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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Haven't been on the forum much lately but thought this might be useful. My Canadian spec MS6 needed new front brakes at 65,000kms (40,600 miles) and I was about to head off on a trip to the interior of BC to go mountain biking in Rossland. The round trip would be about 1400kms (875 miles) with significant climbs and descents through mountain passes. I figured I'd better do the brakes before I headed out.

If any of you are interested I have GPS telemetry of the rides I did in Rossland. There's a world famous trail, recognized by IMBA as an epic, called the Seven Summits. We rode that on the last day.

I replaced the front brakes two weeks ago, a few days before my departure. The stock rotors were quite worn, with a significant lip at the outer edge, and the stock inner pad was down to a millimeter or two on both sides. The outer pads had maybe another millimeter or two. They definitely needed replacing before the trip.

I'm always budget conscious and have good experiences with RockAuto so decided to buy from them if they carried parts that were good quality.

Searching the RockAuto site I found for rotors they carried the Centric and Raybestos lines. I did some searching on the web for info and decided to go with Centric Premium rotors in stock configuration (no slots or cross drilling).

The Raybestos Advanced rotors also seemed to have similarly excellent ratings and were within a $1 or $2 in price, but for pads they didn't offer a matching Advanced front pad. Due to this I decided to stick with Centric for all the parts, figuring they should at least work well with each other.

Centric offers the Posi-Quiet pad in both ceramic and semi-metallic compounds. I studied Centric's own ratings of their pads and realized they rated the semi-metallic as higher braking force and better fade resistance at the expense of slightly reduced rotor life, more dust and more noise compared to the ceramic.

Searching the web for other people's experiences I hadn't found any issues with dust or noise with the Centric semi-metallics so figured it was a safe trade off to get more braking power and better fade resistance.

The front rotors were approx $62 each and the pad set $28. So not including shipping the total cost for the front brake parts was under $150.

Installation was pretty straight forward. I used an impact driver and a big hammer to take out the rotor screws. A lot of smacking and sweat later I got all 4 out. 3 went back in easily but the fourth was really hard to screw in so I left it off. This was also the one that was hardest to get off.

My caliper pins seemed to be in good shape but there was caked on "carbon" like deposits on the end where it comes out of the seal, probably from grease that got cooked by the heat of the brakes. I used some solvent to clean this off as best as I could.

The piston pressed back easily into the caliper body.

The Centric parts fit in perfectly. The Premium rotors appear to be of excellent quality, with a smooth even black electro-coating on both sides of the hub surface and excellent machining and milling of the braking surface. The inner pad with the spring tabs popped into the piston easily and securely.

Overall installation took me about 2hrs, but I had the use of a friend's lift and his power tools. Of course, for reassembly I used a ratchet and socket to ensure everthing threaded on properly and was torqued appropriately.

I didn't have time to do a full fluid flush so did not touch the fluid at all. I'll do that in the next few weeks.

The text on the Centric Posi-Quiet pad box states they're "scorched" and do not need bedding in. However, I still found I had to do several hard stops after installation to get them to start biting. Maybe this heat was needed to burn off the remainder of the brake cleaner I used to clean up the rotors, rather than bed in the pads?

Initial impressions:

I drove around the city for about 100kms before heading out on my trip. The combination did not seem to have quite the same initial bite that the stock pads have. The brake pedal also seemed slightly "softer" but this may be due to having to press slightly harder or further at the very beginning when the pads first engage, due to the lower initial bite.

So my initial impressions were slightly disappointing. They didn't "feel" as powerful as the stock brakes.

I started off the trip with a little trepidation, wondering if they did need to be bedded in further, or if I didn't do something right.


During the drive there I was following a couple of friends in another car and they were taking it easy. I took the first few opportunities (long downhills) to really get the brakes good and hot anyways. The feel never really changed though but the brakes worked fine when I needed them so we arrived safely in Rossland.

The trip back was another matter. My passenger and I drove back alone, so I was able to go at the rate and take the corners the way I wanted to.

There was one open section on the two lane highway in a beautiful river valley where I was stuck behind 4 slow moving cars doing about 100kph (63mph), spaced about 4-6 car lengths apart. I dropped it into 4th (from 6th) and opened it up to pass them. I got past the first 2 cars and was even with the 3rd (and still accelerating) when a car popped over the hill coming the other way.

I was going at least 140kph (87.5mph), maybe 145kph (90mph) when this car popped up. I needed to drop a lot of speed as quickly as possible to drop back behind the 3rd car and slide in.

I hit the brake pedal hard. The brakes bit really hard and, throwing my passenger against his seat belt and I dropped enough speed to slide back behind the 3rd car in what seemed to be a second or less.

After this there was no doubt at all in my mind about the overall power of the brakes. The feel has not changed since they were installed so they still don't have quite the initial bite of the stock pads, but they are in no way inferior in overall stopping power. In some ways they're actually easier to drive, as they provide a bit more modulation at initial engagement.

I didn't go out of my way to test their fade resistance. There were some very long downhills followed by tight 30 to 35 mph corners (which I took at about 40 - 45) and I didn't think it was wise to test fade resistance in these conditions on a public road with a passenger and a couple of bikes hanging off the back.

What I can say is that I never noticed any fading during the drive back, but take this in the context of what I just wrote.


So, in summary I rate this combination very highly, especially at the price.

To top it off, I've attached pictures of the front wheels and rotors a few days after returning from the trip. This is the build up after the first 1600kms (1000 miles).

The wheels have not been cleaned since I installed the brakes, and I did use them hard here and there through the mountain passes. Unfortunately I forgot I wanted to take pics and was just starting to wet the car down for washing when I remembered, so there will be some spotting resulting from the water spray. But this might work out better as it provides some contrast to give a better idea of the amount of dust.

Passenger side front


Driver side front


Another closer view of driver front. You can see the where the water has washed away a bit of the dust


Back wheel for comparison:


Close up of rotor and black electro coating:


Close up of rotor and wheel after washing. Unfortunately there will be a small band of rust in the inner diameter of the rotor where the pads don't touch.


And last, driver side wheel after washing and cleaning. This exposure is brighter than the dirty shot as the sun came out later. The dirty shot was taken under overcast conditions.


You be the judge of the dust and wear on the rotors. With the stock pads the wheels would be dark gray in colour after 1000 miles.
The Centric pads dust a lot less and is a lighter gray.



PS: I also ordered matching rear rotors, but interestingly found RockAuto carried StopTech (owned by Centric) rear pads for the MS6. These are rated again higher grip and fade resistance than the Centric semi-metallics but again with more rotor wear, noise and dust than the semi-metallics. Maybe this is a crazy idea but I thought I'd try the StopTech on the rears, since the rears dont' seem to do much work (lots of pad left and little wear on the rotors) I thought a more aggressive pad would bring the rears more into play.

I'll do a separate review when I install those, probably next year.

PSS: Forgot to mention that I had a blast driving the car home. Handled great in the curves. Love those RPM springs! Stock shocks are holding up well. Loved the turbo power going up the hills to the top of the passes!
And before anybody asks, the part numbers are:
Centric Premium front rotors: 12045073 (you'll need quantity 2)
Centric Posi-Quiet Semi-Metallic front pads: 10411860 (quantity 1)
 

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I too have good experience with Centrics and will likely be my next rotor replacement.
FWIW, the MS6 stock brake pads are great performance-wise. They're just very dusty.
 

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Thanks for providing feedback on Centric parts and RockAuto. Shipping must have been a killer. I hate ordering parts from south of the border.

I went with AutoPartsWay.ca and got 'generic' MS6 rotors for less than $40 each and free shipping (they came from Vancouver all the way to Toronto, for free!). I got my Hawks pads from them too. The combo is great and I found that initial bite was down from OEM initially too but I think it's back to OEM feel now. I also painted the rotors with high temp paint to match the more expensive pre-finished rotors. I'm happy the setup and they've been on for a few months and about 5K km with some hard and fast driving.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm 30mins from the border so I get them shipped to Blaine, WA and then drive over to pick them up. Pay 12% HST when coming back over.

Shipping wasn't too bad. I also ordered some rear rotors and pads for our other car. Shipping for 6 rotors (2 front, 4 rear) and 3 sets of pads was $67.
 

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Great write up!

I had drilled Centric rotors and the Posi-Quiet pads on my previous car (Honda Accord Coupe 6mt) and loved the combo, so when my MS6 needed new front pads I went with what I knew best, the Posi-Quiets. I totally agree at first they seem almost "soft", but when you get on them they grab just as hard as the stock pads. So for me that was a benefit because I always felt the car kind of jerk slightly when first applying the brakes with the stock pads, but with the Posi-Quiets it's a much more gradual grab so it's smooher braking.

Glad to hear you're enjoying them!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I agree completely. As I use them more and more I'm coming to appreciate the easier modulation that the "softer" initial bite provides. Definitely plenty powerful when a bit more pedal force is applied.

As mentioned I'm a mtn biker and the disc brakes I use on my mtn bike have the same progressive, easy to modulate feel. There are other brake systems that have a much grabbier initial bite but they make it difficult to modulate the brakes in very technical terrain. Same overall power between the two systems, but the set I have are much more linear, with increasing braking force with increased lever force right up to full lock up.

The big bonus is the huge decrease in brake dust. I've since done another couple of hundred miles since washing the car after writing up the review. The front wheels, at a glance, appear to be identical to the rears. No significant difference in brake dust. The wheels still look clean!

I'll post up some additional pics after I put on some more miles.

Open question is still fade resistance, but I never really pushed the stock pads hard continuously and probably won't push these either so will have to let somebody else provide input on that.
 

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Well with the winding canyon roads here in Arizona I can attest to them not fading. In fact I just took my wife, son, brother and his girlfriend on a ride down into a very crazy winding canyon this past weekend and the brakes never showed any signs of fade whatsoever. And yeah, the lack of brake dust just seals the deal on how amazing these pads are. I'm sold for life on these for any car I own.
 

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On an semi-unrelated note, I just noticed you have RX8 wheels with 235/40/18 Hankook Ventus V12 Evos. I just picked up a set of RX8 wheels and am tire shopping. How do you like the Hankooks? Any rubbing issues? Are you dropped on anything. I have H&R/Tokico combo I'm going to install in a few weeks, so in addition to tire brand/model I'm debating tire size as well.

Right now I'm torn between the Hankook Evo, General Exclaim and Continental ExtremeContact DWS. Also torn between 225/45/18s or 235/40/18s.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
The Hankooks are really good for the money (got them for $110 each in Dec of 2009), but they're not wearing as well as I'd like. Excellent grip in both dry and wet condition. They definitely ride firmer and have a slightly more responsive steering feel than the Exclaim UHP, which I had in the same size before these K110s. They're also a little bit louder than the Exclaims.

The Exclaims were known to have relatively soft sidewalls for such a low profile, so I'm not surprised the Hankooks ride firmer.

I did like the Exclaims too though. They lasted about 36000kms (approx 23000miles). I think I'll be lucky to get the same out of these Hankooks.

My rear fenders are rolled just to provide that extra room, but some people have run the same tire size on RX8 wheels without a fender roll and didn't rub.

I'm running RPM prototype Sport springs which give about a 3/4in drop. The production versions had slightly more drop in the front to even out the fender gap but the rears were unchanged, IIRC.
 

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Nice write up FR!!! perfect timing as I'm in the market for new fronts from the looks of it after swapping out my RX's for the winters....
 

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I'll post on this old thread with an update to it because I WAS going to get this combo. I tried to order these exact products from StreetUnit just last month and they happened to be out of stock on both... Interesting thing though: turns out Centric 120.45073 has been discontinued.

What happened at the time of order was... I decided to switch my order to the Hawk HPS pads from SU, but I looked elsewhere for the rotors and ended up ordering the same model - Centric 120.45073 - because I wasn't about to dish out another $75-100 for the drilled and/or slotted ones.

I ordered the 120.45073 rotors from a different place, HOWEVER, when I got them they said 125.45073 and my first thought was "those sons-a-bitches sent me the wrong ones". Well after some phone calls, it turns out that 120.45073 is discontinued and replaced with the new, higher quality 125.45073 so I guess I lucked out unless the prices would have been the same anyway.

Just FYI to anyone reading this and considering Stoptech Front Rotors, you will probably still find places that sell (or claim to sell) 120.45073, but look for 125.45073.

As for my addition to the actual review (because anyone looking for reviews on brakes should read all replies like I did), Centric Rotors + Hawk HPS Pads... No Noise (seriously, I don't hear my brakes at all under normal DD braking); Less Initial Bite but Exceptional Bite when braking hard (I think this is good, don't want too much initial bite); Less dust from what I can tell.
 
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