Time for a brake refresh | Garage Rescue Miata

David S.
Update by David S. Wallens to the Mazda Miata project car
Mar 26, 2022 | Miata, Centric, Ohlins, Hawk Brakes

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Someone called us out online: Nice, rusty rotors.

They were right.

Our Garage Rescue Miata’s new Kosei K1 wheels looked good, but they were paired with rusty rotor hats.

So, we figured, maybe it’s time for fresh, non-rusty rotors. And if we’re doing that, how about some new brake pads.

Andy Hollis knows a lot about prepping a 1.6-liter Miata for autocross, so we reached out to him.

For rotors, he said to use Centric 120-series premium blanks: “Look good, work great. Better than standard parts store rotors. No need for cryo.” 

Tire Rack has more good things to say about these rotors:

Real Value - Quality Replacement Rotors That Offer More Features Than Just a Great Price

All Centric Parts premium brake components are engineered and manufactured using stringent, well-proven production processes. Centric's global suppliers have already passed these stringent quality assurance standards because they currently supply products to OE manufacturers. Centric Parts' in-house engineering department analyzes each part to ensure proper performance and fitment for every application (import and domestic). This attention to detail guarantees that Centric parts will perform as good as or better than the factory original.

Centric Premium Plain 120 Series Rotors feature an Electrocoating (E-coating) finish that provides long lasting corrosion protection. Unlike phosphate finishes that provide only minimal protection from the elements, E-coating is a superior electrostatically applied finish designed to withstand 400 hours of salt water exposure without rusting.

Double Disc Ground

Centric Premium Plain 120 Series Rotors are double disc ground with a taper-free finish. Double disc grinding ensures parallelism, eliminates run out and provides near perfect disc thickness variation (DTV). Double disc grinding leaves a non-directional finish on the friction surface area for more effective pad-rotor break in.

Machined Finishes

Centric Premium Plain 120 Series Rotors feature 100% fully machined finishes including rotor hats. This extra process provides better rotor balance and creates a cleaner, more finished looking component. Additionally, all Centric rotors are inspected for balance and mill-corrected to a tolerance of less than 2 oz. per inch

Split Castings

Center-split core castings provide proper heat transfer and thermal efficiency, resulting in superior braking power and safety.

Mill Balancing

Centric Premium Plain 120 Series Rotors are mill-balanced to a tolerance of less than 2 oz. per inch. This additional machining operation reduces the feedback associated with rotor vibration and provides a smooth, confident application of braking force.

For pads, we went with Hawk HPS 5.0 as we were happy with them on our 2019 Honda Civic Si project car. We found them to have the right balance between friction, dust and wear. While a street pad isn’t going to excel for 24 hours around Daytona–sorry, no one pad does it all–these worked as a solid, dual-purpose pad.

The all-important spider chart:

While the car was on the lift for its fresh brakes and new Öhlins, we replaced the rotors while also bleeding the brakes. (The fluid had been recently changed.)

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