New Brake Pads for the Elise - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 07:19 AM Thread Starter
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New Brake Pads for the Elise

I recently installed new brake pads on the Elise ('05 - 29k mi). I purchased the car with 7000+ miles so I assumed the pads were original. They still had life left, but initial pedal travel began to increase a bit, and felt softer than I remembered it, even with having changed the fluid twice during my ownership. My specific criteria: DD, no track, a shade more aggressive initial "bite", low dust.

I installed EBC Red Stuff ceramic low dust pads at all corners over a Saturday morning..couldn't be happier. The part I am most impressed with is the extremely low level of dust these pads deposit. How do they do that? Stopping power, at least in street driving, is every bit as good as OEM. I'm impressed with these pads. This has been a revelation for my wheel cleaning routine!
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"In general, the Elise will be kept in best operating condition by regular use."
Page 152 Lotus Elise owner's manual
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 07:51 AM
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According to EBC, the dust generated by the pads is light in color, so it's contrast on wheels is low.

I've had hit and miss experience with reds. I used them on an Eclipse GSX that had gunmetal wheels over a decade ago. After the pad bedding material wore off the dust was, indeed, very low and the wheels stayed clean for a long time. But there was light colored dust.

I've installed them on my G37 when the original pads were worn. I've been running them for about 7000 miles now. This car has shiny, but not quite polished sport package wheels.

I waited for about 500 miles before making a judgement because the break-in/cleaning material on these pads is meant to rough up the disk and leaves a significant amount of dust. I've since cleaned the wheels a few times but I continue to get fairly dusty wheels. Significantly more than the stock Nissan pads.

I think I'm going to try Porterfield R4-S on the Elise, they've left no dust on my Miata's wheels and feel is very similar to stock.

Last edited by me73; 09-08-2019 at 10:02 AM.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by me73 View Post
According to EBC, the dust generated by the pads is light in color, so it's contrast on wheels is low.

I've had hit and miss experience with reds. I used them on an Eclipse GSX that had gunmetal wheels over a decade ago. After the pad bedding material wore off the dust was, indeed, very low and the wheels stayed clean for a long time. But there was light colored dust.

I've installed them on my G37 when the original pads were worn. I've been running them for about 2000 miles now. This car has shiny, but not quite polished sport package wheels.

I waited for about 500 miles before making a judgement because the break-in/cleaning material on these pads is meant to rough up the disk and leaves a significant amount of dust. I've since cleaned the wheels a few times but I continue to get fairly dusty wheels. Significantly more than the stock Nissan pads.

I think I'm going to try Porterfield R4-S on the Elise, they've left no dust on my Miata's wheels and feel is very similar to stock.
I have Wilwood's on the front and got low dust pads from them that are amazingly dust free. Do you think the Porterfield R4-S will be really low dust? They are pretty expensive for a "experiment" on my rear brakes. I have the OEM (to the best of my knowledge, I'm the 4th owner) pads and they are VERY dusty. I wish I could find some true ceramic pads because I don't track my car and I hate the constant brake dust on my glossy black powder coated wheels!
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2005 Chrome Orange Elise, BWR supercharger, TR Motorsport F1 rims and R888s, Nitron NTR40 Single Adjustables with Eibach springs,Sector 111 308BBL brakes, BWR Silent Touch exhaust, CF side scoops, front splitter, and engine cover.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 01:11 PM
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I used the Red Stuff for both street and track and really liked them. They worked great on the street and pretty good on the track until I started getting faster and had some fading issues. I still use them for the street.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 01:26 PM
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I'm running Porterfield R4-S shoes on a couple of high performance Corvairs. They've proved to be great for getting good consistent hot stops out of unboosted drum brakes (most memorably, towing with a loaded Corvair van in the mountains). Cold feel is definitely not soft compound grippy, but is adequate, and the hotter they get, the better they work. I suspect anything that ships with power assisted disks like an Elise or Miata is great with this compound.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by steelypip View Post
I'm running Porterfield R4-S shoes on a couple of high performance Corvairs. They've proved to be great for getting good consistent hot stops out of unboosted drum brakes (most memorably, towing with a loaded Corvair van in the mountains). Cold feel is definitely not soft compound grippy, but is adequate, and the hotter they get, the better they work. I suspect anything that ships with power assisted disks like an Elise or Miata is great with this compound.
Power assisted on an Elise? Not mine... What year had power assist?

2005 Chrome Orange Elise, BWR supercharger, TR Motorsport F1 rims and R888s, Nitron NTR40 Single Adjustables with Eibach springs,Sector 111 308BBL brakes, BWR Silent Touch exhaust, CF side scoops, front splitter, and engine cover.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 03:17 PM
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Power assisted on an Elise? Not mine... What year had power assist?
Got bad news for you, your Elise has power assisted brakes when it left hethel...

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
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Power assisted on an Elise? Not mine... What year had power assist?
Like @jds62f says, if your car is built on or after 2005, it's got power assisted brakes.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by me73 View Post
Like @jds62f says, if your car is built on or after 2005, it's got power assisted brakes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jds62f View Post
Got bad news for you, your Elise has power assisted brakes when it left hethel...

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Wow, guess I feel stupid!

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 08:07 AM
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Like @jds62f says, if your car is built on or after 2005, it's got power assisted brakes.
"The car was signed from production on the 24th September 2004"
Idiot (me): So does this mean my 05 does NOT have power assisted brakes?

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 08:38 AM
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first thing I do on any car I buy: Porterfield R4-S

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 08:39 AM
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If it is a toyota powered federlized car sold in the US, it has a power booster. You can confirm this by removing the drivers side front access panel. Your master cylinder will be bolted to a pie tin shaped booster on the bulkhead.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 10:27 AM
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I've been using EBC red pads for all of my street vehicles for several years now. They are quiet, very low dust, have good bite, and long life. Far better than OEM Lotus, VW, or Volvo pads. Probably OK for autocross, but not a good choice for real track use. I did use EBC yellows for quite a while for a track/street pad, but found they were very high dust and only so so on the track. I think EBC has some more track oriented pads, but I have gone to Carbotech Bobcats for street and Carbotech XP-12s front and rear for the track on my Elise. Really like the feel of these.

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 11:06 AM
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"The car was signed from production on the 24th September 2004"
Idiot (me): So does this mean my 05 does NOT have power assisted brakes?
To be more specific, MY2005 and up. If it's a Federal Elise, it's power brakes, at least it was stock.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
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To be more specific, MY2005 and up. If it's a Federal Elise, it's power brakes, at least it was stock.
10/4

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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-07-2019, 03:43 PM
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This is the dust on the wheels from the past 800 or so miles after about 7000 miles with the Redstuff pads on the car. They're much dustier than the stock Nissan pads they replaced, unfortunately. They do stop the car nicely, I will say. I imagine the rotors also have some influence on the dust production so it's probably different for different cars.
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-07-2019, 03:53 PM
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I like my Hawk ceramics; good stopping, very little dust.


PLUS: Wax your wheels so dust doesn't stick so much and is easier to wash off. I just use my 1 Grand Blitz Wax.

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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-07-2019, 05:29 PM
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Now for a track car, it’s quite different.

The best our Elise has ever looked, when her true beauty was most apparent, was at the end of a track day with a turn signal popped out, heavy brake dust, and bits of melted race tire all over the place. The smell of tires and brakes. Maybe a bit of clutch in there too. A true Lotus.

Sorta like seeing your true love first thing in the morning. She never looks better.
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 09:57 AM
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I like my Hawk ceramics; good stopping, very little dust.


PLUS: Wax your wheels so dust doesn't stick so much and is easier to wash off. I just use my 1 Grand Blitz Wax.
I had Hawk ceramics on a Subaru Outback Sport that had black painted wheels with machined front surfaces. I had dust from them as well, only noticeable on the black surfaces. The dust always had an interesting red tint to it.
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