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EBC Redstuff Ceramic Brake Pad Review

Recently, as recent as the past 2 SCCA Rallies I've competed in, I've been testing some new brake pads from EBC - EBC Redstuff Ceramics.

Most may have heard that EBC pads at one time were considered to be less than rotor / wear friendly pads, and that they earned a horrible reputation, especially EBC Greens which had an issue with leaving massive pad deposits on the rotors and often caused warping.

Well, there is a new owner, new outlook and many changes occurring at EBC. I've been working with Andy Freema, Managing Director of Freeman Automotive / EBC Brakes UK Ltd and CEO of EBC Brakes USA Ltd. Andy's been kind enough to supply Subie Gal Racing with some front and rear pads to test and provide honest feedback on.

The old specification of pads from EBC were known to be prone to rotor chewing, fade and quick wear. The great news is Andy, seeing that changes were in order seems to have dramatically changed the formula of the EBC range for our Subarus. He realized that the old spec EBC brakes were just not up to the task and has made changes bearing that in mind. These changes, after 4 full days of testing, are excellent. in my opinion.

I chose to test the street/mild track setup pads on my rally car, thus I've been running the EBC Redstuff Ceramics (note there are 2 different types of Redstuff - and the ceramics are of the new spec and new compounds) - I tested these pads on my SCCA ProRally car at the Rim of the World rally as well as my most recent rally here in the NW Region (over 140 stage miles).

2003 WRX Wagon PGT Rally car Brake set up:

  • OE Rotors
  • Goodridge Stainless lines
  • Motul brake fluid

Rim of the world offered some very high speed, hard breaking tarmac stages were I really put the brakes to the test. Rotors and pads were literally smoking by the time Friday's stages were over with. This was my first experience with these pads in this type of condition, and without hesitation I trusted them wholeheartedly and pushed them to the limit. Even in these extreme conditions I found the following:

Braking Ability/Fade Resistance: I never experienced brake fade! Even at the highest temperatures - and I was brutal on these pads, even noting that in between stages they did get a chance to cool down a bit. Pedal travel remained as it should, I was not feeling any extra travel which means that even though the pads were heating up, the heat was not getting all the way through the pads to the point of fading. Rotors showed zero signs or warping, or wobbling which meant that the pads were not leaving nasty deposits onto my rotors.

Brake Feel: Excellent feedback, the pads did get a bit "tired" by the end of the night's stages, but I thrashed them to the limit, and they never let go. By tired I mean I felt a slight change in them, but they did not fade. I could tell though that I was really putting them to the limit.

Rotors: For once, were not scored, did not warp or have that wobbly feeling. I've been struggling with this all season long. Later inspection showed that rotors were in good shape.

Dust: Yes, of course there was "some" dust produced but not 1/10 that of the Porterfield R4s I'd been running previously on this setup.

Compared to my Previous Pads:Again, I'd been running the Porterfield R4's. I've never had brake fade with the Porterfields but these EBC's, unlike the Porterfields, did not score my rotors, they did not dust up the entire front end of my car and they did not wear completely away - I was most excited about the fact that they didn't leave massive deposits or warp my rotors beyond use. Typically, after 2 days rallying, my Porterfields were destroyed; worn to the point of being unsafe.

Once I removed the pads I saw they were quite a bit worn, and were heated so that the outer edges of the pad started crumbling off a bit. That looked a bit odd to me as I've not seen anything like it before, yet on the plus side, I never experienced any fade and the pad surface looked only slightly worn (shoot me, I failed to take measurements). Keep in mind, I absolutely cooked these things to the point that I baked the red paint right off of them!

I have since learned from Andy and EBC that a very small amount of edge crumbling around the edges of the pads is quite normal and occupies only a tiny bit of the pad surface. He assured me there is absolutely nothing to worry about in regards to this.

I utilized these pads again at our latest NW Region SCCA Rally which is a much higher speed (100+ in places) rally than Rim of the World. Again, I experienced no brake fade, excellent feedback from the brakes, and my rotors came out like champs once again! That's two rallies, same rotors - must be a record for me this year!

My Conclusion: I would recommend these brakes as a good street, probably light track, and light rally pad.

Street Application: Yes! You can run these on the street with confidence, as once they're bedded-in properly, they don't need to heat up to perform, and they are obviously rotor-friendly.

Noise: These pads come with noise reducing shims, and seem to be relatively quiet.

Dust: There will be some, as is with any aftermarket pads, but these dust a lot less than the Axxis and Porterfields that I've tried in the past - just keep up on cleaning your wheels and you'll be fine.

Overall when you look at the fact that I thrashed the pads, and they held up damn well, didn't damage my car, these pads are an excellent value for the money! WRX/RS Front/Rear EBC Redstuff Ceramic can be found for ~$89 per pair - that's less than half what I was paying out for the Porterfields.

EBC has earned a new customer and a new outlook! I'd say at this point that Andy has succeeded in his aim to make changes and cure the damaged reputation EBC once had. I know that I'm sold on it. For less than half the price I can get apparently twice as much racing out of these pads, and save needed money on rotors!

You can find out more about EBC Redstuff Ceramics by contacting joseph@ebcbrakesusa.com or visiting EBC's Website.