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Old 03-02-2010, 04:10 AM   #1
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Default On a Budget, Need Brake Setup Advice

I'm trying to save some cash, as I recently crashed a bike on the track. I need to get new pads and rotors for the Miata and would like to get some advice on a couple setups:

Option 1) Get Carbotech XP10 frt, XP8 rear on 1.8L brakes.

Option 2) Get the cheaper Axxis Ultimates, but upgrade to Corrado front brakes with 949racing brackets.

My car's a 1.6L with 1.8L brake brackets, a brake prop valve, OEM rubber lines w/ 100k miles, and ATE Super Blue.

The money I save by going Axxis over Carbotech will more than pay for the brackets, but will Axxis pads on Corrado's outperform Carbotechs on 1.8L stockers?
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:09 AM   #2
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If you're not trackign the car, don't buy expensive pads. I run Hawk ceramic crap on the street.
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:26 AM   #3
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Yes, I track my car, and know the brakes are insufficient as-is.
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:35 AM   #4
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If you want XP10s I have a new set, you can buy me XP8s and I'll send you mine.
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Old 03-02-2010, 03:41 PM   #5
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The XP10/8 combo works great on my naturally aspirated car. Good torque, modulation, stands up well to the heat. I got 8 track days out of the XP10s. If you're running a 2560 and driving with any gusto you're going to put a lot more heat into the brakes than I have been. I don't think any street pad (Ultimates) is going to hold up to that. Even with Corrado rotors some people have had issues with short lived track pad compounds due to the OEM caliper design. So of the two options you listed I'd say go with XP10/8 but realize you still may need to address other deficiencies in the system beyond the pad compound. I am fully expecting to have brake issues once Tim builds my shiny new go-fast parts.

Also, give those OEM rubber lines a thorough inspection. It's not the mileage, it's more the aging of the rubber, dry rotting, cracking, etc. The OEM lines on my 94 were looking questionable (several small surface cracks near the fittings) with only 70K on them.
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Old 03-02-2010, 05:32 PM   #6
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hawk blue are cheap and they last forever. Spray your wheels with Pam before you use them.
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:06 PM   #7
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Spray your wheels with Pam before you use them.
I want to know who this Pam chick is everyone keeps talking about. She sounds like a gushbucket.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:12 PM   #8
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I might have to make amends with my wallet at some point. Hmm... anyone tried the Porterfield R4?


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If you want XP10s I have a new set, you can buy me XP8s and I'll send you mine.
Tempting...
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:38 PM   #9
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I might have to make amends with my wallet at some point. Hmm... anyone tried the Porterfield R4?




Tempting...
lol @ racing on a budget.

Nothing will outlast Hawk Blue, and nothing will be as cheap. Its a cave man pad that feels like **** and requires immediate wheel-washing, but it works for people like you. I'm running DTC-30 which last half as long, but they feel phenomenal. I can afford them because I'm so incredibly baller that I straight floss all through the week, my money long, oh you don't know I'm tha BG.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:41 PM   #10
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It'll cost me 10% restocking fee plus shipping ($15+10) to trade them into Carbotech for XP8s, I'd rather not pay to get a lesser pad.
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:59 PM   #11
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First, optimize what you've got. Is the brake fluid fresh? Are the calipers in good shape? What about the rubber lines - they get old and can look fine externally yet be collapsed internally, limiting fluid flow and reducing braking efficiency. Can you get decent airflow to the brakes? (Hint: remove the backing plates).

What sort of problems are you having? If it's fade, you've got heat issues so you've got to ask what sort of fluid and how old is it,and are you running the appropriate pad for the application. As long as you can lock a wheel you are not overpowering your brakes, you are overpowering the amount of grip the tire has. Are you running decently sized, properly aimed ducts to the brakes? See the Carroll Smith books for an excellent description of how to properly build brake ducting.

In years of tracking/racing a 1.6 I've never had brake fade issues if the stock system is kept up to snuff. I've run the Poterfield R4S (loved 'em), the Hawk black and blue configuration (hated 'em), the Performance Friction PF77's (great pad, but with a very soft bite), and the Carbotech 10 and 8 combination (the bestest stuff evar). I run nothing fancier then Castrol SRF for fluid, and change it every season, with a bleeding every few weekends. The calipers get replaced/rebuilt every other season. I have a rock hard brake pedal and the master cylinder is the 20 year part that went in the car in May of 1989.

Optimize what you've got before you throw fancy stuff at it.
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Old 03-03-2010, 05:00 PM   #12
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You also cant see over 90mph on any track you go on...just putting that out there. At a mere 170rwhp, I was seeing 135mph in places SM saw 87mph at best.
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:57 PM   #13
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My brakes lock up just fine. Fluid is fresh, no brake ducts.They feel great, actually, in auto-x. Solid pedal, and good bite. But on track, I can feel them getting weaker after repeated stops from 130.

I took a close look at my brake lines and they need to go. I think I'll opt for a cheaper pad for now and use the money I would have saved to get new lines.

Brain -- If the Ulimates fail me, I'll hopefully have enough money saved up to trade XP8's with you if they're still laying around.
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:47 AM   #14
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It sounds to me like your progressive fade is in part induced by your pad selection, since you have good initial bite but they get worse as they get hotter.

You can crutch around this by keeping them cool. If everything else is in good condition (brake fluid fresh, pads good), my first low budget approach would be to add some ducting - it can be made relatively inexpensively using Lowes Racing Supply drier ducting and a selection of wire ties but consider it a consumable if you use the cheap stuff, however, as it will get torn, ripped, and destroyed. Come to think of it, so does the good stuff.

Braided lines are nice, but pricey. The stock rubber lines will work just fine in most applications, and if you are tracking the car and on a tight budget I would look to better pads before replacing the lines. (See above assumption about them being in good shape. I just replaced a 10 year old / 240K mile set on a Corolla that looked "fine" but were collapsing internally, which was evidenced by a pronounced pull to one side and incredible brake pad wear on only one wheel.)
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