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Old 04-27-2004, 11:49 AM   #1
trhoppe
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Default Braaaaakes

A few questions about brakes and autox

Shawn (my codriver) who is coming from a Type R with R-compounds is complaining about the WRX brakes (surprise!) I've always liked the brakes and they haven't let me down (other then ice mode). So I have a question. Is it
a) Perspective
b) I'm driving around the fact that the brakes suck

Also, what will upgrading the brakes get me? Do I need to touch the rears or just upgrade the fronts??

Right now I have stainless lines, Carbotech bobcats, and ATE fluid and the stock damn rotors 50K miles, 2.5 years, oloa..... I very much like the way they feel. Of course they could be like a Type R, but I figured that was a car limitation.

I was thinking about
a) Wilwood 6 pot fronts with huge rotors and carbotech bobcats
b) Carbotech stock sized rotors and bobcats on the rear, stock calipers

How does that sound? Is there a setup that would be better? I know the stoptechs actually have less brake torque with their bigass calipers then the stockers. I'm assuming its the same thing with the wilwoods. Do I need to upgrade the rear calipers as well and rear rotors to prevent too much brake bias in the front?? Wilwood also makes the 4 pot rears, but that puts me at $2000. Thats a lot of $$ to convince a sponsor to swallow

-Tom
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Old 04-27-2004, 11:59 AM   #2
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Short of upgrading the brake booster, there's nothing on this planet for auto-x that'll help the WRX in an auto-x environment...

So... "b) I'm driving around the fact that the brakes suck"

--kC
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Old 04-27-2004, 12:03 PM   #3
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What aspect of the brakes is he complaining about? Is it feel, fade resistance, stopping power? The solution is going to depend on what the "problem" is. If all you want to do change brake bias and feel you can do so for a good deal less than whatever a big brake kit costs. And while the Wilwood kit may shift brake bias to the rear I wouldn't just assume that it does. There are some kits out there (like one of the Brembo kits) that increase front brake torque and moves the bias farther forward.
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Old 04-27-2004, 12:04 PM   #4
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I'd keep the sucky brakes, because they are not that bad.
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Old 04-27-2004, 12:30 PM   #5
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you aren't going to get fade in an autocross. so upgrading the calipers/rotors would be pointless.

some grippy pads might be useful if you can't get enough brake power to engage ABS on the r-compounds.
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Old 04-27-2004, 12:34 PM   #6
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autocross, i'd agree w/ KC based on me autocrossing about 4 times in my entire life. so my vote probably shouldn't count.

on the track, my friend had a type r. he could out brake me by about 150 ft. (i'd brake at 400, he'd brake at 250). even w/ my stop techs. he just bought an sti and curses the brakes. he's now braking way back where i am. it boils down to the weight differences of the cars (his type r was on a healthly weight loss plan).

he also liked the fact that his car had more rear bias. he could be slightly off line, reach over with his left foot and tap the brake, and it would slightly rotate the rear and tighten the line up to where he needed to be.

luke
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Old 04-27-2004, 01:09 PM   #7
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Odd that the STi brakes well in car mag tests but still sucks.
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Old 04-27-2004, 01:19 PM   #8
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Tell Shawn to quit crying and just drive the car. Damn Type R owners...

I think my brakes feel great with just the Bobcats, but I haven't driven the Type R lately. I do know that the last time I drove it, I almost hit my head on the steering wheel at the first braking zone.
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Old 04-27-2004, 01:26 PM   #9
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Anyone coming from a Type-R is gonna be a brake snob. The car really does have phenomenal brakes. Even coming from my GS-R (which has horrible ABS and only mediocre brakes compared to the R) I've been struggling to get the feel where I want it to be with the STi. Granted it does weigh over 800lbs more then my integra, it could still use some more "feel".

Unfortunatly I've never driven a regular old run of da mill WRX so... maybe I should not comment at all!


-Matt
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Old 04-27-2004, 01:49 PM   #10
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/me slaps Tom around for even thinking about this after... what... years of discussion on how bad Subaru brakes suck.

Subaru, if you're reading this... we want brakes like...
1) Integra Type-R
2) Mazda RX-8, Mazda 6

Yes, the Mazda 6, same weight as a WRX can out brake it and has tons better feel. If Mazda can do it, so can Subaru.

Integra Type-R - 60-0 115 ft (2630 curb weight)
Mazda 6 - 60-0 125 ft (3250 curb weight)
Mazda RX-8 - 60-0 114 ft (3020 curb weight)
WRX Sedan - 60-0 130 ft (3100 curb weight)
STi - 60-0 114 ft (3250 curb weight)
Evo - 60-0 110 ft (3263 curb weight)

Hmmm... what parts of an STi can be moved over to a WRX... does the STi have a single stage booster?

Edit: Added EVO

--kC

Last edited by KC; 04-28-2004 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 04-27-2004, 02:01 PM   #11
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My opinion....BBK ALMOST universally accepted as not needed for auto-x, as their biggest advantage is heat dissipation efficiency (fade reduction on road course, continuous heavy heat cycles)which isn't a problem in auto-x. If your OEM's are starting to fade, maybe just a new set of fresh rotors, and the pads and lines you have already are considered optimal for their application.

Now Mikey, who is dragging almost the whole course ( ), he may benefit from BBK..........

But Hey! Since a sponsor is willing to pick up the tab...Why Not!
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Old 04-27-2004, 02:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by jmott
so upgrading the calipers/rotors would be pointless.
Well there are weight savings to be had in those areas. Also a stiffer caliper and different brake piston sizes are going to have an effect on pedal feel. And the potential changes in brake bias. If the cost is worth those benefits is really going to depend on the individual.
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Old 04-27-2004, 02:12 PM   #13
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He complains about the "feel" which is why I think a 6 pot blingy kit can help him. Hell, one can always use more brake feel

Engaging the ABS is no problem, which is why I think that the stock brakes are good enough. I did notice that on the STi its WAY WAY harder to engage the ABS then in my car. IMHO the big front bias of the WRX locks the fronts up (confirmed by braking w/o the ABS fuse and checking my tire marks ). Shifting more bias towards the back with one of the blingy kits might help the feel and might convince the ABS to engage a tad later.

This all came after shawn drove a Ford Contour SVT and said "uhhh Tom, the Contour SVT has better brakes then your WRX" Before he drove that friggin FORD everything was OK cause he was only comparing WRX to Type R

I have a G-tech meter, so I can do some before and after brake testing if I do go with that bling Wilwood 6 potter to make sure that its working better and "feeling" better.

This is a quote from shawn
"Seriously the brake upgrade would be cool if it's "free" but it isn't a "must have" item to be competitive. I'm already starting to calibrate my brain to the braking capability of your car. It isn't really a problem just what sticks out as the major difference between the WRX and the Type R"

If we can get a sponsor to help us, or get one cheap used, we';ll try it. Otherwise, I'll have shawn calibrate his brain more and just enjoy the already pretty damn good (THANKS CARBOTECH!!) brakes that the car has

-Tom
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Old 04-27-2004, 02:21 PM   #14
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Even the new GTO at 3750lbs... brakes at 125 feet.

--kC
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Old 04-27-2004, 02:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by KC
Even the new GTO at 3750lbs... brakes at 125 feet.

--kC
And it has much bigger and probably better tires than a WRX. Tires make a huge difference in braking distance.

Tom, if you just want to shift bias rearward a bit there's always the $200 "H6" rear brake option.
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Old 04-27-2004, 02:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by KC

WRX Sedan - 60-0 130 ft (3100 curb weight)
STi - 60-0 114 ft (3250 curb weight)

Hmmm... what parts of an STi can be moved over to a WRX... does the STi have a single stage booster?

--kC
RE070s instead of re92s is probobably the biggest difference in the test numbers.
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Old 04-27-2004, 02:53 PM   #17
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I understand that. However, the feel of the Mazdas are very good, and they go along with their braking numbers.

Take an RX8 out for a test drive. The car is barely lighter than a WRX.
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Old 04-27-2004, 03:02 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by KC
I understand that. However, the feel of the Mazdas are very good, and they go along with their braking numbers.

Take an RX8 out for a test drive. The car is barely lighter than a WRX.

The Mazda 3s I drove at the rev-it-up had pretty good brake feel, with a very aggresive tip in. And the brakes look TINY on those things.

Mazda3 (2857 lbs) 60-0 = 125 Ft. (I'm probably not getting that from the same source as KC)
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Old 04-27-2004, 03:05 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by driggity
Tom, if you just want to shift bias rearward a bit there's always the $200 "H6" rear brake option.
There is that, I just don't think that will help me at all in the "feel" department, which is his complaint.

It is something that I've read about today and definetly would be something to consider if the sponsor brakes don't work out and I have to use my own money

-Tom
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Old 04-27-2004, 03:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by TyrannoSullyRex
Mazda3 (2857 lbs) 60-0 = 125 Ft. (I'm probably not getting that from the same source as KC)
Actually, the place I was getting my numbers from does have the 3 as 125 feet.

--KC
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Old 04-27-2004, 03:07 PM   #21
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Feel for Subarus is definitely the difference between the Single Stage booster and the stock Dual Stage booster.

--KC
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Old 04-27-2004, 03:07 PM   #22
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So looks like the Mazda 3 has the same brakes as the WRX

-Tom
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Old 04-27-2004, 04:21 PM   #23
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Cripes Tom, you TRULY are Mr. Indecisive!

IMHO - WRX brakes are the weakest link in the car. The ABS system, in particular, is junk. I've had some top-notch co-drivers (who are not used to WRX's) have major issues with the brakes. Unfortunately, nothing that's STX-legal can truly remedy these shortcomings. (ABS changeout not legal, sticky tires not legal)

It is something you adapt to, though. I almost never hit the ABS, and don't feel like I'm "babying" the brakes. Look at it this way, driving a WRX is excellent practice for learning threshhold braking!

If you REALLY want to spend money, just get an H6 rotor upgrade for the rear. It adds about 10% more swept area to the rear brakes, shifting brake bias rearward just about as much as the Stoptech kit, but for a LOT less money!

-Steve

(who still longs for the wonderful brakes in the E46 BMW he used to own....)
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Old 04-27-2004, 04:55 PM   #24
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Me? Indecisive? No? Am i? You sure? I dunno?

*Maybe* ( ) I should just tell shawn, hey buddy get used to it, the brakes suck and those blingy kits aren't going to help anything......

My next question is then "WHAT is the crappy pedal "feel" caused by? Is it by the floating flexible calipers?" If so, that CAN be fixed by nice calipers.....

I could get the stoptechs and THEN the H6 rear rotors

Quote:
If you REALLY want to spend money
I hate spending $$. I'm trying to get the sponsors to help a brother out here!

-Tom
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Old 04-27-2004, 05:04 PM   #25
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I think that alot of the "feel" issues are caliper related and booster related.

Subie 4 pots up front + H6 rear with carbotech and ss lines and maybe new front rotors (especially if you have 50k on the OEM)

Also, stoptech or other BBK certainly won't be any WORSE for auto-x, so if you can get 'em....go for it...............
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