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Old 02-04-2010, 10:09 PM   #1
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Whats better, ceramic or semi metallic brake pads??

I need to replace front and rear brakes on my Explorer. Whats better, semi-metallic or ceramic? I dont need high performance braking power, nor am I really worried about brake dust. Whatever will last the longest and all around be my best bang for my buck is what I'm after. Thanks

Aaron
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:14 PM   #2
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Life time free replacements from autozone will basically last forever.
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:19 PM   #3
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Get the cheapest set you can get from Autozone.

I'm going with ceramics next time because I hate cleaning up brake dust.
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:21 PM   #4
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I'm going with ceramics next time because I hate cleaning up brake dust.
I went with Hawk Performance Black race pads because I don't care about dust but like have a slight twitch in the brake pedal resulting in my face wanting to peal away from my skull.
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:22 PM   #5
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How is the stopping power of a ceramic pad compared to semi metallic?
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:23 PM   #6
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How is the stopping power of a ceramic pad compared to semi metallic?
In your average auto parts store carried stuff, not enough to notice.
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:26 PM   #7
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Sounds good...I'll likely go with ceramic then. Does one eat up a rotor faster than another?

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Old 02-04-2010, 10:44 PM   #8
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How is the stopping power of a ceramic pad compared to semi metallic?
Are you referring to regular stopping power, or stopping power pro?
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:57 PM   #9
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Are you referring to regular stopping power, or stopping power pro?
???

Was just curious if one pad would require more brake pressure to stop in the same distance, etc...I've never used ceramic pads before.

Aaron
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:12 PM   #10
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you asked......

Semi metallic's are considered to be a better pad. They stop better first of all, and not that it matters to much to you, but introduce any heat into ceramics at all, and they fade, very badly. You basically get one good stop out of them, after that you can run into serious fade issues. But its not like your going to road race this thing anyway, lol. I've heard several stores of people who go out with ceramics on a road course and about halfway through the first lap run way of he course, or crash, or fear for their life, because their brakes pretty much are non existent. All a ceramic pad is, is basically a very high compound organic based pad. They are usually the best at minimizing brake dust and noise, but they chew up rotors faster. For a daily driver, there is nothing wrong with a ceramic pad, lot's of people prefer them due to the noise/dust issue, however if you get a premium quality brake bad, they wont dust much at all or make any noise no matter if they are semi metallic, or ceramic.

Do not just go buy the cheapest thing please, especially if it is for the front. A couple months in, you'll be pissed as they don't stop worth a ****, throw dust like crazy, and make noise all the time. At least get the midgrade lifetime warranty stuff. Premium pads, such as a Wagner Thermoquiet have a lot of design advantages other brake pads don't have. On the back of the pad, almost all applications except certain GM ones have something called IMI shim technology. That stands for Integrally molded insulators. Basically what this is, is instead of having a seperate thin flimsy shim that can come off or loose and cause noise problems, its all cast as one piece into the back of the brake pad. It is three layers thick, great for reducing noise, and can help reduce heat as well. They are also laser cut on the front using "Edge" technology, which means instead of hitting the rotor all at once, its angled a couple diffren ways to gradually mate it to he rotor, which can really reduce vibration and noise. This also pretty much eliminates a pad's tendancy to sometimes get cocked at an angle as soon as the whole thing grabs the rotor.
Note- If you do get the wagners, and they have the IMI shims on the back, do NOT put any brake quiet crap on the back where the piston contacts the pad, this can actually cause more harm than good with Wagners. Always lube the slides, etc however. I actually put a set of Wagner TQ's on my old man's car a couple days ago.

Bendix is another brand which isn't as "fancy" as a Wagner TQ, but seems to ge the job done just as well, at least I never have really known anyone to have any problems with them. I've used midgrade pads quite a few times before and even though they aren't as fancy, they still get he job done without any problems, as in they dont make any noise really, and they stop good enough for whoever i put them on for.

One last thing, that I'm sure might start some arguments here, but when you put new brakes on, the proper thing to do to the rotors is wash them with soap and water, not just use brake cleaner on them.

In a nutshell, put the best/better ones on front, and you can put the midgrades or even cheaper ones on back if you need to save some money, the majority of your braking is done with the front, and thats where you will most notice the quality of brake pad you have.

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Old 02-04-2010, 11:18 PM   #11
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Semi metallic's are considered to be a better pad. They stop better first of all, and not that it matters to much to you, but introduce any heat into ceramics at all, and they fade, very badly. You basically get one good stop out of them, after that you can run into serious fade issues. But its not like your going to road race this thing anyway, lol. I've heard several stores of people who go out with ceramics on a road course and about halfway through the first lap run way of he course, or crash, or fear for their life, because their brakes pretty much are non existent. All a ceramic pad is, is basically a very high compound organic based pad. They are usually the best at minimizing brake dust and noise, but they chew up rotors faster. For a daily driver, there is nothing wrong with a ceramic pad, lot's of people prefer them due to the noise/dust issue, however if you get a premium quality brake bad, they wont dust much at all or make any noise no matter if they are semi metallic, or ceramic.

Do not just go buy the cheapest thing please, especially if it is for the front. A couple months in, you'll be pissed as they don't stop worth a ****, throw dust like crazy, and make noise all the time. At least get the midgrade lifetime warranty stuff. Premium pads, such as a Wagner Thermoquiet have a lot of design advantages other brake pads don't have. On the back of the pad, almost all applications except certain GM ones have something called IMI shim technology. That stands for Integrally molded insulators. Basically what this is, is instead of having a seperate thin flimsy shim that can come off or loose and cause noise problems, its all cast as one piece into the back of the brake pad. It is three layers thick, great for reducing noise, and can help reduce heat as well. They are also laser cut on the front using "Edge" technology, which means instead of hitting the rotor all at once, its angled a couple diffren ways to gradually mate it to he rotor, which can really reduce vibration and noise. This also pretty much eliminates a pad's tendancy to sometimes get cocked at an angle as soon as the whole thing grabs the rotor.
Note- If you do get the wagners, and they have the IMI shims on the back, do NOT put any brake quiet crap on the back where the piston contacts the pad, this can actually cause more harm than good with Wagners. Always lube the slides, etc however. I actually put a set of Wagner TQ's on my old man's car a couple days ago.

Bendix is another brand which isn't as "fancy" as a Wagner TQ, but seems to ge the job done just as well, at least I never have really known anyone to have any problems with them. I've used midgrade pads quite a few times before and even though they aren't as fancy, they still get he job done without any problems, as in they dont make any noise really, and they stop good enough for whoever i put them on for.

One last thing, that I'm sure might start some arguments here, but when you put new brakes on, the proper thing to do to the rotors is wash them with soap and water, not just use brake cleaner on them.

In a nutshell, put the best/better ones on front, and you can put the midgrades or even cheaper ones on back if you need to save some money, the majority of your braking is done with the front, and thats where you will most notice the quality of brake pad you have.


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Old 02-04-2010, 11:20 PM   #12
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Thanks for the info all...I just placed an order on Rockauto.com. They had a closeout special on some rotors, which I needed badly up front. They also had some good prices on pads...quite a bit cheaper than autozone, advance auto, etc. After shipping they are almost the same price... Anyhow, I just decided on a mid grade semi metallic Raybestos pad, front and rear. Along with them I ordered two new front rotors that were a wholesaler closeout item, after tax and shipping the total order came to $113.

Aaron
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:21 PM   #13
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Like I said, that won't matter to him at all. Just something to keep in mind if you are in the modding scene.

And by heat, i obviously meant continued abuse, not normal braking conditions.

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Old 02-04-2010, 11:24 PM   #14
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Should work pretty well for ya.

Another bit of info for you guys, most Auto parts stores, will price match online retailers like rockauto.com, now they will factor in shipping, but if you bring them a quote showing them the same part numbers, and how much shiping would be, they will usually price match it, if they don't get a manager. For Advance Auto Parts, its actually writen in their Price Matching SOP that they do. Just something that saves the time of waiting, or hassle of receiving a damaged part, and worst, dealing with warranty issues. Had a buddy who decided he wanted to save 10 bucks, and ordered a hub from rockauto i think it was, a few months later, it goes bad, and he was supposed to ship it back to them on his dime, probably would have cost 50 bucks to ship it at least! Buy something at a parts store, keep your receipts, and its very simple.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:27 PM   #15
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And since I can't shut up, if you haven't already, prepare to change your Upper control arms and lower ball joints. on that Exploder. Pretty much every Ford needs them, I have the damn part numbers engraved in my head
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