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Duralast Gold vs. Duralast

My wife's 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STi needed some new brake pads. So I did a quick search on AutoZone and found two sets that work (see list below). The two sets of rear brake pads are only ten dollars difference in price, what are the differences between the pads?

  • Duralast Gold DG961 Brake Pads $34.99
  • Duralast MKD961 Brake Pads $24.99

Comparing the two sets at AutoZone, it seems that the Duralast Gold shims are really polished, nice looking, and well made (see photo below). The shims on the Duralast are black, unpolished, and looks like scrap metal. Question is, will anyone actually see the shims when its in the brake calipers? The actual pad material, on the other hand looks identical. I decided to try the Duralast Gold first. Then try the regular Duralast once the Gold set wears out.

Attached Image:

Duralast Gold DG961 Brake Pads.JPG

Chieh Cheng
Sun, 08 Jun 2008 02:57:34 +0000

Here is google. He is nice. Thanks.

Sun, 18 Jan 2009 12:08:09 +0000

It was a year ago when I put in the Duralast Gold DG961 rear brake pads into my wife's 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STi. And I debated between the regular Duralast version and the Duralast Gold version. I personally think there is no difference other than the shining shim. So, after trying the Gold version, I'd probably try the regular version.

But a year has passed and the market has changed. Now Duralast has released a new brake pad on the market . . . the Duralast Gold Cmax brake pads. Unlike the Duralast Gold, where I could find no significant difference compared to the regular Duralast brake pads, the Duralast Gold Cmax is a ceramic brake pad that is "formulated to handle high braking temperatures with less heat fade, to generate less dust and wear on both the pads and rotors, and to provide substantially quieter braking."

That was all marketing wording. But I used to run Axxis Ultimate ceramic brake pads on my two Subaru's when I actively participated in track events. I swore by them. Back then, the research I done on the Axxis Ultimate ceramic brake pads shown them to be high performance; handle high braking temperatures with less heat fade. However, they generate more brake dust, wear themselves faster, and wears the rotors faster. Braking noise weren't much louder than stock OEM brakes.

After having kids, my wife and I stopped participating in track events (temporarily we hope), so there was no justification for the relatively more expensive Axxis Ultimate ceramic brake pads. (They were about $100 a pair, back in the days.) And the relatively inexpensive Duralast brake pads came in the picture.

But now with Duralast Gold Cmax, we can have the performance of the Axxis Ultimate for everyday use, without paying the cost. I have test a pair of Duralast Gold Cmax DGC721 front brake pads for my 2001 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS the past six months. And I have to say that I really enjoy using them. They feel pretty much like the Axxis Ultimate brake pads I've used before for about half the cost ($59.99).

After having good experience with the Cmax brake pads, I bought a pair of front ones to replace my wife's front STi brake pads. The part number for the front is "Duralast Gold Cmax DGC1001", while the rear part number is "Duralast Gold Cmax DGC961". I highly recommend these pads. I've attached a photo below so that you can compare to the Gold version above.

Attached Image:

Duralast Gold Cmax DGC1000 Front Brake Pads.jpg

Chieh Cheng
Thu, 24 Sep 2009 08:45:42 +0000

I've owned several brands, just bought these, they look pretty good, Got lifetime warranty, looking forward to see how they perform.

Thu, 07 Apr 2011 17:01:43 +0000


Sat, 07 May 2011 16:53:04 +0000

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Title: Brake Rotors for 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STi
Weblog: GearHack
Excerpt: After pulling the front wheels off my wife's 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STi, I realized that her front rotors are wearing thin. My goal was to replace her worn brake pads with a set of new Duralast Gold Cmax DGC1001 that I picked up today. Unfortunately, the massive rotor is too thick for my 1" microme . . .
Tracked: Thu, 24 Sep 2009 08:59:21 +0000

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