Bedding allows your brakes to
reach their full potential. Until they are bedded, brakes
simply do not work as well as they can. If you've installed a big
brake kit, changed pads and rotors, or even purchased a new car, you should
set aside time to bed the brakes per the instructions
below. Proper bedding improves pedal feel, reduces or eliminates brake
squeal, prevents (and often cures) brake judder, reduces brake dust, and
extends the life of pads and rotors. For more details on the theory of
bedding, please refer to this article:
Pad and Rotor Bed-In Theory, Definitions and Procedures
Caution: Immediately after installing new
pads, rotors or a big brake kit, the first few applications of the brakes will result in very little braking power. Gently use the brakes
a few times at low speed to build up some grip before blasting down
the road at high speed. Otherwise, you may be in for a nasty surprise
the first time you hit the brakes at 60 mph.
If you just installed rotors
with zinc plating or if the rotors have an anti-corrosion
phosphate coating, you should postpone bedding until normal
driving has allowed your pads to polish the rotors clean and removed
all traces of the plating or coating. If your new brake rotors have an
oily anti-corrosion coating, clean this off thoroughly with brake
cleaning spray and/or hot soapy water before installation.
Read and understand these instructions completely before starting. If you have questions,
give us a call or email. Do not substitute higher speeds for the 60mph
called for. The heat in brakes goes up
exponentially as you increase the speed from which you brake. Repeated stops from 80 or 90mph with street pads will overheat the
brakes and you may end up having to replace pads and rotors.
When following these instructions,
avoid other vehicles. Bedding is best done when traffic is light, as other drivers will have no idea what you are up
to and may respond in a variety of ways ranging from fear to curiosity to
aggression. A police officer will probably not sympathize when you try to
explain why you were driving erratically! Zeckhausen Racing does
not endorse speeding on public roads and takes no responsibility for injuries or tickets you may receive while following these instructions.
Use common sense!
From 60mph, gently apply the brakes a
couple of times to bring them up to
operating temperature. This prevents you from thermally shocking the
rotors and pads in the next steps.
Make eight to ten near-stops from 60mph to about 20 mph. Do
it HARD by pressing the brakes firmly, but do not lock the wheels or
engage ABS. At the end of each slowdown, immediately accelerate
back to 60mph, then apply the brakes again. DO NOT COME TO A COMPLETE STOP!
If you stop completely, with your foot on the brake pedal, pad material
will be imprinted onto the hot rotors, which could lead to vibration
and uneven braking.
The brakes may begin
to fade after the 7th or 8th near-stop. This fade will stabilize,
but not completely go away until the brakes have fully cooled. A
smell from the brakes, and even some smoke, is normal.
After the last near-stop, accelerate back up to speed and
cruise for a few minutes, using the brakes as little as possible to allow
them to cool down. Try not to become
trapped in traffic or come to a complete stop while the brakes are still
If full race pads, such as Hawk DTC-70 or Performance
Friction PFC11 are being used, add four near-stops from 80 to 20 mph.
After the break-in cycle, there should be a slight blue tint and a
light gray film on each rotor face. The blue tint tells you the rotor has
reached break-in temperature and the gray film is pad material starting to
transfer onto the rotor face. This is what you are looking for. The
best braking occurs when there is an even layer of of pad material
deposited across the rotors.
This minimizes squealing, increases braking torque, and maximizes pad and
After the first break in cycle shown above, the brakes may
still not be fully broken in. A second bed-in cycle, AFTER the brakes
have cooled down fully from the first cycle, may be necessary before
the brakes really start to perform well. This is especially true if
you have installed new pads on old rotors, since the pads need some usage to
conform to the rotor wear pattern. If you've just installed a
big brake kit, pedal travel may not feel as firm as you expected.
After the second bedding cycle, the pedal
will become noticeably firmer. If necessary,
bleed the brakes to improve pedal
StopTech has to say about the importance of bedding brakes!
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Call (800)222-8893 and press "1" for
International customers may call: 973-761-5054
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