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Thread: Brake Pads - are they all the same?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Neilr's Avatar
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    Brake Pads - are they all the same?

    Ever since I tried EBC Redstuff on my S-Type and the brake test values at the TüV test centre went down by about 20% even though I "felt" that the car braked better, this has been bothering me. Was I just kidding myself of the improvements because in reality, the original S-Type has brakes that need quite some pedal force but are easy to modulate. Next up was the XKR I bought nearly 3 years ago with 14k miles on the clock and in very good shape except for the front pads which were about 2/3rds down when I took the calipers apart to give them a good clean. I chucked out the Jaguar original pads and chucked in some TRW GDB1963 pads thinking that coming from a major OEM, they can't bee too bad. Again, I though that they felt just as good as the originals. The next TüV inspection however threw up test figures 30-40% lower than the supplying dealer's test figures when it was tested before delivery to me. Now I was more bothered and started to find out if I'm an unreliable subjective tester and that there might be more to pads than meets the eye.

    I won't go in to the research steps but it involved a lot of internet searches for photos of pads! However, the conclusion is that in the US it is becoming the norm to provide guidance on the friction of pads when cold and hot (look up DOT edge codes if you are interested). Very ordinary pads seem to be EE rated. The best non-carbon-ceramic pads seem to top out at GG.

    Copied from www.bimmerforums.com:

    Explanation of D.O.T. Edge Codes Located on all Brake Pads Official D.O.T. Edge Code Coefficient of Friction (C.F.)
    @ 250 F and @ 600 F
    EE 0.25 to 0.35 both temps 0-25% fade at 600 F possible
    EF 0.25 to 0.35 @ 250 F 0.35 to 0.45 @ 600 F 2% to 44% fade at 600 F possible
    FF 0.35 to 0.45 both temps 0-22% fade at 600 F possible
    GG 0.45 to 0.55 Very Rare
    HH 0.55 to 0.65 Carbon/Carbon only. O.K. up to 3000 F where it glows

    Taking a closer look at the pads I threw out, they were made by Jurid in Germany and use a GG-rated compound! TRW do not even publish what they use so are more than likely to be worse, especially as they tested badly.

    I found that Jaguar do a pad with the same GG rating from Jurid for the S-Type and I got a set cheap, so put them in before the TüV test this year. Best brake test values ever on a 17 year old car - about 30-40% higher than with the Redstuff.

    I took a look at the pads I was using on the FIAT. ATEs with an FF rating. Again found that the original Ferodos use another GG-rated compound. Swapped those and they also feel noticably better.

    This weekend, I put some new original pads back in the XKR and the brakes work with noticably lighter pressure and they no longer creak and judder when trying to stop very gently. There is a subjective difference and an objective difference. A retest would be nice but I don't think that will happen without a fee

    So, if you want to get a idea of the basic characteristics of a pad that you are interested in, try and find out what the friction codes are. They may well be specific to your size. Pagid for example use a number of different compounds depending on application. Redstuff always seems to be FF-rated. The higher friction road pads certainly seem to work better. All decent pads will stop virtually as well as each other (the tyres are the limiting factor and these can vary dramatically) but a weak pad may need noticably more pedal pressure and it may be less easy to modulate that pressure.

    Here are the popular pads and ratings for the 5.0 XKR I could find in case you are interested (also XFR, F-Type R, some XJs, etc with 380/376mm brakes):

    GG - These are all manufactured by Jurid and probably use their 310 compound:
    Jaguar C2D3801 (GG)
    Jaguar T2R7248(GG) from F-Type
    BMW 34116774258 (310/GG)
    JURID 573150J-AS (791 B15 31000 34.11-6.774 254 GG)
    JURID 573150JC (GG I think) Ceramic

    GF
    ATE 13.0470-7210.2(20.8mm GF) Ceramic

    FF
    ATE 13.0460-7210.2 (FF),
    Bosch 0 986 494 349 (FF),
    EBC DP32076C (FF) Redstuff ceramic
    Ferodo FDB1883 (FF)
    TRW TPC1448(FF) ceramic
    Textar 2432801 (FF)

    FE
    Pagid T2040 (FE)/T1550 (FE)
    Textar 2447401 (FE), 2379101(FE)
    Mintex MBD3140 (FE)
    Brembo P 36 025 (FE)

    Unknown
    TRW GDB1963/GDB1558/GDB2026
    Last edited by Neilr; 26-09-17 at 11:08. Reason: spelling :(
    S-Type 3.0 Manual MY2001 in Pacific Blue with Cashmere Leather Sport Seats, Sunroof, Melbourne Alloys, Premium Sound plus some other stuff ... 55k miles.
    XKR 5.0 Speed Pack MY2011 in Polaris White with Ivory/Charcoal Leather, Nevis Alloys and R-Performance Interior plus some other stuff ... 16k miles.
    Hyundai Tucson 1.6T AWD MY2016 in White Sand. Basic, comfortable and surprisingly fast and competent ... 10k miles.
    FIAT Coupe MY1997 in Steel Grey with Tan Leather ... 55k miles.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member FastEddie's Avatar
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    Neil,
    This a big can of worms to try and understand , generally GG is good.
    Some will give you a certain braking effort for a given pedal and no more regardless,
    Others will apply more braking effort but with much greater effort required.
    I always fit GG for standard set-ups , EBC yellow on my Mondeo with BM 7 series Brembos.
    2009 X358 XJ LWB 2.7 Tdvi , Liquid Silver , 100k+ and going strong.
    Bumper reflectors drilled and fitted with 3W side marker lights.
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    Senior Member 8bit's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing the findings of your research, Neil. Like you I felt that the RedStuff pads I fitted last year just "feel" better than the OE stuff that was there before, but I think we need to remember that we're comparing brand new friction materials with old, tired stuff in most cases. So the OE stuff may well have better ratings than the RedStuff, erm... stuff, but once it's worn down a bit it'll have been through thousands of heat cycles etc.

    At present I'm happy with my RedStuff pads; certainly feel no worse than I had before and not having to wash the wheels twice a week is worth something to me, but you've sold me in so far as I'll probably give the Jurid ceramic ones a shot next time.

    Again, thanks for sharing - this is the sort of input that makes this forum a goldmine for owners.

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    Senior Member Neilr's Avatar
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    The lack of dust of the "ceramic" pads is an advantage. I just checked the front wheels of the XKR after a 400km run to the Frankfurt IAA. There is already a thin layer of dust. However, I would happily trade the dust for the brake feel I'm getting and the almost complete lack of the creaks and juddering as I stop the car. The car feels refined on the brakes for the first time.

    Current EBC pads have has a high friction coating to help the new pads bed in to the disc. I wonder if this makes them feel better than they are and we forget after a while anyway

    I could not find enough convincing info on the Yellowstuff pad for my car. Yellowstuff is supposed to be a very temperature stable pad (not of primary importance for me as I tend to be light and smooth on the brakes) but for some applications it has an EE rating, for others FF. I could not find any that were better and, most importantly, I could not find any info for the actual size for my car, so as I was being as objective as I could be, I left it out.
    S-Type 3.0 Manual MY2001 in Pacific Blue with Cashmere Leather Sport Seats, Sunroof, Melbourne Alloys, Premium Sound plus some other stuff ... 55k miles.
    XKR 5.0 Speed Pack MY2011 in Polaris White with Ivory/Charcoal Leather, Nevis Alloys and R-Performance Interior plus some other stuff ... 16k miles.
    Hyundai Tucson 1.6T AWD MY2016 in White Sand. Basic, comfortable and surprisingly fast and competent ... 10k miles.
    FIAT Coupe MY1997 in Steel Grey with Tan Leather ... 55k miles.

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    Senior Member M100 TWO's Avatar
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    Thanks Neilr good information,made interesting reading.

    John

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    don't forget that the temperature has a great difference in the readings obtained.

    the whole point of "harder" pads is that the best friction they can offer occurrs at higher temperatures and that you're sacrificing some performance from cold to achieve this.

    Your TuV test will be done from cold and so I would fully expect the performance to be quite a lot worse than for more "street" pads

    Partly, you need to be matching the pad choice to your vehicle's usage. Should you be spending most of your time on a motorway, then softer pads are an advantage as they work instantly from cold and provide great feel. a single stop from even high speed will be well within the range of acceptable heat for these.

    if you're doing more cross-country work such as for my road cars, then a harder pad is the order of the day, as disc temperature is kept relatively higher.

    As a slightly absurd example, I also have a Holden which I use on the track often. The brakes are absolutely peerless, but like to be kept warm (EBC Bluestuff). You really need several stops from 150mph to get them operating properly. Below that, they are generally loud and groany

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  11. #7
    Senior Member Neilr's Avatar
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    Without trying 20 different pads out, how do I know what is a "hard" pad, etc? Surely the pad provides just a friction surface which may vary with temp. All pads seem to increase friction with a little heat but they should be fairly stable up to usual road driving temperatures. For example, Redstuff is a low dust street pad so I would expect good cold performance but I don't think I get it. It gets better with some heat but a basic pad feels much the same.

    My main point was that we often believe marketing and talk down OE as the cheapest thing the manufacturer could get away with. However, for the Jaguars with the 380mm discs, it appears that they selected just about the best street pad out there. They are usually expensive but they appear to be of better quality. They exhibit very high friction cold and hottish. All street pads should work fine for 95% of drivers 99% of the time as the temp range is usually between cold and warm. They should cope with anything from motorways to the occasional alpine pass driven normally. For my style of driving at least, pads that naturally have higher friction feel significantly better. So my research and experience suggests to me that a pad with a higher coefficient of friction rating will be the preferable choice. Even better if the pad is stable at the higher end of the normal temperature range which all don't seem to be. These pads are not always more expensive either as I got the ones for the S-type and the Fiat for under 25 Pounds a set. If you are driving on a track, your choices may well become more dedicated but such a pad may well be completely unsuitable for driving to the supermarket on a winters day.

    EDIT: An interesting read: http://www.brakeandfrontend.com/brak...nt-brake-pads/
    Last edited by Neilr; 12-10-17 at 15:54. Reason: Added a link
    S-Type 3.0 Manual MY2001 in Pacific Blue with Cashmere Leather Sport Seats, Sunroof, Melbourne Alloys, Premium Sound plus some other stuff ... 55k miles.
    XKR 5.0 Speed Pack MY2011 in Polaris White with Ivory/Charcoal Leather, Nevis Alloys and R-Performance Interior plus some other stuff ... 16k miles.
    Hyundai Tucson 1.6T AWD MY2016 in White Sand. Basic, comfortable and surprisingly fast and competent ... 10k miles.
    FIAT Coupe MY1997 in Steel Grey with Tan Leather ... 55k miles.

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    Hello to all!!!

    I`m don`t like stock brake disc and pads. Beacouse i feel "vibration", if i brake 150-0 several time. I want change it for EBC Ultimax and Redstuff pads. What do you mean, that will be better than stock brake? Or someone can advise kit better? Car - XKR X150.

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    In my experience the EBC Redstuff are marginally better than the stock items with a lot less brake dust , Discs I haven't had cause to renew

  15. #10
    Senior Member 8bit's Avatar
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    I have the Redstuff pads and EBC plain (i.e. not drilled or grooved) discs, they're modestly better than stock as red says, with far less dust. If you want a better performing pad then try the Yellowstuff ones, or look at some of the options that Neilr suggests in this and several other threads. This subject has been well covered lately, search button is your friend.

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