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      09-30-2010, 04:11 PM   #1
HP Man
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My Review of AP Racing BBK -- After Track Day

I installed the AP Racing BBK on my car a few weeks ago and took it out to the track last week. First, the good.

My initial impression was that these brakes are awesome! The power, consistency and modulation was impressive. They did not fade and were very linear. They are a substantial improvement over the stock brakes.

Now the bad.

Given that my initial experience with them was so good, I got a bit over zealous with late braking in my last session of the day. Near the end of the session I got black flagged due to sparks coming out of my driver's side front wheel. After some inspection, I completely cooked the front brakes and to a lesser extent the rears. I do not think this was due to a shortcoming in the brakes, but rather (1) me overdriving them; and (2) me using a hybrid pad instead of a race pad (the Mintex pads that come with the kit). Surprisingly enough, the brakes performed very well even while the pads were being melted and turned into dust.

The rotors are a bit scored but have survived to live another day. The pads were brand new at the beginning of the track day, but are down to about 2 mm of compound (the new ones are on order ).

I think I'll try these with some race pads next time and work a bit on my brake management skills.....

Here's a few pictures of the aftermath of the front.
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      09-30-2010, 04:38 PM   #2
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What group do you run in? What tires were you using?
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      09-30-2010, 05:22 PM   #3
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What size of rotors do you use?

You have to use track pads even with BBKs... and that is what worries me about AP. I am not sure how many pads are available.
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      09-30-2010, 05:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1MORELAP View Post
What size of rotors do you use?

You have to use track pads even with BBKs... and that is what worries me about AP. I am not sure how many pads are available.
Both front rear pad shapes have been around for over two decades. Pretty much every conceivable compound from any pad manufacturer is available.

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      09-30-2010, 06:26 PM   #5
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What group do you run in? What tires were you using?
This track day only had two groups -- "first timers" and "experienced" and I was in the latter. I was just on street tires (AD08s).
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      09-30-2010, 06:28 PM   #6
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What size of rotors do you use?

You have to use track pads even with BBKs... and that is what worries me about AP. I am not sure how many pads are available.
368mm front and 356mm rear. As Chris noted, there are many, many available pads for these calipers.
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      09-30-2010, 06:31 PM   #7
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Wow! That's impressive. A few weeks of street use and two track days (is that right) and the pads are gone? I don't think I've ever seen a pair of pads wear that fast. Where in the PNW is a track that would give you this much wear, not SIR (Seattle International Raceway when I lived there, now called something else) or Portland international raceway.
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      09-30-2010, 06:53 PM   #8
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Did you properly bed your pads? We didn't have problems with our kit on the track with the pads that comes with it.

Great review, we also went with the AP Racing BBK on our project VF Supercharged e92 M3:

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      09-30-2010, 07:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VictorH View Post
Wow! That's impressive. A few weeks of street use and two track days (is that right) and the pads are gone? I don't think I've ever seen a pair of pads wear that fast. Where in the PNW is a track that would give you this much wear, not SIR (Seattle International Raceway when I lived there, now called something else) or Portland international raceway.
The pads unfortunately got consumed in a single track day -- really, to be honest, in a 40 minute session. The track at Mission, B.C. is a super short (1.2 mile) 9 turn course that is murder on brakes. Depite being so short, my car gets going reasonably fast as it is supercharged. The reason the pads got consumed so quickly, as far as I can tell, is that I simply overheated them and they completely melted. The sparks that the mashalls saw coming out of my wheel were pad fragmets that were melted / burned off the pads (there was a huge pile of pad dust / fragments deposited all over my rims). All of the temperature marking paint that was on the rotors were burned off, so I know I massively overheated the brakes.

As I noted before, the odd thing was that the pads gave consistent feel and stopping power even as they were melting. For the next track day, I will definitely get a more appropriate track pad.
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      09-30-2010, 07:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VictorH View Post
Wow! That's impressive. A few weeks of street use and two track days (is that right) and the pads are gone? I don't think I've ever seen a pair of pads wear that fast. Where in the PNW is a track that would give you this much wear, not SIR (Seattle International Raceway when I lived there, now called something else) or Portland international raceway.
Even track pads can be gone through in one day. Well, in professional racing anyway. NASCAR teams usually go almost completely through pads that are 1-1/4" thick in one 500 lap race at Martinsville. And that's with massive cooling ducts, carbon rotor gloves and cross-drilled titanium pistons! It's all about rotor temps and energy dissipation.

That said, different pads should be used in the OP's application -- which work for him, in that car, at that track, at his current skill level and preferred style of braking. Another driver might need a different selection.

These kits are shipped with a fairly high temp pad -- for street and sporting use. They cannot be supplied with full track pads as standard unless specified that way by the customer. Most track pads have very low cold friction, so coming up to the first stop sign in the morning becomes a very exciting, perhaps life-changing, experience.

HP Man: Since you seem to have liked the feel and linearity of the Mintex Xtreme Motorsport compound (as do I!), I would suggest trying Mintex F3R race compound on the front next time out. This is a very linear, high-temp (up to 2100F) full race pad that many professional drivers swear by. It also has outstanding release characteristics, which help it stand out among some others in that category.

That compound works very well in conjunction with Xtreme Motorsport on the rear as long as the rear rotors aren't getting above 1300F, which is not likely. You can get F3R from whoever supplied your brake system. NOTE: These are not for street use!

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      09-30-2010, 10:00 PM   #11
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How thick were these pads to begin with? It's hard to imagine that you burned through them in a 40 min session with street tires?!
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      09-30-2010, 11:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
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How thick were these pads to begin with? It's hard to imagine that you burned through them in a 40 min session with street tires?!
I was following him, and it looked to me like HP Man had huge fun blasting through his pads in a few minutes at the end of the day. I was running the same brakes and the same pads but I was braking a little earlier, giving up a couple of seconds a lap (no s/c and a llittle more conservative driving) and I used 1.5mm off my new pads in the course of the whole day.

New Mintex pads have a 6mm backing plate and 12mm of brake pad compound. Mine had 10.5mm of pad material left at the end of the day.

Last edited by JAJ; 10-01-2010 at 12:10 AM.
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      10-01-2010, 12:47 AM   #13
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crazy.. !
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      10-01-2010, 01:11 AM   #14
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how much do the regular replacements pads and the F3Rs run for usually for a set?
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      10-01-2010, 02:22 PM   #15
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how much do the regular replacements pads and the F3Rs run for usually for a set?
The standard Xtreme Motorsport (MXM) front pads list for $299.75. The front F3R race compound lists for $329.75. The forum vendors can provide you with a quote.

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      10-03-2010, 03:20 AM   #16
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Which club was hosting the track day event? So far I've only been to the VCMC and UBCSCC ones.
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      10-03-2010, 09:51 PM   #17
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Which club was hosting the track day event? So far I've only been to the VCMC and UBCSCC ones.
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      10-06-2010, 03:52 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AP Racing - Chris_B View Post
Even track pads can be gone through in one day. Well, in professional racing anyway. NASCAR teams usually go almost completely through pads that are 1-1/4" thick in one 500 lap race at Martinsville. And that's with massive cooling ducts, carbon rotor gloves and cross-drilled titanium pistons! It's all about rotor temps and energy dissipation.

That said, different pads should be used in the OP's application -- which work for him, in that car, at that track, at his current skill level and preferred style of braking. Another driver might need a different selection.

These kits are shipped with a fairly high temp pad -- for street and sporting use. They cannot be supplied with full track pads as standard unless specified that way by the customer. Most track pads have very low cold friction, so coming up to the first stop sign in the morning becomes a very exciting, perhaps life-changing, experience.

HP Man: Since you seem to have liked the feel and linearity of the Mintex Xtreme Motorsport compound (as do I!), I would suggest trying Mintex F3R race compound on the front next time out. This is a very linear, high-temp (up to 2100F) full race pad that many professional drivers swear by. It also has outstanding release characteristics, which help it stand out among some others in that category.

That compound works very well in conjunction with Xtreme Motorsport on the rear as long as the rear rotors aren't getting above 1300F, which is not likely. You can get F3R from whoever supplied your brake system. NOTE: These are not for street use!

Chris
Are the Mintex F3R race compound paint and rotor friendly? Friction co-efficient? I want to run these or Pagid RS29s all around.

My other thought is to run Ferodo DS2500 all around for street, and then just swap the fronts to DS3000s for the track.
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      10-06-2010, 05:00 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Are the Mintex F3R race compound paint and rotor friendly? Friction co-efficient? I want to run these or Pagid RS29s all around.

My other thought is to run Ferodo DS2500 all around for street, and then just swap the fronts to DS3000s for the track.
F3R is generally known as reasonably friendly to both paint and rotors. Like a lot of other high-friction racing pads, rotor wear will be the worst when the rotors are cold (another reason we don't recommend running them on the street). Mintex does not release coefficients as they are dependent on a few different factors, including how they are tested. But we understand they are in the .46-.50 range and very linear across a wide temperature range. Initial bite is pretty high, so they might be a little too aggressive on the rear for some. Others might like that characteristic to help rotate the car around slower corners.

If it is too much, you might want to try F6R on the rear (or the reasonably similar Pagid RS29). If rotor temperatures stay below 1300F, which is very likely with race pads up front, you could also use the MXM pads that come with the kit probably without issue. The friction profile is similar to F3R, but at a lower level.

Once you get used to running F3R's on the front, you will kill a set of DS3000's in short order. Those don't have the upper temperature range anywhere near the F3R, which is used in NASCAR where rotors get up to 2000F or so (approaching white hot).

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      10-07-2010, 03:12 AM   #20
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Not surprising that a car making an extra 150hp with an extra 25lbs or so in front of the front axle is a little harder on brakes than your average M3.

Chris - 2000 degrees F is pretty far from white-hot when you're talking about iron. A 2000 degree piece of iron is emitting light in the orange-ish part of the spectrum, but the intensity can be high enough to cause it to appear whiter than it really is to our eyes and/or cameras depending on what's going on.

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      05-26-2012, 10:08 AM   #21
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I apologize if I am threadjacking, but I recently purchased an AP Racing BBK for my E46 M3 and though my kit is still really new (less than 2-300 miles) I am trying to think for the future and reading over the thread someone mentioned that pads are actually quite plentiful for AP Racing BBKs. I have the AP Racing 3800 6 piston front and AP Racing 3850 4 piston rears with 356x36 and 328x20 front/rear slotted rotors. I quite like the Mintex pads that came with the car, but would like to preserve them for when I am driving on the street. What would be a better track oriented Mintex pad but not as aggressive as the F3R you mentioned. Also is there an online vendor that I can buy these from because **********s where I bought the kit from doesn't have the pads for sale on their website and Stillen (where my kit shipped from), only has the rear set of pads listed. If these are common size/template pads what name/designation should I be looking for. Can I find these on Tire Rack or somewhere else? Any information/advice will be greatly appreciated.
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      05-26-2012, 11:49 AM   #22
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Use your browser to track down the phone numbers for three companies and then phone them: Stillen, Essexparts.com and Raceshopper.com Stillen and Essex are the two major distributors of AP Racing in North America, and Raceshopper is a brake pad specialist store.

All three will have a more available pad options than what's on the website, although the Essex site is pretty comprehensive.

I've started getting my brake pads from Raceshopper - good guys and good service.

Last edited by JAJ; 05-26-2012 at 11:54 AM.
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