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05 sedan , 11 Wagon
265 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Let me start out with some background. I am reasonably mechanically inclined and do almost all work on any car I have that is out of warranty. I have owned and driven a couple of race cars over the last 40 years. I know a little about brake systems and how to bed pads, etc. And admit what happened is partially my fault. But I'm still pissed.

I have a V wagon that I have set up to run track days and now, open road races such as the Silver State Classic.
I installed a roll bar, harnesses, timing equipment etc. I saw that my rotors were within 10% of needing replacement. Not wanting to fail tech I decided to change the front rotors and chose Stop Tech slotted ( Cross Drilled are mostly for looks and lead to cracking in high heat applications.4000 pound car at 140 mph is pretty high heat!) cryo treated rotors and Hawk HP+ enhanced pads ( Which I love and put on all my cars) I did the install, bedded the brakes according to instructions and changed the fluid which I do before every high speed event or even brake bedding because of the heat. In this case Wilwood 600.

All was well and good for the week I drove the car around town. They felt great like I was used to the Hawks feeling.

I started my drive to Las Vegas from St Louis for the Silver State Open Road Challenge ( My first) . All was well and good until Denver, which is half way. It was just a slight vibration felt when braking, I figured I had maybe glazed a pad and could deal with it with some garnet cloth and rebedding in Vegas.Although slotted rotors are supposed to limit glazing. It got worse and worse. It was horrible by the time I was about 200 miles from Las Vegas. I asked for recommendations for a brake shop on the Silver State forum and was directed to an independent shop that had helped racers before. I dropped the car off and Ubered to my hotel to wait for my wife aka navigator to fly in.

They called telling me one rotor had very bad run-out and both had hard spots. They machined them the best they could,

. By the time I got back to St Louis the vibration was as bad as ever. I parked the car and ordered OEM rotors. Solid ones, not the two piece.

The OEM rotors are made in Italy by Brembo, as are the ones on my Porsche and when it's time, the Focus RS.( Although the pads on that car are pretty penomenal and I think are a Ferodo compound from what I can tell) EU standards for brakes are pretty strict, which is understandable. TUV rating from Germany is nothing to sneeze at.

As far as I can find out, Stop Tech are made in China. On that I will not comment further.

I have no idea why I went away from the OEMs other than the slotting and cryo treatment to prolong rotor life.

Im out the cost of expensive rotors and machining them for a band aid fix, about $600 all in all, And expensive lesson, but not my first expensive lesson.

And ALMOST missed the race.

My fault lies in the fact I :
1, Changed something major too soon before a race, which I almost never do.
2, Bought something I thought would be better, when the rotors I used were doing a great job. Relearning the lesson of " The enemy of good is better."

I have not " Warped" a rotor since the 70s with solid non vented rotors.
I have never " Hard Spotted " rotors. This is usually a function of standing on the brake pedal with very hot rotors and causing different cooling rates on different rotor sectors.

SO my take home lesson is, The GM engineers designed a great braking system out of the box.
Brembo OEM rotors are fine for just about eveything, short of 24hrs or Le Mans.

Thanks for letting me vent.
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