Why upgrade your brakes? - Subaru WRX Forum
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#1 Old 04-05-2006, 12:38 PM
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Why upgrade your brakes?

Big brakes give your car greater resistance to fade by absorbing and shedding heat more efficiently. Racers upgrade because stock brakes were designed for a single stop from high speed, not repeated slow-downs with little time in between to cool off. For fade resistance, size really does matter. On the street, fixed-mount, multi-piston calipers give a firmer pedal and quicker reaction time in panic stops. As little as 0.2 second reduction in reaction time can translate into 21 feet of stopping distance at 70 mph. Reaction time is not as important to racers who can compensate by braking earlier. But on the street, in an unexpected stop, quicker reaction time can save your life. You don't need to be a racer to benefit from brake upgrades.

If you track or autocross your car regularly, your stock brakes are probably not up to the task. You can start off with better brake fluid, more aggressive brake pads, cooling ducts, and stainless braided brake lines. But as you progress from novice to intermediate skill level and beyond, carrying more speed into the braking zones, your track events will become characterized by boiling brake fluid, sinking brake pedal, and pad fade. Losing confidence in your brakes takes the fun out of a track event. Big brake upgrades allow you to dive deeper into the braking zone and brake harder than you ever thought possible.


This is not written by me, or necessarily my views.. I am just sharing an article I found.
-Greg

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Last edited by eighth08; 04-05-2006 at 02:32 PM.
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#2 Old 04-05-2006, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eighth08
On the street, fixed-mount, multi-piston calipers give a firmer pedal and quicker reaction time in panic stops.
how do the components effect my reaction time?

maybe you were trying to say that a caliper with more pistons can get the pads to the rotors quicker? if thats the case its entirely moot. it would be hundredths of a second difference.

Maybe i just read it wrong. Interesting thoughts though.
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#3 Old 04-05-2006, 02:31 PM
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I should have said this is not my original article. I was looking at a site because i maybe buying an E39 M5 BMW, and I saw that article. thought it was worth sharing as they throw in some interesting points.

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#4 Old 04-05-2006, 03:05 PM
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i dont wana sound like an ass, but dont post stuff like this if you dont know its true or not.
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#5 Old 04-05-2006, 03:50 PM
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i am not claiming anything. and a lot of what this article talks about i know is true. some i am uncertain. i wouldnt just post some random article i had no idea about. i agreed with the parts i understood. and decided to share it. nothing wrong with that.

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#6 Old 04-05-2006, 03:53 PM
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and also in response to your "how do the components effect my reaction time?"
i think the article meant the reaction time between the pads being applied compared to how long it takes the rotors to slow down is less because of more pad "area" being pressured to the rotor at one time.

thats just how i took it.

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#7 Old 04-05-2006, 04:13 PM
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the surface area of pad on the rotor does not effect the ability to slow the car down. if you could have a brake pad that covered the entire surface of the rotor, it wouldn't change your cars ability to stop. even the friction created by the pad against the rotor (type of pad material used) is many times less important then the contact patch your tire has with the road. so in other words, for street application, the only thing that has a bearing on your cars ability to slow down is the tire (and the road, obviously).

There are some valid points. Large brake components do reduce brake fade. And having steel braided hoses and nice brake fluid do give the pedal a nicer feel, but statements like;

Quote:
Big brake upgrades allow you to dive deeper into the braking zone and brake harder than you ever thought possible.
are false. Your balls are what allow you to “drive deeper into the braking zone”. Ill take a neon deeper into the brake zone then some people would take a viper, and conversely, i know people who would take a neon deeper into the brake zone then i could take a viper. it totally depends on the driver. And “braking harder then i ever imagined” suggests that the larger components make my car slow down at a faster rate, which is incorrect. Weather i have the best brake kit money can buy, or stock, my tires have certain amount of traction that can be used for acceleration, turning, and braking (or any combination of the three). I can lock up the tires just as easily with my stock brakes as i could with the best.
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#8 Old 04-05-2006, 04:26 PM
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yes, i understand that. its obvious the better the brakes makes no difference if your tires will just give out and skid easily.
but assuming you have great, sticky and wide tires. are you gonna say that having better brakes wont make a difference in stopping time?

the more pistons the more surface is being used to stop the car. barely applying braking will cause more pistons to try and stop the car. so when you press the brake slightly, generally you have lets say 2 pistons applying pressure at a certain pressue. but with the 6 piston brake setup you have 6 of them applying that friction versus just 2. or 4 for example.

just how i see it working. and have been explained to by shop techs around here.

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#9 Old 04-05-2006, 05:14 PM
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this article is a take it as you wish. as with anything posted by anyone on a forum. you should take it with a grain of salt. as you never know what info you are getting.
the article is good info. but i never claimed the whole thing is a 100% good resource. just found it interesting.

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#10 Old 04-05-2006, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eighth08
yes, i understand that. its obvious the better the brakes makes no difference if your tires will just give out and skid easily.
but assuming you have great, sticky and wide tires. are you gonna say that having better brakes wont make a difference in stopping time?
thats exactly what im saying

Quote:
the more pistons the more surface is being used to stop the car. barely applying braking will cause more pistons to try and stop the car. so when you press the brake slightly, generally you have lets say 2 pistons applying pressure at a certain pressue. but with the 6 piston brake setup you have 6 of them applying that friction versus just 2. or 4 for example.
It does not matter how many pistons you have. The number of pistons should only increase if the size of the caliper increases. An 11” Porsche GT2 caliper could not evenly distribute its forces on the pad with 2 pistons. It needs 6. a 4” caliper will function the same weather it has 2 pistons or 6 pistons.

You sorta looking at it the wrong way. Its not more pistons applying more force. Or less pistons applying less force. The force being applied is only determined by how much pressure you put on the peddle. The pistons do no provide any mechanical advantage. If you apply 100 pounds of pressure to you two piston calipers, then each piston pushes with 50 pounds of force. If you apply 100 pounds of pressure with a six piston caliper then each piston pushes with about 16.5 pounds of pressure.


Here, from StopTech themselves.
http://www.stoptech.com/tech_info/wp...formance.shtml

maybe there word is better then mine.
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#11 Old 04-05-2006, 07:03 PM
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no i didnt mean more pistons more force. i meant with more pistons and not as much force you are doing just as much as 4 pistons would do with more force because of the surface area covered.

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#12 Old 04-05-2006, 07:34 PM
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nope. amount of pistons has no bearing on the force applied to the rotor.
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#13 Old 04-06-2006, 04:35 PM
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the more pistons, the more friction. i am not saying it means more pressure. it just means there is more friction happening on the rotor at a single point. for example friction is being applied at 12 o clock, 1 o clock 2 o clock and 3 o clock, instead of just, lets say 1 o clock. same amount of pressure applied but at more points. 6 points of friction opposed to lets say a 4 piston rotor, being 4 points of friction.

i think it makes clear sense.

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#14 Old 04-06-2006, 04:46 PM
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the pistons dont make any friction, the just push the pad into the rotor. the pad and rotor make friction.

but again, the amount of friction between the rotor and pad does not determin how quickly te car is slowing down anyway.
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#15 Old 04-06-2006, 05:21 PM
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I completely agree with said article.

I say this;
- Bigger rotors Do distribute heat better..
- Multiple Pistons will stop a car faster then a single piston design - Multiple pistons apply the pressure more evenly across the pad "theoretically" providing a greater contact area because the force load is distributed.. Same theory as wider tires..
- The article is not referring to the brakes helping the drivers reaction time, but rather saying that the increased setup will react faster, not the driver..
- If applied properly a larger brake kit WILL allow a car to slow faster!!! Just a quick example, if not why are the STI breaks bigger then the WRX breaks??
- More aggressive Pad material WILL also slow and stop a car faster.. I work at a machine shop and I have to sand steel on a daily basis, I can tell you for a fact that 60 git sand paper creates more friction then 180 grit.. How you may ask.. Because the 60 grin will heat up and burn my fingers at the application point.. What is the byproduct of friction ladies and gentlemen?? HEAT!!!!!!!
- If Piston quantity does not aid in stopping why do "High End performance cars" have 6 piston calipers???

*note: I will agree that tire compound and adhesion plays a HUGH part.. However, a vehicle with great rubber and stock tires will NOT perform as well as upgraded breaks... All the statements above are true to vehicles with "Wheels that grip"...


I am not trying to be a chode here but I completely disagree with Nose Nuggest on this one.. For the sake of fairness, where do you get your information upon which you base your opinions?? I would like to research and compare...

Good find eight08 this is a nice post to help people understand bigger breaks..

02 WRX.. "It's fun when it runs.. Problem is that it hardly ever does..."
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