Home > Reviews > Performance Friction Z-Rated Brake Pads Review

Performance Friction Z-Rated Brake Pads Review

I recently had to replace my front and rear street brake pads on my 2005 Subaru STi. I could not afford race pads and separate street pads so I looked for one set that could do both. They should run decently on the track while giving me cold and non-squealing stops. While shopping online I discovered the Performance Friction Z-Rated brake pads. These brake pads are targeted for performance vehicles such as BMW and Corvette.

I spoke to the salesman at Raceshopper.com over the phone and he told me it was for the casual track driver that does not want to swap pads for track and street driving. I did a little more research and found this post from a Alfa Romeo owner. He seemed to like them and included telemetry with his post. This persuaded me to try out the Z-Rated pads for my Subaru. I placed my order for a front and rear set with Raceshopper.com and waited for the brown Santa Claus to leave my order on my doorstep.

I received the pads and they looked like many other brake pads. These had a split down the middle. They do not have the metal contact wear indicators. You will have to visually check them for wear. I installed the front and rear pads without any problems. The brake fluid was replaced with Super ATE Blue. Other existing brake modifications include front titanium shims, front DBA 4000 slotted rotors, and Goodridge stainless steel brake lines. I did some runs on a little stretch of deserted canyon road and liked the performance. The brakes were definitely better than stock pads which faded on this same road. There is no brake squeal and wheel dusting is minimal for a performance pad.

Replacing my brake pads was also an excuse for me to sign up to drive on the Auto Club Speedway road course with Speedventures. The configuration was the oval and interior course, aka “roval”. I gave the pads a workout with two hard braking zones on the track. The brake pedal feel was a little soft. The pads performed better than the Ferodo DS2500 brake pads I used in the past. They perform close to the DS2500s in stopping and slightly better with fade resistance. I’ve used the DS2500 in the interior course configuration and they would fade if you started braking at the designated braking points after a long straight. The Z-Rated pads were fine in that same section. The only time I faded the pads was when I tried to brake too late for a turn after a long straight going over 110 MPH. Otherwise they grab gradually and have good modulation for trail braking. I have yet to measure rotor and pad wear. The pads looked okay from a quick visual inspection.

The Z-Rated pads won’t stop you like race pads but are great for their performance, civility, and value. The other pad that has a similar market are the Ferodo DS2500. The Z-Rated pads are priced lower and perform better. These pads would perform well in autocross due to the low speeds.

Performance Friction Brakes

  1. growling_boxer
    March 22, 2010 at 5:58 am

    I’m curious to hear how the wear was. I have been pretty happy with my Ferodo DS2500s, but as I have gotten faster and now have a stiffer suspension, I have started wearing through them more quickly (also an 05 STi). I put brake ducts on this off-season, hoping that they will let me continue to use a double-duty pad, since I don’t want to need to change brake pads back and forth between track days and commuting to work. I tried Pagid Blue RS4-2’s last time, and I wasn’t really happy.

    • March 22, 2010 at 10:37 pm

      The Z-Rated pads are for street and track just like the DS2500s. If you are wearing through your DS2500s more quickly, it’s probaby because you have exceeded the performance specifications of that pad. A track pad can wear better due to the improved compounds that can withstand higher braking temperatures. Though your rotors may wear more with track pads. If you want to continue using a street/track pad, you may have to change your driving style to save your brake pads. I rode in a friend’s STi with DS3000 pads installed. When the car braked, it was like it dropped an anchor behind it. The only thing stopping me from getting track pads is the price.

  2. growling_boxer
    March 23, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Well, I’m hoping that the brake ducts I just installed keep the brakes cool enough to make the pads last longer. But I’m not too sure what to expect yet.

    Have you used the PFC’s enough to comment on their pad/rotor wear yet?

    • March 23, 2010 at 1:07 pm

      I just had them installed in January with one track event and daily driving. No long term wear readings yet. Subscribe to this post and I’ll update it when I get some measurements.

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