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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 09-02-2009, 02:31 PM
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Z4M: Cobalt Friction Brake Pads (possible Group Buy)

Just got off the phone with Cobalt Friction and their XR line of brake pads appears to be something that may work well for some of us that track our Z4Ms.

Some salient features that Tom@Cobalt mentioned about these pads is below-

(1) They work via chemical friction i.e., by transferring a layer onto the pad and working against that. Hence, they are very rotor friendly. Unlike most pads out there that use mechnical friction which digs into the rotor for stopping.

(2) No bedding in needed since they dont use resins for bonding.

(3) Good bite and modulation characterictics.

(4) Used by quite a few race teams that have switched from others to Cobalt e.g., some Corvette guys switched from Carbotech to these and were happy.

Here is a link to their site

Cobalt Friction

Here is a link to P#s and some ballpark prices
Prices and P#s

Now, he mentioned they have never made pads for the Z4Ms since no request came in. But can do a run for us if we can get a few sets.

If anyone has experience with these pads, please post up- good or bad or comparative data is all helpful.

Interest in people wanting to try these post up as well.

I have tried Ferodo DS2500s (not good for track use) and Carbotech XP-10s (cannot put my finger on it, but I think I can use better modulation and less heat is what I am thinking) so far and wanted to try the Hawk HT-10s next. But XR3s from these guys seems like a good candidate too.

Take it away
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  #2  
Old 09-02-2009, 05:12 PM
CalRick CalRick is offline
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I would be careful and make sure you are all talking the same language before ordering - their chart lists the same p/n for Z4 Si and M pads, which seems like a long shot. The number they list is also common with the 330i, which makes sense for the Z4 Si brakes, but the isn't the M common with one of the M3 models, probably competition pkg?
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  #3  
Old 09-02-2009, 05:31 PM
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I am about due for new pads - I will get a set if needed for a group buy.
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  #4  
Old 09-02-2009, 06:36 PM
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The HACK The HACK is offline
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XR-3. Best pads I've ever used...Despite the fact that I'm switching back to Hawk DTC-60s (but that's purely due to cost issues, I get a FAT discount for Hawk pads).

Just ask for E46 M3 fitments. Same size pad, same backing plate. The only difference is the 3 prongs on the inboard pad are spread out a little further on the MZ4.
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  #5  
Old 09-03-2009, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The HACK View Post
XR-3. Best pads I've ever used...Despite the fact that I'm switching back to Hawk DTC-60s (but that's purely due to cost issues, I get a FAT discount for Hawk pads).

Just ask for E46 M3 fitments. Same size pad, same backing plate. The only difference is the 3 prongs on the inboard pad are spread out a little further on the MZ4.
Thanks.

How would you rate the XR-3s compared to the Hawk DTC 60s? And how are the XR-3s on the street in terms of cold initial braking and noise?

Are you referring to all e46 M3 brake pads or the ones in the ZCP/Competition package brakes? Or are the calipers/pads identical on all? Also, did you just order the XR-3s for the M3? Are the 3 prongs a snug enough fit into the MZ4 caliper or did you have to spread them out a bit?

I am about ready for a new set of pads and was going to spring for the Hawk HT-10s and came across these.

tnsbruce - Will let you know what happens with these.
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  #6  
Old 09-03-2009, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalRick View Post
I would be careful and make sure you are all talking the same language before ordering - their chart lists the same p/n for Z4 Si and M pads, which seems like a long shot.
Thanks CalRick.

I checked the Hawk web site and they do list the same part number for the 3.0Si Coupe, e46 M3 and Z4MC for the front brake pads. The rears are different for the 3.0Si, but the e46 M3 and Z4MC match for the rear as well.
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  #7  
Old 09-03-2009, 09:10 AM
CalRick CalRick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pal View Post
Thanks CalRick.

I checked the Hawk web site and they do list the same part number for the 3.0Si Coupe, e46 M3 and Z4MC for the front brake pads. The rears are different for the 3.0Si, but the e46 M3 and Z4MC match for the rear as well.
That's curious, but not out of the question that they would use the same pad despite different rotors and calipers. I'm just always suspicious when I see too much parts commonality between cars with different systems (as in, "fits Chevrolet, all...) Real OEM lists different part numbers between the two, but that could be due to a different material spec if the part configuration is the same.

It pays to be cautious on such listings with our cars - the production numbers are low enough that some of these lists can be wrong and no one has ever ordered the part to find the error - I have run into that before with errors between 3.0i and 3.0Si parts.
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  #8  
Old 09-03-2009, 10:36 AM
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Palantirion Palantirion is offline
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Has anyone called Dave Zeckhausen to get his input on Cobalt Friction?
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  #9  
Old 09-03-2009, 10:51 AM
JCz04Bimmer JCz04Bimmer is offline
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Has anyone called Dave Zeckhausen to get his input on Cobalt Friction?
Great idea.
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  #10  
Old 09-03-2009, 11:17 AM
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Left a message for Dave Zeckhausen ... hopefully he will call back today and has some information on these. From what 'THE HACK' says, it looks like the XR3s are a good choice for our cars, but will continue to dig deeper.

On a different note, StopTech now makes street pads for OEM fitment on our cars. They list on the Zeckhausen site for a great low price too.

CalRick - Your point is well taken and I always try to make sure the parts are right for our cars. Sometimes annoyingly so for the shop/sales person
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  #11  
Old 09-03-2009, 11:22 AM
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The HACK The HACK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pal View Post
Thanks.

How would you rate the XR-3s compared to the Hawk DTC 60s? And how are the XR-3s on the street in terms of cold initial braking and noise?

Are you referring to all e46 M3 brake pads or the ones in the ZCP/Competition package brakes? Or are the calipers/pads identical on all? Also, did you just order the XR-3s for the M3? Are the 3 prongs a snug enough fit into the MZ4 caliper or did you have to spread them out a bit?

I am about ready for a new set of pads and was going to spring for the Hawk HT-10s and came across these.

tnsbruce - Will let you know what happens with these.
XR-3 has higher initial brake torque and overall brake torque, the DTC-60 torque is more linear throughout pedal travel. Fade resistance is about the same in that I haven't been able to fade EITHER at two of the most grueling tracks on brakes out my way, and I've been able to fade just about anything. XR-3 has more cold bite, cold bite is similar, if not better to OEM pad. Dust level appears to be equivalent, although I must say XR-3 makes for some really impressive "sound" when cold.

We've compared pads between the NORMAL non competition package M3s and my brake pads, and I've test installed "normal" M3 rear pads in my car. They're the same backing plate size and thickness, which are the two main determining factors. Like I said, the prongs on the back are flared out wider for the competition package because the piston diameter is larger. You'll likely get more squeals due to the fact that you can't really bend the prongs out just right to catch the lips on the inside of the piston, but for track pads, who the f**k cares?

The ONLY issue I had with the XR-3s, is that when I received my first set, the rear pads were about 1 mm too thick and even with half an hour on the grinder I couldn't get it "thinned" enough to put in the rear, so I've been running XR-3 front and Cool Carbon R/Ts in the rear instead of the full compliment of XR-3s I'd like to use. If you do get the XR-3s, ask them to measure the thickness of the pad compared to stock, there's VERY LITTLE CLEARANCE and even half a mm off will make for trouble installing.
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  #12  
Old 09-03-2009, 11:24 AM
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tnsbruce tnsbruce is offline
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Has anyone tried the XR2's? From the CarboTech website I was thinking this would be the optimal bad for the track.
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  #13  
Old 09-03-2009, 11:32 AM
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The HACK The HACK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnsbruce View Post
Has anyone tried the XR2's? From the CarboTech website I was thinking this would be the optimal bad for the track.
I haven't tried personally but my friend has them on his E36 M3. When I rode with him and him with me, the consensus seems to be that the XR-2 has even more brake torque than the XR-3, and while both are more than capable at overwhelming a set of the best R-Comps, for DE purposes they seem to be a bit of an over-kill, and have less cold-bite than the XR-3s. He swaps pads at the track because he's not entirely comfortable driving them on the street, where as I swap XR-3s prior to leaving for the track.
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"Bench racing" about track times driven by professionals are like a bunch of nerds arguing which Princess Leia is hotter, the slave Leia or the no-bra jail-bait Leia. No matter how compelling your argument is, the plain and simple fact is, none of you will EVER get to hit that.
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  #14  
Old 09-03-2009, 11:39 AM
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The HACK - Thanks for the very useful insights and feedback. Do you have any experience with the Carbotech XP-10s? I have been using those for this season and while they brake very well and I dont get pad fade, their fit was a little tight (backing place) and they have no provision for the pad sensor (not that I care much, but still); however, I find them to be harder to modulate and seem to heat up the fluid pretty quick (not sure if that is pad related though).
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Old 09-03-2009, 12:13 PM
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The HACK The HACK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pal View Post
The HACK - Thanks for the very useful insights and feedback. Do you have any experience with the Carbotech XP-10s? I have been using those for this season and while they brake very well and I dont get pad fade, their fit was a little tight (backing place) and they have no provision for the pad sensor (not that I care much, but still); however, I find them to be harder to modulate and seem to heat up the fluid pretty quick (not sure if that is pad related though).

I don't have experience with XP-10s but I have had Panther Pluses on my E46 323Ci.

While doing some quick research on google (since it doesn't look like they offer the Panther Pluses anymore...Replaced by XP-8) I came across an ancient thread here:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15935

If you read Raffi's comment, it looks like they're equivalent to Porterfield RS4, which is about the same in terms of grip, noise, torque, and fade-resistance to Cool Carbon R/Ts. I would have to assume the XP-10s would have similar characteristics but better brake torque. IF that's the case, I would probably say the XR-3s are a step UP from the XP-10 (I know, I know...Transitive property crap never work well for product comparisons) in torque and fade resistance. You might find the XR-3s harder to modulate because of the higher initial torque. While that high initial torque suites my driving style (I brake early, brake hard, and brake in a very short distance using only the minimal brake pedal travel possible) I have found it getting some used to at first.

Based on the above input, I PERSONALLY think you may be happier with the Hawk DTC-60. Fluid boiling is another issue mostly un-related to the pads. You're not evacuating heat fast enough from the system. Either try knocking out the brake duct backing plate if you haven't done so, or try these:

http://www.racingbrake.com/Z4M_s/3370.htm

I have them up front and they're significantly better at evacuating heat than OEM rotors...Despite how well the OEM 2 piece floating rotors already are. Speaking from personal experience, it's worth every penny of the $3XX you pay, since it significantly extends rotor life by managing heat better. I've got 15+ events in my MZ4 Coupe under the California sun on the most harsh braking tracks, and the rotors still look like they're brand freakin new. Plus running a cooler system prolongs the life of your pads. I've got about 12 events on my XR-3 and I think I can manage one more on them before they're junk. Your mileage may vary, but my OEM rotor was starting to show some "lip" after about 5 events. Replacement rotor rings are ~$120 ea so you will eventually recoup your cost. They're also about 1 lbs lighter than OEM rotors.
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"Bench racing" about track times driven by professionals are like a bunch of nerds arguing which Princess Leia is hotter, the slave Leia or the no-bra jail-bait Leia. No matter how compelling your argument is, the plain and simple fact is, none of you will EVER get to hit that.
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  #16  
Old 09-03-2009, 01:45 PM
angrodri angrodri is offline
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FWIW, I'm very happy with the Hawk HT-10's. Couldn't get them to fade on track and at least in warm ambient temps, they have a better than OE initial bite, keep the rotors nice an shiny too.

Cheers

Last edited by angrodri; 09-04-2009 at 09:30 AM.
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  #17  
Old 09-04-2009, 07:38 AM
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Thanks guys.

Spoke to Dave Zeckhausen last evening and he said he had used Cobalt Friction pads many years ago but does not have any experience nor has kept track of their current line. We got talking about brake pads and his recommendations were as below -

(1) Hawk: DTC-60's or HT-10's
(2) Performance Friction: PFC 06

Then he mentioned that Raybestos may be coming out with the ST-43s for our cars but did not have an ETA. He seemed optimistic about these as a good track pad for a reasonable price.

We talked a bit about fluild heat and me mentioned it may be worth cutting out some of the rotor dust shield to gain more rotor cooling via radiation at the cost of losing some via convection. Now, I am not sure how familiar he is with the dust shield design of our cars, but I thought our dust shields are far enough away from the rotor to provide the best of both convection and radiation cooling.

We briefly touched upon a custom caliper that may work with the stock rotors and the two points that he raised were:
(1) If a 2 opposed piston caliper were used, then the diameter of each of the pistons must at least be the same as the stock single piston.
(2) The thickness of the pads must not leave too much gap between the rotor surface and pad when new with the pistons almost all the way retracted.
(3) And then of course the shape of the caliper and swept area should be at least the same as stock.

All in all, its always a learning experience talking to him.

Your turn.
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Old 09-04-2009, 10:16 AM
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The HACK The HACK is offline
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Zeckhausen is right. Removing the dust shield will alleviate the heat build-up on the ///M. The way the 2 piece rotor is constructed, air can and will enter from both sides of the rotor. With the dust shield in the way, there's less ambient air available for the rotor to "suck in" from the inside, by removing it you simply have more area for the heat to radiate away from the rotor and an easier path for the air to enter the hub area, based on the 2 piece rotor design BMW employs.

I on the other hand wanted to keep the brake system relatively stock-ish, and choose an upgraded rotor design to alleviate the heat dissipation issue. But if I feel fade in the system in the future I may cut the heat shield completely away to allow more cool air to enter and just keep an eye on the bearings.
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"Bench racing" about track times driven by professionals are like a bunch of nerds arguing which Princess Leia is hotter, the slave Leia or the no-bra jail-bait Leia. No matter how compelling your argument is, the plain and simple fact is, none of you will EVER get to hit that.
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  #19  
Old 09-04-2009, 01:00 PM
headparrot headparrot is offline
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Good info here
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  #20  
Old 12-21-2009, 10:16 AM
Caddyshk Caddyshk is offline
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Are the correct P#'s

f = 394
R = 683

Thanks!
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  #21  
Old 12-21-2009, 11:17 AM
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Pf-01

Quote:
Originally Posted by pal View Post
Thanks guys.
Spoke to Dave Zeckhausen last evening and he said he had used Cobalt Friction pads many years ago but does not have any experience nor has kept track of their current line. We got talking about brake pads and his recommendations were as below -
(1) Hawk: DTC-60's or HT-10's
(2) Performance Friction: PFC 06
Then he mentioned that Raybestos may be coming out with the ST-43s for our cars but did not have an ETA. He seemed optimistic about these as a good track pad for a reasonable price.
SNIP.
I haven't tried the new PF-06 but I've been using the PF-01 for several years on both my current Z4MC as well as my former Z3MC. The PF-01 is somewhat grabby but with a little practice can be modulated with precision. They wear well and are not tough on rotors. They are not cheap but then again brakes are the last thing you want to go cheap on
I used the Raybestos ST-43 on my Z3MC and found them to be very similar to the PF-01 and slightly less expensive.
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  #22  
Old 12-21-2009, 11:27 AM
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Thanks jmillet. Believe it or not, once I switched from the Carbotech XP-10s to the Hawk HT-10s I have been a happy camper and plan to stay with these for at least another season. Excellent modulation and smooth release characteristics on the Hawk's have increased the fun co-efficient for me on the track.

Caddyshk - When I talked to Cobalt a while back they had nothing for the Z4Ms. However, the e46 M3 pads should fit our cars so you may want to cross-check with that as well.
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Old 12-21-2009, 11:30 AM
Caddyshk Caddyshk is offline
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Thanks - Comp package or base e46 M3? Or are they the same?
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Old 12-21-2009, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Caddyshk View Post
Thanks - Comp package or base e46 M3? Or are they the same?
They are the same. I am currently running e46 M3 Hawk HT-10s on my car. I believe the difference is only on the tripod spring clip which is smaller on the M3 pad, but it still grabs the piston just fine.
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Old 12-21-2009, 06:10 PM
Caddyshk Caddyshk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pal View Post
They are the same. I am currently running e46 M3 Hawk HT-10s on my car. I believe the difference is only on the tripod spring clip which is smaller on the M3 pad, but it still grabs the piston just fine.
Thanks!
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