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Brake Pads: Anyone try the Porterfield R4-S pad yet?

6043 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  bruff
So I'm used to all sorts of different pads (Hawk HPS/HP+/Ceramic, Ferodo 2500, Metal Masters, race pads, etc.) on passengers cars, but the minivan ('08) is my first heavy vehicle and I think the brakes suck on it. I can't even engage the ABS on that car in the dry.

Bought the car new and the discs started showing signs of warping at 3K miles. It just kept on getting progressively worse as time went on now at 30K. Going through the bedding procedure helped for a little, but nothing significant. I get significant pedal pulsation and steering wheel vibration while braking now, the stock pads are worn out, the discs are shot so time for new parts and OEM parts are not up for the job. As you can tell, I'm not easy on the brakes. I don't know how others get over 60K out of a set of pads. 30K is a lot for me (even if wife drives the car most of the time).

Been searching google and this forum and most people go with the $40 Duralast ceramic or Akebono ProACT Ceramic pads and Centric dics. I found the initial bite of the Hawk ceramics not that great on an Audi. It also required more pedal pressure. So I'm guessing other brand cermics would be similar and therefore don't want to go that route.

I plan on going with the Power Slot Power Alloy Rotor from Tire Rack:
Power Slot Power Alloy Rotor

I did find that Porterfield makes an RS-4 (street) compound ( pad for the minivan: :: #1 Race Specialist in The World :: »

The concern I have is that the same pad compound is used for a huge range of vehicles (from light minis and miatas to heavy trucks) which sets off a red flag for me. I usually tend to go for more specialized pads designed for a certain vehicle and weight category.

Anyone try this pad yet on such a heavy minivan? Don't really care about the dust, don't care if it squeaks once in a while, will be happy if it lasts another 30K and don't mind paying double of Autozone pads if they do a better job stopping the car than OEM. I just want to be able to stop this heavy family car with undersized brakes. In other words, looking for something that has more torque over the stock pad and will not fade as it get hot.

Nice thing about the stock OEM pads was that they never faded - that was one impressive characteristic that I can't say for other cars that I had experience with.

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I've had great luck with R4S's...just not yet on the Ody. I noticed their Ody application as well, and had planned to give them a shot.

Please report back if you do, since no one else seems to have experience with it.
i used these

They stop better than the OEM,,, I also bought the disc's from NAPA,,, I went with the cheapest disc they sell ,,, yep work great and haven't warp'ed,, diy cost was $145,,
Well, I guess I'm the first to try these pads. Here is what I got:

1) Discs (F): Wanted to get slotted discs to improve the initial bite. Did not go with the Centric discs. I wanted to support US-based manufacturing so I went with SP Performance (Home). Virtually the same pricing as the slotted Centrics would have been ($90/disc).

2) Pads (F): Got the R4-S pads.

3) Rear discs/pads are still stock.

Initial impressions:
- felt very smooth - but that is after driving on warped discs for 30K
- first few days was horrible in terms of bite - very low, even after bed-in. Worse than the warped beat up old stock brakes. Got significantly better after a week. Disc instructions say the the break in period is 200 miles.

Final impressions:
- better than stock, but still lacking proper braking torque in the dry. Still can't get enough power to engage the ABS where I feel the pedal pulsations in the dry but at least it chirps the tire now (before it would not even do that).
- pads work better after they warm up (3-5 stops).
- did not test how quickly they fade compared to stock
- you do get a bit of a humming sensation (not sure what to call it) due to the slots at moderate pressure. Does not bother me or wife....

- The brake pedal feel on this car is the worst I have ever experienced (even worse than rental cars). Completely confidence non-inspiring. I even bled the brakes, twice! Rock solid with car off but once the car is on it becomes a sponge. What a ****ty system, just can't complain enough about it (yes, I did the recall related to the air in brake system).
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thank you for posting results. I had a similar experience when I bought a set of R4S for an A4...just never felt right no matter what I did. Had great experience with several sets on the 3 series.

I think I'll try ceramic pads on the Ody when it's time.
I tried a set of the Hawk ceramic pads on my Audi once. Worst pad I ever had. Felt greasy, no bite and faded real quickly.

Only advantage it had was low and whitish dust compared to traditional performance pads that give off lots of black dust.
does hawk make the blue or black pad compound for the ODy? Great track pads but need heat to work to their potential
Just an update for anyone considering this combo. It is now 15K later. Brakes feel great, the same as the day I put them on. No warping, no fading, no fluid boiling, no rusting on the discs (at all!!!). The pads do generate a generous amount of dust but they do a fine job in stopping this heavy car with undersized brake setup.... highly recommend this combo to anyone who drives their van like a regular car (as opposed to a bus or truck)...
Thanks for the update. I tried an Akebono ceramic pad and have been disappointed with the low friction. I may try the R4S for better stopping performance.
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