Brake Pad Options for an Aston Martin DB9 or Vantage

Time for new Brake Pads on my DB9

One of the few parts on an Aston Martin that we actually have some aftermarket parts available for are the Brake Pads.   The Brakes on a DB9 are actually made by Brembo, and they were fitted to more cars than the DB9 and Vantage.  They are on the Corvette ZR1, Dodge Viper, Ford GT, Camero SS, Subaru STI and more.  Basically these were the cream of the crop performance cars of the era, and fast company.

Because the Brembo design was used in larger volumes than we are used to with our limited production Aston Martins, many third party companies make brake pads.   I wanted to outline your options below so when it comes time to service your brakes you can choose a set of pads that best suits your needs.

Carbon Ceramic Brakes

Note:  This article is discussing the Steel Brembo brakes.  Aston offered an optional set of mighty Carbon Ceramic brakes.   Those brakes have their own parts and procedures (and I am not covering them here).   My car isn’t fitted with them.  If someone wants to donate a set to convert my car, I’d happily do a set of articles in return!

I am also not including the separate hand brake pads here.  You won’t need to change these very often.

Below is a list of the brake pads I have some experience with on my car (a 2005 DB9 Coupe with 4 piston calipers front and rear).  I’ve only driven so many miles, and tried out three brands, so please don’t be insulted if I haven’t included your favorite.  In fact, please leave me a comment down below with your experiences so we can share it with everyone.

Aston Martin OEM Brake Pads (made by Pagid)

Even though the brake system was designed by Brembo, the original brake pads fitted to the car were made by Pagid.   Aston Martin takes them and packages them up in their part numbers.

My experience with the OEM pads were that they were TERRIBLY dusty.  I would spend the time detailing my rims, and drive exactly 1.6 miles of city traffic to work in the morning.  When I arrived I could write my name in the brake dust on the wheels.  This sucked.

The good side of these brake pads is they are relatively ‘soft’ compared to the other options I will talk about below.  This means they are less likely to squeal.  The biggest complaint with aftermarket pads is that they can lead to squealing.  The OEM pads are your best bet for quiet performance, but at the cost of all the brake dust.

Price wise, these pads are RIDICULOUSLY expensive.  It’s nearly $800 USD for a full set of Front and Rear pads.  I can buy brake pads for my son’s 2005 Mini Cooper S for about $100 USD total.

As far as I can tell the same Aston Martin part number covers the brake pads for the DB9 from 2004 through 2016 at least.  You should verify for yourself before purchasing.   For my 2005 DB9:

The Pagid brake pads have their own official Aston Martin recommended bedding in procedure that I have written up in this article.

Porterfield R4-S Brake Pads

Toasted my OEM brake pads during a track day. Time for a new set of Porterfields.

At my first Aston Martin Track Day back in 2014 I was chatting with another owner and lamenting the brake dust issue.  He pointed me at the Porterfield Enterprise brake pads.  Massively less dust at half the price of the OEM pads.

The Porterfield R4-S is a ‘Street Compound’ high performance brake pad.  Porterfield makes real race car brakes, and this is a slightly software compound modified to work better on street cars like our Aston Martins.

After that Track Day I managed to finish off my 10 year old OEM brakes, and it was my chance to try a set of Porterfields.  I fitted a new set front and rear along with new rotors.   I was VERY pleased with the results.  Just a fraction of the brake dust at only half the cost (about $350 USD for a set of front and rears).

The Porterfield Brake Pads have their own unique bedding in procedure which you can read about in this article.

EBC Red Stuff Brake Pads

When it came time to replace my first set of Porterfield pads (after about 20,000 miles and 4 years), I looked around to check out another brand of pads.   Reviewing the Forums I’d seen a few other owners talk about EBC Red Stuff brake pads.   Like Porterfield, EBC makes racing brake pads.  Their models of pads are defined by colors like Red, Yellow, Green, etc.   Red is the performance street pad.   Yellow is a harder Racing pad.  If you are a fan of products made in the UK, all the EBC pads are made in the UK.

I found that you can actually find the EBC Red Stuff pads on Amazon.com.   The prices were nearly half again of the Porterfields, getting into the realm of regular car prices (about $200 USD for a set of front and rears).  I enthusiastically ordered a set.

My car fitted with new EBC Red Stuff pads

I fitted the new pads front and rear along with new rotors.  Then I made a big mistake.  I didn’t do any research, and I just followed the Aston Martin brake bedding in procedure designed for the OEM Pagid pads.   This is in fact 100% the opposite of the EBC recommended procedure (which you can read about here in this article I wrote up once I got wise).    As a result, I think I glazed my new rotors and pads, and they squealed ferociously.  So much so I gave up after a month or so and purchased another set of Porterfield pads.  I wrote a scathing article about the EBC Red Stuff pads, but now I think I might have been the cause of the squealing.  To be fair, I should give them another shot, this time bedding them in properly.  If you give them a shot, please leave a comment down below on how they worked for you.

Other Brands

There are some other brands I know make pads for the Aston Martin DB9, but I have first hand experience with.   If you have used some of these pads, please share your experience in the comment section down below.   If you are a company that makes pads for the DB9 and want to donate a set of front and rears for me to test, please contact me.

  • Hawk HPS
  • EBC Yellow Stuff
  • Stoptech

Another Opinion

Richard Seidlitz that runs the Redpant.lol has also written up his insight on brake pads for his Vantage (which uses the same brakes).   Check out his blog post here.  This is also where you can buy your pads, rotors and other bits from someone located right here in the USA.

Changing Your Brake Rotors Too?

If you are also looking at replacing your Brake rotors, I’ve done some similar research and write up in another article (check it out here).

 

2 thoughts on “Brake Pad Options for an Aston Martin DB9 or Vantage

  1. Gary Knox

    Steve,
    I have used the EBC red stuff pads on several different cars, most with Brembo calipers and OE, Brembo, or Zimmerman rotors. I’ve never had any squealing experience with them. With that background, I recently bought a full set for my ‘new to me’ ’09 Aston DB9 Volante. I bought the set from JCWhitney via eBay. Total cost was about 170 USD. I’ll be installing them over the winter (pads currently on the car are good, but very dusty as you noted). I’ll report back in the spring after driving for a 1K miles or so.

    Gary

    Like

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