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Discussion Starter #1
What kind of pads offer the least brake dust? Should I get slotted rotors?
 

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Ceramic pads , slotted rotors are a personal choice if you need new rotors they are an option but the stock ones are fine for normal driving . A word of caution on the purchase of the rotors find out where they are made a lot of cheap Chinese crap flooding the markets . "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low prices are forgotten "
 

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As @Sting Ya said, you do not "need" slotted rotors for any street driving. Definitely stay away from drilled rotors, as they are prone to cracking, especially if not done correctly.
 

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I use ceramic pads and like them. Low dust, low noise, excellent initial grip and fade resistant.

As far as I know the idea of ceramic pads wearing rotors faster is a myth, but maybe someone has some evidence either way?

From one brake page:

 

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There are 3 types of pads organic,ceramic ,and semi metallic as far as wear goes yes they wear the rotors more than organic but not as much as semi metallic . another benefit is that they offer better braking in wet conditions ,are quiet and produce less dust and particles than the other pads .I've used these on all my vehicles and would never go back to organic or semi metallic .
 

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Akebono Ceramic pads....by far the best for dirt. If you don't want Akebono, look at Centric Ceramic pads.
 

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OK so this is the skinny on brake pads.

The main 3 are
Organic
Metallic
Ceramic

There are mixtures or "blends" of the 3 above, so there will be a sharing of the properties. Like semi-metallic which is a blend of organic and Metallic

Ceramic pads are the new type of pad, they have been around since the 1980's so they really aren't new anymore. as is anything that is "new" people will make a false assumption that they are better. This is not always the case.

Organic
quiet, lots of dust, decent grip, wear down fast, easy on the rotors, doesn't transfer heat to other braking components, doesn't handle high temperatures well

Metallic
noisy, medium dust, best grip, medium wear, hard on the rotors, transfers heat to other brake components, works well in high temperatures.

Ceramic
super quiet, lowest dust, grip is variable, best wear, can be either hard or medium wear to the rotors, low transfer of heat to other components, medium temperature handling

Best pads for a performance driver are going t be a metallic based pad. they offer the best balance of grip, wear, and heat handling. This comes at a cost f having to replace the brake rotors more often.

There is a large lack f knowledge surrounding ceramic pads. They can be good and they can also be very bad. All brake pads should be bedded into the rotors when they are replaced. Ceramic pads are the most important to do this with because this is how they are designed to work. Bedding a pad and rotor together is the removal of pad material and the placement of that material onto the rotor surface. the only way to achieve this is through extreme high heat. The recommended way to do it is to get the car up to say 90MPH and stomp on the brakes as hard as possible. slowing the car down to 10MPH, then speeding back up .. you repeat this process 5-7 times and then drive at 30-40 mph for 10 minutes not touching the brakes a single time during that time and let the brakes cool.

The above bed in cannot really be done on the street. If this process is skipped with ceramic pads you will have reduces pad life, loss of grip and excessive rotor wear.

Another issue with ceramic pads is what is called brake jutter, the more common term if a warped rotor. This can happen with any type of pad material but is more common when using ceramic pads. Let me explain what this is.

All rotors have some degree of "wobble" to them. so does the wheel bearing on a car. When mounting a rotor on a car it is of utmost importance that the rotor wobble is 180° out from the wheel bearing wobble. doing this will produce the least amount of run out or total wobble of the brake disk. When there is excessive run out the pad is going to contact the disk with a higher force in different areas of that disk. Because of how Ceramic pads are designed to work and work on the principal of depositing material onto the rotor when there is high heat you actually end up with mounds of material. the rotor ends up having a "wave" to the surface of it. So if using ceramic pads the run out on each disk should be checked. If you have the rotor and wheel bearing set to 180° and there is still excessive run out then you need to turn the rotors. After that has been done and there is still excessive run out the wheel bearing is going to been to be replaced.

Now another bad thing about ceramic pads.. remember that transfer of material because of high heat? well that happens when a driver comes to a stop and doesn't let the vehicle roll slightly after stopping. The brake pads have gotten really hot coming too that stop and where the pads sit against the rotor as they cool they deposit material. This material builds up over time and causes high spots in the disc and brake jutter will happen. This happens less with metallic or organic pads, it can still happen.


Really simple idea here..

If you want good performance brakes you are going to have dust, and they are going to be noisy, This is how it is. it takes friction too stop a car and the byproduct of that friction is noise and dust. The Solstice is a sports car not a luxury car and not an economy car. There are things that you must do when you own a sports car and you drive the car like it is intended to be driven, more frequent oil changes, more frequent brake replacement, washing the dust off the wheels.. the brake noise is probably not so much of a concern because the Solstice is not exactly a quiet car to begin with.

Why do you think that dark colored wheels are more popular?? because people are lazier then they used to be and do not want to have to pull up the stool and a toothbrush to clean the dust out of the chrome wheels. Chrome wheels were the thing back in the day. no one wanted anything other then chrome, back then people didn't mind spending a few hours cleaning their wheels every week. Now.. in the world we live in today.. if it doesn't have a screen on it then most people aren't interested in looking at it for more then 10 minutes.

Keeping that dust off your wheels is going to be expensive, most shops do not check for run out and are not going to bed the brakes properly. using ceramic pads to keep the dust down is going to cost a lot of money over the length of time you own the vehicle. with metallic or organic pads you will not have to replace rotors every time you replace the pads. and in the end you will most likely have to replace the brakes less if you use metallic because you will not be replacing them before they are worn like you may end up having to do with ceramic because of jutter.

so keep that in mind. and if you pay a shop to replace your brakes. Make sure they check the run out, stand there and watch them do it. don't take their word for it.
 

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slotted and drilled rotors are made so they have more "bite" then a smooth face rotor, This only holds true if they are made properly. The biggest benefit of the slots and the holes is to allow for the removal of a gas. when using brakes to their maximum the pads get really hot. there are adhesives in the pad that kind it together. when the pads get that hot the adhesives will let off a gas. this gas gets trapped between the pad the and the rotor surface reducing the friction. This is what the benifit used to be. Drilling a solid rotor serves no purpose other then to have it look like the front rotor. slots are the way to goo with rotors that are not vented.

The slots and the holes alike will collect brake dust. they end up clogging up and will not perform the task they are intended to do. in order to keep them at their peak performance they will need to be taken off of the car and cleaned up by using a properly angled counter sink bit to clean out the holes and the slits will need to be cleaned with some good ol fashioned elbow grease.

only buy drilled and slotted rotors from a reputable manufacturer, if they aren't made properly it will reduce the strength of the rotor. the 100.00 rotors you may want to pass on. a cross drilled rotor is not supposed to have more then one hole per vent vein it is is supposed to be dead smack in the middle of it. the drilling pattern should look like arcs. this is done so there isn't a direct weak point straight across the rotor. The holes on the rotor should not go clean through the other side. remember only one hole per vein.

Here is an example of a 1/2 correctly done drilled rotor and how to spot a bad one.


Looks like a good rotor right?
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First thing we look at is the hole pattern.

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what we look for in the hole pattern is that the holes do not align in perfect circles.. This is bad and will cause grooves in the pad and thus on the rotor surface.

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see how they overlap??... this is a good thing.. This rotor has a correct pattern that you will not have grooving from.

where it fails..

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the holes line up in almost a straight line. This you do not want, this makes the rotor weak. The holes should have more of an arc pattern to them.

Today brake pads really do not out gas from the adhesives like they used to. the holes actually provide better wet braking by giving the water a place to go. the holes also act like a scrapper to remove any glazing that may occur on the pad surface, slots also do the same thing but do not offer assistance with wet braking.. Point in fact. Motorsports like NASCAR and Formula 1 use slotted rotors. while a race may run in light rain conditions they do not run in conditions where drilled rotors would be a benefit. drilled rotors offer no advantage in any way over a slot in dry conditions in fact they actually will cause more heat.
 

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and this is what it looks like when the holes line up in a perfect circle. well this is what will happen if the holes line up in a perfect circle around the rotor.

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you see the dark lines that are in the path of the holes? These lines are actually high spots in the rotor. This is because the holes have taken material off the pad and created groves in the pad. the pad make minimal or no contact with the rotor in those spots. so the rotor wears thinner on the shiny lines and crack will form because of the uneven heating and also the uneven rotor thickness.

so remember to look for these things when buying a rotor. a rotor manufacturer will provide you with drawings and measurements of a rotor if asked. Ask for them and and check for these things. You work hard for your money, work just as hard spending it too. do the research and make sure what you are getting is a high quality and done right.. Buy it once, buy it right, buy it for life. A BBQ with a stainless steel lid and a steel tub that costs 600.00 is not going to last. but for 800 you can get one with a stainless steel lid and tub... Better to wait and save the money..
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Holy cow.....thanks VERY much for the education. I really never gave all of this a good look. Seems to me, that for everyday driving, slotted/drilled rotors are more for show and racing so they really do me no good. As for pads, yes I want to try and keep my wheels lookin as good as can be, so ceramic looks good to me. When I look thru the wheels I see rust all over the rotor fins etc. Since I don't need brakes at this time, can I just wire brush and paint the rusted areas with 'High Heat' paint?
 

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Cross drilling exists only to save weight, and are extremely prone to the aforementioned cracking. It began in motorsports because often a certain diameter rotor was required for other reasons, but the thermal mass was not required, so the rotors got swiss cheesed. Once it started in racing and high end sports cars/exotics, everyone wanted to have it on their Civic, hence the rise in cheaply drilled rotors, none of which actually have enough holes to lose any appreciable mass anyway.

Since the widespread adoption of carbon rotors (when allowed) and realization how failure prone they are, cross drilling has been all but obsoleted, making the desire to have cross drilled rotors for that "race car look" somewhat ironic, since no race cars run them anymore.
 
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Cross drilling exists only to save weight, ......
I have seen a number of justifications for cross-drilling rotors, but this is the first I have heard of weight reduction being one. The main justification used to be to provide an exit path for the outgassing that occurs when organic pad material is heated. This has clearly become redundant in performance applications with the move away from organic pads. Cooling was another benefit, but that was really only a need for solid rotors, and largely went away with the introduction of vented rotors.
 

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"Used to be" is the key word, perhaps I did not emphasize that enough.

In addition to the improvements you've listed, they've since been discovered to be dangerous and not any more effective than slots and a properly sized rotor with an aluminum hat (many, many more options to find this off the shelf now than even 10 years ago.) The chamfering that the holes needed to help prevent cracking limited their effectiveness at preventing pad glazing, further obsoleting them.

That said, there are still instances in lower-class sprint racing where a vented and slotted rotor still provides more thermal mass than required, but it isn't practical to redesign and manufacture your own brake system, so you can use a drilled rotor to easily take some weight out while using the as-designed calipers and hat, and you simply replace rotors more frequently to prevent catastrophic failure.

Cooling is an interesting thing to mention, because in addition to cooling quicker, they also heat up quicker, exacerbating the thermal stress they undergo.
 

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There is only a single benefit to running cross drilled to improve breaking performance. and that is rain. Water is not compressible and when it gets between the pad and the disc it is going to reduce braking effectiveness buy huge amounts. the holes allow the water to escape. Note.. This only works of the rotor is vented, if it is a solid rotor there is no benefit..

If the angled edge on the holes if done properly on a cross drilled rotor it will "scrape" the glaze off the rotors. How to know if it is done right??.. bring it to be turned, if it is done right you will be told they will not do it. This is for 2 reasons. turning it will remove it's ability to scrape the glaze off, and that is if they don't break the cutter turning them. A properly drilled rotor would take an eon to turn because you can only take the smallest amounts of material off at a time otherwise the cutter will break when it goes over a hole.

Here is an example of what the edge of the hole when done properly. The angle is going to depend onoo how thick the metal is. the depth before the start of the angle is also going to depend on the thlickness of the metal. On rotors that are thin having the angle start down into the metal may not be able to be done.

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There is a HUGE amount of engineering that needs to take place in order to have a rotor drilled properly. Drilled rotors ideally should have angles or curved vent veins between the rotor surfaces. having them angled or curved allows the drilling to be done so the drill pattern is going to be curved from the inside to the outside edge. This help to reduce the possibility of them cracking. straight vents will restrict how much of an arc can be used in the drilling pattern, This happens because you do not want to have 2 holes be on the same diameter from the center. It's a pain in the ass to get right. to many holes rotor is going to get to hot and crack, or the structure of the rotor has been compromised too much and is not going to be strong enough. to little holes and there aren't going to be enough to scrape the pad properly, the pattern isn't right and you end up with all kinds of problems.

the metallurgy of the rotor has to be known in order to know how much is to much.
 

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I have been using EBC Green pads on slotted and drilled rotors and have not noticed any brake dust. I have great stopping power.
 
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