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Discussion Starter #1
I know many cars can benefit immensely from a change in brake pads and brake fluid if being used quite a bit on the track. What pads and fluid are stock? Is there something that would be much better? Milage-wise my car is used about 35% on track, 50% getting to the track, and 15% general street driving, possibly even less.

-Steve
 

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Ditto on the Motul 600. Very good track fluid. Better than Castrol SRF in my opinion (for the track, its complete overkill on the road).

I am also interested in the pads. Are these calipers parts bin or specific to the Elise? (i.e. standard AP Racing and Brembo parts that are used in other applications?). This would definitely affect the selection of pads.

The reason I ask is that for many racing type calipers you can order pads from a racers catalog, you just need to know the default application and caliper type. They sort of look like Formula Ford pieces to me.

-Dave
'05 Lotus Elise (BRP, Touring, Hardtop)
'00 Porsche 996 C2
'03 Evolution VIII
'89 BMW M3 (for sale)
 

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I have some Porterfield R4-S pads on my car. The front pad is the shape of an EVO/STi rear pad. Our rear pad is a Dodge viper rear from one of the variations. Someone posted the FMSI numbers in response to a question about them by me. You can do a search and find it.
 

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Porterfield R4 or R4-S pads are great. Apparently PF already has them made and in stock, so you can call them direct & get pads if you want.

I've used Motul, and it's great, but gets to be pretty expensive. Nearly all the Viper guys around here run The Brake Man fluid. GREAT stuff, and inexpensive at only $8/bottle.

http://www.woodhouseviper.com/store/products_content.asp?cat=3&name=Brakes / Suspension

dry boiling point = 577 degrees
wet boiling point = 300 degrees

just for comparisons sake, Motul boils at 600 dry, and 425 wet, yet costs nearly 2x as much per bottle.

if you're loaded, look at SRF. :p 500 dry, 520 wet, and only costs $90 a bottle! haha
 

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>>>if you're loaded, look at SRF. 500 dry, 520 wet, and only costs $90 a bottle! haha<<<

Some of the different fluids last longer than others, which can offset the cost. And some are less compressible than others, which can improve brake feel. It's not just dollars and boiling points.
 

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Stan said:
>>>if you're loaded, look at SRF. 500 dry, 520 wet, and only costs $90 a bottle! haha<<<

Some of the different fluids last longer than others, which can offset the cost. And some are less compressible than others, which can improve brake feel. It's not just dollars and boiling points.
Completely agreed. Personally, I'd rather do 10 changes with TBM than 1 with SRF... however, according to the guys I know that use it, SRF lasts quite a while before fade starts to set in...

i'm usually just in the mode of "bleed monthly" (i track a lot) ... if I used SRF, i'd go broke. ;)
 

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The FMSI numbers are D109 for the front and D491. Lotus apparently uses thinner pads than standard by about 2mm, but some of the D109 applications do, too.

Common cars that use the same pads as the Elise front (same thickness):
Infiniti G35 / Nissan 350Z (manual/Brembo) rear
Subaru WRX STi rear
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution rear

Elise rear (2.3mm thicker):
Dodge Viper 1992-2000 rear

I won't comment on pads and fluid that are suitable for track use, since I don't run track events.
 

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>>>I won't comment on pads and fluid that are suitable for track use, since I don't run track events.<<<

John have you run into anyone using SRF for an autocross car? I haven't but note that many BMW club racers love the firmer pedal action they claim to get even when the brakes are not hot. It's less spongey.
 

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Can you guys get Pagid RS14 brake pads in the US? They are considered the best by the european elise crowd. They also make a good combo with the www.eliseparts.com ali-belled disks.

Not a 100% sure whether they are fed elise compatible though.
 

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I've seen Mark Sipe recommend SRF due to not having to change it often. I think he may do track days occasionally though. It's funny, Mark is a BMW guy ;)

[autocross]I've been happy with the pedal feel and bite on my Miata with ATE TYP200 (avoid Superblue, your brake fluid will be light blue for the rest of the life of the car) or Valvoline SynPower fluid, and Carbotech Panther + pads.[/autocross]

The Panther+ are noisy, not just when braking. It's irritating but could be worthwhile for their other propoerties. It looks like Carbotech carries both front and rear pad sizes listed above, at around $235 for the whole car for Panther+, $200 for Bobcats. It could be more if they have to modify the Viper pads to make them thinner.
 

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>>>avoid Superblue, your brake fluid will be light blue for the rest of the life of the car<<<

I alternate between super blue and the gold ATE stuff. Makes flushing v. easy. The blue comes out for me FWIW. The Super Blue does not meet DOT specs though which preclude the blue color. It's just dye and is the same as the gold stuff in function. It's supposedly harder to get now due to that issue.

Many BMWs have firm pedals. My E30 M3 must have 3-4 times the pedal effort of a Miata. Maybe this makes certain pedal feel characteristics more noticeable? I'd like to see the Elise have LESS power boost..it hits as much as 4:1 by the way.
 

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Trying not to get too far off topic, what do you guys use for bleeding? Are you using some sort of a one way valve device? Speed bleeder (that's a pump, isn't it?)?

Do you pump the brakes to bleed? If so, do you pump all the way to the floor? (I've read that going all the way down is not good for certain parts - seals? - at least on the MR2)

maybe this should be a new topic.

to stay on topic, I'll add that I love the R4-S. I've heard people having some issues at high speed tracks with them after a long run, but I'd be willing to bet that the Elise's light weight will allow you to run them for quite a while before experiencing any problems (pure speculation on my part).
 

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BrianK said:
Trying not to get too far off topic, what do you guys use for bleeding? Are you using some sort of a one way valve device? Speed bleeder (that's a pump, isn't it?)?

Do you pump the brakes to bleed? If so, do you pump all the way to the floor? (I've read that going all the way down is not good for certain parts - seals? - at least on the MR2)

maybe this should be a new topic.

to stay on topic, I'll add that I love the R4-S. I've heard people having some issues at high speed tracks with them after a long run, but I'd be willing to bet that the Elise's light weight will allow you to run them for quite a while before experiencing any problems (pure speculation on my part).
i've used Speedbleeders in the past quite a bit, and while they are VERY nice as far as a "ease of use" standpoint, if you don't have a problem getting a 2nd person to help you bleed, then I really wouldn't bother with them. I had an issue with one bleeders' thread compound (that is 'installed' on all speedbleeders, and is available for purchase as well) breaking apart & allowing some air to enter between the screw & caliper. Not really sure why, since I put more compound on the bleeder, but who knows .... ;) i'm personally fine with calling my neighbor over to "pump the pedal" ... he likes it too, because it makes him feel like he's doing "car work". ;)

i tried the R4's for 2 sets, then tried the R-4S' after that .... there was a difference once the pads got VERY heated, but before that, they seemed to be quite the same.

The tech I talked to at PF always said that the R4 dusted a LOT mroe than the R-4S, but I never noticed a difference ... they both dusted quite a bit for my tastes. And that's why i'm powdercoating my LSS wheels flat black. :D
 

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Oh, and I also use the Mity-Vac for bleeding on my Jeep, as well as draining the oil from the pan (through the dipstick tube) .... it works QUITE well, but I don't think i'd use it for my Elise, for some reason.

www.thetoolwarehouse.net ... search for mityvac.

At least on my Jeep, when i drain the engine oil with the Vac, i always take off the drain plug, just to see what was left in there. I rarely get anything more than a plastic-soda-cap-full of oil out of the pan. Quite nice, and SO much easier.

But if i had a magnetic pan plug, i'd sing a different tune. ;)
 

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BrianK said:
Trying not to get too far off topic, what do you guys use for bleeding?
Motive power bleeder. Works a treat...

http://www.motiveproducts.com/

I just use Castrol Response Super DOT4 as brake fluid for both track and road. Works fine.

SRF and friends are very nice, but cost about 4x as much and as these are usually 'competition' fluids they tend to be hugely hygroscopic and not that useful on the road.

Bye, Arno.
 

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I also use the Motive Products power bleeder.

Arno,

As I understand it the Castrol SRF is non-hygroscopic, which is the main reason people are willing to pay such a premium for it over other high-temp track fluids like the Motul 600. I think the price multiple is more than 4x for SRF.

I have read that track fluids in general tend to be hygroscopic (absorb water) and should be changed more frequently than non-hygroscopic fluids like ATE TYP200 (the amber version of SuperBlue) or Castrol LMA ("low moisture absorption").
 

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Discussion Starter #19
ok, too many cooks in the kitchen. Can someone lay out the information for me in an actionable way?

I want a pad for mostly track use. What pad do i want? What part numbers?
 

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Based on most Elise owners experience worldwide, the Pagid RS14 pads are the best on the market. The best brake fluid, Catrol SRF. Buy it, try it.
 
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