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In defense of Little Grey brakes
It had been my intention to get some RS2 brakes for the S4 to replace the
(clapped out) stock G60 set. Unfortunately, TAP sometimes seemed to have
them, sometimes not. After weeks of waiting for a confirmed answer from TAP
(let alone actually ordering them), I gave up and went for a cheaper, easier
After talking with Dave at Sportwheels, I settled on the following: (a)
Goodridge SS lines (b) Motul racing brake fluid (c) Pagid orange pads (d)
cross-drilled OEM rotors. For various reasons, the lines and fluid arrived
first, and the discs and pads later. As a result, I got a better feel for
what was causing the various braking improvements.
First the lines and fluid (with old, shot pads and rotors). On their own,
these led to an immediate improvement in pedal feel. Much firmer, and with
much better initial response. I can't honestly say that there was much
response from the improved fluid, but I wouldn't expect to see much
difference around town.
A week later, the new pads and rotors went on. Oddly, the pedal was slightly
softer than with just the SS lines, but the initial response was improved,
and overall braking was much better (able to invoke ABS at higher speeds,
less fade even around town).
The next day, after bedding them in, I went to Waterford Hills for the
Quattro Club weekend seminar, a pretty rough test of braking for a street
car. Throughout both days, the new setup never showed any real sign of fade,
and braking was remarkably consistent, much better than stock. Now, it's
true that I wasn't anything like the fastest car on the track, and more
brakes would have been nicer, but the ability to consistently haul the
3800lb S4 down from 80+ on the backstraight and 65+ on the front straight
once every 2 minutes for three quarters of an hour is no mean feat. The only
disadvantage comes in increased squeekiness when breaking to a smoothe halt.
I'm sure that, with their Big Reds, Frank and Paul have found a much more
elegant (and attractive) setup for curing the S4/6's braking shortage, but
for the price, and with the ability to still run 16" wheels, this'll do me
nicely, until either my budget or my track speeds increase dramatically.