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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Had occasion recently to be glad I had tossed my factory front brake pads when they only had a few thousand miles on them.

Stock brake pads are calculated to satisfy the average driver while costing as little as possible. They are always a bit of a compromise, but that's reasonable as only the lunatic fringe (i.e. most of us here) will use their cars in a way that it makes much difference. I discovered the first time that I really used the car that the factory pads had unsatisfactory initial grip and that they faded unacceptably quickly.

I'm an old road racer that likes to enjoy driving aggressively (but safely and legally, I hasten to add) on winding roads and up and down mountains where I live. What I want in a pad material is immediate grip on application and good fade resistance. The factory pads give neither, so I went looking for alternatives after owning my car for only a few months. I narrowed it down to the Hawk line (HPS), the EBC pads (Red Stuff) or the Porterfield R4S (the latter mostly because I have used their R4 compound for many years on my race cars).

After doing as much research on the net as I could, I decided on the EBC Red Stuff pads. They have a higher heat tolerance than the HPS but because they are a ceramic pad (these give less brake dust) they are fussier on break in and can squeal until fully broken in, which can take quite a few miles.

I am posting this to advise anyone else that likes to drive hard that you really can substantially improve your brakes, and that for safety's sake you shouldn't really save a few bucks by using up your stock pads before changing.

There will be champions of all the pads I mentioned as well as others and there is probably no one ideal pad, but the EBC has shown excellent performance and no untoward issues like rotor wear, except for a bit of initial squeal until the broke in.

I haven't managed to fade them yet, and they have saved me in a couple of occasions when someone either jammed their brakes on suddenly or pulled out in front of me, where I do not believe the stock pads would have had the necessary grip to prevent at least a minor accident.

I'd be interested in hearing from anyone that has used these pads as well as either of the other pads I mentioned - it would be good information for the next time I need brakes.

BTW, I chose to swap out only the front brakes as they take 60%+ of the chore of hauling the car down. The rears have to be there to keep the tail in line under hard braking, but they are much less prone to fade and play a much lesser role in brake performance than the fronts.

This review may be of interest, EBC Redstuff Ceramic Pads - Subaru
 

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Redid the brakes front and rear on my car a couple of years ago and went the whole route drilled and slotted rotors,braided steel lines and Hawk ceramic pads beside firmer pedal feel the big difference to me is wet braking no fade money well spent
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
PS - some people like to go straight to race pads - here is a review of the Yellow Stuff pads by the same crazed WRX rally driver:

SubieGal.com
 

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I have had good results with EBC pads on two prior cars. I used Green Stuff for both. This round, I've considered skipping right past Red Stuff and going straight to Yellow Stuff.

On your recommendation, and based on the page you linked in your second post, I may just "settle" for Red Stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I ran the Green pads on my 88 Fiero because it is an oddball one year only model and front pads are of limited availability. The Greens are a decenmt street pad, but the Reds are a whole different ball game. I'd opt for Yellow only if I were going to do some fairly heavy competition as the raised temp point isn't going to be necessary for street and mild comp use.
 
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