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Old 06-01-2010, 07:33 PM   #1
Davenow
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Default This is going to get a lot of you bent out of shape. RE: Brake upgrades

READ THIS FIRST

The point of this thread, since no one seems to be able to get this, and I will add it to the first post is








99% of people, with increased power, the only time they are going to need stopping power greater than what a bone stock brake/tire setup can offer, is when they are going down the road and have an "OH ISHT" panic brake situation.

And in that situation, there is no brake setup on the planet that will stop you any faster than the OEM pads/rotors/lines/fluid will.
The ONLY thing that will shorten that distance, is a stickier tire.


And for most people, they mod their car and they go out and rail on it from a stop or roll, usually in a straight line. The braking power they have to worry about is going to come into play

when they see a cop
When they hit a red light
When something is coming out in front of them
When there is some reason they need to get on the brakes hard and fast to avoid hitting something.

None of those things would see any benefit whatsoever, from upgraded pads,rotors, lines, or fluid, or any combination of them. Only a stickier tire is going to make the car slow down or stop in a shorter distance.


So, to be clear, if in an effort to make the message of this post look incorrect, you are posting something completely irrelevant if you

1. You bring up power gains
2. You bring up racing
3. You bring up anything other than the type of street driving that 99% of people actually do.
---Most people don't do canyon runs or anything similar to that.

Unfortunately, those 3 points above, encompass at least half the responses in this thread
Point is, stop trying to come up with situations that I am not talking about, just to make this post look incorrect, to justify what you spent on your brake kit. Maybe you do something that requires it, most people however, even with 400+whp, don't, and won't.



And just to make it clear once again.

For 99% of people with increased HP, the main brake performance issue is going to be

Panic braking in an emergency situation (be it a cop, old lady pulling in front of them, or just oh **** a red light)













When people talk about modding their car to make more power, someone almost always comes in and tells them that with more power, they need more handling and more braking.

While this is solid reasoning, its not always a necessity.

My personal philosophy is that when upgrading a vehicle, address everything, to maintain a nice balance.

However, there is a flaw with part of the logic of "if you upgrade one you must upgrade all 3 in order to remain safe"

If you go from stock, to 400whp, upgrading the brakes, IS NOT NEEDED AND YOU WILL BE NO SAFER THAN YOU WOULD BE ON STOCK BRAKES.

Now, I know a lot of you are now no longer reading this and are already forming your replies, and unfortunately many of you will base them on beliefs you have formed by reading what others have said on the internet, who only said what they said, because they read it on the internet. Or based on misconceptions. (some of you may have well thought out and solid arguements as well) Those of you about to say I am wrong, I assure you, are wrong. Please do me and yourselves a favor, and make sure you UNDERSTAND WHAT I AM SAYING before replying.

Here is the thing.

A WRX with @170whp (stock 2.0L typical) traveling at 10, 40, 60, 130mph, will take the exact same force to stop, as a fire breathing alcohol fueled 800whp WRX traveling 10, 40, 60, 130mph.


Take either of those cars, put a $14000 stoptech 8 piston f/6piston r setup, and do the same full boogie panic stops, and what do we get?

THE EXACT SAME STOPPING DISTANCE.

(now, lets leave heat induced fade off the table for now, as it isnt something that 90% of people that would argue that you have to upgrade the brakes would ever run into on stock brakes anyway) For the sake of this discussion, lets look at what people are really talking about. Panic stops, someone pulls in front of you OH ISHT nailing the brakes to avoid hitting them, stopping or the rate at which you can slow down enough to avoid impact (since you dont always have to stop)

Why is that?

What stops cars? What is the ultimate force that determines what point the traveling vehicle will no longer be traveling?

Friction. Not the friction between the pads and the rotors, but the friction between the tire and the road.


Now, lets take 2 cars again.

First WRX, 170whp, bone stock brakes. 225/45/17s in a dot legal R compound.

Second car, whatever WHP, and $7k in brake upgrades. Stock tires. Heck lets even say they went to stock STI 225/45/17 RE070s.

Send both cars down the same road, in the same weather conditions at the same speed. Have someone pull out in front of them.

Tell me, which one will stop short enough, or be able to slow down fast enough to avoid a wreck?

I bet more than half of nasioc would pick the car with $7k in brake upgrades. Those people would all be in an accident.



How does a car stop? Well, how does it move? What moves, that causes the big hunk of metal to move?

TIRES.

What gets a car off the line faster? Less wheelspin. WHat gets you less wheelspin? Stickier tires.

What gets you through a corner faster? More traction, what gets you more traction? Stickier tires.

Just like when you are trying to accelerate a vehicle, the amount of grip the tire has on the road, will determine how fast you can get moving forward (or backwards if you are a launch in reverse type of guy ) Its the EXACT SAME THING when trying to slow or stop.

OEM brakes have FAR more than enough power to lock up even a big wide sticky r compound tire.

People like to cite that the STI has a shorter stopping distance with its Brembos. The brembos have nothing to do with it. The RE92s have everything to do with it.



So a lot of people at this point, will argue that "well then why do they put brembos and big brakes on sports cars if they dont stop you any shorter"

The answer is intended purpose, and as much as many people dont want to believe, LOOKS/CUSTOMER PERCEPTION.

The "intended use" for the STI is hard performance driving. Track days, racing, its a car with actual motorsport use in mind. Even if they have watered it down and softened it for normal day to day use, its still a car that was built for motorsport use.

Big fixed mount calipers with lots of pistons, and large diameter rotors offer something a floating caliper with normal sized rotors dont offer. Mass. More mass=more resistance to heat induced fade. They also offer a more consistant and precise pedal, which allows finer braking control into corners.

They also offer a look. Like the new WRX, look at how many people complain that they "downgraded" the brakes. When in fact, from a stopping distance standpoint, there is no change.

Look at the competition for the STI, the EVO. What would happen to STi sales if they removed the brembos and the EVO kept them? That would sway those people who are on the fence, a little more towards the EVO.

Finally, lets look at the group-N STI rally cars. What brakes do they run?

That's right, not the Brembos. They run the older FHI 4 pot/2 pot setup in order to clear the smaller rally wheels. Yet they stop JUST FINE.



Lines, well lines are, from a stopping distance and fade standpoint, completely useless. Nail the brakes, things lock up rubber or steel lines makes no difference. Heat the brakes up, stainless lines have nothing to do with anything.

What lines DO get you, is a more consistant pedal, allowing more precise control.



Fluid, unless you are doing repeated hard braking enough to boil normal fluid, going to "upgraded" fluid, is a waste of money, and $18/bottle motul wont get you anything that $3 autozone fluid wont.




Rotors? NEVER an upgrade unless your factory rotors are damaged/very worn. Or if you go to a larger diameter rotor. Even then, that will only increase the amount of force per bit of pedal travel, to the point where they just lock up. Which would have happened on OEM sized rotors anyway. Slotted/drilled, at this point, is pointless and is for looks. Modern pads dont off gas like they used to, so having the slots/dimples/holes to vent off the gasses, well there is no need. Not only that, but 90% of drilled rotors will end up cracking. So if you want the look, GO FOR IT!, but buy a rotor that was cast with holes, not a solid that was drilled after. Break out the wallet though, and be prepared to search, not many people carry them and they arent cheap. If you do shows, do what I did, carry a set of $99 ebay cross drilled rotors with you and slap them on at the show. It takes 20 min.





"BUT MY BUDDY PUT BREMBOS ON HIS WRX WITH WTFBBQ ALLOY PADS, SUPERBUTTSEKS INCREDITAINIUM LINES AND CHUCK NORRIS BRAND FLUID AND IT STOPS WAY HARDER."


No, it doesnt. It has a lot more INITIAL BITE.
95% of people will mistake initial bite and/or decreased pedal travel, for the ability to stop shorter.

A locked tire is a locked tire. And while big brakes can lock a tire without having to push the pedal as hard, stock brakes can still lock the tires instantly if you nail the pedal. Therefor, stopping distance and rate of slowing down, is unchanged.,




So what can you do to make the car safer if you up the power?

Well, for one thing, if you are driving responsibly and within the law, why do you need to upgrade the brakes at all? Ok so obviously that is a dumb point to bring up

No but seriously, you upped the power and you want the car to be able to stop shorter


Well, as we have established, the grip of the tire on the road is the ultimate determining factor, so you want wider and or stickier tires. Preferably, both.

There is another aspect to look at too. Weight. A heavy object takes more force to accelerate or decelerate than a lighter one.

Put your car and yourself on a diet.

I think its hilarious that someone adding 50whp, and refusing to upgrade the brakes, is shunned and flamed, yet someone adding 200lbs of stereo gear/other things, no one even mentions the brakes. Rest assured that 200lbs of weight WILL increase stopping distance measureably.






Handling, thats another story altogether. A car that handles better is always safer than one that doesnt. In fact if you are so worried about safety, handling should be your first priority. Guess where the very first place you should look when it comes to handling Yup, those same black round things that will make you stop shorter.





This is a bit of a mind dump, so forgive me if it jumps around a bit or if I missed something or repeated myself.

Ill add more or edit it as needed when I get a minute.
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Last edited by Davenow; 11-01-2010 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:38 PM   #2
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probably one of the most helpful posts ive seen in a long time, thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:40 PM   #3
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Agreed
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:41 PM   #4
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Great write up.
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:44 PM   #5
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wow, mind bleeding.
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:48 PM   #6
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IBunabomber says something

good post
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:49 PM   #7
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While I completely agree with everything your saying, and tires/pads have alot to do with stopping distance, if you track your car and have significantly more horsepower than stock, wouldn't it make sense to have better performing brakes since you will be reaching higher speeds?
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:54 PM   #8
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This is news?

The reason you upgrade your brakes when you upgrade your power isn't to decrease your stopping distance, it's because you're capable of getting back up to high speed much more frequently on twisty roads/tracks, which will very quickly lead to fade on many subaru models.

I've personally run into dangerously bad brake fade on the 06 WRX brakes with cheap pads.
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:59 PM   #9
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Unabomber says I agree with this post 1000% and I think it's the greatest post of 2010 so far. Mind you, I learned nothing I didn't already know, but it's a terrific idea to put the "common knowledge" into writing for those that don't know. I'm also a fan of ghetto brake fluid and think that anyone that has stainless steel brake lines is a moron.


<-----has stainless steel lines, but they were a gift and I noticed zero improvement one way or the other.
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:03 PM   #10
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awesome post! couldnt have been said any better.
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:08 PM   #11
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agreed and good post. your entire argument is based on "OEM brakes have FAR more than enough power to lock up even a big wide sticky r compound tire", which i assume to be true.

though, i must say, the 08 WRX (i used to own) seemed to have very weak brakes. though i think this was a case of mistaken identity of "brake feel" versus "brake performance".
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevosnowsti View Post
While I completely agree with everything your saying, and tires/pads have alot to do with stopping distance, if you track your car and have significantly more horsepower than stock, wouldn't it make sense to have better performing brakes since you will be reaching higher speeds?
i think the point of the original post is: for a street driven car brembos, stop-techs, etc are just for bling; most purpose built rally cars only have to subaru 4 pots in them because if the tires they run and that's enough for them and that's enough brake for them. So its pretty hard to justify spending the money people spend on big brake kits because chances are you go nowhere near the braking limits on a street driven car and it would be pretty damn hard to get to the limits on a track car because rally cars. though i would argue that driving on tarmac is a lot rougher on the brakes than gravel i still tend to agree with the OP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinter View Post
This is news?

The reason you upgrade your brakes when you upgrade your power isn't to decrease your stopping distance, it's because you're capable of getting back up to high speed much more frequently on twisty roads/tracks, which will very quickly lead to fade on many subaru models.

I've personally run into dangerously bad brake fade on the 06 WRX brakes with cheap pads.
the point is with good pads most subaru owners will never get their brakes to that point and that upgrading your brakes before upgrading your tires is useless. I would bet good money that at least 75% of the members here have never taken their car beyond the 1/4 dragstrip or an autocross.

btw stop-tech bbk owner agrees 100% with original post

Last edited by prometheum; 06-01-2010 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:12 PM   #13
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Ta Da, whiteness the wisdom of Davenow newbie fanbois.
By the way, I have found one place to cook the oem's doing the speed limit, but it is a steep hill, three miles long and just about the twistest road in Oregon and the speed limit is only 35, k, so I may exceed it by 5-7 mph on the 100 foot long "straits"
I may pick up some better pads and fluid, but only because I have moderate track aspirations for it, no intention to get a bbk for all the reasons you have stated.
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prometheum View Post
though i would argue that driving on tarmac is a lot rougher on the brakes than gravel i still tend to agree with the OP
Exactely, rally cars are rarely on tarmac, and are normally locking up during braking on gravel so large brakes wouldn't be of benefit. The track is a different story.
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prometheum View Post
the point is with good pads most subaru owners will never get their brakes to that point and that upgrading your brakes before upgrading your tires is useless. I would bet good money that at least 75% of the members here have never taken their car beyond the 1/4 dragstrip or an autocross.
This is not true. Period.

You upgrade your brakes and tires for different reasons. You can easily heat soak the factory WRX brakes with stock tires, you upgrade the tires for stopping distance (as far as upgrading them for braking is concerned), it has nothing to do with brake fade. At all. There is every reason in the world to upgrade your brakes without upgrading your tires, depending on how you drive. Besides, does anyone seriously roll around on stock tires? I don't even consider that to be a mod...

1/4 drag strip? Nothing to do with brake fade.
Autocross? Very little to do with brake fade.
Canyon runs? Lots to do with brake fade!

There is a huge number of people on this forum who would dump a few grand into their WRX, get it up around the 300bhp number and go push it hard through some twisties without upgrading the brakes, and under those circumstances you are very likely to experience brake fade.
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:34 PM   #16
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only problem I see is what was the second car with the 8k brakes??...if it was a 09 STi it would havent stoped in time since its heaver than say a 03 WRX
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:35 PM   #17
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couldnt have sad it any better myself nice write up...
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prometheum View Post
i think the point of the original post is: for a street driven car brembos, stop-techs, etc are just for bling; most purpose built rally cars only have to subaru 4 pots in them because if the tires they run and that's enough for them and that's enough brake for them.
The OP is the one that said rally racing. He makes it seem these guys are flying through the woods at 120mph with stock wrx brakes

Yes for daily driving duty stock breaks are 100% ok no matter what power level. But if your car see's an ounce of track duty or "spirited driving" through the twisty roads you better have better pads and fluid. Steel lines are not a must but they do give a more consistant pedal feel which in my book is an updgrade so its worth doing. I've personally cooked a set of MINI Cooper S brakes on some twisty mountain roads. NOT fun and did not take that long.

If you do more serious racing such as track events then there are HUGE gains to be had with larger rotor/caliper set-up. Not in stopping distance, that is in the tires as already discussed but in the lack of brake fade and all around heat resistance.
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:41 PM   #19
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tires have a lot to do with brake fade; your brakes will have a pretty hard time fading if you don't have enough traction. you can do 900 60-0 passes on a rainy day on stock wrx brakes and they will not fade on you.

i agree and understand resistance to brake fade and braking power are 2 separate things.

sure people don't roll around on stock tires but how many people here roll around on super sticky tires that cost $200 a pop?

i would still venture to say that only a minority of nasioc will actually take their brakes to the limits; and for those people have a blast doing it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinter View Post
This is not true. Period.

You upgrade your brakes and tires for different reasons. You can easily heat soak the factory WRX brakes with stock tires, you upgrade the tires for stopping distance (as far as upgrading them for braking is concerned), it has nothing to do with brake fade. At all. There is every reason in the world to upgrade your brakes without upgrading your tires, depending on how you drive. Besides, does anyone seriously roll around on stock tires? I don't even consider that to be a mod...

1/4 drag strip? Nothing to do with brake fade.
Autocross? Very little to do with brake fade.
Canyon runs? Lots to do with brake fade!

There is a huge number of people on this forum who would dump a few grand into their WRX, get it up around the 300bhp number and go push it hard through some twisties without upgrading the brakes, and under those circumstances you are very likely to experience brake fade.
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:29 PM   #20
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If you spend a few grand to get any 02+ Wrx or sti to 300 brake horse power then they have too much money and this is a non issue. However for those of use that get a fuel pump injs a turbo and a tune (1000-1500) then a 4k bbk is an obsticle assuming looks are a priority.


Now this may over simplify what Dave said but
these http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Compl...Q5fAccessories


Are equal to these for 80% of use scoobie owners out there http://www.intensepower.com/en6frbbkis.html
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:53 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neversummer489 View Post
If you spend a few grand to get any 02+ Wrx or sti to 300 brake horse power then they have too much money and this is a non issue.
I have no idea what this is supposed to mean.

Care to rephrase?
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Old 06-01-2010, 11:23 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davenow View Post
Lines, well lines are, from a stopping distance and fade standpoint, completely useless. Nail the brakes, things lock up rubber or steel lines makes no difference. Heat the brakes up, stainless lines have nothing to do with anything.

What lines DO get you, is a more consistant pedal, allowing more precise control.

Rotors? NEVER an upgrade unless your factory rotors are damaged/very worn.
I agree with 99% of what you said, but wanted to chime in on a point you probably already know and simply forgot about.

With rotors there are many lighter options out there which make a difference to rotational and unsprung weight, both great things to handling and braking

With lines you have the pedal feel like you said, but also extra protection from damage. I fell victim to a stock line coming loose while on the track, rubbing on the rim and slicing open......... the line popped in a 130+ brake zone.........luckily it only caused immediate failure for one of the front cailpers and not both. The steel lines would have held up better to this mishap and I would have noticed the problem at the end of the session rather then on track heh.

Apart from that spot on

Quote:
Originally Posted by prometheum View Post
tires have a lot to do with brake fade; your brakes will have a pretty hard time fading if you don't have enough traction. you can do 900 60-0 passes on a rainy day on stock wrx brakes and they will not fade on you.
900 60-0 passes on a rainy day....... so basically your just locking it up and sliding...... putting very little stress on the brakes, bit of a pointless statement. Now go do 10-15 full stops from 60+ on stock WRX brakes and tell me you don't notice any fade....... now up it to 100+.
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:23 AM   #23
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The main pseudo counter-point that I would make is that as you drive your car, you must pay attention to your braking system. If, as you drive, you see signs that your braking system is beginning to fail, or if it fails all together, then it needs to be addressed.

This is regardless of power level.

Of course, if you drive your car at the track, or auto-X, etc., then you would still use this same rule of thumb, though the chances of pushing your braking system to the failure point would be much greater.

If you do see a form of failure, there a number of effective options out there that will help you improve your braking system. You should definitely do your research, etc. and make sure that you understand what each option does, and how it works, etc. and pick the right one for your application.

There are a number of options out there even if you stick with your stock calipers. And depending on the application, a bigger brake kit may be applicable as well.

Some of these options are:

- Learning to use your brakes properly (extremely overlooked, and very effective)

- Higher boiling point fluid (DOT 4 for instance. However, don't go crazy, fade is actually a good thing)

- Brake cooling ducts.

- Stainless Steel Lines. Master Cylinder Braces are also very handy. The two of them together may be something else to consider.

- Different compound pad. Also very effective and often overlooked.

- Tires. I almost forgot the most least obvious solution (in terms of improving braking)

- Up-graded caliper/rotor/big-brake kit.

Again, whether you need to consider any of these options, etc. depends on what you experience as you drive your car. If your brakes work effectively, and show no signs of failure as you drive, then most likely what ever you have on there all ready is perfectly effective.

One other thing worth mentioning is that if you can not get your ABS to engage (assuming that your car has ABS of course) this is another sign that your brake system may need to be improved. If you can not get your car into ABS braking, you are not able to reach your cars maximum braking potential.

Last edited by FlatironsTuning.com; 06-02-2010 at 12:34 AM.
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:44 AM   #24
prometheum
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900 60-0 passes on a rainy day....... so basically your just locking it up and sliding...... putting very little stress on the brakes, bit of a pointless statement. Now go do 10-15 full stops from 60+ on stock WRX brakes and tell me you don't notice any fade....... now up it to 100+.
its a bit of an extreme analogy but you're still failing to see the correlation between tires and brake fade? RE92's are not gonna put as much stress on your brakes as Yokohoma Advans
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:47 AM   #25
Splinter
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its a bit of an extreme analogy but you're still failing to see the correlation between tires and brake fade? RE92's are not gonna put as much stress on your brakes as Yokohoma Advans
Stock brakes should be able to lock up any street tire.
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