Last Updated: 09/10/96
Repco Metal Master
Note: Repco is now Axxis -Ed.
From: E. Yang
I recently installed a set of Repco(Axxis) Metalmasters
on my '91 Integra GS. After driving my brother's '95 VTEC del Sol and
jumping into my Integra we both agreed that the Repco's have some fierce
deceleration compared to stock. But I do have a few minor grievances. One, they
dust much more than stock. Cleaning my wheels now becomes a biweekly event. Two,
they grind and squeal now compared to silence with stock. Three, as opposed to a
progressive feel of the brake pedal now, it responds, dare I say it, almost like
Porsche brakes. You'll press the brake pedal and won't feel as much until you're
halfway down on the pedal and all of a sudden (WHOOSH) massive braking power. I
don't know if this last part is attributed to the brake pedals although
everything else is stock (except for the Dot 5.1 brake fluid). All in all, I
would recommend the Repco's as an excellent choice over stock pads IF you are
looking for improved braking and these minor annoyances are tolerable.
From: Jeffrey Ho-See (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I installed the
Repcos up front on my ride. I noticed immediately how much firmer they bite!
Breaking distances have certainly improved a lot. I have noticed that the newer
Integras have definitely a softer pad than the 92-93 models. My coworker in his
95 GS-R loves my brakes. They aren't linear -- so they need to warm
up a bit before they bite. But they warm up real quick. Downside, they kinda
make a funny grating noise as your wheels spin at low speeds after abusing them
a lot. I dunno if this is normal for ALL pads -- because I never punished my
stock pads like that. They will
wear out rotors a bit faster (but shoot! Stock rotors are only $100 / pair.
Cheap!) I haven't noticed anything yet... and it's been 16 autocross laps and
30k miles since. I'd recommend dumping the stock front pads IMMEDIATELY upon
purchasing new car. That way the rotors haven't been broken into the pad as
much. Repcos are cheaper than OEM pads at dealer prices!
From: Chris Walton
I would recommend
Porterfield R4S Carbon Kevlar pads. I have a set of these things on my CRX. When
they're cold, they're slightly better than stock; when they're hot, you would
swear someone installed Corvette brakes on the car. Great pedal feel and
fantastic stopping power. Also, they seem to be completely fade-proof. I ran
about 15 laps at Texas World Speedway with these pads, and the brakes did not
fade _at_all_. For performance, I would definitely recommend them.
They do have a couple of problems, though. First, they wear down quickly.
Second, they dust really bad (I have to clean my wheels once a week). Third,
they cost a lot. However, IMHO the tradeoffs are worth it for the extra
performance. Also, make sure you get the R4S street compound pads; the regular
R4 compound doesn't work until they're hot and will eat your rotors for
MANDATORY HONDA WARNING 8-): If you install these pads, make sure that a) the
rotors have not been turned and b) the wheel lug nuts are torqued properly.
These brake pads are insulated to keep the heat in the rotors and out of the
calipers. They will warp the heck out of stock Honda rotors if you don't follow
the above precautions.
I remember seeing requests for sources of
performance brake pads for 94/95 GS-Rs. I have found one (finally!). Porterfield
caries custom blended carbon brake pads for new Integras.
Porterfield's phone number is 800.537.6842. If you have
questions, Tim is the Honda brake specialist.
Porterfield claims they will last +/- 3 times longer than stock pads. I am
still on the first set so I can't verify this, but they do seem to be lasting
much better than the stock pads so far. (In the first 18k on my GS-R I went
through 3 complete sets of stock pads mostly because of running track events and
autocrossing. The fronts would fade, the rears, being organic compound, would
get hot, come apart, and score the rotors.) As far as cost goes, they're not
cheap but I can't remember exactly what they cost and I don't have my receipt
here... Give them a call and ask. For use on a daily driver that sees some
auto-x and track time the R4S is the ticket. For track-only use the R4 compound
will work better. So far no rotor scoring either.
Well, lets see... As I remember it, for the R4S compound the fronts were $89
and the rears were $69. The improved the pedal feel and braking ability of the
car significantly. I also switched to the Wilwood 560 brake fluid which
contributed to the overall pedal feel. I had actually experienced fluid fade in
an auto-x where the run was in the 110 second range! I also use the car for some
hi-speed driver schools where I had had some rather serious pad and fluid fade.
So far no more problems with either, but I haven't had a chance to run them in
90 degree ambient temperatures yet. Unless the rubber hoses are bulging or worn
I don't think steel lines will help, and most are not approved for street use.
Since they are not on genuine Honda backing plates, the rears don't have the
same little post that is supposed to fit in the crosshair of the piston. So far
this doesn't seem to be a problem. The wear on these pads is MUCH better that I
was getting out of the stock pads. I think the claim of "lasts three times
longer than stock" is accurate.
While the shape of the backing plates is the same as the stock pads, the
shape of the pad material on the plates is not. It's not a big problem, but it
makes it a little more difficult to get the pads into the retainer clips. I just
used a small screwdriver to spread the retainer clip a bit and the pads dropped
right in. It took about 45 minutes to replace all of the pads on the car (but
I'm getting pretty efficient with this job now since this is the 4th or 5th set
on the car now ;-)).
The one other thing I am going to do to the brakes is to remove the dust
shields to allow better air flow. I wanted to put on brake ducting, but there is
not a lot of room for the ducting hose to run under the front of the car without
cutting some stuff and I don't really want to get into that. Removing the dust
shields without unsealing the front wheel bearings is going to require cutting
the dust shields to remove them, but I can live with that.
These pads do make more dust than the stock pads did. I will just have to
wash the wheels/car more ;-).
I use the Porterfield R4S compound for track and autocross, so here's my two
cents worth ;-). The Porterfields require MUCH less pedal pressure to affect
braking than the stock pads. R4Ss do not fade. The R4Ss can require a bit of
warm-up if the temp is below say 40 degrees F or if the pads are wet. On the
downside, at a track like Summit Point, WVA, I will go through a set of pads and
a pair of front rotors in a weekend =:-O! It is not too hard to completely bake
the binder compound out of the R4Ss. They will continue to stop the car after
the binder is gone, but they sound terrible and will start to crumble. The
crumbling is what will score the rotors. Brake ducting will help tremendously
toward stopping the warping/ binder baking problems. This is my next project.
Overall, I like the Porterfields but would like to try some other options.
Unfortunately, I haven't found the other options yet ;-).
From: Lowell Foo (email@example.com)
I paid $60 CDN ($45 US) for my
carbon metallic pads from Comptech, so if you're paying more, shop elsewhere.
From: C. Capowski
I would advise that you use the 80 Compound for autoxing. The High
Performance (HP) version is not nearly as good. If the 80 compound is not
enough, which I highly doubt, they also make an 83 compound which gives even
better braking performance. I was advised to try the 80 before going with the
83, because the 83's generate a lot of heat and will require some severe brake
ducting. Hope this helps. TTYL
I found that the brakes had much better feel than the stock pads, the braking
became a lot more linear. To solve the mushy brake problem, I would use
stainless steel lines in conjunction with the PF pads.
Actually, I ALWAYS drive my car for about another 5 to 10 minutes after an
autocross run. This gives the brakes, engine and tranny to cool down a little. I
do this at low speeds (about 10 mph). When you stop the car with hot pads and
rotors, the rotor covered by the pad will stay warmer longer than the rest of
the rotor. It is this uneven cooling that warps the rotors. The glazing is
caused more by improper bedding in of the pads or rotors when first installed.
The pads from performance friction get even hotter than the stock pads, this is
good because the performance friction pads just get better the hotter they are.
I still have not been able to make the pads fade at all. So I would suppose that
the warping rotor condition would probably be even worse with these pads unless
you take the necessary steps to let them cool off by driving the car. Doing
this eliminates any warping.
GRIP Brake Pads
From: Shawn Church
The pads appeared to use remanufactured backing
plates. The material, claimed to be metallic, does indeed resemble other
metallic pads I have used in the past. Initial texture was very rough and the
pads appear to be at least as thick as new OEM pieces. GRIP's claim was that
these pads resemble Repco MetalMasters.
GRIP recommends breaking in the rotors for several hundred miles before
making any hard stops. For their metallic "street" pads no special procedures
are recommended. For their Carbon Metallic "race" pads, there is a burnishing
procedure to follow. A break in period is highly recommended after any brake
After approximately 200-250 miles of break in, I began making periodic hard
stops with the brakes. This of course resulted in the usual "hot brake" smell.
Slight pad fade was present during the first few stops. Brake performance than
steadily improved until about the 500 mile point where it leveled off. Low speed
stops were noticeably better, although a slight warm up period was necessary
(one or two modest stops) to get feel and performance up to spec each morning.
High speed efforts (freeway speeds to triple digits) were outstanding with no
pad fade whatsoever. I have not yet fully explored the braking limits of this
setup from high speeds.
The pads do dust more than stock, but not excessively so. This is a small
price to pay for improved braking.
This setup will definitely expose the weakness of your brake fluid. My stock
fluid is 18 months/28,000 miles old and it was more noticeable with the new
brakes. Braking power is terrific, but the pedal can be a bit squishy which is
more noticeable with the new setup. I will replace the fluid soon and would
recommend that it be done when replacing the brakes.
I'm retracting my endorsement of the GRIP system
and drilled rotors in general. You cannot turn drilled rotors ever (very bad)
and their pads don't work well with regular rotors. I think they might be too
hard because stopping power decreased significantly and they fade quickly. Since
they don't dust much with regular rotors, it makes me think they are too hard.
'94+ GS-R Stock Pad Life Expectancies
Extrapolated from C&D 35,000 mile test
- Tires: 49,000 miles
- Front Brake Pads: 82,500 miles
- Rear Brake Pads: 30,500 miles
Comments: The rear pads are organic pads and therefore won't last very long
even though the rear brakes don't do as much work. The fronts are semi-metallic
since they work much harder and will last longer. However, Car & Driver's
82,500 mile estimate seems kinda too long. Nevertheless, the Integra can
definitely use better aftermarket brakes.
Copyright 2002, Temple of VTEC