Monday, May 27, 2013

Hawk HPS Front Brake Pads HB268F.665 - Better Than G35's Stock Pads

I have had my 2004 Infiniti G35 for 9.5 years. The first (stock/OEM semi-metallic) set of brake pads wore out in 15,000 miles. In addition to not being durable, the stock brakes produced a lot of dark dust that would cover the wheels shortly after the car was washed. Also, the brakes were squeaky, especially in the mornings. The stock brakes were very "grabby", which I liked and stopped the car very well.

I got the second set of brake pads from Infiniti (Nissan); the replacement pads had reformulated compound. Due to complaints by G35 owners, the pad's compound was reformulated to last longer. The new brakes produced less dust, but still were noisy in the second half of their life and lasted 28,000 miles. This time, I decided to go aftermarket and got Hawk HPS brake pads.

About Hawk HPS

The Hawk HPS are brake pads with Ferro-Carbon compound. HPS stands for High Performance Street Brake Compound. The company promises increased stopping power, high friction hot or cold, being gently on rotors, long life, low dust and no noise.


After I installed Hawk HPS pads front and back (with new OEM front rotors) and bedded-in according to Hawk's instructions, I discovered that the pads were quite different from the stock ones.

For the reference, the front brakes were Hawk HPS model number HB268F.665 and the rears were (click for the review) Hawk HPS model HB370F.559. In addition to 2002-2004 Infiniti G35, they fit some model years of Infiniti I35, FX, some Nissans, etc.

I had the front brake pads (HB268F.665) for 36,000 miles. Although the ultimate longevity is not yet entirely known, after 23K miles, there was still 8 mm of material left, which should result in over 60K miles total, depending on driving conditions. So longevity is supposed to be 4x-5x better than the OEM pads and at 2x-3x better than the replacement Nissan/Infiniti pads.

Stopping Power:
When cold, the Hawk HPS is less "grabby" than the original OEM brakes and produces friction below the OEM but slightly higher (better) than the replacement Nissan pads. After the brakes are warm, they have stronger bite and deceleration.

One of the best features of the HPS is low dust. With the previous two sets of pads, my front alloy wheels used to be covered in thick black dust after about a week of driving. The HPS pads produce very little dust and the dust is not black but light-brown color, which is much less visible. My front wheels look much better now, even if I don't wash the car for months.

The pads produce no noise at all.

Rotor Wear:
My front rotors look almost brand-new so I expect them to last longer with the HPS than with OEM pads.

Pros: Low dust, longevity, no noise, low rotor wear, decent stopping power.
Cons: Low initial "bite", less friction than the original stock pads, not cheap.

Bottom Line

The Hawk HPS HB268F.665 pads produce very little dust, last long, produce good stopping power and no noise. Although I would like more of an initial "bite" and higher friction (when cold), the Hawk HPS HB268F.665 pads are an excellent choice overall. And they produce excellent deceleration when hot, so if you drive like a madman, they will be a good choice as well.

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