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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone,

Today I installed DBA T2 Slotted Rotors & PowerStop Z23 Brake Pads. (Goodbye rusty OEM rotors and old pads :) )

Part #'s are as follow for those who might be interested in performing this upgrade (All parts are for a 2.0L Japan Made Mazda 3):

1- DBA T2 Slotted Rotors Front: Part# DBA 2570S
2- Brake Pads Power Stop Z23: Part # Z23-1728

So why did I bought these products? Well, for improved breaking performance and for better looking disc rotors, the rusty OEM rotors drove me crazy! Also, recently I began to drive in a very spirited manner, therefore I would like to have more breaking power when needed.

The DBA's I bought from the official supplier here in Israel for approx. 480USD, specially ordered from Australia, therefore the shipping was expensive as these rotors are heavy.
The Brakes Pads were bought from Amazon for approx. 55USD including shipping to Israel.
Installation was 85USD for everything, overall spent 620USD. I assume that in other places around the world the price can be cheaper or more expensive.

Installation was very simple and it was done by my mechanic, he recommended not to put the OEM metals plates (Picture 4) as he stated that they are not needed and if installed they would only add to the brake noise. The front side left and right metal plate (the one that can be seen visibly when looking at the caliper, Picture 5) was indeed re-installed as he stated that this is the only necessary OEM part to put on the new brake pads (this argument is open to debate). Also the OEM holding clips were not replaced as there was no need according to him.

For those who have a dirty hub face full of rust it's mandatory to clean it properly to avoid excessive runout, my car is only 1 year old so the hub face is in pretty good condition, so cleaning was not necessary. After installation I proceeded to do the break in of the pads as it instructed by Power Stop.

My first impression on the brakes and rotors is that they are similar to OEM, they feel soft and super responsive on the pedal and I need more time to say if they "bite" more than OEM and if there will be less fading under demanding conditions. I did a 45km drive and I noticed they are responsive as they should be but not as "hard" as I would have expected.

Overall I'm supper happy with the upgrade, great looks and improved performance, time will tell if these babies won't rust as fast as the OEM but I'm 100% sure they will provide better braking power!

Here are some pictures for your delight.
 

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My first impression on the brakes and rotors is that they are similar to OEM, they feel soft and super responsive on the pedal and I need more time to say if they "bite" more than OEM and if there will be less fading under demanding conditions. I did a 45km drive and I noticed they are responsive as they should be but not as "hard" as I would have expected.
Brake pads affect stopping, not the rotors. You may want to look at different pads, but there are trade offs. More aggressive pads will eat rotors quicker (that's why cheaper blanks are really the way to go) and will dust more. There's also the heat range to consider. Higher temp pads are are less efficient when cold (which is mostly the case for street driving). Also, if your brakes seem a little soft, you may want to consider stainless steel brake lines. The stock rubber lines expand slightly when pressure is applied. How much this affects braking is probably marginal though. Another thing to consider is your brake fluid, the type and how often it is changed. If your fluid boils, you're out of schlitz. And like pads, there are trade offs with brake fluid as well. Higher temp fluid generally needs to be replaced more often.

FWIW, i find the stock brakes on my '17 adequate. I believe earlier models had problems
 

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Brake pads affect stopping, not the rotors. You may want to look at different pads, but there are trade offs. More aggressive pads will eat rotors quicker (that's why cheaper blanks are really the way to go) and will dust more. There's also the heat range to consider. Higher temp pads are are less efficient when cold (which is mostly the case for street driving). Also, if your brakes seem a little soft, you may want to consider stainless steel brake lines. The stock rubber lines expand slightly when pressure is applied. How much this affects braking is probably marginal though. Another thing to consider is your brake fluid, the type and how often it is changed. If your fluid boils, you're out of schlitz. And like pads, there are trade offs with brake fluid as well. Higher temp fluid generally needs to be replaced more often.

FWIW, i find the stock brakes on my '17 adequate. I believe earlier models had problems
Rotors do affect stopping as well as the pads. They are part of the braking system so they do have a part in how the brakes work. In day to day driving you probably won't see the difference, but when pushing the car the differences will become apparent.
Solid rotors soak up heat and retain it longer. Vented rotors dissipate heat faster. Cooler brakes fade less, so the car will stop better.
Pads with higher heat ranges fade less, but some don't work until they get heat in them. Drilled and / or slotted rotors can bring those pads up to temperature quicker and will also cool them faster than solid rotors. The car will stop better and fade will be reduced. So, again, the rotors do affect how the car stops.
Also, new pad materials are not all like the old stuff. Some pads have great stopping power and still work good cold. Aggressive pads don't need to eat rotors. Some of the newer high friction stuff works pretty well but is easy on the rotors. The pads are sacrificial, so they wear faster instead of the rotors. This does however sometimes mean more dust and more frequent replacement. So, it comes down to what your preferences are.
 

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Nice set! Looks good, however for street use I would go with the blank rotors.....
The mechanic might be wrong as I believe those bake shims are required.
 

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Rotors do affect stopping as well as the pads. They are part of the braking system so they do have a part in how the brakes work. In day to day driving you probably won't see the difference, but when pushing the car the differences will become apparent.
Solid rotors soak up heat and retain it longer. Vented rotors dissipate heat faster. Cooler brakes fade less, so the car will stop better.
Pads with higher heat ranges fade less, but some don't work until they get heat in them. Drilled and / or slotted rotors can bring those pads up to temperature quicker and will also cool them faster than solid rotors. The car will stop better and fade will be reduced. So, again, the rotors do affect how the car stops.
Also, new pad materials are not all like the old stuff. Some pads have great stopping power and still work good cold. Aggressive pads don't need to eat rotors. Some of the newer high friction stuff works pretty well but is easy on the rotors. The pads are sacrificial, so they wear faster instead of the rotors. This does however sometimes mean more dust and more frequent replacement. So, it comes down to what your preferences are.
Think most, if not all rotors are vented (including blanks). I still stand by my initial post, it's the pads, not the rotors that have the greatest impact on braking. Slotted and drilled may look sporty, but really don't do much to affect braking on a street car (or even a race car for that matter)

As for pads, high friction pads will eat rotors, unless the rotor is made from a harder material. You can get rotors cryogenically treated, but it comes at a premium. I have those on my other car with some high friction pads. Don't have enough time to judge if the cost is worth it. Ceramic pads (if that's the "new pad material" you refer) don't have the coefficient of friction that metallic pads do, so again, there's a trade off (low dust, but less bite). Pads also need to be initially beded. This is a step that most ignore.

From what i can tell, EBC yellows are probably the most aggressive steet pad that you can find for the 3
 

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Think most, if not all rotors are vented (including blanks). I still stand by my initial post, it's the pads, not the rotors that have the greatest impact on braking. Slotted and drilled may look sporty, but really don't do much to affect braking on a street car (or even a race car for that matter)
Some rotors are solid, some are vented, depends on what you want to pay for.
Drilled and/or slotted rotors increase braking performance. They allow you to use higher heat range pads that otherwise might not work as well under similar conditions. You won't see a huge difference in light use daily driving, but when driving as the OP suggests there will certainly be a difference. Pads like the EBC yellow work good cold but work even better when they get some heat in them, and those rotors will not only do that faster but cool them faster also.

As for pads, high friction pads will eat rotors, unless the rotor is made from a harder material. You can get rotors cryogenically treated, but it comes at a premium. I have those on my other car with some high friction pads. Don't have enough time to judge if the cost is worth it. Ceramic pads (if that's the "new pad material" you refer) don't have the coefficient of friction that metallic pads do, so again, there's a trade off (low dust, but less bite). Pads also need to be initially beded. This is a step that most ignore.

From what i can tell, EBC yellows are probably the most aggressive steet pad that you can find for the 3
EBC yellows are a pretty aggressive pads. They aren't totally heat resistant though but I think it would be quite difficult to overheat them on an autox circuit or doing a few hot laps in a small car like the Mazda 3. However, they are not hard on rotors. Near as I can tell they are NAO with aramid fiber. They produce more dust without a lot of wear on the rotors.
For that matter, rotor wear is subjective. Cheap rotors made of crap chinese metal will much wear faster than good high quality rotors. That is why a lot of inexpensive replacement parts are throw-aways. So, again, you get what you pay for.
I have had DBA rotors on my other car for 2 years now. No noticeable wear from the EBC green pads. DBA uses a proprietary high carbon gray cast iron formula in their rotors. Its quite hard and is quite wear resistant. They are also however about 4x the cost of the autopart store cheapies.
 

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DBA rotors are good, but even they will not survive if you go aggressive with the pads... talking from experience..

My previous set of DBA T3 4000 rotors on Evo X... pretty much look like the rings of Saturn :)

On the back side you barely see where the slots were.



 

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What pads were you using that did that sort of damage? Looks more like the pads were long gone for a while, or got cooked pretty well..:smile2:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
@htomi, Just to clarify and for anyone curious the stock OEM Shims do not need to be re-installed on the Z23 Brake Pads. I contacted their customer support and I have provided their answer below. (The Z23 come with their own shims)

Also what's important to re-use is the "metal" retention brake plates, these are not shims, they can be found in part # B4Y0-33-29ZB (Hardware Kit), as per a search in google the OEM shims comes with this specific part # as well including the "metal" retention clips. I have marked them with red arrows on the picture provided below. (*Notice that the OEM shims do not appear on the diagram)

As far a breaking goes, well damn, I'm starting to feel the bite, the brakes definitely stop the car better and are super responsive, I'm pretty sure that with upgraded tires the stopping could improve massively. One of my top 3 upgrades so far! :)
 

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What pads were you using that did that sort of damage? Looks more like the pads were long gone for a while, or got cooked pretty well..:smile2:
Pads had a lot of life left - 6-7 mm. They were Hawk DTC-30. Wide temperature range, lots of dust, when cold they were stopping like a street pad, but when you heat them.. oh my... they were stopping brutally! Obviously the downside of all this is that they eaten up the rotors :)
 

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Pads had a lot of life left - 6-7 mm. They were Hawk DTC-30. Wide temperature range, lots of dust, when cold they were stopping like a street pad, but when you heat them.. oh my... they were stopping brutally! Obviously the downside of all this is that they eaten up the rotors :)
Kinda figured they were Hawks. You aren't the first to have Hawks tear up rotors.:smile2: Nasty dust too.
 

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Some rotors are solid, some are vented, depends on what you want to pay for.
Drilled and/or slotted rotors increase braking performance.
Think you may be confusing drilled/slotted with vented. Vented rotors can be drilled, slotted, or blank

For that matter, rotor wear is subjective. Cheap rotors made of crap chinese metal will much wear faster than good high quality rotors. That is why a lot of inexpensive replacement parts are throw-aways. So, again, you get what you pay for.
Well, actualy wear is objective. Rotors are a consumable product that wear and are thrown away.

I have had DBA rotors on my other car for 2 years now. No noticeable wear from the EBC green pads.
EBC greens are like the least aggressive pad EBC sells, so it's expected wear would be minimal

DBA uses a proprietary high carbon gray cast iron formula in their rotors. Its quite hard and is quite wear resistant.
Is that marketing, or is there any data that supports those claims? I'll give you that they look nice though.

Kinda figured they were Hawks. You aren't the first to have Hawks tear up rotors.:smile2: Nasty dust too.
But they stop like crazy :smile2:

As far a breaking goes, well damn, I'm starting to feel the bite, the brakes definitely stop the car better and are super responsive, I'm pretty sure that with upgraded tires the stopping could improve massively. One of my top 3 upgrades so far! :)
Sounds like your brakes are bedding in. Tires are definately another key part of the braking system. Wider and stickier will get your ABS pulsing :rock:
 

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Think you may be confusing drilled/slotted with vented. Vented rotors can be drilled, slotted, or blank
I am well aware what vented rotors are and what drilled and slotted rotors are.

Well, actualy wear is objective. Rotors are a consumable product that wear and are thrown away.
Yeah but they shouldn't wear as fast as the pads. Used to be they lasted forever and you could turn them a time or two along the way, now they seem to be barely in spec brand new.:frown2:
These days I don't do a brake job without replacing the rotors.

EBC greens are like the least aggressive pad EBC sells, so it's expected wear would be minimal

Is that marketing, or is there any data that supports those claims? I'll give you that they look nice though.
Yellows don't wear too much more than the greens. Depends on the rotors though.
Marketing? No. DBA makes good high quality stuff and there are a lot of people who recognize that. I don't have any reason to doubt that they are much better than the $30 OEM replacement cheapies.
 

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Have you weighed the old rotors? I would like to know if they are any lighter than the OEM rotors. This could save some rotational mass and gain a few WHP. I am also considering getting new pads and rotors but I will probably end up just buying some pads and sticking with my old rotors.
 

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One of my local autocross members has suggested that the Axxis Ultimate Ceramic Pad is also a great choice for a street/autocross pad. Huge initial bite, easy modulation, and works great in winter. Apparently very noisy, and extremely dusty, but non-corrosive dust which easily washes off. I also found out I cannot upgrade my rotors if I want to keep my class in autocross so I'll be trying just pads to start with at the start of next season. Im still torn on what pads I want to try tho. Somewhere between the Axxis Ultimate Ceramic and the Carbotech AX6. I want a newer compound that won't eat my rotors since I apparently cannot upgrade them. I need to re-read the rules for H-street :nerd:
 

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@htomi, Just to clarify and for anyone curious the stock OEM Shims do not need to be re-installed on the Z23 Brake Pads. I contacted their customer support and I have provided their answer below. (The Z23 come with their own shims)

Also what's important to re-use is the "metal" retention brake plates, these are not shims, they can be found in part # B4Y0-33-29ZB (Hardware Kit), as per a search in google the OEM shims comes with this specific part # as well including the "metal" retention clips. I have marked them with red arrows on the picture provided below. (*Notice that the OEM shims do not appear on the diagram)

As far a breaking goes, well damn, I'm starting to feel the bite, the brakes definitely stop the car better and are super responsive, I'm pretty sure that with upgraded tires the stopping could improve massively. One of my top 3 upgrades so far! :)
If the pads are coming with their own shims, then its fine. (otherwise something would be missing...)
 

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I don't understand why people are complaining about brake dust. Its a sign that the brake pads are working as they should.
I want to be able to stop safely & if that's the price, then I'm happy to pay for it and wash the wheels frequently.
 
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