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Track experience with S550 6 Piston?

qtipconnoisseur

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Hello fellow Mustang enthusiasts! I've got an upgrade dilemma. Since last trackday season, I've been contemplating a brake upgrade for my 13 Boss. I've been running the stock Brembo 4 piston brakes with 3" ducts, Castrol SRF, 1mm Ti shims, and the popular Pagid RS29/56 combo. While brake performance has been good with these changes, I've found that I'm running through pads and rotors very quickly. On top of that, my piston dust boots have long since disintegrated. Last I checked, front pads would go about 5h before being toast, with 1 pc centric blanks lasting not much longer. It's even worse on hot days. This is all from (mostly) Thunderhill and Sonoma.

The last straw for me was missing a session because I couldn't get my pads changed in time (kinda my fault: forgot some tools; spent ages trying to get the second 1mm shim in).

When I read the initial impressions for the popular S550 6 piston swap in steveespo's thread, I immediately had my sights set on that. The huge increase in pad size, the increase in thermal capacity of those bigger rotor, and the relatively low price of the upgrade made it a no-brainer.

Problem is I'm running into these issues with the stock tire size on BFG Rivals and RE-71s, and I plan on suspension upgrades with the Cortex JRIs and going 305 square on Apex's 18x11. I'm looking to run NT-01s or R888Rs and currently have no plans for slicks. This got me thinking that the 6 piston upgrade might just be a stopgap measure, and a waste of money if I later have to upgrade to something like the AP/Essex CP9668 kit, or similar.

After reading a bit about the AP Racing kit, and learning that several members here are getting 15 hours (!) on the (endurance version) pads and 30+ hours (!) on the rotors, I am seriously considering them over the s550 6 pistons. Of course, the big price tag is holding me back...

So, question for you guys running the S550 6 pistons, what has your experience been with them? How many hours do your pads and rotors last? Are you happy with the upgrade or would you recommend going straight for a competition-style BBK?

Sorry if this has been answered before, my google-fu was not strong enough to lead me to a definitive answer similar to my situation. Also, I would especially appreciate input from those who are running 305 square or similar.

Thanks for your input, guys, and happy driving!
 

80KM2E

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I'm in the same dilemma as you and I'm going to hold out till I can dump money into the AP Essex kit. Its the better long term solution with no compromise. For now / time being I'm stocking up 4 sets of pads this season to hopefully last me 8 HPDE events.
 

JDee

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A lot depends on how and where you drive. My experience with the stock 6 piston pads and rotors is outstanding. I've done 8 track days on them and the pads are just under half worn. The rotors are fine. Two of these days were at Mosport which is not a hard track on brakes, the rest at Shannonville which is fairly hard on brakes. I have 3" ducts.

I am not hard on brakes, come from an endurance racing background and I know how to make them last. I also usually only do 1 or 2 banzai laps per session when I think I have clear track. Repeatedly going for that last few tenths will really kill brakes. In hot weather I'm limited by the rear diff to only 5-6 laps per session anyway.

The only issue I have is the cost of the OEM front pads, they're over $400 a set up here. I am installing Stoptech TrackDay pads on new rotors in the next few days to see how they do, they are much more economical at least in initial cost, how they turn out in terms of longevity remains to be seen.

Personally, I see no need to upgrade in future for what I do, it's not racing it's just having fun trying to do decent laps, but if you're trying to squeeze every 10th every lap then you likely need more brakes. As always, YMMV.
 

qtipconnoisseur

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I'm in the same dilemma as you and I'm going to hold out till I can dump money into the AP Essex kit. Its the better long term solution with no compromise. For now / time being I'm stocking up 4 sets of pads this season to hopefully last me 8 HPDE events.
Thanks for the input! This makes me wonder if, according to JDee's post it might be worth it to just run the 6 pistons for a season. ~$500 * 4 ~= $2000 vs $1500 (for calipers, rotors, lines, pads) + ~$500 (for extra 6p pads).

A lot depends on how and where you drive. My experience with the stock 6 piston pads and rotors is outstanding. I've done 8 track days on them and the pads are just under half worn. The rotors are fine. Two of these days were at Mosport which is not a hard track on brakes, the rest at Shannonville which is fairly hard on brakes. I have 3" ducts.

I am not hard on brakes, come from an endurance racing background and I know how to make them last. I also usually only do 1 or 2 banzai laps per session when I think I have clear track. Repeatedly going for that last few tenths will really kill brakes. In hot weather I'm limited by the rear diff to only 5-6 laps per session anyway.

The only issue I have is the cost of the OEM front pads, they're over $400 a set up here. I am installing Stoptech TrackDay pads on new rotors in the next few days to see how they do, they are much more economical at least in initial cost, how they turn out in terms of longevity remains to be seen.

Personally, I see no need to upgrade in future for what I do, it's not racing it's just having fun trying to do decent laps, but if you're trying to squeeze every 10th every lap then you likely need more brakes. As always, YMMV.
Thanks for chiming in, JDee. I'm only really in it for the fun as well. Although I can't lie, I do like to "banzai" until the the session is over. 8 trackdays for half wear is really good. It sounds like it might be on par with some of those running the AP setup! It definitely good to know that the 6 piston option works well for you.

Are you running the actual OEM pads, or just OEM sized aftermarkets? It'd be even more amazing to me if you're getting 8 trackdays out of the actual OEM pads! In any case, I hope those Stoptechs work out for ya.

I'm curious to hear from others to see how much more pad life your braking technique gives you over those who just go balls to the wall all session.

Anyone else out there with the 6 piston or AP kit willing to give their 2c? Would be greatly appreciated!
 

JDee

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Thanks for the input! This makes me wonder if, according to JDee's post it might be worth it to just run the 6 pistons for a season. ~$500 * 4 ~= $2000 vs $1500 (for calipers, rotors, lines, pads) + ~$500 (for extra 6p pads).


Thanks for chiming in, JDee. I'm only really in it for the fun as well. Although I can't lie, I do like to "banzai" until the the session is over. 8 trackdays for half wear is really good. It sounds like it might be on par with some of those running the AP setup! It definitely good to know that the 6 piston option works well for you.

Are you running the actual OEM pads, or just OEM sized aftermarkets? It'd be even more amazing to me if you're getting 8 trackdays out of the actual OEM pads! In any case, I hope those Stoptechs work out for ya.

I'm curious to hear from others to see how much more pad life your braking technique gives you over those who just go balls to the wall all session.

Anyone else out there with the 6 piston or AP kit willing to give their 2c? Would be greatly appreciated!
Yes, I'm running the actual OEM pads and rotors that came on the car when I bought it in August of 2016. The car has 11,000 kms on it. I find these pads very good, they are supposed to be Ferodo DS2500 I believe. Actually, given how well they last for me they are pretty cost effective, but a person always wonders if there isn't something better out there so I'm trying these other pads.

I believe the results I get with brake part wear are simply due to the way I approach track days. I always admired real pro drivers I raced with back in the day like Ron Fellows who could go out and do 1 warmup lap and then crack off a pole lap and park the car. So I am trying to get out of the habit of doing a bunch of laps working up to speed and instead be able to reel off a fast lap after only 1 or 2 warm up laps. Plus it was endurance racing so if you were hard on brakes you were finishing last.

The challenge is always traffic. I was running intermediate last year due to several decades of rust, but got forcibly kicked up into advanced in September and even there I find traffic to be a problem.

I only do 5 or 6 laps per session partly due to wanting to keep axle temps down and partly to comply with Ford's comments on track day usage in the manual wherein they mention 15 minute sessions. Not that I realistically expect warranty should I lunch an expensive driveline part, but it's a nice thought.

I also never run the last session or two in a track day, that is the time of day you're most tired and most likely to make seriously expensive mistakes so I just avoid that risk. I'm 67 years old so no point in challenging reality, late afternoons are not the sharpest time of day for me. Plus my cats expect me to be home to deliver their evening meal on time......:p

My best lap at Mosport is in the high 1:36's and my best at Shannonville is a high 1:59, that's within a couple of seconds of what the Time Attack guys are running with cars that are more developed than mine. That's also on a 220 TW tire so I know I'm losing a second or two there.

I also like to get some socializing done at a track day and this kind of approach helps with that goal as well, it's a rare day when some interesting to talk to people aren't around. At any rate, this works for me, not likely going to work for a lot of people but it keeps me happy.
 

Coz

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The PowerStop TrackDay pads are great for me on my 4-pot S197 but they are really dusty. And some noise on the street.

I swap them with the PowerStop Z26 pads for the street. They are quiet and clean and also stop great during spirited driving.

Their pad material is compatible with the TrackDay pads so I can use the same rotors - StopTech slotted.
 

JDee

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The PowerStop TrackDay pads are great for me on my 4-pot S197 but they are really dusty. And some noise on the street.

I swap them with the PowerStop Z26 pads for the street. They are quiet and clean and also stop great during spirited driving.

Their pad material is compatible with the TrackDay pads so I can use the same rotors - StopTech slotted.
Well, the OEM 6 piston pads are awful for dust as well and I hear horror stories of what the dust does to wheels if you don't clean it off ASAP so I'm hopeful the PowerStop ones are not any worse. I've never had any amount of noise from the OEM pads though some people have reported noise.
 

JAJ

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I ran the Brembo Racing kit on my 2014 GT500 and it was excellent. It's the same kit that @Fabman is running on his race car.

https://www.racetechnologies.com/products/brakekits/rc-3k-8005a-0

If you can find a set on sale (I did) they'll set you back about $3500 or so.

The only downside is that it's a real racing brake setup, so street pads are a challenge to find and there are no anti-rattle clips. It's a bit noisy, let's just say.
 

Coz

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Well, the OEM 6 piston pads are awful for dust as well and I hear horror stories of what the dust does to wheels if you don't clean it off ASAP so I'm hopeful the PowerStop ones are not any worse.
On my painted aluminum wheels the dust washes off pretty easily. The one BIG exception was a day it was raining at the track. When I got home, the dust, water, and heat combo had fused to create a concrete that was an absolute B***H to get off. Hours of scrubbing with a scotchbrite pad... I've heard this is not limited to PowerStop pad dust. While I haven't been back on the track while its raining, I've taken the precaution to coat them. I've used Armor All Outlast™ Brake Dust Repellent with good results. I'm now trying RejeX paint sealer to see if it lasts longer.
 

Fabman

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I ran the Brembo Racing kit on my 2014 GT500 and it was excellent. It's the same kit that @Fabman is running on his race car.

https://www.racetechnologies.com/products/brakekits/rc-3k-8005a-0

If you can find a set on sale (I did) they'll set you back about $3500 or so.

The only downside is that it's a real racing brake setup, so street pads are a challenge to find and there are no anti-rattle clips. It's a bit noisy, let's just say.
FWIW:
I have a barely used set of Carbotech street pads for that brake setup that I'll never ever use, if anybody has a need for them.

I am loving these brakes.
 

captdistraction

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I run the s550 PP 6pot caliper on my s197 racecar with girodiscs and gloc-r18 pads

The positives: inexpensive, easy to service and good parts availability. Data suggests I can stop the car as well as a grand am kit can. I find the cars best weapon in competition is it’s great manners under braking.

The negatives: will go through pads more quickly than a race kit, pedal feel is softer but better modulation (a preference thing). Will need to rotate pads occasionally to prevent taper and sometimes I still get a bit of knockback

@OPMustang Tim is the guy to talk to.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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JAJ

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On my painted aluminum wheels the dust washes off pretty easily. The one BIG exception was a day it was raining at the track. When I got home, the dust, water, and heat combo had fused to create a concrete that was an absolute B***H to get off. Hours of scrubbing with a scotchbrite pad... I've heard this is not limited to PowerStop pad dust. While I haven't been back on the track while its raining, I've taken the precaution to coat them. I've used Armor All Outlast™ Brake Dust Repellent with good results. I'm now trying RejeX paint sealer to see if it lasts longer.
Back when I ran PFC-01's on my BMW, I used to smear a thin layer of Vaseline on the wheel finish. It would get totally black with dust, but it could leave it on all season and when fall came and I wanted to clean the wheels, the dust wiped right off as little black crumbs and left the wheels perfect with no damage.

Since then, one of the key factors in my choices of brake pads is the cementite factor - do they generate the hard deposits or not? Pagid RS pads don't. I've used them for years and you can leave the dust on through rain and shine. They clean up with a quick wash when you finally get around to it.
 

qtipconnoisseur

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I ran the Brembo Racing kit on my 2014 GT500 and it was excellent. It's the same kit that @Fabman is running on his race car.

https://www.racetechnologies.com/products/brakekits/rc-3k-8005a-0

If you can find a set on sale (I did) they'll set you back about $3500 or so.

The only downside is that it's a real racing brake setup, so street pads are a challenge to find and there are no anti-rattle clips. It's a bit noisy, let's just say.
Thanks for bringing up this option. About how many hours do you get out of your pads and rotors? (I know this will vary from case to case, but hopefully it gives a good ballpark) Definitely good to know about the brake squeal. I'm not too worried though, as the Pagids I'm running do that as well.

On my painted aluminum wheels the dust washes off pretty easily. The one BIG exception was a day it was raining at the track. When I got home, the dust, water, and heat combo had fused to create a concrete that was an absolute B***H to get off. Hours of scrubbing with a scotchbrite pad... I've heard this is not limited to PowerStop pad dust. While I haven't been back on the track while its raining, I've taken the precaution to coat them. I've used Armor All Outlast™ Brake Dust Repellent with good results. I'm now trying RejeX paint sealer to see if it lasts longer.
Ooh I've never heard of this issue! I guess I got lucky since I've only run Pagids. Its funny learning about trackday oriented products like this. Reminds me of Mothers R3 for getting tire booger marks off.

FWIW:
I have a barely used set of Carbotech street pads for that brake setup that I'll never ever use, if anybody has a need for them.

I am loving these brakes.
Ooh another race brake owner! Do ya mind telling us how many track/race hours your pads and rotors are lasting?

I run the s550 PP 6pot caliper on my s197 racecar with girodiscs and gloc-r18 pads

The positives: inexpensive, easy to service and good parts availability. Data suggests I can stop the car as well as a grand am kit can. I find the cars best weapon in competition is it’s great manners under braking.

The negatives: will go through pads more quickly than a race kit, pedal feel is softer but better modulation (a preference thing). Will need to rotate pads occasionally to prevent taper and sometimes I still get a bit of knockback

@OPMustang Tim is the guy to talk to.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I had assumed the floating design of those girodisc rotors were a cure-all for coning and knockback. Do you have any issues with the dust boots disintegrating? Also, can I bug you for your pad/rotor life expectancy?

Would love to hear from @OPMustang Tim as well. :D
 

Fabman

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[QUOTE="qtipconnoisseur, post: 216916, member:


Ooh another race brake owner! Do ya mind telling us how many track/race hours your pads and rotors are lasting?


[/QUOTE]
So far it’s been about 5 track days, but the racing season starts in a few weeks, then I’ll know more about longevity. The pads on these brakes are extremely thick so pad life is expected to be very good. I can tell you that the other brand of big brakes I was using would wipe out a set of pads and rotors in 2 days so these are phenomenal by comparison.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

2012-Boss

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I have the Brembo Pro Grand Am brake kit. I go through a 25mm pad in 4 -5 track days. I run Pagid RST-1s. If I switched to something like an RSL-1, I would probably get better pad life, but lower initial bit a level of friction.

The people I know running the S550 brakes tend to get about the same pad life. The S550 pad has a much larger area than the Grand Am pad but isn't as thick.

I believe @captdistraction is running the Kohr brake booster and master. Comparing a couple of different S197s with the Kohr booster and the factory booster and master, my observations is that the Kohr has a longer, softer, and more progressive pedal vs. the factory S197 booster and master. If you make the swap, I would try the factory booster setup first and then decide if you want a more progressive pedal.

Replacement rotor costs should also be part of your assessment. With the S550 calipers, you can run factory rotors which are about $120 each. In comparison, a set of rotors and mounting hardware for the Grand Am kit (380mm x 35mm) will run you about $1,200. I go through one to two sets of rotors each year.
 

blacksheep-1

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Brembos are the deal, I think I turned Fabman on to them...Phoenix runs Brembos, Hawks and AP super 600 fluid..pretty basic, and you don't cry every time you bleed the brakes.
If I'm not mistaken, they run those on every car that they can legally run them on...and Penskes..and the rest is pretty much out of the Ford Racing catalog...nothing trick there.
 

Fabman

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To elaborate further, My Brembo set up came from @JAJ.
He ran them on his GT-500 on the street and some track days, then passed them to me and I have about 5 track days on them and I'm ready to start the SCCA season on:

(drum roll please)
The same pads.

Yes, I am still on the stock pads that came in the kit and they still have about 70% left. I believe it's a ST42 compound. The brakes are deep annulus, so they are not only long pads but very wide and thick. 20mm thick. Very happy with these brakes.
 

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