Hi there, I have a bit of a problem with the brakes on my 2.5T titanium X.
I did a fast run on the way home the other night, 6 miles, 10 corners. By the time I was home, the brake pedal was hard and they had virtually stopped working. When I got out of the car they were stinking.
When you say that the 'brake pedal was hard', you do mean that you felt resistance in the normal position in the brake pedal travel, but the feeling was 'wooden' and it didn't cause much braking? If the pedal had sunk down, it would be a totally different diagnosis.
Firstly, you can fade the brakes on any production car if you try hard enough...However, if you can't do at least one stop from Vmax safely without the brakes going away, the car isn't safe to drive to that speed.
Given that there are two broad categories of fade (fluid 'boiling' and the various brake pad problems - here, probably overheating), if we can eliminate 'fluid', then we've got pads and temperature.
(You'll probably still have to change the fluid, for one of two reasons
- this process has abused the fluid enough so that you can't trust it
- you can't trust that the fluid was in decent condition, after its previous life, possibly at the hands of someone who thought saving money on brakes was smart and who possibly either fitted sub-standard fluid or left it too long between changes
It doesn't sound as if fluid was your immediate problem though, depending on the interpretation of the pedal symptom.)
Brake pads and materials are a compromise - there is not a magic 'just fit this, and all problems go away' solution. That said, it does sound as if you can find something more suited to your requirements.
It was both front wheels that were hot.
Sticking brakes are more common at the back than the front, so assuming that we can eliminate that (...ideally, you do some more testing...) then the temperature isn't being raised by sticking, then it should be possible to get an improvement by changing pads. Enough? Get the improvement without introducing other problems? These are good questions, and, ultimately, you won't know until you've tried. Bigger brake disks would also help get rid of the heat, but it is unclear whether you need to go that far.
(BTW, you say that it was the front wheels that were hot. Does that mean that the rears weren't hot at all, or were they just substantially less hot than the fronts? If the rears are doing no work in stopping the car, that will put all of the effort on the fronts and will make the problem worse.)
(Also, I need to make a comparison with tyres here - there is no point in saying buy this brand of pads; most pad manufacturers make several ranges, and buying the 'bog standard' pads from someone who also makes performance pads probably won't help, just as buying tyres by brand doesn't help.)
So, for example, EBC, who you mention, make a 'comparable with OEM quality' pad - I'm pretty sure this is a negligible improvement over the atandard OEM pad. You would need, for example, to be in with the yellowstuff and redstuff 'performance' pads before you get a worthwhile improvement over OEM. Redstuff may even need a little warming before it really bites, so this is where the compromise comes in - are you prepared to suffer that in order to get a pad that keeps working to higher temperatures?
Note also that the bigger wheels on a TitX should allow a slightly bigger disk...but be careful, if you would ever intend ton go down in wheel size, eg, to fit winter tyres.
One thing that is worth looking out for is whether you can see any manufacturers ident on the back of the pad (Ford, Ate, etc). If you can see that, and it is one of the respectable makes, it probably isn't 'cheapskate fitted inadequate pads'. If you can't see any ident, then it might just be inadequate pads, and, in that case, going to OEM quality might be a step forward (although, you might still want a bigger step than that).
My feeling (ie, guess) is that you will end up with a slightly bigger wheel size and slightly better pads, but i don't know how to be sure whether, eg, just slightly improved pads will do the job.
I should have commented on the possibility that you have glazed your pads - however, as the cure for this is often suggested as giving the pads a serious work-out, I originally felt that this removes the glazed pad possibility. This is wrong; you could have glazed the pads so badly that even a work out such as above has not been able to get the pads back to normal operation.
Edited by BOF, 15 March 2014 - 01:52 PM.