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Help needed: aftermarket front pads for Golf R/PP brakes that don't clunk, squeal, or aggravate...

What are your favorite low-dust, low-noise, street performance brake pads?

  • Akebono Euro ceramic

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Bosch QuietCast ceramics

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Brembo NAO Ceramic

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Centric Posi Quiet Semi-Metallic

    Votes: 1 16.7%
  • Centric Posi-Quiet Semi-Metallic

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Hawk HPS (high performance street) pads

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Hawk HPS 5.0 (their newest street offering)

    Votes: 1 16.7%
  • i-Sweep is1500

    Votes: 3 50.0%
  • i-Sweep is2000

    Votes: 1 16.7%
  • StopTech Street Performance

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    6

SPLR337

Go Kart Champion
Location
New York
Car(s)
2019/1997 GTI
I have iSweep is2000s all around on my daily driven Rabbit, installed early last summer iirc. Less initial bite than OEM but linear braking. Very very low dust, can't even compare it to OEM. However, they are quite costly.
 

Acadia18

Autocross Champion
Location
Rhode Island
Car(s)
2017 VW Golf R
Excellent! Thank you.

Yes, those check all the boxes, and PowerStop (Z17s) have been outstanding on every customer car I've put them on. Z17 being their stock ceramic replacement.

PowerStop has a BUNCH of different pad lines, which had me a little confused in this research.

If you search for "PowerStop pad reviews Mk7 Golf R" using the California oracle, you find some folks are running the Z23, others the Z26, which could be better or worse.

My only fear was the dreaded pad-clunk issue, which it sounds like you didn't experience on your R. 👌


I'm fairly positive the only difference between the Z23 and Z26, is the Z26 has a built in aluminum shim.
 

GoatAutomotive

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Austin, TX
I have iSweep is2000s all around on my daily driven Rabbit, installed early last summer iirc. Less initial bite than OEM but linear braking. Very very low dust, can't even compare it to OEM. However, they are quite costly.
We’ve been expecting you! 😎

It’s been hard to find any information from actual users on the 2000 pads. So thank you for posting this up.

And yes, $200 is a lot to ask for brake pads for the average person.

Good to hear about the low dusting. Lots of other folks have gone with the 2500 and have been very unhappy with the amount of dust they produce. Sounds like the 1500 & 2000 are very Street friendly.
 

SPLR337

Go Kart Champion
Location
New York
Car(s)
2019/1997 GTI
We’ve been expecting you! 😎

It’s been hard to find any information from actual users on the 2000 pads. So thank you for posting this up.

And yes, $200 is a lot to ask for brake pads for the average person.

Good to hear about the low dusting. Lots of other folks have gone with the 2500 and have been very unhappy with the amount of dust they produce. Sounds like the 1500 & 2000 are very Street friendly.
Neuspeed told me in emails that the 1500 is a OEM replacement that's better suited for Tiguans and the like, and recommended the 2000s for "sportier" cars like the GTI and R. They admitted that the 2000s will dust more than the 1500s, but I have 2 sets of black wheels and it's really not an issue. One set is ceramic coated, one is not. It still would take a few weeks for them to look as dirty as they would after 1 week with factory pads. The pads fit well and have been completely silent since I installed them. I did have to cut the wire for the ABS sensors though since my car does not use them.
 

GoatAutomotive

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Austin, TX
I'm fairly positive the only difference between the Z23 and Z26, is the Z26 has a built in aluminum shim.
Too funny. Look what I found (short view and explanation below):

Z23 vs Z26 differences

they don’t say a single thing about the difference in pad formulation. They just emphasize stainless steel shims on the Z26, which is spot on with what you described. 😆 👍
 

Superfreak

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Denver
Car(s)
'15 R, '05 Taco,
I miss my squeaky Wilwood 6 pots. Squeaky, loud brakes mean different things to different people though. I think I will take capable over quiet until I get a GT car again. We’ll see if I ever grow up, lol.
 

GoatAutomotive

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Austin, TX
I miss my squeaky Wilwood 6 pots. Squeaky, loud brakes mean different things to different people though. I think I will take capable over quiet until I get a GT car again. We’ll see if I ever grow up, lol.
I’ll never forget the first time I drove a Mustang Terminator Cobra with full bolt ons (460-480whp) and Hawk HP + brake pads. At the time I was not familiar with Hawk. But I remember that thing sounded like a damned school bus every time it came to a stoplight.

It was embarrassing, because it sounded like the car needed brakes. In reality it was just the merciless metallic compound of those pads eating into the rotors like an apex predator on the Discovery channel.

But then when you were doing 120–140mph in fourth year, you barely had to touch the brakes and it could put your teeth in the dash. Soooo… #racecar 😎
 

GoatAutomotive

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Austin, TX
Posting this here in the spirit of exchanging information, and making this thread as helpful as possible to everyone who reads it.

These are from the Chevy SS forum regarding the power stop brake pads. It also discusses the centric PQ in some places, and factory Brembo pads. High marks across the board for the Z23 and Z26.

Relevance: These are 4000lb sedans with an LS3 engine and Brembo 4- piston brakes from the factory.

If these pads are good enough for those guys in the heavy Aussie cows, they should be right at home on my little 3100 pound jet pack… 😊

One quick disclaimer:

I am not seeing anything on the Interwebs about a Z26 front pad for the Golf R brakes. You can get the rear pads all day long, but it looks like PS does not offer the Z26 in a front pad for the PP/Golf R brakes. #sniffles 🥺😢

Power stop Z23 and Z26 reviews by 430hp Chevy SS owners
 

YamR1rider

Go Kart Champion
Location
Tampa, FL
Car(s)
2017 GTI Sport DSG
...EBC RedStuff (strap in) - I try to be generally positive, considerate, and open minded. Especially where people and companies are concerned. But as a product...$#@! these pads and their marketing. Seriously.

Some folks love and swear by EBC products. Others have 1-2 bad experiences and never return.

I spent the big bucks and tried their pads for the front of my daily driven Toyota Camry V6, seeking better bite and less brake dust, since I drive quickly and spiritedly (even in that old, low-powered sedan).

These may as well have been Hawk Blues or some type of hard, metallic track-only pad designed for high temp use.

Their infamous break-in procedure (and whatever coating they employ) took a full 1000 miles to finally wear off.

Let that sink in. After a proper bed-in procedure per their instructions, the pad compound and its coating was so hard, it took 1k miles to break in.

LOTS of break squeal and rotor teething. Embarrassing at every stop light and speed bump slow-down (think Hawk HP+ from 10 years ago).

I'm one of those who likes EBC....but only the Yellows, I concur with you that redstuff are shite (wooden feel, poor when cold yet also overheat too quickly...why do they even make these?). By contrast, I find the yellowstuff to be an excellent fast street pad - work extremely well from cold all the way through canyon driving hot and are even fine for occasional track days on street tires (although there are better options for a dedicated track car). A quiet pad with zero poorly fitting related pad knock (they are even better than OEM VW pads, with which I sometimes got a minor clunk going from reverse to forward). The yellows seem to fit very precisely in the calipers to the extend it can be a little awkward when fitting them (but worth it).

Re. break in...I actually like that break-in coating on the pads, I have changed many sets on various cars for myself friends and family including straight pad-slaps on existing rotors- that mildly abrasive coating serves to prep the disc. As for EBCs as currently written break-in procedure.....they have changed it over the years to make it seem incredibly long and laborious, but I feel they may have done this for liability reasons (to discourage people doing a series of hard braking efforts on the streets). Therefore I break in the pads as I've done every other pad motorcycle or car over my 35 years of motoring, i.e. I got out (right into the quiet countryside, thankfully that's not far for me) and for a few minutes do some light braking to warm everything through, then I start doing several rounds of harder braking 80-20 mph just shy of the limit of ABS engagement till those pads are literally stinking and red hot. Then I continue to cruise around for a good 20 mins at least to cool pads and rotors down and back home. Done.

Yellows might not suit your criteria though as they certainly aren't low dust, similar to stock. Personally I don't care about dust, its a by-product of all of the better working pads IMHO, and it washes off very easily.
 

GoatAutomotive

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Austin, TX
I'm one of those who likes EBC....but only the Yellows, I concur with you that redstuff are shite (wooden feel, poor when cold yet also overheat too quickly...why do they even make these?). By contrast, I find the yellowstuff to be an excellent fast street pad - work extremely well from cold all the way through canyon driving hot and are even fine for occasional track days on street tires (although there are better options for a dedicated track car). A quiet pad with zero poorly fitting related pad knock (they are even better than OEM VW pads, with which I sometimes got a minor clunk going from reverse to forward). The yellows seem to fit very precisely in the calipers to the extend it can be a little awkward when fitting them (but worth it).

Re. break in...I actually like that break-in coating on the pads, I have changed many sets on various cars for myself friends and family including straight pad-slaps on existing rotors- that mildly abrasive coating serves to prep the disc. As for EBCs as currently written break-in procedure.....they have changed it over the years to make it seem incredibly long and laborious, but I feel they may have done this for liability reasons (to discourage people doing a series of hard braking efforts on the streets). Therefore I break in the pads as I've done every other pad motorcycle or car over my 35 years of motoring, i.e. I got out (right into the quiet countryside, thankfully that's not far for me) and for a few minutes do some light braking to warm everything through, then I start doing several rounds of harder braking 80-20 mph just shy of the limit of ABS engagement till those pads are literally stinking and red hot. Then I continue to cruise around for a good 20 mins at least to cool pads and rotors down and back home. Done.

Yellows might not suit your criteria though as they certainly aren't low dust, similar to stock. Personally I don't care about dust, its a by-product of all of the better working pads IMHO, and it washes off very easily.
You had me when you called the RedStuff blocks of wood...

So accurate!

YellowStuff are a darling pad to a lot of folks. They've all had similar praises for them. Dusty, but excellent bite from ambient temps all the way to track temps. They were widely praised in the GTO community for folks who actually tracked their cars, or who made big-boy power and needed their brakes to work above 120-140mph.

Thank you for sharing this. While I won't run an EBC product again, this is still helpful to anyone reading over the thread development.
 

tigeo

Autocross Champion
I'm one of those who likes EBC....but only the Yellows, I concur with you that redstuff are shite (wooden feel, poor when cold yet also overheat too quickly...why do they even make these?). By contrast, I find the yellowstuff to be an excellent fast street pad - work extremely well from cold all the way through canyon driving hot and are even fine for occasional track days on street tires (although there are better options for a dedicated track car). A quiet pad with zero poorly fitting related pad knock (they are even better than OEM VW pads, with which I sometimes got a minor clunk going from reverse to forward). The yellows seem to fit very precisely in the calipers to the extend it can be a little awkward when fitting them (but worth it).

Re. break in...I actually like that break-in coating on the pads, I have changed many sets on various cars for myself friends and family including straight pad-slaps on existing rotors- that mildly abrasive coating serves to prep the disc. As for EBCs as currently written break-in procedure.....they have changed it over the years to make it seem incredibly long and laborious, but I feel they may have done this for liability reasons (to discourage people doing a series of hard braking efforts on the streets). Therefore I break in the pads as I've done every other pad motorcycle or car over my 35 years of motoring, i.e. I got out (right into the quiet countryside, thankfully that's not far for me) and for a few minutes do some light braking to warm everything through, then I start doing several rounds of harder braking 80-20 mph just shy of the limit of ABS engagement till those pads are literally stinking and red hot. Then I continue to cruise around for a good 20 mins at least to cool pads and rotors down and back home. Done.

Yellows might not suit your criteria though as they certainly aren't low dust, similar to stock. Personally I don't care about dust, its a by-product of all of the better working pads IMHO, and it washes off very easily.
I'm with you. Yellowstuff were fantastic street pads albeit v. dusty. They were quiet and worked for v. aggressive hooning and even on the track for me. I run them out back now b/c there aren't many choices for the 272mm rears (non-PP GTI and Alltrack/Sportwagen) with my BBK up front.

Funny....just swapped in the APR "advanced track day" pads for my BBK for a track weekend this weekend (I normally run their middle "advanced street/entry level track" compound which is similar to Yellowstuff or Ferodo DS2500) and they are mental...so strong.

In cold weather (32 or below) I did note that at the first stop sign leaving my house the Yellowstuff took a little extra to stop but quickly got up to temp.
 

GolfRRRR1

Go Kart Champion
Location
Michigan
I'm running TRW THX1633 now, I did have the TPC1633 which they actually still make but no one can get. They are both so close, maybe the THX1633 have more bite?? Regardless, perfect fit, quiet, low dust, as good as or slightly better than OEM, made by the OEM, $59 from FCP Euro, lifetime warranty, yeah!
 

DangerDane2008

Ready to race!
Location
Conyers GA
Car(s)
15 GSW TDI DSG
I definitely needed this thread. I swapped GTI PP brakes into my GSW. Don’t know what pads are on them, but it’s shocking how dusty they are. They’re starting to make noise so I’m excited to change them out
 
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