Hawk STREET/RACE Pad Review

Discussion in 'Fiesta ST Chassis Upgrades' started by CrookedRacer, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. CrookedRacer

    CrookedRacer Active Member


    From Hawk's website:

    "The new Hawk High Performance Street/Race brake pad compound ... is the ultimate high performance, street brake pad! Perfect for aggressive street car owners that also use their cars for autocross, HPDE, open track and time trail racing... It performs flawlessly at all temperatures and operating temperatures range from 100-1200F with superior torque while providing a consistent feel and characteristics."​

    Some of this piffle may be true... but THIS Fiesta ST owner was disappointed in a few ways. Before I get to that, I'll say this: the pad DID provide a consistent feel and characteristics throughout the indicated temperature range.

    But so do the stock Ford Fiesta ST original equipment pads.

    But that's not all these STREET/RACE pads do! They also squeal excessively, create excessive brake dust, and they score your rotor horribly. The grooves were as bad as a complete absence of brake material might cause. And that was in just three days of commuting, BEFORE I took them to the track.

    Here's what the pads don't do: They don't last any longer than OEM pads on the track. They don't stand up to heat any better than the OEM pads do on the track. So why pay $120 for these, when $72 gets you a new set of OEM pads that perform comparably, create less dust, and make less noise?

    Now, I believe the Fiesta ST is particularly hard on brakes because it uses them under acceleration in its Torque Vectoring behavior. The brakes never get to cool off. And it's particularly hard on the brakes on shorter tracks with lots of elevation change, straights, and braking zones, like Summit Point Raceway's Main Circuit in West Virginia.

    To make things worse, Hawk is experiencing a manufacturing issue with the Fiesta ST fitment of this compound, causing uneven wear if installed without a slight modification.

    But let's assume Hawk quickly addresses this problem, issuing new ones that have been manufactured correctly with different INNER and an OUTER pads. Also, let's assume you have addressed the heat issues with cooling ducts and/or a mechanical limited slip differential.

    I still couldn't recommend this compound to you, primarily because my rotors are so groovy now that I can't safely change the pads without addressing the condition of the rotors. I will probably have to turn the rotors or replace them altogether. Run away.

    McRib 1s Back likes this.
  2. Register or Sign in

    Advertisement Sponsor

  3. haste

    haste Member

    Great to know, CrookedRacer. Those pads and rotors look terrible. I will probably pick up an OEM set for the track in May. I will be doing 8 sessions on track. Should I buy pads and rotors for the weekend or just pads?

    I will also be changing my brake fluid to Torque RT700 as I can't find one bad thing about the product.
  4. CrookedRacer

    CrookedRacer Active Member

    Have an extra set of pads on hand, at least. I had to change my nearly new pads after just 6 sessions at VIR -- even in the cool autumn.

    I'll never show up to the track without a set of front pads AND a set of rear pads on hand. They're never available anywhere locally. Don't forget the special tool to retract the rear caliper piston.
  5. KKaWing

    KKaWing Member

    That looks so groovy, the 60's wants it back.

    I'm srry, couldn't help myself :whistling:
    RodMoe likes this.
  6. TRev

    TRev Member

    I share CrookedRacer's experience but never even had the chance to do a autox or track event. My rotors look very similar after 1200 miles of street driving. Granted, it was winter here and the traction control/E-diff were likely working overtime using the brakes. The dusting is horrible, mine didn't make much noise other than nasty metal on metal grinding sounds. Pieces of pad or rotor must have come off and managed to destroy the rubber boots on my brake calipers so I had to replace a couple of those too when swapping to new pads/rotors.

    Hawk also had an issue where they were sending only outer pads. Edwin from Hawk has been good to work with. They are going to send me a set of HPS as a replacement to the Street Race due to the outer pad only issue. He did say my experience is normal behavior for this street/race pad so it is not something I would consider for any of my needs in the future. I was happy with the HPS on the Focus other than it could not handle the temps I was generating autox'ing. Hopefully the Fiesta will not generate as much heat and it will be less of a concern.
  7. CrookedRacer

    CrookedRacer Active Member

    Thanks Trev,

    I agree Edwin from Hawk was very reasonable and he did get to the root of the problem. If you were happy with HPS before, I think you made the right choice in switching to that compound for your replacements.

    Have you taken the pads off to see if they're angled from the nubs? Can you take some pictures? Fortunately, I pulled the pads off after just 3 days because I'm a little paranoid about brakes at this point.

    I'm just curious to see what would have happened if I hadn't checked on them.
  8. TRev

    TRev Member

    There may have been a very slight angle to the pads but nothing of concern according to the shop that removed them. I don't have pictures.
  9. McRib 1s Back

    McRib 1s Back Well-Known Member

    Hawk is known to be a very good company, and they are one of the few with ISO-certified manufacturing controls in place to ensure consistency between batches, and overall QA. By comparison, the local company, Porterfield does not. I can also say that I have never had issues with them -- but plenty of others have. It's how it goes.

    Now, I have not tried these, but have some on the way. I'm curious what production run they will be from. Anyhow, I have a contact that works closely with them; I will send them this link to read! I'm sure they will appreciate this kind of clear feedback!
  10. McRib 1s Back

    McRib 1s Back Well-Known Member

    ...oh hey, Crooked Racer, need a new set of OEM rotors? :)

    I just remembered that I bought an extra set for track use backups! They are still "new in box"! They are conveniently available on Amazon for those who shop there!

    You wouldn't want the ones that just came off my car! In fairness, the Porterfield R4 pads also chew up rotors pretty fiercely. At track temps, it was at least evenly so...
  11. CrookedRacer

    CrookedRacer Active Member

    I should point out one more thing about this compound... Since my rotors are trashed anyway, I've been driving the Street Race compound daily, and I don't like the way they are smooth for the first few seconds of braking, and then become suddenly grabby, causing the car to suddenly stop or slow way more quickly than intended. It's really hard to control especially in stop and go traffic.

    The pads were great on the Autocross course yesterday, but then so were the OEM pads which are perfectly suited for solo, in my opinion.

    If you read The quote from Hawk at the top, it says "from 100 - 1200F". I think what's happening is that they're just rolling along at something below 100F, and it takes a moment to reach the grippy temp range. It makes for some serious difficulty in driving smoothly.

    I don't mean to pile on, and I know that any compound is a compromise between performance in differing conditions, but I wonder who else noticed this on the street? Do the old HPS pads behave this way?
  12. TRev

    TRev Member

    I don't notice that behavior with my Street Race compound pads on the street. They were pretty linear on the street for me and not hard to control. I had the HPS pads on the FoST and would say they were similar minus the noise, rotor wear and dust.
  13. Mightymango

    Mightymango Active Member

    Well I am going to put a HUGE thumbs down on these pads.

    I installed the pads about 3,000 miles ago. They have MAYBE 40 autocross runs on them....maybe. Mind you the factory pads I had in last year lasted over 250 runs and they were not completely dead. These pads are roached and the rotors are just as bad.



Share This Page