We are happy to announce that we have greatly expanded the EBC Brakes catalog here at Black Forest Industries. We have sold and used their pads and rotors for many years. In fact, they are one of our favorite options for brake pads and rotors. We have used them on almost all of our cars, from our MK3 GTI to our E82 135i project. We thought now would be a great time to add to our offereings and give you this guide to help you choose the right pads / rotors or kit for your vehicle.
Performance pads prioritize heat resistance to fight brake fade, but this comes at the expense of quiet operation, dust generation, and cold temperature performance. If you're looking for solid street performance with occasional track use, then a mid-range performance pad would likely be your best option, as these strike a balance for effective temperature range, noise, dust, and wear life.
EBC offers a range of pads to maximize each performance aspect, giving you the opportunity to choose which compound fits your needs best.
Available now from BFI:
- Ultimax (Black) - OE replacement Pad
- Green Stuff - Lower Dust Slight upgrade over stock
- Red Stuff - Lowest Dust, Good Friction
- Yellow Stuff Street Track - Higher dust, Great Bite
- Blue Stuff - Track Oriented, High Dust, Great Performance
We'll get more into which choice is best for you below.
All EBC colored range pads - green, red, and yellow - are high mileage compounds, so you cannot expect their performance to be optimal straight out of the box. While the brake effect will be good and certainly safe, it will not be at its full potential just yet. Pads must be bedded in geometrically, even on new rotors, and this process can take around 400-600 miles. After the initial bedding-in period, the pads can take up to 1000 additional miles to reach their final chemically-cured stage at which point optimal performance is reached. Experience shows us that out of the box, all EBC pads perform equal or better than OEM parts.
How to tell it's time for a change...
Remember to monitor pad wear as pads that are half worn or more will cause a significant reduction in performance of the brake. For optimum braking and sport use, we recommend changing pads when there is 3/16th of an inch (4mm) of friction material left on the steel backing plate. It is at this point that you will not want to wear the pads any lower, as pads and calipers begin to overheat when friction material goes below this level. For those spirited drivers out there, remember that the faster and harder you drive, the faster the pads will wear, and a wrong spec pad could wear out surprisingly quickly, so be sure to keep an eye on the pads.
Brake fade is something nobody wants to experience. When you apply a certain amount of force on the brake pedal, the vehicle should slow predictably. When the brakes overheat and begin to fade, it takes increased pedal effort to achieve the same amount of braking force. Eventually the point is reached where the vehicle won't stop, regardless of how much brake pressure is applied, and the results can be disastrous. When racing on a road course, the rotors are constantly hot and can often reach temperatures as high as 1400°F! Under these conditions, the rotors will glow bright orange and give off sparks when the brake pads make contact. When the brakes are not able to get rid of all this heat, the linings can no longer generate enough friction to stop the car and the brakes fade.
When heat in the brakes heats up faster than it can be dissipated, the fluid in the calipers can boil, causing a loss of brake pedal. This highlights the importance of using the appropriate brake fluid for your specific driving application.
For light/heavy track use, we recommend running a brake fluid specifically designed to withstand the extreme temperatures generated by racing carbon and ceramic brakes, while allowing maximized air entrance for brake cooling such as Motul RBC 660. For street driving and normal use Ate Typ200 is a great choice.
EBC Compound Breakdown
EBC has many different options for friction material, each denoted by an associated color. You may ask yourself, which pad should I choose? While most of EBC's available options will work for both street and track cars, your choice will depend on which charachteristics are most important to you. Do you want Low-Dust as the primary factor? Maybe pad longevity, or friction bite and feel? The diagram below will help you to decide which friction compound fits your needs best.