Carbotech brake pads

CarboTech Super Street F Brake Pads

[4/28/2001] Reviewed by: Ken Struven -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter

Higher performance aftermarket brake pads

I installed these brake pads almost exactly one year ago. They've been very good to live with. No squealing, very little dust generation and they stop much better than the OEM pads. As they were described by Joseph at RSpeed, it takes one or two stops in the morning first thing to get them warmed up. But it's nothing objectionable, for this attribute doesn't even raise a concern for my wife, who sometimes drives the car. I'm really pleased with the overall behavior of these pads. I was really concerned about dusting- I told Joseph that if they were huge dust makers, he'd get them back! He was confident I'd find them ok and that's been the case. The car is used only on the street. Therefore I have no information on how they do when you get them really hot, but I understand they can tolerate limited track use with good success.

I'd do this change again without hesitation.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely


[11/19/99] Reviewed by Bill Rockoff -

Applicable to '99 + 1.8 liter

Aftermarket brake pads

I installed Carbotech Panther brake pads in my '91 Miata 1.6 that I've retrofit with the bigger brakes from a 1.8. I'm using stock 1.8 rotors. The install was pretty simple, as brake pad replacement usually is. I'm a bit concerned because the pad material is riveted to the backing plate; I wonder if the rivets will ruin the rotors, and I wonder how many miles I'll get from these things (mostly street driving, some track events.) Price was about $190 for all four wheels from R-Speed in Marietta, Georgia.

I bedded them in by running repeatedly up to about 60 mph and braking to about 20 mph, successively harder. By about stop #6, these things were throwing visible sparks and they smelled pretty toasty, so I drove a while to cool them off.

 BOY, does this car stop now! The brakes are a bit wooden until you get some heat in them, but once they're up to temperature they stop HARD with very little pedal pressure. They're VERY linear and easy to modulate. This car stops like a golf ball hitting a sand trap.

What's the downside? Aside from price, these things make a TON of dust, turning the wheels dusty gray in a few hundred miles. Also, they squeal terribly under light-duty conditions. So, for normal people who don't like it when their car is dirty and noisy, these may not be the best choice. However, if you want amazing braking capability, these are a good answer.

I'll try to update after I've had a track day with these, and once I see how long they last and whether or not they take the rotors with them when they go.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

[11/20/99] Reviewed by Larry Alster -

Applicable to '90 - '97

This is a high performance brake pad.

I installed this pad after the pads I had been using were no longer performing at the level required for the turbocharged car at the racetrack. The car I installed them on is still used on the street so the pad needed to work under a wide range of temperatures. This pad seems to fill that requirement well. On the street the pad warms up quickly, almost as soon as you leave the driveway. On the track the pad holds up well to repeated use with out any fade. The pad seems to be very rotor friendly. The downside to this pad is that it is dusty and does tend to squeak.

These pads are not for the general enthusiast. Use these pads only if you need a good pad for the track and still need to drive the car on the street. Carbotech makes another pad called the F that is better for street use and occasional track time.

Joseph at R Speed is selling this product line and can you with making the correct choice.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

[9/27/99] Reviewed by Matt Nicholson -

Applicable to

High performace brake pads

Super Street (a.k.a. F-compound) on a 95 R. Panther pads on a 91 Eclipse

I was very dissapointed with the Rotex pads on track (see my previous review). I decided to give the Carbotechs a try

Super Street pads Installed on the wife's stock 95 R. It sees a lot of autocrossing and occasional track use. Operating temp goes up to 900 F. No fade, even on track. Great bite. Some heat, but not much, required to get them working properly. Low dusting, low noise. Two thumbs up. ~ $70 a set.

Panther pads Installed on my 91 Eclipse. Higher operating temp up to 1200 F. A fair amount of heat required to get working properly. When they warm up, they stop fast enough to rip eyeballs out. They dust horribly. They squeal...always. Rotor friendly. Not a great street pad, but fantastic on the track. ~$100 set. Unless you see a lot of track time, stick with the Super Streets. They are more than adequate for a stock Miata for occasional track days.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Back to Product Reviews 15 December, 2001