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2009 - 2013 Corvette ZR1: GM TechLink: Brake Burnish Procedure

This is a followup to the article on ZR1 ceramic brakes in the November 2008 issue of TechLink.

NOTICE: These procedures are specific to the ZR1 with ceramic brake rotors.
This procedure should not be run on other Corvette models as damage may result.

NOTICE: The new vehicle break-in period should be completed before performing the brake burnish procedure or damage may occur to the powertrain/engine.

When performed as instructed, these procedures will not damage the brakes. During the burnishing procedure, the brake pads will smoke and produce an odor. The braking force and pedal travel may increase. After the procedure is complete, the brake pads may appear white at the rotor contact.

A White appearance results from light street burnishing (fig. 17)

figure 17

B White appearance results from heavier track burnishing (fig.18)

figure 17

Street High Performance Brake Burnishing Procedure

Run this procedure in a safe manner and in compliance with all local and state ordinances/laws regarding motor vehicle operation. Run this procedure only on dry pavement.

1. From a stop, accelerate as rapidly as possible without activating traction control to a speed of 97 kph/60 mph.

2. Use enough pedal force to completely stop the vehicle in 4 to 5 seconds. If ABS activates, braking is too hard.

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2, 50 times. This should take about 10 minutes.

4. After completing the 50 stops, cool the brakes by driving for 8km/5miles at 97kph/60mph.

As with all high performance brake systems, some amount of brake squeal is normal.

Racing/Track Brake Burnish Procedure

To prepare the ZR1 brake system for track events and racing, complete the Street High Performance Brake Burnish as described above. Then, complete the following additional procedure to make the ZR1 brake system ready for track events and racing.

This procedure should be run only on a track and only on dry pavement.

NOTICE: Brake pedal fade will occur during this track burnish procedure and can cause brake pedal travel and force to increase. This could extend stopping distance until the brakes are fully burnished.

1. Drive a normal first lap and not too aggressive.

2. Laps 2 and 3 should be gradually driven faster and more aggressively, while allowing for reduced brake output and increased stopping distance due to brake fade.

3. Lap 4 as near to full speed as possible, while allowing for reduced brake output and increased stopping distance due to brake fade.

4. Laps 5 and 6 should be cool-down laps.

5. Lap 7 should be normal driving or an easy-out lap.

- Thanks to Vincent R. Sicilia

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