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Old 08-15-2012, 08:05 AM   #1
JDMFLCL
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Default Track specific brake pad recommendation for noob? (HPDE)

So I've finally decided after 4 years of ownership that it is pointless to own a quick car without actually driving it in anger. I've done lots of reading on here (especially the thread with Kwan/Cadillac/Mav1c on tracking with stock WRX calipers) and am looking for advice. I'd rather do things correctly with a twin pad setup (1 race 1 street) and am not against switching/rebedding at the track. Car is a swapped GC that weighs around #2700 with the following general mods (condensed):

Engine: 2.0L JDM EJ20G with Thermostatic Oil cooler/Alum. Radiator/Killer B Baffle/STI RA TMIC/Pump Gas/250-260whp/5w40 T6/Relevant telemetry (Oil Psi/Temp/Boost/Wideband/Water Temp)

Drivetrain: 4.11 JDM 5MT, R160 1.5way LSD, Combo of Kartboy/Whiteline bushings throughout the drivetrain, Competition Clutch Stage 3 Disk

Suspension: Vogtland Coilovers with 6kg/5kg springs, Group N tophats, 19mm/20mm Sways w/ Kartboy endlinks, STI Front/Rear Strut Bars/H-brace/rear diff brace (TY Upgarage x Japan trips).

Brakes/Wheels/Tires: SSR Integral A2 Forged 16x7s (14lbs), 225/50/16 RE01Rs, 02 WRX Front Calipers/H6 Rears, MC Brace, SS Lines w/Superblue fluid, Quantum Motorsports Brake Ducting Kit integrated into DIY Alumalite Front Splitter/undertray, Autozone Racing Ultra JDM Racing Rotors.

CN: Which pads should I be looking at? The consensus seems to remonstrate against the notion of HP+/EBC Yellows/Ferodo DS2500s being track worthy. It seems that alot of the GD/GR specific information is kind of apples and oranges compared to my setup since my car weighs SIGNIFICANTLY less. What is your take on a budget/learner friendly track specific pad? The Porterfield R4-1 and Porterfield R4-E seems attractive from both a budget (especially with the discount) and temp. rating perspective. I'm planning on doing the full NASA RM season next year as well as track events with other clubs. Thanks in advance for any help!
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:17 AM   #2
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Even with how light your car is, I don't know how well the stock '02 WRX brakes will hold up.

First thing I'd do is getting some cooling ducts feeding the front brakes. As far as PAds, maybe try the Carbotech XP10/XP8 combo.
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:21 AM   #3
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I like the Hawk DTC60 in my car, but you are going to get lots of different answers.
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:47 AM   #4
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I have front cooling ducts

Just to be clear I have a 02-03.5 Front/H6 Rear brake setup. Is there anywhere to get the Xp10/xp8 combo for cheaper?
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:13 AM   #5
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I agree that Hawk DTC60's are a good option also. Pretty much any decent track pad will work (PFC, Carbotech, Cobalt, CL, etc.). As for where to get pads "Cheap", it's probably best to search through and contact the vendors on NASIOC, and do some good ole web searching.
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:17 AM   #6
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For someone just starting out and going to their first track day I would suggest the HP+ later on when you become a better driver you can upgrade to a DTC60 or 70.
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mav1c View Post
I agree that Hawk DTC60's are a good option also. Pretty much any decent track pad will work (PFC, Carbotech, Cobalt, CL, etc.). As for where to get pads "Cheap", it's probably best to search through and contact the vendors on NASIOC, and do some good ole web searching.
Does porterfield belong in that discussion?
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDMFLCL View Post
Does porterfield belong in that discussion?
I've never used Porterfield, and don't know many people that do, so I can't really comment. Carbotech, PFC, and Hawk are all proven.
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:43 AM   #9
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Doesn't Hawk have a big discount if you are a NASA member?
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:31 PM   #10
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EBC Yellow
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjfubar101 View Post
For someone just starting out and going to their first track day I would suggest the HP+ later on when you become a better driver you can upgrade to a DTC60 or 70.
Or in between with HT10s.
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:15 PM   #12
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Call Carbotech and they'll recommend pads based on your intended usage. I don't know if they'd be considered budget friendly though.
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:17 PM   #13
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Is this your first time driving on the track at speed? Are you going to be in HPDE1?

If so, the Hawk HP+ are going to be a good pad for you. You could even go with a somewhat lesser pad, but in my experience the HP+ is a good responsive pad at the track, that has good stopping power, and holds up well to abuse.

I've tried a number of different pads over the years, and I like the HP+ the best because you can put them on a week or two before the event to get them properly broken in, etc., and drive them on the street (through they do squeak and dust quite a bit), then just drive to the track, do what ever else you need to do, and go driving.

The reason I asked if it was your first time out is because for one, in HPDE1, you will have an instructor in your car at all times and passing will most likely not be allowed. This is to get you more comfortable with driving at speed, and to ease you in to the track driving experience. So you will most likely not be pushing your brakes too hard.

That being said, the first two things that you will burn up at the track as you learn to drive are brakes and tires. So my advice would be to make sure that you have DOT4 fluid that is fresh, good pads, decent tires, and just go out and have fun.

And make sure that if you start to get brake fade that you ease up, and let them cool down before you do more hot laps.

Good luck and have fun out there.
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:15 PM   #14
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When I was in HPDE1 I used carbotech's and they lasted for about 15 events. I used carbotech's in HPDE2 also. Hawk HP+ may last you 3-4 events depending on proficiency. I ran with BMWCCA a few years ago and remember a guy complaining at the end of the day that his new Hawk pads only lasted the one event. I dont remember if they were the HP+ or not, been a few years. Spend the $ and get carbotechs, IMHO.
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatironsTuning.com View Post
Is this your first time driving on the track at speed? Are you going to be in HPDE1?

If so, the Hawk HP+ are going to be a good pad for you. You could even go with a somewhat lesser pad, but in my experience the HP+ is a good responsive pad at the track, that has good stopping power, and holds up well to abuse.

I've tried a number of different pads over the years, and I like the HP+ the best because you can put them on a week or two before the event to get them properly broken in, etc., and drive them on the street (through they do squeak and dust quite a bit), then just drive to the track, do what ever else you need to do, and go driving.

The reason I asked if it was your first time out is because for one, in HPDE1, you will have an instructor in your car at all times and passing will most likely not be allowed. This is to get you more comfortable with driving at speed, and to ease you in to the track driving experience. So you will most likely not be pushing your brakes too hard.

That being said, the first two things that you will burn up at the track as you learn to drive are brakes and tires. So my advice would be to make sure that you have DOT4 fluid that is fresh, good pads, decent tires, and just go out and have fun.

And make sure that if you start to get brake fade that you ease up, and let them cool down before you do more hot laps.

Good luck and have fun out there.
Yes on all counts. The tracks I'll be going to are PPIR, PMP, and HPR. Noted.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:18 PM   #16
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xp8 on all 4. skinny street tires are really going to limit your braking distances
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Old 08-16-2012, 04:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatironsTuning.com View Post
Is this your first time driving on the track at speed? Are you going to be in HPDE1?

If so, the Hawk HP+ are going to be a good pad for you. You could even go with a somewhat lesser pad, but in my experience the HP+ is a good responsive pad at the track, that has good stopping power, and holds up well to abuse.

I've tried a number of different pads over the years, and I like the HP+ the best because you can put them on a week or two before the event to get them properly broken in, etc., and drive them on the street (through they do squeak and dust quite a bit), then just drive to the track, do what ever else you need to do, and go driving.

The reason I asked if it was your first time out is because for one, in HPDE1, you will have an instructor in your car at all times and passing will most likely not be allowed. This is to get you more comfortable with driving at speed, and to ease you in to the track driving experience. So you will most likely not be pushing your brakes too hard.

That being said, the first two things that you will burn up at the track as you learn to drive are brakes and tires. So my advice would be to make sure that you have DOT4 fluid that is fresh, good pads, decent tires, and just go out and have fun.

And make sure that if you start to get brake fade that you ease up, and let them cool down before you do more hot laps.

Good luck and have fun out there.
HP+'s were wholly inadequate for track work in my WRX. The worst thing while doing HPDE is to have to back off because you're getting fade. Buy a set of XP8's. They're just as streetable as HP+'s and survive higher temps.
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Old 08-16-2012, 06:11 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbie_B View Post
HP+'s were wholly inadequate for track work in my WRX. The worst thing while doing HPDE is to have to back off because you're getting fade. Buy a set of XP8's. They're just as streetable as HP+'s and survive higher temps.
Remember that fade is much more a function of fluid and not the pad itself. When brake fade sets in, the most common reason is that your brake fluid is starting to boil. That is why it is important to take it easy on the brakes for a lap or two to get the fluid to cool down. If you don't your brakes will continue to get worse and worse until you have no brakes at all.

And that is no fun to discover at the end of a long straight.

I've used the HP+'s at High Plains and Pueblo with great results and no fade issues, but of course others results may vary

Last edited by FlatironsTuning.com; 08-16-2012 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatironsTuning.com View Post
Remember that fade is much more a function of fluid and not the pad itself. When brake fade sets in, the most common reason is that your brake fluid is starting to boil. That is why it is important to take it easy on the brakes for a lap or two to get the fluid to cool down. If you don't your brakes will continue to get worse and worse until you have no brakes at all.

And that is no fun to discover at the end of a long straight.

I've used the HP+'s at High Plains and Pueblo with great results and no fade issues, but of course others results may vary
Jon,
My fade was pad fade. The pedal was rock hard, there was notably reduced friction. I would not take a pad to the track that cannot handle over 1000 degrees on a turbo Subaru that does not have STi sized brakes. Of course my belief is that if I'm going to take a car to the track it should be able to go 20 minutes at a time without letting up. I could get two or three hard laps out of HP+'s but beyond that they needed to be managed or else I'd risk really overheating them. It wasnt nearly as fun as after I picked up some XP8's and was able to brake hard for 20 minutes without a hint of fade.
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:08 AM   #20
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Good info here guys, thanks!
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:56 AM   #21
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Thanks for the info guys. I'm just curious but where can I find out more info on NASA RM? The website keeps blocking my IP address (currently overseas)
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:13 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatironsTuning.com View Post
Remember that fade is much more a function of fluid and not the pad itself. When brake fade sets in, the most common reason is that your brake fluid is starting to boil. That is why it is important to take it easy on the brakes for a lap or two to get the fluid to cool down. If you don't your brakes will continue to get worse and worse until you have no brakes at all.
Uh, no. You apparently cant differentiate between pad fade (hard pedal, but no braking performance) and boiled fluid (soft, long pedal). They are completely and utterly different.

When brake fade sets in, its because the pads are overheated, nothing more, nothing less. HP+ have a MOT of 800-1000*F. ATE Superblue has a dry minimum boiling point of 536*F. Tell me, how does one boil the fluid in a caliper that will struggle to see 400*F.

I will second the recommendation to skip the HP+. The HT-10s Doug mentioned would probably be ok in an ABS car, but I didnt like them in my non ABS car. The DTC family of compounds are great though, and a DTC-60 would probably serve you well and give you the confidence needed to explore your braking abilities.

Also, check out nasaforums.com, they have a RM section.
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:27 AM   #23
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Quote:
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Jon,
My fade was pad fade. The pedal was rock hard, there was notably reduced friction. I would not take a pad to the track that cannot handle over 1000 degrees on a turbo Subaru that does not have STi sized brakes. Of course my belief is that if I'm going to take a car to the track it should be able to go 20 minutes at a time without letting up. I could get two or three hard laps out of HP+'s but beyond that they needed to be managed or else I'd risk really overheating them. It wasnt nearly as fun as after I picked up some XP8's and was able to brake hard for 20 minutes without a hint of fade.
Interesting Robbie. I have never run into that with the HP+'s and I've been using them for the last couple of years on R compounds too. They have always been very grabby for me at the track.

From my experience over the years, I still think that the HP+ pad is a good choice for something like a 20 min HPDE, etc. Next time I head to High plains maybe I'll try really abusing them for a lap or two and see what happens.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:48 PM   #24
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I would say that the HP+'s will be great for someone just starting out the biggest problem I ended up with the HP+ was pad fade. This was after learning how to drive for a while and they are great to drive to the track and then back home. During a session the pad would overheat due to hard braking. Now I run DTC70s and no pad fade but now I am boiling the fluid in the caliper, so I just picked up some TI Shims from Girodisc.com and I will see how and if that helps. A big part is the fluid I am using Motul 660 fluid as well which I bleed before each event.
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:17 PM   #25
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Quote:
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Interesting Robbie. I have never run into that with the HP+'s and I've been using them for the last couple of years on R compounds too.
you are either doing 40mph auto-x or you aren't braking hard enough
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