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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
first, hello everyone, this is my first post here. i use the same username of e46fanatics.com

anyway, i have a question (or maybe it's more like a poll). what brake pads would you recommend for autocross use and occasional driver's schools? this is on a stock E46 coupe that is driven mainly on the street (i.e. no crazy racing pads that take a long time to reach operating temperatures).

i'm hearing mixed reviews of the EBC green/red stuff. i'm going to put Hawk HP+ on my MR2 soon (but i don't think they have sizes for my E46). and oh yeah, i don't care about brake dust. i wash my wheels often, no biggie. i just want a good pad at a good price that will not fade on me at driver schools and work well at autox. i autox my E46 about once a month, more or less. and i do about 2 driver schools a year.

TIA.
 

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M Mad
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There isn't really a good pad that will do everything. The best thing is to get a good street/autocross pad for normal use, then put a dedicated track pad on for that use.

I have always liked the Repco/PBR/Axxis Deluxe pads for street and autocross. A nice pad, quiet and virtually dustless. This has been my pad of choice for about 25 years.

For a little more agressive there is the Metal Master (same manufacturer). This started as a racing pad back in the 70s, but has migrated down to a street pad. A little more dust and noise versus the Deluxe, but better high temp performance.

The now have the Ultimate pad, which should be a step up from the Metal Masters and may work as a light duty (depending on your skill level at the track) track pad.

Other choices for street/autocross are Pagid SPort (expensive). Ferodo - good reviews, but I have not run them, although I have a set for the Roadster to try. EBC - too many reports of problems for me. Mintex - sort of staging a comback recently. Their street pads are similar to the Deluxe pads above. The also have the C pads for track use, whihc are supposed to be very good.

Another one with good reviews are Porterfield R-4S compound pads. They seem to be about the best for all around use. Not perfect, but work OK. The R-4 is a good track pad.

Some of the Hawks work well, but none in all uses. Their track pads are very noisey and dusty, but they do work.

For track only pads, I have chosen Turner Motorsports Cool Willy pads. I will have more info after this weekend, as I am running them at the Glen. They can be a dual use pads (street/track) as they are supposed to work cold, but they are reported to be noisey and dusty. One guy at Turner says he runs them as an everyday pad. Another guy said he don't even run them to/from the track, but you can do that. I plan on changing the at the track, but I might run them home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Pinecone, thanks for all that info! whew!

you are going to be at the glen this weekend with the genesee valley BMWCCA? so am i! :) are you an instructor? i didn't call early enough to stay at the seneca lodge, so i'm lodging in cortland/ithaca. but i'll see you there on friday night for tech...
 

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Hi
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If you autocross and only attend a couple of driving schools a year, the Porterfield R4S should be great for you. I use them on the street and like them a lot. I previously used the R4S at the track too, but I am now using the Porterfield R4 as a dedicated track pad, simply because I am getting fast enough that the R4S exhibits a bit of fade by the end of my sessions. See how far you can push the R4S, then when you reach its limits, you may want to consider a separate set of pads for the track.
 

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M Mad
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325ci.com said:
Pinecone, thanks for all that info! whew!

you are going to be at the glen this weekend with the genesee valley BMWCCA? so am i! :) are you an instructor? i didn't call early enough to stay at the seneca lodge, so i'm lodging in cortland/ithaca. but i'll see you there on friday night for tech...
Yeap. WWhere are you coming from and when? I have appointments until about 1, then will be heading out from the Baltimore area.

Nope, not an instructor, just been messing around with cars for a while and been agonizing over the brake pad question myself. :)

I also did not get into the Seneca lLodge, so I am staying at the Chalet Leon.
 

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Speed Bump
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If you can fade ANY brake pad at an autocross, its called a time trial. Anything you like to run on the street is fine at an autocross. Older cars with marginal brakes (80's Hondas, BMW 2002, etc.) will benefit greatly from better pads on a parking lot. An E46 has plenty of brake with even the weakest pads for an autocross.

A driver school at a track is a different story. Opinions vary widely but I'm sure you can find someone to recommend any of the following as a decent novice track pad that will still stop your car when cold: Hawk HP+/HPS, EBC some color?, Cool Willy, Carbotech Panther/Panther+.

You don't really need a full race pad yet. These pads provide from poor to miserable braking when cold (such as on the street driving to work) but great performance above 600-800 deg: Hawk Black/Blue, Performance Friction 90/93/97/01, Pagid Orange

I currrently use Cool Willys for light to medium braking tracks (Lime Rock Park, Roebling Road). For medium to heavy braking (Carolina Motorsport Park, Road Atlanta, Summit Point) I run Performance Friction 93's in front and 90's in back (might have that backwards).


Ed
 

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M Mad
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Update on the track pads.

I ran the whole weekend on the Cool Willys and then drove them home.

They worked very well hot and cold. A little squealing when dead cold (first couple of stops in the morning.

I took it slowly the first session to bed the pads (installed them at the track the first morning), then let fly for the other 5 sessions. I never really taxed the braking. The later I braked, they just reeled in the speed.

I did not measure them before installing them (brain fart) but the fronts had about .325" remaining and the rears about .410". The street pads I put on for normal driving (Mintex) started at .550" front and .455" rear. So the Cool Willy rears should be good for several more events, the fronts I figure will last one more weekend, but I will take a spare set.


The Mintex pads for street are very nice. Good braking power, no noise (fronts come with built in anti-squeal, no goop needed) and very low dust. After about 300 miles (a lot of city driving) I can tell that there is dust, only by running my finger across the wheel and seeing the difference. About as much dust as the stock pads driving to the corner and back (and that isn't far).
 
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