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Thread: Brake pad life question

  1. #1
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    Brake pad life question

    I have always run stock calipers and rotors. They are fine for TT, and sprints. We are now starting to run endurance races, and I don't think they are going to cut it. We had good solid brakes for both races. (we have full ducting going to the fronts) Fade/power is not an issue. But, we went through enough of a set of front pads, we didn't want to run them the next day. This was at road america, so yeah, very hard on brakes.
    So we are kinda thinking about doing a BBK hoping to increase pad life. Could I get some input from those of you that have done this switch, and how it affected you pad life? Was it overall cheaper to convert?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    NeilM is offline Member BMW E36 M3 Expert
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    There's nothing cheaper about a BBK!

    In addition to the price of admission, replacement friction rings are two or three times more expensive than stock rotors, depending on what stock model you're talking about. Pad price should be in the same general area with the BBK, but you might have a wider choice of pads, again, both depending on what the point of reference is. Better rotor and caliper cooling with a BBK will favor longer pad life, and some calipers will accept thicker pads with more friction material for a longer interval between pad changes.

    I first used my StopTechs in 2006 at Road America, and have never regretted them.

    Neil

  3. #3
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    I can get a full set (F/R) of massive kits for ~2300, and the pad thickness is 20mm. The rings are WAY more, but I'd think they would last longer than the regular blanks we use 92-3 sets of pads), since they are thicker, and have better cooling vanes. There are two goals, one is to get longer life out of a set of pads, and with that we were hoping for lower costs over the long run.

  4. #4
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    The rings will last for years the pads at 20mm last better for sure, and because it uses a standard pad shape, you can get them for like 1/2 price It's worth it. The feel is also better, and they are a bit lighter. Win win win.

    And stock bakes DO begin to fade don't kid yourself. We found on very hard braking tracks that after 20 minutes the brake bias with stock 330i brakes would shift to the rear because the fronts were being overworked. They never really felt like fade, but they were most certainly not stopping as well as at the start of a race. A BBK (wildwood 330mm in our case, similar to Massive) cured that.

    Btw, you didn't mention what pads you use if its Hawk, they wear WAY faster than say PFC08. The PFC08 is awesome for endurance. For sprint and general use we now run PFC11 or PFC01 (where still available), or lately the Wilwood polymatrix A or H pads. Very good for the price.
    Last edited by ScotcH; 05-09-2019 at 02:36 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScotcH View Post
    The rings will last for years … the pads at 20mm last better for sure, and because it uses a standard pad shape, you can get them for like 1/2 price It's worth it. The feel is also better, and they are a bit lighter. Win win win.

    And stock bakes DO begin to fade … don't kid yourself. We found on very hard braking tracks that after 20 minutes the brake bias with stock 330i brakes would shift to the rear … because the fronts were being overworked. They never really felt like fade, but they were most certainly not stopping as well as at the start of a race. A BBK (wildwood 330mm in our case, similar to Massive) cured that.

    Btw, you didn't mention what pads you use … if its Hawk, they wear WAY faster than say PFC08. The PFC08 is awesome for endurance. For sprint and general use we now run PFC11 or PFC01 (where still available), or lately the Wilwood polymatrix A or H pads. Very good for the price.
    We were running PFC08's for this (our first) enduro, but I have run carbotech/Gloc in the past. PFC's are amazeballs.
    This is some great info. Especially on the fade part, and that totally makes sense, and we definitely felt that. I just chalked it up to downhill brake zones.

  6. #6
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    Centric Blanks for $20 plus shipping or BBK rings for $250 plus shipping?

    Sorry, but the math never works out for being cheaper unless you use a kit that spec's e46 m3 sized rotors. Wilwood pads/calipers are DIRT cheap compared to OEM and in combination with Centric e46 m3 blanks gives the best of both worlds IMO.

  7. #7
    Def's Avatar
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    It is cheaper if you don't want bling-bling huge brakes - which you just don't need on a moderate powered car that doesn't weigh as much as a tank.

    Use a kit that uses off the shelf 1 pc rotors, or, at most, 12.19" 8x7" rotor rings, which are about $100-120/ea for good quality ones that will last for many dozens of track time. Pair that with a Wilwood Forged Superlite caliper for the 20 mm thick/cheap pads, and you absolutely will save money over a stock brake system with expensive pads.

    I did it on my 240SX and paid for the kit in about 18 months of tracking considering I went from burning up ~$90-110 in pads and ~$5 in rotors a weekend, to about $25-30 in pads and ~$10 in rotors a week. Plus the kit dropped ~25 lbs off the front unsprung mass, so the car rode over bumps better and picked up speed as a result.


    If you go with some bling-bling 380 mm BBK - yea, you likely won't ever break even on that, much less reduce costs in the long term.

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