Porterfield R4S pad review

Discussion in 'Fiesta ST Chassis Upgrades' started by AlanBDahl, Feb 25, 2015.

  1. AlanBDahl

    AlanBDahl Active Member

    Since my OEM pads were almost worn out at 26k I decided to replace them with Porterfield R4S pads along with new front rotors. The Porterfields are almost the exact opposite of the OEM pads. The OEMs grab almost too hard at first but then fade somewhat. The Porterfields are the other way, much more controlled on tip-in but then they really scrub off the speed when you lay on them. The other big benefit is that they put out about 10% of the brake dust so I don't have dirty wheels all the time. A good upgrade IMHO.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
    KKaWing likes this.
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  3. KKaWing

    KKaWing Member

    Were they hard to bed in? Most empty rural roads around here are limited to 80 kph (50ish mph). Did you have a chance to drive it in freezing temperatures?
     
  4. AlanBDahl

    AlanBDahl Active Member

    My mechanic did that so I can't say for sure but he didn't indicate there were any issues. I've not driven in freezing temps yet but that's mostly because it's been a warm winter here in Seattle as the east coast is getting all our cold weather :).
     
    KKaWing likes this.
  5. BRGT350

    BRGT350 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Good review Alan. Yes, the east side of the country is getting all of your cold weather. You can have it back anytime. I have noticed on ice/snow/slush that the initial grab of the stock pads is really hard to deal with. It doesn't seem as bad on dry pavement when the tires can grip, but on ice, it is hard to add just a touch of brake. With better initial performance, better hot performance, and less dust, the Porterfield's sound like a good replacement pad.
     
  6. AlanBDahl

    AlanBDahl Active Member

    I've yet to drive my ST in significant snow as neither last winter or this has resulted in much snow at sea level and the few times we've headed into the mountains in winter I've borrowed my mom's SES with the DWS tires. I can see how grabby brakes could be a problem there so think you'd be happy with the swap.

    As far as the snow goes if you could ship it to our ski areas that would be great. Does FedEx ship snow? :)
     
  7. AlanBDahl

    AlanBDahl Active Member

    After a couple of weeks I can say the reduction in brake dust is incredible, it's like I traded in grey wheels for silver. Worth it just for that one change IMHO.
     
    Ed_the_sledd likes this.
  8. AlanBDahl

    AlanBDahl Active Member

    After another couple of weeks I am not so sure about the Porterfield pads. It seems like there is just not enough bite at low pedal pressure, especially when the pads are cold. Plus to get full braking force you really have to lean on them. I would love to do a side-by-side comparison with a Fiesta with stock pads to see if it’s just that my butt dyno is off or if the stock pads really are better. I hope that that is not the case though as the brake dust reduction is so nice and I’d hate to go back to the dirty stock pads if I can help it.
     
    Ed_the_sledd likes this.
  9. MLKN

    MLKN Active Member

    I've had them installed for 5k miles and 2 HPDE events at Sonoma. I haven't noticed the huge improvement in break dust (my rims are always dirty anyway). The stock pads seemed fine but did fade slightly faster during a 20-25 minute run. Now I'm stuck sounding like a race car every time I brake on the road. The squeel has increased after the last track day and there is still a good bit of pad left. Next time I buy race pads and change at the track.
     
    CrookedRacer likes this.
  10. BlackBird

    BlackBird Active Member Staff Member

    Yeah, braking in the snow on the OE pads is touchy at best. The stock brakes are fairly strong, just not entirely confidence-inspiring.
     
  11. AlanBDahl

    AlanBDahl Active Member

    I'm not seeing any squealing so perhaps you could try something to dampen it? What do you think of the braking vs the stock pads before they fade?
     
  12. MLKN

    MLKN Active Member

    Honestly, I think they are pretty close. The biggest difference seems to be the brake fade is improved.
     
  13. hyatt

    hyatt Active Member

    I'm having difficulty finding the front pad part number for these. The Porterfield site only spits out the rears.
     
  14. MLKN

    MLKN Active Member

    Easiest thing to do is call them.
     
  15. KKaWing

    KKaWing Member

  16. hyatt

    hyatt Active Member

    Danke.
     
  17. Cligedy

    Cligedy Active Member

    I have had the porterfield r4s on my FiST for about 2 months now and I have to agree with most of what Alan said. I will add a couple of caveats.

    1. When I ordered the pads, porterfield said these pads were good for autocross. These are not autocross pads. They smelled strongly after the first run, then a couple of runs later they just gave up in a bad way. I had almost no brakes through the finish of the course. After ~2000 miles and 1 autocross, these are coming off the car. They will likely be going in the trash.

    2. When I ordered the pads directly from porterfield, I discussed the 20% SCCA member discount with their customer service person and was told they still honor that promotion. I was nevertheless charged full price for the pads.
     
  18. AlanBDahl

    AlanBDahl Active Member

    I'd go one step further than Cligedy and say not only are the Porterfields unsuitable for autocross IMHO they are also unsuitable for street use. There were several close calls on the street where I almost didn't get enough braking force to prevent a collision. Only once I started stomping on the brakes hard did it stop fast enough. Now that I have had a new set of the OEM Ford pads on the car for a couple of months it's become obvious just how bad the Porterfields are. I was saving them to give to someone for free but I think I will follow Cligedy and simply toss them in the trash.
     
  19. MLKN

    MLKN Active Member

    Just to add my 2 cents. I've put about 8000 miles on them with street use and done about 6 HPDE events and my experience does not match those above. While I would probably purchase something different next time, I can't say I will be throwing them in the garbage. They stop me from 115 mph fairly reliably for the first few laps.
     
  20. Cligedy

    Cligedy Active Member

    I didn't have any real complaints while street driving. They do have noticeably less bite than the oem pads, but I got used to it pretty quick.

    The troubling part for me was that just 4 runs was enough for them to give up. Nothing remarkable about the runs, probably ~35-45 cars in the run group so certainly not back to back.
     

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