[200q20v] Watkins Glen Brakes and Preparation

Phil Rose pjrose at frontiernet.net
Sat Aug 11 01:49:31 EDT 2001

At 8:21 AM -0400 8/10/01, packley wrote:
>Brakes are tortured at this track, and I was instructing others and checked
>students brakes carefully.
>A 1.8T with new pads and slotted rotors was black-flagged because pads
>appeared "on fire " but evidently it was the glue of new pads igniting.
>They cleared out later.

Hi Phil Ackley,
I appreciate the response--it provided quite a number of useful references.

  I attended the NEQ WG event last summer and I learned a bit about 
brake wear "the hard way". In fact,I ended up black-flagging myself 
on the 2nd day-- after the first or second run--when my brakes 
suddenly got extremely spongy and I subsequently discovered there was 
metal-on-metal at **all** front pad surfaces!!!  I'd been using 
oem-type (Remsa) pads with my G60 brakes; however the biggest mistake 
was to start out with pads that were already about 1/3 worn. The 
second big mistake was having a spare set of pads but no spare rotors 
(of course the rotors were badly trashed). Greg Amy kindly offered me 
the use of his (then-new) A6 biturbo for the next run session, and my 
instructor insisted I finish out the day driving his Urq 
(RS2-enhanced 3B). So, thanks to my newbie misjudgements and two very 
cool guys,  I had the privilege of getting to drive two very cool 
Audis. This time around I hope to avoid  brake problems and will plan 
to change pads at the end of day one, if not sooner.

I may also defer the installation of new brake hoses--providing that 
mine presently have no external damage. But the reason has naught to 
do with following Bernie's philosophy (a bit overdone and sometimes 
short-sighted, IMHO). Rather it's because I've decided to do a "big 
brake" upgrade as my Fall-season project. Hence I'll hold off on a 
brake hoses till then and certainly would go with ss-braided lines at 
that time. I sorta promised myself I'd do the brake upgrade right 
after last summer's WG event, but various things got in the way.

>I used two sets of Metalmaster pads!  I would recommend the best pads you
>can get-Pagid is expensive, but they work, Hawk, and Porterfields are good.
>I do not intend to cause a string of comments other than Audi brakes are
>awful for track use.
>Use the best pad you can get, you will work them hard.

Yes, I do indeed realize they'll be worked very hard--especially 
considering I'm planning to share the car with my son, Marc (so I'd 
better plan to have two extra sets on hand.) Am I correct that in 
believing that racing pads will not likely deliver longer 
wear--"just" better fade resistance (more consistent braking)? After 
my experience last summer, whatever I use for pads, I will plan to 
give the brakes a close look after *every* run. Last summer my 
instructor pushed (me) pretty hard, and my natural tendency to drive 
aggressively assured that I responded to his prodding by driving and 
braking fairly hard for a first-timer. Once in a while I may have 
been "smooth" as well. :-)

>Put the new pads on now, use them all you can, break them in.  The worst
>thing you can do is put new pads on without properly breaking them in.  AP
>recommends easy break in, and use old pads on new rotors. Here is what they
>say: http://www.apracing.com/car/brakedisc/bedding.htm

The BIRA website adds some complications to the pad-changing equation:

>  Due to the nature of bedding and the differences between 
>semi-metallic and carbon metallic brake pads, it is not recommended 
>to switch from the carbon pads to the semi-metallic units. Upgrading 
>to carbon metallic pad will require bedding to establish the proper 
>carbon layer on the rotor, but if you must use semi-metallic pads, 
>you will need to wear through this carbon layer. The semi-metallic 
>pads will not grip well at all until this layer is removed.

How would my change from Remsa (silver) oem-type pads to the 
Metalmasters fit in with that consideration? I have no idea which 
composition (carbon or semimetallic) either of those pads is.

>Brake upgrade from Bira, etc.
>Read Stoptechs page, it is chock full of good information:
>Although I would prefer using Brembo rather than this system, as caliper
>rigidity is not something to worry excessively with a street car.  And
>Porsche rotors are well manufactured.
>Tom at Euro Car Service is quite knowledgable and offers the best priced kit
>I have seen:
>Go for the 993TT calipers as it is marginally more expensive than the
>Monobloc and much more capable.

Tom claims to have available an upgrade package for the '91 200q for 
$1350. I don't have specifics on what he includes for that price. The 
933tt caliper package he advertises on the website is listed at over 

Well, my G60 brake setup will have to do for the time being.

I'll bring a big jug o' Rainex and look for you at the Seneca Lodge.

Phil R.

Phil Rose				Rochester, NY
'91 200q				mailto:pjrose at frontiernet.net

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