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Old 08-14-2008, 01:40 PM   #1
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Default Auto-X brake parts, what's best bang?

Looking for best bang for the buck on some braking parts.

My car, once it hits the road, will be used for probably every auto-x event I can find, lets say 10 events per year.... I'll probably only put about 5k miles on the car each year in street use.

That being said, give me your advice on brand choice for braking parts.

I was thinking of going the easy way with:

basic Napa rotors (cheap/easy item to replace, some even have warranty)
Hawk HPS pads front and rear
ATE Super Blue brake fluid
and possibly adding some braided stainless brake lines.

Is there one brand the Miata crowd prefers over another? I run all the above stuff on my Camaro Z28 w/ good success, just wondering if I should steer clear of certain brands for Miata parts.

Also - Is there an aluminum driveshaft sold for these cars? Who sells the best one?

Thanks all,
John
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Old 08-14-2008, 01:48 PM   #2
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Gonna stick my neck out here and say that all looks good, but what about stock brake pads? For the length of time your average AutoX lap lasts, and the cooldown period in between, I have had no problems at all with plain ole' Mazda OEM pads. You'll even find them superior in bite to most aftermarket pads when "cold".
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Old 08-14-2008, 01:55 PM   #3
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Most Auto-X courses setup around here have an FTD around 50 seconds. Pretty big courses from what I've heard from other regions.

My Camaro on stock brake pads will give brake fade BAD, it's still on stock single piston calipers though (that reminds me, I need to do my LS1 brake swap... damnit!).... oh, and weighs near 3,600 lbs with 340 tq. so it has a lot of *** to try and stop.

I know in cold conditions the stock pads will stop much better than any aggressive aftermarket part, but with the Hawk's I've just learned to "ride the brake" a bit when cold to get some heat into them.

Hell, maybe I can find some pads w/ a lifetime warranty too... gotta love those warrantied throw-away parts. Lord knows any auto-x'er will go through pads/rotors frequently enough to take full advantage of the stores offering lifetime rotor/pad warranties.
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Old 08-14-2008, 02:01 PM   #4
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shouldn't be using brakes much in autocross. Smooth...... Doubt you'll see fade in a 50 second run...
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Old 08-14-2008, 02:45 PM   #5
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/\ So true..... You'd be surprised how close your times will be compared to a run where you are concentrating on not using the brakes at all. Lift earlier....you can always gain momentum in a turn, but it is harder to scrub speed and make a fast turn at the same time.
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Old 08-14-2008, 02:52 PM   #6
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This car is going into SM anyway, so I'll stand no chance against some of the monsters out there that are fully built.... I enjoy throttle-steer, nothing on earth makes me happier!!

Slowing down (going smooth) is for the faint of heart (or for someone SUPER ---- about coming in first), I'm neither, I'd rather go ***** out and have a blast.

Not to take away from the above posts, I do appreciate the words fellas. I in fact do agree with you that smoother is almost always faster, but not nearly as fun!!!

At every event I've attended, on street tires and stock brakes (both of which every other car in the class has modified) I generally run 4 to 5 seconds behind the FTD - which is always set by an ESP car in my region. I'd say I do well for what I'm driving.
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Old 08-14-2008, 03:08 PM   #7
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Heh Heh..... Yes, SM2 for our little scoots is quite intimidating. But I only respond as to the successes I've had in SM2 with my loley '96 (which is still NA BTW). As you progress, threshold braking and some trail braking do become your friend as your abilities and speeds increase with experience.
There is no real formula for brakes, it is more personal preference. Brakes are like seats, suspension, and tires. Sometimes you have to try a few to find the ones you think work best for your style of driving. What is good for some, may not be the best for others. That's all part of the game....but the parts you mention in your OP are worthy for the cause.
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Old 08-14-2008, 04:15 PM   #8
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Well, I can't speak to your Camaro, but out in the San Diego region, street legal cars (at least, those with non-zero mass and torque measurable in finite, real numbers) usually run in the 70 and 80 second range. I can't recall ever having had even the slightest touch of brake fade in the Miata on those runs, and I actually do tend to work the brakes a fair bit. Running SM2 on a lot of courses that have just enough long straight sections to let the turbo do its thing and get you up to 65MPH or so in a heartbeat, followed by a tight, off-camber 180, it gets interesting.
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Old 08-14-2008, 05:09 PM   #9
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SM2 - I even emailed my regional SCCA chairman and he told me SM.... hehe

I'm just gonna be honest and say I tend to SLAM the brakes and JERK the steering wheel... followed by STABBING the throttle. In my defense, I'm a rookie w/ a wild hair, what can I say?

So my parts list is good... that's what I was mainly wanting to hear. Thanks guys!

Also, does anyone know if there is an aluminum driveshaft sold for these things? Can I swipe one from a different make/model?
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Old 08-14-2008, 05:23 PM   #10
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+1 on OEM pads.

I've used EBC Green and Cobalt Friction GT to autocross. EBC sucked. CF are good but I don't think they're any better than OEM for your purposes.Both dusted far more. I never had any fade autocrossing with OEM and they work pretty well cold.
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Old 08-14-2008, 05:58 PM   #11
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Don't know about an aluminum driveshaft, but you can always have the u-joint cut off and weld a serviceable unit on it. The shop can also balance it at that time. Never understood why Mazda chose to use a non-serviceable part for this application.
Your driving style for the Miata will net you greater success with smooth inputs....and with more HP and lightweight - this will become even more apparent.
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Old 08-14-2008, 06:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Project84 View Post
Also, does anyone know if there is an aluminum driveshaft sold for these things? Can I swipe one from a different make/model?
Are you serious? The stock driveshaft can be picked up with two fingers as it is.

I mean, if you're consistently within .01 sec or so of 1st in your class then maybe, but until then, I gotta ask why?
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Old 08-14-2008, 07:48 PM   #13
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I didn't know how big the stocker was, I just knew it was steel.... I swapped my LT1 steel driveshaft to an Aluminum driveshaft and notice throttle response at wheels is a bit quicker and the car decels slower as well.

Just guessing these numbers though, the stocker weighs like 25 lbs the aluminum upgrade is like 6 lbs.

Just goin on the basis here of "what worked for one car should work for all cars"
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Old 08-14-2008, 07:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soloracer View Post
+1 on OEM pads.

I've used EBC Green and Cobalt Friction GT to autocross. EBC sucked. CF are good but I don't think they're any better than OEM for your purposes.Both dusted far more. I never had any fade autocrossing with OEM and they work pretty well cold.
So by OEM pads you guys are talking about like Napa or AutoZone stock replacement pads right? Not actually going to a Mazda dealer for them... correct?
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Old 08-14-2008, 08:22 PM   #15
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I run Axxis metalmaster pads and find they're much improved in feel over OEM pads, while the cold bite is as good.

I dont know about 94+, but in my 92 I constantly feel the need to have an adjustable proportioning valve. The car gets very squirelly on trail-braking with the stock setup, I can virtually feel all the weight transfer onto the front on hard braking. That's the next thing I am getting on my car.
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Old 08-14-2008, 09:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Project84 View Post
I didn't know how big the stocker was, I just knew it was steel....
It is steel, and it is amazingly light. You can easily pick it up and swing it with one hand. Sadly, the U joints on it are not easily rebuildable, but I've heard of people taking them to driveshaft shops and with a little help from the grinder & welder, getting them rebuilt.

Quote:
I swapped my LT1 steel driveshaft to an Aluminum driveshaft and notice (...) the car decels slower as well.
See, that's kinda odd. If you replaced your driveshaft with a lighter driveshaft, then in theory the car should decelerate more quickly. Reason being that, like a flywheel, the spinning driveshaft, once it's moving, wants to stay moving.

Thing is though, we're talking about really trivial differences here. Even if you could eliminate 20 lbs from the driveshaft, all that weight is very near to the center of rotation of the driveline to begin with (unlike a flywheel, where the weight is at the outer edge) and so it really doesn't contribute much to the inertia of the system.

Not saying that it won't have any gain at all, more like you'd probably get equivalent gains (for no money) from the weight savings of just draining your washer fluid bottle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Project84 View Post
So by OEM pads you guys are talking about like Napa or AutoZone stock replacement pads right? Not actually going to a Mazda dealer for them... correct?
Actual Mazda brand pads, from Mazda. I usually get 'em from Rosenthal, since MazdaComp doesn't think I exist. $50-$60 per axle for most Miatae. Note that Rosenthal sells two different lines of brake pads- the actual originals, and the Mazda "Value Line", which are re-branded generic pads from domestic suppliers. I've never tried 'em, and they might be great, but I pony up the extra few dollars and stick with what I know.
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Old 08-14-2008, 11:42 PM   #17
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I meant decels faster, got mixed up thinking of logic.... that and I haven't driven the car in 10 months. :(

For $60 per axle, I'm just gonna opt for the Hawk pads at $68. You live and you learn.
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Old 08-15-2008, 01:18 PM   #18
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NAPA or mazdacomp rotors
Axxis Ultimate pads
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Old 08-15-2008, 03:17 PM   #19
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Miatas tend to have a less-than-optimum braking bias. Try using stock pads up front and something a little more aggressive in the back. I personally run Hawks in the back.

HIH
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Old 08-15-2008, 04:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Project84 View Post
SM2 - I even emailed my regional SCCA chairman and he told me SM.... hehe

I'm just gonna be honest and say I tend to SLAM the brakes and JERK the steering wheel... followed by STABBING the throttle. In my defense, I'm a rookie w/ a wild hair, what can I say?

So my parts list is good... that's what I was mainly wanting to hear. Thanks guys!

Also, does anyone know if there is an aluminum driveshaft sold for these things? Can I swipe one from a different make/model?
Where in northern KY are you? Pretty sure the guys in Cincy (Tony Brown), CKR (Mark Rivera & David Patrick), and certainly in my home region KYR (Geoff Hale and Chris Granger) know that miatas go in SM2, not SM.
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