Brake pad types

There are about four basic types of brake pads. Ceramic, metallic, semi metallic and organic. My question is, which type will grip the rotors the most. I am looking for the best stopping power. I do not care about brake dust or noise.

I prefer the Semi Metalic, but as far as noise goes…it all depends on the quality of the job and lubricating the slides properly.


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I’ve been using EBC Red Stuff pads and Brembo rotors/calipers on my Mustang, and I’m very pleased with them, low dust and very decent stopping power.

Metallic will grip best. I respect @FoDaddy opinion but prefer Hawk brake pads over EBC. Hawk HPS or their new HP Plus pads will give you loads of brake torque and dust as well. They wear well and are not too hard on the rotors, which should be replaced with the new pads.

Carbon fiber pads are the best for stopping. But, the brakes should not be better than the tires. If they are, you will have trouble modulating the brakes, that will cause them to lock up too easily and actually result in longer stopping distances and make precision driving all but impossible.

If your current brakes are capable of locking the wheels or activating the ABS on dry pavement, then upgrading the tires would improve your braking more than upgrading the brakes themselves.

What kind of driving? Racing is way different than street driving. Carbon works great in high temp situations, not so good in rush hour traffic.

Personally, I like semi-metallic OEM brake pads, but they do dust up the rims

I haven’t had any noise complaints, as long as the good brake paste . . . I like copper paste . . . was used, and the slides were lubed with silicone grease

And machine the rotors too, when you do the brakes

Do all that, and those semi-metallic pads will grab hard, and not be noisey, but they’ll dust up your rims but good. I don’t mind cleaning my rims every once in awhile. I do it anyways, when I wash my car

@Mustangman I have heard good things about Hawk pads, they seem to sell well. I went with EBC because I had very good results with their Green Stuff pads on my TR6, and decided to give their Red Stuff pads a chance when I had the Brembos put on. I may go with Hawk pads next time. Though I’ve been thinking about pulling the trigger on a 2015 Mustang GT (with the performance package), so I might not get the chance.

@FoDaddy Are you using the Brembo calipers inside an 18 inch wheel? Or did you find a 17 that will wrap around them? The adds I see for the Shelby Brembo caliper upgrade all say they require 18’s and I’m not ready for that step… yet. The tires are 2/3rds worn and the 17’s are looking a little shabby…

@Mustangman, they are 2000 Cobra R spec 13 inch inch rotors / 4 piston calipers. They will fit some 17 inch wheels. I have some take off 2003 Cobra 17x9 inch wheels and they do accommodate the brakes.

I prefer semi-metallic and always buy a name brand. I tried ceramic brakes just once and that was enough for me.