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      02-16-2013, 03:21 PM   #18
ashmostro
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Drives: '13 335is DCT
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Vienna, VA

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Race pads are a personal selection kind of thing. What one person loves might be another's poison. Best thing to do is start small and work your way up in price before you decide what you really want- and also see if you can drive other people's cars with various pads.

Some well-respected pad brands to start researching are:
Carbotech
Pagid
Cobalt
Hawk
EBC
Project Mu
RacingBrake
Raybestos
Mintex
and more...


As for break in, every manufacturer will recommend a different procedure for bedding in. But the basic premise is the same, and twofold:
1) Breaking in the pad is getting it up to temp so that it can "outgas" the bonding agents that are part of manufacture. That can be done either on the track by pushing until you hit "green fade" which is where the pads suddenly don't seem to be working as well, and start to smell- you pull into the pits and let them cool, or go really slow to allow airflow. Then you go back out after they've cooled completely and you will have a good pedal and that's when you can really bed them in.
2) "Bedding" the rotor which is really just putting down a good even transfer layer. This isn't that hard to do really. Just driving at 70% of max will get the temps up, but not so high that you risk smearing the pads before the rotors have time to get an even layer deposited on them. Again, after doing the initial bed, come back in, let them cool and you are good to go.

This is somewhat oversimplified since different pads and even cars are going to achieve optimal temp at different times so you really need to pay attention to the feel of the pedal, and even the appearance of the rotors.

Also, race pads at low temp are abrasive, so if you drive around town with race pads (or even slowly on the track for too long), you may end up removing the transfer layer off the rotor and then you have to do step 2 again. This is where you again should pay attention to the sounds, feel, and appearance of the rotors to know what is happening.



Good luck and feel free to ask more questions. Only way to learn! Also there are a lot of informational resource on the web if you want to google the topic and learn more.