and later:Arno said:The stock pads fitted to the Elise are actually quite decent and usually have little problems with track use until you get quite proficient with these cars. Much more 'track' oriented material than used on other regular cars.
As earlier posts mention does the light weight and relatively big brakes help to keep the brakes cool, so fade is not very common on these cars.
Motorsport elises sometimes used brake-ducting, but they often found that the brakes were actually over-cooled unless they were running on very tight circuits.
The problem with the normal pads is that they are sometimes a little 'dull' in the feedback and it's harder to control the braking as you stand on the pedal.
Using low to medium friction track/road pads (often the 'endurance race' type) is usually best on the Elise. These usually still have a higher friction index than the stock pads (so give you good braking at lower pedal pressures, easier to control/modulate), but usually do not have extreme wear speeds on rotors or pads themselves.
High friction pads often tend to be too 'grabby' and destroy your brake modulation control, while more extreme 'race' pads simply won't reach operating temperatures on the Elise brakes because they don't get that hot to start with.
Pretty much *the* pads for use on the Elise in Europe are the PAGID RS4-2 (blue) pads for road and light track use and the RS14 (black) pads for more intensive track use. Many people found the PAGID RS-15 to be too extreme, although some run these on the back.
I'm a bit of an oddball and run SBS ProTrack carbon-ceramic pads on my Elise, which I'm very happy with (I think Mark A uses the same on his Exige..)
and again:Arno said:Front pads should be approx 14.3mm thick, rears should be 11.2mm (including backing plate).
Yes.. This means the rear pads only have about 4mm wear available if you replace them at 3mm. That's correct. They are much thinner than the front pads when new.
You will find that most off-the-shelf rear pads (from the Dodge Viper BTW..) are too thick unless you can specify the thickness yourself.
and about swapping the pads:Arno said:In case other people are looking to try out different pads on the Elise for road racing or perhaps auto-X.
As the Elise/Exige uses REAR pads from a Nissan Skyline GTR at the front and the REAR pads from a Dodge Viper at the rear I simply looked them up..
DODGE VIPER 2002-92 FRONT FMSI D592 REAR FMSI D491
NISSAN SKYLINE GTR 1995-89 FRONT FMSI D639 REAR FMSI D174
So the Elise becomes:
ELISE FRONT FMSI D174/109 REAR FMSI D491
The FMSI 'D109' might be possible at the front too. Slightly thicker pad (16.5mm vs. 14.1), but same backing plate shape.
These numbers should make it possible to cross-reference with just about any brake pad manufacturer you want.
and about bleeding:Arno said:As tony wrote, the fronts are very simple as they use a fixed calipher. So you just tap out the retaining pins and pull the pads from the top.
Push back the pistons and put in new ones.
The rear ones are little more work, but still not very much. You also need to remove a retaining pin, after which you can remove the front pad by tapping it downwards/sideways.
To remove the other pad you can either remove the brake disc (one small screw) or unbolt 1 side of the calipher and 'flip' it up.
The piston, however, can not be pushed back like on the front ones. These caliphers have the handbrake mechanism combined, so you need to push *and* turn the piston clockwise to 'screw' it back into the calipher housing.
It's not a big job, but a little more involved than the fronts.
Arno said:I use a Motive powerbleeder and that work fine for me.
The fed-Elise probably has the same 'issue' with the front caliphers though.
The inside piston feeds the outside one through a pipe at the bottom. If air is in the system (and this is the only problem.. no issue with just flushing brakefluid to replace it) then you can not 'flush' the air out, because it gets trapped in the inside piston.
To clear it you have to unbolt the calipher, hold it upside-down, bleed (pushing the bubbles to the outside piston as the pipe is now at the top), turn it 'right side up' again and finish bleeding.
The 'off the shelf' AP-racing caliphers have twin bleed nipples for this purpose.. One for the outside and one for the inside piston. But the Lotus/AP-Racing version only has 1..