Brakes and other random questions

So I was hoping to benefit from the vast experiences of all on this site with a few random questions on my 2014 RS5.

  1. Brake Pads. Ceramic or Semi-Metallic. Ceramic seem to be “better” (less dust longer lasting) but “eat” rotors more quickly? Is that the consensus? Is there really that much difference? I’m contemplating Hawk Pads (need to get around the rears not having the brake sensor). Other recommendations?

  2. Rotors. I’m in Australia and Audi want about $6,600 (AUD being about $4,300 USD at the moment) for OEM rotors. Some others have aftermarket wave rotors (eg ECS) but to import them will still set me back around $4,000 AUD). Have people moved away from wave rotors or are they still regarded as providing a weight benefit. I see for example JHM have the standard shape rotors for about $900USD (front pair).

  3. Exhaust. I am really interested in the JHM valved system. Have listened to many sound clips but so much harder to get that real sound sense without hearing in person. Again, JHM don’t seem to have a Aust based distributor and cost-wise I’d expect it to be around $5,000 AUD delivered while the Capristo is about $7,000 purchased locally. Has anyone listened to both systems in person and could describe any main differences? Not really looking for HP improvements (not that they are not always welcome) more about giving that V8 its best aural output.

  4. And finally some “what the hell is that?” questions. In the boot there is this:

    which I can’t find any description of in the manual or on the web. And in the engine bay there are three (that I could see) threaded screw holes with nothing screwed into them - one example:

Thanks in advance.

I’ve always been a fan of Paigd pads, choose the material that suits your driving style the best rather than just dust quantity and invest in a good wheel cleaner.

The cylinder in the trunk is the pneumatic system for the exhaust valves and the reason we cannot have a space saver wheel in there.

I have the Capristo system, here’s a noticeable gain in power and it sound lovely, not harsh or offensive but a nice deep tone in Dynamic mode and as quiet as stock in comfort.

Brilliant, thanks.

There are a number of aftermarket rotors which will save you money over OEM, will wear better and are lighter.

As James said Pagid makes exceptional pads. You can also take a look at Carbotech 1521’s if you can get them in Australia.

A lot of folks run the Hawk 5.0’s and most seem happy. I personally have never been a fan of their products. Usually too much noise/dust and tend to be harsher on rotors.

Girodisc is probably the way to go with brake disks. Lots of the R8 guys who track run those rotors and we use the same front rotors as the R8. JHM is also a good option but not full-floating. I’d shy away from the ECS stuff…I don’t think their supplier got the rotor matrix right.

You could also try DBA (Disc Brakes Australia) as they have a number of rotor options, two piece, for the RS5.

Thanks. Yes DBA is shaping up ok as a local manufacturer that seems to have a good product. Have not heard of Girodisc so will look them up also. Are the Pagid pads also called Hella? Can’t seem to find a lot of info on them.

Also making contact with what seems to be the JHM local distributor in my area to see about exhaust and tune. Should be fun! Given your experience with JHM do you think there are any other mods that should be done to the car with the Stage 2 tune to protect the engine and transmission or is the oem set up robust enought to take the tune as is? I am slighly nervous about the S-tronic crapping itself (yes technical term)!

The transmission is very beefy and quite strong. With that said, it does have a heat management problem and I would recommend the RMR transmission cooler not only as a reliability mod but also for maintaining the car’s peak performance and preventing heat-related interventions by the TCU which can dial back power.

There are at least two of those kits running around Australia, one member is on this board. JamesRS5 just had his installed as well.

Full disclosure, I design and manufacture the kit. Here’s a video:

Also consider changing out the ATF side fluid each and every transmission service. A bit more expensive, yes, but totally worth it IMO.

I’ve been running the stage 1 and then the stage 2 tune a long time now, along with the RMR transmission cooler, and I’ve not had any issues and I’m now at just under 70K imperial miles, 112,000 Kilometers. Was daily driven until the whole COVID-19 thing.

Pagid does manufacture brake pads for others but I do not have a list of all the brands. I looked over the DBA offerings and they have a bunch of two piece designs which is good. Just don’t know how well they do on track days if that’s your thing.

Just remember, if you do not see a pad listed for the RS5, they use the same front pads for both the iron and the carbon ceramic setup as the R8.

The one advantage to Carbotech pads is their street and race compounds are compatible, so no need to bed the brakes in again and you can swap back and forth between pads.

I run Carbotech 1521 on all 4 corners and cannot speak highly enough about them. I highly recommend them and their customer service is excellent.

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This might be obvious, but to optimize the brakes makes sure the inlets (front under the headlights) are clean. This is one of the only times I will use a jet washer!