Hawk HPS Brake Pad Install - Pontiac Solstice Forum
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-01-2008, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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Hawk HPS Brake Pad Install

I looked for a thread describing how to install brake pads and couldn't find a detailed step by step description with photos. I did find a good post by Miles from the Tire Rack and used that, plus the service manual to do it. So I decided to document it more here. Please pardon this thread if this has already been done.

I wanted higher performance pads since I experienced pad fade after just a few mild laps at the track. The HPS is a good high performance street pad that will withstand the heat of a number of hard core successive stops.

1. Jack up the front of the car and pull the wheels off. I did the front pads, then the rears. Jack the front via the larger/further forward of the bars crossing under the motor. Keep the parking brake on to avoid rolling. Also, check that your fluid isn't too high. When you compress the pistons, fluid will move back into the reservoir, filling it up more.

2. For the front pads, remove the lower caliper bolt/pin. You can see it in this photo. Once the pin is out, pivot the caliper up and hold it in place with stiff wire or a bungie cord.




3. Pop the old pads out and... before putting the new pads in, spread some anti-squeak compound on the areas that the piston & slider fingers will touch. Here are the new and old pads and an STi pad just for fun.


4. You'll likely need to compress the piston some to fit the new pads in. Use a large C-Clamp with an old pad pushing against the piston as shown in the photo below. Then slide the pads into the spring pieces that you slid the old pads out of.




5. Be sure the pads are flush against the rotor and that the slider pin that you removed the bolt from is compressed a bit. The caliper should now pivot back in place. Secure with the bolt and torque to 25 ft-lbs.

6. Remount the front wheels and torque the lugs to 100 ft-lbs.

7. Now for the rear pads. Place chocks around the front tires and jack the rear of the car up via one of the aft lower A-Arm supports. Remove the wheels.

8. Pop off the front spring using a screwdriver at the spots circled.


9. Pop the plugs off the allen bolts/pins.


10. Unscrew the pins using a 7mm allen socket. You don't need to pull them all the way out, just out enough to pull the caliper free.


11. The pads practically fall out. Compress the piston, not by simply screwing it down with the C-Clamp, but by using a tool to screw the piston in. I used needle nose pliers, but there are proper tools for this. Apply pressure as you turn the piston. I found that clockwise worked. I also used the C-Clamp for just a tiny bit of compression as specified in the manual. 1mm.


12. Refitting the pads is a bit tricky since they want to fall out. With one hand holding the caliper use a finger or thumb to hold the inner pad (the one with the spring along the top edge) in place. At the same time, hold the outer pad in the frame against the rotor. The caliper should be be able to slide in place easily. Watch that the pins don't get in the way.

13. Torque the pins to 20 ft-lbs. and replace the plastic caps. Also work the outer spring back in place.

14. Remount the wheels, torque to 100 ft-lbs.

15. Before driving, pump the brakes slowly to seat all the pads. You don't want to not have brakes for the 1st couple pumps at the wrong moment.

Enjoy your performance pads!

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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-01-2008, 10:25 AM
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Elder,
good writeup, I only have one comment, with anti-lock brakes you should have a catch can attatched to the caliper and open the bleed valve. You can get this at any parts store it consists of plastic tubing and a jar with the tubing going through the top and very near the bottom of the jar. You put enough brake fluid in the jar to cover the tube and then open the bleed valve when you compress the caliper. Once you are compressed you close the valve and move the unit to the next brake.

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-01-2008, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comment.

I've not seen that procedure specified in any of the service manuals I've used, including the one for the Solstice. Maybe there are some cars that require this, but it wasn't necessary on this one or on my STi.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-02-2008, 02:20 PM
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Ender,

I'm sure you noticed that the stock pads give the car a mild/moderate front brake bias. I found that in autox conditions the HPS pads at all 4 corners gave the car a very strong front brake bias. They did improve the pedal feel but the car could not trail brake with these pads.

Just before I totaled my car I had purchased the HP+ pads for the rear to help even it out. If you find that your car does the same thing mine did you may want to try the HP+ for the rear. Many guys (like Fastmike and Dasto) are using this pad for the rear with great success.

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-02-2008, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Very cool... I may have to try that. Interesting how the automakers dial in so much benign behavior in the interest of safety.

Thanks,
Russ

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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-02-2008, 11:47 PM
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Don't forget to properly bed them. This is VERY important for brake life and performance.

Stop Tech's guide.


"Typically, a series of ten increasingly hard stops from 60mph to 5 mph with normal acceleration in between should get the job done for a high performance street pad. During pad or disc break-in, do not come to a complete stop, so plan where and when you do this procedure with care and concern for yourself and the safety of others. If you come to a complete stop before the break-in process is completed there is the chance for non-uniform pad material transfer or pad imprinting to take place and the results will be what the whole process is trying to avoid. Game over.

In terms of stop severity, an ABS active stop would typically be around 0.9 Gís and above, depending on the vehicle. What you want to do is stop at a rate around 0.7 to 0.9 G's. That is a deceleration rate near but below lock up or ABS intervention. You should begin to smell pads at the 5th to 7th stop and the smell should diminish before the last stop. A powdery gray area will become visible on the edge of the pad (actually the edge of the friction material in contact with the disc - not the backing plate) where the paint and resins of the pad are burning off. When the gray area on the edges of the pads are about 1/8" deep, the pad is bedded.

For a race pad, typically four 80mph to 5 and two 100mph to 5, depending on the pad, will also be necessary to raise the system temperatures during break-in to the range that the pad material was designed to operate at. Hence, the higher temperature material can establish its layer completely and uniformly on the disc surface."

Last edited by fr0stb1t3; 08-02-2008 at 11:52 PM.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-03-2008, 06:16 AM
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I can't believe how much more material the new pads have. That should really make the brakes better.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-03-2008, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yamatd3 View Post
I can't believe how much more material the new pads have. That should really make the brakes better.
Initial bite is much better with the HPS pads but under very hard braking you end up reaching ABS lock in the front before the rears get to do any work. The increased surface area on the Hawks front may be the reason the bias is shifted so far forward.

Hawk/s Burnishing/Bed-In instructions:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkperformance.com
Burnishing Instructions

1. After installing new brake pads, make 6 to 10 stops from approximately 30-35 mph applying moderate pressure.
2. Make an additional 2 to 3 hard stops from approximately 40 to 45 mph.
3. DO NOT DRAG BRAKES!
4. Allow 15 minutes for brake system to cool down.
5. After step 4 your new pads are ready for use.

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Last edited by My-Low-Sol; 08-03-2008 at 02:02 PM.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-03-2008, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yamatd3 View Post
I can't believe how much more material the new pads have. That should really make the brakes better.
Not sure about that. The area of pad material looked about the same to me between stock & HPS.

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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-03-2008, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ender View Post
Not sure about that. The area of pad material looked about the same to me between stock & HPS.
Yeah, your right. I just re looked at the pic and I was thinking there was more because of the taper. There is that black stripe on each pad that I thought was backing plate. I guess I need a new monitor...LOL
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-03-2008, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ender View Post
Not sure about that. The area of pad material looked about the same to me between stock & HPS.


I was scanning over the pic quickly before and now I see where the OE pad has the greater flat surface area but only because it is worn (OE pad is the one in the upper right hand corner).

Either way the HPS pad should have a higher friction coefficient than the OE pad and from my own experience the bias is shifted further to the front with the HPS at all corners.

These pads still perform great in everyday driving and I highly recommend them for the moderately improved pedal feel. For hardcore autoxers I'd recommend running the HP+ out back with these up front. If you want to further move the bias to the rear you can use the Hawk Performance Ceramic or the OE pads up front.

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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-04-2008, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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Cool, we're all on the same page now.

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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 08:51 AM
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After playing with different combinations of stock and Hakw pads I think I might be able to share some input.

1) GM biases ALL their brake systems to the front, even Z06's.
2) In Solo the stock brakes are okay until hotter weather.
3) Stock pads are rated to about 500 degrees before they fade. Easy to reach on the fronts.
4) Per Hawk, the HPS's are good to about 700 deg (IIRC) and the Plus is good to nearly 800 degrees.
5) All of these pads will heat up past the service limits of DOT3. I flushed my system with DOT4. It helped some.
6) After trying stock front pads with HPS rears I noticed some better f/r balance.
7) Installed Plus pads in back with stock fronts, and once they bedded in they were certain a) stronger, and b) NOISY !!!!!!!!
8) In the greatest American tradition, since MORE = BETTER, I put the HPS pads on the front after aggressively sanding the disks. DISASTER !!! NOTHING was happening in front. The HPS pads (with maybe 3 events and 700 miles on them) were "dead". They would not bed in. Called Hawk, and they asked if there was ANY bluish looking areas on the disk. Since they were still somewhat dark everywhere I said yes. He suggested turning the disks, I did, and POOF -- all better. Real good combo HPS front/Plus rear.

Thanks for the recommendation earlier this year. I just wish the vacuum booster had more reserve.

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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 09:14 AM
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I just swapped out my pads also. Here is my experience:

I spoke with Dave at DDMWorks and he suggested going with ceramics up front and HP+ in the rear. He said it would move the bias more towards the rear. It did, but the HP+ pads squeaked like hell. This is hit or miss...sometimes they squeak and sometimes they don't. I even tried adding more anti-squeak lube with no success. I decided to change out the HP+ for the HPS pads in the rear, keeping the ceramics up front. No more noise from the rear and the braking is still improved. The HP+ provided, by far, the best overall pedal feel and grip...but the noise was driving me nuts. The ceramics up front and HPS in the rear are a great improvement over stock with no noise and minimal dust. The HP+ pads let loose a LOT of brake dust. My wheels were dirty within one day!!

I also have slotted rotors from RPI with stainless lines and high temp. brake fluid.

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Last edited by spiky3480; 09-24-2008 at 11:00 AM.
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snaponbob View Post
After playing with different combinations of stock and Hakw pads I think I might be able to share some input.

1) GM biases ALL their brake systems to the front, even Z06's.
2) In Solo the stock brakes are okay until hotter weather.
3) Stock pads are rated to about 500 degrees before they fade. Easy to reach on the fronts.
...
What sort of SOLO do you mean? Autocross or Road Race style Time Trials/Time Attack? 'Cause after a few warmup laps on a road race track, my stock pads faded like red Vega in Arizona!

Russ

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