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Thread: Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

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    E500E Guru TerryA's Avatar
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    Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

    I'm looking for an opinion on these brake pads NOT FOR MY MERCEDES but my KIA Optima.

    They are cheaper than the KIA dealers OEM pads.

    I plan on installing them myself but the KIA Service Rep is trying to sell me new hardware plus he is saying that I need to resurface the rotors or I will crystallize the new pads. This may be true with the OEM pads but probably not.

    KIA wants $300.00 (Parts & Labor) for this work. Not terrible but the AKAbONO pads are $77.00 @ AZAutohaus

    Here is my question. Some of you here have used these pads on your Mercedes cars. On Mercedes NOBODY turns the rotors when installing new pads. NEW ROTORS when worn down only.

    My KIA has almost perfect rotors maybe worn down 1/16" but no ridges or warpage. I don't see the need to turn the rotors.
    The hardware should be re-usable. If not I will replace it.

    If I take it easy on the new AKABONO pads for a few hundred miles I don't think I have a problem with crystallization.

    Any Opinions Welcome?
    Terry

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    Re: AKABONO BRAKE PADS

    Terry,
    Generally speaking, if you change brands or brake pad composition, you are more likely to experience a breakdown of the existing transfer layer on your used rotors. If you stick with the same spec pad, then it's usually a very simple job to replace the pads. Unless you have a Benz with the SBC system. #ScaryStuff

    People who work on brakes for a living want you to buy new rotors (or turn them if there's enough meat) so that they won't have to deal with you again in a day or two because you are experiencing pedal judder or excess noise or even ugly streakiness on the rotors. A fresh brake rotor surface will make for a much easier pad bedding process. And will keep you from coming back with complaints.

    If you don't do a good job with bedding the new (aftermarket) pads on used rotors, you may glaze them, and that's a bum deal.

    In your situation, I think the easiest route would be to buy the factory pads and wear sensors (if the car has them and they can't be reused)) and then install them on the existing rotors. Assuming the rotors are still within the usable thickness range.

    If you go with the aftermarket pads to save a few bucks, you may end up making more work for yourself when you have to strip the rotors and rebed the new pads.

    I'm not a pro mechanic, but I have a decent amount of experience with brake pads and rotors.

    $0.02
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    Re: AKABONO BRAKE PADS

    Terry, how much are the OE pads from online Kia discount dealers? If it's $300 parts & labor, it might be <$100 for discount pads. Worth checking into.

    Akebono are very low dust but have a loooooong break-in / bed-in period, and ceramics in general are more likely to have squeal when cold. Be especially careful during the first 500 miles or so with Akebonos (with or without new rotors).

    Wait - KIA!? Why not just get a 400E instead of the Optima?


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    Re: Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

    I used Akebono ceramic pads on an 09 Subaru Forester & a 94 Honda Element. No issues at all and did not replace rotors on either vehicle. I was very pleased with the brakes.
    They were recommended by my local Indy shop.

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    Re: Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

    ace10,

    Thanks for your opinion but I have done quite a few disc and some drum brake jobs. Again on my 500E I use Porterfield S4S pads on aftermarket rotors. I have never had an issue with putting new pads on old rotors. No squeeks or peddle shudder. I'm not buying the Akebono pads to save money (it's only $10.00) I think they are probably better than the OEM. As far as the rotors there is barely a lip on the edge maybe 1/16" and absolutely no problems with them. I'm totally aware of the dealer trying to sell me more services and parts than I need. Anyway I think that I am willing to give just changing the pads and if I have sensors them to. If I screw up I will know pretty quick.

    Dave,

    The price difference is only $10.00. I have been very easy on my KIA so I think I can be good to it for at least 500 miles.

    I chose the KIA because it had 12.8K miles on it and 87K miles left on the warranty or 8 years. Plus the KIA has been averaging 27 to 28 mpg around town and it got 36 mpg going to VEGAS. I have already driven it 25K miles with not a hint of a breakdown. The Optima runs a smooth as butter but does have a firm ride but I can live with that. I just wanted dependable grocery getter and a commuter car but it has been so reliable that it gets driven everywhere.

    Don't get me wrong a E400-420E is a great car but I have my 500E for my hobby plus I still have a 107 500SL sitting out in the driveway that I'm not sure what I going to do with. I don't want to be crawling under another benz. 10 years ago maybe but as I get older I would rather be on vacation that wrench on another car.

    skikrazy,

    You have confirmed what I want to do.

    Thanks to all of you.

    lol
    Terry

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    Re: Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

    Terry,

    I highly suggest scuffing the surface of the rotor for the new pads. They make these grit stone hones for brake rotors which you can run in an a drill and get someone to slowly turn the rotor. I think I got one on Amazon a few years ago and it allowed the pads to break in quickly. Turning rotors get you a consistent finish which means it's reliable- not necessary best practice. But consistent. It also, generally removes more material than needed which greatly reduces rotor life.

    I like Akebono pads on cars- it was was the the market leader with import shops when they came out- low dust, easy break-in and good braking distances. almost no come backs.

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    Re: Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

    Quote Originally Posted by TerryA View Post
    I'm looking for an opinion on these brake pads NOT FOR MY MERCEDES but my KIA Optima.

    They are cheaper than the KIA dealers OEM pads.

    I plan on installing them myself but the KIA Service Rep is trying to sell me new hardware plus he is saying that I need to resurface the rotors or I will crystallize the new pads. This may be true with the OEM pads but probably not.

    KIA wants $300.00 (Parts & Labor) for this work. Not terrible but the AKAbONO pads are $77.00 @ AZAutohaus

    Here is my question. Some of you here have used these pads on your Mercedes cars. On Mercedes NOBODY turns the rotors when installing new pads. NEW ROTORS when worn down only.

    My KIA has almost perfect rotors maybe worn down 1/16" but no ridges or warpage. I don't see the need to turn the rotors.
    The hardware should be re-usable. If not I will replace it.

    If I take it easy on the new AKABONO pads for a few hundred miles I don't think I have a problem with crystallization.

    Any Opinions Welcome?
    My uneducated opinion - you will be fine. Especially if you aren't beating on those Kia brakes.

    I have a 2006 Volvo wagon. It had the original OE rotors and pads @ 20K miles when I decided to change the pads last year to Akebono pads. I didn't bother with scuffing or doing anything to the rotors, I just changed the pads and that's that. The car brakes fine. Note --- I am pretty gentle on my equipment.

    Cheers,
    jlaa
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    Re: Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

    FYI, RockAuto typically has great pricing for brake parts, often cheaper than the usual suspects. I've had good experiences with the Wagner Thermoquiets on Hondas and Subarus. The Centric Posi-Quiets are also a decent pad. Either would be a solid choice for your KIA.

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    Re: Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

    Quote Originally Posted by speedy300dturbo View Post
    FYI, RockAuto typically has great pricing for brake parts, often cheaper than the usual suspects. I've had good experiences with the Wagner Thermoquiets on Hondas and Subarus. The Centric Posi-Quiets are also a decent pad. Either would be a solid choice for your KIA.
    Aaron, just curious, do you know of a decent replacement for the old Metal Masters which seem to have vanished off the face of the earth?


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    Re: Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr View Post
    Aaron, just curious, do you know of a decent replacement for the old Metal Masters which seem to have vanished off the face of the earth?

    are you looking for your Sterling 825, Renault Alliance, or Mazda 929?
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    Re: Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

    I put Akebonos on E500 earlier this year and did nothing to rotors. Seems ok so far
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    Re: Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr View Post
    Aaron, just curious, do you know of a decent replacement for the old Metal Masters which seem to have vanished off the face of the earth?

    IIRC the PBR Metal Masters were a semi-metallic pad, correct? The OE pads on my 3-series BMW generated ridiculous amounts of black dust (worse than any MB I've done seen) so I ended up replacing them with Centric Posi-Quiet semi-metallic pads. Overall good bite, silent, but slightly dusty although nowhere as bad as OE.

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    Re: Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jlaa View Post
    are you looking for your Sterling 825, Renault Alliance, or Mazda 929?
    LOL. Looks like Beck-Arnley is "borrowing" the name?


    Quote Originally Posted by speedy300dturbo View Post
    IIRC the PBR Metal Masters were a semi-metallic pad, correct? The OE pads on my 3-series BMW generated ridiculous amounts of black dust (worse than any MB I've done seen) so I ended up replacing them with Centric Posi-Quiet semi-metallic pads. Overall good bite, silent, but slightly dusty although nowhere as bad as OE.
    Correct, they were a semi-metallic pad (AFAIK) with low dust and overall good performance. They were PBR then became Axxis (or vice-versa), but the Metal Master line vanished maybe 10 years ago. A couple of my cars came with brake pads from the PO that I really, really like but of course there are either no markings, or the numbers on the pads don't turn up any results in Google. I've been suspicious they are a semi-metallic pad of some sort. I'm not a big fan of Centric but might give them a whirl on one vehicle for grins eventually. I've sworn off ceramics and can't afford to put Porterfield or EBC on everything!


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    Re: Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

    Back in the day, they were called Repco Metal Master pads. I used them on my VW GTI back in the 1980s.

    PBR is a brand of hipster beer.

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    Re: Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

    Repco! Yeah, that was it... couldn't remember the original, before PBR / Axxis. Still can't find them for any MB applications, AFAICT.


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    Re: Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

    Quote Originally Posted by speedy300dturbo View Post
    IIRC the PBR Metal Masters were a semi-metallic pad, correct? The OE pads on my 3-series BMW generated ridiculous amounts of black dust (worse than any MB I've done seen) so I ended up replacing them with Centric Posi-Quiet semi-metallic pads. Overall good bite, silent, but slightly dusty although nowhere as bad as OE.
    I can confirm. I had Axxis or Repco Metal Masters (I cannot remember what brand they were called at the time) on a w202 C280 as well as an A4 VW Golf around 1999/2000 timeframe and I liked them very very much. More recently around 2016 I wanted to buy them again but couldn't find them --- and I purchased Centric Posi-Quiet pads. The Centrics are okay. They squeal a little bit when cold and are dustier than Metal Masters ---- but nowhere near as dusty as OE. Except I have three-piece wheels so any dusty is a big pain. I have to subscribe to captruff's q-tip philosophy to clean wheels (how many q-tips are enough? As many as needed...)
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    Re: Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

    Quote Originally Posted by gerryvz View Post
    Back in the day, they were called Repco Metal Master pads. I used them on my VW GTI back in the 1980s.

    PBR is a brand of hipster beer.
    Isn't PBR overly exposed now? Perhaps more hipster now would be Stroh's or Löwenbräu?
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    Re: Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jlaa View Post
    Isn't PBR overly exposed now? Perhaps more hipster now would be Stroh's or Löwenbräu?
    Old Milwaukee. Maternal grandmother drank a can of it before bedtime every night, with a bowl of (dry) Fruit Loops. Never understood the attraction, but she lived well into her 90s and was healthy as a horse. Whenever I visited I had to bring her a case of the stuff. Somebody else got her the Fruit Loops.

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    Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

    I’ve had a set of Akebonos on the front of my SEC for a number of years now and have been exceedingly happy with them. Heartily recommend them. Performance is the same as the Pagid/Jurid/Taxtars I’ve used prior, with 10% of the dust.

    Repco Metal Master was the hot setup for pads in the 80s and early 90s for European cars. Nothing else came close IMHO. My first middle name with that Mk.1 “Rabbit” GTI was “Neuspeed” and my second middle name was “Techtonics Tuning”.

    FYI - for the 1994 E500 (facelift), the Akebonos models are Yurro 495 (rear) and Yurro 561 (front) for the correct pads.
    GSXR edit: This ^^^ applies to all years in Japan/USA. Late-build Euro-spec use 603 rears for the 300mm rear brakes.

    Dave, I do see that Zimmerperson makes pads for the E500E application.

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    Re: Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

    The wife destroys brakes and brake pads. Only person I know who can go through a set of Textar or Jurid (organics) on the front of a W126 diesel in under 20k.

    When I moved her to the R129 I put Akebonos on the fronts proactively with a set of new rotors. Nearly 40k later and they're still in service and have not reached the wear indicator. I check them frequently just to assure myself they're still in place and working.

    That in and of itself is a testament to the service life of the Akebonos.

    Otherwise, I put them on my other cars just to eliminate the brake dust.

    Dan

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    Re: Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

    Dan, that is one of the things I dislike about Akebonos, lol... I have a few sets that I want to wear out so I can replace them, but the darn things refuse to wear out! Grrrr. Of course, this is a good thing if you're happy with their performance.

    Gerry, I was not aware Zimmer made pads at all? I thought the only produced rotors. After some "interesting" experiences with rotors, I only use OE MB dealer rotors now.


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    Re: Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr View Post
    Dan, that is one of the things I dislike about Akebonos, lol... I have a few sets that I want to wear out so I can replace them, but the darn things refuse to wear out! Grrrr. Of course, this is a good thing if you're happy with their performance.

    Gerry, I was not aware Zimmer made pads at all? I thought the only produced rotors. After some "interesting" experiences with rotors, I only use OE MB dealer rotors now.
    If the wife can't destroy them in the normal service lifetime, I'm happy.

    I'm not sure why anyone would not use OE rotors. They're almost always as inexpensive as the aftermarket ones. So much so that I never even shop them, I just order them from my dealer when I need a set.

    Dan

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    Re: Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

    I thought you were a big Zimmerperson fan, GSXR.

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    Re: Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

    Quote Originally Posted by gerryvz View Post
    I thought you were a big Zimmerperson fan, GSXR.
    I haven't had any issues with Zimms, but unless OE rotor prices skyrocket, there's not enough savings to mess with aftermarket IMO.

    I did use a set of W210 rear Zimmermann Z-coat rotors a year or two ago with good results. The Z-coats are the only aftermarket rotors I've seen with the gray zinc-based primer coating like OE MB. (?)


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    Re: Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

    Oh I don’t disagree. I’ve only ever bought MB OE rotors for my E500, SEC and G320. I actually have a set of rear 126 rotors that I need to install.

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    Re: Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

    Have Akebonos on multiple cars. . . the only difference I have noticed is occasional squealing when braking lightly.
    Stock, Zimmerman,and Brembo rotors.
    Last edited by Trae; 2 Weeks Ago at 02:42 PM.
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    Re: Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

    I understand this is a brake pad discussion, but I had to speak about PBR beer. PBR has always been a terrible beer. We drank it in high school because it was dirt cheap and all we cared about was that it was beer and it was cheap. Now it's a like a cult beer. I have too many bad memories of driking the stuff. Kind of like strawberry hill wine memories. Not good.

    Now, as for the Akebono brake pads. I have used them on all of my MB's and never had any issues. Much less brake dust and reasonably priced. I have used Zimmerman rotors on several cars and have them on my E500E's. I don't know if they are better than OEM, but they look nice.

    I would NOT recommend OEM on a W212. The rotors on my 2011 E550 have been replaced four times in about 70k miles. Love the car, hate the brakes.
    Last edited by Maui; 2 Weeks Ago at 08:45 PM.

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    Re: Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

    Quote Originally Posted by Maui View Post
    I understand this is a brake pad discussion but I had to speak about PBR beer. PBR has always been a terrible beer. We drank it high school because it was dirt cheap and all we cared about was that it was beer and it was cheap. Now it's a like a cult beer. I have too many bad memories of driking the stuff. Kind of like strawberry hill wine memories. Not good.
    Yeah, I work with someone who is a little older than the hipsters/millenials, and she was telling me the other day when I made a disparaging comment about PBR or Old Milwaukee that both beers have attained what one might consider to be cult status among the demographic. She would know, as she's a very serious microbrew sort of person who has a tapper in her house...

    Sure you're not talking about Boone's Farm?

    I get a kick out of the teenage drinking obsession, since I grew up in the household of a first generation Eastern European who grew up living over a tavern. Beer or wine was present for nearly every meal, and consumption by us kids was considered a normal thing if we chose to do so. When my high school buddies would be looking for an older sibling to buy them some beer I would just invite them over to my house to partake. No driving afterwards if we did so, parent would provide rides home (or we would walk.) Choices were often Lowenbrau or Busch Bavarian, but considering the times these were pretty good beers....

    Dan

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    Re: Akebono brake pad opinions? (Non-MB use)

    Quote Originally Posted by LWB250 View Post
    Old Milwaukee. Maternal grandmother drank a can of it before bedtime every night, with a bowl of (dry) Fruit Loops. Never understood the attraction, but she lived well into her 90s and was healthy as a horse. Whenever I visited I had to bring her a case of the stuff. Somebody else got her the Fruit Loops.

    Dan
    Back in high school, it was "Ol' Mil". Never Old Milwaukee. Oh Schlitz and Blatz, where are you now?

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    85 300tdt

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