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Thread: Track Pad recommendations

                  
   
  1. #1
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    Track Pad recommendations

    Since it's on ongoing question with new school participants, and products and technology are constantly changing, I thought it might be good to get direct experiences with the different track pads people have tried.

    Direct experience only please, there's plenty of hearsay on the Internet already.

    Comments on stopping power, temperature resistance, pad/rotor wear, and dust problems would be a great place to start. why dust? keep reading.

    I've used a few:
    Stock pads: Worked fine for C group experience, but easily overheated once I had a few schools. Pad consumption is very high when tortured at a driver's school. Of course, easy on rotors, lotsa easily cleaned dust.
    Cool Willy's: Excellent for C/B/A transition, easy on rotors and friendly gray dust. Good stopping power when hot, but showed temperature failure as I got faster in A group, edges of the pad started to crumble, vertical cracks in the pad material.
    PF 90: my favorite track pad, characteristics similar to cool willies but withstood more heat. I rarely overheated them. Excellent stopping power and temperature resistance, rotor friendly, lotsa easily cleaned dust. Now NLA, thanks Performance Friction.
    PF 97: recommended by PF to supersede the 90's. Excellent hot stopping power and temperature resistance. rotor wear seems moderate WHEN HOT on the track. When cold, driving to/from the track, rotor wear is severe, you can hear them grinding away. I'm told this is the nature of the pad material. Dust from these is a nightmare. They produce a dark dust that seems benign enough till it gets wet, then it hardens into a Portland cement like mixture that is unremoveable my any means known to man. So of course it rained sometime during almost every track weekend I've used them. The finish came off my wheels before this stuff came off.

    So now I'm looking for a high-temp track pad that won't eat my rotors or destroy my wheels. Any suggestions?

    I'm wondering about
    Hawk HP-10
    Carbotech XP9, XP10, XP11, XP12, XP?
    Pagid Yellow Endurance
    Performance Friction compounds other that 97

    feel free to comment about any direct experience you've had with track brake pads.

    Thanks very much.
    - Joel B.
    Joel Bossard
    ---------------------------------------------
    1998 M3/4, Silver driver
    2002 4X4 Dodge 2500 Cummins HO 6-speed hauler
    2006 VW Jetta TDI commuter

  2. #2
    I think this thread has potential of being a really useful and insightful thread. There is already a pretty good brake pad thread on bimmerforums, in case anyone looking for more information. Personally I have only experience with the stock brake setup, however I am about to purchase a set of Hawk HT-10s for the front and I am not yet sure about the back. I completely agree with you as far as progressing in DEs, you'll definitely need more stopping power than the stockies offer. At Ofest I completely destroyed my front brakes. The dealership wasn't too happy about replacing them either. From what I read (bimmer forum brake pad thread) the HT-10s are excellent and one of the most innovative pads out there. They are however expensive. Being that my stock rear setup seemed to holdup last year after all the DEs, I think I'll go with a high performance pad in the back, but not a dedicated track pad. I am going back to VIR next month, and I'll definitely report on how the HT-10s holdup vs. the stock setup.

  3. #3
    Senior Member 1996 328ti's Avatar
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    I'm going with Carbotech XP9s next.
    Currently I used Carbotech PantherPlus which are a few notches below the 9s.
    ...steven
    BMW CCA #146825

    318ti.org | bmwcca.org/forum

  4. #4
    I haven't had trouble with the Cool Willy pads. Maybe you need some brake cooling?

    And an E46 M3 is pretty hard on pads, fast and HEAVY.
    Terry Carraway
    02 Topaz E46 M3 SMG
    00 Dakar M Roadster
    95 Alpine E36 M3 LTW
    SCCA Spec Racer Ford Red/White

  5. #5

    Track pad recommendations - HT-10s

    Myself, and many others, have had the same experience with HT-10s. They are quite non-linear in their generated braking force. You come up to a corner and trounce on them, and there's some braking, but then after about 1 second - yowee - you're parked!

    Since the ultimate braking force is more than I've experienced with any pad, I kind of liked them for open-track days - you could time the braking quite well. But once I started racing, they were a disaster - try a dive-bomb move on the inside of someone going into a corner - apply brakes late........ then, suddenly you're BEHIND the car you're trying to pass - much more difficult to master.

    I now use Hawk Blues for racing, but they are rotor eaters when driven cold (like on the street, or in the rain on the track) and shed rust-making dust that has to be washed off immediately. Otherwise, they're great.

    I've heard great things about Pagid Orange, but they don't make a pad to fit my AP brakes.
    Joe

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by 1996 328ti
    I'm going with Carbotech XP9s next.
    Currently I used Carbotech PantherPlus which are a few notches below the 9s.
    Steve, if I remember correctly I read somewhere prior that you had issues going back and forth between Carbotechs and street pads on the same rotors. I really like the pricing of these pads, however I need to be able to swap my OEM pads back on and not have deposit issues. What's latest on this issue? Also, I see that everyone recommends brakeswap as a place to purchase these, but their website only shows M3 fitment?

    Thanks.

  7. #7
    Senior Member 1996 328ti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChosenGSR
    Steve, if I remember correctly I read somewhere prior that you had issues going back and forth between Carbotechs and street pads on the same rotors.
    Nope. I did have deposits once but I think that is because I left my track pads on too long and it rained. Then swapped with Ultimates. I think the compounds mixed. Up until then I never had a problem.
    ...steven
    BMW CCA #146825

    318ti.org | bmwcca.org/forum

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ChosenGSR
    Also, I see that everyone recommends brakeswap as a place to purchase these, but their website only shows M3 fitment?
    The E46 330i and E46 M3 fitments happen to be the same.

  9. #9
    I just put a set of Hawk HP Plus pads on my car - for "street, track, and autox use"... I'll let you know how they hold up after this weekend's school.
    2000 323i
    1997 M3

    it was a beautiful day... the sun beat down
    I had the radio on, I was drivin'...

  10. #10
    Senior Member odortiz's Avatar
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    i'm told hp+ has a simmilar temp range as hps. the friction falls off a cliff when overheated. i like the friction of the hp+ but the dust is corrosive, so you have to clean the car before it gets wet/dries.
    i'm using bhp brakes. it's a steet pad with a max temp of 1200 deg.
    friction level close to hp+.
    only available in porsche/stoptech fitments and hopefully, less than a month and a half away, m3 fitments will be released.
    these are my favorite pads. i have tried hps, hp+, ht-10, axxis ultimates.
    i'm on street tires and my car is very lightened so, i can get away with a cooler pad than lots of folks with full interiors
    i have had pad failure going into turn 1 at summit main and sailed into the gravel. i was using hps at the time.
    95 M3, 6-speed, 3.73
    Extensive weight reduction
    Website

  11. #11
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    Good stuff guys, don't stop now.
    Please, anybody throw in your direct experience.
    I'll be on the lookout for bhp products.
    - Joel B.,
    Joel Bossard
    ---------------------------------------------
    1998 M3/4, Silver driver
    2002 4X4 Dodge 2500 Cummins HO 6-speed hauler
    2006 VW Jetta TDI commuter

  12. #12
    I have used,

    Hawk
    -- Black
    * Crap, fell apart after 2 sessions, compound fell off the backing pad, awful dust
    -- Blue
    * Crap, all gone after 2 sessions, awful dust.
    Carbotech
    -- Panther
    * Great on the street, great for a NOVICE HPDE, anyone in a heavy car/deep braker on track and you will overheat them in short order, very, very low duster. I use this on the street.
    -- XP8/9/10/11
    * Hands down amazing pads. I have progressed up to the 11's now and have a set of 12's waiting for tryouts. Best pad I have ever used. Dust must be cleaned within a week or you'll hate yourself, but worth it. Only pad I use on the track anymore. Little expensive, decent on rotors (when used as a TRACK ONLY pad). They will take abuse and ask for more. Don't expect them to last all season if you really use them, but they are worth it.
    Performance Friction
    -- 'Z'
    * Good street/beginner HPDE pad, low duster. I'd still go with the Panther pad over this one, I don't think it is available anymore anyway.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by odortiz
    i'm told hp+ has a simmilar temp range as hps. the friction falls off a cliff when overheated. i like the friction of the hp+ but the dust is corrosive, so you have to clean the car before it gets wet/dries.
    ^^^ good to know before going into the HPDE this weekend... Would you expect them to overheat on Shennandoah, and how much of a failure in braking would I experience if they did?
    Last edited by 1996 328ti; 05-15-2006 at 06:16 PM.
    2000 323i
    1997 M3

    it was a beautiful day... the sun beat down
    I had the radio on, I was drivin'...

  14. #14
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    If you pay attention to your braking zones (don't wait tooo long), you should be fine on the Shennandoah. It is not as hard on brakes as Summit main. There is one medium, and one hard, braking zones, but the track is longer and twisty, which results in lots of intermediate speed, brake cooling time per lap.
    thanks to white 2kgt for more good feedback.
    - Joel B.
    Joel Bossard
    ---------------------------------------------
    1998 M3/4, Silver driver
    2002 4X4 Dodge 2500 Cummins HO 6-speed hauler
    2006 VW Jetta TDI commuter

  15. #15
    Senior Member SharkD's Avatar
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    E24 (E32 fronts, E34 540 rears)
    • Metal Master - smooth intial bite, some fade after multiple high-speed laps on the Jefferson; very dusty
    • Pagid/PBR Deluxe - good modulation, less fade; long lasting; moderate dust

    E30 (Stock size, Power Slot fronts)
    • Green Stuff - Practically worthless, especially on higher speed courses like VIR
    • Hawk HPS - Good modulation and initial bite, some fade after 8 hot laps on high speed tracks like VIR and Summit main; long lasting; low dust. My street/autocross pad of choice.
    • Hawk Blue - Great modulation, good fade resistance; moderate lifespan; highly corrosive and dusty
    • Hawk HT-10 - Okay initial bite, fair modulation; great fade resistance; relatively low dust. My racing pad of choice.

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