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First the installation was not difficult overall..I will be posting a separate thread with pics and commentary but for now I can say:
-a very worthy upgrade
-great bite and feels like more agressive braking than OEM (but I am still bedding in pads)
-huge reduction in brake dust
-again working on the Elise is a delight..just refining an incredible machine

Michael
 

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What do you mean you're still bedding in the pads? That's like a one-time deal as far as I'm concerned. Consecutive hard braking runs from 60 MPH or so down to 5 MPH until you can smell the brakes.
 

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AutoXr said:
What do you mean you're still bedding in the pads? That's like a one-time deal as far as I'm concerned. Consecutive hard braking runs from 60 MPH or so down to 5 MPH until you can smell the brakes.
He posted after taking the car out briefly. Regarding Porterfields, here's what they say:

" It should be noted that the special characteristics of Porterfield R-4 disc pads require a special bedding-in procedure to achieve full potential. When a satisfactory contact has been made between pad and disc, the brakes should be used progressively harder until a fall-off in performance is felt (brake fade). This is best achieved by continually braking from medium speed until, at the end of one such stop, a substantial increase in effort is needed to reduce the speed of the car. Brake parts will be extremely hot by this time, and it is critical to allow the pads to cool and recover (preferably with the vehicle still on the move). This special bedding-in process will enable the Porterfield R-4 disc brake to provide long and fade-free braking, coupled with strong performance and disc condition."
 

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YELOTUS said:
First the installation was not difficult overall..I will be posting a separate thread with pics and commentary but for now I can say:
-a very worthy upgrade
-great bite and feels like more agressive braking than OEM (but I am still bedding in pads)
-huge reduction in brake dust
-again working on the Elise is a delight..just refining an incredible machine

Michael
Is excessive brake
dust that much of a problem with the
OEM pads?
 

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Porterfields simply do not dust a lot compared to most OEM pads (exceptions are things like PCCB), so I would not be surprised at the behavior of our stock units at all. The statement is more about the Porterfields rather than the stock pads.
 

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Re: Re: Porterfields installed on all four corners>>>

Ridgemanron said:
Is excessive brake
dust that much of a problem with the
OEM pads?
Let's put it this way: When we recently met another local Elise driver, one of the first things we were asked was how come there was no dust on our wheels and his were dust covered even though they were cleaned regularly. ;)
 

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Re: Re: Porterfields installed on all four corners>>>

Ridgemanron said:
Is excessive brake
dust that much of a problem with the
OEM pads?
It's much worse than I expected. The car won't need washing, but the wheels will.
 

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Was it difficult to install the Porterfields, and how much were they? thanx
 

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I paid 89 and 79 for each axle set.

* The Fronts go on as follows. With the wheel off, remove the cotter pin thing at the rear of the two cross pins you can see holding the pads in. Then remove the pins towards you. It's easier to do this if you push in on the spring plate thing that is directly under them. The pads have sticky stuff on the back (antisqueak) and slide out with some fiddling around. You may need to squeeze or lever them back against their piston to create some more room. The new pads will slide in easily. Load in one pin, the upper while holding the spring device. The latter hooks onto the pin and has an orientation arrow which corresponds to the direction of rotation. It faces upwards. The second pin is installed while you press down on the sprng plate. Install both cotter pins.

* Rears need the e-brakes off. Since the caliper is an ebrake too. From the rear of the caliper, tap out the pad retention pin using some like a punch or a tiny screwdriver. There is a bent wire spring on it so note the orientation. The outer pad can now be slid out and replaced Use a 17 mm tool to loosen the upper caliper mounting bolt. You then loosen the lower 6 mm allen bolt (you may not need to do this, but I did) and then pivot the caliper towards the rear of the car. Then remove/replace the inner pad. You can wedge something against the inner or outer pad to lever the piston back home if need be...but on these low mileage car this is likely not required. Button everything back up.

The pads do dust less...and they have killer stopping power. The like to have some heat in them for the very best stopping but are fine in any weather. My rears rattle slightly over certain bumps...When I am back there again I will apply some of that sticky brake pad goop to get rid of the rattle. Often Porterfield pads are a bit smaller than OE.

To break them in I just drove a few miles, braking gently to help seat things. And then I followed the break-in directions.

BTW apparently the brake line going from the front mounted master cylnder passes down out interior along the spine. For those who'd like to install an adjustable prop valve, this is ideal.
 

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Stan said:
Use a 17 mm tool to loosen the upper caliper mounting bolt. You then loosen the lower 6 mm allen bolt (you may not need to do this, but I did) and then pivot the caliper towards the rear of the car.
Official method in the service manual is to leave the bolts on the calipher alone. They are not really meant to be removed and replaced often.

The way it's described (and I do) is to first tap out the front pad then undo the small locking bolt on the brake disc hub (remove it anyway and coat it's thread with some copper grease.. otherwise it *will* be seized once you want to replace the brake discs..), remove the brake disc (just lifts off) and now you can access the rear pad and screw back the piston.

Installing is just putting in the rear pad, reinstall the disc, put small locking bolt in place and then slide in the front pad.

The pads do dust less...and they have killer stopping power.
I'll never understand the US car-owner fixation with brake-dust.. I see it on every car-forum.. Some people even accept lousy braking to get 'dustless' pads?? Very odd..

My rears rattle slightly over certain bumps...When I am back there again I will apply some of that sticky brake pad goop to get rid of the rattle. Often Porterfield pads are a bit smaller than OE.
Hmm.. That's strange.. It's usually the fronts that rattle/knock. The rears should not show this problem as they are held in place more tightly by the spring that loads the pin keeping them in the calipher.

The front ones tend to rattle up and down in the calipher housing though..

Bye, Arno.
 

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>>>Official method in the service manual is to leave the bolts on the calipher alone. They are not really meant to be removed and replaced often. <<<

As far as the bolts go, they are nothing unusual. They can be removed and reinstalled many times without issue.

>>The way it's described (and I do) is to first tap out the front pad then undo the small locking bolt on the brake disc hub (remove it anyway and coat it's thread with some copper grease.. otherwise it *will* be seized once you want to replace the brake discs..), remove the brake disc (just lifts off) and now you can access the rear pad and screw back the piston. <<

That's a good idea. All you need is a bit more room to get the inner pad off.

>>>The pads do dust less...and they have killer stopping power. <<<

Dusting doesn't bother me, but if I can get better pad action AND lower dust...I'll take it! Neither stock nor Porterfield R4-S are squeakers either.

>>>I'll never understand the US car-owner fixation with brake-dust.. I see it on every car-forum.. Some people even accept lousy braking to get 'dustless' pads?? Very odd.. <<<

That's a US thing...even if it doesn't bother you personally, it bothers others who make comments which may bother you!

>>>>Hmm.. That's strange.. It's usually the fronts that rattle/knock. The rears should not show this problem as they are held in place more tightly by the spring that loads the pin keeping them in the calipher. <<<

Arew you sure about that? My rear calipers have wimpy bent wire springs on them. The fronts are stronger. It's not unusual for Porterfields to have less than perfect fit...they are not made to OE standards in all cases. And I didn't install them with the sticky glop Lotus used when installing the OE pads... This could be a factor.

>>>The front ones tend to rattle up and down in the calipher housing though.. <<<

Mine seem to be quiet so far. So are you European car owners fixated on pad rattle?!?!? Just kidding!
 

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Arno said:
I'll never understand the US car-owner fixation with brake-dust....
Yeah, but it rains everyday where you live.
It never rains here in Southern California, so our cars always look perfect. :D
 

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How does everyone feel that the stock pads will hold up on a track day? I ask because I have destroyed a set of stock pads on my Miata after one track day on Road Atlanta. I'd like to find a set of street pads for my Elise that can survive heavy track use and still be managable on the street.
 

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>>>How does everyone feel that the stock pads will hold up on a track day? I ask because I have destroyed a set of stock pads on my Miata after one track day on Road Atlanta. I'd like to find a set of street pads for my Elise that can survive heavy track use and still be managable on the street.<<<

They should hold up just fine. Make sure you have properly bedded them in before the track day. Our car is about 400-500 pounds lighter than a Miata and has larger brakes. Plus the rear brakes do a great deal more than on most cars, so the work is spread out pretty well. The brakes don't have splash shields either, which increases their cooling ability. On many nonducted street cars removing the splash shields behind the discs helps cool them off more effectively. Ultimately things like brake balance and tire grip limit your braking capability but better pads can help out a bit it appears.
 

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My pads have survived three autoCs just fine. But when they DO go, I'll get the Porterfields. I'm one of those who likes his wheels shiny, so I'd don't like brake dust. I suppose if I didn't care or was driving my old '84 Escort, I wouldn't sweat it. Heck, on that car I at one point forgot what color it was, it had been so long since I washed it. But on my Elise, I want it to look as good as it should. :cool:
 

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Arno said:
I'll never understand the US car-owner fixation with brake-dust.. I see it on every car-forum.. Some people even accept lousy braking to get 'dustless' pads?? Very odd..
We like our cars to look clean, and when living in a state with little rain, this is easy to accomplish. Nothing says 'neglected car' like a buildup of brake dust on the wheels.
 

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Is there a need for cooling ducts and backing plates with the elise? I do track events where I routinely put 200+ miles on my M3 in 100 degree heat(obviously the Elise is much lighter). Without cooling the brakes are horrible, even with full race pads, and the rotors are destroyed after one day. Does anyone have any experience lapping this car in the heat?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Just to add some visuals to this thread and>>>

a few comments. Stan has outlined the process for removal etc already so I am only showing some visuals to help. Also I found using Brake Quiet on pads prior to installing the backing plates from the OEM pads onto the Porterfields eliminates any rattling or brake pad squeal....not a sound. Also I found that I did have to remove the front caliper to pry off the pads from the pistons...there is a rather noticiable adhesive (anti noise) on the pads that stays tight onto the pistons...this process is not difficult using the correct tools. And I voice what Stan said...better perfromance and yes much lower dust to boot!

Now to the tools... for the front real easy>>>

[/IMG]

and the rear same...do need the punch to knock out pin and make sure when the pin is reinstalled a punch is used to seat the retaining ring you see on the pin (unlike the front pins which are held in place by pressure and clips the rear pin is held in place by the retaining ring on the pin)

[/IMG]

This is what will eliminate rattle and squeal..use on back plate side of pad PRIOR to installing backing plates salvaged from the OEM pads...

://[/IMG]

And here is better view of the salvaged backing plate(s)>>>

[/IMG]

Components of the front caliper>>

[/IMG]

For the front caliper removal the location of the top and bottom allen bolt>>>

[/IMG]

And the rear caliper setup>>>

[/IMG]

And the 17mm top bolt on the rear caliper that needs to be removed so as to pivot down the caliper on the lower bolt (I did not have to loosen lower bolt...was easy to pivot caliper)>>

[/IMG]

Hopes this adds to understanding of the process...
Michael
 

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Nice stuff Michael. You can get the OE pads out without removing the caliper. You just compress the piston and lever the pad off the end of the piston with a screwdriver. It takes maybe 15-20 seconds.
 
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