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Tech Talk with Master Power Brakes

Bedding In Brake Pads and Rotors

Posted by toby on Jul 30, 2015 10:23:35 AM

We just received a question from a customer asking about the proper bedding procedure for his new Rallye Series front disc brake conversion kit.  Regardless of which kit you select, it is a good idea to bed or burnish the brakes to transfer an even layer of friction material to the rotors.  Taking this step will ensure smoother, quieter braking and enhanced stopping power.  If you bring the new pads and rotors up to temp too quickly and/or botch the cool down period, you may experience glazing on the pads and poor performance.  Proper bedding ensures a uniform coating of pad material is applied to the rotors.  So, how do we properly bed in new pads and rotors?

The first step is to find a good stretch of open road with little or no traffic.  Some guys even bed in their brakes at night to avoid other motorists.  Once you’ve found an ideal spot with little traffic, bring the car up to a medium speed—say 45mph—and brake in a moderate manner down to about 5-10 mph without stopping and release the brakes.  Do not drag the brakes and repeat this procedure four or five times.  Once the first stage is complete, bring the car up to around 45 mph again but this time, brake a little harder down to the same 5-10 mph without stopping the car and not dragging the brakes and again, do this about four or five times. With these steps complete, the brakes need to cool to a room temperature (preferably overnight). Once cool, the final step can be completed. Bring the car up to a slightly higher speed of around 60 mph and with a fairly hard pedal effort, bring the car to a complete stop. This will be an aggressive application of the brakes but not quite a panic stop. Again, do not drag the brakes. After this has been done four or five times, it is recommended that the car be driven in a manner consistent with freeway driving to get the brake temperatures back down to normal. If you are using old rotors with new pads, you may need to repeat the above steps again to ensure your rotors have a uniform layer of friction material applied.  That’s it!

When bedding in new pads and/or brake rotors, remember the following pointers:

  • When bedding new pads with used rotors, clean all surfaces with fine sand paper or steel wool, rinse with water, dry and install before bedding new pads.
  • Do not use badly worn or damaged rotors with new brake pads.
  • Do not drag brakes while performing the break-in procedure.
  • Do not engage the brake pedal after you park following the break-in procedure.

Bedding in pads and rotors post-installation may seem like an unnecessary extra step, but take the time to finish the job right.  You’ll have quieter brakes…more stopping power…and the satisfaction that you are getting the most from your new brake job.  If you have additional questions, feel free to give us a call or drop us a line, and we’ll be happy to lend a hand.

Topics: bedding, Brake Pads, burnishing, classic cars, How To Series, rotors, Vintage Cars

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