Originally Posted by 07GTStallion
Honestly after tossing around many ideas I decided to put the stock pads and rotors from ford right back on it. The rears have lasted 65k miles and the fronts are still going strong. With my shop rate I pay about the same for the OEM pads And rotors as I would for another cheap alternative and it was alot less than upgrading to something else like slotted rotors and hawk pads. Plus the OEM pads stop great!
You can actually loose stopping power if you choose the wrong pads. Like upgrading the rears from the factory semi mat material to ceramic.
Buy ceramics for dust control only. If it's severe duty braking performance that you seek, forget that the word 'ceramic' even exists.
My factory brakes lasted forever, they are super quiet, (Have never made even the slightest noise, pretty impressive for 6yr old pads and rotors with 65k) and they perform amazing for street driving. If I was tracking my car I would consider other options and shell out some coin. But the stock setup is awesome and it can handle anything you can dish out on the street.
For strictly street driving, the OE pads are the best overall compromise for most folks (for unusually hard driving or in brisk back road mountain driving, perhaps not). After all, the OE brake engineers did put more than a little thought into their choices. Hell, they had to build and certify the ABS around something that was at least adequate to meet FMVSS-whatever.
However, if OE pads are all that a person has ever had on their cars, it won't be possible for them to understand the difference in bite that you can get from a more performance-oriented pad. Not without trying them. Pads do make for the biggest change in feel, at least as a single first step away from an all-OE system. The initial downsides are typically noise and dust generation, further up the food chain there are issues with rotor wear rates and poorish cold bite.
Mine: '08 GT, 5-speed manual, engine stockish, suspension unstockish
Hers: '10 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT, 6-speed manual
Winter/Spare: '01 Maxima, 5-speed manual
Ex-winter/spare/autocross, now at a new address: '95 Mazda 626 V6/5-speed manual