Matt B (fs)
Matt B (fs) UltraDork
6/14/21 10:15 a.m.

Ok ladies and gents, it's time for pads and rotors on our 2011 WRX and I figured I'd get some opinions before I just went with my usual choice.  The car is mainly used as a street car & kid hauler, but we occasionally autocross it.  I'm not worried about being terribly competitive, but I've never been impressed with the brakes with whatever OEM-like pads it came with.  On my previous cars, I've thrown some Hawk HP Plus on there and call it a day, but I could be convinced otherwise.  Generally, pads intended for AutoX have worked well for me in the past.

Here are some others I've been curious about.

  • Carbotech AX6
  • Ferodo DS2500
  • EBC Yellowstuff
bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
6/14/21 10:20 a.m.

Let me add one for you: Porterfield R4S. Great pad and I've been using them on the light big block Kia for track work. Even at a track like Blackhawk which is notoriously harsh on brakes they held up for 20 minute sessions.

dps214
dps214 Dork
6/14/21 10:42 a.m.

R4S is my choice for a multipurpose pad as well. But based on your HP+ comment I assume you don't care about noise or dust, in which case the AX6 or DS2500 might be a better choice. The R4S is a bit soft on initial bite which it also sounds like you might not like as much.

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
6/14/21 10:46 a.m.

2500 or R4S are the options I'd be considering. 

adam525i
adam525i GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/14/21 10:50 a.m.

Another option that feels very similar to the HP plus to me for less $$ ($140 for front and rear combined) is the Powerstop Track Day pads (there is also a more aggressive Track Day Spec available for your car as well but they don't work as well from cold on my BMW). Rockauto stocks them and if you buy from there don't forget the 5% off code 

Edit - I've ran HP plus on my previous Legacy followed by the track day pads and just the track day pads on my current Legacy, in both cases running these style of pads take the brakes from they work to wow, these are decent brakes! They dust about the same and sometimes squeal, I think it would be hard to tell the difference between the Hawks and these if someone did not tell you. I've had them on track as well and they have held up fine.

Matt B (fs)
Matt B (fs) UltraDork
6/14/21 11:02 a.m.

I knew I was forgetting about an option.  I've been meaning to try the R4S for years.  I don't necessarily mind a soft initial bite as long as it ramps up quickly, especially for a street car.  As far as noise and dust I just have always accepted they're part of performance pads. I've never had a low-dust pad that lived up to the HP+ or even the old Axxis Ultimates, but if I can have my cake and eat it too then great.

adam525i - thanks for the heads up on the Powerstop pads. I'll put them on the list.

CAinCA
CAinCA GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/14/21 11:06 a.m.

I'd recommend PFC "10" series pads. I talked to the tech guy at Porterfield and he said that they are great pads AND they are compatible with Porterfield R4 track pads. I've been using them for street/AutoX and they are great. I bought mine from the local O'Reilly store and they were about $90.

Driven5
Driven5 UltraDork
6/14/21 11:11 a.m.

I've not run HP+, but have run Ultimate/Metal Master. Personally I'll sacrifice some initial bite for noticeably less (and easier to remove) dust and noise. I liked Carbotech when I ran them. I'm trying out StopTech 309 right now. No track days and only one autox test-n-tune to this point, but so far I like them. Not particularly grabby, but properly bedded the strength and modulation both seem good.

hunter47
hunter47 New Reader
6/14/21 11:19 a.m.

If we're talking about dual duty with autox only, then my vote would be for the Stoptech Sport/309 pads. They have very good initial bite but fall off a bit once they get too much heat. The shims are also very loose fitting on the pad ears (at least on my set), so you'll need to dunk them in grease otherwise they'll get noisy. 

I run the Stoptech pads on my 2020 WRX and they work great. I recently took it out to Lone Pine Time Trials which is kind of like a high speed autocross and I had no issue slowing the car from 95MPH to 40MPH in a short distance. I've run it at time attack at the local go kart track as well, at autocross speeds, and they stopped me just fine.

They do dust a lot though. 

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
6/14/21 11:26 a.m.

I've had Carbotech AX6s on the Jeep for years.  They're excellent pads.  They dust like crazy, but they wear well, work just fine in cold weather on the street, tolerate a good bit of heat and have tons of stopping power.  They're also easy on rotors. 

I also ran Hawk Superduty pads for a while (very similar to the HP+).  They stop almost as well as the Carbotechs, but their cold bite isn't nearly as good and they don't tolerate quite as much heat.  They're also extremely hard on rotors, as in 2 sets of front rotors worn to minimum thickness and I still had 40% of the pads left.  So the brake dust is much harder to clean than the Carbotech dust, as the Hawk dust is more rotor dust than pad dust.  

Now for the much loved Stoptech 309s.  I have them on 2 cars right now, my E38 and SWMBO's Prius.  And I hate them with a passion.  They're garbage pads for street use.  They dust (but not as badly as the Carbotechs).  And they stop very well when well bedded, but nothing too spectacular.  I mention the "well bedded" part, as it seems like they un-bed themselves as soon as the car gets rained on while parked.  Even a hint of surface corrosion or anything on the rotors and they're weak until you use them enough.  I don't think their initial bite is very good unless they're well bedded and also warm (but not too hot).  They also leave horrid pad deposits when you come to a complete stop with them even slightly warm (like getting off the highway unless you don't use the brakes on the off ramp).  And once they build deposits, they shake under braking until you abuse them a bit without actually stopping to burn the deposits off.  It's a minor issue on the BMW, but on the Prius with regen braking doing most of the work unless you brake hard or at very low speeds, it's a serious problem and I'm likely going to end up swapping the pads long before they get much wear.  

In general, for the Stoptechs, at this point, if someone gave me a free set I'd install them directly into a trash can and happily spend double or more on Carbotechs.  

dps214
dps214 Dork
6/14/21 1:09 p.m.
Matt B (fs) said:

I knew I was forgetting about an option.  I've been meaning to try the R4S for years.  I don't necessarily mind a soft initial bite as long as it ramps up quickly, especially for a street car.  As far as noise and dust I just have always accepted they're part of performance pads. I've never had a low-dust pad that lived up to the HP+ or even the old Axxis Ultimates, but if I can have my cake and eat it too then great.

adam525i - thanks for the heads up on the Powerstop pads. I'll put them on the list.

R4S aren't exactly low dust but they are dead silent which is what I really love about them.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
6/14/21 1:12 p.m.

+1 for Stoptech sport pads.  Decent street/autox pad, inexpensive and even carried by rockauto.  Won't hold up on track at all, but it doesn't sound like a concern.

I haven't had any of the issues mentioned above with them.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
6/14/21 1:28 p.m.
dps214 said:
Matt B (fs) said:

I knew I was forgetting about an option.  I've been meaning to try the R4S for years.  I don't necessarily mind a soft initial bite as long as it ramps up quickly, especially for a street car.  As far as noise and dust I just have always accepted they're part of performance pads. I've never had a low-dust pad that lived up to the HP+ or even the old Axxis Ultimates, but if I can have my cake and eat it too then great.

adam525i - thanks for the heads up on the Powerstop pads. I'll put them on the list.

R4S aren't exactly low dust but they are dead silent which is what I really love about them.

Depends on the bed in I think. I'm on my third set. The first dusted like hell, but I didn't follow any bed in procedure. Slapped them on and went auto-x'ing. The second and third set I bedded in properly and they have been better about dust than the old HPS I've used in the past. I do agree they are on the softer side on initial bite, but their overall grip and resistance to fade are really good for a pad in this price range. 

dps214
dps214 Dork
6/14/21 1:49 p.m.

I mean they're certainly not high dust either, really it's plenty tolerable. But if you're looking for "low dust" you're going to be disappointed.

hunter47
hunter47 New Reader
6/14/21 2:00 p.m.
ProDarwin said:

+1 for Stoptech sport pads.  Decent street/autox pad, inexpensive and even carried by rockauto.  Won't hold up on track at all, but it doesn't sound like a concern.

I haven't had any of the issues mentioned above with them.

Neither have I, except for my self reported noise and dust. 

Have you done HPDE with them? I've heard mixed results for it, but their MOT is apparently very high for a cheap pad.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
6/14/21 2:03 p.m.

I'd probably looking at Carbotech or GLoc. I've had good luck with Carbotech (all I've ever done aggressive driving on), they are dusty, but the dust is non-corrosive. 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
6/14/21 2:17 p.m.
dps214 said:

I mean they're certainly not high dust either, really it's plenty tolerable. But if you're looking for "low dust" you're going to be disappointed.

I mean, dust is kinda normal for a pad that works. If you want OEM levels of dust then you get OEM levels of stopping power.

Matt B (fs)
Matt B (fs) UltraDork
6/14/21 2:21 p.m.
bobzilla said:
dps214 said:
Matt B (fs) said:

I knew I was forgetting about an option.  I've been meaning to try the R4S for years.  I don't necessarily mind a soft initial bite as long as it ramps up quickly, especially for a street car.  As far as noise and dust I just have always accepted they're part of performance pads. I've never had a low-dust pad that lived up to the HP+ or even the old Axxis Ultimates, but if I can have my cake and eat it too then great.

adam525i - thanks for the heads up on the Powerstop pads. I'll put them on the list.

R4S aren't exactly low dust but they are dead silent which is what I really love about them.

Depends on the bed in I think. I'm on my third set. The first dusted like hell, but I didn't follow any bed in procedure. Slapped them on and went auto-x'ing. The second and third set I bedded in properly and they have been better about dust than the old HPS I've used in the past. I do agree they are on the softer side on initial bite, but their overall grip and resistance to fade are really good for a pad in this price range. 

dps214 - That's encouraging to hear.  While I'm not terribly worried about dust, noisy pads are a deal-killer on a DD. 

bobzilla - I always bed my pads so hopefully that helps.

Looks like the Portfields are in a slight lead. While it's tempting to go with something more aggressive like the Carbotech they're probably overkill for how I actually use the car.  rslifkins results on the Stoptech sounds weirdly familiar.  We can't seem to keep the brakes properly bedded and/or without deposits on our 2015 Oddity. It infuriates me.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
6/14/21 2:37 p.m.
hunter47 said:

Have you done HPDE with them? I've heard mixed results for it, but their MOT is apparently very high for a cheap pad.

Nope, I wouldn't consider it.

Matt B (fs)
Matt B (fs) UltraDork
6/14/21 5:25 p.m.
z31maniac said:

I'd probably looking at Carbotech or GLoc. I've had good luck with Carbotech (all I've ever done aggressive driving on), they are dusty, but the dust is non-corrosive. 

I had never even heard of G-LOC before, but I checked out their site. Are you recommending their GS-1 street pad or the R6 meant for AutoX? 

Matt B (fs)
Matt B (fs) UltraDork
5/26/22 9:53 a.m.

Apologies for the zombie thread, but I was looking for an old post when I ran across this and realized I never updated you guys.  Anyway, I ended up going with the Porterfield R4S pads and I'm am very happy with the choice.  Initial bite is excellent, easily modulated, and they are whisper quiet as some have said.  HUGE improvement on whatever stock(ish) pad was on the front.  They do dust a bit, but nothing crazy.  Totally acceptable.  I haven't autocrossed with them yet, but I'm looking forward to it based on their street manners.

Thanks for everyone's input! 

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/26/22 10:11 a.m.

If I'd seen this back when it was new I would've very much recommended against running EBC Yellowstuffs if you're not going to be doing laps around a track. They are much more of a streetable track pad than a trackable street pad.

I've been running Powerstop Track Day PST on my 86 for a couple months and they've been fine for street and AutoX use so far, haven't tested them around a track yet.

hunter47
hunter47 Reader
5/26/22 12:53 p.m.
ProDarwin said:
hunter47 said:

Have you done HPDE with them? I've heard mixed results for it, but their MOT is apparently very high for a cheap pad.

Nope, I wouldn't consider it.

This zombie'd thread reminded me I've done 2 HPDEs on used Stoptech 309s and they did great, but now are toast :) 

 

Matt B (fs) said:

Apologies for the zombie thread, but I was looking for an old post when I ran across this and realized I never updated you guys.  Anyway, I ended up going with the Porterfield R4S pads and I'm am very happy with the choice.  Initial bite is excellent, easily modulated, and they are whisper quiet as some have said.  HUGE improvement on whatever stock(ish) pad was on the front.  They do dust a bit, but nothing crazy.  Totally acceptable.  I haven't autocrossed with them yet, but I'm looking forward to it based on their street manners.

Thanks for everyone's input! 

Woot! glad you're happy with them. The R4S is a great choice.

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