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brake pad service limits?

Discussion in 'Roadster: Technical' started by S-2000 Roadster, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. S-2000 Roadster

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    I searched the PDF of the Owner's Manual and found nothing on brake pad thickness service limits. When do the brake pads need to be replaced? How thick? I'm at 7 mm Front and 3 mm Rear. Seems like the Rear might be in need of replacement.

    Also, while we're on the topic, is there a thread here that covers common replacement brands that are equivalent to OEM quality as well as upgrade quality? I'm not too keen on changing to a harder pad material, but I am curious to know about options. Ideally, I'd replace my brake pads with the equivalent of what Tesla Motors would be using if I took my Roadster to them for a simple brake pad replacement service (except for the price - they quoted over $1,000 when they gave me the thickness measurements above).
     
  2. thefortunes

    thefortunes Member

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    #2 thefortunes, Jan 24, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
    Many threads on the topic, but the general consensus (of which I agree) is that you should replace your pads with Carbotech. I did mine (even though they weren't at the limit) and encourage everyone still on the OEM pads to do the same. Huge difference in grab, especially in the cold or if you have some buildup on your rotors.

    I went with the 1521 compound and ordered direct from Carbotech: Carbotech Performance Brakes: Products-Lotus Brake Pads & Shoes The AX6 may be appropriate if you live in a warm climate and/or track your car.
    upload_2017-1-24_15-2-45.png

    P.S. The pads on Roadsters are very easy to replace, or you could take the Carbotech pads to a trusted mechanic - just ensure they do not try to put it on a lift without the proper adapter (it will tip).
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. supersnoop

    supersnoop Tesla Roadster #334

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    Get the Carbotech 1521's if you drive when it's cold out. Get the AX6's if you're in a climate that generally stays above 50°F.

    The brakes on the Roadster are pretty terrible, but you don't notice it because the regen slows the car down most of the time. It's been described as "driving with one peddle." But when the regen shuts off (when the battery is too cold or too full, or you shift to neutral), you'll notice just has bad the brakes really are. The Carbotech pads really help.
     
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  4. S-2000 Roadster

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    Do the Carbotech pads wear the rotors any faster?
    The laws of physics would seem to demand so.
     
  5. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    As far as service limits, you still have a little ways to go, but like everyone else I recommend Carbotechs immediately. Several threads describe the night-and-day difference. I also recommend you look at better rotors. See this thread:
    Now Shipping: Custom Tesla Roadster 2-Piece Slotted Rotors
    Tesla generally recommends replacing the rotors when you replace the pads (depends on service center) and these custom rotors cost only slightly more and are way better.

    The rear pads usually wear faster on the inside so be sure to look at those. The OEM pads don't have rivets and I know someone who drove his Roadster until the steel backing of the pad started touching the rotor, which ruined it.

    Good luck.
     
  6. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    I expected them to wear the rotors faster (the physics makes sense) but surprisingly they don't. The Carbotech pads wear much slower and create less dust.
     
  7. JohnGarziglia

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    I am absolutely happy with my replacement of the OEM pads with the Carbotech 1521 pads. Brakes now grab authoritatively in all temps.
     
  8. S-2000 Roadster

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    Hmm, the CT Brakes web site seems to have been down the whole time I've been reading the helpful replies in this thread. http://www.ctbrakes.com/
     
  9. S-2000 Roadster

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    From another site:

    The Carbotech Bobcat 1521 is our high performance street compound that is our most successful compound. The Bobcat compound is known for its awesome release and modulation, along with unmatched rotor friendliness. Like our AX & XP line of compounds, Bobcat 1521 is a Ceramic based friction material offering minimal rotor damage and non corrosive dust. Bobcat 1521 offers outstanding performance, even when cold, low dusting and low noise with an excellent initial bite. This compound’s virtually perfect linear torque production provides incredible braking force without ABS intervention.

    Bobcat 1521 operating range starts out at ambient and goes up to 900°F. Bobcat 1521 is suitable for ALL street cars, perfect for your tow vehicle, police cruiser, and has won multiple SCCA Solo 2 and Prosolo National Championships. The Bobcat 1521 compound has been found to last two-three times longer than OE pads you can purchase at a dealership or national retailer. Bobcat 1521 compound has also been found to extend the life of your rotors 2-3 times. That’s one of the beauties of Carbotech Ceramic brake compounds.

    Bobcat 1521 is NOT recommended for any track use.​

    I like that it's "rotor friendly" and extends the life of rotors "2-3 times." Considering the rarity of parts for the Roadster, I'm happier not burning through the rotors. Reduced pollution from dust is a plus, as well.
     
  10. gregd

    gregd Active Member

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    But replacing just the pads doesn't fix the problem with the rotors rusting up after getting wet (making for more-exciting than desired initial stops at the start of the day). Or, do the 1521 pads have enough bite that the rust doesn't really affect things enough to be a problem?
     
  11. S-2000 Roadster

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    Every car I've ever owned suffers from rusty rotors if I leave them sitting wet long enough. I've never really noticed a problem, because it scrapes off the next day. I also park in a garage with a downhill ramp as the first braking obstacle, so the rust is cleaned off before I even get on the road.
     
  12. thefortunes

    thefortunes Member

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    I did have an "oh *sugar*" moment with the OEM pads where I almost hit somebody, so I definitely know the difference. The 1521 pads seem to have enough bite to get through any rust that occurs, in my experience.

    That is not to say I wouldn't like to upgrade to the group buy rotors, just haven't done it (yet?).
     
  13. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    The Roadster has the rustiest stock rotors I've ever seen on a car. Hose the rotors down and another car, let both of them sit for a day or two, compare. Not only that, those stupid rotors have useless drilled holes that do nothing but hamper the performance by allowing brake dust, rust, and other debris to get lodged and reside in there. They do not work as they should since the hole diameter is too small, so it just accumulates. Even when dry, that stuf comes out of there and onto your pad. It also turns into a sponge when wet and mops down your rotor with that nice slimy mix. I don't know about you but I want my rotor to be as clean as possible and free of anything like that. The CRF rotors stay clean and have slots which work in carrying out the dirt/dust/debris and on its next rotation, blows that crap off. Then the next pass does a wipe of the pad blowing the crap out after it passes the pad again.

    As for the CarboTech pads. They're a necessary improvement, but what I feel still just a band-aid for the braking blues. I found they reached a diminishing point where the rotor is the weak link and the pad just won't keep grabbing like it was where I had full confidence. This is at high speed and hammering down on the brakes. ...hence why I looked at coming up with the rotor group buy. After teaming the CarboTech AX6's and the CRF rotors my braking was right were I wanted it to be and I got rid of that high speed fade the stock rotors had exhibited. I can put my foot all the way down at high speeds and still have plenty of bite and stopping power. So my confidence level was and is where it needs to be to be confident I can stop the car if an unexpected emergency does come my way.
     
  14. Austrianer

    Austrianer Member

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    I've the CT AX6 pads on my Roadster for over one year now with the original stock rotors. I'm wondering why but the original stock rotors never got rusty again, even now when the car is parked for several weeks and the snow is melting, checked it yesterday, no rust, no rust for over one year on my stock rotors.
     
  15. Bobfitz1

    Bobfitz1 Member

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    That is not to say I wouldn't like to upgrade to the group buy rotors, just haven't done it (yet?).

    I'm kicking myself I did not see the group buy of much better rotors back when. Had to have Tesla service swap out the rusty front rotors. Not cheap for inferior rotors. Any chance we might see another group buy of the same ones this year or next?
     
  16. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

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    The problem with the Roadster is not with the rotors but the pads. The OEM pads have a very high metallic content and only work good when hot. Aftermarket pads are designed to deposit on the rotor a thin layer of the binder (glue) that holds the non-metallic fibers together. That thin layer provides more friction and keeps the rotors from rusting.
     
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  17. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    What was the total cost of the two front rotors if you don't mind me asking?

    Yes, there's going to be another custom rotor order since more showed interest since the last delivery. Please see this thread and reply or contact Dave letting him know you'd like to get in on the next order. Once he reaches 20 orders he'll begin the next batch:

    Now Shipping: Custom Tesla Roadster 2-Piece Slotted Rotors
     
  18. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    The pads are a large part of the issue, I call it still a band-aid. The stock rotors are not great at all. As I mentioned before, the CarboTech AX6 pads did great until I really started putting real pressure at high speeds on them. They lost their bite when stopping at high speeds. I don't like false confidence in brakes.... changing to the 2 piece slotted rotors corrected that issue 100% and I now have 100% confidence. And lighter rotors / less unstrung weight greatly improves your braking performance. I believe the CRF 2 piece rotors are have a 4lb weight savings per wheel.

    Those small drilled holes are not beneficial at all in the stock rotors, but rather detrimental since it holds dirt, dust, grit and other crap in there that reduce your braking ability. Slotted rotors are much better for cleaning your pad and allowing dust, dirt, grit to go somewhere as the pad pass, then gets blown off as it rotates for the next pass.
     
  19. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

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    If you had started with new stock rotors and the AX6 pads I doubt you would notice much of a difference vs the CRF rotors. The slots do seem to work a little better in the wet upon initial braking, but they do plug up and eventually become useless when the rotors wear. The weight savings is located near the center of rotation, and offer only a small benefit in actual braking. But they do offer less unsprung weight and sure do look pretty.
     
  20. Bobfitz1

    Bobfitz1 Member

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    Sure. My recollection is replacing front rotors and pads last year at Tesla service center ran around $1200.
    Took it in when I could no longer stand the noise from the rusty front rotors. The worst part of the deal was I lost the CarboTech pads I had bought and had installed by a local tire and brake place. Since (I'm told) installing new pads when rotors are installed is SOP.
    I also needed a new driver side mirror assembly (don't ask!). Since getting the part was held up I got to keep a Model S loaner over a weekend. I'd been planning to visit friends in Vermont, so I asked a service rep if I could drive it up there and back (about 600 miles).
    The answer? "Drive it anywhere you like." Was my first chance to use a number of SuperChargers on way up and back.
    I'll check in with Dave and let him know I'm interested. I figure it's only a matter of time before my rotors rust out again! I'd love to have really good braking performance as several described so well on this thread. Thank you for posting link!
     
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