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Discussion Starter #1
So I just ordered my set of 19" wheels to replace my stock GT 19's. Next I'm ordering the Brembo kit from Pace for the front next week.

They are selling the kit with stock pads or will remove the pads from the cost of the kit.

What's everyone's opinion on pads?

I track the car 2-4 times a year on a road course, not autox, and the brakes get "REALLY" hot coming from 90+ MPH to 25 for turns. However it is also my daily driver and I'd prefer to not have to change pads and rotors every time I want to got to the track.

I think I'm down to these two options but would be open to other suggestions.

Hawks HPS
Cabotech XP8

Thanks for your input.

09' GT Bone stock except for Solo Mach-balanced exhaust.
 

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I ran Hawk HPS for one or two events, can't remember and experienced some fade later in the day. I changed to Carbotech after than RP2 front, XP10 rear and loved them - no fade on the stock calipers. I've recently changed to the va CTS-V fronts and will be running XP24's. When I had the HPS pads, I didn't like them for the street as they dusted too much for my taste and you won't like the XP8's either because they will squeal. If you are serious about driving hard on the road course, you really need to bite the bullet and get dedicated track pads, at least for the fronts. I don't change rotors at all, only pads.
 

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Hawk HPS are not fit for track use on a car this heavy. Honestly they're not fit for track use on ANY car that's really driven in anger on a track, at least not on the front. On the other hand, Carbotech are great pads for the track, I've been running them almost exclusively for several years. They're very effective and very rotor friendly, and the XP8 would be a good start for a G8. You can drive them on the street if you have to, and they won't chew your rotors when cold, but they will dust like crazy.
 

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HPS= High Performance Street. They are meant for street. I have ran them on my 95, 97, and 01 Firebirds, and currently on my G8 with front CTS-V brakes. Since you so rarely track the car, you will need to decide what is more important.. Those few days on the track, or the other 98% of your driving.
 

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I'm in a similar boat. I have experience with the HP+ on my WRX which I used on track and on street. They aren't too bad on the rotors, but they are noisy and can be a little dusty. I had problems with some of the carbotech pads' dust staining my paint to the point where I had to clay bar it off and then re-polish/wax. That was on a white car, not sure if that happens on other cars.

I'm leaning toward the HPS for street use as I doubt I will track my 8. If I do, I think I'd run a street pad and then switch pads at the track to the +'s.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all your opinions, i'm glad that the HPS pads will make a decent street pad. That's 98% of the driving on do. I'll consider alternatives when I need to if the track experience is really poor.

Thanks,
 

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I run HP+ on the fronts and HPS on the rear; with the Baer BBK. The HP+ are very dusty and are not really street friendly (lots of noise/squealing)... and are not the best pad for the track (can still get too hot and fade)... but are right about at the limit for something that I can drive on track and daily around town.

-Todd...

PS - Right now my tires start to fade before the brakes, so unless I go to an R-comp or something wider than 245's I'm not feeling the need for more aggressive brake pads.
 

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I'd highly recommend doing what I'm doing. Don't use street pads on the track, and don't use track pads on the street. If you do, you will be put into a bad situation when you most need brakes.

If you use street pads on the track, they'll be fine for the first 1-2 laps. Then, you will get used to the track and start driving the car really hard. But, your brakes will now be hot, and when you go into that critical "Turn 1" (or whatever turn is after a long straight), you will hit the brakes and they won't be there because they've overheated. You'll have no brakes, and you'll have an OTE (Off-Track Excursion).

If you use race pads on the street, you won't ever get enough heat in them to be effective. You'll be driving along, brakes nice and cool, and have to make an emergency stop, and your brakes won't stop you effectively. Why? Because brakes don't actually work (at least, not "work best") by simply dragging the rotors to a stop. They work by converting kinetic energy (your forward momentum) to thermal energy (heat). It requires an enormous amount of input energy (kinetic) to turn that energy into heat. That's why a couple of front pads with only 15 square inches per pad (15x4=60 total square inches, or less that one-half-square-foot) can haul down a 2-ton car going 60mph in less than 100 feet.

Anyway, I'd highly suggest using different pads and rotors (or at least different pads). Run street pads on the street. I like Carbotech 1521 for street pads. And, use stock rotors, or something else.

Then, for the track, use XP24 pads (that's what Michael Jr. at Carbotech specifically suggested I use with the Brembo brakes and aggressive street tires on the track) and stock rotors for the track.

Yes, it'll require you changing pads/rotors before and after an event. But, you won't have to do it at the track. You can do it the night before, or even a few nights before.

I'm planning on running stock rear brakes the whole time. No, it's not optimal. But, the rear brakes really don't do much. They are so small that it won't really matter.
 

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I'd highly recommend doing what I'm doing. Don't use street pads on the track, and don't use track pads on the street.
Agree 100%... to get the most out of your brakes you need to use the right products, as they were designed to be used.

Yes, it'll require you changing pads/rotors before and after an event. But, you won't have to do it at the track. You can do it the night before, or even a few nights before.
Unfortunately I have no way to change pads/rotors anywhere other than at a track. No space in a garage or driveway (unless I borrow one from someone every time), and I have to drive my car the next day to work. So the only option is to swap everything at the track or run a street/track pad (understanding and staying within the limits that it creates).

If you use street pads on the track, they'll be fine for the first 1-2 laps. Then, you will get used to the track and start driving the car really hard. But, your brakes will now be hot, and when you go into that critical "Turn 1" (or whatever turn is after a long straight), you will hit the brakes and they won't be there because they've overheated. You'll have no brakes, and you'll have an OTE (Off-Track Excursion).

If you use race pads on the street, you won't ever get enough heat in them to be effective. You'll be driving along, brakes nice and cool, and have to make an emergency stop, and your brakes won't stop you effectively.
With my setup I've found that my tires are the weak point both on the street and track. At the track my tires get hot and "greasy" before I notice any fade in the brakes... my pace at that point is limited by grip and the speed I can maintain through the corner, requiring additional braking (or just backing-off a bit on the straights). On the street, even with cold pads and "emergency stops" from highway speeds, the initial bite form the HP+ is more than enough to lockup wheels (and/or engage ABS).

Then again, I wouldn't consider the HP+ a "race" pad... I agree fully that running a race pad on the street is not a good idea (and not just because of the rotor wear, dust, or noise).

Brake pads are only one of the many reasons why I've decided that if I want to get into track days seriously I need another car. Going much beyond where I am now pushes me over the edge where I can't effectively daily drive the car. It's a slippery slope... adding wider/stickier tires means I'll need race pads as with more grip I'd definitely cook the HP+ pads. I already feel the need for a race seat/harness, and that would only be exaggerated by more grip... but to do that properly would mean adding a cage, and that's just not something I can live with in my daily driver. I also have additional concerns about oiling, chassis flex, etc...

In the end, I like the setup I'm using now... it's not going to set any lap records, but it works well as a daily driver and weekend fun car that sees the occasional track use.

-Todd...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Agree 100%... to get the most out of your brakes you need to use the right products, as they were designed to be used.


Unfortunately I have no way to change pads/rotors anywhere other than at a track. No space in a garage or driveway (unless I borrow one from someone every time), and I have to drive my car the next day to work. So the only option is to swap everything at the track or run a street/track pad (understanding and staying within the limits that it creates).


With my setup I've found that my tires are the weak point both on the street and track. At the track my tires get hot and "greasy" before I notice any fade in the brakes... my pace at that point is limited by grip and the speed I can maintain through the corner, requiring additional braking (or just backing-off a bit on the straights). On the street, even with cold pads and "emergency stops" from highway speeds, the initial bite form the HP+ is more than enough to lockup wheels (and/or engage ABS).

Then again, I wouldn't consider the HP+ a "race" pad... I agree fully that running a race pad on the street is not a good idea (and not just because of the rotor wear, dust, or noise).

Brake pads are only one of the many reasons why I've decided that if I want to get into track days seriously I need another car. Going much beyond where I am now pushes me over the edge where I can't effectively daily drive the car. It's a slippery slope... adding wider/stickier tires means I'll need race pads as with more grip I'd definitely cook the HP+ pads. I already feel the need for a race seat/harness, and that would only be exaggerated by more grip... but to do that properly would mean adding a cage, and that's just not something I can live with in my daily driver. I also have additional concerns about oiling, chassis flex, etc...

In the end, I like the setup I'm using now... it's not going to set any lap records, but it works well as a daily driver and weekend fun car that sees the occasional track use.

-Todd...

Todd,

That's very nicely put and almost exactly the position I'm in. I don't expect my cay to be able to keep pace with the dedicated track cars that are on the track and came there on trailers. Knowing that there are limitations on the cars capabilities I'll operate the car on the track within its safe envelope. Changing pads and adding additional capabilities will only extend that envelope.

Thankfully I'm also still learning the limits of the car, and when on the track I frequently still have an instructor with me who is also feeling how the car is performing and usually suggests when to push the car harder and when to calm down a little.

Thanks all for the continued advice.
 

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Wanting to keep my CTS-V1 rear and CTS-V2 front rotors instead of changing those rotors for track days, but I can change pads. Best pad for track only use with those rotors?
 

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I've tried the Hawk HP+ pads on my GXP, and I've returned to the stock ones. Yes, HP+ has a bit more initial bite, but not a whole lot more. And it wears the rotors a lot, so that I had to change the rotors together with the pads, and is more noisy and dusty. I'm a big fan of HP+ pads in general, and used them happily on all the other cars, this is the first time I switched back to stock, since the stock ones really are a better compromise for the street use.

As for Carbotech, I haven't tried it on G8, but I've tried it on two club racing cars, a Mazda-323 and '87 Mustang. On Mazda they worked awesomely, on Mustang they took a very long time to come up to the temperature before they actually started braking, changing to Hawk DTC70 was like night and day. I would guess that their street compounds are softer than the race compounds, but I would still be very suspicious about using them on the heavier cars, and a G8 is about 50% heavier than that Mustang.
 

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I've used Hawk HPS pads on my previous car and the front of my truck. I love them and they bite hard, but they do dust quite a bit compared to others. I wash my car/wheels once every two weeks or so, I personally don't find it to be a big deal anyway. I haven't used the other brand before, so I can't compare the two personally. I haven't replaced the brakes on my G8, the previous owner did, so I don't know for sure what pads were used.
 

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My choice for pad is the Porterfield R4-S Carbon Kevlar Perf. Street Pads..

They have worked really well on my car, I used to Autocross monthly but now street driving is about it for me but the current pads and rotors have been on the car for 5 years. They have worked well and I have zero complaints. I ran Hawk HPS before these - the R4-S is much better.
 

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currently running stoptech slotted rotors with hawk ceramics. Dusty but work noticeably better than stock.
 
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