The Elise S1 is a light car, but also a quick one so choice of pads is very important. When I bought my 2000 Elise S1 2 years ago it was fitted with EBC Green Stuff pads which, to be frank, had as much pedal feel as hardwood and led to a couple of ‘whoa!’ moments as the car would not brake well when required and did in fact feel dangerous. After some online research, I chose the Mintex 1144 pads sourced from Finishline UK at a very respectable £100 + P&P* for a complete front and rear set.
Fitting on the Elise couldn’t be easier, in fact the only tools required other than jack and axle stands was to remove and refit the wheel nuts and a caliper rewind tool! The R clips popped out of the pins very easily, the pins slid out without bother and the piston can be pushed back in with your thumbs on the front axle. On the rear, the piston needs to be turned as it’s pushed in so a rewind tool is required.
Bedding in the pads was as usual, with progressively higher speed braking for a period of time. I was advised that in order to compact the pad material, at the end of the bedding in process one very high-speed stop was to be followed by keeping the brake pedal depressed as hard as possible for a couple of minutes. If this has made any difference, I don’t know but there’s no harm in doing it all the same!
Initial impressions of the pads was “night and day” over the EBC’s with some real stopping power and wonderful pedal feel, as the non-servo assisted brakes of the Elise should have. They were noisy at first, even with the provided anti-squeal backing fitted, however this lasted around 250 miles and is now pretty much non-existent in daily use. The car has also been used on track and the brakes were outstanding around Goodwood offering plenty of confidence, zero fade and they didn’t leave the wheels covered in brake dust as an added bonus. Now after a couple of thousand miles including a couple of sessions on track I’d be very happy to recommend these as an excellent brake pad, very well suited to the Elise and in fact having just bought another Elise, another S1 but this time a 111s I’ve had a set of these pads fitted before even picking the car up, I think they’re that good.
As an alternative for the more track minded, Mintex offer an 1155 pad which have higher fade resistance but are marked as ‘track-only’, so use at your own risk on the public highway. In my experience of the 1144’s, the Elise is light enough not to put enough temperature into the fluid to boil it and they are more than enough for fast road driving.
You can purchase your own Mintex 1144’s from Finishline online here or by calling 01462 677112.
*Price correct as of 4th April 2016.