Jump to content

Metallic or metal?


Recommended Posts

On my '96 Nissan Quest....One of the sets of pads went away.  I am changing them out. 


What sort of pads do you use, Ceramic, or Metallic?  Why?


When compressing the caliper, I noticed that the piston was chipped, and that it is not metal.  I looked at them on rockauto, Napa, and Oreilly.  Oreilly, and Napa only carry a caliper w/a Phenolic piston.  Rockauto carrys about 10 dif calipers, and several come w/a metal piston.  BTW, Oreilly is the only one that has em in stock, and everybody else is an order proposition.  A lot of "smoke" there (obscuring the issue)....what sort of caliper piston is best, Phenolic or metal?  Why?


As a side point, the calipers were not the same.  One seemed like it had a metal piston, and a 10mm sized nut on the bleeder, the other (the bad one) phenolic, and a 3/8" bleeder.



Link to comment
  • Replies 5
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Phenolic pistons have become more common.  I understand one of the benefits is they transfer less heat to the fluid directly from the pad.  There is nothing wrong with that tech, it works fine.  


On a quest, on most any daily driver, I don't think it matters what the piston is made out of.  Long as the piston diameter didnt change between metal and phenolic, it likely doesn't even matter if it matches the other caliper.


Ceramic naturally tend to dust and squeak less.  They also have a better bite when warm.  Metallic bite better when cold.


I use metallics only when i can't afford ceramics.

Link to comment

I put on Metallic.  I wasnt prepared for the decision when I made it.  I expected them to have only 1 pad.  


I can remember when metallic was cutting edge, so it cant be that 


I am gonna order a metal piston caliper.  My piston was chipped.


There are several steep spots in Colorado...duh.  It is a daily driver, but I do tow w.it...point being, brakes are gonna get stressed from time to time

Link to comment

These are old cars and do not have ABS so when stopping there really are only two situations. One is anything up to a hard panic stop with obvious room to do it, but very close. The brakes are applied and pressure increased as needed to stop but not enough to cause lock up. Tires may squeal but they are turning and you can steer. The other is a panic stop where in a flash you know you don't have enough time or distance to get stopped. The natural thing to do is stab the brakes on and lock the tires up and slide while trying to pull the steering column out of the floor.


In the first case there is no time to warm the brakes that have more grip when hot and a compound that works better initially when cold is preferred. I don't think around town stop and go is enough to really heat up the brakes enough to take advantage of then... and again, they aren't as good while heating them up if it did. The exception is if racing where the grippier when hot pads would make more sense.


In the second case, once the wheels lock up it doesn't matter what pads are used as the rotor is stopped.






Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.