Girodisc S/S Front Brake Pad Review

  1. TheShadow

    TheShadow Senior Member

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    After far too long of a delay I am finally able to write out my review of the Girodisc S/S front brake pads for the 10th gen FK8. I've actually had these pads since the new year, but a long hard winter and a family with a toddler has made instillation and my review take much longer than originally anticipated. Thankfully warming weather has allowed me to install the new parts and I have since then put about 1000 miles on the new parts before writing this review.

    My main goal right with my car has been getting it as track ready as I can while still maintaining the daily drivability that Civics excel at. I knew this involved upgrading the brakes, and that is what eventually led me to Girodisc and their products. Prior to purchasing these brakes I had done a lot of research about different brakes and their temperature limits, braking forces, price, usage outside of the track etc. What I came to learn was there are plenty of options available and multiple options that will work just fine. What I did know was that I was a big fan of the Girodisc slotted floating rotors, and after researching the company I was very interested in the parts they have to offer considering they make components for cars much sportier than a Honda.

    I finally settled on the pads above and went to installing them on R-#00561 with some other nearby upgrades. My official install list was:

    Girodisc S/S Compound Front Brake Pads
    Girodisc Slotted Front Rotors
    Spoon Sports Steel Brake Lines

    Now I'm sure some will cry foul that I am writing a review for one component, even though I installed multiple pieces at the same time. I agree there may be some combined effect in how all of these components work together. However I also feel that this review is still valid - the pads in this case were the bread and butter of what the upgrade was all about from a performance standpoint. The steel brake lines should have no impact to this review as they are only to eliminate the risk of the stock rubber brake lines bulging under load. The rotors on the other hand could have some small impact being slotted vs. drilled like the stock rotors. There may be some difference in how the Girodisc slots "shave" the brake pads when in use revealing fresh pad material vs. the stock drilled rotors. At the end of the day both slotted and drilled rotors are different ways of venting gasses away from the brake pad so I feel the end improvement in braking is largely due to the new pads in use. The main reason for going with Girodisc rotors is weight savings and durability on the track rather than absolute braking improvements.


    Instillation:

    If you can change your oil, you can change these brake pads. Since this review is only for the S/S pads I will not go into specifics for the brake lines or rotors. After removing the front wheels the only other step is to pull the pins and retaining spring from the brake calipers. I would recommend getting a set of straight drift pins or something similar (no tapered pins) to drive out the pins on the calipers. The first pin is the only tricky one due to the tension from the spring, but once it is out the second pin slides right out. Once these are removed the used brake pads slide right out.

    The only tricky part is getting the pistons to retract in the calipers to give space for the thicker pads when they are brand new. For me this process was easy since I had already broken the lines to add the steel brake lines (they retract very easily in this scenario, to the point of spraying fluid out of the backside of the caliper.) If you are not breaking any brake line connections I would recommend opening up the reservoir cover and then using the previous brake pads to leverage the pistons in. You can use your fingers to pull or push the pads against the caliper pistons using the rotor as leverage. Having the reservoir open to the atmosphere should allow fluid to flow back up the lines with a little effort - just don’t forget to replace the cap when you are done. There are some YouTube videos showing this process.


    Bedding Procedure:

    When you purchase the new pads they should come with bed-in instructions in the box. Basically you are looking to thermal cycle the pads a couple of times without heat shocking anything (putting too much heat into the brakes.) The recommendation I received from Girodisc was to go out and do 7-8 braking events from 40-50 down to about 10-20 starting with moderate pedal pressure and slowly working my way up. No threshold braking, no ABS. Drive around and let everything cool back down a bit and then do the same thing but with a little more pedal pressure across the board. Do 3 rounds of this and then check to see how the rotors look - you're looking for a nice even transfer layer across the face of the disc. Any sort of blotchiness, spotting or smearing means you may have brought the temperature up too quickly, but I was told this is pretty hard to have that happen.


    1000 Mile Review

    Even though I have had these brakes on for 1000 miles their impact was immediately felt. After completing the bedding procedure I went for a short highway drive and every time I took an off ramp I was surprised to see how quickly my speed reduced just under normal pedal pressure. While driving the car in a normal fashion on the highway and using pedal pressure as I was accustomed to with the stock brakes I realized I would quickly decrease 50-75% of my speed whereas I was expecting about a 30% speed reduction. I had to intentionally brake later to keep the car speed that I wanted (just so I wasn't "that guy" going 40 mph all the way down highway off ramps.)

    After some more driving I was able to notice the specifics of the improvement. One of the things I liked about the stock brakes was that big initial bite - but after that bite I felt you kind of had to dig into the pedal to really get a lot of additional braking forces to come out. The Girodisc pads had that same great initial bite (maybe 5% more but very similar) but now any additional pedal depression added noticeable increases in braking forces. So with my foot being used to pushing down the pedal to a certain point to come to stops I found myself stopping far too soon with the new pads. A good problem to have. And even though I am braking 1-2 seconds later depending on the scenario my stops never cross into what you would consider a panic stop. Everything feels smooth and controlled like the stock setup. You just have that much better action in the brakes. I also understand that these statements come without any specifically measured testing, but the increase in performance from driver feel is very apparent with the new brake pads.

    After 1000 miles my above statements don't change. The car still feels calm, cool and collected with impressive braking power. And the cherry on the top with these pads - they don’t squeal. Now, I have heard one or two "squeaks" when backing down my driveway and applying the brakes, but my wife's truck does that too. I'm saying that the banshee-like howl you get when using the stock brake pads under light pressure is gone. Entirely. No high temperature grease or any compounds were used on the pads, so there is no concern of decreased performance due to the lack of sound. The fact that these pads increase braking forces while being quiet makes it feel like the car should have come this way from the factory. I would highly recommend these pads to anyone looking to get some better brakes or make their car track ready.

    With all of that said I would like to finish with a very large thank you to Mike at Girodisc, who was able to help me narrow in on a track ready set of front brakes and rotors and provided a very competitive price.


    PRICING:

    1. Girodisc front rotors for FK8, retail $800 per pair
    2. Girodisc brake pads for FK8, retail $120 per pair

    Both components are available at Girodisc.com

    IMG_4177.JPG IMG_4180.JPG RAOL5243.JPG
     
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  2. metal_driver

    metal_driver Senior Member

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    Great write up. Thank you for taking the time to provide your detailed review.
    Just curious if you have any plans for the rears brakes/pads?
     
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    TheShadow

    TheShadow Senior Member

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    Eventually I will, but seeing as the majority of braking force is through the front I was fine to leave the rear pads on stock while they had material left. Girodisc recommended the same approach - and they didn't offer the same S/S pads for the rear at the time I purchased them. So stock pads on the rear for now and I will probably upgrade them when I replace this front set.
     
  4. ipeefreely

    ipeefreely Senior Member

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    I heard from a local technician that the fk8 burns through rear brake pads because it uses it to keep the car stable mid corner.

    Point being, you might not have to wait too long until a replacement is needed. haha.
     
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    TheShadow

    TheShadow Senior Member

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    Agreed, time will tell! I guess I was under the impression that burning through the rear brake pads in turns like you mentioned is caused by leaving the VSA system on. Whether it is right or wrong I've heard the car tries to keep you in control by occasionally applying the rear brakes in those instances. I've been turning it completely off during any autoX events and will do the same on the track. Maybe that is why mine have looked fine so far?
     
  6. metal_driver

    metal_driver Senior Member

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    Not to hijack the thread but I've seen two different methods listed to turn off the VSA system. I think I read somewhere that one of the two methods doesn't truly turn it off. Which method do you use?
     
  7. .grimace

    .grimace Senior Member

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    Not sure how serious I can take this review on 225 width snow tires : P
     
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    TheShadow

    TheShadow Senior Member

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    Holding down the VSA button for 10 seconds in R mode untill it reads fully off. I’ve never done the “pedal dance”.

    I get it ;) I didn’t put a ton of effort into finding great snow tires and wheels since I don’t drive the car much in the winter. I ran that setup for maybe 100 miles after installing, summer tires then got swapped back in. Still just as happy with the pads!
     
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