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Brakes for Noobs

29
39
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
West
OK, going to do my first HPDE event this spring. After studying this and other forums I have accepted the advice that the stock Brembo's on the car will suffice and that the part that has the room for the most improvement and upgrading will be me. With that said are there any other things that I can do beside new pads, and probably rotors since the car has 63K miles on it, along with a fluid flush and refill (will use Redline R-600 since I have inventory) as far as the brakes are concerned? I will be putting solid rotors on, so no drilled, slotted, or two-piece, etc. Are there any other tips, tricks, or advice for a car that is a daily driver, only about 1500 miles year, and those miles are while driving to enjoy the experience.

I suspect that HPDE will become something that I will want to do more of to develop my skill level and although I am not averse to spending a bit more to get better parts, I also see no reason to spend thousands on brakes at the skill level I am at now, so I have decided to go with OEM pads and have contacted Tim at OP because of the accolades that he has been given here. I look forward to hearing from all of you so thanks in advance.
 
565
514
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Lenoir City TN
You have the right idea. Make the car safe ie decent pads, rotors, and fresh fluid and get started. The car will tell you when it is time to upgrade something. Parts will either wear out or will not work as good as you would like, then you can decide what to replace it with.

When it comes to rotors there is nothing wrong with plain ones (not slots or holes), many actually prefer them. Centric or OEM Ford are good choices for plain rotors. While you are working on the brakes don't forget to check the lines for any signs of wear, cracking, or other damage.

Also make sure you have decent tires. You do not need race tires. Any performance street tire will get you started as long as they have enough tread and are not cracking. You are better learning car control on street tires. They give more feedback which helps keep you out of trouble.

Just get out there and have fun. Upgrades can come as needed to avoid spending unnecessarily.
 
29
39
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
West
You have the right idea. Make the car safe ie decent pads, rotors, and fresh fluid and get started. The car will tell you when it is time to upgrade something. Parts will either wear out or will not work as good as you would like, then you can decide what to replace it with.

When it comes to rotors there is nothing wrong with plain ones (not slots or holes), many actually prefer them. Centric or OEM Ford are good choices for plain rotors. While you are working on the brakes don't forget to check the lines for any signs of wear, cracking, or other damage.

Also make sure you have decent tires. You do not need race tires. Any performance street tire will get you started as long as they have enough tread and are not cracking. You are better learning car control on street tires. They give more feedback which helps keep you out of trouble.

Just get out there and have fun. Upgrades can come as needed to avoid spending unnecessarily.

Have 19X10 wheels with brand new MSP4S that will be going on when I bring it into the garage for a going over. Thanks for your reply.
 
29
39
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
West
It sounds like you are on your way. Which track are you planning on first?

Will be going to Thunderhill in NorCal. No walls and good runouts. Right?
 
565
514
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Lenoir City TN
I don't know anything about Thunderhill. I live in Tennessee. No walls and good runout sounds like a good place to learn. My first track was Sebring with plenty of walls.
 
6
1
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Elizabethton TN
I don't know anything about Thunderhill. I live in Tennessee. No walls and good runout sounds like a good place to learn. My first track was Sebring with plenty of walls.
In ETenn you have Summit Point (and its daughter tracks) CMSP, Charlotte MTspeedway (has an inside roadcourse as well), Rockingham, Road Atlanta, Atlanta MTR speedway and Roebling Road all within driving distance. New courses in middle Tenn and in FLA. I forgot VIR.
 
565
514
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Lenoir City TN
In ETenn you have Summit Point (and its daughter tracks) CMSP, Charlotte MTspeedway (has an inside roadcourse as well), Rockingham, Road Atlanta, Atlanta MTR speedway and Roebling Road all within driving distance. New courses in middle Tenn and in FLA. I forgot VIR.
We are pretty centrally located for tracks. You left out two of my favorite - Barber Motorsports Park and National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park. They are both a little over 3 hours. Nashville Speedway was refurbished by Nascar a couple of years ago and NASA Mid-South has it on their schedule.
 
224
226
so I have decided to go with OEM pads and have contacted Tim at OP because of the accolades that he has been given here. I look forward to hearing from all of you so thanks in advance.
Overall you are on the right track but I would swap to some better aftermarket pads at least on front. I'm sure Tim will steer you well.
 
29
39
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
West
Going "fully agricultural" is worth avoiding - have you planned for an instructor? That's the biggest performance enhancer of all, and if it's your first time out, it'll head off any bad habits before they get settled.

Yes! I am looking for a group that has instructors at Thunderhill. If anyone knows a good club, please let me know.
 
@Paul McWhiskey Welcome to TMO! I see you have some vehicle info in your signature. Don't forget to do a vehicle profile
It will automatically create a build thread.
With 65k miles I would do an abs bleed when you flush the brake system. If you don't have forscan I have heard flush the system, run the car and activate the abs a couple times then reflush. That way you are sure that all of the old fluid makes it way through. Your brakes will thank you with the 19x10s.
 
Last edited:
5,757
6,882
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
29
39
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
West
Fabman and KazarS197 thanks for the info. Trust that I will put it to good use. Vehicle profile is coming.
 
29
39
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
West
What is the consensus on SP Performance MD1792 pads versus the OE pads? My car will be a DD with occasional HDPE use at least here in the beginning. I am not concerned about brake dust, I am just looking for a better choice of pad for Street/track use.
 
214
257
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
Raleigh, NC
What is the consensus on SP Performance MD1792 pads versus the OE pads? My car will be a DD with occasional HDPE use at least here in the beginning. I am not concerned about brake dust, I am just looking for a better choice of pad for Street/track use.
I’m one of the “noobier” (ha!) ones in this group, but in my pseudo-noob opinion, the PP OEM pads aren’t too bad for the first few events when you are working your way through novice (as long as as you have good fluid like SRF or RB660). My instructors were always impressed with how well the brakes performed. At some point you will want to upgrade though.

When you are ready to make a move, I’d call KNS Brakes (site sponsor). They know their stuff and are pleasant to work with.

Balancing the car as a daily is a compromise when using track pads. They will be noisy. I occasionally drive mine around town and just put up with it because I’m: 1) cheap, and 2) lazy. My son’s car is a DD so I will be swapping the track pads out for OEM between events (the kids will only do one or two events a year in it). He has an EcoBoost non-PP which is why I’m swapping the pads…he doesn’t have the Brembos in front and needs the extra help (but I did upgrade the rears from the stock junk to the GT/PP rears.)

As I started trying out better pads I tried Hawk HP+. Don’t go there. They brake ok, but chew up rotors like crazy. I have almost as much disdain for the Hawk HP+ as I do for Pirelli P-Zero tires 🤣😂🤣

I wish I had experience to share on those SP’s. But as far as I can recall, I’ve not seen them mentioned in any brake discussions on this site or any others. Folks are usually talking about EBC, Raysbestos, G-Loc, Hawk DTC-60, Carbotech, and Pagid. I run G-Loc R-12 (f) R-10 (r). They are noisy as can be but much kinder on the rotors. No complaints at all from me on the wear.
 

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