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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Going to replace front brake pads soon. Any thoughts on the Raybestos Element 3...supposedly a "hybrid of ceramic/ semi-metallic" material. Replacing only front brakes this go-a-around.


2019 5 door, sedate driving style, 80/20 local/highway driving.

Back in the day I did a lot of the required mechanic type work on my vehicles including the brakes...life happened and got away from it...now 30 years later gonna give it a whirl once again. Also gonna bleed the brake fluid either through gravity or a Mity Vac compressor unit...not sure yet.

Other recommendations?

Thanks
 

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2017 Mazda CX-5 Sport
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I know it isn't a particularly "hard" job but for the life of me I don't think I have ever messed with brakes on any of my cars. I usually pay someone else to do it. I guess I worry about doing something wrong and not being able to stop! LOL
 

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ModFather
2019 Subaru Impreza Sport 5 Dr. Manual Shift
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I always do my brakes and sometimes my friends :) I also bleed the brakes typically at the same time. I don't know that there is anything wrong with Raybestos . I always thought it was a reputable brand. I frequently just get the OEM pads on ebay or Amazon because it typically includes the clips. I've also cleaned and reused the existing clips with no issues. I've used a mighty vac and speed bleeders but in the end I typically enlist my wife to help out bleeding the brakes. Old school works and is easier IMHO as long as you can get a helper. If possible get fresh brake fluid that comes in a metal can and not plastic. Less risk of moisture infiltration.

One thing I like to do is put some CRC brake quiet on the back of the pads even if it has shims. Just minimizes the risk of getting noisy down the road. I have a thread around here somewhere with the torque specs you should use.
 
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Going to replace front brake pads soon. Any thoughts on the Raybestos Element 3...supposedly a "hybrid of ceramic/ semi-metallic" material. Replacing only front brakes this go-a-around.
I have never heard of "ceramic/ semi-metallic" but it sounds VERY interesting to me.

I know that OEM pads are ceramic becasue they are quiet, low-dusting and easy on the rotors.

HOWEVER: Here in Vermont, they use salt on the roads 6 months of the year. New rotors actually rust ON THE BRAKING SURFACE after several years LONG before the pads wear out.... but the rust on the rotors then abrades the pads down to the backing-plate pretty quickly.

Hence, I like to run semi-metallic pads which tend to keep the rotors clean from rusting and MUCH STRONGER braking performance. The drawback is black dust all over the wheels.

This is why I like the concept of "ceramic/ semi-metallic" which sounds like the best of both worlds.(Cleaner rotors AND low dusting AND powerful brakes)
 

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ModFather
2019 Subaru Impreza Sport 5 Dr. Manual Shift
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HOWEVER: Here in Vermont, they use salt on the roads 6 months of the year. New rotors actually rust ON THE BRAKING SURFACE after several years LONG before the pads wear out.... but the rust on the rotors then abrades the pads down to the backing-plate pretty quickly.
Rust will form on the swept surface of the rotor in a matter of hours in humid weather or after you wash the car. It's the nature of the metal. The first time you apply the brakes after it forms it's gone. Unless your using carbon fiber rotors it's the nature of the beast.


I like to get replacement rotors eventually and I go for ones that are coated.


You need to be thinking about the use of your car when you pick the brake pad. A daily driver pad will be different than if you auto x . There are all sorts of trade offs between how aggressive a pad will wear your rotors, noise and stuff like that.

This is really worth a look about pads

 

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Rust will form on the swept surface of the rotor in a matter of hours in humid weather or after you wash the car. It's the nature of the metal. The first time you apply the brakes after it forms it's gone. Unless your using carbon fiber rotors it's the nature of the beast.
Mr Peaty (Welcome as an admin)

I am well aware of 'surface rust' which wipes off when brakes are applied..,... this is not the same as pitting on the swept surface due to months of salt-laden roads. It is this PERMINANT rust damage to the swept surface which the metallic-based pads help to prevent.

I am speaking from years of living in Vermont and trying MANY various pad/rotor combinations to combat this pitting.

If you have not experienced the kind of HEAVY rust damage caused by 6 months of salty roads annually, I can understand why you have no perspective regarding the kind of damage that salt-water soaked roads can do to EVERY metal component underneath a car. Even when summer comes... the humidity 'activates' the dried salt in all the nooks/crannies and rusting continues.

BTW: Drilled/slotted rotors are MUCH worse in this reguard. The holes/slots tend to provide a 'breeding ground' for the rust to work its way onto the swept surface.

Plated rotors do not help either... the plating wears off in a matter weeks.

Stainless steel rotors may be able to prevent this kind of rust pitting but are NOT good at handling heat like cast iron. (infact, stainless tends to be an insulator compared to cast so the heat does not dissipate.)
 

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I once bought drilled/slotted rotors for my Scion. I can tell you that after the pads bedded in, they made a lot more noise on heavy braking!
 

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ModFather
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I grew up on the east coast they always used salt on the roads, that and cinders. You are right I haven't seen pitting that bad on a car that was used daily, only on cars that have sat for a long time. The early Subaru's, before they got the hang of treating the metal, would rust the floorboards though. We had 3 different Brats and all of them you could eventually see the ground under your feet. I called it Flint-stoning :) I've not had that much damage personally from salt on the rotors or drums though. I have seen calipers stick and cause uneven wear on pads though from salty roads. I also worked in a shop and worked on brakes and don't remember it being a big issue where I lived. I have seen some serious damage in other places though on cars with sub-frames etc rusting though. The worst winters for me were in Central PA when I lived there. Here in KS they freak out when there is 2 inches of snow on the ground. I've only been to Vermont to ski in the winter and in the summer ride though the mountains on my motorcycle but I understand they have crazy winters, my guess is every other car is a Subaru there :)

I have slotted and drilled rotors on my Miata, mostly because I got a deal on them. I don't think they stop any better or worse than regular blanks. Pretty much only look good and they were inexpensive. The car is so light, I haven't had any issues with noise or rusting for that matter. Here in KS the winters are cold but pretty mild for the most part

Some interesting stuff on Brakes a brake design engineer put on our scoobymods site, it was a while ago but I suspect most things are still true today

https://www.scoobymods.com/showthread.php/vehicle-brake-information-1122.html?t=1122

Funny the guy that wrote that has the same last name as me but no relation.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Went with the Raybestos Element 3 pads. Used the mityvac to extract old brake fluid and replaced with the Bosch ES16 fluid.
 
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