:: PREFACE ::
As you can see from my join date and number of posts, I've been around VWvortex for a while. I've had my share of toys and project cars, just search for my archived posts. I would also like to point out that I do not work for nor am I employed by ECS Tuning or any other shop. This review is being posted as my own personal views and opinions only, and in response to the people whom have asked what I thought about the new GEOMET rotors from ECS...
:: ABOUT THE CAR ::
Earlier this year we traded in my wife's 2012 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Launch Edition for a 2008 Audi TT 3.2L VR6 Quattro. The allure of a low mileage "sports car" (it only had 8k miles at that time, and only has 11k now!) that offered all-wheel-drive was enough to sway my wife. And I've always loved the looks of the Mk2 TT .. it is like a mini-R8 so why not!? We weren't ever that impressed with the new Beetle, whereas we've been quite smitten with the TT.
:: PRE-BRAKE UPGRADES ::
During this summer we upgraded the wheels/tires/suspension and other odds/ends. And at some point that was going to be enough... but then we decided we were headed to H2O this year and were taking the TT, so I decided to fulfill my wish list of parts for the car. That included a cat-back exhaust and rear sway bar, as well as brake rotors and pads. Even though the car only has 11k miles, I wanted to upgrade the pads to something less dusty and more aggressive for those occasional auto-x or track days I plan to do next year in 2013. Hence I saw that as a good time to consider rotors that would enhance the show-car appearance since this is our family "toy" (the stock rotors were minty --- see my FOR SALE THREAD -- but hey any reason to waste money on a project car, right!?)
:: PICKING THE RIGHT PADS & ROTORS ::
My demands on the pads were simple: something still very streetable, but that could handle a few hot laps at a road course. Having been a huge fan of Hawk HP-Plus pads on some "track toys" I've had before, and having used their street compound before, the Hawk HPS pads were a no brainer option. As for the rotors, I knew I liked the look of slotted (not a big drilled fan), and there was only one option for my car from ECS Tuning: their new GEOMET rotors.
Doing some research, I first came across this video:
Then I found this VWvortex article:
After reading up a bit more elsewhere, I made a phone call to ECS Tuning themselves for some more info. I'll spare you the sales-talk, but it sounded like some legit sh!t so I decided to give it a try. Here in Ohio we have harsh winters, and although this car is not going to see much snow, we may occasionally drive it in the white stuff. So having rotors that will look as good next year as this year would be a nice big bonus...
SIDEBAR: Next spring I will post an update to this thread, with photos of the rotors and a follow-up to this review.
:: PRODUCTS ORDERED ::
Here is a list of the products that I ended up ordering for my car from ECS....
Front Brake Rotors
Slotted Brake Rotors - Pair (340x30)
Rear Brake Rotors
Slotted Brake Rotors - Pair (310x22)
Front Brake Pads
HPS Performance Front Brake Pad Set
Rear Brake Pads
HPS Performance Rear Brake Pad Set
Once I had the parts in hand I gave them all a once over. There is a "greyish" hue or color to the GEOMET coating on the rotors, that almost make them a flat steel color. Beyond that, they had a nice clean look and seemed of sound quality. The front pads have the wear sensor on the driver side, making them compatible with no special tricks needed, which is always a welcome thing on VW/Audi brake jobs.
:: INSTALLATION ::
With the help of a local friend of mine (Who ended up doing 99% of the work, thanks Matt!), we borrowed the garage of a local tuning shop on a Saturday and went to town. First project was getting the car up in the air (lowered car makes getting it on the lift a chore). On the car was up in the air, the installation was straight-forward.
I'm not out to make a new How-To, there are enough of those around. There are two great write-ups HERE and HERE that I would suggest following if you need help.
Beyond those write-ups the only things I'll say are this: first off, you need the tools in those write-ups especially for the rear carrier removal. You'll need a good breaker bar. And doing this job without a lift would SUCK! Beyond that, the only other pointer I have is don't go crazy with the anti-squeal stuff like I did, I put too much on in places it doesn't even need to be, hahaha... (oh and now I really want to G2-paint my calipers, haha)...
CLICK ON THESE THUMB-NAILS FOR INSTALLATION PHOTOS:
<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/la9qPMB0wnk9xwTd45J0Gd93aYIx18yRMDvC8dm7N0g?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-oOmqGoffiDA/UF4g6Gws1tI/AAAAAAAACho/nwUVJXyW444/s144/ecs-brake-01.JPG" height="108" width="144" /></a> <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/YKZ5EbiwPiM1_Iw4FCFgK993aYIx18yRMDvC8dm7N0g?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-vLaUtWCXoLY/UF4g6BhvI9I/AAAAAAAAChs/5k5j1HteBqM/s144/ecs-brake-02.JPG" height="108" width="144" /></a> <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/eOA5bN2UUVfHhmR-s_xP9d93aYIx18yRMDvC8dm7N0g?feat=embedwebsite"><im g src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-CIDPhbVj3Kc/UF4g6F2dDLI/AAAAAAAAChk/df30rAf5Y7U/s144/ecs-brake-03.JPG" height="108" width="144" /></a>
<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/jBoUSInaw04G-c7u1sqxvt93aYIx18yRMDvC8dm7N0g?feat=embedwebsite"> <img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wc3YPyKlSoM/UF4g6jaKkvI/AAAAAAAACh4/mGHVspKYvls/s144/ecs-brake-04.JPG" height="108" width="144" /></a> <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/nzjOF-MTLKlmojbcAo5Rn993aYIx18yRMDvC8dm7N0g?feat=embedwe bsite"><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-pIZ2929DtwU/UF4g6j9ErKI/AAAAAAAACh0/wIn-nXsYcKo/s144/ecs-brake-05.JPG" height="108" width="144" /></a> <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/cv8HhF7XfeUmjNP4DmjDgN93aYIx18yRMDvC8dm7N0g?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-QqZ5sRdVgpQ/UF4g7NO2gtI/AAAAAAAACiE/fV9Ej-8ygFg/s144/ecs-brake-06.JPG" height="108" width="144" /></a>
:: FINALLY, THE "REAL" REVIEW ::
This is the part you folks care about most perhaps, how does it drive/look? I'm pleased to say that I really LOVE how the rotors look on the car, especially behind the 19x9 Kinesis K59 wheels that are on the car. Gorgeous! Superb style and a very nice looking rotor. Also nice is that I've washed the car a few times since the rotors went on, and there hasn't been one sign of the typical "surface corrosion" when you wash your car and get the brakes wet. Hopefully that remains, although I assume there will be some on the contact surfaces eventually after a good wash, that will come off under braking.
As rotors are hard to "review" other than maybe if the car was at the track constantly, the only other review point I can/will mention are the HPS pads. I'm a bit annoyed with their lack of cold bite, and they don't offer the same pedal feel that the stock pads did. On the other hand, the dust is pretty much non-existent. I do think that, funds permitting, I may upgrade the front pads to the more aggressive HP-Plus pads in the spring. But I also found out that my "cheap" Sumitomo HTRZ-III tires cannot keep up with my brakes, it is way too easy to over-brake the car now. So I may also need better tires for the track (or a dedicated track wheel/tire setup).
But we'll save that for spring time and see how finances are... right!?
PS: The car also managed to take 2nd place in Mild at H2Oi this year... yay!!