Any recent experience with EBC brakes?

Brake component quality is a bit of a moving target over the past decade as virtually all brands have consolidated and moved manufacturing to China. I will confess to an aversion to Chinese products, more as a matter of ideology rather than quality concerns.

For my '04 3-Series BMW wagon, I am looking at a four wheel Stage 4 kit, EBC USR slotted rotors with EBC Redstuff pads.

I know that they won’t look as cool, be as rust-free, or last as long as the swirl slot ATE rotors that I have been running for the past 200,000 miles, but all good things must come to an end, and ATE (which is now in China) does not make those rotors anymore for BMWs. It has gotten to the point where the whole car shudders if I apply the brakes at over 50 mph, so something has to change.

Any EBC pros or cons I should know about?


For an 18 year old daily driver, does it really matter?

As a rule, I would agree that it should not matter, but this is a pristine, never been to a body shop, stick shift, BMW touring with factory sport suspension, sport leather seats, and style 68 staggered (M-style) wheels. This is a good-looking car. Twice I have come out of work to find notes under the wiper from people wanting to buy it.

I have used EBC yellows as a street/track pad. It was ok as a street pad. I prefer Hawk products made in the US. HP Plus is a good street pad.

I put a set of EBC street pads on my old Saturn with their slotted rotors. They were very touchy, causing the tires to skid unless very carefully applied. Tires were quality touring tires, Turanza’s IIRC back when Turanza’s were the top rated touring tires on Tire Rack and CR. The OEM pads lasted 140k, the EBC were down to metal in 35k. I replaced them with Wagner Thermoquiet and smooth rotors that were still good when I sold the car at 275k

I see them used on a lot of projects on PowerNationTV shows. They do a lot of research and they appear to be a very good company. The pads I used from them were not Ceramic like the OEM and Wagners were.

I will recommend this, if you chose to use them, you better have tires that can match them. That is tires in the high performance or ultra high performance range. I would not recommend them for touring grade tires. Need something with less grip for those tires.

Thanks for your response. Do you recall what color pads you tried? EBC makes at least six different color-coded brake pads. (Black, Yellow, Green, Red, Orange, Blue)

IIRC, they were black. They were organic pads, not ceramic, semi-metalic or carbon fiber pads. I probably should have gone with their most streetable ceramic pad.

I have been told that the slotted rotors cause accelerated pad wear. The EBC rotors that are drilled are not drilled all the way through like other HP rotors but instead are dimple drilled. This is supposed to keep the rotors from cracking as some drilled through rotors are reported to do.

I have had excellent luck with Raybestos Street Specialty Rotors or AC Delco Gold Rotors. For pads I have switched to NRS Brakes. They are made in Canada, the backing plates are galvanized pickled and oil steel, and they work amazing (although they are expensive). They are wearing very slowly and are wearing the rotor surfaces very evenly. After almost 30,000 miles my pads and rotors look almost new, and I live in the snow and rust belt.

just a thought for anyone thinking of getting drilled and slotted rotors. make sure you get zinc coated drilled and slotted rotors. my friend wanted them to put on his mustang. He got ones that did not have the zinc coating. In a very short period, there was rust inside the areas of the drilled and slotted sections and it looked terrible. he then went out and bought the zinc coated ones shortly after.

Any test data out there that compares plain to drilled or slotted rotors?

Racers no longer use drilled rotors. They use slotted rotors. They don’t crack like drilled. Drilled or drilled and slotted are for the “look” of race parts, they don’t contribute to any real performance gain on the street.

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I have an initial impressions report on the EBC slotted rotors. I won’t have a meaningful report for about a year.

EBC rotors come painted black to prevent rust during storage. The paint on the working surface gets rubbed off right away by the pads, and the remainder of the rotor is supposed to be protected for the life of the rotor.

I bought slotted rotors for the looks, and these EBCs look pretty cool.

They rumble a bit when actuated, but no worse than any other slotted rotors.

The rear rotors fit perfectly on my e46 BMW, other than the parking brake drums were slightly larger diameter so I adjusted the parking brake shoe adjustors to compensate.

The front rotors were less than a perfect fit. The lug bolt holes were slightly oversized and the stepped hole for the securing bolt was out of place by about 1/8". I had a choice of either leaving that bolt out, or grinding the stepped hole out to an oval so the bolt would screw in to the threaded hole in the hub. I chose the latter. This is not a dealbreaker and should not affect the function of the rotor, but it is annoying and lowers confidence in their quality control. The manufacturer was very responsive and quickly sent me replacement front rotors, but the replacements had the same problem, .

Would I buy EBC again? I will wait for a year of experience with these to make that decision.

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If I want a street/race hybrid pad on my car and they make it to fit, I always go with Porterfield R4S pads. They’ve never disappointed.

I would have chosen the former. It is my understanding, perhaps not correct, is that those bolts are only there to hold the rotor in place during the car’s assembly process, and aren’t needed thereafter…

Overall, your description of the rotors paints a poor picture of EBC’s quality.

I believe you are correct. That bolt is just to keep the rotor in place on the assembly line.

And I probably should have left it out. It is so light and so close to the center of rotation that leaving it out would have had zero effect on balance. I guess I am a little OCD.

I replaced the rotors four times on my 2005 Accord EX V6 and never reinstalled the securing bolt. I never had a problem.

My prior VW Rabbit had a screw (rather than a bolt) that held the brake disc to the hub. The disc of course would be held securely to the hub when the wheel was installed, by the lug nuts (lug bolts in the case of the Rabbit). That securing screw prevented the disc from coming off the hub when the wheel was removed though, so it seemed like it was there for more than just the ass’y line. Over time that screw would get stuck fast. No amount of screw-drivering would loosen it. I found the only way to remove that screw was an hammer-whacked impact driver.

In any event, since you made modifications make sure that bolt in its new configuration isn’t standing proud, otherwise it may adversely affect intimacy of the wheel/hub interface.

That’s the first tool I use on these. I don’t even try with a hand screwdriver.


The caliper does that.