So I installed some new semi-metallic pads, and cross drilled and slotted rotors from maxbrakes.com. I bedded them in a couple weeks back, but yesterday was the first time I got to run the S60 hard. I used Decker Canyon over the PCH in the northern reaches of Malibu, and the downhill section is really tough on brakes - tight, multiple turns with very low speeds through the turns with room to sprint on the straights... and the brakes overheated after maybe three minutes of decent speeds (not even all out, just fast street driving). Foot almost to the floor, anti-lock not even kicking in... no exaggeration, the worst fade I've ever encountered up there. Backing off and cruising down the PCH cooled them down, and they're braking fine now, but I'm not sure they'd even do well at an auto cross, let alone a long hard run up and down Angeles Crest.
So the potential problems as I see them -
1) I somehow glazed the brand new pads, in which case, a relatively simple fix. I don't mind brake squeal, so a more aggressive pad is fine by me.
2) The brake fluid, while clean and at proper level, is too old and can't handle it. The car has 38k miles and was dealer serviced its entire life, but the fluid may be original, for all I know. It couldn't hurt to replace it with some fresh DOT 4 fluid, so that may be the first thing I do.
3) The new rotors are simply not big enough. I went with the stock size, but because I got the drilled and slotted versions, I've effectively DECREASED brake size with less swept brake area than stock, and they just aren't up to the job. The lack of engine braking on the automatic trans doesn't help (not a fan of having no way to precisely select gears to help with control here), but I may be better off going with a basic vented disc without all the fancy holes lol.
I have to say, otherwise this car was really good. It was also my first chance to really try the new tires out after break-in - BF Goodrich Comp T/A2 a/s in 235/40-18 - and they were AMAZING. Great grip, quiet even at the limit, great feel at the limit, they made the S60 really fun to fling around.
But if I can't stop, that's a bit problematic.
Any and all input appreciated, thanks folks...