We did the research and testing of popular brake kits and parts so you don't have to... The results are in!!
We get lots of questions about brakes and upgrades. Just five minutes online looking at all the options and various parts, it's easy to see why. There are so many brake kits and parts available it can be a real challenge to make sense or do comparisons because of all the differences.
Over the years we have done a good bit of research, lots of testing and racing with many different setups for braking. Most recently our focus with RX7’s and RX8’s has been for street, auto x and spirited driving use. An effort to hopefully eliminate some guess work for RX7 & RX8 owners so they can make the most effective choices when it comes to brakes...The following is what we found:
There are so many choices for rotors, drilled, slotted, drilled and slotted a few holes, a few slots, lots of holes, lots of slots, some dimples, various marks / shapes machined and/or cast on the rotor faces etc. etc. All of which are efforts to expel the gas boundary layer from between the pad and rotor faces when friction generated heat exceeds the pads happy temperature range and out-gassing occurs..
Drilled rotors typically have many holes, the edge around each hole on the rotors surface will often cause accelerated and inconsistent pad and rotor wear as well as a good bit of brake dust. Drilled rotors also crack around the holes, just ask any racer..
Then there are straight slotted rotors, these are a better choice because the slots wipe the whole pad surface consistently, hence more consistent pad and rotor wear and less brake dust. Then there's swept radius slotted or (curved slots). Since the curved slot passes the pad at more of an angle, there is less wear and dust both for the pad and rotor. Why there are so many rotors offered with various dimples, marks and shapes is probably because manufacturer's want unique / different parts to sell so that they can promote theirs as better, however; most of these perform similar to drilled holes
The swept radius slotted rotors are also very smooth and quiet. The picture below shows the rotors on my car after 60000 miles of abuse and nearly four sets of pads. Even though the slots are nearly worn away they are still smooth and stop as good as ever. Another reason we like these: These are the longest any set of brake rotors have ever lasted for me.
Even with a slightly higher cost, since they last longer it ends up being a better value...
For the flex lines, Goodridge are the lines nearly everyone uses in racing. Their reputation for consistently delivering products of the highest quality is second to none. Goodridge lines have a dupont teflon core wrapped in stainless steel flex braid and they are DOT approved. Since they expand less you get a firmer pedal feel and quicker response. These are the same lines we use on all our race cars. They are a direct replacement for the stock rubber lines, allow two hours installation time with a good flush and bleed.
For brake pads, here again there's so many choices and compounds it's a challenge to get it right. Just keeping up with the latest technology requires a good bit of effort.. From organic pads which, with just a few quick stops will overheat and let smoke come out of the wheels to ceramic pads that are better to Hawk performance Street pads $$$, these brake so well they can often be touchy as well as tough on rotors and dust is an understatement.
After evaluating the results from a few years of testing as well as receiving a good bit of feedback from customers like you, the all around best pads for the street, auto x and spirited driving are Trak Pro super metallic street pads.
For top performance and the longest life, it is necessary to properly bed* them in, after which they have excellent stopping power over a wide heat range.
They are known to occasionally make some noise and dust which is solely dependent on how you drive. Great for autocrossing and solo events as well as daily driving.
This should hopefully take some guesswork out and help you make the right decision on your brake system.
For track events where you need high temperature racing pads we actually offer our stage 3 kit without pads. Rotors, lines and fluid then you can source pads you've heard others have good results with for the best prices. We don't have enough volume to offer competitive prices on the various pads from all the manufacturers.
At Pettit Racing we try to offer parts and kits that have good value, parts that we actually tested and are proven to deliver a level of Performance and Longevity beyond expectation.
Proper Brake Bedding
After installing new pads, make several stops from approximately 50 mph with moderate pressure to put some heat in the pads and rotors, this is done to avoid thermal shock from the bedding the brakes.
In cold weather it can take a few more stops. Make an additional two to three hard stops from approximately 70 to 75 mph. Do not allow the vehicle to come to a complete stop. It is normal to see some smoke.
Then park the vehicle and allow the brakes to cool down.
Always avoid using the parking brake on hot brake systems which can cause uneven cooling as well as variations in material properties that can lead to inconsistencies in pad and rotor wear.