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Brake pads for 2016 explorer - ceramic or semi metallic?

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by ThorChristian, November 3, 2018.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^
  1. ThorChristian

    ThorChristian New Member

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    Hello all,

    I am going to replace my brake pads, and was wondering if I should go with ceramic or semi-metallic...

    Info:

    The explorer is used for daily commutes, no off-roading, no towing, no aggressive driving.

    I am pretty sure the current pads (factory originals) are semi-metallic. If the rotors do not need to be replaced also, do I need to stay with semi-metallic, or can I switch to ceramic with the same rotors?

    If I go with ceramic (and originals were semi-metallic) will that change any computer settings, or will I notice any change in performance, stopping distance, etc?

    If I have to replace the rotors... should I upgrade to ceramic, or does it come down to personal preference?

    Any info/advice is appreciated. I don't know much about ceramic brakes, but have heard good things about them. The brakes that came with the vehicle have been fine, and have worn well, so no real complaints on the OEM quality.
     
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  3. 613GT500

    613GT500 Well-Known Member

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    If you're not sticking with the original Motorcraft pads, I suggest ceramics.
     
  4. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Welcome to the Forum.:wave:
    There are several threads on 'brakes' on the forum. Here are a couple I found using the 'Search' feature in the upper right;
    OEM Brake Pad Material
    OEM Or Aftermarket Brakes?

    Peter
     
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  5. ThorChristian

    ThorChristian New Member

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    Thanks for the links, Peter.

    Seems this is all over the place. Ceramics, organic, semi-metallic.... All based on personal experience or on-line user reviews. I guess I cannot go wrong with OEM, but ceramics seem to produce less dust.

    I just don't want to reduce stopping performance. If I go with ceramic, do I need to replace the rotors also?
     
  6. bigdude2468

    bigdude2468 Active Member

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    Go to Rock Auto and buy Wagner OEX pads. They are great, shorter stopping distances, less dust, no squeal etc. I don't know if they are ceramic or semi metallic What I do know is I have been using OEX pads on all our vehicles for the past 3 - 4 years and they are the best pads I have ever had. on the Explorer I tow a little but we spend the winter in the mountains where everyday we drive up and down one of the steepest roads in NA. It is not unusual on the way down to smell brakes or occasionally see a vehicle pulled over with the brakes smoking. I checked the fronts pads this fall with 30,000 miles on them and they have another 30,000 left.
     
  7. Biohazrus

    Biohazrus Elite Explorer

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    Ceramic or not, changing rotor goes in pair with changing pads, no?

    My rear pads are pretty thin, about to order new kits (pads & rotor) from RockAuto.com, debating on how much I should spend... goes from 73$CAD to 215$CAD
     
  8. 613GT500

    613GT500 Well-Known Member

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    Not necessarily.
    As an example, I changed the rear pads as they wore out due to dragging, but the rotors were in excellent shape.
     
  9. KayGee

    KayGee Well-Known Member

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    If the braking surface is in good shape (no grooves, not warped) and exceeds min thickness, you can usually just put new pads on and you're good to go without resurfacing.

    As far as ceramic vs semi metallic, conventional wisdom is ceramic are quieter and lower dust, but semi metallic provide better cold bite and overall braking performance. There's obviously more to it and all the info you could ever want is out there. You just need to do your homework and decide what matters to you. Higher price doesn't always mean better.
     
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  10. Querys

    Querys Active Member

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  11. VCFP153

    VCFP153 Elite Explorer

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    Considering how cheap rotors have become, some people just swap everything all at once.
     
  12. domct203

    domct203 Pilots The Beast Elite Explorer

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    I like ceramic for the reduced brake dust. I’m satisfied with their grip on the rotors as well, no noticeable loss of performance for me with 32” tires, but I’m not zipping around like I’m driving a tuner either.

    With that said, nothing grabs like semi-metallic pads, but they are dirty and will wear the rotors a bit quicker.
     
  13. bigdude2468

    bigdude2468 Active Member

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    IMO this whole discussion about which pad to use is kind of silly. Buy goods ones they don't cost much more and are clearly superior. On Rock Auto Wagner OEX pads are $28.79, front or rear. The cheapy or economy pads that Rock Auto sells are $15. Why would you go through a brake job that takes a couple of hours and then try to save a few pennies?? We drive on one of the steepest roads in the US all winter long where heat is a killer on pads and rotors. The Wagner OEX pads I installed look great after 30,000 miles, I bet I get 60,000 out of them. They stop shorter, generate less heat and I see very little brake dust. Far less dust then the OEM Ford pads. Also, I always spend more money for rotors and do not buy the junky Chinese rotors. With rotors mass / weight is everything. When the rotor weigh less it can't absorb as much heat before it starts to warp. The heavier the rotor the better.
     
  14. domct203

    domct203 Pilots The Beast Elite Explorer

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    OP never mentioned price as criteria.

    Brake pad material makes a difference regardless of price. Each material has its pros and cons, and the OP is asking for advise. I don’t find that silly at all.

    I agree, you get what you pay for.

    ‘Clearly superior’ is quite objective, and is the entire point of the OP’s question. To me, ceramic pads with heavy cross drilled and slotted rotors works very good for my application and needs.

    Those Wagner OEX pads sound like great brake pads. Hills are the test for sure. How’s the rotor wear with them?
     
    Last edited: November 11, 2018
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  15. VCFP153

    VCFP153 Elite Explorer

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    Criterion (singular).
     
  16. domct203

    domct203 Pilots The Beast Elite Explorer

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    Thank you, grammar police.
     
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  17. 1995E

    1995E Well-Known Member

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    To me, I would never sacrifice braking performance for a little more rim cleaning convenience. I'd say stick with the semi-metallic because you never know when you have to make an emergency stop and it would save you.
     
  18. KayGee

    KayGee Well-Known Member

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    A lot of discussion about highly subjective topics is silly as no one knows whether any comments are coming from a supposed expert with knowledge or just another one that has no clue what they are even talking about. I highly doubt anyone here is doing any formal, instrumented testing to back up their claims as to what are the best brake pads. Also, no one knows if someone is a company shill simply pushing their own product. There are a lot of different brake pads out there for the explorer and many are reasonably priced ($30-50/set). If anyone wishes, it isn't that costly to buy a few sets and try them out to see for themselves how they perform and if they work for them. For some vehicles there are more active followings with people that track their cars or otherwise delve further into the performance arena, so there may be more anecdotal evidence from others on some stuff that performs better than others under certain conditions. However, the explorer is a car based CUV/SUV, so the best place for "performance/braking" data is likely to be from ford or fleet/police with regard to the PIUs.


    Same here. I've had a few MBs with some stellar brakes that put off literal shit tons of brake dust, but I'd never trade brake performance for cleaning convenience. There are some really good ceramic (non-ferrous) pads out there, like those from Pagid, but they are not inexpensive and not available for all vehicles.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: November 12, 2018
  19. domct203

    domct203 Pilots The Beast Elite Explorer

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    That can be applied to hundreds of posts on this forum, and I still don't see how someone should be told their question is silly.

    OP has some valid questions, and this thread is getting derailed quickly with grammar corrections and notions that questions asked are just 'silly'.

    My personal experience is that quality ceramic pads have no problem activating the ABS in a panic stop at 65 MPH with 32" tires (I drive the I-95 corridor in CT daily).
     
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  20. 613GT500

    613GT500 Well-Known Member

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    +1, we're talking about an emergency situation, not constant braking throughout an autoX race.
     
  21. VCFP153

    VCFP153 Elite Explorer

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    And/or by excessive sensitivity. Which, come to think of it, can also be applied to hundreds of posts on this forum.
     






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