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TOM's High Performance Brake Pads (5th GEN Prelude)

Product Review

By Keith Lee (aka Keith)
Last Updated

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Last winter season, I was looking for brake pads for my 1997 Prelude during the winter season. I knew that I need new pads for the Spring season but I was not sure what to get. I didn't do too much research but I came across a Christmas special at where they had TOM's X'dynamic High Performance front and rear brake pads were on special. I've never really heard of TOM's Racing but what I did know that they specialized in making performance parts for Toyota. As well, you are a Gran Turismo 2 fan, then you've seen their banners on some tracks. Anyhow, the price was right so I only bought front brake pads since the rears were sold out already. I had good experience with, the prices are pretty standard and they even did what I requested and marked down the value of the package and marked it as a "Gift" so I would have a better chance escaping the duties and customs charges.

Good front pads really make a difference to getting you to stop your car. Most people when buying brake pads takes several things in account when making their selection. Things like brake dust, cost, stopping power, longevity, fading and squealing under extreme heat are all key points when buying brake pads.

From the TOM's Racing website, it describes their pads as:

  • Specifically engineered for high performance braking.
  • Stopping distances is significantly reduced.
  • Independently Lab & Road Tested to ensure excellent performance and consistency in hot & cold performance.
  • Eliminate fading and squealing with minimal rotor wear and dust.
  • 500 degree heat resistance and no fade under extreme loads.
  • Long lasting & minimal rotor wear.
  • Premium Metallic formulation. Contains no Asbestos.
  • Environmental Friendly.
  • Works with stock brake system .

My pads where pretty finished and it was perfect timing to change them. Installation was a snap. The only things you have to to sand down a couple of the edge's of the pad so the pad moves freely in the caliper (no biggy). Also, you'll have to use your stock shims for the pads (inner and outer).

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I installed new rotors too so I had take it easy for the first 400 kms and avoid heavy braking or panic stops. The first couple of months, there was a constant squealing when the brakes began to heat up. I guess I should have expected this since the pads are metallic. But it was really annoying. But the benefits were great. I had tons of stopping power and performed well when braking from high speeds (160 km +). I can actually say that I've began using my brakes (rather than downshifting all the time) more often since installing them. Brake dust was minimum which is nice to have when you like your mags nice and clean. But after 9 months of normal use of them, I am down to 25% left on the front pads. Personally, I think that is a little premature but there could be a couple of factors for this. For one, I used the pads with cross-drilled and slotted rotors which does a great job of constantly cleaning the pad when braking but tends to 'eat' up the pads quickly. Second, since I am not shy to use my brakes anymore, this means a lot more wear on them.


Since I need new front pads again, I've opted to try something else. I will be getting AEM High Performance Pads. I probably wouldn't buy them again simply for the fact of the short life of the pad.