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Old 07-28-2022, 08:50 PM   #1
bobsmithfarted
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Join Date: May 2015
Default Brake Pad Bias

Hello all, I need to replace the rear brakes on my 2016 WRX because my mechanic said the rear rotors are severely grooved and causing vibration. I am running Hawk HPS 5.0 all around (installed 2 years ago) but haven't been overly impressed with them to be honest. Wanted more initial bite compared to stock but they have felt about the same. The pads have lots of meat left. I have three questions:

1) Can I get away with just replacing rear rotors or should I replace pads too?

2) If I do replace pads, can I install or more aggressive pad in the rear or is this not recommend as it will upset balance and create brake bias?

3) Is it true that what matters most is the pads rather than the rotors? If so, should I just stick with a standard rotor or upgrade to slotted? The car has always had just plain regular rotors.



Thank you kindly in advance.
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Old 08-02-2022, 11:58 AM   #2
Patrick Olsen
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1996 Impreza coupe

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Just to clarify - your mechanic said the rear rotors are causing vibration. Did you notice anything, or is the mechanic just creating work for himself?

I can't say I've ever heard of rotor grooves causing vibration.

(1) Yes, you can replace just the rotors.

(2) It is not uncommon to use different pad compounds front and rear to tweak the brake bias, but in my experience that's more a track use kind of thing, and it usually involves more aggressive pads in the front. What would you be hoping to accomplish by installing more aggressive pads in the rear? Depending on what you go with, you may find that the rear brakes aren't getting up to the optimum temperature for those more aggressive rear pads, which means they'll just wear quicker (pads and rotors), possibly/probably be more noisy, and generally not help the situation.

(3) I'm not sure I understand what is meant by "what matters most is the pads rather than the rotors", but yes, I would just stick with plain rotors.
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Old 08-02-2022, 11:58 AM   #3
Patrick Olsen
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1996 Impreza coupe

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Old 08-02-2022, 09:42 PM   #4
ronemus
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I was also not impressed with HPS pads. The biggest problem with the Hawk pads was the first stop of the day - looong! They were also noisy and were not kind to rotors.

I'm currently running StopTech Sport+ and like them a lot. The initial bite is very good, fade is minimal (noticeable after 6 back-to-back 60-5 mph stops near the limit). and both rotor and pad life are good (after 45k miles the wear is noticeable, but there is a lot of life left). The Sport+ is not intended for track use, but it's on the borderline; they would probably be good for autocross, but would fade badly on a road course with short straights and hard braking events.

I have had rotors wear so badly that they were noisy to the extent that I thought I had a failed wheel bearing. It can happen, but it is unusual. In my case it was due to corrosion, not wear.
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