There are a couple things about your post I want to address.
1. When most people here talk about the need to upgrade their brakes, because now with more power they need to be able to stop better, they are saying, and I am not imagining this, its what I have read time and time again, they are saying "if I am now moving faster with this more power, and someone pulls out in front of me"
THAT RIGHT THERE "someone pulls out in front of me"
Is dead on, textbook "one panic stop"
So you are off in the idea that that is not the MAIN concern for the average member here (and I am speaking of enthusiasts, lets keep in mind, being an enthusiast doesnt= necessarily knowing what they are talking about or being a great driver)
Your statement "ability to lock up the wheel/engage abs is irrelevant to braking performance" Is so misleading as to the point where I believe you are doing it intentionally.
OF COURSE IT IS RELEVANT TO BRAKING PERFORMANCE. How you can say it isnt, is beyond me. If you cant lock the tire, your brakes arent powerful enough. (I am talking about ability to lock it if there was no ABS, obviously we dont WANT to lock it, which is why we have ABS) What I am saying is that if your brakes are capable of bringing the tire to its adhesion limit, the point where the ABS kicks on, there is no benefit to making that brake system more powerful.
A locked up wheel, means the brake has given all it can, and has done its raw mechanical job of taking an object in motion (in this case the rotor) and stopped it from moving. If you can make the ABS kick on, your brakes are as powerful as they are ever going to get.
SO, now on to the "you cannot steer the vehicle if the wheels are locked"
Exactly. So what can we do about it? Well, obviously, going to a brake system that can lock a wheel with even less effort is not going to be any sort of a solution.
If the brake is able to lock up the wheel, there is absolutely zero reason, or benefit, to going to a larger or more powerful brake. The mere notion that there would be, is absurd, unless you are speaking of repeated braking situations, where heatsoak is an issue, at which point pad compound/fluid rating/rotor mass needs to be looked at. However, again, you need to look at the threads where people are saying "I added 100hp, now I need brakes in case someone pulls out in front of me" Because, in those situations, big brakes mean exactly dick.
You are also grossly overestimating the average subaru enthusiast in 2011. Sadly, we arent all a bunch of performance driven people, striving for higher engineering and higher performing systems. Now, the majority, know very little about the car, and if you go to a meet, sadly, 8 out of 10 people there, will be the sort that thinks that the secret to being a great driver, is planting their right foot on the floor and leaving it there.
Now, for those people, they most definitely would benefit from HUGE brake upgrades FOR TRACK DAYS, because their driving technique will be so poor that there would be no prayer for their OEM brake system to not fade and have the pedal turn to mush. I am not saying that to call them bad drivers, I am saying that because they are for the most part, completely inexperienced, and just like 99.9% of inexperienced drivers (in high performance driving situations over extended laps) will have poor braking technique.
But for day to day use, roll racing on the highway, and stoplight showoff races, which is all 99.99999% of the Subaru drivers will ever do, brake upgrades are little more than something that makes the pedal feel nicer, or make their car look nicer.
Ok, so what can we do to stop the car shorter? Well, the brakes have already done all they can. Now its up to the ABS system to modulate them. No big brake kit, lines, pads, fluid changes in the world can alter that. That is in the programming of the ABS computer itself.
So what is left?
You need something that will raise the threshold at which the tire locks up.
Which is traction.
How do you get more traction?
You can also lower the weight of the car. And do mods that ensure that you get the best balance from your brake system. (this is why the older cars stop better with the "H6" setup on the rear, it gets you a little more from the back. Since the car's brakes are too heavily front biased to begin with)
I have driven a miata with HPS's I drove it for a year and a half. I have driven numerous cars with any number of different brake combinations.
Want to know what changed the stopping distance on any of them? Stickier tires or shedding weight.
Here is where I almost start think you are just laying a big pile of horse **** out there to sell more brakes.
Your 97 outback. I cannot possibly for the life of me, even begin to imagine that this car just had brakes that "worked that way" as in they worked as they were designed to and as they were when delivered. You know as well as I do that this car had parts in need of repair and/or service. Some of these people may not know enough to know it, but you and I know it.
Anyone with any sort of mechanical background at all, can look at what you said, and see a very clear problem with the brakes on that car, as in something was malfunctioning.
The brakes on that car, when in good condition, are fine for what it is. In fact I know of people rallying on them with nothing more than lines/pads. Which, as I am sure you know will do dick squat about the problem you are describing, which is almost definitely a hanging caliper. I can almoct promise you that could have been fixed in 20-30 minutes with a set of loaded calipers from autozone/wherever.
IN FACT, you yourself shot your entire idea in the foot, when you laid out how you repaired it, and it worked fine.
You flushed it, and you replaced the pads. I promise you that using a great pad, which I am sure you did (why wouldnt you? You have access to them cheap) would have not fixed the problem any better than a set of $40 pads from vatozone.
I really wish people who just want to justify the expense or sell brakes would stop trying to poke holes in something that there has been multiple magazine articles proving 100% to be true, something multiple professional racers have said is true, and something any race car shop worth a damn will tell you, is true.
Stopping distance is tires and weight. PERIOD. (provided that the brake system is functioning properly)
Just stop with the entire "hurr duur heatsoak derp derp" crap. Heatsoak isnt a problem 90% of these people on nasioc will ever encounter. The 10% that do, all already know this information and arent searching the newbie forum looking for setup tips. So lets stop pretending that what applies to them applies to this thread.
Now, on to Subaru increasing the diameter of the rotors on the 09 WRX.
Are you really trying to make an apples to apples comparison of going from a 4 piston fixed mount caliper, to a 2 piston floating mount caliper, on a car with a completely different chassis?
Do I even need to point out how stupid that is? Do you want me to let the fact that you are ignoring (intentionally?) the concept of the fixed 4 piston caliper having a HELL of a lot more clamping force than a floating 2 piston, thereby not needing the same diameter rotor?
Did you leave that out intentionally hoping the newbies wouldnt know enough to take that into consideration, or did you yourself not know enough to take that into consideration.
Know what the worst part is? There are a lot of people out there that are not informed enough to know that just because someone is a vendor, that doesnt make them know what they are talking about. Because either you are intentionally trying to make it look like you need brake upgrades worse than you do, or you actually believe it. Either way isnt good.
Im out. Ill check back on the thread in a few weeks when my head is done assploading from the stupidity ****storm this forum has become.
Dont bother PMing me whining, I delete PMs on sight for the most part.