We at Turbo magazine don't jump to the pulpit and preach too often. But when we do, it's usually about brakes. The goal of OE brakes is light years away from enthusiasts' expectations. And oftentimes, enthusiasts pack the engine bay with upgrades, but don't think about the binders. With big peak power comes a heavy right foot; this is great when leaving a green light, but what about when you approach a red light at Mach 3?
With a brake upgrade, the safety of shorter stopping distances is not the only consideration; a brake upgrade can affect handling dynamics by reducing weight, which allows the suspension to react more efficiently to bumps in the road.
Style is another strong point of a big-brake upgrade. Drilled and slotted rotors and powdercoated multi-piston calipers make a statement behind the right set of wheels.
We have compiled this guide to give you a heads-up of what is available in the brake upgrade market, be it a pad upgrade, line upgrade, rotor upgrade or complete kit. This is your jump-start.
Big Brakes=Big Bite
HP Racing offers a complete line of staged braking systems with 278 applications ready to enhance the perfomance and visual appeal of your ride. The Stage 1 kit is available in a one-piece, 11.5-inch rotor, stainless-steel braided lines, semi-race pads and a cast-iron OEM-style relocation bracket. The Stage 2 kit (pictured) has two 12.5-inch, two-piece rotors, stainless-steel brake lines, semi-race pads and a pair of six-piston 7075 T6 billet aluminum calipers. The rotors in each kit are cross-drilled with 120 holes and 12 directional slots. Braking distance is reduced by 30 percent from stock. Available applications include Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Honda, Hyundai, Mazda, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Infiniti, Subaru, Toyota and Volkswagen.
For more information, contact: HP Racing, (305) 594-7855, firstname.lastname@example.org, hpracing.com.
AEM Big Rotor brake rotors have an average 20 percent larger diameter, 35 percent larger surface area and can reduce a vehicle's stopping distance by up to 33 percent. The utilization of CNC-machined 6061-T6 billet aluminum rotor hats diminishes the rotor's tendency to cup under extreme prolonged use, as well as reducing the overall weight of the rotor when compared with cast versions. The AEM Big Rotor brake kit includes caliper re-positioning brackets (patent pending), complete Grade 8 and aircraft quality hardware, comprehensive instructions and AEM decals. Key features:
* 100% Bolt-On kit requires no cutting or drilling* All Big Rotor systems are ABS compatible* Rotors are Gold Zinc plated to prevent rust* Lightweight rotor hats are laser etched and available Iin anodized in metallic blue, metallic red and silver for show-quality looks
AEM Big Rotor brake kits are available for most Hondas and Acuras, as well as the Mitsubishi Eclipse. AEM has new applications for the 2000-'01 Eclipse V6, Dodge Stratus V6 coupe and Chrysler Sebring V6 coupe, and the 2000-'01 Toyota Celica GT-S. Big Rotor rear kits are now available for the 1998-2001 Accord V6 coupe, all Integra GS-Rs, all Honda Civic Si models and DOHC del Sols. Rear kits for the Integra Type R and Preludes will be available soon.
For more information, contact: AEM, Dept. THP, 2205 W. 126th St., Hawthorne, CA 90250, (310) 484-2322, aempower.com.
Acura RSX Brake Kit
Wilwood has designed this kit specially for the Acura RSX. Race-proven billet aluminum Dynalite four piston calipers are available in a choice of black anodized or polished finish. The kit includes large diameter, cross-drilled & slotted rotors and PolyMatrix brake pads all of which have been combined to shorten stopping distances, improve handling and eliminate dressed-up overworked stock components.
For more information, contact: Wilwood Engineering (805) 388-1188.