After completing part 1, and looking ahead towards future modifications, the next logical step was to upgrade the factory brakes. What was I looking for in a big brake kit? Well they should improve my car's performance. I was not going to spend the money to put parts that don't work properly on my car. I wanted to improve braking consistency, repeatability, resistance to fade, durability and balance. The only question was which kit to go with: Brembo, Stoptech, or Mov'it. After several phone calls to each of the companies and many conversations with owners of each system, I was able to choose a kit. All three of the above mentioned are high quality braking systems. I came to my decision based on the following.
I did not choose Brembo because of the problems several local track members reported to me. The most common complaint being problems with the rotors cracking.
As for Mov'it, I really liked the kit a lot, but price was an issue.
So I ended up choosing Stoptech. After speaking with Pablo (Vader M3) who ran the system on his M3 and his praise of it, I was convinced it would work for my application. Not only was I happy with the reviews on the Stoptech brakes, but the size of the caliper was very impressive. For those that haven't seen them in person, they are massive. I had a chance to see the Stoptech caliper side by side with the Mov'it caliper, and it was larger. A larger caliper does not mean it is better, but remember, I have 19 inch wheels so I need all the space filling I can get. Besides the caliper size, I also liked the rotor design. One of the AeroRotor's most significant features is its completely unique, patented vane shape designed to draw air into the rotor and accelerate it outward.
Heres a look at the stock brakes:
And now the Stoptech:
I apologize for not getting a picture of them side by side, but I was in a rush to get the brakes on the night before Hot Import Nights.
Now, a little about the Stoptech kit. The front brakes are 2 Piece 332mm x 32mm slotted cast rotors with 7075 T-6 billet Aluminum Directional hats, and 4 Piston ST40 Calipers. Stainless steel front lines were included and matching rear brake lines were also purchased. The calipers weigh approximately 8 pounds and can work with either 28mm or 32mm thick rotors, in diameters from 328mm up to 455mm. The rotors, which are cast, come in a slotted or cross drilled version. I chose the slotted version, though its not as eye catching as cross drilled, I figured if the race cars are running slotted rotors, then so am I. Functionality before looks. The best feature of Stoptech's calipers is the fact that they use a standard Porsche-style pad, available in a wide variety of compounds from nearly every performance-brake-pad manufacturer. Obviosuly the nice thing about this is that your only option for pads does not depend on one source. The caliper also enabled the use of a standard Porsche-style brake wear sensor.
Now for my impressions on the kit. I am very pleased with it. Braking has improved dramatically. I made the mistake of tesing the brakes with out wearing a seatbelt in my neighborhood after breaking them in on the road and I almost put myself through the windshield. The stopping force is dramatically greater than stock. The resistance to fade is very impressive too. Though I did not have a measuring tape, the car was very consistent with landmarks I was using on the side of the road during the 80-0 mph stops. I have only been driving with the brakes for 2.5 days so I will post more impressions over time.
Also, the brake fluid was replaced with Motul RBF600 and M3 spindles were needed to perform the conversion.
For those wondering, the wheels are DTM Kreuz in 19x8, ET 38 front and ET 35 rear. They are forged and weigh 21 lbs. The tires are Yokohama AVS Sports in 235/35/19. They cleared the Stoptech brakes without the use of spacers. There is about 1mm of clearance between the calipers and the back of the wheel. I picked the wheel specifically for its ability to clear big brakes without the need for spacers, and its strenght and weight.
Thanks to Dan for getting the brakes and spindles to me quickly, Paul at Pre Grid for helping with the late night install, Derick at Trance of Speed, and Johnny and Pablo for all the brake information.
Stay Tuned for Part 3, which will debut May 4th.