Pad Bedding - Tech Tips

Pad Bedding - Tech Tips



  • Make sure pedal is firm: Hold firm pressure on pedal for several minutes, it should remain in position without sinking. If pedal sinks toward floor, check system for fluid leaks. DO NOT drive vehicle if pedal does not stay firm or can be pushed to the floor with normal pressure.

  • At very low speed (2-5 mph) apply brakes hard several times while turning steering from full left to full right, repeat several times. Remove the wheels and check that components are not touching, rubbing, or leaking.

  • Carefully examine all brake components, brake lines, and fittings for leaks and interference.

  • Make sure there is no interference with wheels or suspension components.

  • Drive vehicle at low speed (15-20 mph) making moderate and hard stops. Brakes should feel normal and positive. Again check for leaks and interference.

  • Always test vehicle in a safe place where there is no danger to (or from) other people or vehicles.

  • Always wear seat belts and make use of all safety equipment.

Pad Bedding

The bedding process is the final "heat cure" for the pads. This final bedding cure differs from an oven heat cure in such that the oven heat cure does not include the pressure, torque, and elevated surface temperatures that are necessary to properly condition the pad for service. As it is with the rotors, new pads must be gradually brought up to temperature and then slowly cooled. If the pads are put into hard service right from the start, damage from fractures or accelerated deterioration due to extreme temperature variations between the surface and the body of the pad can occur. Overall poor performance with the potential for rotor damage are often the results.

Bedding Steps

Once the brake system has been tested and determined safe to operate the vehicle, follow these steps for the bedding of all new pad materials. These procedures should only be performed on a race track, or other safe location where you can safely and legally obtains speeds up to 65 MPH, while also being able to rapidly decelerate.

  • Begin with a series of light decelerations to gradually build some heat in the brakes. Use an on-and-off the pedal technique by applying the brakes for 3-5 seconds, and then allow them to fully release for a period roughly twice as long as the deceleration cycle. If you use a 5 count during the deceleration interval, use a 10 count during the release to allow the heat to sink into the pads & rotors.

  • After several cycles of light stops to begin warming the brakes, proceed with a series of medium to firm deceleration stops to continue raising the temperature level in the brakes.

  • Finish the bedding cycle with a series of 8-10 hard decelerations from 55-65 MPH down to 25 MPH while allowing a proportionate release and heat-sinking interval between each stop. The pads should now be providing positive and consistent response.

  • If any amount of brake fade is observed during the bed-in cycle, immediately begin the cool down cycle.

  • Drive at a moderate cruising speed, with the least amount of brake contact possible, until most of the heat has dissipated from the brakes. Avoid sitting stopped with the brake pedal depressed to hold the car in place during this time. Park the vehicle and allow the brakes to cool to ambient air temperature.

Competition Vehicles

  • If your race car is equipped with brake cooling ducts, blocking them will allow the pads and rotors to warm up quicker and speed up the bedding process.

  • Temperature indicating paint on the rotor and pad edges can provide valuable data regarding observed temperatures during the bedding process and subsequent on-track sessions. This information can be highly beneficial when evaluating pad compounds and cooling efficiencies.

Post-Bedding Inspection – All Vehicles

  • After the bedding cycle, the rotors should exhibit a uniformly burnished finish across the entire contact face. Any surface irregularities that appear as smearing or splotching on the rotor faces can be an indication that the brakes were brought up to temperature too quickly during the bedding cycle. If the smear doesn’t blend away after the next run-in cycle, or if chatter under braking results, sanding or resurfacing the rotors will be required to restore a uniform surface for pad contact.

Pre-Race Warm Up

  • Always make every effort to get heat into the brakes prior to each event. Use an on-and-off the pedal practice to warm the brakes during the trip to the staging zone, during parade laps before the flag drops, and every other opportunity in an effort to build heat in the pads and rotors. This will help to ensure best consistency, performance, and durability from your brakes.

Dyno Bedded Competition Pads and Rotors

  • Getting track time for a proper pad and rotor bedding session can be difficult. Wilwood offers factory dyno-bedded pads and rotors on many of our popular competition pads and Spec 37 GT series rotors. Dyno-bedded parts are ready to race on their first warm up cycle. This can save valuable time and effort when on-track time is either too valuable or not available at all, Dyno-bedding assures that your pads and rotors have been properly run-in and are ready to go. Contact your dealer or the factory for more information on Wilwood Dyno-Bedding services.


NEVER allow the contact surfaces of the pads or rotors to be contaminated with brake fluid. Always use a catch bottle with a hose to prevent fluid spill during all brake bleeding procedures.

Contact Wilwood

Didn't see the answer to your question? Call Wilwood Technical Support; we're glad to help.

Phone: (805) 388-1188

Fax: (805) 388-4938

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Version: 3.05 June 23, 2023
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