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Old 08-10-2009, 09:50 AM   #1
sureshot007
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Default School me on brakes

I have been in other people's cars in which when the brakes are applied, it feels like someone is ripping your face off. I can't seem to reproduce these results in my car. How do I make my wrx wagon stop like this? I am able to lock the wheels with the abs off, but it doesn't have the same sort of force. What makes their brake systems work so much better than mine?

For reference, the cars I am talking about are a Type R, R32 Golf, C5 Z06, and all were at autox. My last setup was Hawk HP+, slotted rotors and Hankook C50 275/17s, ATE Super Blue fluid.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:04 AM   #2
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You're sitting in the passenger seat. Your sensations are VERY different when you aren't holding a steering wheel and having your foot on the gas.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:04 AM   #3
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I was driving them.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooleyjb View Post
You're sitting in the passenger seat. Your sensations are VERY different when you aren't holding a steering wheel and having your foot on the gas.
This is true, when you're driving you don't feel various forces as strongly as when you're in the passenger's seat. As far as braking force, a lot of this comes from the tires. Assuming they are within their ideal temp range, if you can lock the brakes with your current setup they are probably stopping as well as anything else.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:17 AM   #5
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I've always felt that way too but, I still catch many people under braking. My Type-R would pull my eyes out but, in reality I can't say that it braked better than my WRX with Brembo's.

I think rather than "feel" you need to find some way to gather real numbers.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:27 AM   #6
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If you can lock up the tires, no braking mods are going to improve your stopping distances. Only stickier rubber...
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:31 AM   #7
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yes, i've never been able to truely explain how my imprezas (i've had nearly every factory brake setup/combination on one car or another) seem to suck most at braking more than anything. Plenty fast and handle well, just suck at braking, even with the brembo's sporting good fluid and porterfield R4S pads.
My old mr2's for example, with just cheap rotors, cheap who-knows-what pads, and good fluid/lines, will smear you on the windshield for 1/4 the cost of parts.

I'd say its about weight, but my V5 STi probably weighed less than my 93T mr2 for example... so again, who knows. Sure didn't out-brake it.

However i think you guys talking about "feel" have hit the nail on the head. I think a lot of the problem lies in subaru's master cylinder, which bleeds off initial bite/pressure to smooth out braking. What? thats stupid. I guess i can understand that for everyday sissy-whiny people, but i want good brakes i can feel and modulate well. The rest of the hardware my STi is equipped with should be more than capable of stopping me insanely, so it must the last remaining piece I can't change out.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REX8 View Post
If you can lock up the tires, no braking mods are going to improve your stopping distances. Only stickier rubber...
That's what I figured, but I wanted to make sure, since I am not a brake expert.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
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I think a lot of the problem lies in subaru's master cylinder, which bleeds off initial bite/pressure to smooth out braking.
Is this true? Is there another MC that I can swap in to correct this?
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
If you can lock up the tires, no braking mods are going to improve your stopping distances. Only stickier rubber...
I was going to suggest this too but, it looks like he's got some beefy rubber on there already.
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:53 PM   #11
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A lot is psychological; if you want spend the money on a single stage brake booster and you'll feel a lot more connected. At least I did back in the RS days comparing my car to one retrofitted with the older booster.
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sureshot007 View Post
I have been in other people's cars in which when the brakes are applied, it feels like someone is ripping your face off. I can't seem to reproduce these results in my car. How do I make my wrx wagon stop like this? I am able to lock the wheels with the abs off, but it doesn't have the same sort of force. What makes their brake systems work so much better than mine?

For reference, the cars I am talking about are a Type R, R32 Golf, C5 Z06, and all were at autox. My last setup was Hawk HP+, slotted rotors and Hankook C50 275/17s, ATE Super Blue fluid.
Just a couple of ideas to throw out there.

Every car is going to feel different based on suspension, not just brakes. Those other cars may dive more or less then the Suby, creating that sensation of enourmous stopping power. It also has a lot to do with the master cylinders and brake boosters in each car. In our WRX's, subaru gave us a "2 stage" brake booster which, as the poster above explained, is meant to smooth out braking on light-to-moderate stops, but should not be a huge issue for hard braking like auto-x.

That being said, how do you improve upon the Suby? Better pads, smoother braking (not getting into ABS), make sure you bleed them often, brake booster support (I run a cusco one)... In uato-x I run autoZone pads because of the low tempurature functionality of them. HP+ should be fine, however. On track, I go with Carbotech XP10's and they feel like your harness turned into a brick wall!
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Old 08-10-2009, 01:28 PM   #13
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Ok, thanks for the info guys. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.
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Old 08-10-2009, 02:40 PM   #14
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I've gotta ask what your suspension setup is, particularly shocks.

It's possible your suspension isn't transferring weight well (either not smoothly, or not fast enough), and that you need to adjust your pedal technique to add more braking more slowly.

-Mike
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Old 08-10-2009, 02:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterKwan View Post
I was going to suggest this too but, it looks like he's got some beefy rubber on there already.
Just read that. Yikes. I would think it would be putting him in the belts pretty hard...
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Old 08-10-2009, 02:55 PM   #16
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Wonder if his pads don't get to temp on the autocross and he's losing braking from cold pads? For shortish autocross tracks, I wonder if a lesser pad might be better? Something that grips better in the temp ranges he hits on the course?
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:08 PM   #17
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To bounce off of Kwans point:

I'll try to help. I run ST40 calipers on the stop tech 328x28 rotors. I really have no problem putting the car on it's nose. I really, really like the carbotech bobcat (it may be panther + I'd have to look at the box) for auto-x. They have excellent cold bite. I've ran alot of others.

I also absolutely cannot drive my car with the abs disabled. It just locks the fronts with the slightest pressure. I suck.

This is not to say I've ever been thrilled with Subaru braking. Even with stock calipers and rotors I found, for me with auto-x in mind, pads and good fluid had the most profound impact. They way my car is now I have no real complaints other than the "feel" of the pedal. I know it's stopping the best it can w/in the ruleset. Even though I have been thinking about dropping the booster lately, to improve feel.
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:18 PM   #18
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It stops, don't get me wrong - just not the same "holy crap!" feeling when you smash the brakes.

I also run with the abs on. I ran once with it off, and spun every time I tapped the brakes.

As for suspension, I have Koni SA with 500lb springs.
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:33 PM   #19
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edit: oops, just saw your last post about suspension lol


what year subaru do you have? i feel that my 4/2 pots with hawk pads and ss lines and superblue brake pretty good compared to other cars.
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:35 PM   #20
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wait...wat?
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:07 PM   #21
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it's normal english, you'll figure it out.
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:08 PM   #22
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I have an 02 wagon. I don't have SS lines yet though.
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:13 PM   #23
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have you driven an 06-07 wrx or any sti?

or maybe you're just so used to your car that it feels like its braking slower, because you already know what to expect as soon as you hit the brakes.
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:24 PM   #24
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I have driven both, and they feel the same to me.
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:30 PM   #25
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It's all about feel. My Accord's brakes are so touchy that a slight push snaps your neck forward, where the Suby needs a good bit of travel to get that plus it still doesn't have that immediate jerk to it. It is much easier to do things like heel-and-toe with the Suby - the Honda pedal is just too light and grabby.
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