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Some major updates were made to the brake article - there'll probably be some more pics and other stuff added later.

A major update was adding a mythbusting section on big brake kits. Many times they make braking worse! Yes suspension is a huge part of it but that's way beyond the scope of this article.

Also some scanned articles if you don't believe me. In one, C&D tested a stock Passat (the new mk5 one) in 25 panic 70-0 mph stops and the brakes didn't fade! Obviously there's something to being tuned for the Autobahn! Something for everyone in there.

http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/brake_FAQ.htm
 

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I'm guessing that in that specific model/trim of the Passat, yes, tires alone would have increased the braking performance. Read the scanned magazine articles and it explains it more.

But remember that once you push one part of the braking system, it exposes other weak spots. The point of highlighting the example of the Passat was that it's brakes will take all the street driving, on that setup, that you can throw at it. Of course, change the suspension, tires, etc., and you no longer have that tested setup.
 

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Yes, working on it.

Added a lot more info and links. There is a ton of honest misinformation out there and hopefully this clears it up. It's not malicious and it's not a scam since even reputable big brake makers will tell you the same basic thing I am writing in this article. It's just misinformation that gets passed around.

The biggest bone to pick is drilled rotors. They are bad and do nothing other than cost more and have a shorter life. For street use, high quality rotors should last a while but there are lots of cheap rotors out there which can fail in as short as 1,000 miles! For track use, blank faced rotors all the way. To clear some things up, you may see drilled rotors on track cars due to sponsorship, rules, regulations, materials, etc. And they can afford to change the rotors a few times a season, unless you have sponsorship, black faced rotors are more economical and will last longer.

The article is written with a focus on street use on street cars but I threw that in there to explain it more in depth since I'm sure there are many unbelievers.
 

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Great scans, I always thought that performance pads really did feel different.
They do FEEL different. Pedal travel/feel is more aggressive. Pads with a higher coefficient of friction bite harder. Almost always, this does not translate into shorter stopping distances.

If you have pads with a lower "bite", you just press harder on the pedal. Lower bite = press harder, sharper bite = press less. Same stopping power.

The difference is that some performance pads are usable at higher temperatures. Most peoplel won't reach the limits of street pads unless you in driving hard in a canyon, towing, riding the brakes while going down a mountain, etc.

The stock TDI brakes are not good for track use so there's room for improvement. For street use they work well, but they fade after about 5 panic stops. Unless you see yourself making 5 panic stops back to back, on the street, the problem is your driving style, not the brakes. Even in stop-go highway use you'll never see that kind of abuse.
 
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