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Define brake pedal modulation and what makes one car better than another

I am a noob to the ways of handling and stopping. A term I keep hearing is "Brake Pedal Modulation." Should a car have a soft pedal, medium pedal, or a hard pedal??

To me, compared to my last two cars, an Infiniti G35 with factory Brembo brakes and a Pontiac G8, my Boss has a soft pedal.

If I prefer a harder pedal, how do I go about doing that? On my Infiniti I put braided hoses on it and really didn't feel that much of a difference for the cost or labor involved.

Discuss....
 

ArizonaBOSS

Because racecar.
Moderator
8,551
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Arizona, USA
Brake modulation has more to do with the pad compound choice than the stiffness of the pedal, it is how well the brake system reacts to varying pedal pressures. However I don't know anybody that wants a soft pedal. Some pads are very "grabby" so it's tough to ease into them or just apply a dab when needed. A lot of it has to do with driver feel and preference as well.
 
Braided SS lines will firm your pedal right up. It's very soft from the factory despite the "low expansion" brake lines on the Boss from the factory. I use the Goodridge lines, but PeteInCt can hook you up.
 

Sesshomurai

In terms of braking performance and modulation it depends on the use. For racing applications, you want a progressive bite (not too much initial though) and firm pedal. Part of that equation depends on pads, pad thickness and compound.

All of it folds into brake performance and stopping distance/speed relative to velocity, etc. There are a lot of variables to consider depending on your use and different (or better) parts to address them.

Pedal firmness is but one (never a soft one though, as ArizonaGT mentioned).

Just my $0.02
 

PeteInCT

#LS-378 - So many Porsche's, so little time....
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2,848
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Connecticut
You guys have it all right. Bottom line is many pads can stop a car but don't necessarily don't have excellent modulation characteristics. Anyone who does a lot of trail braking knows how fine level control of the brakes is a benefit. Lastly, the 'low expansion" brake lines that come with the Boss do not perform as well as a good set of SS lines. I was very surprised to learn this when I first tracked my Boss.
 
Thanks for the replies, this is such a nice flame free area for us noobs.

Knowing that my track days will be limited to maybe two per year, and will be open track days with an instructor, what would be a good pad to use? I'm leaning toward the EBC Yellow Stuff. Is there better or am I a victim of advertising???
 

PeteInCT

#LS-378 - So many Porsche's, so little time....
Moderator
2,848
14
Connecticut
2012Boss302 said:
Thanks for the replies, this is such a nice flame free area for us noobs.

Knowing that my track days will be limited to maybe two per year, and will be open track days with an instructor, what would be a good pad to use? I'm leaning toward the EBC Yellow Stuff. Is there better or am I a victim of advertising???

I think it best to do your own research and speak to people who have experience with different pads. Since I sell Pagid pads it's not fair for me to bias you since I have a concerted interest. You can see a lot of detail of the Pagid line here -> www.trackdaysolutions.com and Ken at KNS brakes can offer you other brands that are also popular and can perform well. I will say this honestly, I personally don't know many drivers that use EBC, but that doesn't mean they are not a good choice for your needs. The decision can be complex based on price point, track performance, street performance (since your car is a DD), and wear factors of the pad and rotors. As I always say, brake pads choices are a lot like politics and religion ;D
 

pufferfish

Supporting Vendor
1,094
66
Maryland
i will be happy to go out on a limb and throw EBC under the bus. they are NOT a good track pad. they are a fine street pad choice, but they have no compound (i've tried them all) that is suitable for track use. poor wear. poor heat resistance. worst dusting ever. no bite at high temps.

choose ANY pad other than EBC for the track. for street driving, they offer a very good initial bite, but still do dust like crazy.

as for pedal feel, all new vehicles lose firmness over time. my wife's sorrento felt phenomimal when we picked it up. it settled into a bit softer pedal (meaning it takes more pedal movement to get the brakes to start to bite). i had a G35 before too and its brakes did feel better off the showroom floor than the mustang did. i suspect the master cylinder and calipers are mismatched slightly. it is what it is.
 
2012Boss302 said:
Thanks for the replies, this is such a nice flame free area for us noobs.

Knowing that my track days will be limited to maybe two per year, and will be open track days with an instructor, what would be a good pad to use? I'm leaning toward the EBC Yellow Stuff. Is there better or am I a victim of advertising???

Even though you wont be tracking a lot, I would still get track day only pads that are real racing pads. You'll have more fun at the track that way and everything will last longer. I once took my week old Hawk HPS pads to the track and they were completely gone at the end of the weekend. Plus they had fade at the track. Now I have street pads and rotors and track pads and rotors.
 

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