High performance brakes are a great upgrade to your street machine, pro touring style car, autocross warrior, or even your daily driver. Most of us start building horsepower before setting the proper foundation to get it all dragged to a halt, which is doing it wrong. Starting from the ground up with products from a recognized industry leader like Baer is the way to go. There’s more to upgrading your brakes than simply bolting the kit on and then blasting around a track at full bore, jamming the pedal to the floor into the corners. In order to get the best performance, life, and durability out of the components there are two important processes that need to be completed when the brakes are fresh on your car.
The first is called “seasoning” the rotors and the point of this process is to establish the proper wear pattern between the pad and the rotor as well as to remove any oils or lubricants left on the surface of the rotor from the machining stage of construction. More importantly, this process is used to remove internal stresses in the metal that the rotors are constructed from. Completing this process as Baer directs means that the rotors will be far less likely to deform under heavy stress when being used later on. As Baer mentioned in this piece, on “seasoning”, if you are going to put your brakes into competition, they need to be warmed up gradually to working temperature. Hitting the track with ice cold tires and brakes and careening head long into turn one is not the right way to do things. A warm up lap, allowing you to get the temps up will again help performance and aid in the life of the rotors.
The second process is probably more familiar to many BangShifters and that would be the idea of “bedding” your new brake pads. Bedding has many of the same merits as seasoning does in that you are doing this initial work to insure the long and happy life of the pads in conjunction with the rotors. At base, what the bedding process is accomplishing is making sure that you have essentially burned off the binding agent on the face of the pad, allowing the friction material to contact the rotor directly. Baer suggestes that 150-200 miles of commuter, easy style driving are done with their pads or up to 300 miles if you are using plated rotors and/or something different from their ceramic based brake pad. Baer goes into great detail about how to bed different types of pads, tips for racers wondering how to bed full race pads, and the specific procedure for all these different applications. If you will be working on or upgrading your brake system soon, this is required reading!