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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings all!

I recently joined the Volvo fraternity with the purchase of a 2007 S60 T5 M6. I am thoroughly enjoying it, but also still getting used to it. So I thought I would hit up the community here for some advice on tweaking a few things. This is my first post.

My previous ride was a 2003 Mazda Protege5, which I drove for nine years and got pretty familiar with. The S60 is a vastly different car, mostly for the better. One area in which the Mazda had it beat, however, was in the linearity of its brake pedal response. In the Mazda, depressing the brake pedal produced an immediate response that increased in direct proportion to the amount by which you depressed it. This made it very easy to modulate the amount of brake force used, and made the car very controllable. My car was absolutely stock, but had no ABS and no EBD to interfere with the mechanical connection.

The Volvo, as many of you may know from experience, is less predictable. Sometimes, the pedal grabs right away, but other times it seems to have some mush before it starts working. Overall, there is not a very linear relationship between the amount the pedal is depressed and the amount of stopping force obtained. The car is stock and in proper condition, having just received a 60K service from the dealer where I bought it that included new pads. I have no reason to think the system needs to be bled. Also, I have not driven the car hard since purchase, so I don't think excessive heat could account for the behavior.

I am looking for some advice on improving the linearity of the pedal response. I have read a variety of claims about the causes of this behavior. Some claim that the sliding caliper design of the stock brakes is the problem; others suggest changing pads or installing SS brake lines. I have also heard it suggested that the way the computerized portions of the braking system are programmed have something to do with it (they respond to how fast you press the pedal, rather than just how hard). I'm sure all of these have some role.

I would prefer to hear from people who have recognized this problem on their own vehicles and been able to improve it in some way. Speculative comments are not very helpful.

Thanks for reading this!
 

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I'd reccomend upgrading to some EBC 3GD rotors and EBC red stuff along with stainless steel brake lines and a good fluid, that's about as good as it will get unless you upgrade to the Brembo kits off the R or porsche bbk.

EBC 3GD, Red Studd pads and SS lines helped me to get some initial bite and slowing in proportion to how hard the pedal is pressed. Some actually prefer the softer smoother feel of stock brakes, not me.

Hope that helps!
 

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welcome!!!, first take your time to get use to the brakes, the protege5 has different feeling on the brake pedal and the S60 seems to be a bit more heavy(im not sure). The stock brakes can heat up really fast, so i recommend you to use EBC, HAWK or similar. Replace like NJ said, brake lines and good brake fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your input.

Do you run the EBC gear with stock calipers, or did you change those too? And did you do all four corners, or just the fronts?
 

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for now....lol, you have a T5 with manual tranny, it will transform, time to time. I see you with R brembo brakes in the future lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for your reply. The Mazda definitely was a lighter car than the Volvo. But I would say its stopping power was not any better relative to its weight than the Volvo's. I'm not planning to do any track days, so the Volvo's ultimate stopping power is fine for my purposes. Its really just the feel that I'd like to improve. It's so much easier to drive the car precisely (especially in tight, fast-moving traffic) when you know how much braking force you will get for a given amount of pressure, and when that relationship is highly consistent. Right now, I feel like I'm rolling the dice a bit, and often end up with much less smooth stops than I would prefer---and occasionally an unsettling moment of getting less stopping power than I called for.

Would changing pads, lines, and/or fluid without upgrading rotors or calipers make much of a difference?

I will definitely be taking my time to get to know the brakes, if only until the funds for a mod are there. My next intended mods will be to add some chassis braces and a couple of interior convenience items. So far, all I've done is tint it.


welcome!!!, first take your time to get use to the brakes, the protege5 has different feeling on the brake pedal and the S60 seems to be a bit more heavy(im not sure). The stock brakes can heat up really fast, so i recommend you to use EBC, HAWK or similar. Replace like NJ said, brake lines and good brake fluid.
 

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You could try changing pads to something like the Hawk HPS and some SS lines, that might be all you want. I know the EBC 3GD rotors and EBC Red Stuff pads make a big difference in initial bite and extended braking, they go together though. Just make sure the parts are compatible, certain pads need certain rotors to work properly. EBC has nice product guidelines to help select your setup:

http://www.ebcbrakes.com/selector.shtml
 

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Would changing pads, lines, and/or fluid without upgrading rotors or calipers make much of a difference?

I will definitely be taking my time to get to know the brakes, if only until the funds for a mod are there. My next intended mods will be to add some chassis braces and a couple of interior convenience items. So far, all I've done is tint it.
As you mentioned above, know the brakes takes a bit, i remember wen i change my Toyota Rav4 for my XC90, huge difference but now i know how and how much distance my XC90 need to brake.

Stock rotors will do the job just fine, with a good pads, lins and fluid. I remember when i got my T5 and i started to use the hawk hps pads, ss lines and invested and cross drilled rotors the brake performance was a lot better, of course it doesnt compare the feel with the brembo 4 pistons brake that i have now. But stock system vs, better pads, lines and fluid yes, it does nice upgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just out of curiosity, why did you go with EBC rotors instead of another brand (such the ones sold by IPD and VIVA)?
 
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