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OEM Ceramic Brakes

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Old 05-28-2014, 12:03 AM   #1
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Default OEM Ceramic Brakes

Greetings to all,

I'm new here, collecting informations for few weeks, because I'm about to buy a 2008/2009 S8.

What I have not find much about are Ceramic brakes.
I'm hunting for that ideal car, but every available car that matches my requirements (mileage, age, color, options...) is also equipped with ceramic brakes. I don't know if I shoud be afrait of that, since I know how expensive these rotors are (OEM from Audi dealer).
There is no doubt about braking performance, but what about lifespan?
I heard, that they can in theory last as long as the car itself (depending on driving style ofcourse).
I will be using the car mostly for long distance travel, that means cruising steady speed at a highway. Just occasionally some sharper joyride through the town :-) So no often heavy braking.
Also they are quite fragile and can be easily damaged ( e.g. during wheel change, or by stones from the road)

So I'd like to ask for some concrete experiences from You guys.
Did You already have to change the Audi OEM ceramic rotors? After how many miles? Or did You manage to somehow damage it?

Thanks and sorry for my English ;-)
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Old 05-28-2014, 03:34 AM   #2
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Incredible braking performance


Compared with conventional steel discs, ceramic brakes not only last four times longer, but also offer high braking performance, even when driving at the limit, as well as high resistance to fading. Braking performance is not diminished even after repeated braking, when driving down a mountain pass, for example. The unsprung rotating masses at the wheels are reduced by a total of around 20 kilograms or 50 percent compared with conventional brake discs, resulting in noticeably improved handling and agility.

Compared with an identical brake disc made of steel, this material lasts four times longer: the high abrasion resistance of ceramic discs means that they will last for up to 190,000 miles. The extreme surface hardness of the composite ceramic also means that the brake discs are unsusceptible to solid and liquid road salts as well as to corrosion and rust. There’s virtually no brake dust either – so alloy wheels don’t get blackened and dirty.
Ceramic brakes are optional on the Audi S8.

.....
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:59 AM   #3
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On a street car, the biggest thing you have to worry about is damage to a rotor when changing wheels. Wear wise, with no track use, is "almost forever."

It's helpful anyway, but on a car with ceramic rotors, ensure that you or anyone else who works on your car uses one of the guides that thread in place of a wheel lug when changing wheels.
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Old 05-28-2014, 01:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Incredible braking performance

Compared with conventional steel discs, ceramic brakes not only last...
Thanks, I'm familiar with those characteristics. I was just wondering, if is it exactly so in reality as well.
Any owner who would like to share his experience?
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Old 05-28-2014, 02:30 PM   #5
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Default You will probably find little first person information here

D3 era A8's and S8's were not shipped to North America with any ceramic brake option, so it would only be the relative handful of owners from Europe who might have experience, perhaps if they have a D3 W12 or S8 most likely.

For first person experience in greater numbers, I bet you would have to try/find the German (language) boards, even if this one may be among the larger and more active ones for D3's in general.
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Current #1: '06 D3 A8L W12 brilliant black w/ amaretto; 4 seat setup, CPO; modestly lowered, H&R 20mm rear and 12mm front DRs with 275/35 on OEM polished + forged 20's; S8 sway bars (see: rear bar and gen'l D3 bar info and front bar); tweaked 385mm front factory brake mod and matching rear brake mod; matching C6 A6 back headrests (better rear view: headrest tweak); owner installed AMI retrofit with part number details here. [If you want pics in foregoing links, ask AW where they went...used all to work] Upper control arm reference (+ more info in replies) here. Lower cost D3 OES sway bar links here.
Current #2: 2013 Q5 2.0T hybrid; Scuba blue w/ chestnut sport interior; Euro delivery 7/2013 (pictured at Ingolstadt); RS5 front brakes
Prior (each modded): 2000 C5 A6 4.2 & '96 C4 A6 2.8Q, both still w/ family; '85 C3 5000S 5 sp FWD; '73 C1 100LS

helpful cross reference to a C6 post with MMI and other TSB's that also cover D3 A8's.

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Old 05-29-2014, 02:03 PM   #6
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I have them on my car, The cars done 57k and the discs look like new, there's no wear lip like you get on steel discs and they say they are meant to be good for 100K

The stopping performance is impressive to say the least, easily will have your passengers complaining at the deceleration. although I have not driven an S8 with the steel discs for comparison.

Yes they squeak first thing when cold, but on my car its only when I back out of the driveway 20 feet later and the squeak is gone.

One thing I don't like about them is the feeling when they are wet, few occasions where I have been driving in heavy rain and went to use the brakes, it feels like they are doing very little but it only takes a slight squeeze harder on the pedal and the waters burnt off and they are back to normal.

As for accidental damage removing wheels, well you would need to be a complete klutz to manage that as there is a shroud all the way round the disc, and if you use the locating bolts x2 like your meant too then the discs wont come to any harm.

As for replacement costs yes indeed they are stupidly expensive, but here's hoping that I won't need to replace anytime soon and if they don't come down in price to a sensible level by the time I need too then I would look into alternatives like replacing the discs with steel ones on ally hubs.
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Old 05-31-2014, 03:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MP4.2+6.0 View Post
D3 era A8's and S8's were not shipped to North America with any ceramic brake option...
Oh, I didn't know that.

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Originally Posted by haggisuk View Post
I have them on my car...
Are You talking about miles or kms?
So it is possible to replace them with regular brakes without any bigger trouble? What else must be exchanged (except rotors and pads) when downgrading to regular brakes?
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Old 06-02-2014, 05:55 AM   #8
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Miles, I don't see any issues changing discs to steel, if you wanted to keep the same calipers then discs would need to be made specific so they were a direct replacement. or you could just buy a complete set of calipers and steel discs that the normal S8's have leaving you to sell the monster calipers to someone wanting to do a big brake setup on other cars.
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Old 09-19-2014, 04:41 AM   #9
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I have just had my W12 for a couple months and 3000km. First thing i noticed that they have no power at all, if they are wet, but as said, the power comes back almost instantly, when pushing the pedal a bit. And the stopping power is enormous, a lot better than the W12 and S8 standard steel discs, i'd say 40-50% better.

Mine have 191.000km on the clock, i THINK, I'm not sure, as i know little about the history of the cars, or the maintenance on it. The discs look like new, i suspect they could be swapped out, they're defineatly older than a year, but as said, i'm not sure.

The discs have absolutely no wear, not even the slightest, compared to my W12 with steel discs, same mileage, and it had like 3-5mm wear on the steel discs.

Does anyone know, are the brake pads, both front and rear available as replacement parts, like OEM quality, but not 700-800$ per axle? They are **** expensive!

I already thought the W12 pads were somewhat expensive, but this is just madness.

BTW. the brake discs are ridiculously expensive, 5200€ each = 6800$ new, so they actually cost a lot more than i paid for the fully working car!!!
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Old 09-19-2014, 06:14 AM   #10
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I have had other cars with ceramic brakes as well as my wife's SUV. I can say that I like the ceramics much better: no brake dust, very minimal signs of wear on both the pads and the discs, I do notice that the ceramic brakes tend to stop better. I plan to swap out my brakes on my 07 A8 to ceramic very soon with some cross-drilled rotors. Every 2 days my wheels are covered in black ugly brake dust. I don't know this car did not come with slotted/drilled rotors like the low level Mercedes do.
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Old 09-19-2014, 07:15 AM   #11
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Default Two different/unrelated conversations going on in this post...

I think you are referring to ceramic pads. Those are common these days; some work well and others are kind of like greased teflon mediocrity. (Current formulation of) EBC Reds I use are ceramic based as one of many examples.

But most of the post is referring to full ceramic brakes, including particularly the rotors made of ceramic powder material. That's an entirely different animal than steel/cast iron based conventional rotor systems. The front caliper on them is a pretty classic many piston Brembo, while the rear caliper appears to be standard D3 with only a larger diameter mounting bracket. The rotors are the super pricy part, though the pads aren't cheap nor easily available except via dealers. They are also inherently two piece rotor and hat set ups, so the hat area being alloy takes out yet several more pounds of weight. On the fronts you drop a huge 20+ pounds of weight in just the overall rotor on each side (in W12/S8 sizing). In the rear the rotor size actually steps up somewhat, and the overall weight delta is minor compared to the front change.

Audi first introduced it as a very high end option on the Euro D3 circa 2005 or 6. After that it spread to the R8, using basically the same parts in front, but thicker rotors and a different parking brake set up in rear.
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Current #1: '06 D3 A8L W12 brilliant black w/ amaretto; 4 seat setup, CPO; modestly lowered, H&R 20mm rear and 12mm front DRs with 275/35 on OEM polished + forged 20's; S8 sway bars (see: rear bar and gen'l D3 bar info and front bar); tweaked 385mm front factory brake mod and matching rear brake mod; matching C6 A6 back headrests (better rear view: headrest tweak); owner installed AMI retrofit with part number details here. [If you want pics in foregoing links, ask AW where they went...used all to work] Upper control arm reference (+ more info in replies) here. Lower cost D3 OES sway bar links here.
Current #2: 2013 Q5 2.0T hybrid; Scuba blue w/ chestnut sport interior; Euro delivery 7/2013 (pictured at Ingolstadt); RS5 front brakes
Prior (each modded): 2000 C5 A6 4.2 & '96 C4 A6 2.8Q, both still w/ family; '85 C3 5000S 5 sp FWD; '73 C1 100LS

helpful cross reference to a C6 post with MMI and other TSB's that also cover D3 A8's.


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Old 09-19-2014, 07:27 AM   #12
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Default Pads & ceramic rotors; old Euro recall

You are in Europe where the ceramic application can be found for the D3, but from here in the USA, yes the pads seem very expensive and hard to find. The front pads apparently interchange with R8s with the 380mm set up, so you can look for those too. Rears seem to be a unique (to D3) part. But the rear caliper also appears to be standard D3 with a bigger mounting bracket--perhaps driven by the unusual-in-its-day rear electric parking brake unit need. Thus, you might check on Euro boards and see if anyone is successfully using "conventional" pads in the rear, particularly some ceramic compound.

The rotors are tested for wear by both weight and thickness. Audi said they could run up to 300,000 km IIRC. Typically the wear is very hard to even see, so they need to be mic'ed. Also why the weight spec is included. Because of the hardness, the wear is very slow. BUT, the spec is also very tight, allowing only fractions of a mm total wear instead of up to 3mm (front) like on the S8/W12 385mm conventional set up. I have the wear spec somewhere if you need it.

If you look BTW, the thickness AND weight are both shown on the ceramic rotor hats. So is the manufacturing date. If yours are early BTW, they may have been recalled. Apparently all the early ones got called back--D3's and R8's--to replace the rotor hat to disc ring bolts due to corrosion. The bolts are not sold as a piece part AFAIK, though there seem to be aftermarket suppliers now of the ceramic rings that come with replacement bolts. From what I can tell on the boards I read at one point, it sounds like in at least some cases people may have ended up with new complete rotors in the recall. You might want to check and see if yours are on the recall list, and if it got done. If you look at your rotor manufacture date and compare it to your D3 build date, that will be another pretty good clue.
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Current #1: '06 D3 A8L W12 brilliant black w/ amaretto; 4 seat setup, CPO; modestly lowered, H&R 20mm rear and 12mm front DRs with 275/35 on OEM polished + forged 20's; S8 sway bars (see: rear bar and gen'l D3 bar info and front bar); tweaked 385mm front factory brake mod and matching rear brake mod; matching C6 A6 back headrests (better rear view: headrest tweak); owner installed AMI retrofit with part number details here. [If you want pics in foregoing links, ask AW where they went...used all to work] Upper control arm reference (+ more info in replies) here. Lower cost D3 OES sway bar links here.
Current #2: 2013 Q5 2.0T hybrid; Scuba blue w/ chestnut sport interior; Euro delivery 7/2013 (pictured at Ingolstadt); RS5 front brakes
Prior (each modded): 2000 C5 A6 4.2 & '96 C4 A6 2.8Q, both still w/ family; '85 C3 5000S 5 sp FWD; '73 C1 100LS

helpful cross reference to a C6 post with MMI and other TSB's that also cover D3 A8's.


Last edited by MP4.2+6.0; 09-19-2014 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 10-20-2014, 08:56 AM   #13
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Default Follow up on prior volvopentaman reply--cheaper pads for true ceramic brake option

I was doing some surfing about brakes in the last few days. I have reconfirmed a variety of ways now that the 380mm R8 ceramic brake set up in front is the same as the Euro optional D3 ceramic set up, including a lot of the parts--pads, rotors, underlying caliper (as distinct from the mounting bracket), sensors, etc. In turn if you look at pad fitments for the R8 ceramic option (in the 380 mm size), you can find a variety of alternatives. The OE pads seem to be Pagids, which are the expensive ones from listings I found. Centrics are listed very inexpensively, and Delphi , TRW and Ferodo all much less than the OE's. Since they are Brembo calipers, I think there is a Brembo fitment too, but have not tracked that down completely. Other than the Pagids, they actually price in the same range as many conventional aftermarket pads for the 385mm conventional brake set up--at least in $ terms and US availability. The compound is conventional but with a bit more metal content per some Audi documentation.

The separate wear sensors are quite expensive, but it looks like there may be work arounds and aftermarket choices there, especially if you can get back to the Brembo part #. I suspect sensors from the Cayenne/Touareg/Q7 conventional Brembo fitment may be essentially the same, but available for much less and from aftermarket.
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Current #1: '06 D3 A8L W12 brilliant black w/ amaretto; 4 seat setup, CPO; modestly lowered, H&R 20mm rear and 12mm front DRs with 275/35 on OEM polished + forged 20's; S8 sway bars (see: rear bar and gen'l D3 bar info and front bar); tweaked 385mm front factory brake mod and matching rear brake mod; matching C6 A6 back headrests (better rear view: headrest tweak); owner installed AMI retrofit with part number details here. [If you want pics in foregoing links, ask AW where they went...used all to work] Upper control arm reference (+ more info in replies) here. Lower cost D3 OES sway bar links here.
Current #2: 2013 Q5 2.0T hybrid; Scuba blue w/ chestnut sport interior; Euro delivery 7/2013 (pictured at Ingolstadt); RS5 front brakes
Prior (each modded): 2000 C5 A6 4.2 & '96 C4 A6 2.8Q, both still w/ family; '85 C3 5000S 5 sp FWD; '73 C1 100LS

helpful cross reference to a C6 post with MMI and other TSB's that also cover D3 A8's.


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Old 10-20-2014, 01:47 PM   #14
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So do these findings support and suggest a ceramic brake upgrade is possible and in your future??? That would be quite interesting, IMO.
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Old 10-20-2014, 11:11 PM   #15
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for example, what i have on my S8:
front brake pads for ceramic brake discs TRW GDB1660 - ~55USD
rear brake pads for ceramic brake discs FERODO FDB1655 - ~45USD

if you want to get rid of ceramic brakes or other way around then you will have to change wheel bearing housings and calipers as well.
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Old 10-20-2014, 11:32 PM   #16
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if you want to get rid of ceramic brakes or other way around then you will have to change wheel bearing housings and calipers as well.
The only change in wheel bearing housing as I can find in my sources for the D3, is during 2004 model year, nothing different for those fitted with ceramic brake discs. Do you have part numbers to confirm?
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:00 PM   #17
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Default Not so sure about some of the the changes part...

I don't think there is any change to the wheel bearing, nor does that really make any sense to me. If the rotor offset is different, then you get into hub changes, which in turn essentially mean a new bearing, but that is different. I don't think there is any hub change front or back, and thus no bearing change, and no hub change I am aware of either.

Yes, the front caliper is clearly different, but that is part of the point. The ceramic calipers are true fixed Brembo set ups (i.e. pistons on both sides). The rears actually seem pretty D3 stock with a different bracket to get to 356mm, though the rotors are a little thicker. D4 rears are also 356mm on the V8 motor ones, but having looked at the caliper brackets there, the pads are essentially the same size but the mounting ears have a slightly different angle cut to them, and use a different anti rattle shim part #. All suggests to me that while really close, the rears end up needing a caliper change too even though the true difference is minor. But in the rear, given essentially same caliper and a rotor upsizing in ceramic, most of the weight savings (both unsprung and rotational mass too) as part of the conversion rationale is up front. Still looking into details, but on just the front rotors it is approx. 20 pounds. I suspect from my Q5 to RS5 swap that used eight piston Brembos w/ semi floating conventional rotors, the calipers may yield at least several more pounds--the big cast iron mounting bracket becomes a very small Brembo auxiliary bracket to the alloy caliper.

Where hub changes do tend to come up is with RS set ups in the back. Thus, the C5 2003 RS6 uses a 335mm rotor just like the W12 and D3 S8, but the RS6 rotor is semi floating and somewhat lighter given the alloy center hat. But there is approx 5mm offset difference between the two, so in practice you have to do a hub change too. The offset change is on the "wrong" side I think, so you also can't just spacer/washer the caliper over to make it up. There is a similar issue with RS5 rear brakes too, which makes them not easily retrofit to an A4/S4/A5/S5/Q5 without a hub swap. Not sure on the C6 RS6 to D3 conversion scenarios. Yet again the other day in researching and e mailing, it is really hard to assemble a C6 RS6 front set up at acceptable prices and get it to North America. Weirdly when I typed in some part numbers, ecstuning.com ( a pretty good aftermarket Audi parts source in USA) is listing a variety of the part #'s; the brakes are used by some tuner types apparently like TT/TTRS set ups so there may be some aftermarket business there.

Various other changes to like molded in front pad sensors become a separate part, but still plug and play at the plug in point. Heat/water shields change too and can't be found in U.S.; here I suspect the 385mm ones for the W12 and S8 may still be fine in front, and there is a D4 356mm one for the back that looks like it has the same bolt points and is (uncharacteristically) inexpensive. As mentioned above, the rear calipers themselves remain Audi single piston floating basic per the last 15 years or so design, just with the electro parking brake add on.
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Current #1: '06 D3 A8L W12 brilliant black w/ amaretto; 4 seat setup, CPO; modestly lowered, H&R 20mm rear and 12mm front DRs with 275/35 on OEM polished + forged 20's; S8 sway bars (see: rear bar and gen'l D3 bar info and front bar); tweaked 385mm front factory brake mod and matching rear brake mod; matching C6 A6 back headrests (better rear view: headrest tweak); owner installed AMI retrofit with part number details here. [If you want pics in foregoing links, ask AW where they went...used all to work] Upper control arm reference (+ more info in replies) here. Lower cost D3 OES sway bar links here.
Current #2: 2013 Q5 2.0T hybrid; Scuba blue w/ chestnut sport interior; Euro delivery 7/2013 (pictured at Ingolstadt); RS5 front brakes
Prior (each modded): 2000 C5 A6 4.2 & '96 C4 A6 2.8Q, both still w/ family; '85 C3 5000S 5 sp FWD; '73 C1 100LS

helpful cross reference to a C6 post with MMI and other TSB's that also cover D3 A8's.

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Old 10-21-2014, 08:12 PM   #18
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Default Yes, playing with it

Focused on the front so far. Rear trickier w/ the parking brake so it isn't straight R8 cross over, and the ceramic rotors are also a thinner size than Audi seemed to settle on later. Rational cost wise, the hard part is finding the big bucks (Euro) rotors at any sort of remotely justifiable price for an older vehicle--let alone a new one! There is also some beaten up junk out there that variously looks way too worn/abused, so that also has to be passed over even if pricing is better.

At least for the fronts, there is also some donor availability from Euro W12 Phaetons. In the used parts arena with (occasional) somewhat rational pricing if you look long and hard enough and can deal w/ Ebay Germany there is more front availability than rears. Still playing with C5 RS6 rotors in the back using my stock D3 W12/S8 calipers, but getting hung up on the rotor hat offset per the other reply I made today in this thread. Need to get home and look at mine more, but I don't think it is solvable w/ out a hub change...not happening. Some deal with that in the similar RS5 conversion by putting 5mm spacers behind the rotor, but that doesn't seem like a great idea mechanically to me at all.

Stay tuned. Will take a while to assemble the necessary components. Finding the direct R8 to D3 front pad equivalency was important for maintenance/parts availability in future, given pads are the only practical wear/replacement item (besides sensors if pads run too long). Then once I found the other OES/quality third party pads listings in front for less than I pay now for dealer or EBC, that was good. I backed away from the rear ideas a few months ago when I couldn't find OE pads in US (or even the Euro EBay's), but now have found the OES/quality third party pad listings for the rear as well. Various of the pads (front and rear) are even findable surprisingly cheaply via commodity US sites like rockauto.com, and also pretty easily on EBay here or via Europe once you get back to the vendor part numbers (TRW, Bosch, sometimes Brembo, ATE, Pagid [the OES pricy ones], etc.).
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Current #1: '06 D3 A8L W12 brilliant black w/ amaretto; 4 seat setup, CPO; modestly lowered, H&R 20mm rear and 12mm front DRs with 275/35 on OEM polished + forged 20's; S8 sway bars (see: rear bar and gen'l D3 bar info and front bar); tweaked 385mm front factory brake mod and matching rear brake mod; matching C6 A6 back headrests (better rear view: headrest tweak); owner installed AMI retrofit with part number details here. [If you want pics in foregoing links, ask AW where they went...used all to work] Upper control arm reference (+ more info in replies) here. Lower cost D3 OES sway bar links here.
Current #2: 2013 Q5 2.0T hybrid; Scuba blue w/ chestnut sport interior; Euro delivery 7/2013 (pictured at Ingolstadt); RS5 front brakes
Prior (each modded): 2000 C5 A6 4.2 & '96 C4 A6 2.8Q, both still w/ family; '85 C3 5000S 5 sp FWD; '73 C1 100LS

helpful cross reference to a C6 post with MMI and other TSB's that also cover D3 A8's.


Last edited by MP4.2+6.0; 10-21-2014 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 10-27-2014, 04:18 AM   #19
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I believe the new ceramic brakes have to be coded via VCDS as well. Ceramic brakes generally require the car to frequently and automatically apply the brakes so that the rotors are always at the desired operating temperature. Ceramic brakes/rotors do not perform well cold, hence the coding necessary. I know it's the same way on some ceramic equipped RS5's and RS7's.
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Old 10-27-2014, 08:34 AM   #20
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I believe the new ceramic brakes have to be coded via VCDS as well. Ceramic brakes generally require the car to frequently and automatically apply the brakes so that the rotors are always at the desired operating temperature. Ceramic brakes/rotors do not perform well cold, hence the coding necessary. I know it's the same way on some ceramic equipped RS5's and RS7's.
That would really increase fuel consumption, not to mention comfort. Fortunately they fixed that problem by choosing different materials.
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Old 10-27-2014, 08:34 AM
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