Brake Pad Talk. Which pads are right for you?
Low-Metallic, Semi-Metallic, Ceramic, or Organic? Between the countless brands and options of brake pads available, it may be difficult to choose the right pad for your needs. Whether you're just looking for some improved braking performance for spirited driving, your Porsche is a split duty toy on the street and track, or you collect majority of your miles at the track, a brake pad upgrade can go a long way to helping your Porsche perform better. Braking is a very important part of the performance equation as stopping fast is as important as accelerating fast.
Let's take a look at what makes up different pad compounds, and how they stack up against one another.
Porsche supplies a solid street-focused pad from the factory, but their goals are centered around street compliance and cost effectiveness. Important factors to the majority of consumers are: low-temperature performance, long wear life, and minimal noise production. Because of these constraints, other factors such as endurance at high temperatures or initial bite are often neglected. Whether your car came equipped with the factory standard brake pads, or the "Sport" Brake pads, their semi-metallic compound is designed to perform well all-around. Consider them similar to an all-weather tire. They provide a wide-range of duty but do compromise when the going get's tough.
Street pads provide great benefit such as lower dust production and improved bite. Ceramic pads are usually the go-to for many track-minded enthusiasts. The trade-off to ceramic pads, generally speaking, is that due to their softer compound and stronger bite, they will wear down faster than a traditional OEM pad. For this reason, you can expect to change your pads a bit more often, but you'll also have reduced wear on the iron rotors. Street pads are a nice upgrade from the OEM pads as they provide improved breaking performance and some compounds are suitable for light track-use. For what you compromise in high-temp performance you gain in street compliance, keeping dust production lower and noise closer to an OEM pad operation.
If you are taking your Porsche to the track several times a year, you may want to consider a more aggressive compound specifically designed to operate at high temperatures. Race pads are formulated to provide high friction and create a more aggressive bite at higher temperatures. These pads provide a higher resistance to brake fade compared to street pads. The downside to a race or track pad is driving softly on the street won't get the pads warm enough to really perform well, and you'll likely notice squeaking trying to get out of the driveway. Due to the high-resistance values, these pads create more noise and dust but give you a much higher performance envelope at the track. Another downside is they will wear rotors quicker, so expect to replace your pads and rotors more frequently if you opt for a more track-oriented pad.
Choosing the right pad
With many compounds and manufacturers that offer upgraded pads for your Porsche, it can be a bit difficult to decide which pad might be right for your needs. That's why we've collected all the information you need here, so you can easily compare compounds and manufacturers against each other. First, we'll look at each manufacturer individually, explaining how they rate their compounds. Then, we'll compare them all on the same scale to provide a comprehensive view.
EBC offers their pads into categories sorted by color. See Below:
- Greenstuff - Entry-level street upgrade for improved friction and fade resistance compared to OEM. Shorter stopping distance than OE,M but not suitable for track use.
- Redstuff - Mid-level street upgrade for significantly improved friction and fade resistance compared to OEM. Lowest dust formulation keeps wheels cleaner for longer. Not suitable for track use.
- Yellowstuff - The flagship fast road and light track upgrade offering maximum improvement in braking performance compared to OEM. Excellent cold bite coupled with high temperature fade resistance. Suitable for light track use
- Orangestuff - Highest performing race bred compound with zero brake fade up to temperatures exceeding 750 C0 (1400 F0). OK cold bite makes these pads acceptable for street driving, but brakes become increasingly positive as temperatures rise a little. Developed for track use.
- Bluestuff - Fastest street, endurance race and track material with highest cold friction of any EBC material. Developed for track use.
Hawk has several categories of brake pad compounds, seen here:
- HPS - 20-40% more stopping power and higher resistance to brake fade than most standard replacement pads. Excellent for spirited driving.
- HPS 5.0 - A Ferro-Carbon compound that provides shorter stopping distances, improved performance under heavy braking conditions, and street car friendly characteristics. Great rotor & pad wear life.
- Performance Ceramic - Stringent low noise, ultra-low dust performance. Improved stopping power. Gentle on rotors for extended pad life.
- DTC 30 - A controllable torque, multi-purpose compound, proven effective in a range of series. Consistent, smooth braking. Good cold effectiveness.
- DTC 50 - A pad that can be used as a split compound for tuning, and an endurance compound that can be used at the highest levels of racing. Very high torque. Aggressive initial bite
- DTC 60 - Popular choice on lightweight front axle applications, with or without ABS. Superior release and torque control. Very low abrasive rotor wear.
- DTC 70 - Engineered with extremely high torque and highly aggressive initial bite for cars with high deceleration rates, with or without downforce. Pairs well with DTC-60 for split-axle friction requirements.
- DTC 80 - A compound engineered for use on all circle track and road racing venues where a high torque, high temperature-resilient friction material is a must. High initial bite. Consistent with pressure at high temperatures over 1200F.
Stoptech's line of brake pads are limited but offer some variety. See Below:
- Posi-Quiet - An OE upgrade pad, made to provide more bite than the factory pads. These are made of a ceramic or semi-metallic compound based on the model.
- ST Street - Geared towards spirited street driving, this pad will usually be made out of a semi-metallic compound, providing higher bite for temperatures up to 800F.
- ST Sport - The most aggressive pad from Stoptech, made for occasional track use, and performing well up to temperatures of 1300F. These will need warming up to work well on the street.
Break Pad Performance Breakdown
(Click to enlarge)
For further questions, or help finding the right brake pad setup for your car, email us at email@example.com.