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Amelie 01-15-2012 06:01 PM

Favorite Brake Pad Material & Brake Line Type
 
What option/s do you find makes the difference?

I was reading a neat write-up about the comparisons from "How Stuff Works"

Braided Brake Lines:

Braided steel lines are a type of brake part that attempts to remedy some of the problems associated with solid steel brake lines. In a braided steel brake line, a soft brake line is encased in a mesh made of braided strips of steel. You can think of it as a long, thin steel basket. This type of line is sometimes used in household plumbing applications, too. In fact, if you take a look under your kitchen sink, you just may see some braided metal lines.

Because the braided steel mesh has more give than hard steel tubing, the connections for braided brake lines aren't as stressed. At the same time, the braided steel protects the line encased within and prevents swelling. Another plus is that braided steel lines are very attractive. For a lot of hot rodders and classic car buffs who "dress" their car's engine compartment by adding components that look good and well as improve performance, braided steel lines are a must to go with the chrome air filters, valve covers and exhaust headers already in the engine bay.

Because the soft tubing is encased in braided steel, you can't visually inspect the lines for leaks or corrosion. While this is fine for racecars or even off-road vehicles that have these brake parts replaced often, it can be a problem for most street cars. You might not know you have a problem until it's too late. Regular brake system maintenance is critical when you're using braided brake lines.

Steel Brake Lines:

Brake lines can be made from a variety of different materials, but one of the most popular materials among off-roaders and performance drivers is steel. There are a couple of advantages to steel:

First, for serious off-road drivers, puncturing a brake line is always a concern. With soft brake lines, a rock or twig could easily make a small puncture in a brake line that could end up being catastrophic. A second advantage is that steel brake lines don't swell the way a flexible line might. With repeated use, a flexible brake line can stretch from the pressure of the fluid running through it. This is called brake line swelling. It may not seem like a big deal, but once the line is stretched, the line pressure lessens, which weakens braking performance. Over time, this decrease in braking performance will only become more if a problem. In a panic situation, you definitely don't want swollen lines. Steel brake lines can't swell and your brakes' performance will remain strong.

Steel brake lines may be strong, but they aren't perfect. They're subject to corrosion and breakage just like other brake parts on your vehicle. Steel lines are also less flexible than other types of brake lines, so their connections to each brake part in the system should be checked more often.


Organic Brake Pads:

Brake pads were formerly manufactured using mainly asbestos as the friction material. That's because brake pads are exposed to a lot of friction, which generates a lot of heat. Asbestos is a good material for absorbing and dissipating heat. So what was the problem? When asbestos breaks down, it's creates dust that's dangerous to breathe -- and brake pads can create a lot of brake dust when they're slowing and stopping vehicles on the roads. Now, some brake pads and other brake parts are made from safer organic materials.

Organic brake pads, sometimes called nonasbestos organic brake pads, are made from natural materials liked glass and rubber, as well as resins that can withstand high heat. In fact, the high heat helps to bind the brake pad materials together. Kevlar is also an important component in many organic brake pads. An advantage of organic brake pads, including Kevlar brake pads, is that they're made of materials that don't pollute as they wear and they're easier to dispose of, too. They're also softer than brake pads made of other materials, which means they're often quieter. The downside of organic brake pads is that, because they're softer, they typically wear faster. As they wear, they also create more dust than other types of brake pads.

Because of these considerations, organic brake pads aren't a good choice for heavy vehicles like trucks or for high performance cars that may need to stop quickly from top speed. Organic and Kevlar brake pads are best suited for small cars that don't typically do a lot of aggressive driving. The light weight of the car, as well as limited hard stops, keeps organic brake pads in good shape -- and that keeps the ride safe, too.

Metallic Brake Pads:

Most vehicles on the road today have metallic brake pads. In case you're wondering, these brake pads aren't just slabs of metal. They're typically made of iron, copper, steel and graphite all mixed and together and bonded to form the pad material.

The reason that these pads are so common is simple -- metallic brake pads are cost-effective and durable. They provide good performance and are good at transferring the heat generated by friction with the brake rotors. The downside of metallic brake pads is that they're heavy, which can have a (small) negative impact on the car's fuel economy. Also, because of the extra weight, metallic brake pads aren't the best choice for high-performance driving. Being made of metal makes the pads very hard. That's what makes them durable. But because there isn't as much "give" in metallic brake pads, they can cause more wear on the brake rotors than other types of brake pads. The metallic brake pads themselves hold up well, but they often negatively impact the durability of other brake parts. Finally, metallic brake pads work best when they're warm. When a vehicle with metallic brake pads first gets going on a very cold day, stops may take slightly longer than usual until the brake pads heat up.

For most drivers, the positives of metallic brake pads outweigh the negatives, especially since metallic brake pads are good for stopping heavy vehicles like trucks.

Ceramic Brake Pads:

Ceramic brake pads offer great braking performance, wear well over time and are very lightweight -- all of which are important for high-performance driving. So again, what's the problem with ceramic brake pads? They're very expensive.

Ceramic brake pads are made from ceramic fibers, filler material, bonding agents and they may even have small amounts of copper fibers within them as well. Because they're mostly ceramic, these brake parts dissipate heat well, which keeps performance strong, even after repeated hard stops. They also don't break down very much with repeated use; that means they produce less dust than other types of brake pads -- and the dust that they do produce is lighter in color and doesn't stick to the wheels. However, because they're so expensive, ceramic brake pads aren't for every type of vehicle.

Sports cars that are routinely driven hard -- as part of club racing, for example -- can benefit from ceramic brake pads; however, almost every other vehicle performs just fine with other brake pad materials. For most drivers, the extra performance of ceramic brake pads isn't worth the extra cost.

02GrandHO 01-15-2012 10:02 PM

Re: Favorite Brake Pad Material & Brake Line Type
 
Get a good slotted rotor to go with your pads makes a big difference. I'm running the powerslot cryo rotors with Hawk LTS Semi-Metalics. I have the ceramics on my Caddy and I like the responsiveness of the semi-metalics on the Jeep better. The Hawk ones seem pretty low dust too, but I have pretty open wheels (Rogue chrome), so dust isn't much of a problem anyway. While its not a race setup by any means, the pads have held up extremely well on my newspaper route. By newspaper route I mean driving over 140 miles a day delivering 200+ newspapers. I am literally stopping my Jeep from 60mph+ 300 times or more in the span of only about 3 hours. I'm a lead foot too, so I run it pretty hard most of the time. If I run too hard I can feel the pads start to get somewhat soft feeling, but if I ease back for a few stops, the slotted rotors cool things down nicely and I can get back after it. The old EBC Greenstuffs that I ran before faded long before these Hawk pads and stunk when hot. By the way, the newspapers often weigh in at 2-3lbs each, so that means I'm stopping an additional 500lbs or more with this setup. They stop great too. I've avoided many an wandering animal in the middle of the night thanks to this setup. I do a lot of towing for my day job and the pads have held up well and stop the Jeep and the trailers great! Get a good brand of rotor too. IMHO the cryo ones are worth it if you do a lot of braking like I do, but if it's just a daily driver I'd probably skip it and just get a regular slotted one. Stay away from cross drilled ones though. Too much risk of cracking for my taste.

As for the brake lines, the braided stainless ones are more show than go. They do improve pedal feel, but I can't say they helped my Jeep stop any better. Maybe a little bit, but my butt dyno doesn't read much difference. The pads and rotors were much more noticable as far as stopping distance goes. I've heard dirt can be a problem with the braided lines. Gets in between and acts like sandpaper on the iner hose. I've never had any problems with them at all, but mine have a silicone coating over the braided stainless to keep out dust. I think they have kevlar jacket in them too, but its been a while since I did anything with them and I'd have to dig up the product info to confirm.

Amelie 01-15-2012 10:26 PM

Re: Favorite Brake Pad Material & Brake Line Type
 
Sounds good :)

01grand 01-16-2012 10:13 AM

Re: Favorite Brake Pad Material & Brake Line Type
 
I'm not sure why the description you posted says that ceramic pads are "very expensive", you can find them reasonably priced, and unless you are wearing pads out every 6 months the cost isn't that bad.

For rotors, slotted, drilled, or both are definitely an upgrade from stock. I have read too many article though that contradict each other as to which option is the best. I'd have to say either drilled, or drilled and slotted. I say this because most OE performace rotors are just drilled, and I have had positive experiences with drilled & slotted.

I would have to say solid brake lines like are the best bet.

Look into our vendor R1 concepts here for brake parts, I have heard many good things about them on here and plan on using them when I need new pads/rotors.

Amelie 01-16-2012 10:24 AM

Re: Favorite Brake Pad Material & Brake Line Type
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 01grand (Post 553588)
I'm not sure why the description you posted says that ceramic pads are "very expensive", you can find them reasonably priced, and unless you are wearing pads out every 6 months the cost isn't that bad.

Maybe the article is a couple years old, I'm not sure lol.

TJXJWJ 01-16-2012 01:52 PM

Re: Favorite Brake Pad Material & Brake Line Type
 
Braided stainless and these pads: http://www.summitracing.com/parts/EBC-DP71312/

I've bounce around from semi-metallic, to ceramic, to you name it. These have been the best compromise for all around performance and very low dusting.

cheapjeep 01-17-2012 05:40 PM

Re: Favorite Brake Pad Material & Brake Line Type
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TJXJWJ (Post 553802)
Braided stainless and these pads: http://www.summitracing.com/parts/EBC-DP71312/

I've bounce around from semi-metallic, to ceramic, to you name it. These have been the best compromise for all around performance and very low dusting.

Would you buy them again and hows the dust Tony? I'm thinking I'm gonna move back from ceramics.They just don't seem to have as good of a bite.

TJXJWJ 01-17-2012 08:07 PM

Re: Favorite Brake Pad Material & Brake Line Type
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cheapjeep (Post 554675)
Would you buy them again and hows the dust Tony? I'm thinking I'm gonna move back from ceramics.They just don't seem to have as good of a bite.

They are all I will buy going forward. I have them on mine, on my wifes WK, on my bro-in-law's KJ, and I had them on my previous XJ. They feel and stop so much better than anything I've ever used. The pedal feel is much better, and I've had a few occassions where I've really had to put them to the test. They are lead foot approved, that's for sure.

Their "OEM replacement" line are the "Ultimax". They are excellent as far as stopping goes, but terrible for dusting. The Greenstuff 7000's I have up front on my WJ are very low dusting. I keep my junk VERY clean, so nothing would ever accumulate in the first place, but I've had them now for awhile and can say that even when I haven't been able to get around to washing it for 2 weeks, the wheels are not coated in brake dust at all. Greenstuff 6000 pads are on the rear...again, no mess. They are quiet too. I'm running the EBC rotors as well. They are the USR series front and rear. The difference between this set up and the stockers was almost as big as the difference between oem sways and addco sways. Night and day. :thumbsup:

Amelie 01-17-2012 08:14 PM

Re: Favorite Brake Pad Material & Brake Line Type
 
@TJXJWJ: So you would prefer those over the Akebono brake setup?

TJXJWJ 01-17-2012 08:15 PM

Re: Favorite Brake Pad Material & Brake Line Type
 
Akebono refers to the caliper...which I am running. The "stuff" I'm talking about are strictly pads and rotors

Amelie 01-17-2012 08:19 PM

Re: Favorite Brake Pad Material & Brake Line Type
 
lol my bad, I thought you might have replaced the Akebono. The Akebono's are on all 4 wheels right? I thought about doing the conversion but they're still a little bit too expensive.

TJXJWJ 01-17-2012 08:24 PM

Re: Favorite Brake Pad Material & Brake Line Type
 
Yes, "akebono" is the manufacturer Jeep used for calipers during the time the WJ was in production. They also used "teves"...another mfg. The "teves" ones were problematic, so folks that have the teves up front generally replace them with the akebono ones. The later models came with the akebono ones...like my 2004 for example. The earlier WJ's came with Teves up front and there were lots that were either recalled, or taken care of under a TSB.


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