: Duralast Gold Ceramic vs. Hawk Ceramic Pads

12-18-08, 04:17 PM
Does anyone have any opinions on Duralast Gold Ceramic vs. Hawk Ceramic pads? I'm looking at changing only the pads and want to know what people think. I put the Duralast Ceramics on my 97 SLS and they worked GREAT with the stock rotors. No dust, no noise and the car came to a smooth stop if I lightly applied the brakes. They had great pedal feel. That's different from whatever pads are on my 'Lade though (I bought the truck used). Seems like I have to push the pedal half way to the floor before I start to slow down and the few times that I've made panic stops, it seems like I really don't have that much stopping power. The panic stops just left me with the feeling that I don't have the braking power that I need. I'm not a crazy fast driver and I'm not paranoid about not having the top of the line safety systems, but when I needed to stop the truck in a hurry, it seemed like it didn't want to stop. Or let me put it this way, in my SLS I could stamp on the brakes on a dry day and the tires would chirp a little bit as they almost started to lose grip. The brakes were strong enough to do that and I'd really get pushed into my seat belt. With the 'Lade there is no noise coming from the tires and I can't get the same feeling of being pushed into my seatbelt even with the brake pedal on the floor. Now I realize that the 'Lade is much heavier than an SLS, but I'd be REALLY worried about stopping if I ever decided to tow something (might buy some jet skis next summer). Anyway there are a lot of posts on here where people are happy with Hawk pads, but can I get the same performance out of the Duralasts for half the price? I'd just buck up and shell out the 100 bucks for the Hawks if the Duralasts on my SLS hadn't worked as well as they did.

I'm not taking the truck to the track and I have the stock wheels on there so I don't need a big brake upgrade with drilled/slotted rotors or anything. And one thing I want to avoid are the pads that require warm-up before they work nominally. So what do you guys think? Anyone had good or bad luck with the Duralasts? Have you towed light loads with the Duralasts and had any issues?

As for my current pads, there's still 50% left and I was reading on some website that you can improve brake performance by bedding the pads in again even if they have say 20k miles on them. I might try that to see if I get better pedal feel from what's currently on the truck.

12-20-08, 10:33 AM
I myself just replaced pads with the duralast ceramics about 4 months ago and love them so far! My truck was same way didnt seem to wanna stop! Definately feel a big difference now but still doesnt stop like a SLS will! Trucks are heavy and takes a lot to slow the beast down! But A HUGE improvement over the stocks on it! Have no dust, noise or problems with them so far! IMO these pads for price are pretty damn good! Does stop a hell of a lot better for sure! Never used hawks but know there Real good pads also! Hvc Knows a lot more about them! For the price though I love the duralasts so far!

12-22-08, 10:55 AM
Cool, thanks for the input Povich. I'm thinking I'll just put the Duralasts on for $35 and if they suck, I'll wait a year or so and upgrade to the Hawks. For $100 I'm sure the hawks are good pads, but if I can get similar performance out of something that's a lot cheaper...

12-23-08, 01:03 PM
I put the Hawk pads on and they work great. I do get some noise at times when I apply them.

12-23-08, 04:22 PM
Did you bed them in properly? On the Hawk website they emphasize that their pads need to bedded in so I e-mailed them to see what their recommended procedure is. Their guy replied...

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 40-45 mph.
4. Allow 15 minutes for brake system to cool down.
5. After step 4 your new pads are ready for use.

Several people have reported reduced noise/better brake feel after doing a proper bedding job. I still haven't had time to try that on my current pads to see if they improve...too much snow/ice here in the Land of Lincoln.