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Author Topic: Big Brake Kit or Upgraded Pads and Rotors?  (Read 14945 times)

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Offline VinnieRL

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Big Brake Kit or Upgraded Pads and Rotors?
« on: September 13, 2015, 10:54:23 PM »
« Last Edit: September 15, 2015, 09:44:11 PM by VinnieRL »
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Offline Kelu

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Re: 14.5" Kit From ZZP
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2015, 09:59:47 AM »
If I'm not wrong that kit is for Cobalt...
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Offline VinnieRL

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Re: 14.5" Kit From ZZP
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2015, 10:14:14 AM »
I'm sure it is, but there have been other Cobalt kits retrofitted to the Kappa. I know DDM has one coming but I have a feeling it'll be a lot more expensive.
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Offline wspohn

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Re: 14.5" Kit From ZZP
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2015, 10:45:06 AM »
Has anyone used this setup?  Thoughts?

If you are into bling, that kit is as good as any.

If you are into performance save the money (after you buy much better pads, which the cars do need) for something that will really make a difference to your car.  The big brake kits aren't necessary unless you are looking for window dressing.
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1957 Jamaican bodied MGA
1971 Jensen Interceptor
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Offline POS VETT

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Re: 14.5" Kit From ZZP
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2015, 11:32:44 AM »
You do know that those won't make your car stop any sooner, right?

Offline wspohn

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Re: 14.5" Kit From ZZP
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2015, 11:35:32 AM »
You do know that those won't make your car stop any sooner, right?


But like I said, they look purdy.....which has to be what he is going for.

Could be worse, he could be fitting 4" exhaust tips.
2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe
1958 MGA Twincam (race car)
1962 MGA Deluxe Coupe
1957 Jamaican bodied MGA
1971 Jensen Interceptor
2007 BMW Z4M coupe
Recently sold:
1969 MGC roadster,
1965 Jensen CV8,
1969 Lamborghini Islero S
1988 Pontiac Fiero GT
Bill in BC

Offline VinnieRL

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Re: 14.5" Kit From ZZP
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2015, 01:18:03 PM »
I'm having a hard time understanding how a larger rotor would not help? Please help me understand.
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Offline TomatoSoup

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Re: 14.5" Kit From ZZP
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2015, 01:35:57 PM »
Diminishing returns.  With good pads, the factory rotors are large enough to stop the car as well as it can be stopped (i.e. without wheel lockup).

There could be a reason to go with larger rotors if you are into heavy racing - to provide increased heat dissipation and help prevent fade - but certainly not for anything you'll see on the road.
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Offline wspohn

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Re: 14.5" Kit From ZZP
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2015, 01:58:01 PM »
We get people all the time in the MG community swapping engines and assuming they have to put on huge brakes.

They sometimes fail to understand the logic when we point out that unless they intend to drive at highly illegal speeds down long mountains, they don't need anything more than a perfectly working stock braking system with a proper set of pads.

The SCCA cars are stopping twice or three times a lap from c. 120 mph with nothing more.  Not sure why people think that they need bigger brakes unless the change the speeds they drive at or the weight of the car, or both. Just a change in power doesn't change the energy that the brake system needs to dissipate in normal driving.

TS is right - you could fit brakes from a Boeing 767 and they still wouldn't stop you any faster - the road/tire interface is the limiting factor on stopping distance.
2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe
1958 MGA Twincam (race car)
1962 MGA Deluxe Coupe
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1971 Jensen Interceptor
2007 BMW Z4M coupe
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Offline VinnieRL

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Re: 14.5" Kit From ZZP
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2015, 02:15:29 PM »
Those are all the points I hoped would be mentioned, thank you. I do understand then.

I have a feeling it'll be stock sized blank rotors and EBC RedStuff pads to go with the DDM braided lines.
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Offline wspohn

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Re: 14.5" Kit From ZZP
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2015, 02:22:18 PM »
The Redstuff are what I have on the street - I like the low dust aspect fo the ceramic material they use.  The Yellowstuff really aren't need unless you run some sort of competition.

If you want a modest bit of bling, EBC does a line of rotors that are dimpled and slotted and DDM does a few rotors that are 'J' slotted etc.
2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe
1958 MGA Twincam (race car)
1962 MGA Deluxe Coupe
1957 Jamaican bodied MGA
1971 Jensen Interceptor
2007 BMW Z4M coupe
Recently sold:
1969 MGC roadster,
1965 Jensen CV8,
1969 Lamborghini Islero S
1988 Pontiac Fiero GT
Bill in BC

Offline elff

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Re: 14.5" Kit From ZZP
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2015, 03:57:46 PM »
Extended Road rallies on extremely windy roads can benefit from a better setup than the stock kappa brakes. 
IMHO, Having your car stop is never wasted money.  Tires, Brakes and Suspension are the parts that keep you alive.   It's not about the stopping distance, or stopping power, it's about being able to keep braking at the same level repeatedly. 
Larger Rotors with Larger brake pads [Simple surface area physics] combined with a brake fluid that has a higher Wet Boiling point all combat the effects of increased heat on the system that can lead to brake fade on a completely stock system.

Personally I love my Wildwood kit from TCE.  A real nice benefit is that I can swap pads without removing the Calipers

I personally would steer clear of EBC [Quality control issues with some major failures] and Hawk [Have a lot of pads that squeak like crazy during normal street use]

Not everyone drives like Ms. Daisy on the streets.  If you are an aggressive driver who enjoys canyon carving, upgraded systems are way more than just bling.


Offline wspohn

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Re: 14.5" Kit From ZZP
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2015, 04:31:35 PM »
Elff, I dare say I have more regional and national races SCCA/CASC) under my belt than just about anyone else here and I set up my own cars.

The Solstice doesn't need bigger brakes for any driving that you can do on public streets and still stay out of jail.  It very much needs better pad material.

You sound like the big brake apologists that frequent other fora - and somehow manage to ignore the fact that the same system is run without problems on real race cars.

The SCCA T2 rules read:

17.6. BRAKES

Cross drilled or slotted brake rotors are permitted, same size and type as standard.
Alternate DOT approved flexible brake lines.
2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe
1958 MGA Twincam (race car)
1962 MGA Deluxe Coupe
1957 Jamaican bodied MGA
1971 Jensen Interceptor
2007 BMW Z4M coupe
Recently sold:
1969 MGC roadster,
1965 Jensen CV8,
1969 Lamborghini Islero S
1988 Pontiac Fiero GT
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Offline elff

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Re: 14.5" Kit From ZZP
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2015, 05:25:54 PM »
I am happy for you, but that doesn't mean you understand how everyone drives their cars, or the roads they drive them on.
I am also not apologetic for any of my opinion.
There are a lot of roads that have significantly more turns than most race tracks.  Race tracks also have straights that give the brakes time to cool off.
So it is not the same.   
Most people who ask about this push their vehicles on roads that can benefit from this and considering that most of these systems do not cost significantly more than a lot of the brake and rotor kits out there, it's not a bad deal to add even more capability.
There are videos of people running the Tail of the Dragon at Night and you can see their brake calipers glowing red.
This is on a road that has 318 turns in 11 miles.
What SCCA road coarse has that?
The speed of the car, nor the length of the straights never get a point where airflow will help with the cooling.  I have seen multiple well maintained stock brake systems not be able to handle this road, I have seen complete failures of pads and Fluid and I witnessed someone almost go over the side.  The reason for that was his EBC brake pads CRACKED IN HALF.  I've eliminated that brand from products that I will use. 

As I have had said in reply to your other posts, according to your mindset, everyone drives the speed limit and no one needs to modify anything.   We get it your car is almost 100% Stock and you always drive the speed limit
That is simply not the case for everyone else.

On top of that, people do mods for the aesthetics as well.  If the aesthetics, do add benefit and don't cause the function to be worse, I don't find anything wrong with it.

You just have a very narrow mindset and not everything falls into it. 

Offline wspohn

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Re: 14.5" Kit From ZZP
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2015, 05:55:07 PM »
Our rotors also glow on the race cars - it was always fun to watch them coming in for pit stops in the evening when the glow was visible.

How you figure that I think everyone does the speed limit it beyond me, and untrue, but I see there is no point arguing with you as your mind seems to be made up.

And yes, I have seen and experienced issues with EBC pads including bonding problems. They seem to have remedied that so until I have evidence to the contrary I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt and am currently using them myself.  The other pads I like are Porterfield R4.  Have never been much of a fan of the Hawk, but then I have no personal experience with them so will reserve judgement.
2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe
1958 MGA Twincam (race car)
1962 MGA Deluxe Coupe
1957 Jamaican bodied MGA
1971 Jensen Interceptor
2007 BMW Z4M coupe
Recently sold:
1969 MGC roadster,
1965 Jensen CV8,
1969 Lamborghini Islero S
1988 Pontiac Fiero GT
Bill in BC

Offline Critterman

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Re: 14.5" Kit From ZZP
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2015, 06:03:00 PM »
Hawks I think got their name from the screech they make when you apply them.  And they continue to make noise until they are hot.  Unless you ride your brakes you can't keep them hot enough to be quiet in normal street driving.
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Offline elff

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Re: 14.5" Kit From ZZP
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2015, 06:23:43 PM »
How you figure that I think everyone does the speed limit it beyond me, and untrue, but I see there is no point arguing with you as your mind seems to be made up.

It's because everytime a thread comes up about brakes or modification you make a statement like the following

The Solstice doesn't need bigger brakes for any driving that you can do on public streets and still stay out of jail.

There is nothing wrong with taking something that is adequate,  and making it better or replacing it with something better.
That does not make the part wasted money and that does not mean the owner won't put it to good use even if someone else won't
In regards to brakes, it only takes 1 failure for it to be catastrophic.  Increasing the threshold for failure on the parts that stop you IMHO is never wasted money.   Even if for some people, it might just be for 1 time.  That 1 time can be life or death.

It's funny how you say they are waste of money or just bling, yet you drive a Turbo and a GMPP tuned one at that.
According to your logic, you have wasted thousands of dollars compared to  N/A Owers [Comparing new to new or used to used, the Turbo costs more]
According to your logic
The turbo is a waste of money and unnecessary.   The N/A can do the speed limit in every country, so why do you need to make it faster?
Continuing that further
According to your logic, you added another unnecessary mod
The GMPP tune is also a waste of money and unnecessary.  The N/a is more than adequate and people raced them
The turbo was also raced without the LNF Upgrade Tune and Sensors

Therefore neither are needed, yet you have them.  So you have fallen prey to your own statements about these brake kits.




Offline VinnieRL

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Re: 14.5" Kit From ZZP
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2015, 08:14:08 PM »
Soooooooo I guess the quick answer to the original question is no from what I'm reading.  I appreciate the feedback and everyone's opinion on the matter, but at the end of the day I wasn't asking if I needed bigger brakes or not.  I was asking about a particular setup and any experience with it.

A little about me and my RL.  I don't know how far I'll push it, or how I'll drive it day to day.  I do take a lot of mountain pass drives and have experienced brake fade.  I also have 2 rear calipers that have been pulled off and unstuck once so I'm looking to upgrade them as well.  I'm a "while I"m in there" kind of guy.  I don't like doing things twice, so if that means putting more money into something the first time, that's how I'll do it to avoid tearing back into it again later.  I also try to do supporting mods BEFORE I need them.  Cooling, braking, suspension, intake/exhaust all get overdone so I don't have to redo them at a later time.  My last car saved my life because of this approach so I plan to take the same approach with my RL.

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Offline wspohn

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Re: 14.5" Kit From ZZP
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2015, 08:34:57 PM »
Given what you do with your car, I'd definitely add some better brake pads and then add some frame enhancements and some handling add ons as you appear to enjoy driving hard in a responsive car.

The rear brake calipers are usually a matter of maintenance - I haven't had any trouble with mine, but you might start a separate thread asking what others have done to prevent it - I don't think it is any big deal.

Cooling, intake and exhaust are all fine on the stock cars although many go to a different exhaust just for sound, and many also get a retune for more power.
2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe
1958 MGA Twincam (race car)
1962 MGA Deluxe Coupe
1957 Jamaican bodied MGA
1971 Jensen Interceptor
2007 BMW Z4M coupe
Recently sold:
1969 MGC roadster,
1965 Jensen CV8,
1969 Lamborghini Islero S
1988 Pontiac Fiero GT
Bill in BC

Offline Sting Ya

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Re: 14.5" Kit From ZZP
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2015, 09:43:57 AM »
Agree with Bill here the stock brake set up is more then adequate for the car it just needs a little tweaking better pads ,stainless steel brake lines and drilled and slotted rotors this is the set up I have on my car and it was a noticeable difference .I had a deal on a Cobalt SS brake system a few years back and after some research on how to make it fit for me it was just not worth the trouble .     

Offline spdygxp

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Re: 14.5" Kit From ZZP
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2015, 06:45:03 PM »
Even if the big brakes stop the car 3 feet less it could be the life or death matter

Offline wspohn

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Re: 14.5" Kit From ZZP
« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2015, 06:50:33 PM »
Even if the big brakes stop the car 3 feet less it could be the life or death matter


Big brakes don't normally stop any faster at all - they can stop for longer if your set up is getting marginal and unable to shed the heat you build up with whatever sort of driving you do.

If a braking system is marginal - if optimizing fluid and linings as well as cooling just won't do it, you need to upgrade.  The Kappa braking system is nowhere near that limit.
2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe
1958 MGA Twincam (race car)
1962 MGA Deluxe Coupe
1957 Jamaican bodied MGA
1971 Jensen Interceptor
2007 BMW Z4M coupe
Recently sold:
1969 MGC roadster,
1965 Jensen CV8,
1969 Lamborghini Islero S
1988 Pontiac Fiero GT
Bill in BC

Offline VinnieRL

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Re: 14.5" Kit From ZZP
« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2015, 07:50:50 PM »
Good input.
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Offline spdygxp

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Re: 14.5" Kit From ZZP
« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2015, 08:43:23 PM »
Big brakes don't normally stop any faster at all - they can stop for longer if your set up is getting marginal and unable to shed the heat you build up with whatever sort of driving you do.

If a braking system is marginal - if optimizing fluid and linings as well as cooling just won't do it, you need to upgrade.  The Kappa braking system is nowhere near that limit.
True but better  calipers will. He is going from two piston pbr calipers to 4 piston block calipers

Offline VinnieRL

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Re: 14.5" Kit From ZZP
« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2015, 08:51:06 PM »
Ahhhh, more clamping force AND a larger diameter rotating disc. Add a pad with more surface area and you might have the trifecta.

Sorry for the sarcasm, but the physics behind bigger brakes can't be debated......they're going to stop the car faster in higher speed and continuous braking situations.

The practical experience is what I'm more interested in.  Feedback like below is what I'm looking for to help influence my decision:

"If a braking system is marginal - if optimizing fluid and linings as well as cooling just won't do it, you need to upgrade.  The Kappa braking system is nowhere near that limit."
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