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Slavs

Ceramic vs. Organic

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I’ve noticed that the car stops much better with some cheap organic brake pads vs. ceramic. It’s night and day. And yet the ceramic pads are 2x to 3x more expensive.

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Your foot is not so heavy on the pedal when your wallet is lighter

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(edited)

It's all about heat. In general terms, organics work from cold, but have less tolerance for heat; ceramics need some heat to work their best, and can tolerate heat better than organics. Ceramics last longer and will also dust less, which is are no small part of the reason they became popular, I suspect. For street driving organics are usually best, at least if stopping is your first priority for evaluating suitability. On a track or for other extended high-speed use, ceramics will generally be preferable.

Edited by Andrej
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Slavs;

 

Well, yes, it is about heat, but more about the Mu curves, which are the plot of the friction coefficient vs. temperature.

 

I guarantee you will never see a comparison in popular street pads.

 

The temperature at which the pad or shoe initially "gets its bite" and to the point where it has maximum friction determines what you perceive as stopping much better. Some pads and shoes obtain that @100 Deg. F, others at say 250-350 Deg. F. The higher the temperature, the more latency there will be until the pads and shoes heat up.

 

 

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In other words, I may benefit from ceramics if I'm driving down a mountain highway and I'm constantly on the brakes.

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Not necessarily. It depends on the friction coefficient at any one temperature, not whether it is "organic" or Ceramic.

 

Long mountain roads generally will heat up the brakes after repeated use; and depending on whether you have solid or vented rotors in the front or ducting or large spoked rims that serve to reject the heat generated by the clamping force of the pads against the rotors.

 

See the graphs: I use Hawk HP+ (green) pads on some cars because it gets a Mu of 0.5 at 100 Deg. F. and increases up until 800 Deg. F. In my M3, I get a deceleration rate of up to 1.4 G, but that is with decent sticky tires.

 

With this setup, if I need to panic stop, I need to make sure no one is following close behind. On mountain roads, which I frequent in the Summer, I have never had fade with repeated braking from elevated speeds.

 

Here is where I advocate spending the money for good quality brakes and tires, if only as a safety measure.

 

Don't be cheap here.

 

612330206_HawkBrakeMucurves.jpg.52a5fa769b6a986e591e26bf96ed745b.jpg

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These cars can really benefit from the vented rotors. I had the 320i vented rotors on a car I sold. And, they worked great. That's probably the best so called "Upgrade", certainly more important than the 5 speed upgrade. The fade gets pretty scary on the downhill through the mountain roads. I've tried using different pads including ceramics.

 

Slavs

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4 hours ago, Slavs said:

These cars can really benefit from the vented rotors. I had the 320i vented rotors on a car I sold. And, they worked great. That's probably the best so called "Upgrade", certainly more important than the 5 speed upgrade. The fade gets pretty scary on the downhill through the mountain roads. I've tried using different pads including ceramics.

 

Yeah, the stock front brakes are pretty inadequate for any sort of demanding driving. Relative to the drum-braked behemoths surrounding them in the early 70s I'm sure they were considered more than acceptable, but today's traffic is playing by different rules.

 

If you're having trouble with heat building up and don't intend to go the full upgrade route to larger vented rotors, ducting may be a quick and dirty option. But as Einspritz noted, there are certainly specific pads that will likely offer improved performance (albeit at a price).

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If you have a stock non-Tii 2002, this is about the best you can get.......I'll leave it up to you to choose your need:

 

https://www.porterfield-brakes.com/Products/?YearSelected=1974&ModelSelected=2002&MakeSelected=BMW&selectManufacturer=All%20Manufacturers

 

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The vented rotor "Upgrade" is straightforward and pretty easy. I think I'll go that route. Thanks for all the other info.

 

Slavs

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