The Right Brake for the Job

by | Apr 24, 2019 | Counterperson, Featured, Jobber Nation | 0 comments

Naturally, every aftermarket professional knows the right brake for the job has to not only fit the application, but be tailored to the principal (or implied) use to which the customer vehicle is being put. A seven-year old daily driver likely will not be suitable for the same type of friction as a heavy duty-truck used with a heavy trailer or a snow plow. But what’s the ideal marriage of friction and vehicle use?

We decided to go to the source and ask a few major brake suppliers what they’d recommend for a range of specific scenarios. Here, in summary, is what they said.

Our experts:

Edward B. Gerhardt, Marketing and Data Services Mgr., Akebono Brake Corporation

Dann Ingebritson, Senior Trainer/Technical Service, Master Data Management and Product Support, Brake Parts Inc.

Mike Sawula, Marketing Manager, ACDelco

Doug Curliss, National Sales and Marketing Manager, ProMax Auto Parts Depot, Inc.

Ford F-150 MY 2015 w. BOSS Snow Plow

Ford 150 Brakes

Best recommendation

Akebono: ASP1414A, from Akebono Performance Ultra-Premium Ceramic Disc Brake Pad Line, includes a premium stainless steel hardware kit in the box; Akebono Performance part number ASP1602, for trucks with a manual parking brake, or ASP1790 for vehicles equipped with an electrical parking brake.

Raybestos: When talking about trucks that are used for heavy applications, we recommend our Specialty severe brake products. Along with the brake pads, we recommend our Specialty truck rotors manufactured with enhanced iron and include black or grey fusion for rust prevention. These products are designed for severe duty fleet vehicles.

ACDelco: Based on the year and usage, I would recommend our ACDelco Professional brake pads and rotors.  He is using his truck for his profession and can’t accept compromises. Snow plowing doesn’t require a great amount of extra effort on the vehicle’s brake system, but he still doesn’t want to have to take apart his truck for a brake noise or pulsation during the busy season.

Optional recommendation (line and part numbers):

Akebono: ProACT line, for F-150 owners with more traditional driving habits.

What specific factors does this recommendation address?

Akebono: Akebono Performance Ultra-Premium Disc Brake Pads are specifically engineered for extreme use.  These brake pads are made from a proprietary mix of unique ceramic formulations for maximum friction and rotor compatibility. To ensure optimum performance, distinct designs have been developed for each vehicle, resulting in a precise fit that virtually eliminates brake squealing, groaning and vibration.

Raybestos: Specialty brake pads are designed for superior stopping power and heat dissipation. They include rubber coated stainless steel shims that improve noise reduction. In extreme applications we also offer a line of Performance Rotors that are slotted to release the gases created between the rotor and the friction material.

Cadillac ATS MY 2014, original owner

Cadillac brakes

Best recommendation (line and part numbers):

Akebono: ProACT Ultra-Premium ACT1522. Akebono was the Original Equipment Manufacturer for this vehicle. For rear brake pads: ProACT ACT1659 which also includes the required premium stainless steel hardware kit. If the vehicle is equipped with the upgraded factory brake option, it would require the use of Akebono Performance ASP1001.

BPI: On applications such as the Cadillac and Rav 4, we recommend our hybrid technology brake pads. A breakthrough in friction technology, it has been designed as a super-premium brake pad with a combination of ceramic and metallic material. These brake pads have a prefix of EHT and include a multi layered shim and hardware, when required. Drivers can expect unprecedented braking control and a quiet and clean ride with unrivalled stopping power. Along with this pad, we recommend our premium rotor built with G3000 iron matching OE, which is great for everyday driving. Also available is the grey fusion coating to protect against corrosion from road debris and salt.

ACDelco: Cadillac customers tend to prefer our ACDelco OE parts, built precisely for this luxury vehicle. This GM Genuine Part will be an exact fit and a true OE replacement part that matches the part installed during production, giving this discerning customer peace of mind and confidence by providing quality that matches their expectations.  

ProMax: CeramicPlus Brake pad w/Hardware or Ceramic Brake pad. Every ceramic brake pad is engineered to reduce noise and dust and to help reduce rotor wear, 100% chamfered and scorched requiring no break-in period. Part No. 21-1467 Front Pad, 300mm Front Rotor; Part No. 10-1050 Front Pad, 321mm Front Rotor; Part No. 21-1659, Rear Pad (all).

Optional recommendation (line and part numbers):

ProMax: RotoMax Premium Coated Brake rotors have a high quality coated brake rotor finish hthat elps against corrosion and helps to keep the vehicle looking great with open wheel design. Part No. 20-650002 Front Rotor, 300mm; Part No. 20-650004 Front Rotor, 321mm; Part No. 20-650007 Rear Rotor, 315mm.

What specific factors does this recommendation address?

Akebono: Akebono ProACT Ultra-Premium Disc Brake Pads are the aftermarket’s only OE-validated, application-specific, ceramic friction formulations. This guarantees that ProACT Ultra-Premium brake pads provide the ultimate braking experience and restore each vehicle to brand-new performance levels or better.

Ford F-150 XL MY 2015 used for heavy construction hauling

Ford F-150 brakes

Best recommendation (line and part numbers):

Akebono: Akebono Performance line: ASP1414A for the front brakes, and part number ASP1602 (manual parking brake) or ASP1790 (electrical parking brake).

BPI: When talking about trucks that are used for heavy applications, we recommend severe brake products. The friction recommended would be our Specialty line. These pads all begin with SP as a prefix. These brake pads are designed for superior stopping power and heat dissipation. They include rubber coated stainless steel shims that improve noise reduction.

ACDelco: If the vehicle is used to haul a trailer or equipment that approaches the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the vehicle, I would recommend the ACDelco Professional Severe Duty line of pads and rotors. If the trailer is well within the GVWR of the F150, I would recommend our Professional pads and rotors.  If the OE pads wore out and worked fine, ACDelco Professional is a good OE alternative.  If they keep burning up pads and rotors, then the ACDelco Professional Severe Duty line would be best.

ProMax: Severe Duty Metallic Brake pad : provides optimal braking experience, and offers excellent stopping power for those carrying extreme heavy loads. Part No. 19-1770 Front Pad – 6 stud rotor; Part No. 19-1602 Rear Pad – 6 stud rotor.

Optional recommendation (line and part numbers):

BPI: Along with the brake pads, we recommend our Specialty truck rotors, manufactured with enhanced iron and include black or grey fusion for rust prevention. These products are designed for severe duty fleet vehicles. In extreme applications we also offer a line of Performance Rotors that are slotted to release the gases created between the rotor and the friction material.

What specific factors does this recommendation address?

Akebono: Brake pads from the Akebono Performance line provide great braking performance and long life, longer-life mean extended service intervals, and less down-time. 

Toyota RAV4 MY 2013 195,000 KM, student owned

Rav4 Brakes

Best recommendation (line and part numbers):

Akebono: Akebono ProACT Ultra-Premium Disc Brake Pads, which are formulated to meet or exceed the specific OE quality, fit and performance requirements. Part numbers: ACT1210A for RAV4’s with 275mm rotors, which includes the required premium stainless steel hardware kit, or ACT1211A for vehicles equipped with the larger 296mm rotors; this kit also includes the required premium stainless steel hardware kit.  Rear brake pads: ProACT ACT1212 or ACT 1212A which includes the abutment hardware kit.

BPI: On applications such as the Cadillac and Rav 4, we recommend our hybrid technology brake pads. A breakthrough in friction technology, it has been designed as a super-premium brake pad with a combination of ceramic and metallic material. These brake pads have a prefix of EHT and include a multi-layered shim and hardware, when required. Drivers can expect unprecedented braking control and a quiet and clean ride with unrivalled stopping power. Along with this pad, we recommend our premium rotor built with G3000 iron matching OE, which is great for every daydriving. Also available is the grey fusion coating to protect against corrosion from road debris and salt.

ACDelco: For a student-owned vehicle, the best fit is ACDelco Advantage. Even if mom and dad are paying for the tuition, students need money and need to be pragmatic. ACDelco Advantage pads and rotors are a great option because you are getting a solid product and great value for the price. 

ProMax: ProMax rotor and drum, for outstanding quality and value. Front Rotor Part No. 14-31434 w/ 3rd seat, 296mm; Front Rotor Part No. 14-31440 w/o 3rd seat , 275mm; Front Rotor Part No. 14-31551, 296mm; Rear Rotor Part No. 14-31443, 281mm (all).

Metallic Brake pad, for outstanding quality and value. Front Pad Part No. 11-1211 w/ 3rd seat; Front Pad Part No. 11-1210 w/o 3rd seat; Rear Pad Part No. 11-1212 (all).

Optional recommendation (line and part numbers):

Akebono: Akebono is the original equipment manufacturer on many Toyota vehicles with coverage for virtually every Asian as well as domestic vehicle built since 1990. Akebono ProACT Ultra-Premium Disc Brake Pads, used in conjunction with a complete brake service can restore this 6-year 195,000 KM vehicle to like-new brake performance. 

ProMax: CeramicPlus Brake pad w/Hardware or Ceramic Brake pad. Every ceramic brake pad is engineered to reduce noise and dust and to help reduce rotor wear, 100% chamfered and scorched, requiring no break-in period. Front Pad Part No. 21-1211 or 10-1211 w/ 3rd seat; Front Pad Part No. 21-1210 or 10-1210 w/o 3rd seat; Rear Pad Part No. 21-1212 or 10-1212 (all).

Dodge RAM 1500 MY 2014 w. ski boat towing

Best recommendation (line and part numbers):

Akebono: Due to the additional demands of towing a ski boat, the additional stopping power, along with less fade and better recovery rate, the Akebono Performance Ultra-Premium brakes would work best; part numbers ASP1084A for the front brakes and ASP898A for the rear. Both kits include premium stainless steel hardware and will deliver miles and miles of dependable service.

BPI: For trucks that are used for heavy applications, we recommend our Specialty severe brake products. These brake pads are designed for superior stopping power and heat dissipation. They include rubber coated stainless steel shims that improve noise reduction. Along with the brake pads, we recommend our Specialty truck rotors manufactured with enhanced iron and include black or grey fusion for rust prevention. In extreme applications we also offer a line of Performance Rotors that are slotted to release the gases created between the rotor and the friction material.

ACDelco: Based on the year and application, ACDelco Professional pads and rotors are a natural and quality fit. However, if this owner has a ski boat, they would probably like to have performance brakes on this truck, and would look at the ACDelco Professional Severe Duty pads and rotors.  On top of this, this owner is also looking for style, and the Severe Duty brakes have a cool look to enhance the truck’s styling. Either option would work well for this owner.

Honda Accord EXL V6 MY 2008 high mileage, but clean

accord brakes

Best recommendation (line and part numbers):

Akebono: Akebono ProACT Ultra-Premium Disc Brake Pads, part numbers ACT787A for the front and ACT1336A for the rear, both of which are formulated to meet or exceed the OE quality, fit and performance requirements. Both pad kits include premium stainless steel abutment kits and precision fit pad-spreader springs for improved fuel economy and pad life.

BPI: For high mileage and older vehicles, we offer a mid-grade friction for more cost-conscious customers that still want a quality brake pad. In the case of the Honda Accord, although we like customers to use the hybrid friction, the mid-grade does become an option. This product has a prefix of MGD and is considered a premium product and is a shimmed brake pad that includes the required hardware. Our premium rotor is the match for this friction built with G3000 Iron and built to OE specs in form, fit and function.

ACDelco: Based on the year and a more economical vehicle platform, ACDelco Advantage pads and rotors would work well. Quality engineered but at a value price point, an Advantage part fits this repair.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS FROM OUR EXPERTS

Raybestos (BPI): Ceramic and semi-metallic brake pads will both stop the vehicle, but accomplish it in different ways. Semi-met pads, as the name suggests, have actual metallic mixed into the friction material. This is very abrasive to the rotor and causes the rotor to wear down, and in many cases, grooves to appear. This metallic dust is what sticks to the wheel causing constant cleaning. They also tend to be on the noisy side. Semi-mets are typically used on work trucks that carry heavy loads, towing vehicles and performance cars.

Ceramic pads were first developed for the small, light import car market. Ceramic friction material does not wear the rotor. In fact, it leaves some ceramic friction on the rotor and is called “material transfer.” When you apply the brakes, you are actually rubbing ceramic against ceramic and stopping with a certain adhesive effect. Since the rotor is not wearing, no metallic dust to dirty the wheels. They also are quieter since there is no metal to metal contact.

When ceramics first came out in the ’90s, they were never used on any trucks or high performance vehicles. As formulations changed and became more heat tolerant, ceramics started showing up on our ½ and ¾ ton trucks and even some street performance cars.

When choosing friction for a certain application, more than one choice may be available.  A good example would be a 2014 Ford Flex that comes with ceramic brakes on the front. A common replacement pad would be a MGD1611CH fully ceramic pad. But the 2014 Ford Police Interceptor also uses a similar style pad SP1611APPH that is metallic and designed for high speed pursuits. The Flex owner would not like metallic and the police officer would not appreciate ceramics.

You also have to consider cost for the customer. A high-mileage 15-year-old sedan passed down to the kids does not need the most expensive brake pads available. Safety should always be first priority but the lower grade pads may not come with all hardware and expensive shims so the price is cheaper.

ACDelco: Choosing the right brake part for any given application goes beyond just answering the question “does it fit?”  Just because it shows a fit in a catalogue listing, doesn’t mean that’s the right part for that particular make and model. A pickup truck primarily used as a statement piece driving around downtown Toronto is a far cry from the same pickup used for hauling gravel in Northern Alberta, where the heavy load requires more attention to what type of brakes are on that truck. Add to that a very price-conscious consumer and you are now dealing with an extremely detailed set of facts that change a parts recommendation. In order to provide counter staff and installers a fighting chance at matching the right part to the right application, ACDelco provides our distribution partners extensive choice when it comes to selecting the right brake part. 

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