Brake Pad Guide

Wilwood BP Series Brake Pads
BP Series
SmartPads
Wilwood Brake Pads for OEM
PolyMatrix Series
Brake Pads
Wilwood Brake Pads for OEM
ProMatrix Series OEM
Brake Pads

BP compound SmartPad numbered series represents the latest compounds developed through Wilwood research. Used by top racers in all auto racing genres, they also come standard in most kits for street use. Four different formulas offer increasingly aggressive friction and tolerance to high temperature, from BP-10 for spirited street use to BP-40 for extremely demanding racing competition. Multiple friction options allow users to optimize brake response to track conditions and weather. Compatible with all iron, steel, stainless, and titanium rotors within their intended temperature ranges.

  • BP-40   X-High Friction & High Temperature
    • Aggressive high friction, fade-resistant, long-wearing race only formula for high-heat applications.
    • Predictable and linear response with excellent pedal modulation and feel, start-to-finish.
    • Asphalt oval tracks, road courses, extreme-duty dirt, and all types of off-road competition.
  • BP-30   High Temperature & Friction
    • High friction, high temp, extra-long wearing, fade resistant race-only formula designed for hard braking endurance racing.
    • Exceptional pedal modulation and feel, start-to-finish.
    • Road racing, asphalt short track, high grip or downforce cars with extreme hard braking and sustained high-heat cycles.
  • BP-20   Med-High Temperature & Friction
    • A true dual-sport performance compound providing clean and quiet driving on the street, with an expanded temperature and friction range for competition.
    • Upgrade pad for our bolt-on brake kits for autocross, track events, and heavier weight, high-speed drag cars.
    • Intermediate level dirt track use on limited tire, open wheel modifieds, and all types of hobby class racing.
  • BP-10   Low-Med Temperature & Friction
    • Baseline pad in Wilwood bolt-on brake kits for hot rods, muscle cars, and most street and drag strip applications.
    • Light dusting, quiet engagement pads with increased friction, response, and an extended temperature range with higher fade resistance over OE-type compounds.
    • Gradual response pad for lighter duty dirt track categories, especially in marginal traction
 

ROTOR COMPATIBILITY: BP compound SmartPads are fully compatible with all types of iron, steel, stainless, SAS series and titanium rotors when run within their respective temperature capabilities.

PolyMatrix compounds are long-standing, time-proven formulas responsible for championship-winning performance in all types of amateur and professional motorsports. Nuances of initial bite, brake friction, and fade resistance can mean the difference between checkers or wreckers. Racers swear by the long-running friction formulations Wilwood put in the PolyMatrix pads lap after lap after lap. Compatible with all iron, steel, stainless, and titanium rotors within their intended temperature ranges. The Polymatrix Q was developed for aluminum rotors in open-wheel racing but has low noise and dust for street users.

  • PolyMatrix A   X-High Temperature & Friction
    • Long-wearing, highest-friction formula with immediate aggressive response at all temperatures.
    • Severe-duty use for oval tracks, road courses, and all other types of competition-only applications.
  • PolyMatrix H   X-High Temperature & Friction
    • Long-wearing, high-friction formula with a softer, less aggressive initial engagement response than “A”.
    • Severe-duty use for oval tracks, road courses, and all other types of competition-only applications.
  • PolyMatrix B   High Temperature & Friction
    • Traditional favorite used in a wide range of sportsman oval track, road course, and off-road competition categories.
    • Consistent, predictable response through the temperature range after minimal warm-up.
  • PolyMatrix E   Medium Temperature & Friction
    • Mid-level race compound with consistent, linear response through its full effective temperature range.
    • High-momentum dirt tracks, fast drag cars, autocross, rally, and all types of off-road within its effective heat range.
  • PolyMatrix Q   Low-Medium Temperature & Friction
    • Improved friction ceramic enhanced performance compound.
    • Lowest dust and noise levels for street performance.
    • Use with aluminum rotors for Sprint Cars, Midget and all lightweight open wheel competition.
 

ROTOR COMPATIBILITY: PolyMatrix compounds are fully compatible with all types of iron, steel, stainless, and titanium rotors when run within their respective temperature capabilities. For aluminum rotors use PolyMatrix Q pads only.

ProMatrix dual-sport performance compound brake pads provide the ultimate combination of clean and quiet driving with high performance braking on vehicles equipped with OEM calipers.

ProMatrix pads combined upgraded friction with increased resistance to heat fade for street and track use. Thousands of front and rear caliper applications are covered by 155 OE pad shapes for domestic and imported cars, with more being added. Of course, they work with Wilwood improved stock replacement calipers as well, like the GM D52 and D154, and Corvette D8.

ProMatrix   Med-High Temperature & Friction
  • True dual-sport performance compound for everyday street driving with the friction and heat range capabilities to handle aggressive driving on the track using OE production calipers.
  • Street-friendly, quiet-running, light dust, non-ceramic formula provides positive response with low wheel maintenance.
  • Track-ready with low rotor abrasion, high fade resistance, and consistent response during hard braking cycles.
  • Drag racing, off-road, autocross and track events.
  • 4x4’s, towing, fleet vehicles, and heavy-wheel SUV’s.

Brake Pad Bedding Guidelines

STREET VEHICLES

After installing new pads, test the brake system at low speeds to determine if the vehicle is safe to operate. The following procedures should be conducted in a safe environment where speeds limits can be safely achieved up to 65 MPH. Side streets and traffic are minimal, and nobody is behind you when rapidly decelerating. It is the driver's responsibility to adhere to all traffic laws and exercise good judgment.

  • Begin with a series of light decelerations to gradually build some heat in the brakes. Use an on-and-off pedal technique by applying the brakes for 3-5 seconds, and then allow them to fully release for a period roughly twice as long as the deceleration cycle. If you use a 5 count during the deceleration interval, use a 10 count during the release to allow the heat to sink into the pads and rotors.
  • After several cycles of light stops to begin warming the brakes, proceed with a series of medium to firm deceleration stops to continue raising the temperature level in the brakes.
  • Finish the bedding cycle with a series of 8-10 hard decelerations from 55-65 MPH down to 25 MPH while allowing a proportionate release and heat-sinking interval between each stop (20-30 seconds). The pads should now be providing positive and consistent response.
  • If any amount of brake fade is observed during the bed-in cycle, immediately begin the cool down cycle.
  • Drive at a moderate cruising speed, with the least amount of brake contact possible, until most of the heat has dissipated from the brakes. Avoid sitting stopped with the brake pedal depressed and do not apply the parking brake. Park the vehicle and allow the brakes to cool to ambient air temperature.

WARNING: Do not use high-temperature race pads for low to medium temperature driving on the street. In addition to undesirable driving qualities, it can also cause damage and cause premature wear to both the pads and rotors.

NOTE: NEVER allow the contact surfaces of the pads or rotors to be contaminated with brake fluid. Always use a catch bottle with a hose to prevent fluid spill during all brake bleeding procedures.

COMPETITION VEHICLES

After installing new pads, test the brake system at low speeds to determine if the vehicle is safe to operate. The following procedures should be conducted on a race track or other safe location where acceleration and rapid deceleration can be done safely. Make sure nobody is behind you before decelerating.

New pads must be deliberately brought up to temperature through a series of controlled cycles and then slowly cooled. If the pads are put into hard service right from the start, damage from fractures or accelerated deterioration can occur due to extreme temperature variations between the surface and the body of the pad.

  • If your race car is equipped with brake cooling ducts, blocking them will allow the pads and rotors to warm up quicker and speed up the bedding process.
  • Temperature-indicating strips on the calipers can provide valuable data regarding observed temperatures during the bedding process and subsequent on-track sessions. This information can be highly beneficial when evaluating pad compounds and cooling efficiencies.
  • Proceed with a series of 8-10 hard decelerations from 55-65 MPH down to 25 MPH while allowing a proportionate release and heat-sinking interval between each stop (20-30 seconds). The pads should now be providing positive and consistent response.
  • If any amount of brake fade is observed during the bed-in cycle, immediately begin the cool down cycle.
  • Cool Down: drive at a moderate cruising speed, with the least amount of brake contact possible, until most of the heat has dissipated from the brakes. Avoid sitting stopped with the brake pedal depressed and do not apply the parking brake. Every few minutes roll the car forward or backward enough to exchange the rotor area from behind the hot pads. Allow the brakes to cool to ambient air temperature.

POST-BEDDING INSPECTION After the bedding cycle, the rotors should exhibit a uniformly burnished finish across the entire contact face. Any surface irregularities that appear as smearing or splotching on the rotor faces can be an indication that the brakes were brought up to temperature too quickly during the bedding cycle. If the smear doesn’t blend away after the next run-in cycle, or if chatter under braking results, sanding or resurfacing the rotors will be required to restore a uniform surface for pad contact.

PRE-RACE WARM UP Always make every effort to get heat into the brakes prior to each event. Use an on-and-off the pedal practice to warm the brakes during the trip to the staging zone, during parade laps before the flag drops, and every other opportunity in an effort to build heat in the pads and rotors. This will help to ensure best consistency, performance, and durability from your brakes.

NOTE: NEVER allow the contact surfaces of the pads or rotors to be contaminated with brake fluid. Always use a catch bottle with a hose to prevent fluid spill during all brake bleeding procedures.

On-track time to properly bed new pads and rotors often comes at a high premium. In some cases, the time doesn’t exist at all. Wilwood dyno-bedding services provide racers with the ability to install pre-bedded pads and rotors so you can hit the track fully race ready. Wilwood stocks many of our popular race pad and rotor combinations pre-bedded and ready for immediate shipment. These part numbers are identified with “-B” at the end of the part number. For pre-bedded pads or rotors that are not normally in-stock, special orders are welcome. Contact a dealer or our tech-sales department for information and availability of pads and rotors for your race car.


All images shown are for illustrative purposes only. Actual product received may be different than what is portrayed on the web site.
Wilwood makes every effort to maintain our web site to ensure the accuracy of prices and product information. However, product information and prices are subject to change without notice. Please call (805) 388-1188 before ordering to verify current prices and product information.
Copyright © 1977 - 2022 Wilwood Engineering, Inc. - All Rights Reserved
Version: 3.00 January 21 2022
​ ​