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NG900 & OG9-3 Workshop NG900 (1994 to 1998) & OG9-3 (1999-2002) & '03 Convertible Technical Forum

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  #1  
Old 16th June 2012
EdT EdT is offline
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Default Brake pads, PBR vs Akebono vs Pagid

I'm looking at what's easily available for brake pads in Canada (so eEuro, Rock Auto etc. are out).

One supplier with decent prices has the following pads:
  • Akebono Euro Ultra Premium, $135 front/$108 rear
  • PBR, $52 front/$28 rear
  • Pagid, $91 front/$52 rear
If I have read the marketing bumpf correctly, Pagid is the closest to OEM. Akebono and PBR mention low dusting.

I would like a low-dusting pad myself, and I think OEM-type pads are the opposite. PBR pads have an attractive price. I have heard of Akebono, but they are over $240 for a set as opposed to $80 for a PBR set (and $145 for Pagid set).

I'd welcome feedback from anyone running any of these three types of pads.

My car will never see a high-speed track. It's not a turbo. It's about as light as a 900 can be (base 2-door 900s). So I am pretty sure that good quality, low-dusting brake pads will be just fine.

(My old car weighed 1000 lbs more, had no ABS, and its brakes were a lot smaller than the 900's. My K-car's upgraded brakes were 260mm rotors front, 220mm drums back; it weighed a few hundred pounds less than the 900, and it stopped just fine.)

I'm thinking that the choice is between PBR (cheap) and Akebono (expensive). If the Pagids dust a lot, they are out.

After cleaning most of the brake dust off a newly-acquired set of wheels, I can say, I don't like brake dust, and I don't like cleaning brake dust either.
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  #2  
Old 16th June 2012
BobSaabit BobSaabit is offline
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I believe there's a lower cost Akebono set i.e. they have two pad variations. Even with shipping to .ca from someone like Rockauto they'd be cheaper than the price you have.

Akebono are ceramic. Less dust, probably slightly less stopping power but people here seem to like them. Pagid are semi-metallic. Pagid stop great, but they throw lots of dust. I've been told Pagid is actually OEM but I've never seen 100% verification. I'm not familiar with PBR. If they are not ceramic, they will be dusty. Some folks like Hawk or EBC.

For your stated use, any of them likely has enough stopping power. Saab brakes are designed to handle a chassis that can hit 150mph... not that they are race ready or that you'd want to do that a lot, but as you noted, they are over-engineered compared to most cars. A good set of pads will be fine for the way you drive.
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Old 17th June 2012
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I just bought some EBC YS from autoplicity, I'm not sure what their shipping policy to canada is, but they were by far the cheapest for those pads.
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  #4  
Old 18th June 2012
EdT EdT is offline
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Shipping to Canada is one thing, but duties and stuff are totally another. My last order for eEuroparts was for about $190, free shipping. Nonetheless I paid FedEx either around $20 or $40, I forget now, and then had to pay UPS $66. This included some ridiculously small amount for tax/duties, then charges for UPS payroll, collection fees, and disbursment fees. Basically, UPS was charging me for taking my money, and then charging be again for passing my money on.

If UPS wasn't a respected world-wide organization with spiffy brown uniforms (and shorts!), I'd say I was dealing with ripoff artist scamming sleazy lowlifes who are worldwide and wear spiffy brown uniforms (and shorts!). Those kind of *******s are not getting my money again. Even if it means driving to Indiana to pick up the GenuineSaab rear sway bar (since they ship only UPS).

The Canadian prices I list above include shipping, and customs/duties are obviously not required. So, I can't just look at the cost of a US order including shipping, and say, that's what I'll pay.

(FedEx is better than UPS, somewhat. The cross-border shipping means of choice is USPS/Canada Post.)
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  #5  
Old 18th June 2012
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I'll never understand how one set of rear pads from pbr can be $35 and a pair of ake's can be $75 and whether or not
it is really worth it to spend the extra money. Will the PBR pads eat my rotors up, or will they just not work as well for stopping?
My rotors warp like clockwork every 2 years, and the pads are usually 50% worn, so the new rotors go on and the pads get
trashed, replaced with new ones.

Never ending wonders. The range of car part pricing (a pair of rotors for $11, or a pair for $100+?) and uncertainty as to
whether or not it's worth spending more eat at my soul more than from wondering about how the universe was created.
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Old 18th June 2012
BobSaabit BobSaabit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ologist View Post
I'll never understand how one set of rear pads from pbr can be $35 and a pair of ake's can be $75 and whether or not
it is really worth it to spend the extra money. Will the PBR pads eat my rotors up, or will they just not work as well for stopping?
My rotors warp like clockwork every 2 years, and the pads are usually 50% worn, so the new rotors go on and the pads get
trashed, replaced with new ones.

Never ending wonders. The range of car part pricing (a pair of rotors for $11, or a pair for $100+?) and uncertainty as to
whether or not it's worth spending more eat at my soul more than from wondering about how the universe was created.
If you want to get a feel for how pads compare (base, ceramic, semi-metallic, metallic, etc), go to RockAuto and look at the various Centrix pads available for our cars. Click "More Info" and you will get the chart from Centrix of rotor life, pad life, stopping power, etc. Even if you buy someone else's pads, it's a good education in pad materials.

Rotors should not warp on a Saab. They should wear down to the point that they can't be reused. If they are warping repeatedly, check to make sure that the hubs are very clean - use a wire wheel on them along with some coarse sandpaper to make sure the surface is flat. Also use a torque wrench to tighten the wheels and do it in stages... then check again after a 100 miles.

FYI - rotors come in different steel qualities. I won't claim that a higher priced rotor is always better, but spending a little more will get you higher priced alloys and better manufacturing techniques.

It's always kind of a crap shoot with the stuff since there are no independent test - you have to rely on the opinions of your friends here as to what works and lasts.
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  #7  
Old 18th June 2012
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Thanks for the info, that helps, never knew that info was on rockauto. I don't know why but rotors on the old BMW always got to the point of warping, although they thinned out quite a bit before that happened, which seemed normal.

With this saab, the owner's rotors warped on the front, so they were replaced and are doing fine 2 years into it. But now his old rear ones (must be 2-4 years old now) are warped and cause the car to buck back and forth when you hit a stop sign. I don't really even use the brakes until they fade or anything. Will just torque correctly and hope for the best.
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Old 18th June 2012
BobSaabit BobSaabit is offline
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^ If they are already warped, you are probably out of luck.
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  #9  
Old 18th June 2012
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Yeah, once they warp they're done is my motto. Milling them down seems to leave them prone to rewarping pretty soon again anyways.
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Old 19th June 2012
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I put brand new brembos all around and PBR in the front and Pagid in the rear. I was told that these pads are actually the same company and product from the brake shop that did them. I bought all this stuff at eeuroparts about 2 years ago and finally got around to having them put on a year ago.

I think one consideration people do not take into account is noise. My car stops wonderfully, but my breaks sound like half the taxis in this town do. The rears make a high pitched screech whenever I stop unless they are well heated up.

It is simply terrible. The only solution is to grind the rotors and swap the pads. I just live with the screech now.

Do yourself a favor and find the quietest solution possible. Automotive engineers go to great pains to find rotors and brakes that play well together to not only perform but be quiet. If I could go back in time and spend $100 for each pad to not have to endure this screech, I would.
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  #11  
Old 19th June 2012
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I use permatex spray to glue the pads to the caliper pistons and usually never have any squeaking, did you use some kind of anti squeak glue to do the same?
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Old 19th June 2012
BobSaabit BobSaabit is offline
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I have Pagid rear and I don't have any noise at all.

Noise is caused by the pads vibrating.

My technique is to carefully clean the metal to metal surfaces and then lube them very lightly with a proper moly grease. I learned this from a local motor sports guy who advised me that the "goo" solution was really for loose fitting brakes (i.e. low quality) and wasn't needed on euro machines. I've had no issues since going with his idea. YMMV.
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Old 26th June 2012
bbernard bbernard is offline
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You can get slightly prices from places such as canadapartsonline.com. They seem to be Worldpac customers.

I'm very satisfied with Akebono, although mine were sold by Saab. They have GM and Akebono numbers printed on them. The online ones may or may not be the same SKU. My Akebonos hardly produce any dust.

You will also want to go with "high carbon" rotors. OEM Saab is best, but Brembo is also good. Make sure the Brembos have a "High Carbon" hologram on the box. Cheap (low carbon?) rotors don't last. Any money that you save up front will get wasted on another brake job when they warp in a couple of years.
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  #14  
Old 26th June 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbernard View Post
You can get slightly prices from places such as canadapartsonline.com. They seem to be Worldpac customers.

I'm very satisfied with Akebono, although mine were sold by Saab. They have GM and Akebono numbers printed on them. The online ones may or may not be the same SKU. My Akebonos hardly produce any dust.

You will also want to go with "high carbon" rotors. OEM Saab is best, but Brembo is also good. Make sure the Brembos have a "High Carbon" hologram on the box. Cheap (low carbon?) rotors don't last. Any money that you save up front will get wasted on another brake job when they warp in a couple of years.
I already have more than half of my order, and the remainder is supposed to come today. I don't like AutoPartsWay's insurance surcharge, and their website is slow. But they had what I wanted, and I got tired of poking around other slow websites for price comparisons.

I did go with the Akebonos. For rotors, I got Zimmerman coated for the front. For the back, I had the choice of coated and cross-drilled, or plain uncoated. Went with the plain uncoated. I assume Zimmerman has a decent product.

Also got the rear transmission mount. That's probably more urgent than the brakes, as I don't think there's a whole lot left of the existing mount.
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  #15  
Old 26th June 2012
musky musky is offline
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Every time I go for the low dust pads I end up with warped rotors in 6 months, happened twice so I'm back to standard pads.

I'm not really sure why they warp.

Cheers M.
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  #16  
Old 26th June 2012
BobSaabit BobSaabit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musky View Post
Every time I go for the low dust pads I end up with warped rotors in 6 months, happened twice so I'm back to standard pads.

I'm not really sure why they warp.

Cheers M.
Low dust as in "ceramic" ?
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  #17  
Old 27th June 2012
musky musky is offline
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No Bob they were called 'Green Suff'. Is ceramic much different?

Cheers M.
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  #18  
Old 27th June 2012
BobSaabit BobSaabit is offline
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EBC (Greenstuff manufacturer) doesn't like to say much about what's actually in their pads, but they mention "organic" with the Greenstuff so I assume that they are semi-metallic. The Redstuff look like they are ceramic.

As a general rule, a ceramic pad is harder, less dust, may stop quicker but probably needs warmup, likely wears rotors less. A semi-metallic loses in most all categories except that some of them are strong on stopping power and they usually require no warmup. (General rules, pads and compounds vary a lot).

I'm just curious about who is warping rotors and with what pads. Most of the manufacturers will tell you that they aren't warped but that they have uneven deposits of pad material. Or they might tell you it's due to cheap rotors. Or they will tell you that the warping occurred because of uneven pad material due to bad bedding technique. Or they will tell you that it's due to driving habits like standing on the brakes after a hard stop (sometimes required in driving :-) and depositing pad material in one spot.

Anyway, I was just looking to gather more info for my own use. Might start a thread for warping.
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