Porterfield Brake Pads

Pros: Possibly Better Performance, Almost No Brake Dust Mess
Cons: Initial Brake Squeal, but Easily Fixed
Cost: $94 Front, $75 Rear from MyRoadster.net

After 60,000 miles on the stock brake pads I assumed I was getting close to needing to change them. I’ve been pleased with the performance of the stock BMW brake pads, but the brake dust was always a mess. The photo to the right is for real, this is how my wheels usually look. I wanted to find some replacement pads that offered equal performance but without all the brake dust mess.

The Porterfield brand caught my attention, it appeared it may be what I was looking for. MyRoadster.Net carried the Porterfield brand so I asked some questions via their info@myroadster.net address. I learned that Porterfield makes three different kinds of brake pads depending on your needs.

* R-4 for track use only

* R-4S for street and light competition

* R-E for endurance racing events

The “Porterfield R4-S Carbon/Kevlar Street Brake Pads” matched my needs, and the feature list impressed me.

* Low Dust

* Light Pedal Effort

* Rotor Friendly

* High Friction, Hot or Cold

* Low Wear Rate

* Fastest Stopping Road Pad Available!

* Friction Coefficient:

* OEM: Between .2 and .3

* Porterfield: .4

* Temperature Tolerance:

* OEM: 500-700 degrees F

* Porterfield: 1,100 degrees F

After installing the pads (see ///MZ3.Net’s brake pad installation article for details) I resisted the urge to make any judgements until I knew the pads were really broken in. I was also cautioned to avoid excess hard breaking during this initial period. When new, brake pads have a slightly rounded surface that ensures once broken in you get a maximum contact patch. But until they get fully broken in you are concentrating the friction to a smaller patch. This means that when brand new the friction/heat is in a smaller area so you should avoid overheating the rotors. At least that’s how a BMW tech explained it to me, it wasn’t something specific to the Porterfield brand, just a general caution for all new brake pads.

8,000 Mile Update: How does the saying go, if I knew then what I know now….

I put up with the stock brakes and their mess for 60,000 miles. From my experience, the Porterfield R4-S brakes offer at least equal performance (maybe even a little better) but with almost no brake dust mess. That was exactly what I was looking for so I am very happy with the Porterfield R4-S pads brakes. My only complaint with them was some initial brake squeal, but that was easily fixed (see Stopping Brake Squeaks article for details). For the cost ($94 front, $75 rear) and backed with MyRoadster.Net’s money back guarantee, the Porterfield R4-S pads seem to be what most Z3 owners should be looking for when either they need to replace their stock pads, or are just fed up with cleaning up after the BMW pads.

Veilside Z3

Owner: Khalifa Cobra

The body kit is from Veilside, the hardtop and rear wing are from Hamann Motorsport Hardtop II, the exhaust Muffler is from a german tuning company called G-Power.

SSR Competition Wheels with Kumho V700 Tires

Subject: SSR Competition 17″ x 8.5″ Wheels
Kumho Victoracers V700 225/45-ZR17 Tires
Cost: $ 2,118
Good: Sticky, Light Weight, Good Cost vs. Performance Ratio
Bad: Dedicated for racing – off goes the stock system and on goes the racing system and repeat. Plus, I need to put on a “GASP” trailer hitch and pull a trailer with my Z!!!!
Installer: Mounted, Balanced & Heat Cycled by The Tire Rack. Mounted on car by yours truly

When I started autocrossing my car, I used stock 16″ tires & wheels, even though I race in the ASP class in North Carolina & Virginia, which allows for larger & wider systems. I found myself a consistent 2 seconds back from the winner. So I promised myself that I would go to the next step to start winning some races if not close the gap, by purchasing a tire/wheel set for autocrossing.

After viewing past posts on the message board and the Tire Rack Q&A section. I made a list of things that I expect from this investment.

1. Best Cost vs. Performance ratio for the tires & wheels

2. Best Lightest weight vs. Strength ratio for the wheel

3. Capable to rotate tires from front to back to maximize usage

Wheels: The list of wheels I looked at was BBS RK & RX, SSR Integrals, Forge Lines, IFG, and various other lightweight track wheel manufacturers. I wanted my wheels to be spoked, so that the maximum amount of air can cool the brakes and make it easy for me to clean the wheels. I came close to purchasing either the SSR Integrals or the BBS RKs. But this past Christmas, I saw those new SSR Competitions and saw the estimated weights and costs and I was sold on them. After calling Aaron of The Tire Rack (www.tirerack.com), we determined that the 17 x 8.5″ wheels would work for me. I want the wheels to be the same size all the way around so that I could rotate my system from front to back. Aaron informed me that he weighed one of the wheels and it came in at 15.1 pounds. Now I could not verify his weight, because, I had Aaron mount and balance my system before shipment. The cost of the wheels was: $ 365/ea

Tires: The list of tires were of-course Hoosiers, BF Goodrich, & Kumhos. Since the Kumhos were the least expensive tires and the “new-kid-on-the-block” for track tires, I searched the website for people that has experience with these tires & The Tire Rack has an article on how to use the V700. I found that they were satisfied with the purchase and any down falls were minimal. This was good news for me, because of the Kumho’s low cost versus the other brands’ high costs. I originally wanted 235/40-ZR17, but after looking at the Tire Rack’s ad and talking with Aaron, I had to be satisfied with 225/45-ZR17 tires. Kumho does not offer a 235 in the V700s, only 225 & 245. I also had The Tire Rack heat cycle the tires, so that they will be ready for racing. For those persons who do not know what heat cycling is, The Tire Rack has a good explaination. The cost of the tires was: $ 130/ea, The cost to heat cycle them: $ 15/ea.

When the system arrived it was nicely packaged so that the wheels would not be damaged during shipment.

The wheels also included mounting bolts that works with the SSRs and a center hub adaptor to make the wheel hub centric. Now I would rather wished that SSR made the wheels dedicated to the BMW, but that is only wishful thinking. I do love the look of those center adaptors. They are made of aluminum and anodized black with the “Mille Miglia” logo printed on the surface.

Conclusion: I did a brief drive around my neighborhood. Of course I could not do any speed trials or see how she corners. I did not feel like using up my tires before I could race them. But, I can say this, that I could tell the difference in stiffness and stickiness of the rubber – – WOW! All due to the larger rim diameter, thicker sidewalls & slower durometer of the tires. I will give an update later during the racing season after I have a couple races under my belt with these new tires and wheels. Plus, I might bring home a trophy =:o

Update: I recently talked to my friend who autocrosses a Mustang 5.0L in the ESP class and he told me I could use the 245 on an 8.5″ wheel with no problems, because he does. I guess I know what tire size I will be purchasing next.

Hartage Classic Wheels

19″ Hartage Classic’s Wheels

19″x8″ (front)

with 235/35/19 Yokahama AVS Sport

19″x”9.5 (rear)

with 265/30/19 Yokahama AVS Sport

Ultimate Fix for Chasis Flex

What’s the Ultimate Fix for Chasis Flex?

Having the chasis welded by rabid English structural engineers

The rear cross member is made of folded metal. Chasis flex is what happens when this member is under heavy loads. The fix is to have Peter at Crayford Coachworks, in Marina Del Rey (310-577-9830) with years of experience reinforcing the Porsche GT2 race cars, go wild. They choose to seam and stich weld a new member into place that had been reinforced with steel tubes. They also seam and stich welded other areas of the frame. The frame of most cars such as BMW, Porsche and Mercedes have little spot welds when they come from the factory. These little welds do not last if you drive your vehicle hard and have a large object hit the underside of your vehicle.

Why I choose to fix my frame

If you find that you have to have the rear lower suspension replaced, you might as well take advantage of the opportunity and have them seam/stich weld the frame. They can also reinforce the rear cross members. I had a large object hit the underside of my vehicle. The Frame had cracks that started from hairline cracks into what you see to the right.

The strongest M Roadster Frame in the World!

Not happy with the way BMW attached the differential, they decided to reinforce that as well. Now I am ready to add the MechTech Turbo Charger!

Z3 Safety Shell Exhibit

Z3 Safety Shell Exhibit

2.8 with ///M Wheels

2.8 with ///M Wheels

Both Front and Rear ///M Wheels

Four Front ///M Wheels