Stillen Sport Rotors and Performance Friction Pads
Add some REAL stopping power to your off-road machine Short Cuts
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By: Randy Halvorsen - 5/2000

After owning a sport utility vehicle for some time, I began to notice some of it's short comings.  One of these shortcomings, was in the braking department.  After some enthusiastic driving, I would notice a definite 'fade' in the braking performance, and increased braking distances.  Another bothersome characteristic, was what I would call "shuddering".  While off-road, negotiating steep slopes and rocks, my front brakes would "shudder" quite obnoxiously, even to the point that I was embarrassed while on trail rides.

Cross-Drilled Sport Rotors installed.

Photo by: Mat Wright

After doing some research, I came to learn that many other owners were having similar problems, with some reporting severe rotor warping and even separation of the composite rotors.  I got in touch with Nick of Multitronics, and he recommended the combination of Stillen cross-drilled Sport Rotors with Performance Friction carbon-metallic pads.  A week later, they were sitting on my door-step, ready for installation.

Team Stillen offers two flavors of Sport Rotors.  The cross-drilled, and the slotted.  According to the Stillen literature, the cross-drilled offers a better initial bite on the brake pad, while the slotted offers increased thermal load resistance.  Which ever you decide to purchase, there will be no doubt from onlookers, that you  have upgraded your rotors.

The Performance Friction carbon-metallic brake pads are said to reduce noise through underlayer incorporation.  Shear strength has also been maintained via enhanced attachment methods.

The Sport Rotors and Performance Friction pads are direct replacement items, so the installation is very straight forward.  After removing the wheel and calipers, the rotor will just slip off of the hub, allowing you to slip the new Sport Rotor on.  The Performance Friction pads are installed almost as easily, but you need to be aware that they are side-specific, so watch for the 'L' and 'R' designations on each pad.  

Team Stillen recommends a rather extensive break-in period.  They instruct that the initial stops be from 40-30 mph, with moderate pedal pressure.  They stipulate that this needs to be repeated 6-10 times.  The new Sport Rotor owner is then instructed to not brake hard for about 300 miles, so as  to avoid pad/rotor heat spotting or surface glazing, which will ruin the friction surfaces permanently.

Off-Road Impressions:

My first off-road adventure with the new rotors and pads was at Randolph ORV park, in Randolph, Kansas.  There, I was able to test the new brakes as I climbed over rocks and made my way delicately down steep hills.   I immediately fell in love with the new brakes.  No more 'shuddering', as I eased over large rocks.  The brake feel was much improved over the stock brakes.  I was able to modulate the brakes just to the extent needed to negotiate each obstacle.  While 'fade' had never been a noticeable problem before, while off-road, the new brakes were extremely consistent in their feel throughout the day of off-roading.

On-Road Impressions:

I had never done any purposeful testing of the stock rotors, but had experienced fade on numerous occasions.  Once the new pads and rotors were 'broken-in', I intentionally performed a series of hard stops.  From a speed of 55 mph, on dry pavement, I stopped as hard as I could.  The first thing I noticed, was that the ABS activated.  I had never experienced the ABS activating on dry pavement before.  I repeated the test twice more.  I did not experience any fade from the brakes, in fact, they seemed to grab even more as they warmed up, requiring less pedal pressure.

This is one upgrade that I would highly recommend for any automotive enthusiast who pushes their vehicle to the limits.  Whether you are driving at high speeds, or adding larger than stock tires to your off-road machine, the combination of the Sport Rotors and Performance Friction pads will ensure that you are able to bring your truck to a stop when needed.

Contacts: Related Links:
  • Multitronics
    Dept ORN
    7070 N. 59th Place

    Paradise Valley, AZ  85253

  • Team Stillen
    Dept ORN
    3176 Airway

    Costa Mesa, CA 92626

    Phone: 714.540.5566
    Fax: 714.540.1826

  • Performance Friction Company
    Dept. ORN
    83 Carbon Metallic Hwy
    Clover, SC 29710-0819
    Phone: 800.521.8874
    Fax: 803.222.2144

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