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June 03, 2005

Brakes are a headache

This is harder than it's supposed to be, I think or I'm just worrying too much. I need to get the brake fluid changed to ATE Gold which is supposed to be the best thing for the money. Thats a 100 buck (90 labor) job as a garage. This flushing should be done before every event so I guess I can save a bunch if I do it myself.

Brake are a whole other story. My car has 33k miles on it with the original pads. I need to replace them. An instructor recommended Pagid Orange pads but they are not liveable with day to day because of noise and rotor wear. My Ferrari friend recommends EBC, he uses green stuff, and I bought a set of EBC Red Ceramics yesterday from ebcdirect (200 bucks). Installing them at garage A was 90 for front and 90 for back for labor. This seems high, 2 hours for a brake install but I'll pay for a professional to do it given it's brakes. Garage A only had Pagid OEM and Pagid Orange but their OEM pads cost 250 bucks which is more than the EBC red stuff.

The problem is which brakes to use that work well in day to day and also work better than stock on a track doing drivers ed but not racing. While my Ferrari buddy hasn't had trouble with EBC green, people at tirerack have had bad problems with EBC red (the older one), in fact, tirerack doesn't sell EBC anymore.

So why did I buy EBC Red Ceramics. Because my buddies tell me they are good. Pagid Orange looks best as a track pad but I can't use em day to day.

It's very hard to find brake advice on the web. Pagid's web site is not very good, very little information and besides the tirerack reviews for EBC, thats all I can find. EBC have links to a race team they sponsor but it's hardly objective.

Next is brake cooling. Cooling seems to be a big deal. The cooler the brakes run the better. The 996 has cooling ducts built in. The are just on the inside of the floor in front of the front wheels. They are like scoops that pull air from under the car and redirect it in to the wheel well. I saw a company selling the scoops from a GT3 RS for 300 bucks. They just snap on and are twice as big. This isn't a bad mod probably and cooler brakes can't hurt so I'm considering this also.

The jury is out on steel braided brake lines. I can't find a conclusive answer. I know instructors who track and they use OEM rubber lines. My Porsche mechanic says the same thing. Other say they are better. Jury is still out.

Rim valves are next. Porsche wheels on the 996 come with rubber valves. Apparently the turbo has metal ones. PCA mandate metal valves for racing because they are supposed to be safer. They tolerate the G forces much better than a flexible valve under braking/acceleration so there is less risk of a blow out if the valve fails. I'm told that any tire shop should be able to replace my rubber valves with metal ones and there is no special metal ones to recommend. Apparently they are pretty much similar.

So, here's my plan.

  • Ordered EBC Red Stuff Ceramic (200 bucks + prof install)
  • Will flush brake fluid with ATE Gold (100 bucks)
  • Will change metal values if possible locally
  • May buy GT3 RS brake cooling (300 bucks).

So, here's where I am right now.

June 3, 2005 | Permalink


Dude, if you are going tracking and can't change your own brake pads or flush your own fluid, thats pretty sad.

Well, not being a mechanic, I'd prefer for now to have mechanics do such critical work.

33K miles and you still have the same pads, and you track your car? Pretty sad.

Nope, first track event is in two weeks. Not so sad :)

Stainless steel lines are worth the money you can feel the difference instantly and they espically help when the brakes get really hot, because the steel resists flex while the rubber would soften and give a mushy pedal feel.

Posted by: static lag | Jul 17, 2005 6:00:59 AM

100 bucks for ATE gold? That stuff is only like $10/liter....

Posted by: Jimbo | Jul 25, 2005 1:40:07 PM

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