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Ceramic vs Steel Brakes

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Per one of the other threads, there seems to be a lot of strong opinions on the benefits and cost of ceramic brakes. I may be mistaken but my understanding is the main benefit of cermaic brakes is related to heat and fading. They do not actually have any addition stopping power vs top of the line steel brakes at normal operating tempatures (hence the real benefits are on the track/racing and not really needed on the road).

I have also heard several times that ceramic brakes do not really work well until they are heated and therefore can be less effective than steel brakes if you do a lot of stop and go/heavy traffic driving.

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Corrections ?
 

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Voted steel, simply because I do not track. Don't have enough interest and knowledge to make any sensible comments regarding CC brakes. Don't bother me a bit if someone likes it. w/ smiles Jimmy
 

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Although I am not a car owner of the caliber that possesses carbon ceramic disks, I do not believe personally I would want to spend the extra money. I personally don't see how the benefits out way the cost. When I purchase a Ferrari or a sports car in the future I plan to take it to the track a few times, but again I don't think then the benefits of the carbon ceramic disks would out way the cost. My 2 cents.

Chris
 

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Per one of the other threads, there seems to be a lot of strong opinions on the benefits and cost of ceramic brakes. I may be mistaken but my understanding is the main benefit of cermaic brakes is related to heat and fading. They do not actually have any addition stopping power vs top of the line steel brakes at normal operating tempatures (hence the real benefits are on the track/racing and not really needed on the road).

I have also heard several times that ceramic brakes do not really work well until they are heated and therefore can be less effective than steel brakes if you do a lot of stop and go/heavy traffic driving.

Comments ?

Corrections ?
My knowledge is as good as yours and as far as I know/read the ceramic brakes are more beneficial for the track than the road.

What I would like to know and maybe some members can answer this for me, is how come Ferrari opted to supply ceramic brakes as standard on new models sold? I'm sure all the owners that spent the extra money and chose the ceramic brakes as an option must be upset that Ferrari dropped it as an option and made it standard. Come to think of it, when Ferrari made this change did the prices of a new Ferrari go up slightly to incorporate the cost of ceramics into the price and will Ferrari supply an owner steel brakes even though their car came with the ceramics if an owner decided to do this change at a service interval? Dont know why an owner would change back (maybe cost) but this is just a thought.
 

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I can only really comment on steel brakes, as my 612 has the HGTS (with steel brakes) pack, and not the HGTC (with CC Brakes). But I do know that the steel brakes have mighty stopping power.

I also know that to replace the front discs and front and rear pads cost around 2000 euros. In discussing this with the dealer, I am lead to believe that while you do not need to change the discs every time you replace the pads, on ceramic systems they recommend both are done, at a cost in the region of 7000 for a full set. The cars (such as 599) computers are also set to notify you they need changed when they are 50% worn (whats wrong with the other 50% - well maybe 50% of that).

While having no fade on the track would be ultimately beneficial, the scary thought on the road is that you can stop from 80mph in 202ft with steel brakes, however the Honda Civic sitting on your arse, being driven by a 17 year old wanting to videophone a Ferrari - can't (takes 235ft)- and that leads to a new rear end very quickly!

If Carbon Ceramics have increased stopping power (someone please qualify this) under normal conditions - this problem is increased. As it is, every time I put my foot on the brakes, I always check the rear view.
 

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My knowledge is as good as yours and as far as I know/read the ceramic brakes are more beneficial for the track than the road.

What I would like to know and maybe some members can answer this for me, is how come Ferrari opted to supply ceramic brakes as standard on new models sold? I'm sure all the owners that spent the extra money and chose the ceramic brakes as an option must be upset that Ferrari dropped it as an option and made it standard. Come to think of it, when Ferrari made this change did the prices of a new Ferrari go up slightly to incorporate the cost of ceramics into the price and will Ferrari supply an owner steel brakes even though their car came with the ceramics if an owner decided to do this change at a service interval? Dont know why an owner would change back (maybe cost) but this is just a thought.
From an economic perspective, I would suggest it covers Ferrari two ways.

1) If they have standardised on CC systems throughout the range, costs will be reduced in the factory fitting (only one system, not two options which can change car to car), and lower supplier cost base, as they have increased CC volumes immensly.

2) Ongoing replacement and service revenues, ensuring increased future revenues and profit for both Ferrari and its service centre network - again further reducing supplier costs, and thus increasing margins, as they will be buying for new built and replacement units as time moves on.

In many respects a very smart move on their part.
 

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From an economic perspective, I would suggest it covers Ferrari two ways.

1) If they have standardised on CC systems throughout the range, costs will be reduced in the factory fitting (only one system, not two options which can change car to car), and lower supplier cost base, as they have increased CC volumes immensly.

2) Ongoing replacement and service revenues, ensuring increased future revenues and profit for both Ferrari and its service centre network - again further reducing supplier costs, and thus increasing margins, as they will be buying for new built and replacement units as time moves on.

In many respects a very smart move on their part.
+1 from a manufacturers standpoint, it makes all the sense in the world. If you believe you can pass the extra cost along to your customers, then you standardize on the latest technology, hype it, push up the price, and increase both % and absolute margin.
 

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Just read an article from Intelligent Life magazine from last year about Ceramic brakes.

Here are some quotes :

Why Ferrari went standard with Ceramic brakes - ''Ferrari, which found that eight out of ten of its customers wanted them, has decided that from this year it will become the first maker to fit them as standard on all its models.'' Interesting as 7 out of 7 members that voted here all went for Steel :)

Another reason for opting for Ceramic over Steel - ''And don't forget looks. The fashion for spoked wheels means that more of a car's braking system is now visible. But if it is damp, steel discs can quickly show signs of rust, especially if a car has not been driven--even for as little as a day. Many owners moan long and hard on internet user groups about rusty discs. Carbon-ceramic brakes don't rust.''
 

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I look a CC brakes as I do the F1 - stay away.

Great concept and idea but I don't have track aspirations and I don't want expensive problems down the road..

I'll stick with steel thanks.

Martin at Girodisc in Washinton State does great upgrades from Ferrari's with two piece rotors and improved pads for a whole lot less $ than CC's.

Where does that put me with this poll?

I think Ferrari creates statistics for sales purposes just as they are now sending out notices of prior campaigns to get their service departments busy!

Do I sound skeptical here?
 

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I look a CC brakes as I do the F1 - stay away.

Great concept and idea but I don't have track aspirations and I don't want expensive problems down the road..

I'll stick with steel thanks.

Martin at Girodisc in Washinton State does great upgrades from Ferrari's with two piece rotors and improved pads for a whole lot less $ than CC's.

Where does that put me with this poll?

I think Ferrari creates statistics for sales purposes just as they are now sending out notices of prior campaigns to get their service departments busy!

Do I sound skeptical here?
Maybe.....just a little bit .....but would have to agree.

On an FYI basis, Ferrari is no longer supplying original discs for the F40. When you need to replace your discs now, you have to go aftermarket.
 

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I would bet Ferrari's steel rotors are from China, and I'll bet you can source them from some Chinese firms.

All the rotors now available in the US for US cars are from China.

Doubt Ferrari is any different, and for sure from China they would be a ton of $ less than from Ferrari!
 

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Maybe.....just a little bit .....but would have to agree.

On an FYI basis, Ferrari is no longer supplying original discs for the F40. When you need to replace your discs now, you have to go aftermarket.
That's very interesting. How come Ferrari have done this? Which brand of aftermarket discs would one buy for the F40 ie. Brembo, EBC, ATE etc etc? I'm not too clued up on the quality of all the different brands out there. Obviously Brembo is well known for Ferrari, so should an owner stick with the brand that Ferrari are known to use?
 

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I voted steel, but prefer compounds that minimize rotor wear. Depending on the road car, ceramic pads are not that much more than steel.
 
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