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Old 10-12-2000, 11:17 AM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 2440
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Broomfield, CO USA
Question More first impressions (Brakes)!

Ok, so I have 52 miles on my new RS and I must say that I am very dissapointed in the brakes. For a car with 4 wheel discs and ABS, they pedal seems very soft to me.

What's the most cost effective way of improving my stopping power?

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Old 10-12-2000, 11:19 AM   #2
Scooby Guru
Member#: 329
Join Date: Sep 1999
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: NJ
1995 325i
Arctic Gray


Hi Stacey,

You really shouldn't be abusing your brakes so early on in the break-in period. Give em a few hundred miles or so.

However, the sponginess won't go away after break in. You'll probably want to upgrade the brake lines as well as replace the dual-stage system with a single-stage one.
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Old 10-12-2000, 11:21 AM   #3
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Location: "Teh Hebro Town"
2013 Impreza WRX


yup, do those two mods, and while your at it toss on the 4pot fronts and 2pot rears and you'll stop on a dime.
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Old 10-12-2000, 11:23 AM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Broomfield, CO USA

I wouldn't say that I am abusing them by any means, I just really don't like the stopping power. My Jetta seems to have much better brakes.

Where is the best place to get these brake mods?

Thanks. You guys Rock.

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Old 10-12-2000, 11:26 AM   #5
B. Foyle
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Member#: 2176
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Overland Park, KS
2000 2.5RS


Like most things on this car, the brakes will improve somewhat with time, after a certain break-in period. Hell, for the first several hundred miles I had brake dust all over the wheels! Now, it's much better.
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Old 10-12-2000, 11:32 AM   #6

Member#: 922
Join Date: Feb 2000
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Schaumburg, IL
16 WRX (white)
04 FXT (red)


Seeing as you're in Colorado, you might want to give JC Sports a call or visit and see what they say about the brake upgrades. They CAN get costly though.
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Old 10-12-2000, 11:47 AM   #7
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99 Impreza RS
Silverthorn Metallic


They feel soft coz they were designed to be soft....yet they do have great stopping power but not as good as the trusty Subaru 4 pot brakes.

Our two stage brake system was designed to "feel" soft coz of a study conducted regarding accidents. Apparently, people who got into fender benders didn't apply enough pressure to their brakes coz it "felt" like they were applying enough. With a ssofter feel, people will mash the pedal harder, and avoid a costly or fatal accident.

If you want to adjust the feel of the brakes, steel braided brake lines can be ordered from www.spdusa.com I believe. You can get the 4 pot brakes for cheaper(and with factory warrantee) than SPD-USA from www.subaruparts.com .
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Old 10-12-2000, 11:51 AM   #8
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Member#: 681
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Square One

The brakes are actually quite good, it's only the pedal feel that SUCKS A$$!!

I don't think there is one other car that I have driven lately that did not have a better brake feel then the RS, and by FAR!
...including otherwise POS rental cars as well!

Pretty sad...

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Old 10-12-2000, 01:46 PM   #9
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Location: Danbury, CT 06810
1998 Impreza RS
Brilliant Red


Get a '98... the brakes are much firmer than the newer ones. When I first got mine, I couldn't believe how good the brakes were. Stomp on 'em and all the blood rushed to the front of your face. What a feeling! The clutch feels a butt-load better too. More like a clutch and less like a sqishy pedal that aids in shifting.
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Old 10-12-2000, 02:24 PM   #10
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Taxachusetts, USA
1999 Impreza 2.5 RS
Rally Blue Pearl


Just to put another post on myself, I would go with the ss braided brake lines and different pads. Give the brakes a few hundred miles to get broken in. (<--- weird statement...) Then upgrade. You may also want to try a different brake fluid.

Hey Subie Gal, 1995 posts. Almost to 2K!!!

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Old 10-12-2000, 02:47 PM   #11
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Location: Derby, Derbyshire, England

AP 6 pots.. or 4 pots

Fit Subaru 4 pots to the back...with a brake biasing valve fitted

Oops.. thats my next project! lol

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Old 10-12-2000, 03:27 PM   #12
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Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Cupertino, CA

go to porsche and steal the porsche 8f/4r pot brakes :P
mmmmmmm....such stopping power
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Old 10-12-2000, 03:28 PM   #13
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I don't mean to sound like a complete newbie...but what the heck is does 4 pot mean?

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Old 10-12-2000, 03:36 PM   #14
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'03 Evo, Rice White
'01 Erion CBR 929


pot = piston

In reference to brakes, these are the devices that close the caliper. Generally, the more pistons, the larger and more effective the pad surface area and thus the better the resistance to fade.
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Old 10-12-2000, 03:44 PM   #15
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Member#: 251
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Chicago, IL
1998 Impreza 2.5 RS


The non-ABS '97 Impreza L, from what I heard, came with a single stage brake booster. The RS has a dual-stage one, and that is the reason it's spongy. I've heard that just adding better fluid and stainless steel braided lines improves braking significantly. But the first thing you may want to do is replace your OEM pads with some EBC's or Mintex pads. They are supposedly better than the OEM ones, though I haven't tried them yet. I have a '98 RS and my brake pedal is kinda spongy, so I'll be getting upgrading the pads, fluid and brake lines soon, in that order.

What does the brake biasing thing do when you move the 4-pots to the rear? Does it put more braking power to the rear? Please explain! Is it a Subaru part, or just a basic aftermarket part for any car? You've piqued my interest...


[This message has been edited by cakagan (edited October 12, 2000).]
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Old 10-12-2000, 07:52 PM   #16
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2005 BMW zhp


Ok now here is some brakes:

2800 a set and you need 17inch rims and your calipers will say PORSCHE on them

actually even my stock brakes were enough when last week near UVillage a Jeep made a last minute lane change into my left front fender (almost) so close i heard his passenger screaming....yow!!

I just dont know what people see in jeeps but that of course is another huge post..


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Old 10-12-2000, 08:23 PM   #17
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04 STi
like theres a choice BLUE


There is a brake mod that I did that you can do to your car. There is a linkage under your dash, that connects the brake pedal to the piston, you can adjust your linkage to get less pedal freeplay, thus have harder brakes sooner, you can't stop faster but they will feel more solid. Its a quick 1/2 hour DYI mod, and its free. I tried to find the link for it, but nothing works. Does anyone else know what link it is? I know the link is here somewhere, I printed the page when I did my mod. Its really easy, and your not doing anything bad to the car, so the dealer won't say you messed with it, in fact they would never know. I love it on my car!!!!
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Old 10-12-2000, 09:38 PM   #18
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Thumbs up

The only problem with simply throwing Porsche brakes on is that thier braking system is set up specifically for the Porsche they take into account the weight distibution of the car and brake balancing front to rear. They are not properly set up for an impreza. Plus the Brembo or Wilwood's will be better performing.

PS I just purchased the Sti 4 pots and so far I like em' alot. (around 40 miles of driving) I don't have the pads and rotors bedded in yet but you can already feel much better stopping power and the SS lines really seem to help the sponginess.

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Old 10-13-2000, 12:08 AM   #19
Subie Gal
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: WA
1970 FF-1 & '70 Van
02 WRX/01 RS


i have upgraded to better pads and steel braided lines... much cheaper than 4 pots and the stopping power is signifigantly increased!!
got them from: www.get-primitive.com

or you could always just slap on the 4 pots...
not an option with my Legacy wheels tho... wheels won't fit over them
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Old 10-13-2000, 12:31 AM   #20
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U shouldn't have bought it in the first place as the new WRX has 4 pots!!!
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Old 10-13-2000, 08:47 AM   #21
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Member#: 424
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Lowell, MA
2005 WRX STI



That's exactly what I am looking for! I got the ss braided brake lines from Trey, hoping for better braking sooner. Although the lines do provide better braking, they don't cure what you've mentioned. Your mod would make it easier for heel-toe braking.

Could someone please post that mod? I can't find it.
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Old 10-13-2000, 10:30 AM   #22
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Member#: 1249
Join Date: Apr 2000
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Chester County, PA
2000 OBS


Yes, the MY00 brakes are mushier than the MY98 (unbelievable).

And yes, if the freeplay of the brake pedal can be adjusted, someone please post how. Heel-toeing is a pain with all that free play leading into a mushy feeling pedal.

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