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BMW Fahrer
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Discussion Starter #1
Guys,

I'm going to VIR next month and although not my first track outing, it will be my first time at VIR. Last time I went to Summit Main I completely fried my Axxis Ultimates in the front so this time around I'm shopping for a dedicated track pad for the front.

After much deliberation I came across 3 potential candidates:
- PF 97 which seem to have the highest MOT but highest price as well (over $230)
- Hawk HT10, lower MOT and under $200
- Carbotech Panther+ which seem fairly similar to the Hawks and priced around $150

Now I'm not out to save money on this, if the difference is huge between them. But if it's not, then I can use any savings towards other mods I have in mind... My car is a 2003 with the ZHP package, running on Pilot Sports.

That's why I would appreciate your advice and opinion, particularly if you have had a direct experience with any of these pads.

Many thanks,

adc
03 330 ZHP
 

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PF 97 produces dust that will eat your wheels. It brakes nicely, though.

Hawk HT-10 dust doesn't seem to be corrosive at all. I'd recommend them for your car on street tires and stock suspension. You'll need brake cooling if you switch to coilovers and r-tires, though.
 

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BMW Fahrer
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Discussion Starter #3
Nick325xiT 5spd said:
PF 97 produces dust that will eat your wheels. It brakes nicely, though.

Hawk HT-10 dust doesn't seem to be corrosive at all. I'd recommend them for your car on street tires and stock suspension. You'll need brake cooling if you switch to coilovers and r-tires, though.
Thanks Nick.

I remember you mentioning about the corrosive dust of the PF97... For some strange reason my wheels don't seem to like the Ultimates dust either - this coupled with the curb rash I managed to put on mean I will have to refinish the wheels anyway at some point.

So I shouldn't be concerned with that? Or should I?...

My worry was to get pads that will get me through the 2 day event and to and from the track. Summit Point was very dissappointing last year because I destroyed my brakes there - not to mention expensive (new rotors and pads).

And I think I'll go to the Shenandoah circuit in August, so I'm hoping the pads will last another 2 days at least.

But if you say that any of these pads will do me fine with the car and skills I have, then I might just get the Hawks...

adc
03 330 ZHP
 

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M Mad
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I like Turner Motorsports Cool Willy track pads. You can drive them to and from the track,however they do make some noise and dust. The dust does not seem to be corrosive, just a good bit of it and dark.

I have run them at the Glen and VIR and had no problems with the brakes on the track. And that in an E46 M3, including running on R-comps. I did run a set for a one day school at VIR (changed pads there) then down and back and a 2 day event, and still have pad left. So 3 track days and one round trip from NE Maryland to VIR (314 each way).

At VIR the big problem is they checker at Oak Tree, which gives you about a half a lap (still over a mile) of cool down, but I did boil fluid after stopping in the paddock. So do a bit of driving around slowly after a session to get more cool down and bring tools and fluid for brake bleeding if necessary.

I do not have any additional brake cooling.
 

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BMW Fahrer
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Discussion Starter #5
Pinecone said:
I like Turner Motorsports Cool Willy track pads. You can drive them to and from the track,however they do make some noise and dust. The dust does not seem to be corrosive, just a good bit of it and dark.

I have run them at the Glen and VIR and had no problems with the brakes on the track. And that in an E46 M3, including running on R-comps. I did run a set for a one day school at VIR (changed pads there) then down and back and a 2 day event, and still have pad left. So 3 track days and one round trip from NE Maryland to VIR (314 each way).

At VIR the big problem is they checker at Oak Tree, which gives you about a half a lap (still over a mile) of cool down, but I did boil fluid after stopping in the paddock. So do a bit of driving around slowly after a session to get more cool down and bring tools and fluid for brake bleeding if necessary.

I do not have any additional brake cooling.
Thanks, this is very helpful.

BTW what route did you take to go to VIR? I-95S, or I-66W & I-81S?

adc
 

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I'm running Carbotech XP8s up front and Panther+ on the rear of my 330i. I've gotten four days out of them so far (two at SPR-Main, two at Shenandoah) with plenty of pad life left, though the ambient temp those days was relatively low. I'm not sure I would run Panther+ up front though.
Carbotech gives a 10% CCA discount if you ask for it, so that will ease the hurt a bit.
 

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Donkeybike?
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Carbotechs don't provide enough modulation in my opinion. They also eat up your rotors and the dust is highly corrosive.
 

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M Mad
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adc said:
Thanks, this is very helpful.

BTW what route did you take to go to VIR? I-95S, or I-66W & I-81S?

adc
Actually I go down 301 to 207 then over to I-95.

South to 295, towards Charlottesville to I-64 to 288 south to 360, out 360 to Danville.

The part that isn't on all maps is that there is a new multi lane 288 from 360 all the way to I-64.

The other way from DC is to 66 to 29 and south to Danville.
 

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Hi
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I'd recommend the Cobalt Spec VR. You can get them from fellow BMW CCA instructor Chris Peterson at www.dasautosport.com. They brake better than any other pad I've tried and they exhibited no fade whatsoever in back-to-back sessions at Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago in 100+ degree weather. I felt like I was throwing out an anchor every time I braked! They are dusty but the dust washes off very very easily. They can be a little bit noisy, but no worse than, say, the Porterfield R4 or R4-S - and I just turn up the radio anyway :D .
 

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unless you're driving moderately and are on street tires the Panther + is not the best pad for the job, it's a GREAT autocross/street+ pad though.


PF97 are the best but VERY hard on the rotors. Nothing I've tried stops like them though. I did try PF01 recently at Watkins Glen. They are very easy on the rotors and have that great initial bite of the 97 but they don't last long. .
 

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Rest in peace, Coach
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This is akin to asking about tire preferences, what kind of oil to use, or what type of gasoline to put in the car.

You can ask 100 supposedly experts, and I'll bet you'll get 99 different answers EVERY TIME. Just like if you ask a different girl what type of tampons they use, you'll get a different answer from a different girl, EVERY TIME.

Brake pad choices are personal, and depend on your driving style and your needs. Just looking at this thread you can tell almost EVERYONE here prefers a different pad. And to be blunt with you, unless you're RACING, it doesn't really matter what pads you're using, as long as it'll stand up to the heat on a track. Any of the pads that every of the posters mentioned here will work well enough, but each will have it's draw-backs (cost, dust, noise, brake feel...etc).
 

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Raffi said:
I'd recommend the Cobalt Spec VR.
Ditto that! I think the PF97s have more brake torque, but I won't put them on my car again as I've completely ruined a set of wheels already. ;) The Cobalt Spec VRs are very close in performance, have anti-rattle clips AND last a long time. I see people writing about "hoping" to get a couple or few track days out of a set of pads. Obviously, that will change based on braking style, but I've had my VRs on the car since the first week of February because I've been too lazy to change them out. That's 4 months worth of daily driving PLUS about 8-10 track events. They're just under half worn now. I got mine from DasAutoSport.com too.
 

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BMW Fahrer
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Discussion Starter #14
The HACK said:
This is akin to asking about tire preferences, what kind of oil to use, or what type of gasoline to put in the car.

And to be blunt with you, unless you're RACING, it doesn't really matter what pads you're using, as long as it'll stand up to the heat on a track. Any of the pads that every of the posters mentioned here will work well enough, but each will have it's draw-backs (cost, dust, noise, brake feel...etc).
Well to be precise I only asked about my top 3 candidates, if you look at my post.

And I did get valuable information that eliminates the PF97 and Panther+. I also picked up another good candidate in the process, the Cobalts.

At the end of the day, I now have a choice between 2 pads. As you said (and as I suspected and mentioned in my original post) purely from a performance standpoint it may not matter very much which one I end up with, so I may decide the matter simply based on cost...

So it may have been a stupid post to some, but maybe not to others who decided to share their experience. I want to thank all the posters that gave me input of their direct experiences with various pads.

adc
03 330 ZHP
 

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Donkeybike?
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adc said:
Now I'm not out to save money on this...
I've gone back and forth with different types of pads and came back to what originally worked for my brake system (StopTech BBK) although I've driven a stock e36 M3 with the same pads and it felt just as good. If you don't mind spending a little more, check out Pagid Orange pads. I run them on track and street. I think they make some noise though. :angel:
 

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DHP pwns ZHP :p
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The HACK said:
Just like if you ask a different girl what type of tampons they use, you'll get a different answer from a different girl, EVERY TIME.
:eek: Tell me you don't go around asking girls you meet that question. :eek:
 

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BMW Fahrer
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Discussion Starter #18
Track pad bedding

I know this may sond even sillier than my original post, but here it goes...

I just came up with another question: with either of these track pads, is it necessary to bed them in? If so, what is the recommended procedure (I've heard several methods).

I heard a comment from someone with a lot more track experience than me who mentioned in passing that a track pad is a great way to scour the rotors clean if you got pad deposits on them. That made me think that the track pads are so aggressive that it may not be feasible to bed them in, except on the track itself. :dunno:

For reference, I plan to put them on and drive to the track and back (about 4 hours each way).

Thanks,

adc
03 330 ZHP
 

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Sikkens Autocryl MM
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I use HT10's for my front pads, at VIR and the drive to and back (8 hours each way), without any problems. If the weather is cool, you will want to block off the vents. What chapter is running your event?

I do try to bed them the properly at home, but I have a feeling that the smear layer gets ground off on the drive down. Just in case, I'll do a half-assed bed in procedure in a deserted part of the parking lot, and take the first session nice and easy (something you probably should do anyway).

If you decide to go with the HT10's, I was told to use HP+ pads in the rear. If you use HT10's in the rear brakes as well, the balance may get thrown off.

EDIT: one "characteristic" of the HT10 will take getting used to: the initial bite isn't progressive. But I get used to it by the second session, and my braking will smoothen out.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
elbert said:
I use HT10's for my front pads, at VIR and the drive to and back (8 hours each way), without any problems. If the weather is cool, you will want to block off the vents. What chapter is running your event?

I do try to bed them the properly at home, but I have a feeling that the smear layer gets ground off on the drive down. Just in case, I'll do a half-assed bed in procedure in a deserted part of the parking lot, and take the first session nice and easy (something you probably should do anyway).

If you decide to go with the HT10's, I was told to use HP+ pads in the rear. If you use HT10's in the rear brakes as well, the balance may get thrown off.

EDIT: one "characteristic" of the HT10 will take getting used to: the initial bite isn't progressive. But I get used to it by the second session, and my braking will smoothen out.
Thanks for the info.

This event is run by the NCCA chapter in association with the local Audi and Merc clubs (joint event).

adc
03 330 ZHP
 
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