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Brake Disc and Pad Upgrade

on Wed, 24/03/2010 - 17:00

Lotus Elise
My Elise doesn't really stop when I press the break peddle... I don't need to be an expert mechanic to know this isn't ideal. On visual inspection, without actually pulling anything apart, all appears to be fairly well. The pads and discs are clearly used but not worn down to any extreme, although digging through the old documentation I can find no evidence of them having ever been replaced. I decided to do some research...

There are a million billion forum posts on brake set ups for the Lotus Elise. Reading through some of these I inevitably caught 'upgrade-itus' which swiftly resulted in the purchase and fitting of Pagid RS4-2 'blue' pads, EliseParts Ali Bell brake discs and some stainless steel braided brake hoses. This combination, on balance, seemed to receive the most positive reviews. I was down a chunk of cash but thankfully up on stopping power. I pulled short of uprated 4 pot calipers, a common Exige upgrade but overkill for my use.

Lotus Elise Pagid Brakes
The Elise now diligently comes to a stop on command, box ticked. Brake feel hasn't been wildly improved although is perhaps a fraction sharper. I was always pretty happy with the short travel of the peddle and the race car level of pressure that has to be applied - squashy modern breaks that travel for miles than suddenly throw you through the windscreen do my head in.

The discs aren't cross drilled like the old ones but are grooved and vented to help with cooling. I've not noticed any fade in performance under spirited road use. The pads appear to work well with the discs and bring the car to a controlled stop at all speeds. I no longer experience any of the sticking I used to after the Elise had been left parked up for a few days - in fact I can now drive in the rain, leave it for 3 weeks and it still won't stick, where previously I would have been jumping up and down while reving the engine just to get a wheel to turn. Oh, and the blue pads look quite nice nestled in the black calipers (which I wish were yellow but am not quite so vain as to remove and paint).

Overall I'm very happy with the new set up and while I could have picked out some cheaper components they should last a good few years.