Hawk Performance


If you have found this review. Then I’m sure you have heard of Hawk Performance Brake pads. Hawk is the leading manufacturer of performance automotive brake pads. They have several pads to choose from, but the HPS has been their most common Street pad I have seen used. It’s been out for a while. This new Street 5.0 pad is the first new street performance pad from Hawk in 10yrs. Their goal wasn’t to replace the HPS pads, but to give another option for customers. HPS pads already push the limit for the best braking you can get without engaging the ABS. The trick is to get has much bite for better braking without engaging the ABS system. Too much and the ABS kicks in and too little they won’t improving stopping power. Well Hawk pushed the limit even more when producing the Street 5.0 pads. With more bite for more stronger braking without your ABS kicking in.  So the benefits are shorter braking distance, less brake fading while maintaining “street car friendly characteristics”.
I installed these on a Dodge Charger V6. Which was equipped with weak brakes for such a large sedan. I didn’t need new brakes really, but after putting 20’s on it and almost 40k miles. I’ve noticed the brakes are a little weak and when braking hard, they tend to fade too early. So I decided to do something about it. I called up Frozen Rotors for some new Cyro’ed Rotors and they recommended the HPS pads from Hawk to match with their rotors. So I gave Hawk a call and I was told about this new compound that was unreleased if I was willing to wait 2 weeks. So since I wasn’t really needing new pads and just upgrading. I was able to hold off for them. I’m glad I did. The new rotors and pads have given me more confident in my stopping power. Now I’m just over 200 miles on the new pads, but I have noticed they bite harder and feel better. Another advantage was less brake dust and lower brake noise. Since I haven’t put a lot of mileage on these I can’t comment yet on the brake dust. I can say they do stop leap and bounds better then stock pads and are just as quiet if not quieter then stock pads.
As I put more miles on the pads. I’ll will post up my new findings.

Installing new pads doesn't take long and basic hand tools are all you need. I have a few pictures from installing mine on a 2010 Dodge Charger. These basic steps carry-over to most cars as well.  Learning to replace your own Brake pads can save you money and time. Most the time all you need are a couple of wrenches, a Large C-Clamp and maybe a screw driver to pry with.

First step is to jack your car up and place it on jack stands. Then of course remove your wheels.
Once you have that all done it's time to get to it. Look on the backside of your Calipers and you should see 2 bolts holding the Caliper to the Calipers Bracket. Most the time you can get away with just removing one of these bolts and swinging the Caliper out of the way. I was upgrading Rotors as well. So I had to remove it all. But for just a simple pad install that's not needed. 
Now the above picture showing the bolts to remove. Something their is a Nut between the Caliper Bracket and Calipers. You will need to hold a wrench on it to stop it from turning while removing the bolt. Once the bolt or bolts are removed. Use your screw driver and swing your Caliper out of the way. You may need to swing the caliper up instead of down like I've shown. Depending on your brake lines. Either way it's no big deal. If you can't get to the pads still. Just remove both and pull the whole caliper off and secure it to a bungee cord. So it doesn't pull on your brake lines.
Carefully grease the new clips. Making sure to not get any on the rotor. If you do use brake cleaner to remove it and start over.
New Pads put in place. They should go in easy and not forced.

Now it's time to install your new pads. Couple of tips for a better install. Replace the Clips that hold the pads in place. If your pads didn't come with them. (many do) They are cheap to get at any parts store. Mine were $3 for all of them. Now to insure a quieter set up. There are two spots you should grease. The Clips were the pads sit. making sure not to get any grease on the Rotor. It doesn't take much grease. A little goes a long ways. Make sure to use the grease that comes with that pads. If they didn't. Again it's cheap and you get pick it up as well at any parts store. 

Once the clips are greased. Pop the new pads in place and grease the outer pads where it comes in contact with the Caliper. No need to brother with the inside Pad that makes contact with the piston. 

Now take a C-Clamp and slowly move the piston back. This allows more space for the new thicker pads. You won't be able to put the caliper back on unless you do this. After that slide the Caliper back in place and bolt it back. 
Go inside your car and push on your brakes a few times to make sure the piston is putting pressure back on the new pads. Put your wheels back on and your done. Now its time to bed the new pads. This is simple to do... 

  1. After installing new brake pads, make 6-to-10 stops from approximately 30-35 MPH applying moderate pressure. Don't engage the ABS.
  2. Make an additional 2-to-3 hard stops from approximately 40-45 MPH. Again don't engage the ABS
  4. Allow at least 15 minutes for the brake system to cool down.
  5. After step 4 is completed, your new Hawk Performance brake pads are ready for use. 

Find yourself a nice quiet straight long back road. Doing this late at night will also provide less traffic. 

Last tip to give.. After a lot of hard braking. Don't smash the brakes down when stopping for long periods of time. The pads smashed into one spot on the hot rotors like that can cause damage to them. If your going to be sitting there a while. Like waiting for a train or stuck in traffic. Put it in park. For just stopping at lights and such. Give yourself plenty of room in front of you and just slowly creep without every really stopping. This is only really needed if you have done some heavy braking before hand. These little tips will help prolong the life of your pads and rotors.