Brake Rotor and Pad Bedding Procedure (by BAER)

The following is recommended by Baer Racing. Unfortunately the source is unavailable on their site.
Remember to ALWAYS WARM THE BRAKES before any heavy use!

Bedding Rotors:

Before you begin, please note: The following represents the minimum recommended, “Seasoning” process. If your situation offers any opportunity to perform gentle preliminary “Seasoning” outlined in Step 2 below for a longer period of time, this will generally render even better performance and increase further long-term rotor life. Use the vehicle for 5 to 6 days of gentle driving. Use the brakes to the same extent that you used the stock brakes, DO NOT TEST PERFORMANCE or ATTEMPT HEAVY USE UNTIL ALL ITEMS OUTLINED HAVE BEEN COMPLETED. It is imperative that excessive heat is not put into the rotors at this stage. They need temperature-cycling to relieve the internal stresses.

Note: Zinc plated rotors (which are an extra cost option) need a couple of extra days of driving to wear through the plating before “Seasoning” actually will begin.

  1. Find a safe location where the brakes can be run to temperature. Your goal is to gradually increase brake temperatures with progressively faster stops. Start by performing four 60 to 70 mph stops, as you would in the normal course of driving.
  2. Next, perform four medium effort partial stops (about 50 %) from 60 mph down to 15 mph. Follow this with five minutes of freeway driving with LITTLE to NO BRAKING to allow the rotors to cool.
  3. Then, perform four medium-hard effort partial stops (about 75 %) from 60 mph down to 15 mph. Follow this with ten minutes of freeway driving with LITTLE to NO BRAKING to allow the rotors to cool.
    Park the car and allow the brakes to cool overnight to ambient temperature. You are now 50 % done with the rotor “Seasoning/Bedding” procedure proceed to STEP 4 the following day.
  4. Return to the safe location where the brakes can be run to temperature. Make sure the brakes are warmed to full operating temperature and then, perform four medium effort partial stops (about 50 %) from 60 mph down to 15 mph. Follow this with five minutes of freeway driving with LITTLE to NO BRAKING to allow the rotors to cool. Then, perform four medium-hard effort partial stops (about 75 %) from 60 mph down to 15 mph. Follow this with ten minutes of freeway driving with LITTLE to NO BRAKING to allow the rotors to cool.
  5. NOW, make six HARD partial stops from 60+ mph down to 15 mph or until rotors have reached an operation temperature of between 480°C and 600°C (900°F and 1,100°F). Every effort should be made to perform this procedure without locking a wheel. Follow this with ten minutes of freeway driving with LITTLE to NO BRAKING to allow the rotors to cool.

Let the system cool off over night. The rotors are then ready for the next step in Preparing your Brake System: Bedding Pads.


Bedding Brake Pads:

Bedding brake pads has a couple of important effects. The friction material in semimetallic pads is held together by an organic binder, usually a type of phenolic material. As the pads get hot, the binder boils, and burns, from the top surface of the pad. Once this burning or “Bedding” takes place the friction material makes proper contact with the rotor.
Some race/performance pads, like the Performance Friction’s line of pads, are designated as “pre-burnished” from the manufacturer. In our experience these pads still benefit from “bedding”. “Bedding” pads establishes a wear pattern between the pads and rotor. Some pads, like the Performance Friction pads, deposit a layer of carbon in the surface of the rotor. They need that layer of carbon to perform at peak efficiency.

Most Baer Claw™ systems, which are equipped with PBR calipers, SS/DRAG, SPORT, TRACK, and TRACK+, come standard with metallic pads. However, PBR based ASEDAN systems, as well as PRO-RACE and PRO-RACE+ Systems with the Alcon calipers feature carbon metallic pads from Pagid, Performance Friction or Tekstar.

Bedding Carbon-Metallic or Semi-Metallic Pads:

Note: NEVER DRAG the brakes and never “Bed” pads on rotors, which have not first been “Seasoned.” Always allow a substantial coast down zone when bedding pads that will allow you to safely drive the car to a stop in the event of fade.

  1. Perform four-repeated light to medium stops, from 65 to 10 mph, to bring the rotors to temperature.
  2. Perform two heavy stops, back to back, at a point just pending wheel lock, from 65 mph to about 5 mph. Drive for five to ten minutes to create cooling airflow, without using the brakes if at all possible.
  3. Perform three light stops in succession. Perform eight heavy stops, back to back, at a point just pending wheel lock, from 65 mph to about 5 mph.
  4. Drive for ten minutes to create cooling airflow, without using the brakes if at all possible.

Metallic brake pads need high temperatures to keep the pad “Bedded”. If you drive the car for a period of time without using the brakes extensively, you may need to “Bed” the pads again. This is not a problem. Simply repeat the procedure.

When switching from Carbon-Metallic pads (Performance Friction etc) to semi-metallic brake pads (something we do not recommend), you will need to wear through the layer of carbon that the Carbon-Metallic pads have deposited in the rotor surface. The new pads won’t grip well at all, until this layer of carbon is removed.

Racers should “Bed” a few sets of pads at a time. In the event you need to change brake pads during a race, you MUST use a set of “Bedded” pads. Racing on “non-bedded” pads leads to a type of “fade” caused by the binding agents coming out of the pad too quickly. This is called “green fade”. These binders may create a liquid (actually a gas) layer between your pads and rotors. Liquids have a very poor coefficient of friction. This condition is the reason for reverse slotting or cross-drilling rotors, as it allows a pathway for the gasses to escape.