|Disclaimer : These pages are offered as an introduction to the principles and parts of the braking system. Reading this guide will not turn you into an expert overnight. We have made every attempt to be accurate and easy to read but we cannot impart the gifts of skill, experience and common sense. If after reading these pages you feel inclined to carry out alterations to the braking system of a bike or car we will not accept responsibility for what happens next. You are responsible for your own actions and these pages have been placed online to only offer an introduction into the braking system and to hopefully give you a greater background into how things work, what effects changes may have and what different parts of the system do.
WHAT CAUSES BRAKE DUST?
There are two known alternatives to asbestos fibres in brake pads. These are steel fibres or "Aramid" fibres such as DuPont Kevlar or Twaron. Aramid fibres have a high unit strength and produce a high quality non ferrous compound that is superb on high performance brake pads. EBC use Aramid fibres in their Green pads and a SMALL AMOUNT of steel fibre in Red, Yellow and Blue.
BRAKE FADE EXPLAINED
All pads contain some organic (living) materials. Resins that bind pad compounds together are organic - petro-chemical products. As these overheat the resins revert to gas and cause the pads to "aquaplane" on a gas film which is called fade. Some pads only fade once or twice and then settle down (Green fade or bedding in fade). Other, cheaper pads suffer from continual dynamic fade, sometimes at surprisingly low temperatures.
Temperatures between the pad and disc do not normally exceed 700°F even in heavy street use. In race use 900-1200°F is common on smaller cars and in Championship Cup race temps. shoot up to around 1500°F where discs will glow red or orange.
ALWAYS CHOOSE A PAD ADEQUATE FOR YOUR NEEDS. NEVER just choose a race compound because you think you're a hot shot. Many/most race pads need "warm up" and don't become effective till 350°F.
NOT ideal for a stoplight situation in urban traffic.
EBC Greenstuff is effective from cold and needs no warm up. Even so EBC Green feels stronger as you use the brake harder. We call that progressive braking.
NOISE - Light whistling/squeaking (at walking pace)
This noise usually happens as the vehicle is coming to rest and is again typical of a pad that is just bedding in or has been under used. Again the remedy is to allow a few hundred miles for the pads to properly seat and have 100% contact surface against the disc. If the problem occurs intermittently, one good cure is to use the brake severely every day now and again on a safe secluded low traffic piece of road to "de-glaze" the surface of the brake pad. Obviously extreme caution must be used when recommending this to customers, especially with regard to the low traffic aspect. If the problem occurs continuously and the pad was not fitted with shims on the rear of the steel backing plate, call EBC for a free set of anti-squeal shims, which can be fitted by your local dealer. As this type of incident is usually vehicle specific EBC do not normally undertake to absorb the fitting charges for applying the shims but will issue the shims themselves free of charge.
SCREECHING (a loud squealing noise when applying the brakes at all times)
The usual reason for this is that the pads have not bedded in. If this has happened during the early life of fitment tell the customer to wait 300 - 500 miles until the pads are fully bedded in. This noise is also very prevalent when the pads have been fitted to rotors that have not been turned and have grooves or scoring. This will also extend the bed in time.
This is caused sometimes by the pad bouncing around in the caliper and can be cured by the application of fibre shims. Call EBC for the issue of free shims, the installation of which must be paid for by your installing mechanic, which should solve the problem.
GRAUNCHING (metal on metal noise)
Less usual with EBC's low metallic brake pads. The customer needs to check first of all that the brake pads are not worn out. Brake pads can wear quite quickly especially in situations where the rotors were in poor condition or the calipers had seized, so the first safety aspect is for the customer to evaluate that the pads are not worn out. In spite of the fact that they may have only just recently fitted them. A system fault will accelerate wear in some cases to surprisingly short lifetimes.
WHAT CAUSES BRAKE DUST?
Dust is caused for two reasons. The first reason is unavoidable and is a "general use" problem. A small amount of dust cannot be avoided as the pad wears, in most cases the dust from EBC Green pads is 1/3 to 1/2 of the amount observed from original equipment pads. In the case of EBC 6000 series the dust is less than 1/4 of the amount of original fitted semi metallic type pads or other aftermarket semi metallic type pads (those containing steel fibre and carbon particles).
The second and possible reason for dust if this has come on a sport type vehicle application is that the incorrect compound has been recommended. For example if the customer was using Green pads and found excessive dust, he may have needed the Redstuff grade, which exhibits almost zero dust and is a more robust pad having slightly longer lifetime. Redstuff is particularly recommendable on many models of BMW/Audi and muscle cars.
SHORT PAD LIFE
This can be due to several things. Seized caliper, poor rotor condition or the incorrect compound. Once the two first points have been eliminated, if the customer was recommended Green upgrade to Red.
If he was already using Red and still has a problem call EBC technical department for further assistance, having the vehicle make, model and type of use ready. It needs to be understood here that many customers take their vehicles to track days, so this question should be asked and of course our warranty on lifetime does not cover any form of racing, performance or autocross use on track days. Also it should be realised that customers have very different performance requirements of their vehicles, some drive far harder than others.
TRACK DAY RACING
Many drivers actually take their cars to track days. It is the responsibility of the vehicle driver to determine which pad is appropriate for his use. No complaints of mileage during track days will be entertained under warranty by EBC Brakes.
Recently more vehicles are starting to use the Yellowstuff higher durability grade for all sizes of car in track day use, some cars even using our Bluestuff endurance grade depending on the weight and speed of the vehicle.
In most cases the Greenstuff pads are applicable to this sort of sports application.
UNEVEN BRAKING - Vehicle pulls to left or right
This is a very dangerous condition and should be analysed immediately by the installing mechanic. It can be caused due to the brake settling down on a poor quality rotor surface (rotor not turned) and can also be the cause of a pad contaminated with lubricant. EBC does not recommend the use of any greases in or around the brake pad, which can severely damage the friction material and cause loss of brake efficiency, but unfortunately some installing mechanics still prefer to use it. If this contaminates the friction surface the pad is ruined and it has to be completely replaced. Always replace pads in sets, left and right, across an axle, never replace the left hand or right hand pads individually. EBC only sell full sets for this exact reason.
SPONGY BRAKE PEDAL
A soft or spongy pedal can often happen during the early life of a pad especially on a vehicle where the rotor condition was poor (not turned).
Vehicles should be used for a few miles whilst gently pressing the brake pedal occasionally in a safe road condition to encourage the pads to bed in. If the condition persists return the vehicle to the installing mechanic and ask for the brakes to be "bled" to change the brake fluid. Older brake fluids contain a higher water percentage and can cause a spongy brake.
BRAKE FLUID MAINTENANCE - When to change
The condition of the brake fluid is quite important in a vehicle. The type of fluid DOT 3 or 4, should be observed from the cap on the master cylinder on the vehicle and the same exact grade should always be used for top up or replacement. The system should be flushed through with new fluid to change the fluid at least once every two years, according to the vehicle manufacturers recommendations. Failure to do so will result in spongy brakes. Spongy brakes in racing will show up sooner and are a result of the same condition i.e. fluid condition very poor and should be changed.
Green pads should be used for all standard street vehicles.
Red pads should be used on muscle cars, faster and heavier models.
Yellowstuff grade should be used for track days.
Bluestuff endurance grade should be used on heaviest and fastest off highway race use.
SUV's and light trucks should always be recommended EBC's 6000 series - there is no alternative compound for this vehicle segment.
Rapid Guide Passenger Cars - Green
SUV's - 6000 series
Trucks - 6000 series
Muscle Cars - Red
Imports (Cars) - Green
SHIMS - WHEN DO I NEED THEM?
Many semi metallic pads (those containing steel fibre) come fitted from the factory or aftermarket suppliers with rubberised metal shims on the back to prevent rattling and squealing. This is because of the type of material they use. EBC very rarely use shims because in 99 cases out of 100 we do not get noise, due to the non metallic nature of our pads. In certain cases however and in certain types of use, especially "under-use" shims may be necessary to quieten a pad. These can be obtained from EBC free of charge by simply calling 818 362 5467 and stating the type of vehicle. These will be sent out to you and again reminding you that the installation costs are for the customers account, we do not warranty this fitment charge or consider it part of our guarantee.
FRICTION LEVELS EXPLAINED
Typical friction levels of original street pads vary from 0,25 up to 0,35 friction factor. EBC Greenstuff has 0,46 friction and users will notice an immediate improvement in brake in most cases. Remember friction level µ is only an "indicator" not a guarantee of brake "torque". Many independent tests in Europe
however, have shown EBC Greenstuff to be one of the most grippy compounds on the market today. If you want to read more please call us.
Grooved or plain vehicle type should be recommended to customers.
Almost all cars come originally fitted with plain undrilled or grooved rotors. This is mainly due to manufacturing costs and the fact that rarely are cars designed for sport use out of the factory gate. Higher performance cars such as Porsche and faster BMW's are more recently coming fitted with "through drilled" brake rotors. EBC provide slotted and part drilled sport rotors for many import cars. The advantages of a slot on the brake rotor is it helps to prevent pads from glazing and to brake down the surface gasses which are generated under heavy braking on sport use i.e. track day, autocross or fast road use. The part drilled holes also add to the surface de-gassing. Many customers ask why our holes are only part drilled through the rotor, the answer is that because all original equipment rotors including EBC's are what we call "straight vaned" in other words, the ventilation slots go directly from the outside towards the centre of the disc as they are not "scoop vented" there is absolutely no point in through drilling the disc. Scoop vented rotors require through drilled holes so that the air scooped into the centre core of the rotor can vent out through the holes. If through drilling is done on standard straight vane rotors it often results in an imbalance of the rotor, can weaken the structure and promote cracking of the rotor, that is why EBC don't drill through.