86,000 Miles and it finally needs brakes

Hi folks,
After fourteen years and 86,000 miles, my car ('89 Firbird Formula WS6 w/4 wheel disks) finally needs front brakes.
86,000 miles is way high.
I don't think they're working hard enough as the rear pads have been replaced twice now. (GM pads) I've always felt that the rears are biased too heavily.
Is there something available that has a higher friction quotient? I need to put them suckers to work!
I really don't care if they don't last as long as the originals. I don't care if they last half as long. 43,000 miles is quite far enough.
Thanks!
Rayvan
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Brake pads have changed a bit since 1989. Higher performance pads are now reasonably priced from a few makers. What you have to ask your self is: How much better bite do I want vs. wear & dust. Carbon Fiber pads wear fast, and generate allot of dust. Semi-Metallics & Full Metallics wear fast (depending on brand) yet produce less dust.
Once you have decided how much wear & dust you want to deal with, then you need to get the right brand. Stay away from Auto Zone. Unless they are selling you Raybestos or Bendix. Else you will be changing pads every 6 months to two years. Basically for Stock calipers you will want Bendix, Raybestos, or Hawke Brakes.
Hawke Brakes pads are great, but some of them require you to "warm" the brakes to ambient (roughly 70 degrees) before they will bite. Most of their pads are make to bit harder when the brake temps rise. They are also more expensive.
As to the brake bias issue, Rear Disk cars have a different front/rear bias then rear drum cars. You could always install a adjustable proportioning valve from Wilwood. It might take a while to play with it to get the bias right for the type of driving you do, but it's not that hard.
Charles
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Thanks, Charles...
Rayvan
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On Thu, 22 Jan 2004 09:01:30 GMT, "Charles Bendig"

What about squeal? -- lab~rat >:-) Do you want polite or do you want sincere?
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is:
fast,
then
are
the
their
front/rear
to
hard.
Squeal that most people complain about can be corrected with the right lube. Even Auto Zone sells bottles of Disk Brake Anti-Squeal. Following the directions on the bottle you apply to the back of the pads before install. This actually quiets the brakes. a majority of professional installers actually use this stuff for street cars. Regardless of brand the stuff works rather well.
Now ifyour talking about the squeal of metallic linings of metal surfaces, that is not as bad as it used to be. Yet any high performance brake system or part has some sort of trade off in comfort or noise levels. Bendix Brakes does have a line of less loud Metallics called I/Q for Import-Quite.
A good brake job is: 40% high quality parts, 40% parts prep, and 20% skilled labor. G good brake job done properly with factory quality parts will last as long and work as well as a sloppy job with high end parts.
Charles
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On Fri, 23 Jan 2004 09:50:33 GMT, "Charles Bendig"

It seems like harder pads make more noise. I switched to a softer pad and there's no problem. But you're right about the lube.
Damn, that's an annoying sound, especially on a ragtop. Lookin' all cool, pulling up to the stop sign and everyone looks at ya like you're a moron! -- lab~rat >:-) Do you want polite or do you want sincere?
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WS6
are
self
6
Bendix,
"warm"
more
it
right
the
install.
levels.
Performance always has trade offs. Like a 6 second Pro-Stocker not being street friendly. But if "Cool" is your concern, get a noisy gear drive. Then people won't notice the brakes.
Charles
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<SNIP>

Aw come on, do we really drive f-body's to get looks? ;)
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The rears wore out first due the rear pads are smaller than the frounts.

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On Fri, 6 Feb 2004 17:38:26 -0600, "William Allen Morgan"

The rear pads are soposed to be smaller since you want more stopping power in the front than the rear. It sounds more like the Bird is not getting the correct amount of fluid to the fronts. I'd check on the flexable hoses and the calipers in the front before anything else.
...Ron

-- 68' RS Camaro 88' Formula Bird
http://www.frontiernet.net/~rscamero
Some are wise and some are otherwise
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True... as you said.... "rear pads are soposed to be smaller since you want more stopping power in the front than the rear." That doesn't mean though they won't wear out first... they will and it is considered normal. I've seen this a number of cars.

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On Fri, 6 Feb 2004 23:49:27 -0600, "William Allen Morgan"

I've seen just the opposite on a couple of cars. The first being my 88' Formula with rear discs, and the second being a couple of Ford vans that i've had to use for work. A 95' that went 100,000+ miles with out having to replace the rears and my present van an 02' has 72,000 miles with no rear or front replacement. On the flip side, back in the 80's a buddy of mine had a 2nd Gen Turbo Formula that just about chewed up brakes and had to replace both the front and back every 6 months or so. We couldn't figure out if he just used them to hard or that the design was garbage.
...Ron -- 68' RS Camaro 88' Formula Bird
http://www.frontiernet.net/~rscamero
Some are wise and some are otherwise
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