All content provided
herein is Copyrighted.
We conduct periodic checks to see how
this infomation is being used.
If you would like to use this
E-Mail us for instructions and
What is Brake Pad 'Bedding in?'
Hawk Brake Pad Installation
Hawk Brake pad 'bed-in' Procedures
Ferodo Brake pad 'bed-in' Procedures
Rofren Brake pad 'bed-in' Procedures
Rotor Installation Guide
If you're buying brake
components from us and are installing them
yourself, or are
having them installed by a professional mechanic
YOU SHOULD READ THIS:
HOW TO PROPERLY INSTALL YOUR
planning on calling to ask us questions about
problems or components NOT purchased from us ....
TO READ THIS
Some other General Tips and
(in our opinion)
How should I improve my vehicles braking
What brake pads are the best?
Why don't you recommend
Ceramic Brake Pads?
Why do I need
better pads if I can already lock up my tires?
Should I use the same components
as specified as OEM?
How hot do my
rotors get when braking?
What causes pad failure?
What is brake pad
What is better- Slotted or Drilled Rotors?
performance rotors are not created equally...
What better Cast or
Are Big Brake kits really better?
Can I use racing brake
pads on the street?
Don't you have a brake pad that I can use on the
street AND track?
What makes brake pads work?
What causes Warped
What makes my brakes squeak, and how do I fix it?
Premium-Grade High-Quality parts really worth it?
The 'Lifetime Warranty'
general information on how disc brakes work - Read
For optimal use of
any given brake system, the pads and rotor have to be compatible
with each other. The bed-in procedure establishes that compatibility
between the pad and rotor. This is achieved by a combination of
rubbing speed, temperature, line pressure, and Inertia. Bed-in is
also influenced by pad and rotor material chemistries. It is always
recommended that only compatible pads and rotors be used in any
Bedding in advantages:
heat treats the rotor and eliminates any thermal shock in the rotor.
2. Burn off volatiles and moisture from the resin that is near
This will eliminate “green fade.”
a layer of transfer film about a few microns thick on the rotor
surface. Shearing of the film during friction is an effective source
of friction force. Otherwise, when using a freshly ground rotor
without the transfer film, the main friction force would come from
cutting, plowing, or scoring the asperities on the rotor surface.
This leads to inconsistent braking effectiveness.
4. Mate the
two surfaces to a near perfect geometrical match, so that the
contact area is high, and therefore the friction force is increased.
5. The performance of a fresh rotor/fresh pad system would be
inconsistent. This is due to ever-changing structures and properties
of the two mating materials. Bed-in of pads and rotor will form a
stable transfer film.
6. If bedding in procedure is not applied,
a stable transfer film may not be established for a long time. In
other words, the rotor surface would have to be constantly
regenerating a film that is not quite stable for a long time. This
effect would reduce the performance and increase the wear.
Hawk Brake Pad Installation
Install Brake pads properly. Be sure
pads are securely positioned in the caliper.
system with fresh brake fluid.
Check all hydraulic
parts for excess wear and tear.
Check disc for proper
thickness, parallelism, and lateral run-out.
disc for scoring or grooves over .012" depth. If either applies,
resurfacing or replacement is required.
If disc does
not need resurfacing then contamination from the previous brake pads
must be removed. Sand discs with Garnet sandpaper using
moderate pressure. Use soap and water to clean off disc surface
after sanding and machining. Discs should be free and clear of oil,
grease, and brake fluid.
Inspect calipers for freedom
of movement. Lubricate where necessary.
Hawk Brake Bedding-in Procedure
6-10 slow-downs from approximately 30-35 mph to 5 mph. applying
moderate pressure. Do not come to a complete stop.
Make an additional 2 to 3 harder stops from approximately
40-45 mph. to zero.
DO NOT DRAG THE BRAKES!
(after stopping - do not leave your foot on the brake pedal)
Allow 15 mintues or more for the brake system to cool
Your new Hawk pads are ready for
Ferodo Brake Bedding-in
To achieve optimum performance from Ferodo Racing
brake pads please follow the instructions below:
1) Perform 25 to 30 trial brake applications, each
of approximately 4 seconds, using around 50% of normal race pedal
pressure. To shorten the procedure applications can be made along
the straights as well as through bends.
2) On completion of trial applications return to the pit
lane. Inspect the surface of the brake pads from the two wheels
which have been working the hardest. There should be evidence of
contact over the full pad area but without glazing. The pads are now
ready to race.
Whilst we recommend that pads
are inspected, if time does not allow this, assuming procedure (1)
has been carried out and a short period of time has elapsed to allow
the brake system to cool, the pads will be ready to
optimize the performance and life of both brake pads and discs,
during the bedding-in period heat in the braking system should be
built up progressively.
wear inspection: brake pads must have at least 2mm of friction
material. Excessively worn brake pads must be
temperature control. Using this procedure, if none of the 3 paints
has changed appearance and the braking performance is not considered
satisfactory, it may be necessary to reduce cooling to the discs. If
all 3 paints have changed appearance, it may be necessary to
increase cooling to the discs.
Rofren Brake Pad Bedding-in
from 35mph to 5mph - using moderate brake presure
Do not come to a complete stop. Gently
re-accelerate to 40mph.
Repeat this process 4-6
Decelerate from 45mph to 0mph - using more
brake pressure (85%)
Do not lock the brakes. Do not STAY
stopped with your foot on the brake pedal - allow the car to roll
slightly. Gently re-accelerate to 45mph.
process 3 times.
Drive a short
distance - allowing the brakes to cool.
Park the vehicle, and
allow the brake system to fully cool to ambient (outside)
temperatures (15-30 minutes). While stopped, do not apply the
parking brake or keep your foot on the brake pedal for extended
periods of time.
Your new Rofren pads are now ready for
SP Performance Rotor Installation
Performance rotor installation guide here
Rotor Installation Video
NOTE: SP Performance Rotors are
They are the same size
as the FACTORY ORIGINAL parts.
If you are looking for
rotors that are different diameters, thicknesses,
etc. than the ORIGINAL part for the car....
We recommend that
YOU determine what vehicle (year, make,
has the rotor size that you are looking for.
Otherwise, you may want to take advantage of our Consulting Service.
Our Telephone Support/Technical Assistance
Let us be very clear about this -
If you're planning on calling us to ask questions
- How does your product
compare to XYZ product that you don't sell?
Why is your
product better than XYZ product?
We don't answer
questions relating our products to those which we
haven't used ourselves or don't
We have more
technical information regarding the products we sell on
website than almost any other manufacturer or
Please read it - then you'll know.
If not, we recommend calling the other company
or vendor and asking
them the same
- My mechanic
screwed up my brake installation ...
you tell my mechanic that they didn't install my brakes correctly -
this way they'll figure you're an expert and fix it for
We're not getting in the
middle between you and your installer.
- How long (many miles) is
this product going to last on my car?
answer is: If you don't drive the vehicle - they'll last
Otherwise, brake component life expectancy is
How you drive, What you
drive, and the Conditions under which you drive
vehicle. Brakes are supposed to wear
All of the components we sell should last as
long, if not longer, than any
component - and perform better during their life
In many cases- our customers
report anywhere from 150% to 300%+ greater
than from stock components.
- I bought one
of the products you sell from another vendor-
now I have a problem. Can you help me fix it?
We recommend contacting the vendor or
manufacturer you purchased the parts
assistance. Unfortunately, our business model does not consist
providing free technical support for other vendors
or for individuals
who sell stuff on E Bay
and that you can no longer get in touch with.....
If you purchased
the product from US - and have a problem-
please give us
Have your Name and/or Order Number
handy when you call -
and we'll do what we can
to help you solve the problem.
If you were planning on
calling and asking one of the previous questions -
STILL HELP! - Click Here
Otherwise, we recommend that you continue
advice, and the answers to 99% of your questions
for reading below:
How can I Improve my vehicles braking
performance will be positively impacted by improvements in the
#1) Better Tires
#2) Better Brake
#3) Larger Diameter Rotors (more brake
that you have good tires on your vehicle- the simplest, and most
cost effective improvement comes from BETTER BRAKE
What brake pads
are the best? (Our Number #1 Asked Question)
The answer here is subjective. Only
you know what you want out of your braking
system. Some want more performance- some want less dust,
etc... Every manufacturer that we carry is a 'class of the
field' performance brake pad manufacturer. If there was ONE
pad or ONE compound that was better than any other- then we wouldn't
have all of these different manufacturers - would we?
we always recommend using a high-quality, semi-metallic
Semi-metallic pads offer premium stopping power and fade
resistance. Many of the semi-metallic or hybrid pad
compositions also offer very low dust and are noise free.
I can tell you this: BRAKING IS A TRADE-OFF
cannot have better braking perormance with less dust and/or less
rotor wear. If you want better stopping power-
then that comes with the price of potentially more brake dust and
more accelerated rotor wear. If you give up a degree of
performance- then you can have less dust and less rotor
have your cake and eat it too!
Well -actually - you can - but we
don't sell them - the product you need can be found
Why don't you
recommend Ceramic Brake Pads?
Let's start by
saying that ceramic brake pads have a place in the automotive
industry. They were designed to be a low-dust, noise-free
brake pad. They came into popularity after the discontinued
use of asbestos-based brake pads. At that time, semi-metallic
pads exhibited problems with higher noise and dust levels.
being said, I can tell you that Ceramic Brake Pads were
NEVER designed to be a performance brake pad! Some
companies have done a terrific job marketing their
higher-priced, ceramic pads to the consumer as a performance
pad. Ceramic brake pads typically have lower friction
coefficients, and act as an insulator - raising rotor temperatures
in cast-iron disc systems. When you have a vehicle
that has persistent braking problems- the last thing you want to do
is install components that have a LOWER friction
coefficient and that RAISE effective operating
temperatures! See our section on how this can cause '
Premium-grade semi-metallic or hybrid pads are
more effective for handling elevated temperatures and
dissipating heat away from rotors. Most, if not all,
semi-metallic pads have a degree of ceramic content ALREADY IN
the brake pad.
semi-metallic pads can offer LOW-DUST, NOISE-FREE
sacrificing stopping power and increasing rotor
Most organizations with fleet
vehicles and other extreme-service applications already know
what we're telling you: High-quality semi-metallic pads
offer the best combination of stopping-power and extended-wear of
any brake pad type on the marketplace
Why do I need better pads if I can
already lock up my tires?
Ok, we'll assume you read the first part about
Remember, braking performance is about NOT
locking up your tires.
Your objective is to
slow the vehicle in the shortest distance
[ Example: You ~could~ use a street tire
on a race track, but it won't provide very good handling or lap
times.... In the same regard - an
inferior or lower friction pad will still stop your car - it
just won't do it in as short of a distance! ]
objective and other factors (tires, etc.) being
Higher friction brake pads provide greater
fade resistance and shorter stopping distances.
Should I use the same components as specified as
OEM means Original
Translation: A component manufactured by a third-party
company and selected for use in the original vehicle. An
OEM manufacturer will typically manufacture their part based on
specifications and designs supplied to them by the vehicle
vehicle manufacturer selects components used in your
vehicle based on a variety of factors. These include
PRICE, quality, deliverability, and many others.
cases, the manufacturer will not select the BEST
of the items that went into your vehicle were the best - your car
would cost 5-10 times as much as you paid for it!
The manufacturers certainly make decisions, in most cases, to
use an adequate product- that meets their demands for price and
quality. They may not use the cheapest component- because
it would result in too many warranty returns.
However, there are
thousands of recalls every year for components which the
manufacturer has deemed defective.
You can check them out
for your vehicle here:http://www.alldata.com/recalls/
The vehicle manufacturers make mistakes
In the aftermarket, you can choose from a range of
lesser-cost, lower-quality components OR higher
price, higher-quality components.
You have the
Just because it was
specifed as OEM- it doesn't make it better!
the components we sell are EQUAL TO or BETTER THAN the OEM
specification for the original component.
Firestone tires were OEM on Ford Explorer trucks .
Did that make them
better? Think about it!
hot do my rotors get when braking?
The default values listed above are typical for an
average American 'sedan-type' vehicle.
Feel free to change the
values, and see how this changes the
table above calculates an "average" temperature
rise for your rotors
under a single-stop event.
Peak rotor temperatures can
be at least TWICE as high as what is calculated
of deceleration will increase the peak rotor temperature more -
since the braking system has less time to dissipate the heat
decelerations, the temperatures move progressively higher -
because the rotors do not have a chance to cool to ambient
What causes brake pad
There is no single answer to this question - there are
simply too many variables.
However, in general, pad
failure is caused by excessive heat. Brake pad
compounds are designed to operate within a certain temperature
range. When the pad is overheated to a temperature above what
the material was designed to handle- it will wear at an
excessive rate, crumble, decompose, and the
Temperature Indicating Paint Kit may be
useful in determining the
correct brake pad compound(s) for your
What causes brake pad
Brake pad glazing
is caused when the brake pad friction material is
This results in crystallized friction material on the
pad surface and the brake disc.
symptoms of glazed brake pads include: Poor stopping performance,
vibration or brake judder, and cracks or fissures in the brake pad
Pad glazing is typically caused by operating the brake
pads at a temperature above the specified temperature range of the
friction material or not properly
following the 'Bedding-in' instructions for the brake pads.
Always follow the manufacturers brake pad bedding-in instructions
and use a brake pad that has a temperature range that is sufficient
for its intended use.
What is better- Slotted or Drilled Rotors?
Again - this is a
subjective question. As they say- liars can figure- and
figures can lie. Proponents of both sides will espouse the
benefits of each.
'Slotted Rotors' Why?
A few different
1) Many companies who produce aftermarket performance
rotors may not use the best 'blanks' to start with. They do
this because it allows them to make the rotors at a lower cost and
sell them to you for less than other competitors- or, this way, they
can compete with the larger manufacturers. Now, if you have a
somewhat sub-standard rotor- and then you 'cross-drill' it - What do
you think you're doing? Well, you're compromising the
integrity of the rotor by drilling completely through the surface-
and then it heats up- and if it isn't a quality blank- made from
quality steel and alloy- What do you think happens then? Well,
more likely than not- it will crack.
Remember, we're not saying ALL 'Cross Drilled' rotors are
2) Cross-Drilling (in most instances) removes
more braking surface area than slotting does.
A brake rotor is designed to do one thing: Convert kinetic
(moving) energy to thermal energy (heat). What handles more
heat- A cast-iron kettle or a pizza pan with holes in it?
you think of any professional race teams who still use cross-drilled
Most importantly: "You get what you pay for!"
If you buy a
$20 set of brake pads or a $30 rotor- and then you have to
change them every 5,000 or 10,000 miles - Is that really a bargain?
performance rotors are not created equally ...
Here's a few
||Here's an instance
where the time was not taken to create a program
specifically for the rotor in question.
is that the machine has drilled though one of the cooling
veins and has compromised the structural integrity of the
rotor. SP Performance creates application-specific programs
for every rotor that it manufactures - This insures
performance, safety, and reliability.
example of improper engineering.
and layout has caused the drilling and slotting pattern to be
To 'fill in the gap' additonal
randomly-spaced holes had to be inserted to 'make the rotor
This can create a situation where the
rotor in question would be out of
ensures the highest quality and performance by creating
computer programs for every rotor
that it produces.
All SP Performance rotors are custom machined
by highly-skilled, factory-trained technicians, and the rotors
are computer balanced after manufacturing.
It takes a
little bit longer and may cost a bit more,
What would you rather
be riding around on?
What's better cast or forged
This must be some
As far as we are aware, all automotive brake
rotors are cast - not forged.
There ~might~ be some exception
to this in a strange industrial application or something, but we've
never heard of it on an automobile.
So, if you're looking for
those hard-to-find forged rotors... we wish you good luck!
Are Big Brake kits really better?
Big brake kits that are
incorrectly designed can acutally perform worse than your stock
brakes. Bigger pads and rotors primarily do one thing:
They dissipate more heat than the stock brake
setup. They do not necessarily stop you in shorter
distances. Stopping distances are impacted by the
coefficient of friction of the brake pad used and the clamping force
applied by the caliper. Bigger brake pads do not
apply more pressure- they only apply the same pressure over a
bigger area. But- Don't take our word for it:
Here's a link
to the test data for StopTech with their upgrade kit on an Audi
Note the next closest
stopping disance in the chart is the OEM
Here's another link to another test
using a Nissan 350Z:
Note that the stock brake system on the 350Z (non track
model) utilizes a 11 3/4" front rotor. For their test-
they upgraded this to either a 13" or 14"
So- you can put a 13" or 14" rotor
on the front of the car - and it still only stops about 7 feet
shorter than the stock 12"
We applaud StopTech-
they seem like good people- and they are one of the few companies
providing REAL information. They tell you exactly what we tell
If heat dissipation is
of primary concern- then a big brake kit will reduce
the rotor and caliper temperatures. Otherwise,
Premium Grade Brake Pads with higher temperature
range capabilities and a higher coefficient of friction will provide
the best improvement in braking performance.
Can I use racing brake pads on the street?
We're not your parents- and we can't
TELL you what you can and cannot do-However,
If you use racing pads for street driving - a few things will
1) YOU WON'T STOP. In fact, you will probably
blow-through the first 2 or 3 stop-lights, stop-signs and the like
everytime you first get in your car and drive it.
FACT. Just like other brake
pads- racing pads are engineered to operate at a CERTAIN TEMPERATURE
RANGE. They will not stop you for a hill of beans BEFORE they
get to that temperature range.
2) YOU WILL DESTROY YOUR
ROTORS. Racing pads are a much harder compound than streetable
pads. When these pads are cold- they produce an EXCESSIVE
amount of wear on the rotors. In some circumstances- the pad
material can be 'as-hard-as' - if not 'harder-than' the rotor
Take a look at a Formula1 race sometime- you
will see the team throwing out $1,000.00 Carbon Fiber Rotors after
every session - and the pads are still
Don't you have some magic brake pads
that work perfectly
on the Street and the
We wish we did! Not only would you be happy, but we
would be rich too!
For now, though, brake pads are designed to
work in optimal temperature ranges.
So, for most track-day types
we get the request for a quiet, rotor-friendly, low-dust pad that
they can use on the street, and then magically take their car to the
racetrack and drive 120+ mph and not have any fade.....
Sorry to burst your bubble- but IT DOESN'T
Your best bet- performance-wise AND
financially is to buy a good set of street pads that are good for
street use AND buy a set of track pads that you can use for
track duty. Anything else is a
Feel free to do it; and we'll sell
you the pads and take your money- but you've been informed.
Why not just take the extra few minutes,
do it the right way, spend less money over the long haul, AND get
the type of performance that you want in both
Brake Pads work?
If you got to this
section- You are a die-hard braking fanatic! -
Congratulations! Now onto the SCIENCE OF
The simple answer is friction. BUT-
that's only part of the answer!
Brake pads work with a
combination of TWO FRICTION TECHNOLOGIES:
This involves the braking of molecular bonds between the
pad material and the iron in the brake disc. Pads that
function on this basis (typically organic pads) tend to have a high
wear-rate and low resistance to high-temperature brake fade.
Adherent friction is developed when a transfer-film of
the same compound of the pad material is deposited as a very thin
'film' on the surface of the rotor.
In this instance, the
friction is caused by a breaking of molecular bonds between the two
like friction materials amongst themselves (one on the pad and one
on the surface of the rotor)
Most performance brake pad
manufacturers now manufacture pads that function as a combination of
these two technologies. These pads tend to have higher
coefficients of friction over a wider range of temperatures.
All of the manufacturers that we carry - Hawk, Ferodo, and
Performance Friction use a combination of abrasive and adherent
friction technologies to stop you safely- Whether it's going
to the corner store- or slowing from 220 MPH in a F1 or Indy
You can benefit from the same technology that race
drivers like Jeff Gordon, Michael Schumacher, or Michael Andretti
use to stop their race cars !
What causes 'Warped
Typically warped rotors are caused not by a
failure of the rotor itself.
Warped rotors (in most
instances) are caused by the brake pads being operated at
temperatures outside of their specified range. When the pads
get too hot the pad material actually melts and 'fuses'
itself to the rotor surface and creates a 'bump' on the surface of
the rotor. In most cases this is not noticeable to the naked
eye. This creates an annoying vibration when the brakes are
applied. The only solution to this is turning (grinding) the
rotors or installing new rotors.
We do not recommend turning
rotors: It removes additional metal and reduces the the thermal
capacity of the discs.
The best way to combat this condition is to use GOOD
QUALITY street performance brake pads which have a higher operating
Properly 'bedding-in' the pads and discs is a
Temperature Indicating Paint Kit may be
useful in determining the
correct brake pad compound(s) for your
When mounting new rotors- they should be installed on
the vehicle and indexed with a dial indicator to minimize
runout. New rotor runout is typically between .002" -
.005" However, failure to mount the rotors ON THE
VEHICLE and measure TOTAL runout can cause a vibration even
with brand new rotors. You should check hub runout as
well- since a very small amount of hub runout (even as small as
.002") can create additional runout of as much as .006" -
even with perfectly true rotors.
This is similiar to
mounting and balancing tires. Often times a rim and tire
combination that would require additional weight to correct balance
can be rotated and then require less or no weight to
This means you should test the rotor in a
number of configurations and install it in the confirguration which
results in the LEAST amount of total runout.
What makes my
brakes squeak- and how do i fix it?
Ok, here's the answer:
It's 8 pages
long- and will tell you exactly what causes brake
Did you read it?
No? Ok, We'll summarize it
briefly: High-pitched brake squeal is caused by a
high-frequency vibration between the pad and the rotor.
Brake noise is not caused solely by the brake
pad. The brake rotor diameter, and stiffness of
the disc are also factors in the offending noise.
Metallic-Carbon pads (as opposed to organic (asbestos)
pads) typically produce more inherent noise than the older
organic pads. Different brake pad manufacturers use different
and varying amounts of substances in their pads: Iron, Copper,
Zinc, Other Alloys, Lead, Carbon, Ceramic
compounds, Kevlar, and numerous other fillers. This
variation in pad composition, geometric design of the pad, and the
stiffness (density) of the pad material itself can also contribute
to the noise. Lastly, all of these factors can be affected by
environmental factors such as temperature and
Now, how do I fix it?
#1: Make sure you have straight and true
surfaces on your rotors and pads. Turn, or replace rotors as
necessary- do the same with the pads.
Inspect calipers, caliper sliders, and all other mounting
sufaces and metal-to-metal contact areas. (This includes
the rotor to hub mounting surface which commonly becomes
contaminated by rust and other debris!) Lubricate all metal-to-metal
contact areas with moly grease or lube. Inspect complete
system and make sure that rotors and pads are lining up 'true' when
brakes are being applied.
anti-squeal moly lube or similar to backing plate of the pads - or
use an anti-squeal shim between the pad and the piston contact
areas. This will change (dampen) the frequency of the
vibration and will help reduce the noise.
Chamfering of the leading and trailing edge of the pads will also
help to reduce noise levels.
related suspension components to make sure worn components are not
placing undue stresses on the braking system, calipers, and
Still not fixed? Ok!
- You've got a tough one! We recommend going
here to get your Doctorate in Friction Science:
I hope you remember your ThermoDynamics lessons from
Do I really need these more
components on my car?
instances, car disc brakes and rotors will last anywhere from 30,000
to 60,000 miles or more before needing replacement. If we
estimate on the conservative side- and say they only last 30,000
miles- and the typical cost of premium components (rotors and
pads) may cost $300.00 That averages out to a cost of
1 CENT PER MILE.
Now, what does it cost to put
gas in your car?
You pay probably $3.00 per gallon for gas- and
get approx. 30 miles per gallon. Based on that, you are
currently paying 10 cents per mile- just for gas!
That's over TEN TIMES AS MUCH as you pay to
maintain the braking system on your
How much is it worth to maintain your
vehicle's proper braking operation, your safety, and have the
benefit of improved braking performance over the lifespan of the
In fact- the true
ADDITIONAL COST of premium components is probably less then 1/2
OF ONE CENT - since inferior replacement parts typically do not
cost less then half of the price of the premium parts we
The 'Lifetime Warranty'
Some manufacturers and repair shops offer brake parts
with a 'Lifetime Warranty'. Why do you suppose this
Without question, every brake component
will fail with eventual use.
It is a wear part.
Could it be that these
companies have an incentive to have you keep coming back time and
More disconcerting is this
fact: Inferior parts will fail sooner than Premium
grade parts. Installing inferior brake components will cause
not only the part in question, but also OTHER PARTS TO FAIL
Is it worth it to buy an inferior part- and keep
getting it over-and-over again replaced for free-
BUT have to pay labor, and pay for other brake
components that have failed as a result of the part in question-
Would it be
easier to buy the best, Premium Grade Components and have them