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reply to billydunwood

Re: Which Brake Pad for best Stopping Power?

Been following this thread.

Is there not more having to do with braking, then just the pads?

Heat buildup, type of traffic, type of braking, Cooling between stops, Personal Style, Weight of Vehicle, Cargo, Passengers, and such?

What role does the Rotors Play? Tires? Pads? Type of Calipers? Other?

Sorry, am no expert, just thinking out loud.


Milledgeville, GA
That's the gist of what I posted above.

The pads can do only so much. They apply pressure to the rotor until either they are at max pressure or they are able to stop the rotor from moving at all, thus locking the wheel. At this point the brake's friction is greater than the tire's friction against the road. Stopping performance cannot be improved past this point by doing anything further with the pads.

Then you improve the tires. Their increased traction against the road makes it harder for the pads to completely stop the wheel, allowing the pads to scrub off more energy than before. Your best deceleration happens just before wheel lockup. The tire skidding across pavement does not decelerate the vehicle as quickly as when the brakes able to turn the motion energy into heat.

Better rotors mean more resistance to overheating with repeated braking or braking from high speeds. Larger rotors can dissipate more heat and provide more available braking force due to the increased pad area. Better pads resist the heat from the severe use, either not losing performance when hot or actually getting better once they get some heat in them. Bigger calipers can exert more force on the rotors but again, this ability is wasted if the existing calipers can already stop the wheel's motion.

Vehicle type and size has little effect on braking except that less weight is easier to stop. Weight transfer means that the vast majority of braking will be done by the front rotors.

FWIW my former 01 Grand Marquis LSE's stopping was quite good with stock Ford brakes and Bridgestone Potenza RE730 tires. Most of the time people put generic rubber on family sedans. When it's time, my newly-acquired 2000 Continental will get Michelin Pilot Sport A/S tires just for the added capability over the standard grandma tires it has now.
John M - Cranky network guy