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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

View Poll Results: According to my priorities, what is the ideal track pad?
Hawk HT10 front & rear 0 0%
Hawk HT10 front + Hawk HT14 rear 0 0%
Performance Friction PF-01 front & rear 1 33.33%
Performance Friction PF-01 front & Performance Friction PF-06 rear 1 33.33%
Performance Friction PF-08 front & rear 2 66.67%
Carbotech XP-10 front & rear 1 33.33%
Carbotech XP-12 front & rear 1 33.33%
EBC Yellowstuff front & rear 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 3. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 08-18-2013, 06:32 PM
AngelosP AngelosP is offline
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Question Help me pick the right track only brake pad

I hope I am not annoying anybody by asking this question. I have tried searching not just here, but on many different forums and discussion boards to find the right answer. Clearly am I terrible at doing that, since I managed to pick the worst track pad of them all, Cool Carbons.

So after having thrown away $300+ after 3 laps at Road America, I don't want to repeat the same mistake.

I have a 2012 335is (in case that is of any significance) and here are my priorities, in order of importance:
  1. No fading - I want 100% performance for six or seven 20-25 minute long track sessions in a single day
  2. Good stopping power
  3. Price
  4. Longevity - The plan is for 15+ track days a year

Any input would be much appreciated. If you are tracking a similar car I'd love to hear about your experiences.

Thank you!
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  #2  
Old 08-19-2013, 07:26 AM
AngelosP AngelosP is offline
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72 views and no recommendations at all?
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  #3  
Old 08-19-2013, 08:15 AM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Keep the factory pads and learn to brake properly. Sorry, don't mean to sound sarcastic, but your car has excellent brakes from the factory. Unless the construction has changed to reduce dusting they are superb.

Burning out pads in 3 laps? Hmmm, gotta wonder. I am no slouch at the track and my pads have 41K on them including numerous NHMS and LRP track days. Never experienced fade either and I am really throwing out the anchor from 115 mph at the end of the main straight at NHMS. Just can't figure how you managed to use up a set so quickly. I know some courses are much harder on brakes than others, and Road America may really be a test, but I think you need to look at your own techniques first.
Perhaps you are a little like me early on. My instructor said that fast lap times were a dance, and I was doing a dance, but I was doing a tango when a waltz would be more effective. Maybe being a little smoother would work for you too.
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  #4  
Old 08-19-2013, 08:31 AM
AngelosP AngelosP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
Keep the factory pads and learn to brake properly. Sorry, don't mean to sound sarcastic, but your car has excellent brakes from the factory.
We are all friends here, no need to apologize. The only part of your braking technique that affects brake fade is if you don't brake hard enough. In other words, if you brake lightly, but for longer the temperature built up is higher than braking harder for a shorter period of time (see here for some genius explanation).

I can assure you I never drag my brakes (although you will have to take my word on that I guess) so technique is not the issue. The pads that I burnt through so quickly at Road America were Cool Carbons, which I have come to learn cannot support a car as heavy as the E9x on the track. Going from 140mph to 40mph the 3rd time around made them go *poof*.

None of the pads which I have listed as options compare to the OEM pads; they are all track specific pads. I have been to Gingerman Raceway with the OEM pads and they did fine for a while (much better than the Cool Carbons), but vibrations and fading were very obvious after a while.

P.S. It was my instructor who suggested to upgrade my brake pads and I always have an instructor with me on the track (even on open track days).

Last edited by AngelosP; 08-19-2013 at 08:33 AM.
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  #5  
Old 08-19-2013, 08:42 AM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelosP View Post
We are all friends here, no need to apologize. The only part of your braking technique that affects brake fade is if you don't brake hard enough. In other words, if you brake lightly, but for longer the temperature built up is higher than braking harder for a shorter period of time (see here for some genius explanation).

I can assure you I never drag my brakes (although you will have to take my word on that I guess) so technique is not the issue. The pads that I burnt through so quickly at Road America were Cool Carbons, which I have come to learn cannot support a car as heavy as the E9x on the track. Going from 140mph to 40mph the 3rd time around made them go *poof*.

None of the pads which I have listed as options compare to the OEM pads; they are all track specific pads. I have been to Gingerman Raceway with the OEM pads and they did fine for a while (much better than the Cool Carbons), but vibrations and fading were very obvious after a while.

P.S. It was my instructor who suggested to upgrade my brake pads and I always have an instructor with me on the track (even on open track days).
Was your instructor very familiar with BMWs?
There are lots of experienced posters here who might venture an opinion about a brand for you to try. Let's see if this bump snags any.
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  #6  
Old 08-19-2013, 08:45 AM
AngelosP AngelosP is offline
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Yes, he has an M3 (E36) himself and the PFC08s. He told me loved his pads, but they were a bit expensive and he hadn't done any research into any of the alternatives for the E9X series.
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  #7  
Old 08-19-2013, 09:45 AM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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Carbotech gets my vote.

Don't forget brake fluid. ATE blue/gold, Motul RBF 600, etc.
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Last edited by fdriller9; 08-19-2013 at 09:47 AM.
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  #8  
Old 08-19-2013, 09:49 AM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
Keep the factory pads and learn to brake properly. Sorry, don't mean to sound sarcastic, but your car has excellent brakes from the factory. Unless the construction has changed to reduce dusting they are superb.

Burning out pads in 3 laps? Hmmm, gotta wonder. I am no slouch at the track and my pads have 41K on them including numerous NHMS and LRP track days. Never experienced fade either and I am really throwing out the anchor from 115 mph at the end of the main straight at NHMS. Just can't figure how you managed to use up a set so quickly. I know some courses are much harder on brakes than others, and Road America may really be a test, but I think you need to look at your own techniques first.
Perhaps you are a little like me early on. My instructor said that fast lap times were a dance, and I was doing a dance, but I was doing a tango when a waltz would be more effective. Maybe being a little smoother would work for you too.
Cool carbons are known to get trashed at the track. They ARE NOT track pads. They are ok for a spirited street session but repetitive, heavy braking, will eat through these pads like butter.
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  #9  
Old 08-19-2013, 10:34 AM
AngelosP AngelosP is offline
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Thank you for the suggestion, I've heard great things about Carbotech. I'm currently running Super ATE Blue, do you think I should change it? The fluid was changed 10 days ago, but I did cook my Cool Carbons the very next day.
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  #10  
Old 08-19-2013, 11:44 AM
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///M-ratedE90 ///M-ratedE90 is offline
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This is my 6000th post...woot, woot!

I have tried Carbotech, Performance Friction and Hawk for track days. I now only use Performance Friction PFC-01's on my M3. I didn't try Pagids as PF's did the trick. I have heard good things about the new PFC-08s too. PFC-01's last all day with good bite and are gentle on rotors. Hawks scratch the hell out of your rotors and Carbotechs weren't as confidence boosting as PF. They need to be coupled to brake lines and higher spec fluid, regularly switched Ate, or for longer life Castrol SRF. I use Castrol SRF because outside of track performance, they make the brakes so much more positive daily driving that everything else seems soft - even the brakes on a Cayman. The market for brake pads is such that you get what you pay for. At the moment, PFC-01s last 6 track days (NHMS, 3 days/12 sessions at VIR and 2 days/8sessions at NJMP) even with cooling ducts...the most wear coming from 2 days at NJMP.

I'd disagree with DSX on using street pads on the track. You will know when it is time to change when the brakes shake like crazy the next day due to uneven pad deposits from melted brake resin. I found this out at NJMP in my second full season in my M3. NHMS is hardly a test of your brakes, and neither is Lime Rock if you are driving it correctly. However, I would follow DSXs advice on getting good instruction. Try and get an instructor who races rather than who has done years of HPDEs. In my experience, racers are always better instructors as they tend to push you a little harder. Ask to be driven around and see where they brake when they are driving and aspire to hit those marks... you'll run out of "attachments" before you run out of brakes.


Anyway, here is me driving at VIR and having fun:


Here is me doing lead follow with my instructor:


He is in a Z3 M-coupe, so I could always catch him on the straight, but see how fast he is through the corners and late on the brakes. He was trail braking to which is more advanced stuff.
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Last edited by ///M-ratedE90; 08-19-2013 at 11:50 AM.
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  #11  
Old 08-19-2013, 12:27 PM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelosP View Post
Thank you for the suggestion, I've heard great things about Carbotech. I'm currently running Super ATE Blue, do you think I should change it? The fluid was changed 10 days ago, but I did cook my Cool Carbons the very next day.
No problem. Your fluid should be fine. I was just mentioning that in case you still had stock fluid in there.
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  #12  
Old 08-19-2013, 01:06 PM
tony(topaz,SMG) tony(topaz,SMG) is offline
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I used both PF01 and PF08 pads on my e46 M3. I thought the 01 pads were better as far as feel and modulation, but they only last about three weekends of A group DEs. The 08 pads lasted much more, but just didn't have the same feeling that allowed me to modulate braking better with the 01s. If price is no object and you can do your own pad changes, then go with the 01s. Otherwise, the 08s will do a great job too.
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  #13  
Old 08-19-2013, 05:00 PM
AngelosP AngelosP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///M-ratedE90 View Post
This is my 6000th post...woot, woot!

I have tried Carbotech, Performance Friction and Hawk for track days. I now only use Performance Friction PFC-01's on my M3. I didn't try Pagids as PF's did the trick. I have heard good things about the new PFC-08s too. PFC-01's last all day with good bite and are gentle on rotors. Hawks scratch the hell out of your rotors and Carbotechs weren't as confidence boosting as PF. They need to be coupled to brake lines and higher spec fluid, regularly switched Ate, or for longer life Castrol SRF. I use Castrol SRF because outside of track performance, they make the brakes so much more positive daily driving that everything else seems soft - even the brakes on a Cayman. The market for brake pads is such that you get what you pay for. At the moment, PFC-01s last 6 track days (NHMS, 3 days/12 sessions at VIR and 2 days/8sessions at NJMP) even with cooling ducts...the most wear coming from 2 days at NJMP.
Thank you for sharing your experience, it helps knowing that a single person has tried quite a few options out because then you know you are getting consistent information.

I will probably switch to Castrol SRF next time, but what did you mean by "they need to be coupled to brake lines"? Are you saying that I need to upgrade to better quality brake lines for the PFC's to work the best? What if I don't, what side-effects should I expect to experience?

Also thank you for posting those videos, VIR looks like a lot of fun. Hopefully I'll get to drive there some day.
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  #14  
Old 08-19-2013, 05:06 PM
AngelosP AngelosP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony(topaz,SMG) View Post
I used both PF01 and PF08 pads on my e46 M3. I thought the 01 pads were better as far as feel and modulation, but they only last about three weekends of A group DEs. The 08 pads lasted much more, but just didn't have the same feeling that allowed me to modulate braking better with the 01s. If price is no object and you can do your own pad changes, then go with the 01s. Otherwise, the 08s will do a great job too.
That's great to know, thank you. I can change my own pads, but I want to keep cost down, that way I can spend more money on getting time on the track
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  #15  
Old 08-20-2013, 07:45 AM
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///M-ratedE90 ///M-ratedE90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelosP View Post
Thank you for sharing your experience, it helps knowing that a single person has tried quite a few options out because then you know you are getting consistent information.

I will probably switch to Castrol SRF next time, but what did you mean by "they need to be coupled to brake lines"? Are you saying that I need to upgrade to better quality brake lines for the PFC's to work the best? What if I don't, what side-effects should I expect to experience?

Also thank you for posting those videos, VIR looks like a lot of fun. Hopefully I'll get to drive there some day.
Although made of very stiff rubber, the OEM brake lines give a little. Braided steel lines are stiffer, stronger, more rugged and give consistent feel for your brakes. There is no down side beyond having softer brakes when you are hard on them that will feel like brake fade. With braided lines, less pedal pressure is "wasted" stretching the brake lines and more force is transferred to pushing the caliper piston.
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  #16  
Old 08-20-2013, 03:44 PM
AngelosP AngelosP is offline
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Originally Posted by ///M-ratedE90 View Post
Although made of very stiff rubber, the OEM brake lines give a little. Braided steel lines are stiffer, stronger, more rugged and give consistent feel for your brakes. There is no down side beyond having softer brakes when you are hard on them that will feel like brake fade. With braided lines, less pedal pressure is "wasted" stretching the brake lines and more force is transferred to pushing the caliper piston.
Got it, I'll be on the look out for that.
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