With your shop and tools organized — see the other articles in our Garage Goals series if it’s not — it’s time to look at some universal goals to get any ride ready for the road once cruising and car events are back.

We’ll start with safety first.

We know that all things that go eventually must stop, whether by choice or by brick wall. When it comes to slowing down your vehicle, by choice is the much better option. That means you need to keep an eye on your braking system and repair it as needed.

With the right products, tools, and some patience, you can do your own brake work. Our friends at Summit Racing has everything you need—pads, rotors, calipers, drums, shoes, hardware—to do the job. You supply the patience.

(Image/Jim Brightly)

OEM Replacement Parts

Brakes are not the place to try and save nickels and dimes. Buy good brake components and you won’t go wrong. Here are some recommendations from several of the top names in brakes:


  • CQ Ceramic disc brake pads have NAO ceramic fibers to reduce fade and generate less dust. They meet or exceed OEM specifications
  • CT Ceramic pads have a special mechanical bond between the friction material and the steel backing to prevent them from separating under hard braking like a panic stop. The pads feature angled chamfers and slots for superior noise abatement
  • The Premium Copper-Free line featurescopper-freedisc brake pads and shoes that are environmentally friendly but have premium friction materials for excellent stopping power. Matched rotors are also available


  • Service Grade semi-metallic brake pads are an affordable choice that provide good stopping power and acceptable noise levels
  • R-Line rotors and calipers offer a perfect balance of performance and affordability. The rotors have an OE-matched vane configuration, weight, and design. The remanufactured calipers have zinc-plated housings to resist corrosion, and some come with pads
  • The Element3 Line features semi-metallic pads and drum brake shoes, rotors, and brand new calipers that provide excellent stopping power, low dust and noise levels, and coatings that resist corrosion. Brake hose and master cylinder kits are also part of the Element3 system


  • ThermoQuiet pads are a one-piece design with friction material, backing plate and insulator formed into a high-strength component that spreads vibration and heat for quieter performance, superior stopping power, and longer pad life. Matching drum brake shoes are available
  • QuickStop pads and shoes have friction materials that are cured in a longer, more gradual process to restore your brakes to like-new 
  • Premium cast iron rotors and drums have smooth turned surfaces to reduce break-in time. The rotors have patented vane/rib design to reduce brake noise and an E-Shield rust-resistant coating to prevent corrosion

Performance Disc Brake Pad and Rotor Kits

If you want to step up from OEM-spec to serious stopping power, pad and rotor kits are a great way to get matched components for your high performance car or a truck that sees a lot of towing duty.

Power Stop

  • The Evolution Geomet Coated Brake Kits have coated rotors for maximum protection against rust and corrosion. They’re available with your choice of Z17 Clean Ride low-dust ceramic brake pads or Z23 Sport pads with a carbon fiber-infused ceramic formula that resists fade at much higher temperatures than OEM-type pads, improving stopping power
  • Evolution Sport Z23 Brake Upgrade Kits come with Z23 carbon fiber/ceramic pads and Power Stop’s Tru-Cast drilled and slotted rotors that are perfect for performance vehicles
  • Z26 Street Warrior Performance Kits have Power Stop’s Z26 carbon fiber/ceramic pads that bite better and provide 20% more stopping power than OEM-type pads. You also get premium cross-drilled and slotted brake rotors, and kits are available with remanufactured calipers for a complete brake overhaul


  • Select Axle Packs are direct-fit OEM replacement pad and rotor kits that take the guesswork out of matching components. The kits come with Centric’s Street brake pads. Upgrade to a Preferred Axle Pack and you’ll get Centric’s Premium alloy rotors and low-dust, low-noise Posi-Quiet pads for superior stopping power


  • Street Axle Packs provide smooth braking and shorter stopping distances, even on wet roads. They have drilled and slotted-style rotors and low-dust, Para-aramid composite pads that provide linear response regardless of pad temperature
  • Truck Axle Packs are for trucks and SUVs that do a lot of towing or hauling. They feature Sport Series slotted rotors and high thermal-capacity pads that can handle the high temperatures truck brakes endure

Other Components

While you have your brake system apart, check and replace these components as needed:


Once you’re armed with the brake parts you need, we can provide you with the information on doing your brake job. Check out these articles and videos:

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Author: Alan Rebescher

Editor, author, PR man—Alan Rebescher has done it all in a 25 year career in the high performance industry. He has written and photographed many feature stories and tech articles for Summit Racing and various magazines including Hot Rod, Car Craft, and Popular Hot Rodding, and edited Summit Racing’s Street & Strip magazine in the 1990s. His garage is currently occupied by a a 1996 Mustang GT ragtop.