2014 SLP Panther: Bedding In the Brakes
January 7, 2014
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.
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