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Need opinions on brake pads to use

TAC

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Messages
252
Location
Bothell, WA
Corvette
1987 Yellow Callaway TT Convertible & 2003 MY Z06
I have never felt my brakes were that good and am considering upgrading them. It's a tough question what to do since I don't want to detract from the collectability of the car. A friend has recommended (and I've seen this elsewhere too) that before I do any pricey upgrades I should completely empty and refill my brake lines and perhaps change the pads too since materials are better now than they were in '87. Brakes are currently original w/32ki miles on them. The power booster is working...there is a huge difference in the pedal feel when the engine is off. My biggest complaint is just that in a couple of panic stops the car just didn't slow down as quickly as I feel it should.

I don't race this car and don't plan to, at least not with the current brakes. My biggest priorities are to get pads that stop the best in normal driving--you know--panic stops when needed. Not heavy braking going deep into racetrack corners after the pads have been heated up. I want these pads ready to go from the word go and be effective. 2nd priority is that they don't squeal. I'm not so worried about brake dust since I clean the car quite often.

Given my driving habits what style/brand/model of brakepad should I be buying? OEM stuff right off the shelf? Another brand or material?

What about steel brake lines...that's a fairly minor upgrade. Will they help make the brakes firmer?

Please don't recommend rotors or other major upgrades. I would like to simply see what kind of braking power I can get by improving my current setup. If I don't like the results I can always try more expensive upgrades.

TIA
 
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Eagle85C4

Guest
I just replaced most of the brake system....rotors, calipers, stainless braided hoses, pads. When I ordered pads I got the Raybestos pads . They did not have the front in stock so I got some generic pads so I could complete the job. The rear pads work great AND do not produce noticible dust, the front on the other hand need to be hosed off evey day to turn the rims shiny again. I finally got the Raybestos pads for the front....no dust and bunches of more stopping power. They were a bit more expensive but I would say they are worth it. My .02¢
 

Tom Bryant

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Messages
7,304
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Edgerton, Ohio, United States
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1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
What type of Raybestos pads were they? OEM replacement or a type of high performance pad.

Tom
 
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Eagle85C4

Guest
Top of the line my friend....If I remember correctly...the fronts were retail at 179.00....I can get you the numbers if you like....let me know.
 
Z

Zora1

Guest
TAC,

I have exactly the same opinion of my 84' brakes, and would like to overhaul them before the 50th caravan. During the Beach Caravan to Panama City this summer, I found that's when you really need some stopping power! I look forward to hearing more from the experts on the different types of pads, and also concerning brake lines. Are all stainless brands equal, or are some better than others. I also noticed that in the Mid America catalog, their rubber replacement lines cost more than their stainless? Why??
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2002
Messages
2,509
Location
Tallahassee, FL
Corvette
none right now :(
I would strongly advise a full brake fluid bleed for step 1 of this process... this is only a $5 job, and many would be amazed at the huge increase in stopping power (esecially if you are dealing with 10+ year old brake fluid)... Brake fluid absorbs water over time, and water destroys its ability to do its job. Spend the 5 bucks and then re-evaluate what you want to do... there is no reason to waste money on anything else if they aren't necessary. Most people do a few things at once when they do brakes, and don't realize how much difference the fluid alone makes.
 

Edmond

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2001
Messages
5,218
Location
Louisiana
Corvette
2003 Z06
I only took a glance but didn't bother to ask the auto store guy about Bosch brake pads. Anyone know if they make the Bosch's for Vette's? I used the +4 platinum plugs and must say that the car runs smoother so I figured that I'd give some more money to Bosch if their pads are as good as their plugs.
 
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Eagle85C4

Guest
Actually during the process of the upgrade I flushed the system and installed a newer silicon based fluid. Seems to work better...even under extreme conditions...
 

TAC

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Messages
252
Location
Bothell, WA
Corvette
1987 Yellow Callaway TT Convertible & 2003 MY Z06
Eagle85C4 said:
Actually during the process of the upgrade I flushed the system and installed a newer silicon based fluid. Seems to work better...even under extreme conditions...

I've heard (I think) that the silicon based fluid is more prone to water retention. Is that true? I live in a rainy location... :D
 
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Eagle85C4

Guest
Silicone does not mix with water ...it repels it. Used to be folks would spray silicone on the distributor and wires to keep water out. Very effective.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2002
Messages
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Tallahassee, FL
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none right now :(
here are the pros and cons of silicon brake fluid... GM doesn't put it in Corvettes because of the temperature problems

Pros-

Non-hygroscopic (non-moisture absorbing), no decrease in boiling point with moisture absorption therefore no deterioration over time, no internal corrosion of brake components due to fluid moisture content, no need to periodically change fluid.

Excellent seal/dust boot compatibility, increased seal life/time between rebuilds by 3 times (conservative estimate from first-hand experience with multiple vehicles), no frozen wheel cylinders or empty reservoirs after prolonged vehicle storage. Independently conducted fluid compatibility test (under UV) with Girling seals yielded very good results.

Inert. Non paint-attacking in case of spills. An nicely painted engine compartment will stay nicely painted - especially under the fluid reservoirs.



Cons-

More compressible at elevated temps, therefore unsuitable for racing. When silicon fluid first became available, it was heralded as the grooviest thing for all vehicles since a driver...so racers, in their never-ending quest for an advantage tried it and found that at elevated temperatures (a condition they certainly frequently encounter) they would get a soft pedal, making threshold braking difficult if not impossible. Soooo...Silicon is not suitable for racers or those planning to drive the Mount Washington Auto Road (especially the down trip).

Longer retention of suspended air especially micro-aeration. This will result in a soft pedal and make repeated system bleeding necessary. Care must be taken during fluid handling to minimize aeration. Micro-aeration can occur in rear brake valve during fluid change-over, necessitating repeated system bleeding .

Non-compatible/mixable with other (DOT3/4) fluids. System must be flushed for fluid change-over. Top-up fluid should be kept on-board as it may not readily available or be expensive, top-up container should be kept absolutely full to prevent road-vibration caused fluid aeration.

Expensive, typical cost is 2-3 times that of DOT4 fluid, but as it does not need to be replaced it breaks even (if not better) over the long haul. Upon last inquiry, 16oz. were quoted at $8USD (had to be ordered, 2-3 day wait).
 

jsinga

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Joined
Nov 23, 2001
Messages
280
Location
Savannah, GA, USA
Corvette
87 Silver Coupe Way over 200k miles
Silicon fluid is not compatible with anti-lock brake systems. It also has a problem when the car changes altitude since air will escape from the fluid and give a mushy pedal.

JS
 
Z

Zora1

Guest
Is it my imagination, or has this tread taken a little turn. The info on brake fluid is great, but there must be allot more recommendations out there besides $179 Raybestos pads!
Any more takers???:eek
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2002
Messages
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Location
Tallahassee, FL
Corvette
none right now :(
I have actually had great results with Autozone's carbon metallic pads... I am not sure if that is the name brand, I really can't remember, but the price is pretty good, and the car seems to stop much better than the factory pads.
 

vms4evr

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Joined
Jul 18, 2001
Messages
466
Location
Durham, NC
Corvette
2002 Flat Black Z06
Vettelt193. I have the pads from Autozone too. They're the Performance Friction pads. I believe PFZ is the type. As you said carbon metallic. Work better than the factory pads. Some dusting but not terrible. They're not cheap either. I think it was around $130 for front+back pads.
Graham
 
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Eagle85C4

Guest
To each his own I would say....but there are some things I will not scrimp on. Sure the pads cost a bit more, but from what all I have read they are the top of the line. And that price was retail...you will probably pay about half that from where ever you get parts. I like them because they work great and do not leave dust all over my new tires and shiny rims. And I love the decreased stopping distance...
 

vms4evr

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 18, 2001
Messages
466
Location
Durham, NC
Corvette
2002 Flat Black Z06
I definetely agree with Eagle. Don't skimp on brake pads to save a buck. Getting a Vette to go fast isn't that hard. You'd better make darn sure you can stop that beast in a hurry and that your brakes don't fade out on you...
I looked at the Raybestos Brute Stop/Force? pads. I chose the PFC/PFZ pads simply because I could get them easier and they are popular just like the Raybestos pads. They're holding up really well too. But they do dirty up the rims. You could wash the front wheels every week. The back are fine.
Graham
 
S

sothpaw

Guest
Eagle: where can I buy those pads?

And do you have any more description other
than the manu.'s name?

--I've seen some nice (and expensive) pads in the Corvette Brakes catalog. People here say that is a first rate business. Has anyone tried the sport rotors or pads they sell?
 

Tom Bryant

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Nov 9, 2000
Messages
7,304
Location
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
The reason I asked about the type of pad is that I'm doing a disc brake conversion on my '69 C10 short stepside using '72 5 lug components and a 3.73 truck 12 bolt rear with suspension lowering, polygraphite bushings, adjustable rear track bar and front sway bar. I want to maximize the brakes too since trucks are a little heavy. These systems do all right but I want the most I can get out of it.
 
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Eagle85C4

Guest
sothpaw..

when I get home this evening I will retrieve the box's the pads came in and provide the info.
 

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