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article details
Author Various
Categories All Honda/Acura
Create Date January 16, 2002 16:47
Last Update June 06, 2002 11:39
Various Brake Pads

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 (jhosee@oboe.aix.calpoly.edu)
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!

Porterfield Carbon/Metallics

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 breakfast.

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.

From: snoalh@unx.sas.com
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 (lowell@express.ca)
I paid $60 CDN ($45 US) for my carbon metallic pads from Comptech, so if you're paying more, shop elsewhere.

Performance Friction
(800) 521-8874

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 job.

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.

Update, 04/08/96
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

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