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Discussion Starter #1
TL;DR I'm a hard driver. I need new brakes. Redstuff or carbon fiber and why?

As the title suggests, I am in the market for a brake upgrade. I don't track, but you wouldn't know it by how I drive daily. I went through my last two sets of OEMs in little less than 10k mi. each and warped the rotors. Yea, I drive it hard, and on the brakes a lot so I wasn't that surprised. I'm not really after getting more miles out of my brakes, but it would be a welcome side effect. What I am after is I would like the same stopping power from proper bedding to 10k mi. And if I never warp another set of rotors, it will be a day too soon.

I've done a lot of research, and I am more confused now than when I started. The one constant I am pretty sure of is the recommendation of Redstuff which will be my go-to based on this thread. Too many threads have Hawk on the fence so I am opting to trust EBC over Hawk. I'm not putting the brand down, just that every discussion seems divided down the middle where Redstuff is firmly a favorite among hard drivers. I'm sure they're equally stellar products, and brakes need to be fit to the driver, not one size fits all.

I found what I think is a good kit (the EBC S4KF1568 Brake Kit), but I am still open to suggestion. The jury is still out on drilled/slotted vs not. Research shows that it's more of a cosmetic detail over improved performance, but that's just something I read.

Where I am confused is all the discussion about carbon fiber pads and rotors. I read where they are heavily used on race cars and the concept sounds amazing. I mean having your brakes actually get better the hotter they get? It seems like a dream come true!

However, I can't seem to find them anywhere for my 2012 A5 Quattro. I thought I found a set on Autozone, but turned out to be only available for the rear. I also couldn't find a kit or matching rotors, so that turned out to be a bust.

Anyway, lets focus on finding a set of carbon fiber brake pads with matching rotors or why Redstuff would be a better alternative.

Finally, I decided to install them myself for the first time. Where I live all the mechanic shops are just so overpriced due to all the pensioners and elderly they like to take advantage of. My last two brake jobs (fronts only) set me back $1k each, and that was shopped. It doesn't seem too difficult from the videos I've seen. I would like some advice on what else to replace while I have everything apart. I have a little under 100k mi on the car, and really nothing besides pads and rotors have been replaced.

She's been the best car I ever owned. I love my A5.
 

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You should be able to upgrade to carbon ceramics, which is the "proper" name for carbon brakes. Whilst not available for the A5 from factory, Audi has ceramic brake discs available for some of their other high performance cars, so with some custom machined brake caliper brackets you should be able to fit a set off maybe an RS6/7 or S/R8, available for both front and rear.

However, the big downside with ceramics is the cost. They are absolutely eyewateringly expensive, and if you do your research you'll find that amateur track day drivers with their own daily drivers (BMW M models, Porsche 911's as examples) often deliberately go for a steel disc rather than the optional ceramic option simply because it is cheaper for them to replace a steel disc more often rather than the ceramics once in a while just because of the cost of the disc. But yes, ceramics have much better thermal capabilities than a steel disc, but they should have at 10x the cost!

Alternatively you could look into a big brake kit, a larger rotor will give a much greater arm (torque) for the pads to stop your car, as well as the larger area of the larger rotor/pad combo is better for thermal management, a win win for you. Still a pricey option, but still 1/3rd the price of a ceramic option which still isn't bolt on.

Drilled/slotted is a bit of a discussion as you say, mostly cosmetic but from what I've learned, a drilled rotor is more prone to cracking compared to a slotted.

Personally, if this is such an issue for you, I'd get a set of upgraded rear rotors and callipers from an S5, they're of a double disc vented design as well as larger diameter so you'll both increase your stopping power as well as improve the cooling capabilities. For the fronts you should visit JHMotorsports site and have a look at their big brake kit upgrade for the front axle, a huge 382mm double vented slotted rotor and big brembo 6 piston callipers should be more than enough, even for track work, all at a very reasonable cost. Brembo and Stoptech as well as Alcon and Stasis (and probably others) also have large big brake kits in the 355mm to 380mm range at a cost.

If you're still struggling you could look at better tires for increased grip, as well as handling mods to change your camber etc for better grip to carry more speed through the corner/less braking. Alternatively you could also look at reducing the mass of your car, but that is a bit of an arduous task, and a bit of a step backwards for what is meant to be a comfortable GT rather than a race car.

Regards
 

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Adding that doing the job yourself shouldn't be too difficult. If your mechanic has already swapped the fronts in recent time then the most difficult part of seized bolts shouldn't be an issue.

For the A5 though I will add that the rear brakes operate as part of the emergency/park brake system and you need a computer with the appropriate software to electronically wind the calliper piston back to fit new pads (thicker) over the new (thicker) rotor.

Regards
 

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Alot of choice out there. I guess it all comes down to budget and what you want to spend.

I've got Panamera turbo S calipers, custom brackets and AP racing discs and DS2500 pads.

For fast road AP racing with 2500 or pagid rs29 pads are brilliant for road use.

We've built alot of kits for all applications.

Sent from my VOG-L09 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am starting to think I swam straight to the deep end of the pool without checking how deep it really was. While these are all great suggestions, I wasn't considering BBKs as a viable option. I had only been looking at pads and rotors. When my car was brand new, I had no complaints about the stopping power the factory brakes gave. They seemed to fade as time went on, not to mention I warped 3 sets of front rotors since I bought the car new in 2012. The rears have never been replaced, and a Midas inspection a few days ago told me they're only at half life.

If I do end up changing calipers, is it a pretty cut-n-dry procedure? I'm just wondering if you guys recommend something that level should be performed by a professional.

As for my budget, I'd like to stay under $500 for pads and rotors on a front only kit. For an BBK upgrade, I'd consider something around the $800 range. It's x-mas and I got a couple girls that already have long lists which is going to hinder this endeavor. New brakes for my baby may end up being my only x-mas gift this year =(

@Mr.wreckless: you mentioned something about computer software to "wind the caliper piston back". This intrigued me and as I said, my rears are only at half life and never been replaced.

Is there a software tweak I can do to utilize the rears more?

What or who would I look for to do this software tweak?

Could a performance shop with a vag-com do this or is it more involved than I am envisioning?

You mentioned upgrading to carbon ceramics (thanks for the name clarification), is this an upgrade over the ceramic EBC Redstuff pads or linear based on driver preference?

Is carbon ceramics a newer pad technology than what EBC and Hawk are manufacturing?

Sorry for all the questions. It did seem like I found the right place for them though. I should have come here ages ago. You guys are awesome!
 

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You should be looking at yellowstuff, not red. Yellow is more for light track, fast road. I run yellow myself and can confirm it stops right quick.
 

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Carbon ceramics refers to the material the rotor on the brake disc is made of. It has nothing to do with the brake pad itself nor the technology the pad is constructed of/with. I dare say, with regards to pads, it's mostly heat/fade resistance, brake dust, modulation and noise, but I'm no expert. If any pad is compatible with both steel and ceramic or if the pad is material specific I don't know but I wouldn't have thought so.

I'm not sure if you misunderstood or if I misunderstood with regards to the rear parking brake. But, as I said, the rear brakes and the parking brakes is 1 and the same system/components. So if you should choose to DIY the rears then you need vag-com to rewind the pistons inside the calipers as I'm sure you understand, with wear both the pad and the rotor change thickness and a fresh set of both won't fit with the piston still sat in it's position of your worn rear pads/rotors. Hence you need vag-com to electronically tell the car to wind back the pistons so there's room for the new fresh stuff. This is purely a maintenance item though and has nothing to do with brake balance or to improve braking whilst on the go as you drive.

I can certainly appreciate the budget mind, especially during these times of the year. Braking is essential to any performance driving and it is fairly involved, thus sadly will never be cheap and is often an overlooked item on many tuned cars. JHM will probably run you about 3k+ USD for the front set. But if you keep an eye out on e-bay or a local breakers, you can possibly find a set from an S5 that will be plug & play with a larger front and rear rotor to improve your braking capabilities. If not you can try to go for a set of steel brakes from an RS5, however, to my understanding, the RS5 has slightly different suspension components so whilst bigger, it's no longer completely plug & play and might possibly need some shimmying or machining to the caliper brackets to get the caliper centered over the rotor. I also believe the RS5 has a different brake booster but I don't think that's going to be a show stopper for this upgrade. Personally, I think for the extra hassle and cost, the RS5 upgrade isn't worth it compared to say a JHM BBK.

At least for the S5 upgrade you should quite possibly be able to upgrade the fronts somewhere in the vicinity of your budget with a bit of luck, I think they are 335mm rotors on a larger caliper compared to a normal A5?

Regards
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Awesome! I will start looking. Could I get one of you guys to head over to autoanything.com and check out "Power Stop Z23 Evolution Brake Kits 4-Wheel Brake Kit - K6134" and the "Power Stop Z23 Evolution Brake Kits 4-Wheel Brake Kit - KC2795" and let me know if these are any good?

The price seems nice, but there's this little voice in the back of my head that keeps screaming YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR DUMBASS!

Those models say they fit my A5.
 

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For well under your budget I fitted Hawk ceramic pads on the fronts (your reviews weren't great but I highly recommend them for solid braking & zero dust- just ordered a spare set as I'll be in USA soon) and I did the S5 brake upgrade as mentioned above- it's only the actual wider hangers that are required for this upgrade from the A5 calipers- meaning you could use your A5 calipers (or find an S5 set complete with hangers & calipers) as its the hangers and rotors that need replacing as they are wider at 345mm and vented in the middle - so I got some drilled and grooved 345mm discs and steel braided hoses- I have Michelin Pilot Sport 275 tyres so this set-up could stop a train and have never faded in heavy braking in over 3 years.
As the rears only handle around 40% of the force I just put in a set of Akebono ceramic pads (also from the US) in there and painted all the calipers up in the process - really pleased with the results all round, using ATE Typ 200 DOT4 fluid.
 

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I have been thinking of going the S5 upgrade route.. but I just had a mates offer me his set of SQ5 callipers and rotors..Do you know if those would work??
 

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Agreed yellow stuff over red.
i would not use a drilled disc as they can crack over heat cycles, grooved can help removing glazing when the pad gets hot. Eats through pads quicker but small price to pay personally
The SQ5 calipers do fit. there is two sizes though but they are both 4 pots. Caliper brackets are different
I fitted the bitdi front calipers, twin pots with a 356mm disc S5 rears 330mm
Personally stainless steel lines are a good upgrade when carrying out any brake work
ATE TYP200 perforance brake fluid or similar i'd advise bleeding brakes after any work
You DO NOT need software to rewind the rears. You can just remove the motor then wind it back (theres a video on youtube)

Before doing the brakes yourself watch as many videos as you can. They're not hard to do but if you've never done them you need to make sure they're done right and then bedded in etc
front.jpg
rear.jpg
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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the replies. This has been an awesome thread that I hope will benefit others. I ended up going with Yellowstuff and slotted as that's been the most common recommendation. I'll try to remember to report back about my experience with doing my own brakes and again in 6 months with how I like the Yellowstuff.

I ended up buying a kit from a site called autoanything.com and they price matched Amazon if you can believe that! I didn't even ask, but while I was chatting with their expert asking basically the same questions I asked here about carbon ceramic, I linked a Yellowstuff kit I found on Amazon. The guy said it was a great fit for my car, much better and cheaper than any carbon ceramic kit, then created a cart for me with free shipping beating Amazon's price by $1. We must have been chatting for about 30 minutes on the topic and he was a wealth of information. Oh, and that was all on a Sunday! It could have been extended hours because of black Friday weekend, but it didn't seem like it.

I have been doing a lot of reading on the bedding process and from what I read on the EBC website it basically says drive 100-200 mi with very light braking (this is supposed to line the rotors with a special coating that is applied by the new pads), then perform the actual bedding process: 5 stops from 60mph to 10mph paying careful attention not to completely stop the car. drive another 5 minutes allowing the brakes to cool, then repeat once more and allowing the brakes to cool again before parking.

They say EBC brakes do not bed in 5 minutes, so patience and diligence is paramount while following their instructions.

I have a few questions for the group about this bedding process because once again after everything I read, I am still confused about some of the details.
  1. For the first 100 to 200 miles, is there a more controlled process that can be followed similar to the final bedding process? For example, if on a racetrack or unhindered road bring the car to 35 mph then brake lightly to 15 mph without stopping and repeat 5 times, allow to cool by driving anopther 5 minutes before parking then repeat again once brakes are completely cool to the touch - usually 1-2 hours depending on outdoor temperatures, then repeat this entire process 5 more times? (I am completely guessing here while trying to formulate exactly what I'm looking for).
  2. How many times should I repeat the final bedding process? EBC says repeat once and you should be good to go, while other threads say to repeat up to 5 times allowing the brakes to completely cool between each session. Another says to spray water on the rotors prior to performing the final bedding explaining that it works like a whetstone.
  3. Once completing the final bedding process, when is it safe to start really heating them up? EBC says it can take 1000-1500 miles to fully bed, but they do not say to brake easier or harder during this time frame.
Perhaps I am overthinking the entire process, but after several videos saying warped rotors are a myth and what I really had were uneven spots on on them probably due to improper bedding. Because of this I would like to actually completely bed them in a perfect and controlled environment - at least as much as is feasible.

Thanks again for all your help. I did look for the S5 calipers, but as I figured, most used parts places are just a little too proud of their junkyard stockpile. I'm happy with the stock for now, and I think this upgrade to Yellowstuff and slotted rotors will be exactly what I am looking for.

@Pulsarlaser: I have been using Michelin Pilot Sports since I burnt through the stock Pirellis in little over a year and a half. I landed on the Pilot Sports after a 3 month stretch where I tried Yokohama, Goodyear, and Bridgestone (maybe one other, it was years ago). I'll never buy another tire for this car.

@SteWatson: Sexy pics! It looks like you lowered it. Can you give a brief explanation how you did this?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
176651

I couldn't resist. I used to have a stack of these in my glove box and handed them out almost daily. The site is now defunct, but there are a couple others that picked up the ball. There's a facebook page and a spinoff called youparklikeac*nt.com but I think the latter is more east Europe and UK.

Send me a PM if this offends anyone and I will quickly remove it.
 

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View attachment 176651
I couldn't resist. I used to have a stack of these in my glove box and handed them out almost daily. The site is now defunct, but there are a couple others that picked up the ball. There's a facebook page and a spinoff called youparklikeac*nt.com but I think the latter is more east Europe and UK.

Send me a PM if this offends anyone and I will quickly remove it.
Ha ha ha i would normally agree, but this is my works car park and the bay next to me cant be used due works going. love the sign though
 

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My car is lowered on H&R sport springs NOT the OE ones, with 10mm spacers with et 23 wheels. Springs feel the same as Audi sport ones but more planted through corners. Bitdi rebuilt front calipers 356mm disc rebuilt S5 rear calipers 330mm disc. braided hoses all round. Audi RS5 rear anti roll bar to reduce understeer

I've found the biggest point with bedding them in is dont run them hot then just stop they need to be allowed to cool slowly. You'll find when you fit pads and discs your brakes wont feel as sharp at first. I dont really do a 'bedding' in, i just drive to work. My journey is start stop and motorways so braking from 70mph down to 40mph maybe this journey a couple of times is normally enough
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks again for the tip. I was asking about a controlled pre-bedding process because my office is maybe 4 miles from my home and that is my typical work day. I do plenty of driving on the weekends, but that is almost always on the freeway at speeds in excess of 90mph which means lots of hard breaking. I wanted to make a point to purposefully bed in the new brakes prior to ever driving on the freeway.

So here's what I am taking away. For the first hundred miles or so, use the brakes but stay under 50mph and try not to get them hot. Allow them to cool slowly while driving, even if that means a couple laps in a residential block on the way home. Once I see a little wear on the rotor (they're black and slotted and look super sexy) that's when to perform the 60-10 final bedding process.
 

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Thanks again for the tip. I was asking about a controlled pre-bedding process because my office is maybe 4 miles from my home and that is my typical work day. I do plenty of driving on the weekends, but that is almost always on the freeway at speeds in excess of 90mph which means lots of hard breaking. I wanted to make a point to purposefully bed in the new brakes prior to ever driving on the freeway.

So here's what I am taking away. For the first hundred miles or so, use the brakes but stay under 50mph and try not to get them hot. Allow them to cool slowly while driving, even if that means a couple laps in a residential block on the way home. Once I see a little wear on the rotor (they're black and slotted and look super sexy) that's when to perform the 60-10 final bedding process.
Yeah that should work. If you're getting the EBC discs that are black coated then i'd say drive till that black stuff has gone straight away it doesn't take long. You can go over 50mph. You only really could cause an issue if you brake from 90mph to 0 and generate alot of heat. Heat is what can cause the issue. they'll be fine just dont abuse them straight away. A lot of people buy brand new cars and never think about bedding brakes in. Bedding in is important to get done quickly if youre tracking a car
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Guilty of not thinking about bedding in the brakes. However, the factory set lasted me 5 years. Strange how the second set only lasted another year and a half. One of the old pads had less than 1mm of pad remaining on it. I also cooked the wear sensor, so gotta pick up a new one of those.

So I finished installing the new brakes today. It was surprisingly easier than I thought it would be, and was done in just a couple hours. I spent way too much time cleaning and re-greasing everything. I am very satisfied with the job I did. I can't remember when I was this proud of myself 😁

Once again, thanks for all your wisdom and guidance. One thing I didn't really see anyone discuss is if you should put grease on the guide pins that the hooks on the pads rest on. I didn't do it, but I did see wear spots on the pins. Should I put grease on these too or really doesn't matter because will be covered with dust in about a month?
 

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I'll be interested to hear more of your views about the yellowstuff pads in use. I'm still on the OE pads and I want replacements which don't squeal but have similar bite to the OE. Fortunately I'm not too bothered about how long they last or how much dust they produce. Fast road only (no track). Most of the advice on the forums suggest redstuff but when I checked EBC's own info, and in particular these charts, it would seem that yellowstuff is the right choice.
 
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