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Premium Member
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1,229 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've searched all the brake pad threads, but still no clear winner. The Carbotech Bobcats sound great, but $200 for all four corners!:barfs
If I could try them, and only pay for them after being satisfied they are an improvement over stock, and have decent life, then I'd go for it.

Anyway, here is what I want:
-Better than OEM power for daily driving and spirited driving, while maintaining good linear power (not an on/off switch)
-Excellent bite when cold
-Decent life, say half as good as OEM.
-no more dusting that OEM
-no significant increase in rotor wear over OEM
-They will never be used on an autocross course

If I can't get all that, then I might as well go with OEM replacements.

Any suggestions? Please compare to Subaru OEM, because any other comparison is not really meaningful to me. BTW, the rear pads are completely gone at 63k, while the fronts are 2/3 worn or our 2002 S.
 

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Administrator
2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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29,449 Posts
Tell ya what, I'll let you test-drive my car, and you can tell me if the Bobcats are an improvement over stock. :biggrin: Well, that wouldn't really be a fair comparison with the Brembos and all... but seriously, the list of your requirements pretty much describe the Bobcats.
 

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Registered
2005 Legacy GT
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3,679 Posts
http://www.tirerack.com/brakes/brak...ester+L&autoYear=1999&autoModClar=&perfCode=P
These akebono ceramic pads are another alternative. I remember a few people on SF.com running these and having good things to say about them. $61 for front set and $55 for back. Certainly not all out track "performance" pads or anything like that, but certainly better than OEM quality if that's what you're after.

Another slightly more expensive ceramic pad for the SF:

http://www.tirerack.com/brakes/brak...ester+L&autoYear=1999&autoModClar=&perfCode=P
 

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Premium Member
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2,132 Posts
I just installed the bobcats last night with my stock front brakes and the improvement in braking power is definitely there. Some people have complained of the bobcats being noisy though.
 

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Administrator
2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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29,449 Posts
No way they're noisy! My OEM STi pads that came with the Brembos squealed like pigs in comparison. Now that they'vre been replaced with the Bobcats, silence has returned!
 

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Premium Member
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1,229 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
pleiad7 said:
Tell ya what, I'll let you test-drive my car, and you can tell me if the Bobcats are an improvement over stock. :biggrin: Well, that wouldn't really be a fair comparison with the Brembos and all...
Yeah, not quite fair, I agree with you there!
pleiad7 said:
...but seriously, the list of your requirements pretty much describe the Bobcats.
That is what I keep reading, but I want to be sure before I drop that kind of money. Since the Bobcats claim autocross credentials, I want to be certain that they aren't too track oriented for our use.

BTW Silke, I still have the complete rear brake set that I bought from you, because the rear XT rotors were no larger than OEM on our '02. The front rotors were a nice improvement though! I tried installing the lightly used rear pads that you included, but they don't fit my calipers. I think they are Bobcats, correct?
 

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Administrator
2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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MountainBiker said:
BTW Silke, I still have the complete rear brake set that I bought from you, because the rear XT rotors were no larger than OEM on our '02. The front rotors were a nice improvement though! I tried installing the lightly used rear pads that you included, but they don't fit my calipers. I think they are Bobcats, correct?
Do they have a red backing? If not, they are OEM. I believe I sold the old Bobcats to someone else on this forum.
 
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So far I am happy with the bobcats, no squealing yet and the dust is minimal, much better stopping power than the stockers and they seem to be working fine with my stock rotors and calipers. Not sure how long they will last but if I can get 20-30k out of them I will be happy.
 

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Premium Member
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1,229 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Bobcats arrived today! I'll have them installed within a few days.
 

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Premium Member
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2,132 Posts
No noise from my bobcats so far. I'm only running one inside shim on the inside on each side in the front. I'm running a full set of shims in the back. I used the CRC red brake stuff.
 

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The Modfather
2019 Impreza 5dr Sport - Manual
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8,054 Posts
I've been using my Bobcats for over a week now and they are still quiet. I did use the OEM shims and some brake quiet on the back.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Bobcats have been on for a few days now. Bite when hot is excellent, cold bite isn't so great, but they are still breaking in.

-No noise whatsoever! (I didn't use any quieting compound)
-Fronts fit perfectly, using the old shims
-Rears were hard to fit into the caliper. Seems like the paint on the metal backing plate was a little thick, making it difficult to get them into the slots on the calipers. Also, the shim would not fit due to the rivet for the thin pad warning noisemaker.
 

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Administrator
2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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Their cold bite will get much better once they wear in a little. I know when mine were new they scared me a few times, especially when they were cold and wet... Now it's all gravy!
 

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1,229 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Just wanted to update this thread.

The Bobcat pads do not meet my stated criteria. The cold performance is poor, even on summer mornings. The end of our long driveway is always a bit of treat! Not scary, but lots of pedal pressure to get it to stop. The next couple of stops also take extra pressure.

Once the pads are warm, they are excellent. They seem to stay warm enough even when driving on the freeway, but I haven't used them in winter conditions yet. Safetywise, I'm a little worried about what will happen during freeway driving in cold weather, and then having to use the brakes hard, but I suppose I'll find out in six months!

Dusting is probably about the same as stock, or maybe a little bit more, but not bad.

Hope that helps!
 

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Registered
2004 Forester XT 5MT
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186 Posts
Hmmm....I was looking at Bobcats & Hawks and was leaning towards the Bobcats, but now??... maybe towards the Hawks.
 

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SF9 oldskool Gangster
2001 SF9 and '89 AE92111
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107 Posts
hmmmm I know this ....

this probably doesn't amount to anything as your requirements basically take all the pads that I have used out..I like AXXIS ultimates for stopping power and price (about 120-150 all four corners), but for canyon and track I prefer Project Mu B-Force pads. I use these daily and they work fine as well, but these two pads sure do dust more. The price you pay for good stopping I guess.
~Benson
 

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K.I.T.T. meet A.L.I.C.E.
2008 Forester XT 4EAT
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837 Posts
Personally I just switched from Bobcats over to Hawk HPS, and I like the Hawks more. Like I posted in another thread, my Bobcats seemed to go real wonky on me after I was in my wreck. I stood on the brakes harder than I have ever done, and ever since they started to outgas at day to day driving, and thus resulting in a couple pairs of soiled boxers. I don't know if I just cooked the snot out of them, and damaged them, or what, but they definetly weren't working safely. Up until that point they were a good pad.

But the hawks seem to have a much better cold bite, are quieter, and a more gradual progression to their hardest "bite." And they seem to grab a bit better under heavy braking too.

My comparison may be a bit off because having switched from the set that was acting up to these, and not a set that was working properly.

My rears are still the Bobcats, but they'll be switched out soon when I do the H6 upgrade.
 

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Premium Member
2004 FXT
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189 Posts
I use EBC "redstuff". Excellent cold and hot. They can reallly take the abuse- I love em.
 

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Kevin said:
I'm about to install Greenstuff pads for the very first time. Will be interesting to see how they go.
So far I'm very pleased with the Greenstuff - good bite cold & hot; I use much less pedal pressure now.
 
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