Bedding In the Brakes - 2014 SLP Panther Camaro Long-Term Road Test

2014 SLP Panther Camaro Long-Term Road Test

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2014 SLP Panther: Bedding In the Brakes

January 7, 2014

2014 SLP Panther

Before taking our 2014 SLP Panther Camaro out to stretch its legs recently, I wanted to make sure it was past the break-in period. Typically, owner's manuals stipulate that you should hit a certain mileage threshold before you drive the car at sustained speed or push it hard.

In addition to the engine break-in, the SLP owner's manual also spells out a specific break-in procedure for the brakes. This is a bit unusual, given that most modern production cars (including a typical factory Chevrolet Camaro) require zero break-in for the brakes. Keep in mind, though, that SLP installed a Brembo brake kit on our Panther Camaro and that the car had all of 14 miles on its odometer when Mark Takahashi drove it off the 2013 SEMA Show floor.

Basically, the SLP manual recommends that you "season" the brakes. It reads: "The goal and process of SEASONING the rotors is to GRADUALLY elevate the temperature of the iron rotor to the maximum anticipated temperature, before such temperatures are reached during severe braking."

The order guide recommends ten partial stops with 60-percent pedal effort, cooling the rotors, then ten more partial stops with 90-percent effort "just shy of locking the brakes or activation of the ABS." This is also known as threshold braking. Then, you let the brakes cool overnight and they're prepped for sustained high-heat performance.

Many brake manufacturers recommend this on their aftermarket pad/rotor setups, and I knew my route would require some heavy braking, so I scheduled some time on Saturday night to season the rotors. Ten stops, cool off, ten more stops, go home, park growling-supercharged-beast, wave to neighbors, consume cold beverage, go to sleep.

2014 SLP Panther

Having broken in the brakes the night before, I was confident on my regular Sunday jaunt through the hills. As Erin Riches noted, it's still a Camaro, so it feels heavy and, although the brakes feel very strong, there's some effort involved in bringing two tons of car to a stop. This is especially true on a road like Mulholland Highway, which has lots of tight, low-speed turns. After 100 miles of enthusiastic driving, though, I felt no serious brake fade.

Travis Langness, Associate Editor


  • jasond52 jasond52 Posts:

    Really officer, I was just seasoning the brakes...

  • Not no fade but no serious fade after 100 miles of twisty public road driving... Sounds like this Brembo set up will still be toast after a couple of laps on a track. p.s. Mulholland got buzz killed when they marked it at 35mph from PCH all the way to Decker.

  • bassrockerx bassrockerx Posts:

    if anyone was wondering this is where expensive rotors really shine in comparison to cheaper rotors. Here is my experience i bought super Grabby BAER brake pads and got a set of semi cheap slotted and drilled rotors made by summit racing. I followed the bed-in procedure outlined in the instrucitons of the pads. and just normal street driving the rotors did not even last 2k miles before needing to be turned and then maybe another 1600 miles or so and the rotors were done and one of them chewed thru one of the pads. i know part of it had to do with the drilled rotors they never last as long as compared to solid rotors but lesson learned: don't skimp out on the rotors if you get a nice enough set of rotors they will last a VERY long time if not you are in for a bad time.

  • kevm14 kevm14 Posts:

    When I bought my 05 CTS-V in mid-2010, it came with some kind of aftermarket drilled rotors (not sure if GM aftermarket or other). Now these are fairly large, being 14" front and 14.4" rear from memory. But it also had some Hawk HPS pads, which are known to be a performance street-only pad. In 2011, I planned a trip to NC where I'd try my hand at The Dragon and other mountain roads. I bought a set of stock pads (supposed to be good for some track use and actually better than the HPS), stainless braided hoses and ATE Superblue. I ended up doing the braided hoses and fluid but just left the HPS pads. Down at The Dragon, I got the brakes hot enough to turn the front Brembo calipers to a gold color. No fade. I was really surprised but perhaps the double-digit max speeds on The Dragon made that work. I doubt the HPS could handle continuously repeated stops from triple digits. The brakes are significantly oversized for daily driving though (car is only like 3850 lbs) so there is still quite a bit of meat left on the pads. New GM/Brembo pads are sitting in a box...

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