create the conditions of heating and rapid cooling that will cause structural changes and therefore cracks to be formed in the braking surfaces.

In other words getting a rotor very hot and cooling it very quickly is not good news especially in its early life.

The best way to bed in new rotors is to use them gently over the first few hundred miles, not getting them too hot and letting them cool gently, for certain avoiding hard braking if at all possible (safety considered).

If you can do this by moderate street driving for up to 1000 miles you will condition your iron disc or rotors and that is the best way to bed in new rotors.

HOW HOT CAN A BRAKE ROTOR BECOME AND WHAT HAPPEN WHEN IT OVERHEATS ???

Once a disc goes above 727°C the pearlite in the matrix will start to decompose (degenerate) into ferrite. This change cannot be reversed, so once its starts to happen that is it. Ferrite is very weak so lots of ferrite can cause the strength of a disc to drop. The change from pearlite to ferrite can also cause the formation of craze cracks on the friction surface of the disc. Small cracks can then emerge to form larger cracks and in extreme cases the disc itself may crack completely.

Heating above 700°C and stopping quickly i.e. parking, can also help induce stress into a disc – some thing you do not want – this can cause distortion and judder.

Craze Cracks

This means two things. FOR THE NORMAL URBAN DRIVER, these stress or “Craze” cracks should never appear and if they do you have either over heated the disc with aggressive driving or have other issues such as caliper drag or over thickness on the brake pads etc that has caused the system to overheat.

FOR THE TRACKDAY AND RACE DRIVER, you have to accept that the life of your discs will be shorter in track use and be on the lookout for these small cracks and their developments, REPLACING the disc/rotor before they get too large. Generally if a crack appears to be longer than 6-7mm or deeper than 0.5 mm the disc needs to be replaced. If you bed in new rotors slowly you will extend useful race life but in track use life of a cast iron rotor is MUCH less and that needs to be considered and the disc monitored carefully. The use of EBC new HIGH CARBON discs will greatly improve this problem on the track. Please remember our advice on caliper drag here: view caliper drag article which includes advice on brake fluids (click here to see how to check if your brake fluid needs changing) and venting or ducting of air. No street based car can be transformed into a race car by a few changes such as fitting new sport grade brake pads etc. Things are very different when temperatures push up into the 500-1000 degree zones.

ARE THERE GOOD AND BAD DISCS????

If made from a quality pearlitic cast iron, most standard discs are similar but of course the higher specification High Carbon discs are a far better product for performance driving, that is why Premium car builders like Porsche and BMW use High Carbon for their OEM products.

Pro Cut Lathe
EBC Pro Cut Lathe

CORRECTING ROTOR DISTORTION, ROTOR MISALIGNMENT AND CURE BRAKE VIBRATION

There are two main reasons for brake vibration. The first is steering geometry issues and the second is installation or hub run-out issues.

GEOMETRY ISSUES – One in seven cars suffers geometry problems during its life that can affect steering and cause brake vibration. These are NOT a product quality issue! These can happen by simply nudging a kerb or by driving over a pothole. EBC is not alone in recognizing this problem but is the only brake supplier on the planet prepared to offer diagnosis and a SOLUTION.

INSTALLATION OR HUB RUN-OUT ISSUES – These cause what is known as DTV. The videos below show how to correct for brake vibration caused by DTV (Disc thickness variation). DTV develops in a car after 3000-4000 miles caused by runout built in to the car or due to incorrect alignment of the rotors at install. This is quite a common fault on modern cars and many cars require this at every rotor change. Drivers also confuse hub distortion with a rotor quality issue but in 99% of cases the DTV is a car problem, not a rotor quality problem. You can replace the rotors as many times as you like trying to solve vibration and the problem will only go away for a few thousand miles and then return. This means you have purchased new rotors in good faith but the problem IS NOT SOLVED AND WILL NOT GO AWAY PERMANENTLY until you perform this procedure. After this skimming of the rotor surface you will have smooth brakes , more effective brakes and ZERO vibration. It is even a very worthwhile practice when fitting new rotors to have all four rotors skimmed into perfect alignment on your car with this inexpensive procedure.

Rotor distortion due to DTV is very common, in fact ONE IN SEVEN CARS has a steering geometry problem either when it is built NEW or after nudging a kerb or hitting a large pothole (very common after road surface damage after winter snowy periods). Uneducated people still say “My rotors are warped”. Well the engineering facts are ROTORS DO NOT WARP, they are made of cast iron, they are very tough and can be run to red heat and cooled time after time and they will not distort, we do this day in day out on our dynos in the EBC lab. That's why the whole world still uses cast iron as a vehicle brake rotor material, there has never been anything to beat it and probably never will be.

British made brake rotors
Rotor Runout Test Machine

EBC automotive rotors or discs are made from G3000 grey iron many castings being made in the UK by our sister company who has full casting facilities, research, chemists and tech analysts and a quality control department. Other imported rotors are made to EBC specification in ISO approved and German TUV accredited facilities that are inspected and approved by EBC Brakes engineers. All EBC brake discs/rotors carry German ABE labelling. EBC Brake rotors are made from OE spec grey iron made to SAE J431 cast iron which is known in the USA as G3000 grey iron. This is the exact spec used by OEM car builders.

After receipt at EBC every single rotor is tested for accuracy and batch tests are made on elemental content to ensure a safe product. Brake rotors are machined to accuracy within microns and are 100% run out inspected on our own in house built machines as below British made brake rotors.

Every rotor is balanced, precise and guaranteed.

This cannot be said of ANY OTHER European Company, where many brands buy low cost rotor blanks and machine them and CALL THEM European made, not true at EBC. A few brake rotors are cast in Italy and also good quality but these do not form the bulk of what is being sold on today markets in Europe.

Then you need to consider the CASTING METHOD used which in the case of EBC is the more expensive hourglass or balanced geometry system. This means you have to buy TWO casting tools, a top and a bottom for every brake rotor but the casting join line being in the centre of the casting means balanced geometry top and bottom which prevents “Dynamic warping” or vibration on rotors Finally don’t forget a brake rotor is only as good as its mating parts, the all important Brake pad. A pad without the correct “Scrub” factor or enough thermal conductivity will ruin any half decent rotor so the truck is to buy your rotors and pads from the same place. This not only makes it easier to identify a problem if one does occur and have recourse under warranty but we at EBC carefully test day in and day out our own pad and rotor combinations to the limit of a bank of 5 dynos at the Bristol manufacturing plant.

Dangerous cross drilled rotors

The image below was sent to us by a customer who had purchased EBC Brake pads and BELIEVED he was also buying genuine EBC Brake rotors.

Dangerous cross drilled rotor

Unfortunately these are a fake and a very dangerous fake.

These rotors are THROUGH DRILLED or CROSS DRILLED which EBC DOES NOT MANUFACTURE and strongly recommends against for numerous reasons. First of all you can see that striped or banding is already appearing after this short driving period which is typical of a brake rotor where the drill holes do not “Overlap” leaving uneven areas of the brake rotor surface contacted by the brake pads. This eventually would lead to “Ribbing” or ridges developing on the rotor which causes poor brake contact and further down the road, when new pads are again fitted they will take an age to bed in UNLESS you turn the rotors back to a flat surface condition.

Second, amateur rotor drilling companies may not take the time to ensure that their drill holes fall into the vent pockets in the rotor which are between the two faces of the brake rotor. If these THROUGH DRILLED HOLES are drilled right through into the support vanes in the rotor core this will GREATLY weaken the structural strength of the rotor. Even IF the supplier does manage to take the time to locate the through drilled holes to fall into the vent pockets between the vane supports it has been seen on many occasions that cracks develop around the through drilled holes as shown here. Eventually the rotor cracks and will very likely suffer a catastrophic failure.

For this reason EBC Brakes does not supply or recommend THROUGH DRILLED ROTORS and always supplies carefully designed dimple drilled rotors. In over 15 years selling sport rotors EBC Brakes has not suffered ONE SINGLE FAILURE of its sport rotor products.

Buyers should be aware of people selling carefully worded sales pitches such as “EBC Pads and sport rotors” which tends to suggest BOTH products are of EBC origin.

The Truth About High Performance Brakes

Brakes are the most safety critical part of any moving vehicle and in the case of cars and motorcycles quite often when brakes are used in anger, standard is just not good enough. The sport street use or trackday and race use of motor vehicles and motorcycles has led to a need for higher performance brakes such as disc brake pads and brake rotors or discs.

So what does high performance mean and how do we measure this performance ? Brake pads which are made of blends of petro chemical resins and other ingredients are made to a budget by car builders and are one of the first thing to be changed on a vehicles brakes when users are involved in sport or race use. A high performance brake pad will be one which has good friction level and pedal feel on first application and can hold this level of performance throughout the whole braking cycles. Brakes must not “Fade” or fall on in performance under the heat of braking. Not only must high performance brakes work effectively under heat and load they must have good durability. Additives such a copper or coke are blended into pads used on high performance brake systems to enhance durability.

Brake fluids are also tested in high performance brakes and because most fluids are hygroscopic meaning they absorb moisture a higher specification fluid is needed and even that will need regular changing and flushing to keep brakes up to par with the target usage.

Finally the brake rotors themselves must be of a decent quality G3000 Grey iron or better and if possible made from virgin alloy ingot rather than reprocessed irons which are common in 99% of aftermarket brakes. Years ago rotor castings used for automobile brakes were annealed or atmosphere aged to allow the castings to settle after being made. No longer does this happen due to cost restraints on brakes particularly by car builders and so the duty of care falls upon the brake pad to work effectively but not to cause damage to the brake rotor by overheat.

By virtue of the physics involved, brakes work by exchanging kinetic energy or momentum into one of three other energy forms, these being heat light or sound. There are no others. Therefore as it is desirous not to have immense noise from brakes and light would only be obtained by massive over heating of the brake rotor, heat is the method by which the energy exchange in brakes occurs.

This means that brakes can glow orange in high performance use, pads can overheat and fade and rotors could even develop cracks if the brake system is not designed correctly.

In automobile applications cooling of the components within the brakes is usually aided by the ducting of cool air which involves scoops in the front vehicles body work directing cool air as the car is driven onto the brake components. This can reduce overheating of the brakes by 30-40% and prevent caliper seal damage as well as rotor over heat and pad fade.

Rear Brakes
Mixed Disc Clusters

Let us explain why rear brakes are important and what to do about taking care of them and servicing them.

Most modern motor vehicles have two sets of brakes, front brakes and rear brakes. Even two wheeled vehicles such as Mountain Bikes and Motorcycles have rear brakes and these have a very specific purpose which we explain as follows.

The first thing rear brakes will provide a back up in case of a failure of the front brakes. Not only that in modern brake systems it is quite normal for the rear brakes of an vehicle, whether two wheels or four to rely on the rear brakes for 20-30% of the vehicle stopping effort.

Whilst we don’t recommend rear foot braking to our motorcycling friends which far too often can cause rear wheel lockup, fast rear tire wear and does not at all maximise the stopping power of a motorcycle, it is a common habit especially on larger big twins in the USA. Things like girder front forks tend to dissuade the rider from grabbing a handful of the front brake lever and when you consider that 70% of the braking comes from the front riding a Motorcycle relying only on the rear brakes just does not make sense.

Because they are at the back of any vehicle rear brakes tend to get dirtier, get more water spray and suffer corrosion. Add that to the myth that a rear brake is mostly for a handbrake and it is hardly surprising some of the fastest selling brake parts in the world are for rear brakes where caliper corrosion and seizure are quite common.

Every 20,000 miles at the outside, any good driver will have the rear caliper checked for seizure. Plus this does not apply just to older cars, a brand new model deluxe car after 20,000 miles or so can suffer enough corrosion on the rear brakes to warrant stripping and overhaul of the rear brake caliper. This is very often overlooked and results in poor and imbalanced braking and fast rear brake pad wear.

On Motorcycles, being an unstable vehicle the effective function of the rear brake is critical; a balanced application of first front gently followed by rear brake action is the professional way to stop a motorcycle. Applying the front brake first helps weight transfer to the front wheel and plants the tire firmly on the road, the application of the rear brake immediately after maximises the stopping power of the bike.

On Motor cars it is quite often that a brake bias valve or load valve chooses the amount of pressure that is distributed to the rear brake. This explains why some truck rear brakes wear out before the front because the rear end, carrying the loads of a busy operator truck set themselves to do more work than the front when the vehicle is loaded.

One more thing on rear brakes is that on cable operated hand brake systems, it is critical to check and either lube or replace any stocking cables attached to the rear brake caliper. It is no good replacing a caliper, spending money on new pads and having a sticking cable send all this to the trash can for you, check those cables, check slider ways on calipers and ensure free operation of rear brakes at all times.

Disc Brakes
Disc brakes

Buying new disc brakes or just want to know how they work, its all right here.

Disc brakes have been around for about 60 years in different forms and came about with the progressing speeds of vehicles and the need for shorter stopping distances and better road safety. The differences between disc brakes and their earlier counterparts which we drum brakes are numerous.

First disc brakes are generally lighter in overall vehicle weight which is extremely important for car and truck builders. On heavy trucks the weight savings vehicle can be half a ton by replacing the very heavy cast iron brake drums with much lighter brake discs. This increases available payload by quite a chunk.

Disc brakes also run much cooler than drum brakes because of the simple fact they are open to air cooling and not enclosed. This in itself greatly helps vehicle stopping power.

The pressures at which hydraulic disc brakes operate is far higher than for drums which are often mechanically operated and are full of moving parts that create friction and cause loss of efficiency. The gives disc brakes another edge in that higher brake effects can be obtained.

Disc brakes are easier to overhaul than drums are the components are in view with removal of the wheel. Disc brakes are also easier to service as wear parts are seen easily without dismantling the brakes.

It has to be said that the technology for drum brakes was left in the dark ages after disc brakes arrived and there was little or no development happening on the linings or brake material coil that is used to line drum brakes or brake shoes after the arrival of disc brakes.

Modern cars now feature disc brakes at both front brake and rear brake locations for the above reasons and the spares parts business for these disc brakes is huge. In the USA a mere 1% of the brake market is now deemed to be worth over $115 million dollars making the market for disc brake parts a large one and a varied one.

Disc Brakes – Part 2
Mixed Disc Clusters

If you need new disk brakes look no further. We can guide you through all the pad shapes and sizes, recommend different compounds and stop and car, truck, motorcycle or ATV faster for less money.

EBC Brakes manufactures the worlds biggest variety of disk brakes all made in the UK from high quality aramid fiber materials that will brake better and last longer in many cases.

Low dust is another key feature of our products with the new ceramic enhanced Redstuff brake pad formulation. The Red series disk brakes have proved a winner on premium cars and faster sport cars and have an extremely high brake effect with zero brake fade.

Disk brakes have been around for over 50 years and the technology has improved along the way such that stopping distances are now half what they were. In spite of the fact that the UK 30 mph limit has been around also for 50 years disk brakes have halved stopping distances and with the advent of anti lock brakes cars are even safer.

Whilst we don’t expect our beloved government to ever change speed limits and whilst we 100% agree with the restriction in urban areas where children play the police and authorities simply play on the feelings and emotions of the general public without any regard for the dramatic improvements in tyres, road surfaces, road conditions, suspension, car design nor disk brakes.

As a responsible motorist you should anyway service your disk brakes every 5000 miles if it only means removing the wheels and inspecting the pads for wear and checking the wear or any scoring that may have happen on the brake disk. Severely worn pads can extend stopping distances by 50% making it important for you to keep those brakes in tip top condition.

Most garages will inspect disk brakes for free in the hope that you will bring your service work to them and why not. If they can point out safety issues on your car then give them the business but get a quote first.

One of the great things about EBC brakes as a brand is that they are not only quality UK made parts but they are approved to the new European Brake Safety laws for disk brakes meaning that no car builder can claim that original parts are better. There is now a level playing field on disk brakes in that if they are approved to the same standards, they are to be considered the same and the only thing you need to look at as a consumer is the price.

Also when considering a brake service check your brake fluid levels, change and flush the brake fluid if it has been in the car for more than 5 years and water is absorbed into brake fluids over time and degrades your brake system.

Brake Vibration: Common Questions Answered

What is Brake Vibration?

Brake vibration is where a shaking motion occurs when the brakes in a car or other vehicle are deployed. This can vary from a slight shaking to a quite severe shuddering, depending on the severity of the condition. It can also be known as rotor shimmying or brake pulsation.

What causes it?

If the brake rotors installed on the vehicle have more than .05mm of run out (where the brake rotor moves from side to side more than a minimal amount of .05mm), then brake vibration will occur through the steering. Usually, this is due to one of two different reasons. The face of the disc may have some rust or dirt on it, which is causing the run out figure to be incorrect. Such build up may occur during the lifetime of the rotor, and this can cause the run out to be up to five times the limit installed by the factory. If the problem is not due to this, it may be that a ‘thin spot’ has occurred on the rotor (where there has been intermittent pad contact instead of a constant motion). When the brake pedal is pressed this causes the brake vibration to occur. This is technically known as Disc Thickness Variation, or DTV for short.

As it is essential that your brakes run true, this must be sorted out as quickly as possible.

How to rectify the problem

The first thing to do is to determine whether it is the front or rear rotors that are causing the brake vibration. If the steering wheel itself is shaking, it is more likely to be the front, whereas if the whole car and bodywork shakes, it will probably be the rear. Additionally, it is not necessarily the pair of rotors that are the problem; it may only be one of them. Finding the location of the shaking is the first step to solving the problem, however.

Depending on whether you undertake your own mechanical work, there are two routes to take here. Firstly, you can rectify the brake vibration yourself, or secondly, you can take the vehicle to a garage to resolve the issue. Either way, if the problem is a dirty disc surface, having the rotors turned or skimmed to present a clean, smooth surface to the brake pads can solve this. If the rotors have a thin spot, they will need to be replaced with new ones. Regardless of which method you choose, they must be checked when fitted back to the car that the run out is the correct measurement.

What to look for when choosing a garage to do the work

Firstly, ensure the garage you are looking at choosing is reliable – if you can get some recommendations from friends or family as well, this is always helpful. Also, make sure you have a chat with their mechanics and make sure their knowledge seems extensive enough; it is very important they know what they are doing. Competitive pricing is also going to be an issue, but cheapness does not always mean quality, so sometimes it may be better to choose a slightly more expensive option for better service.

On the same note, ensure if you are going to turn the rotors or fit new ones yourself, make sure you know what you are doing and don’t hesitate to call a garage if you get stuck or feel unsure. Safe braking is so important and it is imperative the work is done correctly and safely.

Rotor quality and bedding in new rotors

Lets discuss what goes wrong with new rotors, rotor quality and bedding in new rotors and how to avoid problems. Basically two problems can occur on new rotors in early use after install connected with rotor quality and bedding in new rotors.

  • Thermal settling and
  • DTV (Disc Thickness variation)

It has to be said that rotor quality in general in the after-market (in our opinion) has fallen dramatically over the last 3-6 years with the flood of Asian product. We see and hear of main dealers who apologize for their own brake rotor product quality and say that brake discs do not even span service intervals in some cases. EBC has had to adapt brake pad materials to live with “Whats out there” simply because we sell ten times as many pads as we do rotors .We can tell you some discussions with customers can become quite heated. Lets attempt here to explain what we consider YOUR and EBC Brakes best way forward to be without doing a lot of competitor bashing.

First it is clear that all brake rotors coming from Asian suppliers are not “Aged” and are certainly not “Normalized” or heat treated castings which was the old method a few years ago to get a good casting quality. Cast Iron from which all brake rotors are made for cars and light trucks is almost a live or natural material and it needs to settle down or age after it is cast. During the first weeks after casting the brake disc may well settle by a few thousandths.

The amount of this distortion is minimal and will not always show up a brake judder problem. Used with the right pads this minimal brake distortion which people call warped rotors will actually correct by the mild abrasive nature of the pad in early driving. So the small initial rotor distortion is not a problem in itself and using good brake pads that have the correct balance of compressibility, thermal conductivity and ability to gently scrub and correct these minor changes is advisable.

So using good pads, quality rotors and driving the vehicle gently during bed in is a good idea.

It is far more important when bedding in new rotors to bed in a new rotor than it is a new brake pad. When changing brakes you should drive steadily for up to 1000 miles to condition the brake rotor as well as the brake pad. The gentle warming and cooling of the rotor takes it through this ageing or normalising process to some degree that should have been done at the brake rotor factory but unfortunately isn’t. Again the unfortunate fact is that if any brake rotor factory started doing what is needed to produce a thermally stable aged casting, they would go out of business in months from lack of sales because no-one would pay the price. So everyone is up to the same tricks in response to market pressures and we all have to learn to live with it.

DTV or disc thickness variation which is the most common cause of rotor vibration problems is not caused by rotor quality but is a VEHICLE problem and we strongly advise you to watch this video...

Plain rotors cost less and rotors without slots are less money to buy for sure but can exhibit some problems. Therefore it’s always a good idea to consider rotor quality before buying.

Firstly the phenomenon known as rotor galling or brake rotor ribbing or rotor scoring happens everyday with the world being full of fairly soft cast iron rotors. The better the pad the more likely a plain (not slotted) rotor will suffer rotor ribbing. The picture below shows a typical normal rotor that is suffering from rotor ribbing.

brake caliper

You don’t throw this rotor away, it is not ideal but it is not a safety issue either, you just have to live with this condition unless you want to upgrade to a slotted brake rotor. Slotted rotors have a major benefit in smoothing the brake pad gently as it wears through its useful life, the slots do NOT cheese grate the pads away surprisingly enough and lifetimes can actually be BETTER on a brake pads used against slotted rotors than one used on plain brake rotors because the pad runs cooler and more efficiently.

This is what a slotted rotor looks like after 10,000 miles using the same pads as the plain rotor in the illustration above.

Slotted rotor after 10k miles

EBC only offers a cross drilled rotor for certain cars where the originals are cross drilled. If designed correctly and holes are carefully aligned with the internal vanes of the disc and not randomly drilled and IF THE HOLES ARE CHAMFERED OR CAST INTO THE ROTOR, these will work well. EBC does not sell, support, condone or recommend the use of randomly drilled aftermarket “Sport” rotors which do NOTHING to enhance performance and can and DO CRACK AND CAN CAUSE SERIOUS INCIDENTS.

How to bed in your new brakes for street/urban driving
Close up shot of wheels

BEDDING IN NEW EBC PADS AND DISCS

  • Use brakes with minimal pressure for first 100 miles from urban speeds of 30-50 mph only. Brakes will feel very sharp and responsive but this is ONLY the brake in coating working which gives an abnormally high friction level feeling.
  • Drive a further 250 miles using slightly increased brake pressure and load UNLESS in an emergency in which case apply brake as hard as required.
  • Clean wheels off as there will be residue from the brake-in coating after bed in.
  • Look for a full width contact across the pad depth( rotor braking band) from the outer edge of the disc to the inner and if not achieved allow a further 100-200 miles steady driving. You will see a blue-ish band evidencing contact across the rotor face. Until this band goes from the outer to the inner edges of the brake disc/rotor the pads have NOT yet fully seated. When installing new rotors, reduced width banding is quite possible due to various tolerances and slight misalignments in the vehicle chassis and is NOT a warranty defect or a reason to remove and inspect brakes. Many European cars have SINGLE PISTON CALIPERS and these tend to “Flair” open and cause the contact band described above only to be seen at the outer edge of the disc/rotor and work its way inwards taking up to 1000 miles to do so.
  • After full width contact band is attained make a further 10 stops from 60 mph to 10 mph in succession with a deliberate attempt to get the brakes hot. Some smells may occur even slight smoke during this final heat up stage of the pads in early life. Then coast the vehicle for a mile to allow discs to cool. Do not pull up and park vehicle with brake excessively hot. You must try to get the discs down to below 60-80 degrees C temperature before parking the vehicle.
  • When parked let brakes cool to a final cool-to-touch point. Before touching discs splash a few tiny drops of water onto the disc to asses its temperature to avoid burning fingers. If the water spots cause a “hiss” you have parked up too soon and should go out and drive slowly allowing the brakes to cool further.

NEW DISCS TAKE LONGER TO BED IN

  • Fully bedding new pads to decent condition worn discs/rotors may take only 200-300 miles but when new discs are fitted at the same time bed in times to achieve outer to inner edge contact ( full width blue-grey contact band as mentioned under point 4 above ) can be as long as 800-1000 miles due to extra components needed to be aligned to the vehicle.

BADLY WORN DISCS/ROTORS CAN TAKE AN AGE TO BED IN

Discs/Rotors with more than 0.5 mm ( 0.020 inches) of lip at the outer edge or hollow in the centre of the braking area can take up to 2000 miles to bed in and will for sure cause Noise, brake fade,vibration and pad burning. Bad rotors can RUIN your pads. 95% of brake fade and noise complaints come from poor disc/rotor condition where the pads touch only at the outer and inner edges and have no chance to deliver an effective brake.

Brake Dust what is it and what causes it?
Brake dust

Brake Dust on Cars and trucks

The unsightly brake dust that we all see on automotive wheels is 92% Fe which simply put is in part iron caused by abrasion of the cast iron brake rotor by the pad and secondly fibers from the semi metallic elements of the brake pad. The remainder of the dust residue is carbon content within the brake pad.

99% of automotive brake pads made these days are made as a semi metallic meaning a bundle of steel fibers compressed and fused together with other additives. The steel fiber content can be up to 30% of the pad and this abrasive material is what scratches your brake rotor and causes the dust.

Non metallic pads such as those made with Twaron or kevlar fiber are only available as an upgrade in the aftermarket and very few manufacturers opt to use these more expensive materials simply for build cost purposes. These pads are known an organics and often outperform and outlast their semi metallic counterparts as well as reducing rotor abrasion and dust caused in the braking action.

EBC brakes is a world leader in clean running organic pad technology for cars and light trucks with its radical new Redstuff premium sport upgrade passenger car pads or the popular Greenstuff 7000 series pads for trucks and SUV.

Brake dust on Motorcycles

is almost 100% from the contents of the pad itself and the much harder wearing heat treated stainless steels on motorcycles only wear down very slowly unlike cast iron in automotive brake systems.

All you have to do to avoid dust on a motorcycle is use a pad that contains minimal steel fiber.

Some sintered metal pads may appear to be copper in color and material yet many include steel fiber or powder or more expensive stainless steel powder as in the case of EBC Brakes sintered pad range.

EBC Brakes organic pads such as the FA series organics or the EBC Vee pad range contain zero steel fiber and are therefore much cleaner in their operation and almost entirely eliminate dust residue. The minimal dust created by the EBC organics is simple to wash off with water and sponge and does not burn itself into wheel alloy or paint finishes.

Brake vibration can throw you off track
Brake vibration

If any car or bike driver notices brake vibration, it is very important for them to determine where the vibration is situated. Obviously, it may be coming from the front of the vehicle or it could be hailing from the rear of the vehicle. It may seem as though it wouldn’t matter where it comes from because any vibration should be viewed as serious, but there may be different solutions to the problem depending on where the brake vibration is originating from.

If the vibration appears to be coming from the front of the car, there is a very good chance that it may be noticeable as a flutter of the steering wheel. This is likely to be very off putting to the driver but it may have more serious consequences than just being uncomfortable or unpleasant. It has been noticed that a driver who is experiencing a front brake vibration may be inclined to take their foot away from the brake in the hope that this would be enough to stop the vibration from occurring. Anything which interferes with the way a driver usually commands their vehicle is not welcome and could lead to problems or difficulties. This means that this is a very serious condition and if it is noticed, should be focused on and fixed as quickly as possible.

If however, the vibration feels as though it is originating from the rear of the vehicle, through the pedals of the brake or even the bodywork or seats if the vehicle, then the problem is likely to be coming from the rotors at the rear of the vehicle. It can be seen that knowing which rotors to examine first is of use as it is not of benefit to start messing about with brakes and rotors if it is not required. If one pair are clearly struggling to work at full power, then focusing on them may be enough to rectify any problems and leaving the good brakes in working order. brake vibration may not seem to be the most serious condition or ailment that can affect a car, but with the brakes being one of the most important components of a vehicle, it is obvious that any problem needs to be rectified fast.

Although the brake vibration may have occurred because of an incident or jarring, a common reason for this vibration is the car having covered a lot of mileage, and this should be noted by the owner. If long distances are being covered, it is important to continually check and service many of the key components of the vehicle to ensure that everything remains in good working order. It is easy to believe that everything is ticking along smoothly because there does not appear to be any issues or problems, but the only time you may find out if there is a problem is when it is too late. In this case, it is always better to stay ahead of the situation and ensure that your car or bike parts are checked on a regular basis.

How To Solve Brake Vibration Permanently
Pro cut image

Established in 1978 EBC Brakes is a quality manufacturer with a vast experience in automotive brakes and fault finding in that arena. EBC Brakes has sold several MILLION sets of automotive brakes across the globe and has many products and solutions to brake problems that are more innovative and advanced than even larger “Famous” brands embrace.

EBC Brakes produce as many brake discs or rotors as it possibly can in its sister company UK foundry. The quality is first class. Those we do buy in from overseas are scrupulously checked for metallurgy and dimensional accuracy including a 100% PIECE BY PIECE run out inspection in our factories. We do not sell “Bent or warped” rotors as they are quite often called and there is no such thing as a “Bad Batch” at our Company because of this 100% inspection. In fact we have never seen a warped rotor in our entire life due to use in the vehicle and this is technically an incorrect term to use for rotors suffering vibration.

What we HAVE SEEN many times is brake vibration after 3000-6000 miles caused by run out at install due to what may be innocent oversights by the fitter or an anomaly on a particular vehicle (Happens on one in seven vehicles). A driver only has to nudge a cerb or hit a pothole and steering geometry becomes mis aligned.

THE ONLY WAY TO CURE THIS IS WITH AN ON CAR BRAKE LATHE

In fact steering geometry is so important that MANY top car builders skim discs from NEW after install as part of their fitting procedure.

Over 100,000 of the Pro Cut on car brake lathes have been sold worldwide. People do not spend over $10,000 on a machine unless it has a purpose.This is a superb machine owned by the best Garages and it does its job admirably. EBC Brakes is the first brake vendor to try, to BUY and operate in our R and D centre and to RECOMMEND this machine although as we point out all the top car builders use and recommend them. Our competitors choose to throw free replacements at the market to solve the customers problem SHORT TERM , hoping the customer will just go away and then a few weeks later the customer is back in the garage with the same problem. EBC Brakes DOES NOT SUPPORT THIS WEAK STANCE and its only policy is to encourage the customer to go to a Pro Cut machining centre and have the problem corrected permanently.

The corrective process removes only a few microns of material (approx 0.1 mm) and ALL discs or rotors can accommodate between 1.0 and 3.0 mm of material removal before going below spec. That is over 10 times the amount removed by the Pro Cut procedure in most cases.

It is therefore NOT TRUE that a Pro Cut resurface procedure takes a rotor below spec UNLESS IT WAS BELOW SPEC IN THE FIRST PLACE.(Worn out)

It is also possible on this machine to skim slotted and dimpled and even cross drilled rotors with standard Pro Cut three point carbide tips that come with the machine using the dampers recommended and supplied by Pro Cut.

Benefits of aligning discs with a Pro Cut lathe EVEN FROM FIRST INSTALL

Even when fitting NEW discs or rotors there can be runout from first install due to hub and vehicle chassis alignment tolerances and the perfect way to guarantee smooth braking from first install is to have even your NEW rotors skimmed. Because the rotors are new this will only take the smallest amount of material from the disc……a maximum of 5 thousandths of an inch and will not affect disc or rotor service life.

What a skim over from new with a Pro Cut lathe will do is:

  • Perfectly align your discs or rotors to your car
  • Ensure smooth and perfect braking from first pedal
  • Remove zinc from the braking area accelerating bed in and brake efficiency
  • Prevent DTV and brake vibration occurring for many thousands of miles
Brake Pad Rattle
Anti rattle clip

I can hear a brake pad rattle noise from my cars brakes and want to know what this is?

Brake pad rattle or rattling brakes can be caused by a number of things and the first thing is to carefully check that you have the correct parts for your car. Many brake pads look similar in design and it is easy to get supplied the wrong parts. Using the wrong parts that are undersize can be dangerous as the brake rattle if excessive could mean the pads moving in the caliper and becoming even jammed and not operating properly. Brake pad rattle can also lead to the pads skewing sideways and locking in the caliper causing the backing plates to be bent and the friction material to be broken away and cause immense problems.

So if you hear any rattling noises or brake pad rattle check you have the right pads in your car.

When changing brake pads you need to take care that you re use or replace the essential hardware that was on the original pads when the car was built. Hardware on original pads often includes stainless steel silver shims on the reverse of the pads and these CAN be re used IF THE NEW SET OF PADS YOU HAVE do not have any shims. Some manufacturers use a black rubberized shim instead of these stainless parts. DO NOT ever use BOTH shims as this will cause an over thickness situation and will cause pad drag and overheat. You only need the one shim set on brake pads.

However there are often anti rattle springs on the left and right sides of the pads similar to the picture above and if your original pad set had such shims they must be removed and carefully cleaned and re used. Do not bend the shims and make sure before replacing them you notice which way they were installed for the new install. Make sure whilst these end clips or anti rattle springs are off that you thoroughly clean the caliper sliders into which these parts will fit. Dirt or rust on those slide ways will prevent the shims from seating properly and could cause the pads to stick in the caliper. This will cause brake noise or brake squeal and cause the pads to overheat the brake rotor. Pads must slide freely on these pieces of hardware without jamming. Apply a very small coating of high temperature grease to the pad backing plate ears where the anti rattle clips locate to help the pads slide freely but DO NOT ever get greases anywhere near the friction surfaces of you brakes pads and again , apply the lube very sparingly.

Brake pad rattle can also lead to spongy brakes as the pads bounce around and knock the caliper pistons back, thereby requiring more pedal travel to snug the pads back up close to the disc.

Brake pad rattle can also be caused by lack or the appropriate claw clip on the pad reverse. These claw clips are really only for pad install on the production line but do have the affect of preventing pad rattle.

Brake rattle can also be caused by a loose disc which would mean a loose wheel and of course this is a serious issue which needs fixing immediately.

Basically if you hear any rattling noise from your brakes take the car quickly to a professional mechanic for advice.

Steering wheel vibration

This can be caused by several things. First thing is to check your tyres and wheels are balanced as a severely out of balance wheels will show up as vibration under braking.

If the steering wheel vibration or steering wheel shake as it is sometimes called happens when driving the car without braking it is without doubt a balance issue. The vibration will often occur at a certain speed and driving at speeds above or below that the vibration may disappear.

It can be as simple as the balance weights becoming unattached and may cost a few dollars only to get the wheels balanced. Vibration can also occur as a tyre wears unevenly.

Steering wheel vibration under braking is a little more expensive to fix. It is usually associated with the brakes on your vehicle or steering geometry, both of which are linked.

If you have recently had new brakes fitted a vibration may be noticed even if the car had no vibration with the older brakes. Drivers often chastise the fitter or the brake rotor supplier but it is rarely them that are at fault.

It is without doubt that brake pads and brake rotors have to be fitted properly, especially brake rotors and that all the standard precautions such as clean and preparing the wheel hubs done,checking for hub run out and tightening the wheel nuts or lug nuts sequentially and finishing them with a torque gun but in some cases when all this is done perfectly vibration appears after 2000-4000 miles. This is a clear indicator that integral run out of the vehicle is the culprit.

One in seven cars suffer from geometry issues. These can have been in the car from new and it is interesting to note that many car manufacturers actually machine the rotors on the car to align them to the car. Subsequent replacement with a new set of brake discs or brake rotors will result in steering wheel vibration unless the rotors are re-aligned on what is called an “on car brake lathe”. These re align your rotors and the vibration will be gone.

Some drivers will of course resist this cost but it is actually the only way the issue will be solved. It is interesting to note that all high end car dealers such as Porsche,Jaguar and Honda plus many more all possess such on car brake lathes for this very reason.

Geometry can also be upset by road pothole and one interesting article here is from a car dealer who offers to even check customers cars after the winter pothole damage in roads. See article here on pothole.

Steering wheel vibration is not to be ignored, it can upset braking and upset your willingness to actually brake your vehicle as much as being annoying.

Brake fluid vapor lock

This is a term used when the brake fluid in a vehicle brake system is overheat and loses efficiency.

First we will explain what brake fluids usually consist of.

There are three main types of brake fluids, Mineral brake fluids, Glycol brake fluids and silicone brake fluids. The GLYCOL brake fluid is most common and used in 99.5% of modern vehicle brake systems. There can be up to 2 pints of brake fluid used in a vehicle brake system and this is piped around the vehicle using copper or rubber hoses to feed the fluid from the operator to the brake system. Operating the brake forces the fluid into the master cylinder and then brake calipers or wheel cylinders to actuate the brake.

Back to your physics class there are two types of fluids, compressible and incompressible.

Incompressible fluids are liquids, compressible fluids are gases so it is obvious that incompressible fluids are what we need in a brake system to transfer the operators instructions firmly to the brake actuating components. Any compressibility is highly undesirable.

During the life of a vehicle or even a drum of brake fluid sitting on the floor of a workshop things happen to Glycol fluids because they are what we call “Hygroscopic”….they absorb water even through the walls of the (would you believe) slightly pervious rubber brake hoses and open top on cans or vehicle master cylinders.

This water vapor drawn into the fluid will of course boil at somewhere around 100 degrees (or a little more under Pressure) so any water content in a brake fluid is bad news. It also causes system internal parts to corrode.

Over a 2 year period glycol fluids exposed to the air will absorb up to 13% of their weight in water.

This is MUCH improved in recent years with master cylinder sealing caps etc but the problem still exists that water gets in there eventually.

Coming back then to the point of this article on vapour lock (or vapour lock). This is the conversion of water in the brake fluid to steam when the brakes are heated significantly which causes compressibility in the brake system. This vapour lock leads to increased pedal travel and can result in a significant loss of brake effect.

This is not to be confused with dynamic brake fade.

What is brake fade?

Brake fade is a term used to describe the temporary reduction or complete loss of braking power of a vehicle’s braking system. Brake fade occurs when the brake pad and the brake rotor no longer generate sufficient mutual friction to stop the vehicle at its preferred rate of deceleration. The end result being inconsistent or unexpected braking system behavior, often resulting in increased stopping distances.

Brake fade is caused by overheating of the brake pad, therefore any vehicle which uses the action of a brake pad rubbing on a brake rotor to convert the vehicle’s kinetic energy into heat has the potential to develop brake fade, including motorcycles, cars and trucks. Because brake fade occurs when the brake pads are overheated, the phenomenon is only temporary and braking performance usually returns once the brakes have cooled down.

(Note: it is worth knowing that brake fade is not the cause for a long or spongey brake pedal/lever. If you experience a spongey pedal/lever you’ve probably got air in your brake hydraulics or have boiled your brake fluid and should read our article on fluid vapor lock to resolve your issue. Or another article on bleeding brakes.)

The brake pad in any brake system is designed to work within certain operating temperatures and if used outside this operating window the braking system will underperform. The friction compound of modern organic brake pads is a precise mix of many different materials and these individual materials perform differently under temperature. How these constituent materials respond at elevated temperatures defines the performance characteristics of that brake pad, including the temperature at which brake fade occurs (we’ll go into more detail on the mechanisms of brake fade later in this article). Different formulations of brake pad can therefore perform very differently from each other and it is important to use the right brake pad for the right application, and not to use a brake pad of general low quality. Buying and fitting new brake pads for your car

Firstly, it is important to recognize there two very different kinds of brake fade:

1. Green fade or early life brake fade

This is quite common and almost normal when new brake pads are fitted. It is merely a settling down of the components after install and can be gone in a few brake applications. To minimize or avoid this effect it is wise to drive cautiously when new brakes are fitted and give yourself a little extra braking distance for the bedding in period. How to bed in your new brakes. The bedding in period for new pads can be anywhere up to 500 miles urban use.

You can shorten the green fade period by using the brakes positively on a quiet and safe stretch of road, getting the pads up to a moderate temperature and thus burning off some of the volatiles that cause early life brake fade. But before doing this, ensure the brake pads have seated properly and established full contact across the rotor face (this is easy to see with EBC rotors as it is the point when all the black coating has been scrubbed off the pad track). Take care not to be over aggressive on your newly installed pads during this process, otherwise you can do more harm than good, potentially resulting in glazed rotors article on this? or the development of ‘hot spots’ on the rotor face . A few moderate stops from 50mph to 10mph should be adequate to push through the green fade period.

It's worth noting that some brake pads are now “surface scorched”, a process which burns off surface organics and volatiles in the pad and almost completely eliminates green fade. For any serious fast road driver or race driver, having a pad that they can drop into a caliper and perform straight away brings significant advantages. For this reason EBC Brakes surface scorch all our track day and race grade brake pads, YellowStuff, BlueStuff and OrangeStuff.

It is also worth considering that brake pads are to a degree porous, hence they will absorb a small percentage of water vapour from the surrounding air between the date of manufacture and the date they are first fitted to a vehicle. Water of course boils and turns to gas at much lower temperatures than the other constituents of the brake pad, hence early instances of green fade which are observed at very low temperatures are a result of the emission of water content in the pad. This water vapor will quickly burn off as soon as you get some temperature into the pads.

2. Dynamic fade or in stop brake fade

This is more serious and means that you have either chosen or been sold the wrong grade of pad for your vehicle or driving style, or that the brake pad is of a general low quality. Brake fade could also be caused by caliper drag if the caliper (particularly sliding pins) has not been properly maintained, which does not allow the caliper to fully release after brake application. Dynamic brake fade, which is best described as loss of brake during the stop outside the bed in period, is dangerous and needs to be remedied. Dynamic brake fade is particularly undesirable during fast road or track driving, since once the driver has committed to stopping their vehicle within a certain distance, there is very little they can do mid braking zone to make the correction.

In the early days of drum braked vehicles, brake fade was more prevalent. Cooling of drum brakes was minimal and meant that heavily loaded or towing vehicles braking down a long descent could superheat the brake shoes, causing the surface of the friction material to vaporize inside the brake drum and leading to an almost complete loss of braking power. Traffic authorities even built vehicle run off sand traps as an emergency route for vehicles descending out of control.

Modern disc brake systems (particularly those with vented discs) exhibit much better cooling and use modern advances in metallurgy and brake materials which all contribute to vastly improved braking performance. But there are of course many different brake pad qualities in today’s world markets and if not careful with their brake pad selection, drivers can still be subjected to in stop brake fade, even when driving at reasonable speeds on the public highway.

For either heavily loaded vehicles, fast road drivers or race drivers who frequently reach high speeds, having a brake pad which can handle the extra braking demand is absolutely critical in order to achieve acceptable levels of performance. Remember, when you are decelerating your vehicle’s brakes are converting the kinetic energy into friction and then heat. Since kinetic energy rises with the square of velocity, a stop from high speed puts an exponentially increased demand on the brake system and this generates a great deal more heat. For example, doubling vehicle speed would not double the demand on the braking system, it actually increases demand by a factor of 22 = 4! Similarly, kinetic energy also rises in proportion to vehicle mass, so a heavily laden vehicle that is loaded to double the weight actually doubles the amount of heat generated during each braking event. If not dissipated effectively or if the vehicle is fitted with brake pads that cannot cope with the extra heat, the heat build up could cause undesirable in stop brake fade, resulting in a decrease in brake effectiveness. Drivers who regularly make several high energy stops in quick succession (such as fast road drivers or race drivers) should absolutely consider using performance pads and grooved rotors, or even consider completely upgrading over the stock braking system by installing an oversize brake kit.

3. Mechanisms of Brake Fade

So now you know the 2 types of fade, and the scenarios under which brake fade can manifest itself, lets go into more detail on the underlying mechanisms and principles that actually cause brake fade…

There are principally 2 common types of formulation for a brake pad friction material, organics and sintered metallics (there are also brake pads known as ‘semi-metallics’ but these are a ‘hybrid blend’ of the two aforementioned friction types and thus have properties that typically lie somewhere in the middle).

Organic brake pads inherit their name from the organic phenolic resins used to bind together the different compounds used in the pads construction. There are countless different types of thermoset phenolic resin, but they can all be generally considered to have a maximum temperature up to which they are thermally stable. Above its intended maximum operating temperature, just like any organic matter, the phenolic resin used as the binding agent becomes altered by the heat and effectively ‘boils’, expelling an appreciable volume of gas as it degrades. (The actual technical term for this process is sublimation, since once the phenolic material reaches the critical temperature it jumps from its original solid state and changes instantaneously to a gas, with no detectable liquid phase).

The dominant mechanism causing brake fade is this thermal degradation of the phenolic resins and other materials in the friction lining, which create a film of gas at the pad-rotor interface and effectively causes the brake pad to skid off the disc. As these gasses build up at the pad-rotor interface, they produce an appreciable backpressure which creates an opposing force to the brake caliper that is trying to hold the pads against the rotor. If there is no way for the gasses to escape, the opposing force as a result of the outgassing can become large enough to prize the pads away from the rotor, reducing the area of pad in contact with the rotor and thus reducing braking power (i.e. brake fade).

Providing a means for these gasses to vent is an effective method to reduce the severity of brake fade. For this reason, many brake manufacturers offer slotted and dimpled brake rotors that help sweep away the gas build up every time a slot or dimple passes over the pad surface. Why choose EBC grooved & dimpled rotors. Interestingly, experimental testing on dynos shows that drilling several small holes through the brake pad can drastically reduce brake fade, by providing a venting network to effectively allow the build up of gas at the pad-rotor interface to escape. However, these holes only relieve pressure from the immediate surrounding area and hence the number of tiny holes required is so vast that it makes this solution completely impractical for mass production. Cost, coupled to the fact that the vent holes then rapidly become clogged up with brake dust, makes this concept unusable for braking applications. Consequently, the best and most effective way to prevent the gaseous build up that causes brake fade is to choose the correct pad that is designed to work at the operating temperatures it will regularly be subjected to, using vented/dimpled discs if additional improvements in performance and aesthetics are desired. Better ducting of air to the braking system can also be an effective way to improve cooling.

Additionally, if you are experiencing brake fade it does not necessarily mean you are using a brake pad of general poor quality. What it does mean is that you are operating the brake pad at conditions it was not designed to cope with and you consider upgrading to a higher performance pad (also check the brake caliper isn’t dragging). One of the key differences between low and high performance organic brake pads is the maximum temperature they can withstand before thermal deterioration of the friction lining becomes significant. I.e. the maximum temperature the brake pad can cope with before it begins to rapidly outgas, causing brake fade. For guidance on what type of brake pad you should select for your individual application you should find the following article of interest – Advantages and disadvantages of different pad types, Part 2.

4. Avoiding Brake Fade on Track

Trackday driving is a common example of vehicles overloading the braking system. A weekend warrior takes their street based car to a race track and drives at speeds not seen on the highway and brakes till his eyes pop out of his head at a corner instead of smoothly decelerating the vehicle into the corner as a professional race driver would do. This immediately superheats the pad and kills the friction compound, causing it to operate at conditions it absolutely was not designed for. Brake temperatures shoot past 1000 degrees F and few standard brake pads will tolerate that.

There is also good scientific evidence to support why smoothly decelerating the vehicle into a corner yields the best braking performance, rather than a driver playing last of the late brakers. Harsh and abrupt stops require a greater pedal force which in turn applies a greater clamping force on the pads. If too great, this excessive clamping force over compresses the brake pad and prevents the build up of gasses from escaping, and we know that these gaseous build-ups are the dominant contributor to brake fade in organic pads. On the other hand, a longer and more controlled stop reduces the clamping pressure on the pads, allowing more of the gasses to escape. This helps to control and minimize the severity of brake fade, allowing the natural adhesion of pad to rotor to do the work.

Brake fade is also frequently problematic on tuned vehicles, since many of us will admit that when considering tuning our vehicles the default thought process is to scream “power, power power” and then installing upgrades to suit. When that driver takes their beast of a ride to a track, approaches a braking zone travelling at 120+ mph and slams on the brakes they will have a real surprise when they quickly discover their rate of deceleration can not match their rate of acceleration. Our advice, upgrades should always be carried out in proportion to one another. Your first stop should be a quality set of tires, closely followed by appropriate upgrades to the braking system. Leave the power upgrades till last. That way you’ll keep your pride and joy out of the barriers and wont be riding a cab home. EBC has a broad range of high performance braking products for the track day enthusiast and racer, click here for advice on what products we recommend ‘race products’.

if you experience brake fade on the road or on the track, consider installing an EBC oversize brake kit with larger diameter rotors and curved internal vanes to help with heat dissipation and eliminate unwanted brake fade.

Rear Brake Noise

Under light braking loads and especially after fitting of new pads and or rotors it is quite common to hear rear brake noise. This will go away after time but the amount of time depends on several things.

We outline the reasons for rear brake noise in this article.

First of all to ascertain if brake noise or brake squeal is coming from the front or the rear of a vehicle it is almost impossible for you to do this yourself. It is usually best done with a second person OUTSIDE the vehicle on a safe area of quiet road listening to which end of the car the noise is coming from as the car comes to rest.

It is almost always in the last few turns of the wheels that the brake squeal will occur just as you are “feathering” the brake.

Three things are worth considering here.

1) Many modern cars are fitted with an automatic brake bias valve which limits the fluid pressure to the rear brakes when the car is only lightly loaded (few passengers). With more load the bias valve increases the pressure to the rear brakes and makes them work a little harder to undertake their share of the braking load. This helps the pads bed in faster. However extended driving with light loads dramatically extends bed in time. Some more exotic cars have a manual bias valve which only experienced campaigners will know how to adjust.

2) Rotor condition is paramount, even a small off flatness of the rotor will double bed in times or more and the rear brake noise will go on longer. Having rotors skimmed or replaced is always recommended when fitting new pads.

3) Rear rotors which have a handbrake shoe built into the rotor are the worst of all cases. These are on the rear wheels of BMW, Mercedes and Volvo cars and our research has found that the hollow and sometimes thin sections of the drum bore can cause a resonance effect and greatly exaggerate rear brake noise which in some cases NEVER goes away. OEM builders have tried all sorts of fixes, extra shims, different chamfer lengths front and rear and have in most cases come up with a solution but considering the cost of OEM parts many people end up buying lower priced aftermarket parts and find it a tough call to solve the noise issues. EBC Brakes is at the time of this article developing a new material processing method that “Deadens “ brake noise in a very unique way and we hope to launch these new generation materials during 2010. Until then in some cases rear brake pad noise will endure for 1500 -2000 miles on certain cars.

Caliper Drag

This happens for two reasons…. first when a street based car brake system is used for track driving and second when brake fluid of a poor quality, or old fluid is used which causes vapor lock.

The effect of caliper drag is for the pad operating temperature to shoot up several hundred degrees higher than target which causes a spongy brake and brake fade.

This is often confused with pad fade and the brake pad is criticized. Of course the pad IS ACTUALLY fading but not through any fault of its material design. Seals in standard road going calipers are simply not made for race use and may harden and cause drag or the caliper body itself may shrink and tighten on the seals and pistons increasing caliper drag. For this reason calipers used in racing must be in superb condition and seals changed at intervals to prevent hardening or the caliper changed for a unit designed for performance use. Also brake fluid of the highest wet boiling point should be used to avoid vapor lock.

Vapor lock happens when the water content, which all brake fluid has, starts to boil. Water boils at 1 bar atmospheric pressure at around 100 degrees C or 212 degrees F. There are brake fluids around that withstand boiling to well over 160 degrees C or 300 degrees F such as EBC BF307 which is an ideal fluid for performance use.

Remember the higher the fluid spec the faster it will deteriorate, flushing through by changing fluids 2-3 times a year in any performance driving environment is advised.

In Dyno work in the EBC lab in the UK where a target brake torque of 1200 Nm was required during race test cycles, almost 300 Nm was already measured before the brake was even applied due to caliper drag. This was encountered AFTER A FEW WEEKS USE FOR DYNO TESTS using a stock EVO or Impreza four piston caliper (which is a very good performance caliper) during laps 5 and higher of the standard EBC race brake simulation test and this was on ONE SINGLE CALIPER SO YOU CAN DOUBLE THAT FOR A VEHICLE. This of course means the starting temperature of the brake test in later cycles was already several hundred degrees higher than in early brake cycles of the test. There are huge consequences for drivers that do not maintain their calipers properly.

Race drivers have also complained that as races go on, fade develops. This is the issue caused by caliper drag, as the caliper gets hotter drag sets in and later stages of the race, brake fade is experienced.

The conclusion is that this is not so much a pad material fault as a system fault caused by caliper drag.

Another important consideration is how hot your calipers are getting. We hear race drivers reporting heat paint temperatures of 800 degrees C, that is way above what discs and calipers should ever run and clearly shows a lack of ducting getting to the brake itself. This of course is nothing a different pad compound could ever improve upon, consider improving airflow to calipers in any way you can on your street based race car. If you fail to make ducting and airflow improvements a few laps into any race caliper drag will develop and you will witness brake fade. This happens as the caliper gets hotter but also it is worth remembering that pad retraction in any caliper is totally reliant on seal ‘pull-back’. Caliper seals are essentially square in cross section with a very small one or two degree angle on the outer diameter which pulls the piston back and allows the brake pad to become free from the disc. As the seals age or the caliper gets hot the ability of the seals to retract becomes less or zero, hence the pad drag.

Brakes Dust

What is brake dust, why does it happen and how to reduce it. Those are the questions almost every European car driver asks every Sunday morning when they wash the huge deposits of black dust from their wheels on their pride and joy.

The answer to the questions about brake dust are these.

First of all the brake dust is rotor material. It is caused by an excessively abrasive disc pad wearing the rotor material away. This is always associated with fairly quick rotor wear and it is normal for most European cars to wear out pads and rotors at about the same rate. Shame really when rotors cost 4 times the price of disc pads.

Many people mistake brake dust with dust from the brake pads because they contain carbon particles but this is not the case, tests conducted show that 94% of the content of dust cleaned from wheels was ferrous oxide. So the pad content does not really cause the dust, it abrades the brake rotors and brake dust is rotor material.

There are many companies who provide brake dust covers for wheels to try and get the dust to stay away from the wheels but one company from the UK won the Autotrade Innovation Award a few years ago for its reduction of brake dust with its kevlar aramid low abrasion disc pad range. That company was EBC Brakes and this fine British manufacturer now produce one grade, the EBC Redstuff which is surely the lowest dust pad on the market today.

The EBC brake pads contain zero or very little steel fibre and provide stopping power that meets or exceeds every original brake pad sold in todays markets without the excess rotor abrasion common with many, hence lowering brake dust by up to 80%.

It is fair to say there is no such thing as a zero dust pad, there is only low brake dust offerings. Often road dirt is also confused with brake dust. One further interesting comment is that any brake dust which actually does come from the pads is usually quite easy to remove especially if the pads contain low steel fibre content. This nasty cheap brake pad filler material steel fiber has a mass such that when it forms a hot dust after heavy braking the particles actually weld themselves to the shiny lacquer on your alloys and scrub as hard as you like and that brake dust you will not remove. That is why EBC Brakes as one manufacturer do not use steel fibre in any of its high end products.

Limousine brakes
Yellowstuff pad

The best Limousine brakes come from EBC according to the industry and because they suffer heavier use than the standard vehicles on which they were based and carry more passengers, safety and stopping power is extremely important. EBC Brakes recommend its Yellowstuff race grade pads here and the reason they work well on stock street use brakes is this. The EBC Yellowstuff pads are made using special Aramid fibers such as Dupont Kevlar and are some of the highest friction pads out there. The usual scenario for race brakes is they require WARM UP to be effective but this is not the case with the EBC Yellowstuff, they deliver stopping power right from cold which makes them suitable for street driving where extra stopping power is required.

Approved to the tough new European ECE R 90 brake safety regulations (the only test on the planet that tests for stopping power) the EBC Yellowstuff pads cost LESS than OEM parts yet many drivers find they both stop better and last longer.

Numerous Limousine drivers now use EBC Yellowstuff brakes because of their safety and stopping power and if you value your customers safety and your own safety and want to improve limousine brakes and save costs, the EBC Yellowstuff brake pads are the way to go.

Add these to EBC GD sport slotted and gas dimple drilled sport rotors for even cooler brakes and further improvements in stopping.

There are only TWO brands of sport rotor approved by the German TUV for use in the prestige German market for example and the leading brand of those two is EBC, the other is rarely seen in the USA or the UK markets and has a range of 20% of the EBC line up plus EBC is then the ONLY sport rotor that has passed these tests available for US built cars and limousines.

Brakes for light trucks

Are a very interesting commodity .The qualities available vary considerably. Light trucks are extremely popular in the USA in fact the best selling car…is in fact a light truck.

Modern brakes applied to light trucks work differently to brakes on a car in that quite often the rear brake rotor sizes are larger than the front to reflect to load carrying ability of the vehicle. Brake calipers are often as large on the rear of a light truck as the front units giving rise to two axle braking under load. Light truck brake systems often feature a brake bias device or a load valve to spread the brake pressure according to the truck load and avoid rear wheel brake lockup.

The brake pads used in modern trucks have to be both durable and balanced front to rear in friction level or braking power. The loads and heat ranges that light truck brakes undergo is quite high especially when towing. Brakes often overheat and can fade, brake fade is not a pleasant experience and is often caused by lack of good quality brake pads.

Light truck brake rotors are both large in diameter and are generally thicker than most car brake rotors allowing them to be re surfaced or turned at disc pad change to obtain longer wear life. The best way to resurface the brake rotors is with an on car brake lathe made by the world leader Pro-Cut which re aligns the rotors to the vehicle and compensates for geometry issues that arise during the life of a truck.

When changing the suspension on a light truck or choosing oversize wheels and tires a brake upgrade may be a worth considering. Brake upgrades include higher friction brake pads and even slotted rotors which run cooler that stock non slotted units are a firm favorite with many light truck drivers.

High friction brake pads can help a truck stop faster but often do not outlast the original parts, There is always a trade off with life and performance and light truck drivers have to make their selection accordingly.

The heavier a truck is the better the brakes need to be. Always choose components wisely and have them fitted professionally to avoid shocks. Check brake fluid regularly and top up with correct spec of a quality brake fluid and always remember to replace brake pads when they are low. Wearing brake pads to a point where is less than one eighth of an inch of material is not recommend as this is where brake fade sets in and loss of brake can be experienced. Also running pads too low can cause rotor damage and seriously increase the cost of your next brake repair.

BMW Brakes
BMW with EBC

Ever wondered why you get so much dust from your BMW Brakes? The very way brakes work means that some small amounts of dust are produced but new ways have been found to produce excellent braking power without the need for dust.

BMW Brakes are mostly made by the systems designed and builder ATE or Alfred Teves Gmbh and as a quality brake system designed they work principally with single piston caliper systems that employ high metallic and carbon content pads. These pads work well on BMW Brakes but do create a lot of dust. This dust is actually brake rotor material caused by the abrasive nature of the BMW brakes so the way to reduce dust is to reduce the rotor abrasion.

One company that has recently designed low dust brake pads claims to be able to offer BMW Brakes that perform well but eliminate a lot of the dust. The brakes are called Redstuff and more details can be read on the above link.

However BMW Brakes have other characteristics that are good in design functionality such as center line slots and compound edge chamfers which reduce the pad overhang beyond the caliper piston supported area.

As very fast cars it is also essential that BMW brakes work well and do not suffer from brake fade. One such way to make sure any aftermarket pads you buy are quality parts and compatible with your BMW Brakes is to look for the ECE R90 brake safety regulation markings on the back of the pad. To read more details about this important European legislation that has outlawed cheap untested and often ineffective brake products please refer to the above link.

Brake fade is a phenomenon caused by poor quality brake pads which often use too much binding resin or low temperature stable resins where higher quality pads such as original BMW Brakes have a much higher quality base.

If you require aftermarket BMW Brakes there are plenty on offer but be careful to look for those all important ECE R90 markings on the pads before install.

Brakes are too important to cut corners but the ECE R90 law has taken care of that. If a pad is marked with the R90 coding it is as safe to use as genuine BMW Brakes.

Racing Brake
Racing car brakes

Racing Brakes are a vital component for every car and Motorcycle rider and it is safe to say every vehicle that enjoys racing brake pads are always upgraded for safety and to grab that extra yard from the opposition.

The design of a racing brake may be quite basic and often people choose to race a motor vehicle with standard fitment calipers and discs, all the more reason for choosing a great brake pad for racing such as EBC Bluestuff or EBC Yellowstuff brake pads.

Usually a racing brake will employ an oversize brake rotor often with fully floating design where the outer rotor and inner hub are separated to allow for expansion and contraction of the components as they heat and cool to occur with distortion.

EBC make also slotted rotors which can form a very useful an inexpensive part of the racing brake set up for your car having the ability to draw cool air under the pad and rotor interface and bring brake temperatures down by hundreds of degrees. For more details of the EBC GD series slotted rotors click here.

EBC Brakes manufacture 100% of their own brake pads in a state of the art facility in Bristol UK and employ two very qualified full time material development engineers who work in our own R and D lab equipped with 5 dyno test rigs.

In the Motorcycle World EBC brakes have been involved in racing brake development for 30 years and have pioneered great inventions such as the super light weight X disc brake rotors and the new latest and greatest EPFA Series sintered brake pads that will stop anything faster and last.

EBC Brakes also make the OS series and SM series oversize brake rotor kits for Off road Moto X use and for the fast evolving side by side market for ATV enthusiasts.

Whatever the needs in racing, EBC Brakes is here to help with a team of qualified and friendly team members, we would welcome feedback on our blogs and reviews pages from all users. Having sold over 30 million sets of brakes since start-up we believe EBC has earned its wings.

Brake Fluid
Brake fluids

Vehicles braking systems use hydraulics to transfer the braking action from the drivers pedal or lever to the master cylinder and then finally on to the brake caliper. The hydraulic system allows fluid pressure (or braking force) to be transmitted from one end of the braking system to the other, pushing the brake pads against the brake disc and decelerating the vehicle. Sounds simple right?

In fact it is far from that, a vehicles hydraulic braking system is a carefully balanced precision system that needs respect for cleanliness and regular servicing. Most importantly, when servicing it is vital that the correct type of brake fluid to be used.

There are two basic groups of brake fluid, Glycol fluids and silicone fluids (there are also one or two cars in France using mineral fluids but we leave that aside for the purpose of this article as this is very uncommon indeed).

Brake fluids

Glycol fluids are the most common and used in 99.9% of motor vehicles in various grades. They are named by their DOT (Department of Transport) coding and are either DOT 3, DOT 4 or DOT 5.1. In general, the higher the number the higher the typical brake fluid boiling point. Although there are some exceptions to this rule, some high performance/racing DOT 4 fluids are highly refined giving them a significantly higher boiling point than a regular DOT5.1 fluid. For instance, EBC BF307+ racing fluid is a DOT 4 fluid with a dry boiling point of 307 degrees C, which is significantly higher than a typical DOT 5.1 fluid with a dry boiling point of only 260 degrees C. Hence when attempting to determine if one brake fluid is superior to another you must read the technical specification and compare the quoted boiling points.

Every brake fluid will specify two boiling points, the dry boiling point and the wet boiling point. At this point you may be thinking a ‘dry’ fluid sounds ridiculous since surely all brake fluids are wet, but what we mean by a ‘dry’ fluid is that the fluid does not contain any water. Hence a ‘wet’ fluid does contain water.

Crucially, all glycol fluids are hygroscopic which means that they absorb moisture from the surrounding atmosphere like a dry sponge absorbs water. This means that a glycol fluids water content will gradually increase over time as it absorbs moisture from the surrounding air. That’s why it’s absolutely critical to never use brake fluid from opened containers. On the other hand silicone based DOT 5 fluid is hydrophobic and this means the fluid repels moisture in the surrounding air.

The ‘dry boiling point’ can be considered the brake fluids boiling point when brand new, under optimal conditions and with minimal water content. However, over time glycol fluids degrade as they gradually absorb water from the air thus becoming a ‘wet’ fluid. The quoted ‘wet boiling point’ can be considered a worst-case scenario for a brake fluid nearing the end of its life and in need of replacing. The reason a wet boiling point is significantly lower than the dry boiling point is because water has a much lower boiling point (100 degrees C) than the brake fluid itself so the higher the water content in the brake fluid the lower the overall boiling point becomes. Leave any glycol fluid open to the atmosphere for more than a few days and its boiling point will fall to the ‘wet boiling point’ level.

Water in the brake fluid or a low boiling point is undesirable because as the brakes get hot during use, some of the heat is transferred into the brake caliper and thus into the hydraulic fluid. During rigorous braking temperatures can become so high that the brake fluid boils, introducing bubbles of gas into the hydraulics. This is very bad news since the bubbles of gas increases the overall compressibility of the brake fluid leading to a spongey pedal/lever and in extreme cases can lead to complete brake failure. Many track day drivers will recall a hair-raising moment when their brake pedal or lever bottomed out completely after boiling their brake fluid.

Of course, the other reason water in the brake fluid is bad news is because this then allows components in the hydraulic system to corrode, which over time can lead to replacing parts and massive repair bills.

You might also expect that once the brake fluid reservoir cap is screwed on tight there is no chance of water getting into the vehicles brake fluid, but in fact plastic is porous to a small degree and hence the rubber brake lines and plastic reservoir will allow a tiny amount of moisture to pass through it. The fact that glycol fluids gradually degrade in quality over time as water is absorbed is the reason that hydraulic braking systems must be periodically flushed through with new fresh brake fluid in order to maintain good braking performance. On a typical road car, replacing the fluid every 3 years is considered the minimum but the conditions under which the vehicle is driven also play a factor here. It is not uncommon for track cars to replace the fluid every 3-6 months, or racers to replace fluid every single event!

In general the higher the boiling point of the fluid used, the better. Although you should note that if the body of the brake caliper itself is exceeding 250 degrees C then you have a serious problem, not even Formula 1 brake calipers run above 250 degrees C. You might consider using brake caliper paint to determine the calipers max operating temperatures and then duct appropriate cooling to the brakes as necessary to manage these temperatures.

A LITTLE ON THE DIFFERENT FLUID TYPES

DOT 3 is a basic brake fluid that has a moderate water content and is not common in modern vehicles.

You can think of DOT 4 as a more refined & higher grade DOT 3 having a lower water content. The majority of modern vehicles use DOT 4 as this grade of fluid is a good compromise between cost and performance and is more than suitable for your typical daily driver, but beware, open a DOT 4 fluid and leave for a couple of weeks and your fluid will degrade to DOT 3 or worse. For this reason EBC only supply brake fluid in top-up size bottles that are individually sealed air tight, because once opened a bottle of fluid cannot be re-used and must be disposed of. Some workshops purchase brake fluid in large gallon containers but EBC refuse to sell fluid in such vast quantities because unless your doing 10+ cars in a short period the fluid will degrade resulting in the majority of it being wasted.

Brake fluids

DOT 5.1 is yet a further refined glycol fluid with lower water content than a regular DOT 4 or DOT 3 fluid. DOT 5.1 fluids are popular as an upgrade on DOT 4 for higher performance vehicles since DOT 4 and DOT 5.1 are both glycol base and are therefore compatible. EBC however does not offer a DOT 5.1 fluid since EBC BF307+ racing fluid is what’s known as a Super DOT 4 fluid and has a higher boiling point than DOT 5.1 anyway.

There are several other things to note about glycol brake fluids. First they are toxic so never drink or ingest them and secondly they are very caustic so when working with glycol brake fluids keep them fluid and contaminated rags or your fingers away from vehicle paintwork. Wash off any spills quickly with soapy water.

Silicone DOT 5 fluids are another story, they are not toxic (although it is never good sense to drink any such fluid) and not caustic. For this reason some classic car and motorcycle builders use silicon fluids to avoid paintwork and plastic damage. Harley Davidson for example use silicone fluids in some bikes.

Mixing glycol and silicone fluids is definitely not advised as it causes an interface which means the pressure transfer does not happen effectively and certain caliper and cylinder hydraulic seals which may be made from viton or nitrile rubber are designed for one type of fluid but are destroyed by the other.

Always check the spec of brake fluid required for your vehicle on master cylinder or in the manufacturers handbook.

Once you have flushed and changed your brake fluid you will need to bleed the brakes and you can view the following videos which give a walk through of this process: EBC brake line fitting videos for car and motorcycle

ECE R90 or Regulation 90 – What’s it all about?
EBC r90 pads

European legislation came into effect September 1999 titled ECE R90 that stipulates that all brake pads sold for use on vehicles manufactured after this date must be tested and comply to R90 standards.

This test which involves taking each homologated vehicle used on the public roads within Europe and comparing the front and rear brake performance with the original parts to those of aftermarket offerings has closed the door to cheap and nasty imported brake pads throughout Europe.

The test includes cold and hot brake friction analysis and if a part has been approved to R90, it can be safely assumed that the product is equal to or better than original equipment product.

The brake pads are then marked with an R90 code number and a country code in a circle such as E1 for Germany or E11 for UK which signifies where the testing has been done.

EBC Brakes does all of its testing at the VCA (Vehicle Certification Agency) test facilities at MIRA in Nuneaton, UK. MIRA stands for the Motor Industries Research Association who have a high speed test track for conducting these tests which EBC Brakes uses on a regular basis. Compare this to some of the blanket approvals that have been obtained (or supposedly obtained) from some (shall we say) less scrupulous industry participants and it is clear to anyone with an engineering knowledge that the EBC Brakes method of testing is 100% reliable.

Factory Approval is part of the R90 process which involves engineers inspecting and accrediting the factory manufacturing the product before approval is given.

What are the benefits?

If you are selling brake pads for European vehicles and the material you are offering is not very close to the original equipment material in terms of friction level, you could be placing your customers safety at risk. Considering that in 90% of cases the front brake pads on a vehicle wear out before the rear, it is normal to see replacement of front brake pads with an aftermarket offering whilst the rear pad is still left in the vehicle. Simple physics tells you that a vehicle with higher friction in the rear than in the front is a danger area. Such an imbalance of braking can cause rear wheel lock up as pedal pressure is increased by the driver in an attempt to bring the vehicle to rest, and the simple result is ….. front wheel lock up and the car brakes IN A STRAIGHT LINE …. rear wheel lock up and the car goes into a tailspin.

In what ways are European pads different and why does this affect me?

Most European vehicles are built with single piston caliper systems with “deep” profile pads where the band width (height of the pad from top to bottom) is much larger than in brake systems used on Asian cars or American built cars. This basic design difference has lead to European car manufacturers using HIGHER FRICTION pads than most of their counterparts who build vehicles in Asia and USA. To use the lower friction level pads common in the American and Asian markets inter-mixed with a higher friction European spec pad is a recipe for disaster.

Another major advantage

of the EBC product is its far reduced disc (rotor) wear rates compared to many original parts. Internal tests have show significant reduction in rotor wear when using the EBC Ultimax material.

SSBC

Brake pads for SSBC systems are available in a range of compounds, see here for chart of availabliity.

SSBC stands for Stainless Steel Brake Corp a fine outfit from just outside Buffalo New York building and selling high quality brake system parts that have been around since 1975. With manufacturing and testing facilities second to none SSBC brake products are widely used and accepted not just by the performance enthusiast but also by vehicle builders alike and SSBC has gained an enviable reputation its brakes and brake conversion kits in the USA and around the world.

If you are fortunate to have an SSBC Stainless Steel Brake Corp brake caliper on your vehicle you might want to check this link to see the range of EBC brake components available for SSBC brakes.

Brakes are an important part of any motor vehicle and choosing the right brake system is an important step. Using professionals who have years of experience makes all the difference and SSBC are certainly one of those.

In the UK the people at EBC Brakes have also done their share of brake testing and being another ISO approved manufacturing facility produce some of the finest brake compounds in the world that are being used by the majority of UK Police force cars, used by the Silverstone Race Circuit for their test cars including the mighty new Nissan GTR Skylines and are the most commonly found pad in the UK Mazda Miata race series.

How to make brake pads is an exact science and the materials used in brake pads are always evolving. Years ago brake pads were made using asbestos fibres and noone but the very uneducated would use those carcinogenic materials these days. Respect for the environment when producing brakes is a must and more information on environmentally friendly brake materials can be found here.

Brake pads are used on everything from Mountain Bikes to Military tanks and will be around for year to come, long after supplies of oil run out and we are making our daily run to office or race track in solar powered, electric powered, nuclear powered or whatever type of vehicle. No matter where the power comes from you are always going to need brakes.

Hi Spec Motorsport Calipers

Buy pads here for Hi Spec Motorsport calipers and oversize brake systems. This quality British manufacture produce a complete range of first call performance brake components ranging from Hi Spec calipers to complete Hi Spec brake upgrade kits.

This London based manufacturer is a regular at the major sh0ows and exhibitions and can be visited each year at the Birmingham Autosport show. More details on Hi Sec can be found at www.hispecbrake.co.uk. Hi Spec brake systems offer great value for money with superb quality.

The Hi Spec systems use British made EBC disc pads in many of their brake systems manufactured in the Bristol UK manufacturing plant.

Disc pad offering for Hi Spec calipers include Greenstuff Kevlar brake pads, Redstuff Ceramic enhanced low dust brake pads and the new Yellowstuff trackday and race compounds.

Choose the Hi Spec caliper you have and select from the disc pad options below.

Daily Driver Ultimax Pad # Greenstuff Sport Pad # Redstuff Low Dust Superstreet # Yellowstuff Trackday and Race Pad # Bluestuff NDX Full Race Pad # New Orangestuff Full Race Pad #
Hi Spec Number Hi Spec Pad Number set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers)
Monster 4 DP2002 DP4004R
Monster 6 DP2002 DP4004R
Billet 4 285 DP2143 DP3143C DP4143R
Billet 4 300 DP2143 DP3143C DP4143R
Billet 4 310 DP2108 DP3108C DP4108R
Ultralite 2 DP21537 DP31537C DP41537R DP51537 NDX DP91537
Ultralite 4 DP21537 DP31537C DP41537R DP51537 NDX DP91537
Monster Race 4 DP4002R DP5002 NDX DP9002
Monster Race 6 DP4002R DP500 NDX DP9002
Mega Monster6 DP4005R DP5005 NDX DP9005
Ultralite H/B
Hi Spec Number DP106 DP2106
R114-4 narrow DP4003R
R114-4 wide DP4008R
R126-6 DP4046R DP5046 NDX DP9046
R132-4 DP4002R DP5002 NDX DP9002
R132-6 DP4002R DP5002 NDX DP9002
RE152-6 DP4005R DP5005 NDX DP9005
Billet H/B DP177
Monster 4 H/B DP2002
Tarox Calipers

Brake pads for Tarox calipers in various compounds for fast street and track driving are available from the chart below.

Manufactured by EBC Brakes in the UK, these high quality brake pads are guaranteed to fit specified Tarox calipers.

Tarox has been in business for over 35 years based in Osnago, Italy and manufactures premium quality Tarox calipers, plus a range of sport brake discs including oversize floating rotor kits. Tarox also produce their own disc brake pads for the Tarox range of hydraulic calipers.

Use the chart below to view the pad shape that you require for your Tarox caliper.

Daily Driver Ultimax Pad # Greenstuff Sport Pad # Redstuff Low Dust Superstreet # Yellowstuff Trackday and Race Pad # Bluestuff NDX Full Race pad # New Orangestuff Full Race Pad #
Tarox Caliper Number Tarox Pad Number set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers)
B1 DP41013R
B2 DP41013R
B20 FTL-4 SP0020 DP2001 DP4001R
B25S-6 SP0153M DP2325 DP4325R
B27-6 SP0153M DP2325 DP4325R
B27-6 radial SP0153M DP2325 DP4325R
B280-4 SP0102 DP4008R
B280-6 SP0102 DP3003C DP4003R
B320-6 SP0102 DP3003C DP4003R
B32-10 SP0239 DP4413R
B32-10GT SP0899 DP4413R
B32-6 SP0239 DP4413R
B34-GT10 SP0239 DP4413R DP5413NDX DP9413
B34-GT6 SP0239 DP4413R
B34-VC10 SP0239 DP4413R DP5413NDX DP9413
B34-VC6 SP0239 DP4413R DP5413NDX DP9413
B360 DP4413R DP5413NDX DP9413
B350-12 SP0225 DP4197/2R
B350-8 SP0225 DP4197/2R
B380-10 SP0239 DP4413R DP5413 NDX DP9413
B380-6 SP0239 DP4413R DP5413 NDX DP9413
B400-12 SP0225 DP4197
B400-GT16 SP0331 DP41140R DP51140 NDX DP91140
BF30-6 SP2703M DP41200R
BF34-6 SP2703M DP31200C DP41200R
Endurance DP5011 NDX DP9011
FMR SP0097 DP2104 DP4104R
Junior SP0097 DP2104 DP4104R
Racing DP4011R DP5011 NDX DP9011
Outlaw Brake Disc Systems

Find performance and race disc pads for your OUTLAW disc brake system here with great compound choices for all types of fast street, trackday and full race use.

Outlaw Brake disc systems are a US manufacturer located in Cumming Georgia now owned by Todd Howerton. Outlaw produce some beautiful caliper offerings for the high end brake enthusiast for use on Race Cars, Hot Rods and more.

Outlaw Brakes produce in addition to brake calipers, master cylinders,brake pedals,fluid reservoirs, brake rotors …..the works.

Although Outlaw work with Tilton as their OE pad supplier EBC Brakes of course produces quality brake pads that fit the Outlaw disc brake range and a table of calipers and fitments is shown below.

EBC Brake pads have been very successful in many levels of racing and intend to launch their Bluestuff aggressively in a new race series in the USA in 2010.

The very popular EBC Yellowstuff and also the new high durability Bluestuff NDX ranges from EBC Brakes would be idea for Sport and race use in Outlaw Calipers.

EBC Brakes Fitment Guide for Outlaw Brake Disc Systems

Daily Driver Ultimax Pad # Greenstuff Sport Pad # Redstuff Low Dust Superstreet # Yellowstuff Trackday and Race Pad # Bluestuff NDX Full Race pad # New Orangestuff Full Race Pad #
Outlaw Caliper Number Outlaw Pad Number set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers)
1000 HB104/180-757 DP21144 DP31144C DP41144R DP51144 NDX DP91144
2000 HB100/180-752 DP2001 DP3001C DP4001R DP5001 NDX DP9001
2800 HB237/180-754 DP2010 DP3010C DP4010R DP5010 NDX DP9010
3000 HB101/180-751 DP2007 DP3007C DP4007R DP5007 NDX DP9007
4000 HB101/180-751 DP2007 DP3007C DP4007R DP5007 NDX DP9007
4000XD HB101/180-751 DP2007 DP3007C DP4007R DP5007 NDX DP9007
GM HB103/180-052 DP21145 DP31145C DP41145R DP51145 NDX DP91145
GM Metric HB119/180-154 DP21146 DP31146C DP41146R DP51146 NDX DP91146
Grand National HB102/180-753 DP21148 DP31148C DP41148R DP51148 NDX DP91148
Inboard Sprint Car HB237/180-754 DP2010 DP3010C DP4010R DP5010 NDX DP9010
M-16 HB237/180-754 DP2010 DP3010C DP4010R DP5010 NDX DP9010

EBC Brake Pad Materials and Temperature Rating

EBC Compound Target market Cold friction Mu Hot Mu at 550 C (1000 F) Hot Mu at 800 C (1440 F) Lifetime factor on a one to ten basis Pagid Ferodo PFC Hawk Carbotech Mintex
Yellowstuff R 1793
(EBC Box end label will say AF93/AF94)
Race and Trackday use on cars up to 2200 lbs plus Drifting,Dirt Track,Oval, Legends, classic & vintage, formula Ford, Solo, sports 2000, Vee, Miata MX5. 0.5 0.31 0.21 6 RS4-4
RS5
DS2500 97 BLUE9012 HT10 AX6 XP8 M1155
Bluestuff DM 2116SC
(EBC Box end label will say AF66/16SC)
Fastest Street, trackday and entry level race material 0.75 0.45 0.42 10 RS4-2-1
RS4-2
DS3000 01 HT14 DTC05 XP10 M1166
Orangestuff Full Race Pad Full Race compound for track use only 0.5 0.6 0.63 10 RS14
RS15
RS29
DS3000 ENDURANCE 03
05
DTC30
DTC60
DTC70
XP12 M1177
Wilwood

This fine business started in 1977 and has been manufacturing high quality brake hydraulics for performance enthusiasts for 30 years from its base in Camarillo, California. Wilwood brakes are available for many race and performance cars as complete system conversions or bolt-on enhancements. They are also the original components on the US Military Humvee and are an ISO approved manufacturer and EBC Brakes also being an ISO approved company is pleased to announce that it has a complete range of pads in a variety of brake formulations to fit the entire range.

Use the selector chart below to choose the appropriate formulation of EBC compound for your Wilwood brake system.

Daily Driver Ultimax Pad # Greenstuff Sport Pad # Redstuff Low Dust Superstreet # Yellowstuff Trackday and Race Pad # Bluestuff NDX Full Race pad # New Orangestuff Full Race Pad #
Wilwood Caliper Number Wilwood Pad Number set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers)
Combination parking brake D340 DP680
Dynalite Narrow 7816 DP2039 DP3039C DP4039R DP5039 NDX DP9039
Dynalite Billet 7112 DP2038 DP3038C DP4038R DP5038 NDX DP9038
Dynalite Billet Single 6812 DP2056 DP3056C DP4056R DP5056 NDX DP9056
Dynalite Bridgebolt Use 7212 DP2010 DP3010C DP4010R
Dynalite Cotter Pin Use 7112 DP2001 DP3001C DP4001R DP5001 NDX DP9001
Dynalite Forged 7112 DP2038 DP3038C DP4038R DP5038 NDX DP9038
Dynalite Single 7012 DP21144 DP31144C DP41144R
Dynapro Lug Mount 7812 DP2039/2 DP3039/2C DP4039/2R DP5039/2 NDX DP9039/2
Dynapro Lug Narrow 7816 DP2039 DP3039C DP4039R DP5039 NDX DP9039
Dynapro NDL 7816 DP2039 DP3039C DP4039R DP5039 NDX DP9039
Dynapro Radial Mount 7816 DP2039 DP3039C DP4039R DP5039 NDX DP9039
Dynapro Radial Mount 7812 DP2039/2 DP3039/2C DP4039/2R DP5039/2 NDX DP5039/2
Dynapro Single 6812 DP2056 DP3056C DP4056R DP505 NDX DP9056
Dynapro Six Lug 6712 DP3055C DP4055R
GM D52 DP21145 DP31145C DP41145R DP51145 NDX DP91145
GM Metric D154 DP21146 DP31146C DP41146R DP51146 NDX DP91146
Grand National 7520 DP21148 DP31148C DP41148R DP51148 NDX DP91148
GT4000 9220 DP3016C DP4016R DP5016 NDX DP9016
Integra 9828 DP5052 NDX DP9052
IR-GT 7620 DP4044R DP5044 NDX
LC-GT 7320 DP2007 DP3007C DP4007R DP5007 NDX DP9007
P6R 9930 DP5051 NDX DP9051
Powerlite 7912 DP2057 DP3057C DP4057R DP5057 NDX DP9057
STR-6 9330 DP5050 NDX DP9050
Superlite 4 Piston 7416 DP2037 DP3037C DP4037R DP5073 NDX DP9037
Superlite 4 Piston 7420 DP2037/2 DP3037/2C DP4037/2R DP5037/2 NDX DP9037/2
Superlite 6 Piston 7416 DP2037 DP3037C DP4037R DP5037 NDX DP9037
Superlite 6 Piston 7420 DP2037/2 DP3037/2C DP4037/2R DP5037/2 NDX DP9037/2
TC6 6318 DP2053 DP3053C DP4053R
W4A 6617 DP3054C DP4054R DP5054 NDX DP9054
W6A 6617 DP3054C DP4054R DP5054 NDX DP9054
EBC Compound Target market Cold friction Mu Hot Mu at 550 C (1000 F) Hot Mu at 800 C (1440 F) Lifetime factor on a one to ten basis Pagid Ferodo PFC Hawk Carbotech Mintex
Yellowstuff R 1793 (EBC Box end label will say AF93/AF94) Race and Trackday use on cars up to 2200 lbs plus Drifting,Dirt Track,Oval, Legends, classic & vintage, formula Ford, Solo, sports 2000, Vee, Miata MX5. 0.5 0.31 0.21 6 RS4-4
RS5
DS2500 97 BLUE9012 HT10 AX6
XP8
M1155
Bluestuff DM 2116SC (EBC Box end label will say AF66/16SC) Fastest Street, trackday and entry level race material 0.75 0.45 0.42 10 RS4-2-1
RS4-2
DS3000 01 HT14 DTC05 XP10 M1166
Orangestuff Full Race Pad Full Race compound for track use only 0.5 0.6 0.63 10 RS14
RS15
RS29
DS3000 ENDURANCE 03
05
DTC30
DTC60
DTC70
XP12 M1177
Stillen

STILLEN or Steve Millen Sportparts Inc is amongst many other things the USA agent for AP Racing brakes.

Located in a 90,000 sq ft facility in Costa Mesa STILLEN have been selling Premium quality products for over 20 years .Products include such as exhausts, clutch components, oversize and sport brake kits, brake calipers and hardware, Body kits, sway bars plus specialty exhaust systems and superchargers…. you name it and STILLEN seem to have it.

The AP Racing name for brakes is one of the finest in the world and these brake systems have been used on performance and race cars for many years with great success. If you are lucky enough to have an AP Racing brake system from STILLEN on your car pretty soon you will be looking for replacement brake pads and we would like you to consider the EBC range of brake pads.

The world of Racing is a challenging environment used to research and develop performance products that have inspired the OEM vehicle producers for years. It is probably true to say that race development is the driving force of high end vehicle design where both performance and endurance can be tested to the extreme. Even if you do not intend to spend every weekend on a race track having great brakes on your car for even highway driving is money well spent, one thing is for sure with good brakes you will be the guy who always stops when the emergency arises so having good well serviced brakes is good sense.

There are also many of us who just love motor cars and make upgrades our hobby and passion. Many such enthusiasts who start out as racers end up as business owners passing their expertise on to fellow motor car users. I guess we are all fortunate to have lived in the era of the modern petrol engine which will unlikely be around when our grandchildren leave school.

Lets just call ourselves lucky!

EBC Compound Target market Cold friction Mu Hot Mu at 550 C (1000 F) Hot Mu at 800 C (1440 F) Lifetime factor on a one to ten basis Pagid Ferodo PFC Hawk Carbotech Mintex
Yellowstuff R 1793 (EBC Box end label will say AF93/AF94) Race and Trackday use on cars up to 2200 lbs plus Drifting,Dirt Track,Oval, Legends, classic & vintage, formula Ford, Solo, sports 2000, Vee, Miata MX5. 0.5 0.31 0.21 6 RS4-4
RS5
DS2500 97 BLUE9012 HT10 AX6
XP8
M1155
Bluestuff DM 2116SC (EBC Box end label will say AF66/16SC) Fastest Street, trackday and entry level race material 0.75 0.45 0.42 10 RS4-2-1
RS4-2
DS3000 01 HT14 DTC05 XP10 M1166
Orangestuff Full Race Pad Full Race compound for track use only 0.5 0.6 0.63 10 RS14
RS15
RS29
DS3000 ENDURANCE 03
05
DTC30
DTC60
DTC70
XP12 M1177
A P Racing

Originally made in the UK AP Racing was part of the world famous Lockheed Company at one time and is now owned by Brembo in Italy.

AP racing was famous for its calipers and brake hydraulics for cars and motorcycle for many years and has an excellent following in the racing circles.

High quality calipers such as AP Racing units mean nothing unless they have good brake pads and EBC would like to consider itself a quality provider of those parts.

Here are a list of compounds and fitments for AP Racing calipers:

Daily Driver Ultimax Pad # Greenstuff Sport Pad # Redstuff Low Dust Superstreet # Yellowstuff Trackday and Race Pad # Bluestuff NDX Full Race pad # New Orangestuff Full Race Pad #
AP Racing Caliper Number AP Racing Pad Number set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers)
CP2485 CP2399 DP2102 DP4102R DP5102 NDX
CP2505 CP2195 DP2128 DP4128R DP5128 NDX DP9128
CP2576 CP2399 DP2102 DP4102R DP5102 NDX
CP2577 CP2399 DP2102 DP4102R DP5102 NDX
CP3176 CP2399 DP2102 DP4102R DP5102 NDX
CP3177 CP2399 DP2102 DP4102R DP5102 NDX
CP3178 CP2399 DP2102 DP4102R DP5102 NDX
CP3228 CP2340 DP4003R DP5003 NDX DP9003
CP3307 CP3215D50 DP3002C DP4002R DP5002 NDX DP9002
CP3676 CP2399 DP2102 DP4102R DP5102 NDX
CP3677 CP2399 DP2102 DP4102R DP5102 NDX
CP3696 CP2195 DP2128 DP4128R DP5128 NDX DP9128
CP3799 CP2279 DP4002R DP5002 NDX DP9002
CP4567 CP3345 DP4008R DP5008 NDX DP9008
CP4586 CP2399 DP2102 DP4102R DP5102 NDX DP9102
CP4596 CP2399 DP2102 DP4102R DP5102 NDX DP9102
CP5020-20 CP2399 DP2102 DP4102R DP5102 NDX DP9102
CP5040-10 CP3354 DP2008 DP3008C DP4008R DP5008 NDX DP9008
CP5040-2 CP3215D50 DP2002 DP3002C DP4002R DP5002 NDX DP9002
CP5040-30 CP2279D50 DP2002 DP3002C DP4002R DP5002 NDX DP9002
CP5045 CP5045 DP4997R DP5997 NDX DP9997
CP5060-10 CP3894D51 DP2005 DP3005C DP4005R DP5005 NDX DP9005
CP5060-2 CP3894D54 DP2006 DP3006C DP4006R DP5006 NDX DP9006
CP5095 CP3558D54 DP4009R DP5009 NDX
CP5100 CP3345 DP2008 DP3008C DP4008R
CP5200 CP3215D50 DP3002C DP4002R
CP5211 CP2399 DP2102 DP3102C DP4102R
CP5260-8 CP3558D54 DP2009 DP3009C DP4009R DP5009 NDX DP9009
CP5270-2 CP3558D54 DP2009 DP3009C DP4009R DP5009 NDX DP9009
CP5311 CP2399 DP2102 DP3102C DP4102R
CP5410 CP5510D43 DP4044R DP5044 NDX
CP5420 CP5510D43 DP4044R DP5044 NDX
CP5510 CP5510D43 DP4044R DP5044 NDX
CP5515 CP5510D43 DP4044R DP5044 NDX
CP5555 CP3894D54 DP3006C DP4006R
CP5560 CP3894D46 DP4012R DP5012 NDX
CP5570 CP5070D51 DP3032C DP4032R
CP5610 CP5510D43 DP4044R DP5044 NDX
CP5830 CP2279D50 DP4002R DP5002 NDX DP9002
CP5835 CP2279D50 DP4002R DP5002 NDX DP9002
CP5846 CP6070D49 DP4016R DP5016 NDX DP9016
CP5847 CP6070D49 DP4016R DP5016 NDX DP9016
CP5880 CP2279D50 DP4002R DP5002 NDX DP9002
CP5890 CP4595D54 DP4009R DP5009 NDX
CP5895 CP4595D54 DP4009R DP5009 NDX
CP5900 CP4595D54 DP4009R DP5009 NDX
CP6077 CP4595D54 DP4009R DP5009 NDX
CP6078 CP4595D54 DP4009R DP5009 NDX
CP6080 CP6210 DP4033R DP5033 NDX
CP6160 CP6210 DP4033R DP5033 NDX
CP6161 CP6210 DP4033R DP5033 NDX
CP6270 CP6070 DP4016R DP5016 NDX DP9016
CP6271 CP6070 DP4016R DP5016 NDX DP9016
CP6320 CP3215D46 DP4031R DP5031 NDX DP9031
CP6320 CP3215D50 DP4002R DP5002 NDX DP9002
CP6560 CP3215D46 DP4031R DP5031 NDX DP9031
CP6561 CP3345 DP4008R DP5008 NDX DP9008
CP6562 CP3215D46 DP4031R DP5031 NDX DP9031
CP6564 CP3215D46 DP4031R DP5031 NDX DP9031
CP6600 CP6600D55 DP3036C DP4036R DP5036 NDX DP9036
CP6720 CP3215D46 DP4031R DP5031 NDX DP9031
CP6720 CP3215D50 DP4002R DP5002 NDX DP9002
CP6730 CP3215D46 DP4031R DP5031 NDX DP9031
CP6730 CP3215D50 DP4002R DP5002 NDX DP9002
CP6740 CP3215D46 DP4031R DP5031 NDX DP9031
CP6740 CP3215D50 DP4002R DP5002 NDX DP9002
CP6750 CP3894D51 DP4005R DP5005 NDX DP9005
CP6760 CP3345 DP4008R DP5008 NDX DP9008
CP7040 CP7040D61 DP3042C DP4042R
CP7600 CP7600D46 DP31377C DP41377R
CP7606 CP7600D46 DP41377R DP51377 NDX
CP7613 CP7600D46 DP41377R DP51377 NDX
CP8240 7751 DP4037/2R DP5037/2 NDX
CP8241 7751 DP4037/2R DP5037/2 NDX
CP8250 7751 DP4037/2R DP5037/2 NDX
StopTech

Finding brake pads to fit your Stoptech brake upgrade system is easy, here are all the part numbers and material available from world Class manufacturer EBC Brakes.

This US manufacturer of aftermarket high performance brakes has been around for years and Stoptech has become one of the main players on the performance brake system market.

StopTech was founded in March of 1999 in the USA and its products have been TUV tested and approved for many European applications. According to their website “StopTech is the first aftermarket brake company to offer balanced front brake upgrades, engineered to dramatically improve overall braking performance while remaining compatible with the stock OE rear brakes. This has significantly advanced the state of art in aftermarket brake upgrades. “

The range of calipers from StopTech include the very popular ST-40, ST-60 and ST-22 calipers feature fully forged construction.

EBC Brakes manufactures brake pads in a variety of compounds for the Stoptech caliper range and a table of what EBC Brakes has to offer for these fine systems is shown below.

Daily Driver Ultimax Pad # Greenstuff Sport Pad # Redstuff Low Dust Superstreet # Yellowstuff Trackday and Race Pad # Bluestuff NDX Full Race pad # New Orangestuff Full Race Pad #
StopTech Caliper Number StopTech Pad Number set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers)
ST-10 D377 DP978
ST-20 D679 DP61259 DP31259C DP41259R DP51259 NDX DP91259
ST-22 D961 DP21537 DP31537C DP41537R DP51537 NDX DP91537
ST-40 D372 DP2767 DP3767C DP4767R DP5767 NDX DP9767
ST-45 D608 DP21014 DP31014C DP41014R DP51014 NDX
ST-60 D1247 DP2005 DP3005C DP4005R DP5005 NDX DP9005
EBC Compound Target market Cold friction Mu Hot Mu at 550 C (1000 F) Hot Mu at 800 C (1440 F) Lifetime factor on a one to ten basis Pagid Ferodo PFC Hawk Carbotech Mintex
Yellowstuff R 1793 (EBC Box end label will say AF93/AF94) Race and Trackday use on cars up to 2200 lbs plus Drifting,Dirt Track,Oval, Legends, classic & vintage, formula Ford, Solo, sports 2000, Vee, Miata MX5. 0.5 0.31 0.21 6 RS4-4
RS5
DS2500 97 BLUE9012 HT10 AX6
XP8
M1155
Bluestuff DM 2116SC (EBC Box end label will say AF66/16SC) Fastest Street, trackday and entry level race material 0.75 0.45 0.42 10 RS4-2-1
RS4-2
DS3000 01 HT14 DTC05 XP10 M1166
Orangestuff Full Race Pad Full Race compound for track use only 0.5 0.6 0.63 10 RS14
RS15
RS29
DS3000 ENDURANCE 03
05
DTC30
DTC60
DTC70
XP12 M1177
Brembo Brakes
brembo caliper

The Italian brake system manufacturer Brembo is one of the finest systems design companies for brakes in the world. Brembo make high quality brake calipers and hydraulics, brake rotors in standard and sport format for both motorcycles and cars.

The Brembo name has been synonymous with Racing for decades and we take our hat off to Brembo for its fine engineering.

EBC Brakes make disc pads for every Brembo brake caliper in a variety of compounds for race use and a table of Brembo caliper designs and pad fitment numbers available from EBC Brakes is shown below.

For general highway use Brembo are also the standard brake system fitment on prestige cars such as the Mitsubishi EVO, the Nissan 350Z, Nissan Skyline, this list is endless and a further accolade to this manufacturers expertise.

EBC brakes as a pad manufacturer like to feel that its products match up well with the brake systems which Brembo produce.

Daily Driver Ultimax Pad # Greenstuff Sport Pad # Redstuff Low Dust Superstreet # Yellowstuff Trackday and Race Pad # Bluestuff NDX Full Race pad # New Orangestuff Full Race Pad #
Brembo Caliper Number Brembo Pad Number set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers)
623 DP21144 DP41144R
0.060.51 DP4016R DP5016 NDX DP9016
20.3655.00 DP2102 DP4102R
20.4548.03 DP4016R DP5016 NDX DP9016
20.4862.05 DP31110C DP41110R DP51110 NDX DP91110
20.4862.08 DP31110C DP41110R DP51110 NDX DP91110
20.5187.30 DP31140C DP41140R DP51140 NDX DP91140
22.5882.11/21 Handbrake DP1719
94.75.11 100-H42.5 DP4044R DP5044 NDX
96.14.03 100-H42.5 DP4044R DP5044 NDX
Big Red DP3997C DP4997R DP5997 NDX DP9997
X2.029.21 100-H42.5 DP4044R DP5044 NDX
X2.029.71 100-H42.5 DP4044R DP5044 NDX
X2.040.01 100-H42.5 DP4044R DP5044 NDX
X2.046.01 DP4016R DP5016 NDX DP9016
X6.059.41 100-H42.5 DP4044R DP5044 NDX
X9.005.91 DP4016R DP5016 NDX DP9016
X9.011.01 100-H42.5 DP4044R DP5044 NDX
X9.011.31 100-H42.5 DP4044R DP5044 NDX
X9.060.71 140-140C-C DP4016R DP5016 NDX DP9016
X9.060.91 140C-C DP4016R DP5016 NDX DP9016
X9.066.91 100-H42.5 DP4044R DP5044 NDX
X97.24.01 62 DP4104R DP5104 NDX
X97.24.10 62 DP4104R DP5104 NDX
X97.24.21 62 DP4104R DP5104 NDX
X97.24.31 62 DP4104R DP5104 NDX
X97.24.51 62 DP4104R DP5104 NDX
X97.24.61 62 DP4104R DP5104 NDX
X97.60.41 132-H49 DP4016R DP5016 NDX DP9016
X98.A8.41 132-H49
132-H43
DP4016R DP5016 NDX DP9016
X99.73.11 132A DP4997R DP5997 NDX DP9997
X99.E8.01 164A DP4058R DP5058 NDX DP9058
XA0.80.51 132-H49
132-H43
DP4016R DP5016 NDX DP9016
XA1.37.11 132-H43 DP4016R DP5016 NDX DP9016
XA2.30.11 100-H42.5 DP4044R DP5044 NDX
XA2.30.31 100-H42.5 DP4044R DP5044 NDX
XA2.E5.01 132-H49
132-H43
DP4016R DP5016 NDX DP9016
XA2.E5.11 132-H49
132-H43
DP4016R DP5016 NDX DP9016
XA2.E7.01 132-H49 DP4016R DP5016 NDX DP9016
XA2.E7.11 132-H49 DP4016R DP5016 NDX DP9016
XA3.02.11 164 C-C DP4058R DP5058 NDX DP9058
XA3.02.21 164 D DP4048R DP5048 NDX DP9048
XA3.02.31 164 DP4048R DP5048 NDX DP9048
XA3.02.41 164 C-C DP4058R DP5058 NDX DP9058
XA3.A4.01 100-H42.5 DP4044R DP5044 NDX
XA3.A4.41 100-H42.5 DP4044R DP5044 NDX
XA3.G2.11 100-H42.5 DP4044R DP5044 NDX
XA4.F1.01 164 DP4048R DP5048 NDX DP9048
XA4.F1.11 164 C-C DP4058R DP5058 NDX DP9058
XA4.F1.21 164 D DP4048R DP5048 NDX DP9048
XA4.F1.31 164 C-C DP4058R DP5058 NDX DP9058
XA5.C2.01 164 DP4058R DP5058 NDX DP9058
XA5.M4.01 165 DP41591R DP51591 NDX DP91591
XA6.61.01 B24 DP4048R DP5048 NDX DP9048
XA6.61.21 B24 DP4048R DP5048 NDX DP9048
XA6.H7.01 164 D DP4058R DP5058 NDX DP9058
XA6.H7.11 132 DP4016R DP5016 NDX DP9016
XA6.L6.11 77 DP4197/2R DP5197/2 NDX DP9197/2
XA7.46.03 B12-B13 DP4016R DP5016 NDX DP9016
XA7.46.13 B12-B13 DP4016R DP5016 NDX DP9016
XA7.46.23 B12-B13 DP4016R DP5016 NDX DP9016
XA7.G0.11 B09 DP4044R DP5044 NDX
EBC Compound Target market Cold friction Mu Hot Mu at 550 C (1000 F) Hot Mu at 800 C (1440 F) Lifetime factor on a one to ten basis Pagid Ferodo PFC Hawk Carbotech Mintex
Yellowstuff R 1793 (EBC Box end label will say AF93/AF94) Race and Trackday use on cars up to 2200 lbs plus Drifting,Dirt Track,Oval, Legends, classic & vintage, formula Ford, Solo, sports 2000, Vee, Miata MX5. 0.5 0.31 0.21 6 RS4-4
RS5
DS2500 97 BLUE9012 HT10 AX6
XP8
M1155
Bluestuff DM 2116SC (EBC Box end label will say AF66/16SC) Fastest Street, trackday and entry level race material 0.75 0.45 0.42 10 RS4-2-1
RS4-2
DS3000 01 HT14 DTC05 XP10 M1166
Orangestuff Full Race Pad Full Race compound for track use only 0.5 0.6 0.63 10 RS14
RS15
RS29
DS3000 ENDURANCE 03
05
DTC30
DTC60
DTC70
XP12 M1177
Baer Brake Systems
baer caliper

EBC Brakes is pleased to announce it has brake pads in a variety of sport and race compounds for the entire line up of Baer brakes calipers.

Baer is a well established quality manufacturer of Brake calipers and hydraulics plus oversize rotors and was founded in the USA where all its products are made.

Choosing the right pad compounds for your aftermarket caliper is not always easy and many pad manufacturers offer little choice but at EBC Brakes where we manufacture the largest range of brakes in the world, problem solved. We have pads for your Baer Brakes no matter where or how you drive all manufactured in our state of the art manufacturing plant located in Bristol UK.

Founded in 1978 EBC Brakes is an independently owned brake pad blender and designer with a pedigree that goes back 70 years when the original company was part of the TBA group which now includes names like Textar,Mintex and Pagid under the new TMD name. EBC Brakes was a breakaway group formed by ex employees of the Bristol plant that made the then famous Top Dog Brand of organic friction and this technology goes on with the current staff, many of whom were former TBA employees.

Use the chart below to select your quality pad choice for you Baer brake system and then shop online by using this link to get prices and make your purchase:

EBC Brakes Fitment Guide for Baer Calipers

Greenstuff Sport Pad # Redstuff Low Dust Superstreet # Yellowstuff Trackday and Race Pad # Bluestuff NDX Full Race pad # New Orangestuff Full Race Pad #
Baer Caliper Number Baer Pad Number set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers) set of 4 pads (for 2 calipers)
6P D731 DP31162C DP41162R DP51162 NDX
6R D1247 DP4005R DP5005 NDX DP9005
6S D1247 DP3005C DP4005R DP5005 NDX DP9005
Alumasport D731 DP21162 DP31162C DP41162R
Extreme Plus D1247 DP3005C DP4005R
GT-GT Plus D731 DP31162C DP41162R
Iron Sport D627 DP21156/2 DP31156/2C DP41156/2R
Pro Plus D731 DP21162 DP31162C DP41162R
Serious Street D412 DP21131 DP31131C DP41131R
Shelby Extreme Plus D1247 DP3005C DP4005R DP5005 NDX DP9005
Sport D412 DP21131 DP31131C DP41131R DP51131 NDX
T4 D749 DP31239C DP41239R DP5123 NDX DP91239
Touring Plus D413 DP21167 DP31167C DP41167R
Track & Track Plus D412 DP41131R DP51131 NDX

EBC Brake Pad Materials and Temperature Rating

Equivalents given for comparisons only

EBC Compound Target market Hot Mu at 550 C (1000 F) Hot Mu at 800 C (1440 F) Pagid
Yellowstuff R 1793 (EBC Box end label will say AF93/AF94) Race and Trackday use on cars up to 2200 lbs plus Drifting,Dirt Track,Oval, Legends, classic & vintage, formula Ford, Solo, sports 2000, Vee, Miata MX5. 0.31 0.21 RS4-2-1
RS4-2 BLUE
Bluestuff DM 2116SC (EBC Box end label will say AF66/16SC) Fastest Street, trackday and entry level race material 0.45 0.42 RS19/RS29
Orangestuff Full Race Pad Full Race compound for track use only 0.6 0.63 RS14
RS15
RS29
K Sport
k sport

K Sport Calipers now can include EBC disc pads in the new Bluestuff NDX material that has been a massive success.

K Sport are a world renowned builder of multi piston lightweight calipers for performance and race use. K sport also offer braided hose lines and two piece floating over brake rotor kits plus a host of other projects for the performance driver.

K Sport produce both front and rear calipers featuring a super lightweight caliper weighing in at only 5 Lbs in weight with alloy pistons, high temperature piston seals and balanced piston diameters to ensure parallel pad wear and caliper rigidity.

Type F/R Disc Size Old# Yellowstuff Trackday and Race Pad # Bluestuff NDX Full Race Pad # New Orangestuff Full Race Pad
6 pot Front 286/304 216 DP4002R DP5002 NDX DP9002
8 pot Front 356 3077 DP4006R DP5006 NDX DP9006
8 pot Front 380 1664 DP41513/2R DP51513/2 NDX DP91513/2
4 pot Rear 330/356 219 DP4008R DP5008 NDX DP9008
EBC DP4002
Fast Street = DP4002R
Trackday and Full race = DP5002
EBC DP4006
Fast Street = DP4006R
Trackday and Full race = DP5006NDX
EBC DP415132
Fast Street = DP41513/2R
Trackday and Full race = DP51513/2NDX
EBC DP4008
Fast Street = DP4008R
Trackday and Full race = DP5008NDX
Alcon
EBC Alcon Caliper

Alcon is a UK manufacturer of high quality brake system components including a range of patented high performance brake caliper and Alcon Brake rotor kits.

Alcon was established in 1984 by sports car racer John Moore and with manufacturing in Tamworth UK, their products have won many races titles and have been used by the top names in Racing around the world.

EBC Brakes makes a pad to fit every Alcon Caliper in its Bristol UK factory in a choice of two high performance compounds to maintain the high standards of braking expected by Alcon Caliper users.

See the chart below for pad design.

Yellowstuff Trackday and Race Pad New Generation Bluestuff NDX Pad New Orangestuff Full Race Pad
Alcon Caliper Type set of 4 pads
(for 2 calipers)
set of 4 pads
(for 2 calipers)
set of 4 pads
(for 2 calipers)
B-Type DP4016R DP5016 NDX DP9016
F-Type DP4019R DP5019 NDX
H-Type DP4003R DP5003 NDX DP9003
H-Type DP4008R DP5008 NDX DP9008
R-Type DP4114R DP5114 NDX
R-Type DP4106R DP5106 NDX
TA6 DP4009R DP5009 NDX
TA6+ DP4033/2R (20mm) DP5033/2 (20mm) NDX
Type 6x2 DP4032R DP5032 NDX DP9032
XR6 DP4009R DP5009 NDX
PNF 4497x607 DP4063R DP5063 NDX
GT-R BBK FRONT DP5065 NDX DP9065
GT-R BBK REAR DP5066 NDX DP9066

Alcon components include oversize brake rotors kits with separate fully floating hubs that are highly desirable for full race applications and in a range of sizes.

It is always a pleasure to see British manufacturers survive and prosper in todays fierce competitive climate and like Alcon, EBC Brakes also remains at the forefront of British engineering with its full technical and R and D facilities at its Bristol UK plant including no less than 5 dynamometers for material development.

The advantages of aftermarket calipers are quite clear. A free sliding and centralising brake caliper that has good venting, allows release of the pads as well as positive clamping is a must for the high performance enthusiast or racer and Alcon products fit nicely into the variety of brake calipers available for such users.

Many race beginners and track day drivers ignore the fact that a standard vehicle brake caliper is not at all designed for race use and often drivers believe that simply fitting a set of good pads and tyres has transformed their car into a race vehicle. Brakes and especially brake calipers and brake pads are a vital part to a preparing a proper track vehicle whether you are a professional racer or one of the many weekend warriors and Alcon brake components are well worth a look. Whilst a decent set of brake pads is always a good start somewhere down the line if class rules allow a new brake caliper and maybe an oversize brake rotor kit will be needed.

XYZ

Starting in 1998 the Taiwan manufacturer XYZ racing has built up a strong reputation for quality multi piston big brake kits for a whole range of cars. Their products have been used by numerous race and rally teams and are to be considered a quality upgrade brake system for fast street and race use. More recently XYZ has started offering EBC new generation Bluestuff pads with and in their calipers as an option following the excellent feedback received from the extensive round of European tests where the new EBC pads received 100% positive results.

Fitment details for XYZ calipers are shown below.

EBC XYZ Caliper F286 and F330
EBC XYZ Caliper F380 and R286