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Old 04-17-2013, 06:36 PM   #1
BeBop86
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Default How To: Affordable ebrake solution for rear Brembos on WRX

As you may or may not know, STI's use a 190mm sized rear brake rotor hat / parking brake, whereas the WRX uses a 170mm. This poses an issue if you're installing STI rotors and Brembo calipers on your WRX, as your ebrake will have nothing to grab onto an thus cease to function. The front STI rotors and calipers will bolt on no problem (use 04 STI rotors as they are 5x100, or if you have dual drilled rotors, use those) so this post is only focusing on the rear.

I researched all my available solutions, and I came up with (what I feel) is the best, in terms of strength and reliability, and it happens to be the most affordable option.


First off, regardless of the route you choose to take, you're going to need to remove the rear dust shields from your backing plates. (I won't cover that, so go here for instructions: http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...74&postcount=2)


Now... as far are what options are currently available:

Option 1: DBA STI adapter rotors $375 + Kartboy Brackets $225

This option is by far the easiest, but convenience comes at a cost, as this is the most expensive option. These rotors are expensive and special order (can't pick them up from just anywhere). My only other concern is, I'd rather not use adapter brackets if I don't have to. I'd much rather choose a solid, one piece, OEM steel backing plate, which is why I didn't use caliper adapter brackets. Plus, I don't want to spend $225 and then have to modify them to make them fit Brembos.
$600

Option 2: Godspeed Ring Inserts $350 + Kartboy Brackets $225

This option is still what I would consider an easy option, but it's still an expensive one for what you're really getting (plus, Godspeed is in the UK, you're paying about $50 in shipping). Godspeed makes these ring inserts for stock STI rear rotors that take up the dead space and allow you to use your stock WRX ebrake parts. The issue is, you're stuck to using stock type STI rotors (can't use lightweight 2 piece rotors) and any time you need new rotors, you have to get the new rotors drilled and transfer the ring... but you can pick those rotors up just about anywhere for cheap.
$575

Option 3: Godspeed Thick Ebrake Shoes $250 + Kartboy Brackets $225

This is option is a bit more involved than the previous, as you're replacing the ebrake pads, but still what I would consider an easy option. Godspeed is the only company I know of that specifically makes thicker ebrake shoes for this exact application, but it's expensive with UK shipping. These ebrake shoes allow you to use any type of STI rotors, and since you shouldn't be using your ebrake for handbrake turns anyways they should last you the life of the car.
$475
*Edit* It looks like KNS Brakes (US based store) offer pre-made thick ebrake shoes for $200. So for those that can't find a shop to do it nearby them, or don't feel like going through the effort, this is a good option. *Edit*
$425*

Option 4: Custom thick ebrake shoes $140 + OEM 06/07 WRX backing plates $130

This is the option I came up with after some research. This setup is the most difficult to accomplish, but it's still an easy task. Turns out, relining drum brake shoes is a thing, and since our ebrakes are nothing more than a drum brake inside our disc brake, I figured this should work.

I took my stock shoes to a local business (Unlimited Service in Bellingham, WA) and explained what I was doing. Jim told me they have 12.7mm (1/2") pad material that was flexible enough to adhere to my shoes, and he could arc them to match the new rotor. 2 days and $140 later, I had a set of thicker ebrake shoes. The new pad material is about 12.6mm thick, so that gave me about 2.6mm working material (1.4mm thinner than the Godspeed shoes). There was plenty of adjustment left in the ebrake mechanism, that this was plenty of material. I didn't shop around either, so you might even be able to get a set made for even cheaper.

Since I have an 2002 WRX, I decided to use OEM 06/07 WRX rear backing plates. They are the correct bolt spacing to bolt on the Brembo calipers and keep your ebrake/abs. At only $65 a piece from the dealer, these were even cheaper than using adapter brackets. If you are performing this work on a 2006 or 2007 WRX, this is an unneeded step, and you're finished at $140 ebrake pads. However, if you own a 2002-2005 WRX, you need to remove your hub in order to get to the backing plates. I currently have 170k miles on my chassis (hard miles, as this is my track day / autocross car) and since the rear bearings have never been replaced to my knowledge, and I was installing longer wheel studs, I went ahead and did them during this install. You don't have to replace them, but if they're old or worn, you probably should (there are plenty of threads that have people saying it's fine not to). Since they are a maintenance item on their own, I didn't include them in the cost of this project... but if you did, figure $100 in extra parts to do both sides.
$270

Hope this thread helps some of you guys out!

Enjoy


Custom shoes sitting inside Girodisc 2-piece rotor:


Taken after installing the new shoes:


With the rotor install:

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Last edited by BeBop86; 04-24-2013 at 02:58 PM. Reason: Updated with more current info
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:38 PM   #2
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So, What exactly do we need to tell the person making the brake shoes in order to have a successful brembo swap?
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:46 PM   #3
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Nice job!
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:28 PM   #4
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Sweet write up and discovery!
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:41 PM   #5
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Thanks guys

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCal_Scooby View Post
So, What exactly do we need to tell the person making the brake shoes in order to have a successful brembo swap?
Tell them you need ay least 0.50" pad material attached to your stock shoes. My local shop said they had 0.75" material but it wasnt flexible enough to work with my shoes (I'm using Godspeed's14mm pads as a benchmark, which is 0.55"). If you can get thicker material, get as close to 0.55" as you can.

Lend them the STI Brembo sized rotor so they can arc the pad to the new larger rotor (otherwise only the tip portion of the new pad will touch).
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:48 PM   #6
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what type of shop would I have to go to in order to get this done? I doubt I could walk into any automotive repair shop and they would be able to do this
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:25 PM   #7
BeBop86
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Ask around, or do a Google search for:

"Brake Relining near your location" or Brake relining service.


For example, I found a couple in Washington State:

-Service Unlimited in Bellingham, WA
-Brake & Clutch Supply in Everett, WA
-Brake & Clutch Supply in Seattle, WA
-Cascade Friction Materials in Tacoma, WA
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:35 PM   #8
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Can you discuss what all was needed to swap backing plates? Did that require a shop press?
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:07 PM   #9
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Excellent write up. Great research and options for everyone.

^5
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Old 04-21-2013, 01:12 AM   #10
BeBop86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Concillian View Post
Can you discuss what all was needed to swap backing plates? Did that require a shop press?
The backing plates just bolt on. 02-07 WRX knuckles are the same, but the 06/07 backing plates are different (specifically the caliper mounting ears, everything else is the same) However, to get to them, you must press/pull your hubs off (a good opportunity for installing extended wheel studs).
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmp6889928 View Post
Excellent write up. Great research and options for everyone.

^5
Thank you
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Old 04-21-2013, 03:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeBop86 View Post
Ask around, or do a Google search for:

"Brake Relining near your location" or Brake relining service.


For example, I found a couple in Washington State:

-Service Unlimited in Bellingham, WA
-Brake & Clutch Supply in Everett, WA
-Brake & Clutch Supply in Seattle, WA
-Cascade Friction Materials in Tacoma, WA
Thanks
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:20 PM   #12
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So, since I have an 06. The only thing I need for the swap is the caliper, hardware, and the thicker brake shoes?
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:46 PM   #13
BeBop86
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Yep!
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:15 AM   #14
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We've had all of these items for some time now.

We have the brackets - no modification needed.

We have the DBA rotors - probably 40 pair in stock so not special order anymore.

We have the relined shoes and regular rotors if you want to go that route as well.
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:01 AM   #15
BeBop86
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How much for your guys' relined shoes?
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:35 AM   #16
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They are on the website.
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:16 PM   #17
BeBop86
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I didn't see them when I put my year and type of vehicle in... You should have them on that product page as well?

That's an acceptable price, considering you're getting new shoes and not relining your old ones.

I do still stand by my opinion that OEM backing plates are better than adapters, and that its more affordable to have someone reline your existing shoes... but... it's nice to know someone is selling them in the US.
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:48 PM   #18
KNS Brakes
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Yeah we have a solution for that soon - html owns me but hopefully within a few weeks it will be better - an 'upgrade' section for each car.

And I also agree on the back plate statement. Our solution is doable in the driveway and makes sense for a lot of users and to date other than a few fitment issues it's been rock solid. More choices always helps.
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:50 PM   #19
BeBop86
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Haha, no worries.

And that's why I listed all the options I could find, as well as their level of difficulty.

Cheap doesn't always mean easy, and my solution isn't for everyone
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Old 04-24-2013, 03:38 PM   #20
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Regarding option three: you can purchase shoes AND multi-piece bracket from Godspeed for 149.99 + US shipping. That price actually includes VAT as well, so knock 20% off the list price as we don't need to pay their VAT on this side of the pond.

And if you happen to want the shoes + brackets, well I just happen to know someone selling an unused set.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:18 AM   #21
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OP what rear rotor are you using?
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:06 PM   #22
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so if you get the oem backing plates. what rotor do you use? 04 sti? 06 wrx?

say you get 2004 sti rotors / 2004 sti e-brake shoes and 06 wrx backing plate... will this combo work?
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:32 PM   #23
BeBop86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thejaredhuang View Post
OP what rear rotor are you using?
I'm using Girodisc 2-piece STI sized rotors. They are dual drilled to work on 04-07 STI's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xilles View Post
so if you get the oem backing plates. what rotor do you use? 04 sti? 06 wrx?

say you get 2004 sti rotors / 2004 sti e-brake shoes and 06 wrx backing plate... will this combo work?
Let me see if I can answer all of your questions:

If you have an 02-05 WRX you'll need either the adapter brackets or 06-07 WRX backing plates.

You would use an 04 STI sized rear rotor, as that is 5x100 and the correct rotor size.

06-07 wrx rotors are too small in thickness and diameter for STI Brembo calipers.

The STI ebrake shoe with NOT fit any year WRX backing plates (the hub/bearing is much larger), so no, that would not work.
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:36 AM   #24
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Maybe this helps.

TO put Brembo's on any pre 08 Impreza/WRX -

-You accommodate the different mounting point w/ either the brackets or 06/07 back plate.

-You accommodate the larger park brake drum by either the thicker ebrake shoes or adaptor rotor.

The adaptor rotor is more than a cheap 04 STi rotor - but is much easier to install.

The ebrake shoe is perhaps cheaper overall - but not all STi rotors seal the park brake correctly.

I think both paths are pretty equal overall - neither are perfect but both work well enough to like them.
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:19 AM   #25
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Good thread.
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