The OEM Brake pads on the Elise are reasonably expensive and generally not highly regarded. There are many after market products to choose from with superior performance, both in terms of stopping power and longevity, and at a more reasonable costs.
Changing brake pads is an easy and rewarding DIY project, and some people prefer the reassurance this gives. There is a Brake pad bedding in procedure which you are encouraged to following after fitting new pads.
Early S1 Elises with MMC discs MUST use MMC specific pads, if other pads are used you will ruin the discs very quickly and also risk a dangerous brake failure.
Brake pad fitment for the Elise is as follows:-
Below is a list of after market manufacturers with descriptions, and real world experiences, from SELOC members.
We fit 100s of Ebc Greens & have had no reported failures or catching fire? However with any pads it is very important to bed them in properly & we supply a hangar on every car that goes out explaining this. Edited by Sinclaire 20/05/09
Ultimax/Blackstuff: no information found on use with Lotus. They are cheap and won't stand up to track use/high temp
Green: Not recommended for track use but comparable with OEM pads for both stopping power and wear
Yellow: New compound getting a good write-up for track use, possible alternative to Pagids at half the price
Redstuff: low dust, high temp pad. Designed for large vehicles or high performance vehicles
Bluestuff NDX: Non-NXD is an endurance race pad. NDX is also for street use
Orangestuff: New pad. Track use only. Designed to slow down car and not stop it
Similar performance to Mintex 1144 but longer lasting. Common replacement pad in mainland Europe
Race pad. Very grabby, no pedal feel, non-linear
Excellent value for fast road and occasional track. Quick to bed in and work well from cold. Good pad life and not particularly abrasive on disks, although can be a bit dusty. Some fade experienced after pro-longed track use. Squeal can be a problem when the pads are hot, but a hefty dollop of coppaslip on the back of the pads should help.
Can overheat on tracks that need heavy braking and not much opportunity for cooling (e.g. Brands Indy), leading to a "gravelly" feel after a few laps.
Be aware that there has been some confusion over which pads are 1144's. The part number for Mintex Pads for the Elise are MDB1890 and MDB1891 (Front and Rear), there are then compound types of which 1144 is one. These are the variations;
1109 - Standard Road Use - Not suitable for the track - These are normally found in motorfactors or ebay for £25 per axel and sometimes mis-sold as 1144's.
1144 - Fast Road / Normal Track Use - Cira £60 per axel, will be marked C-Type on the box.
1155 - Hard Track use only - harder compound and will lose out on feel and progression
The code will be on the back of the pad.
RS 4-2 Blue
A medium friction racing compound with good cold friction and fading resistance up to 500°C ( 930°F).
- Work well from cold.
- Under very hard use they will fade before the RS14 compound.
- less prone to squeal than RS14's
Summary, A good compromise for both Road and Track usage. Can be noisy with some disc combo's.
Fronts are lasting around 10 hard track days (20 hours) rears are lasting 40 track hard days (80 hours).
RS 14 Black
This is a medium high friction value ceramic type compound with very good modulation, high fade resistance, low heat conductivity, and a good wear rate up to a temperature of 650°C (1.200°F).
- If used as a road pad they can eat discs, however when at track temperature the wear ratio will be higher in the pad providing less wear of the disk.
- Not as effective from cold as the RS 4-2 compound.
- Very track orientated pad so whilst safe to use on the road a driver with a road only intention may well be better to look at a different compound.
These pads can generate a lot of squeal if not used in anger on a regular basis, so while highly rated for track work, these pads are perhaps too compromised for a road car. Incompatible with a lot of discs so check compatibility before buying.
RS 15 Grey
Very high torque compound. It combines a 20% higher friction value than the RS14 with a slightly increased pad wear. Needs finesse to avoid over braking the car. Good release characteristic. Although the RS15 has a very good modulation (controllability) it might have an excessive bite for some applications, as lightweight cars or cars with boosted brakes. Applications: NASCAR, CART, F3, Touring cars, GT cars, WSC, DP, Trans Am and Rally.
Scandinavian Brake Systems. Not have the feel of Pagid but perfectly decent. High performance low cost.
Steady, all round carbon ceramic race compound. Ideal for track days, standard car racing etc.
- Disc temperatures up to 700°C.
Front: 3017.CC.TH14.3 Rear: 3101.CC.
The professional Dual Carbon race compound for racing at highest level. Stable and consistent brake performance round after round. Extremely high thermal stability.
- Disc temperatures up to 800°C.
OT/7951 Front pads
OT/7954 Rear pads
OMP Road&Sport brake pads have been developed to offer excellent performance in fast road use.
- Excellent stability of the friction coefficient, even at the highest temperature (see graph).
- This compound is the result of 30 years experience in rallies and track racers.
- For the new car models manufactured from 10/1999 the pads are homologated according to R-90 rules.
OT/6951 Front pads
OT/6952 Rear pads
971C RACING COMPOUND OMP 971C range of brake pads is made from a new friction material, asbestos free, having following characteristics:
- COMPOSITION: thermosetting resins with the addition of special carbon materials.
- FRICTION COEFFICIENT: very high (0.48).
- FRICTION STABILITY: uniform also during varying of the temperature in a field between 100 and 800° C (see graph).
- ANTI-FADING PROPERTIES: excellent
- MECHANICAL RESISTANCE: very high also thanks to the special structure formed by the substances present in the compound.
- TOP LEVEL PERFORMANCES in professional use (Rally, Group N).
Pads have good initial bite from cold and cope well with track use.
Could do with a little more feedback under hard braking, but don't show any signs of fading.
Like many track-oriented pads they can squeal/screech quite a bit on the street.
Low disc wear.
RC5+, RC6, RC8
Sintered brake pads from French manufacturer who started out as a motorbike brake manufacturer, but also does the brake pads for the TGV and works rally teams from Peugeot, etc.
- RC5+ pads have the lowest friction index (approx 0.48)
- RC6 is medium (0.55)
- RC8 is high (>0.6)
RC8 probably has a friction index that is too high for a light car like the Elise and locks up too quickly or gives too little control over brake modulation. RC8 is only available as a rear pad.
RC6 and RC5+ are more useful.
For Elise specific pads:
- Front pad type code: 4060
- Rear pad type code: 4115
As delivered the pads for 4 pot callipers may be too thick and require some grinding of the friction material (about 1mm) to fit properly on new discs.
With standard callipers they are a straight fit but you MUST fit the small square anti rattle rubber buffers directly to the calliper or suffer very annoying rattling from the n/s/f disc.
These pads give a very consistent pedal feel and show little or no variation in retardation if temperatures go up. Fading because of pad material breakdown is virtually impossible as sintered material does not break down until >1100C and by that time your brake fluid will have started to boil.
See the following thread for some concerns:
R90 Road pads
Pure road pads which should be similar (and possibly identical) to Lotus OEM brake pads.
- Front: 2032306 (EAN-number: 4019722256141)
- Rear: 2041003 (EAN-number: 4019722256172)