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    Porsche Ceramic Carbon Brakes - Boon or bane?

    Not sure if this is the right place to post this but here it goes.....extracted from another forum.

    "Ok, lets nut it out once and for all...
    I say that we would ALL feel the benefit of using carbon ceramics, some for their longevity and low dust/dust free use, some for appearance, and some for performance..." - ferrarifixer

    "There's a very common misconception that upgrading brakes will automatically *reduce braking distances*. Nope. The car's ability to stop is a result of a variety of factors, the two biggest, by far, are the car's weight and the car's TIRES. A Ford Crown Victoria on racing slicks with stock brakes will outbrake the same car with giant brakes on street tires.

    Heck, a Crown Vic with racing slicks and stock brakes will outbrake a Lotus Elise with giant brakes on snow tires!

    Race cars have big brakes not because they're needed for the shortest possible braking distance, but rather to handle and dissipate heat and take the abuse of being used constantly. Take a 355 for example. With cold brakes, you'll get EQUAL braking distances with stock brakes versus big Challenge brakes or 8 piston Brembos (yes, you'll get different "bite" and "feel", but the distance will be the same).

    After all, when you hit your brakes hard, you can lock up the tires (assuming no ABS). So the LIMIT isn't at the BRAKE, but rather at the TIRE.

    If your brakes are strong enough to lock up the tires, then making your brakes bigger or upgrading them to ceramics will NOT decrease your stopping distance. Analogy: you've got a weight suspended by a cable tied to a wire tied to a string tied to a rafter. No matter how strong you make the cable, or the wire, the total weight that can be supported is always going to be limited by the string.

    Now, having said that... where ceramic brakes - and bigger brakes, for that matter - do have beneficial effect is handling FADE. (and lighter brakes is also good, for handling, especially as it's unsprung weight, but that's not what we're discussing here; we're assuming that the car weighs the same, though if the ceramic brakes make the whole car lighter, it would theoretically create a shorter stopping distance, but I seriously doubt it would be a material amount.) Back to fade. On the street, if you have modern brakes on something smaller than a Freightliner, you're NOT going to have brake fade. Ok, ok, if you're coming down a mountain and ride the brakes the entire way down, you might get brake fade. But, realistically, on a modern car, the brakes are so good, you won't have any problems.

    As for track use - sure, ceramic brakes might be an improvement, but that depends on how hard you're driving, how good you are, and what your setup is. For a 355 Challenge, with the massive rotors and decent ducting, it takes a LOT of use before you generate enough heat to worry about fade. Now, keep in mind, a less-skilled driver CAN easily cook brakes at the track. I've had students in even track-prepared cars boil fluid in just a handful of laps, simply because they're using the brakes incorrectly - braking too early, braking too long/extending the braking zone, failing to let the brakes cool, riding the brakes all the way to the apex, etc.

    If anyone really is looking to improve braking performance, the best bang-for-the-buck way to do it is in this order (aside from learning how to drive):

    1. Tires.
    2. Better (fresh) fluid.
    3. Better pads
    4. Increased ducting.
    5. Then and only then, upgrading the hardware." - Dennis aka BIGHEAD

    http://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=94054&highlight=Ceramic

    http://www.starfiresystems.com/news/...der_May_05.pdf

    http://www.engineeringtalk.com/news/sur/sur114.html

    Hope to hear more objective responses and discussions at Rennteam.

    Re: Porsche Ceramic Carbon Brakes - Boon or bane?

    I agree in general. I haven't seen anything to suggest that a car with PCCB actually stops any faster, nor do I ever hear anyone complain about their 911 brakes.

    Maybe someday, but now I don't see the benefit for $8,000. Except for those who receive a 'psychic' benefit from knowing their car is more exclusive than someone else's!

    D.

    Re: Porsche Ceramic Carbon Brakes - Boon or bane?

    ...anyone that tracks their 911 may well experience some fade, that is where PCCB comes in, its not for stopping distances...

    Re: Porsche Ceramic Carbon Brakes - Boon or bane?

    Quote:
    Carrageous said:
    I agree in general. I haven't seen anything to suggest that a car with PCCB actually stops any faster, nor do I ever hear anyone complain about their 911 brakes.




    I had the opportunity to drive a 997 w/o PCCB and a 997S w/PCCB back to back at a Porsche (PCNA) event at Barber Motorsports Park about a year ago.

    The braking difference was quite marked in feel and manners, if not in outright slowing power. The PCCB brakes had better pedal feel and were much easier to modulate. The pedal was less squishy on take-up and the amount of retardation experienced as a function of pedal travel was very repeatable, more repeatable than the stock binders. The "red" brakes would have felt pretty darn good if I hadn't then hopped into the PCCB car right afterwards.

    For me, there are very tangible rewards for chosing to pay extra for PCCB, beyond the aesthetic lack of wheel dust. Only the prospective purchaser will be able to decide if the improvement in "perfection" afforded by PCCB brakes is worth the difference in price.

    How would I make the decision? Simple. Every new 911 that I order from now on will have the PCCB option box checked as "Yes".

    ot barbers

    mike

    OT you had mentioned the cgt event held at barbers. do you know of any others coming up in the future?

    Re: Porsche Ceramic Carbon Brakes - Boon or bane?

    Quote:
    I had the opportunity to drive a 997 w/o PCCB and a 997S w/PCCB back to back at a Porsche (PCNA) event at Barber Motorsports Park about a year ago.

    The braking difference was quite marked in feel and manners, if not in outright slowing power. The PCCB brakes had better pedal feel and were much easier to modulate. The pedal was less squishy on take-up and the amount of retardation experienced as a function of pedal travel was very repeatable, more repeatable than the stock binders. The "red" brakes would have felt pretty darn good if I hadn't then hopped into the PCCB car right afterwards.




    Mike, that's the first I've heard about a better brake feel. Thanks, that's good info.

    D.

    Re: ot barbers

    Quote:
    icon said:OT you had mentioned the cgt event held at barbers. do you know of any others coming up in the future?



    Sorry, I don't

    I speculate that the CGT marketing effort, of which these events were part, is long over.

    Re: Porsche Ceramic Carbon Brakes - Boon or bane?

    Quote:
    Carrageous said:
    Mike, that's the first I've heard about a better brake feel. Thanks, that's good info.

    D.



    You're very welcome.

    PDE events are one of the few places where info of this kind is easy to obtain. I don't know anywhere else (apart from press events) where one could drive cars back to back in a controlled high-speed environment to find out this stuff.

    I feel fortunate to be able to help

    Re: Porsche Ceramic Carbon Brakes - Boon or bane?

    Quote:
    W8MM said:
    PDE events are one of the few places where info of this kind is easy to obtain. I don't know anywhere else (apart from press events) where one could drive cars back to back in a controlled high-speed environment to find out this stuff.

    I feel fortunate to be able to help



    Do you feel any difference in the pedal travel? I personally felt a marked difference in the application of the brake pedal and bite modulation.....the PCCB appears to require a tad slightly longer pedal travel but the modulation appears to be more linear and incrementally gets grippier as you depress it further. That's how I feel when I drove it back to back.
    I'm wondering if anyone felt the same way too, please advice.
    Thanks

    Re: Porsche Ceramic Carbon Brakes - Boon or bane?

    Quote:
    W8MM said:
    The PCCB brakes had better pedal feel and were much easier to modulate. The pedal was less squishy on take-up and the amount of retardation experienced as a function of pedal travel was very repeatable, more repeatable than the stock binders. The "red" brakes would have felt pretty darn good if I hadn't then hopped into the PCCB car right afterwards.



    Very well said, Mike. And may I add something: being able to brake very very late actually makes you faster.
    I'm surprised to read how many people care about car weight, power figures, tires and chassis setups. But superiour braking performance, meaning in the case of the PCCB that you can modulate braking power very precisely, provides a huge advantage on the track.

    A lot of people know how to drive, only a small part of them know how to brake.

    Driving a 997 Carrera S without PCCB and one with PCCB back to back actually is the best thing to do if you want to feel the difference between both. I don't know if the advantages of the PCCB are really worth their money but like you, I decided not to order a single car without PCCB anymore.

    Re: Porsche Ceramic Carbon Brakes - Boon or bane?

    Quote:
    Avantgarde said:
    .....the PCCB appears to require a tad slightly longer pedal travel but the modulation appears to be more linear and incrementally gets grippier as you depress it further. That's how I feel when I drove it back to back.
    I'm wondering if anyone felt the same way too, please advice.
    Thanks



    I don't remember a longer pedal travel for PCCB. If anything, it seemed the reverse of your comment. The standard brakes took more pedal travel before some feeling of "firmness" began to present itself.

    The "Red" brakes seemed somewhat more "mushy" where more travel was required to obtain the same level of braking. The PCCB-equipped cars seemed more pedal-pressure-oriented (very little travel) than the pedal-travel-oriented feeling of the standard cars.

    It's also well to remember that these cars were all being driven on a race track and perhaps were not cooled all the way down when I jumped into them.

    Re: Porsche Ceramic Carbon Brakes - Boon or bane?

    Hi Mike,
    Thanks for the re-afirmation.
    My observation was purely based from a cold start in the morning when I drive off to work and running errands...or perhaps the PCCB has not broken in yet? Could the latter be the reason?
    My other observation was that the PCCB appears to be quieter than the OEM whilst driven/brake in the wet and dry conditions.
    I believe the PCCB would definitely be a consistent performer from first to a 'thousand' application....Better well be since we are paying BIG bucks for its application. Personally, I see it as buying Insurance.

    Re: Porsche Ceramic Carbon Brakes - Boon or bane?

    I too have driven the Carrera S on track at PDE...with PCCB
    The initial "bite" is amazing, the pedal feel is rock solid, the repeatability is consistant time after time...in comparison to the steel brake counterparts.

    Hard to imagine what the braking performance will be like on the new Turbo or GT3 with the even larger 380mm PCCB.

    As always the Middle pedal is the hardest to master

    Re: Porsche Ceramic Carbon Brakes - Boon or bane?

    What about the reduction in unsprung weight, due to the lighter ceramic rotors?

    Re: Porsche Ceramic Carbon Brakes - Boon or bane?

    Quote:
    r00t61 said:
    What about the reduction in unsprung weight, due to the lighter ceramic rotors?



    In theory, it should help both handling and ride quality. It's a subtle improvement in both and hard to notice without being told to look for it.

    Re: Porsche Ceramic Carbon Brakes - Boon or bane?

    Quote:
    W8MM said:
    In theory, it should help both handling and ride quality. It's a subtle improvement in both and hard to notice without being told to look for it.


    It appears to me that the reduction in unsprung weight appears to reduce the bumpiness in the suspension over uneven roads, the difference is felt in PASM normal mode and more pronounced in the PASM sport mode. I gathered its due to the lower frequency in the oscillative movements required by the dampers to 'work' towards equilibrium from the 'lighter' vertical momentums.
    I don't know if I have explain it rightly, will the experts please advice if its the right thing to look out for?

     
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