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Track Pad Questions

 
Old 04-26-2019, 07:40 AM
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Jub
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I searched around for quite a bit before posting this and found some good info but not quite super direct and not everything I need to know. I've signed up for my first track day and it probably won't be my last. I am in a stock 06 with a Karcepts front bar, 245/255 RE71R's, and 3 seasons of autocross experience. I had Motul 5.1 put in last July and bled. For Pads, the most common recommendation I've seen is the Carbotech XP10/XP8 on front/rear axle respectively. I've also seen plugs for Stoptech pads and Hawk DTC70. I'd welcome a dual use pad but the consensus seems to be that such a pad cannot exist for this car given its thermal capacity. If it helps any, it is not my DD but I do drive it to work often. It is mainly a fun weekend/autocross car. I'll be running a good amount of autox this year.
  • Do I need to change brake fluid again? Car sat over winter in a non-climate controlled garage on the east coast.
  • Anyone have experience with both Carbotechs and Hawks? Powerstops anyone? Project Mu? What is your preference and why?
  • Why the stagger on Carbotechs, why not do both same compound? Won't brake bias be a bit odd? Won't it stress the front axle even more? If they're dedicated track pads anyways, why not do XP10/XP10?
  • Do I need dedicated rotors for the track pads? What is the downside of not having a dedicated set? What should be the bedding process for swapping into track pads and back to OEM if I have only 1 set of rotors?
I'm basically leaning towards doing Carbotechs and keeping my same rotors on the car unless I'm given a strong reason to do otherwise. I definitely want to know why the recommendation is to stagger as it doesn't make sense to me at face value. I'm also open to any other suggestions that meet my needs for a novice track driver who primarily street drives and autocrosses.
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:01 AM
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Bleed them before your trackday.
You haven't mentioned what pads you're running currently or what experience you have with racing pads on your car?
Not sure Carbo/DTC70 will be what you want if you're trying to be competitive in AutoX? I've used HP+ and they have nice bite from the jump.
HP+ *could* handle a track day but work great on the road/autox. Cross that bridge if you start doing more track vs autox?

As you can see they're completely different beasts:

HP+
  • 100-800 F operating temperatures
  • 300-600 F optimal temperature range

DTC70
  • 400-1600 F operating temperatures
  • 800-1200 F optimal temperature range
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Old 04-26-2019, 09:23 AM
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I had meant to imply that I'm on OEM pads in saying the car is stock currently. I have no track day experience but do have 3 seasons of autcross under my belt and am competitive locally. I've also been on RE71's for each of those 3 years and am pretty comfortable pushing the car. I'm not saying I'm going to be fast out of the gate but hope to learn fairly quickly and expect to need something over OEM immediately. Given that I am going to have to buy something anyways, I'd rather purchase correctly right out of the gate than do 3 track days and realize that the pads I went with were insufficient. I am ok with having to switch to a different set of pads for a track day if need be but would prefer not to switch rotors unless it is really needed. My OEM pads are fine for street and auto-x. I'm also open to an option that is good for tracking a stock car and is usable on the street and at auto-x though I haven't come across anything convincing me that such an option exists.

Again, I'm open and would like someone to prove that idea wrong about a dual use pad. I've seen very mixed opinions on the HP+ and it seemed like the consensus was that they weren't up to the task of a track pad. I was making the assumption that I'd be recommended a track pad and have to switch between track and OEM. If that is the case, I'd also like more info on the bedding process. I.e. Do I need to wipe down rotors between swaps? Is it ok to bed them multiple times and switching up pads on the same rotors, etc? I just don't know the process and what works. I also lightly assumed that I'd be recommended XP10/XP8 as it seemed to be the most common recommendation. I'm interested in why the stagger and what the pros/cons of it are. Again, If I'm buying pads and swapping them for road use anyways, I was assuming I'd be best served going XP10/XP10 in the interest of not messing with OEM brake bias. I'd like to understand the why so I can make an educated decision between staggering compounds or going with the same.
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:44 AM
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My point was if you're taking your autox'ing seriously then you won't want "track" pads on your car.

I use my Porterfield R4 pads for track and street.
For a car I drive on Sundays and to/from the track there's no point in wearing out my caliper bolts.
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:13 PM
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To answer a couple of your questions:

The reason many people stagger the pads is because they're moving from the stock 225/255 stagger to a square setup, which adds a bunch of front grip. With the stock brake forces you'd end up throwing the brake bias to the rear. However, 2006+ models have EBD, so it should no longer be an issue, in theory. FWIW I drive a 2006 and have not seen any difference in max braking deceleration (from feel or logging) whether using staggered or same pads front and rear.

I currently run GLoc R10, which is similar to Carbotech xp10, front and rear. (Recommend checking them out.) Have a BBK in the front now, but I've run them in the stock calipers as well. The temperature range of the R10s goes low enough that they are just as effective at autocross as they are with heat in them, but the high end is around 1500F, so almost as high as the DTC70. (If I recall correctly, the low end of their operating range is around 100F, so it doesn't take much to get them up to temp.) Wouldn't want to use anything _more_ aggressive than this for autocross though. Whatever pads you're looking at, you'll want to know their temperature range. The higher the better for track, aside from a bit of increased rotor wear. For autocross and street, anything's fine as long as its minimum operating temperature isn't too far above 100F or so. HP+ definitely fine for autocross. Not for track. Also the R10s and I assume XP10s (and anything more aggressive than them) will start to squeal really bad after a while in street driving. You can get rid of it for a bit with a thorough re-bedding, but it will come back. I don't mind because I only drive to and from the track, but I wouldn't want them on a daily. That said, S2000 pads are really easy to change, so you could always have a separate set of track pads if you do a lot of street driving. Some people will swap out completely different pads on the same rotors, but the manufacturers don't recommend it.

Finally, once you get fast on the track, the stock front brakes, even with XP10 pads or similar, won't be enough. I went though a set of R10s in the stock fronts in less than two track days (melted the caliper pistons the second day when the pads chunked off). You could give it a try, but keep an eye on them, and be aware that they won't wear linearly. The last few mm goes MUCH faster than the first few. (True of all brakes to some extent, but especially if you're overheating them.) So if you want to stick with the stock front brakes for now, you may need a higher temp front pad than the XP10, and/or cooling ducts. (Cooling ducts are recommended in the rear too, but more to keep hub temperature under control. The brakes should be fine.)

You can swap between pads on the same rotors if they're the same materials—if you're using pads in the same family it's definitely safe. So you could go from XP10 or XP12 for the track to their autocross pad, AX6 or whatever it is. If you do that, no need to re-bed when swapping pads, since the transfer layers should be compatible.

Last edited by Nate Tempest; 04-26-2019 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 04-27-2019, 05:05 AM
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I think your pad choice is somewhat dependent on your tires and on your track. I’ve always run Carbotech xp-8s on oem rotors, summer high performance DOT tires, on momentum tracks, mostly Lime Rock or Watkins Glen. I’ve found the Carbotechs to be rotor friendly. My bed in procedure is to swap in the pads and drive from home to the track. If I’m lazy, I’ll leave the pads in, but with light street use, the squeal gets annoying, but it’s not too bad. Pads get up to temp quickly. I consider myself an intermediate driver with the S, mostly out there to have fun and enjoy the scenery. My car is stock with no aftermarket roll bar, so although I have pretty good lap times, no need for me to go crazy.
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Old 04-28-2019, 05:22 AM
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My tuner swears by HP+ for everything track or Auto-x and they have some very good drivers. I still use OEM pads for Auto-x and have had decent success with them on track after running rear ducts. The rear just doesn't have enough ability to shed heat. This was on a track with top speeds of about 90 down to 45(not super fast). The concern that most people have with the HP+ is that they fall off quickly when overheated. They certainly would be better than OEM if you are nearly stock. Being close to stock, you shouldn't have any issue with something like HP+ depending on track. Realistically, you could try the OEM ones and see how much more capacity you think you need. You can smell the OEM pads burning when they are overworked. Take it slow and ramp up to see what you need.

As for the fluid, I bleed the air out every year, so not a full fluid change, but it changes a good amount of the fluid.

The stagger is because the front dives in braking, putting more weight to the front, which can increase the heat rating needed.

If you need to swap pads and rotors, that is up to you and your needs. You didn't list any tracks you will be running, so this is tough to say. Are you slowing down from 100 to 80 or 140 to 30?
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Old 04-28-2019, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by BoboTheMonkey View Post
My tuner swears by HP+ for everything track or Auto-x and they have some very good drivers. I still use OEM pads for Auto-x and have had decent success with them on track after running rear ducts. The rear just doesn't have enough ability to shed heat. This was on a track with top speeds of about 90 down to 45(not super fast). The concern that most people have with the HP+ is that they fall off quickly when overheated. They certainly would be better than OEM if you are nearly stock. Being close to stock, you shouldn't have any issue with something like HP+ depending on track. Realistically, you could try the OEM ones and see how much more capacity you think you need. You can smell the OEM pads burning when they are overworked. Take it slow and ramp up to see what you need.

As for the fluid, I bleed the air out every year, so not a full fluid change, but it changes a good amount of the fluid.

The stagger is because the front dives in braking, putting more weight to the front, which can increase the heat rating needed.

If you need to swap pads and rotors, that is up to you and your needs. You didn't list any tracks you will be running, so this is tough to say. Are you slowing down from 100 to 80 or 140 to 30?
It's true that you need more heat tolerance in the front pads than the rear, but having it in the rear doesn't hurt. You wouldn't want to put staggered pads on a pre-2006 car that still has the OEM wheel stagger, because you would shift the brake bias more to the front.

As for HP+ pads, they're certainly fine for autocross. On the track, even with an OEM car, a fast driver is going to have to manage them. Unless you're doing a bunch of coasting or are on a real momentum track, they just can't handle the heat. To the OP, if you do try HP+ or similar, be aware that as they wear down, they will overheat more and more easily. Once they're below about half, a few hard laps could chunk them off, in which case you'd be looking at new rotors and likely calipers, not just pads. (Ask me how I know... :P )
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Old 04-28-2019, 07:19 PM
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Thank you all for the info. I am inclined to try the GLoc pads now after your recommendation and another post stating that the GLoc engineers were basically Carbotech's engineers that left and started off on their own. Sounds like I'll be going with GLoc R10s and a set of blank rotors. If anyone feels strongly that I only need one set for OEM pads and can swap to the R10s, that would help me out. I'm willing to douse in brake cleaner and towel them each time too. If I need to keep 2 sets of rotors, so be it i guess. I'd much rather just have one for now until I'm more involved and have a garage.
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Old 04-28-2019, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Jub View Post
Thank you all for the info. I am inclined to try the GLoc pads now after your recommendation and another post stating that the GLoc engineers were basically Carbotech's engineers that left and started off on their own. Sounds like I'll be going with GLoc R10s and a set of blank rotors. If anyone feels strongly that I only need one set for OEM pads and can swap to the R10s, that would help me out. I'm willing to douse in brake cleaner and towel them each time too. If I need to keep 2 sets of rotors, so be it i guess. I'd much rather just have one for now until I'm more involved and have a garage.
Changing pads is a quick job; changing pads AND rotors is kind of a pain in the ass—certainly way more work than I'd want before and after every track day. I'm sure cleaning off the rotors with brake cleaner and re-bedding the pads would work, but that would be a significant pain too.

If it were me, I would get a set of GLoc's GS-1 pads for street driving. They're more expensive than stock pads I'm sure, but it will take forever to go through a set of pads on the street anyway, so the actual cost difference is minimal. That should allow you to swap pads on the same rotors without having to remove the transfer layer. (Although I'd confirm that with GLoc before ordering.) The R10s will also be fine on the street aside from the noise, so you can run them for a few days before and after events if you want, to change them when it's convenient. Only downside is noise, really, once they start to wear. (Mine were pretty quiet at first.) Either pad should work equally well for autocross, although you may find you prefer the feel of one over the other.

Take a measurement of your pad thickness before each track day, and keep an eye on it throughout the day. I wouldn't start a 20 minute session with less than 4-5mm on the fronts. It's possible once you start to get faster the R10 in the front won't be sufficient; you could go up to one of their racier compounds in that case. However you're also putting a lot of heat into your wheel bearings and such if you're overheating R10s, so maybe consider ducting or bigger brakes if that ends up being the case. (On the other hand, with an otherwise stock car, R10s may well be fine for a while; you'll know based on how fast they wear.)

Edit: In fact, you could start by just getting the R10s and run them for everything, then if it gets to the point where you feel you'd rather spend the time swapping pads than deal with the noise, pick up a set of GS-1s. (Or R6's; they're probably not bad for noise and would have a bit more bite, although I haven't tried them.) I just leave the R10s on mine, since I really only drive it to and from events.

Last edited by Nate Tempest; 04-28-2019 at 08:02 PM.
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