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View Full Version : z32 brake upgrades a waste?



sph33r
12-27-2001, 01:37 PM
Ok, simple question. I see a lot of people upgrading to the 4 piston z32 setups and I'm curious why. Are you running out of brake? I know larger calipers and rotors carry a certain amount of cool factor with them, but are you actually running out of stock brakes. I'm a big believer that good pad/rotor combo along with SS brake lines are all you need to increase your braking power unless you are running some ungodly amount of HP. Anyone care to discuss this a bit? I'd love the input from the guys who road race or auto-x a lot.

[ 12-27-2001: Message edited by: ffdet ]

91 240
12-27-2001, 02:07 PM
I dont think it is really a cooling issue. yes good pads, rotors and lines are a good way to go but they will have their limits. the z32 upgrade has its limits too. trying to compare the single piston/sliding caliper to the 4 piston/fixed caliper wont work.

I have done the conversion, the reason i did it was to avoid something that "could" happen. the stock system w/ lines, pads, rotors would probably be good enough but stopping is the most important aspect of a car, IMO. having bigger brakes is just added insurance.

sph33r
12-27-2001, 02:21 PM
I guess what I'm wondering is how far can the stock brakes go? You say there's a limit, what is it? I'm not against big brakes, I love how they look and I totally understand your reasons for doing it, I'm just wondering if it's not an impulse upgrade for a lot of people.

91 240
12-27-2001, 02:30 PM
to tell you the truth, i dont know the limits of the stock brakes, nor did i want to find it. you are right, i think some people do it just to get on the "bandwagon" so to speak

**DONOTDELETE**
12-27-2001, 02:49 PM
For me it's peace of mind. I'll probably never get close to running out of brake and that's fine by me. http://www.freshalloy.com/

allmotorKA
12-27-2001, 03:21 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial[/img]quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ffdet:
...I'm a big believer that good pad/rotor combo along with SS brake lines are all you need to increase your braking power unless you are running some ungodly amount of HP...
[ 12-27-2001: Message edited by: ffdet ]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The Z32 brakes will allow you to enter a turn faster and deeper before braking. The bigger brakes also provide better brake modulation. Of course, if your tires are the weakest link in traction, the bigger brakes are a waste...but most people I know who do the Z32 brake upgrade are running a minimum of 225's anyway.

Before you decide to drop the Z32 brake upgrade, drive a 240 with Z32 brakes and decide for yourself if its worth your money.

NOSTALGIC_HERO
12-27-2001, 03:39 PM
i think that you are overlooking a point to this brake thing... your tires. Are you effectively putting enough "foot" to the ground? try those Z brakes with significantly wider tires and you better close your eyes (for fear of them popping out)

WeST
12-27-2001, 03:47 PM
Until you have driven a car with upgraded brakes to an extreme of stock vs. Z32 brakes or Brembo brakes I don't think you can clearly speak on this subject. To say people do this to just on a bandwagon it obscured. Brakes add so much to the car, even if its not modified. The z32 swap is a VERY good investment for anyone. Its going to be one of the first swaps I do along with a 5 Lug swap on my new new project 89 Coupe. For anyone who doesn't think they help find someone with upgraded brakes and do a comparison between two cars.

Mark West (CO)
http://www.zilvia.net

Meeks32
12-27-2001, 03:53 PM
I'll admit it, I did mine for a more sporty look and for the extra stoping since mine would fade. But now since I have them I love the extra stoping the car has & as far as looks go, its too damn hard to keep the brake dust off the wheels & calipers now to really care.

**DONOTDELETE**
12-27-2001, 05:50 PM
I had switched to the 300zx brakes about 6 months ago and just last night i had to put the stock brakes back on, damnit it all to hell, they suck and this is with axis metal masters. Get the 300zx brake upgrade and dont get new wheels that dont have clearance for them.

**DONOTDELETE**
12-27-2001, 06:41 PM
random quote i heard somewhere....

" if speed kills do brakes give life?"

C-Kwik
12-27-2001, 09:00 PM
It's been a while since I've posted here. A long while. Anyways, the reason the Z32 brake upgrade is so effective is because there is so much more rotor. By this, I mean there is more mass to absorb the heat. Brakes are nothing more than a device that converts kinetic energy into heat. The more mass there is the more heat it can absorb. The more heat it can absorb, the cooler the temperature of the brakes stay. Stopping on the street won't show you the results of the upgrade clearly. There is a slight benefit of easier modulation, but ultimately, its the ability to take on mush more repeated braking before you get brake fade. You wanna see what I'm talking about? Take your car up to 90 hit the brakes hard and stop. Repeat this several times. You'll notice your stock brakes WILL overheat. chances are, it'll be your pads overheating first. I've done this to the point my pads were outgassing(vaporizing due to extreme heat) so much, the brakes became useless. Pedal pressure was fine. And no matter how hard I pushed the pedal, the car would not slow down. My Z32 brakes have not ever hinted at fade so far, even on the track. I'm sure I could if I did the 90-0 braking runs over and over, but it would take much longer to get to that point. It's not so much the added braking power. After all, the car can only stop as fast as the tires allow. It's all about how much abuse can the brakes take.

Chano

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial[/img]quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ffdet:
Ok, simple question. I see a lot of people upgrading to the 4 piston z32 setups and I'm curious why. Are you running out of brake? I know larger calipers and rotors carry a certain amount of cool factor with them, but are you actually running out of stock brakes. I'm a big believer that good pad/rotor combo along with SS brake lines are all you need to increase your braking power unless you are running some ungodly amount of HP. Anyone care to discuss this a bit? I'd love the input from the guys who road race or auto-x a lot.

[ 12-27-2001: Message edited by: ffdet ]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

'97 S14 SE Turbo
12-27-2001, 09:01 PM
Frankly speaking, the stock brakes sucks when pushed hard during track events or some canyon runs.

orion
12-27-2001, 09:02 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial[/img]quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ffdet:
...I'd love the input from the guys who road race or auto-x a lot.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I auto-x a good bit, and the stock brakes are adequate for SCCA solo-2 stuff (mostly).

I upgraded (Q45 fronts and later Z32 rears to balance it out) after doing ~90mph on the highway anbd trying to stop and do a U-turn. I hit the stock brakes maybe 350(?) feet before the break in the median...and missed it by 15-20 feet. I was at the junk yard the next day...

Now I can wait much longer, brake harder, and still be under control. It's not just about the fade resistance or clamping force...you gain a lot of modulation under hard braking.

The stock brakes are OK when combined with good pads, stainless lines, rotors in good condityion, and a decent driver (i.e. - don't just stomp 'em...hit, let off, hit, let off...generates less heat than one long stomp, which equals less fade) but aren't big enough to not fade under road racing conditions.

If you need 'em, you know why!!!

Later - Brian

Meeks32
12-27-2001, 09:11 PM
I wonder what the stoping distance from 70mph or whatever speeds magazines usually test at. Anyone ever tried?

**DONOTDELETE**
12-27-2001, 09:43 PM
The stock 240sx brakes suck. I get fade all the time. I changed to the 300zx brakes and they made a good improvement when dealing with fade. The rotors are larger and give the calipers more leverage to stop the car. I never got fade after that, until I swapped a sr20det. I experienced fade once after a streetdrag when we stopped from stoplight to stoplight. This is the easiest way to warp your rotors and get fade. I will be swapping out the master slave soon to get more bite. The 300zx brakes are well worth it, specially if your running a turbo.

C-Kwik
12-27-2001, 09:47 PM
I totally agree. If you do any hard driving at all, do the 300 Z32 brake upgrade. A few 90-0 "brake tests" taught me that one. Or it taugh my insurance company that one. http://www.freshalloy.com/

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial[/img]quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by T.Y.:
Frankly speaking, the stock brakes sucks when pushed hard during track events or some canyon runs.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

xiiithangel
12-27-2001, 10:29 PM
So to be put frankly,

If your doing occasional street racing (although I dont condone it), a Solo II here and there and track maybe once a year, just stick with stock 240 brakes and upgrade pads, rotors, and SS lines (Im going to assume good tires are on hand)

but anymore then that, turbo, SR'd, more track and way more participation is street and drag events, should go with a larger brake caliper to compensate for the amount of abuse you put on your car?

Just wondering because I plan to do some Solo II's and 2 or 3 track days this coming spring and summer. (Mind you I wont be pushing my car, I am still very much a novice and I dont want to walk home from the track) Im thinking of changing my pads and rotors and brake line and well, upgrading them! What do you guys think?
Thanks!

- XIIIth Angel

red98s14
12-28-2001, 05:16 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial[/img]quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by XIIIth_Angel
What do you guys think?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Chris my stock brakes only lasted three laps at Shannonville. http://www.freshalloy.com/ Good thing there's a good run-off area at the end of the long straight. http://www.freshalloy.com/

It's going to be interesting to see the results of the various upgrade paths being taken by members of SON240sx.

At the very least, add better fluid to your list.

David

**DONOTDELETE**
12-28-2001, 05:45 AM
chris should be fine without the big brake upgrade...
he can drift!!! http://www.freshalloy.com/ http://www.freshalloy.com/ http://www.freshalloy.com/

orion
12-28-2001, 06:23 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial[/img]quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by XIIIth_Angel:
So to be put frankly,

If your doing occasional street racing..., a Solo II here and there and track maybe once a year, just stick with stock 240 brakes and upgrade pads, rotors, and SS lines... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'd say upgrade for ANY track use, b/c a $300-350 investment may save you a lot of bent sheet metal.

Later - Brian

sph33r
12-28-2001, 06:59 AM
Well, some of you mistook what I was staying. I'm not condeming people for buying big brakes, I know what they do, I understand how brakes work. I've seen posts in my searches of FA that some people think the stock brakes (with upgraded parts) are sufficient even for track. A few racers posted that have said their brakes faded pretty quick on the track, that's what I wanted to hear. I have a very simple brake upgrade on my Talon - AEM big rotors and a relocation kit w/SS lines and it's quite an improvement. However, that car is turbo and can move quite a bit quicker than my 240 can. I have not raced the 240 or even really beat on it so I have no idea what stock 240 brakes are like in harsh conditions. Thanks to everyone for your input.

12-28-2001, 09:35 AM
What's a "master slave"?

Asad

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial[/img]quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jayspins:
I will be swapping out the master slave soon to get more bite. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

StealthmodeS14
12-28-2001, 09:54 AM
Before realizing exactly how easy the 300zx brake swaps were I decided to go with aftermarket OEM replacement goodies....Brembo x-drills, Axxis pads, and the Goodridge SS lines at all four corners. While the improvement over the stock set-up was noticeable, I believed that there is still some improvement to be had....enter the 300z upgrade. I have never driven a 240sx with the swap done, but have ridden in one with it as a passenger. A fellow member here at FA (PSI240sx) with a turbo Ka took me for a drive during an auto-x event and threw me around the car like a rag-doll......just during that short of a ride I could tell the car had the ability to "stop on a dime" as they say. I too will do the swap myself when the completion of the turbo install is finalized (long time away though http://www.freshalloy.com/...hehe

I guess for most it's the added comfort of not missing that turn or curb by 15 or 20 feet like Orion mentioned http://www.freshalloy.com/

red98s14
12-28-2001, 09:59 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial[/img]quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by asad137
What's a "master slave"?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think that's a service they charge extra for.

David

**DONOTDELETE**
12-28-2001, 10:08 AM
The reason this upgrade is so "used" throughout the 240SX community, isnt just the look or the performance..

Its the fact that the brakes perform better and correct me if I am wrong, weigh less than the stock brakes. The aluminum calipers are nice..

- Mike

12-28-2001, 10:19 AM
The aluminum calipers weigh less than the stock calipers, but the rotors are much heavier, so I think you still end up gaining weight (unsprung and rotational!) with the Z brake upgrade.

Asad

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial[/img]quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by old_s13:
Its the fact that the brakes perform better and correct me if I am wrong, weigh less than the stock brakes. The aluminum calipers are nice..
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Mav1178
12-28-2001, 11:34 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial[/img]quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by old_s13:
The reason this upgrade is so "used" throughout the 240SX community, isnt just the look or the performance..

Its the fact that the brakes perform better and correct me if I am wrong, weigh less than the stock brakes. The aluminum calipers are nice..

- Mike<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Mike, you're wrong.

-alex

Sepp
12-28-2001, 11:46 AM
Asad, et al;
The weight gain per wheel is 1.5 lbs as near as my hand spring scale would measure. Of course this gain can be counterbalanced by lighter aftermarket wheels. In the final analysis, the increased braking power gives tremendous peace of mind for any situation: roadracing, street, and styling.

**DONOTDELETE**
12-28-2001, 01:01 PM
I'm new here, been reading the forum for about a month now.
Just my $.02 on brakes:
I race a '89-90 240 in SCCA Club Racing, the class is ITA. We're allowed brake ducts and SS lines, otherwise the rotors & calipers have to be stock, no cross-drilling/slotting. Brake pads are open, so we use Hawk Blue compound on all corners. We've installed brake ducts, but the tubing is so weak they've collapsed, so they don't contribute much.
Also, we run 15x7 wheels with 225/45-15 tires; we run both Kumho and Hoosier road racing compounds.
I've never experienced brake fade in this car. We run endurance races which are anywhere from 1.5hrs to 3hrs long, with driver changes at 45min to 1hr. We've run the car at most of the tracks in the southeast (Daytona-24Hr course, Sebring-12Hr course, Homestead, Moroso, Roebling Rd., and Charlotte/Loews Motor Speedway); the car consistently outbrakes the competition.
My point is, the pad compound is the most important part of braking performance (all else being equal).
A set of Pep Boys $19.99 Lifetime Guarantee pads are just not up to the job of repeated stops. I wonder which brake pads those of you with Z32 brakes are using? I know a lot of the aftermarket places offer Axxis Metal Masters as a common pad for the Z32s.
Maybe I'm using more than my $.02, but don't give up on stock brakes, you gotta try different compounds.
One more thing-why does it matter if the car is turboed or not? speed=speed regardless of how long it took to get there.
Michael

ADAM HUTCHINSON
12-28-2001, 01:23 PM
i raced solo 1 with stock size brembo x-drilled fronts and ducted fronts..with axxis metal master pads....worked fine with NA setup..for 3 years..then this year with turbo motor..smoked exact same set up in 2 laps...you are just carrying way more speed..went over the heat threshold that those brakes can handle..heat dissipation is the key..thats the reason for going to the 300zx brake upgrade...

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial[/img]quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by handfulz28:
I'm new here, been reading the forum for about a month now.
Just my $.02 on brakes:
I race a '89-90 240 in SCCA Club Racing, the class is ITA. We're allowed brake ducts and SS lines, otherwise the rotors & calipers have to be stock, no cross-drilling/slotting. Brake pads are open, so we use Hawk Blue compound on all corners. We've installed brake ducts, but the tubing is so weak they've collapsed, so they don't contribute much.
Also, we run 15x7 wheels with 225/45-15 tires; we run both Kumho and Hoosier road racing compounds.
I've never experienced brake fade in this car. We run endurance races which are anywhere from 1.5hrs to 3hrs long, with driver changes at 45min to 1hr. We've run the car at most of the tracks in the southeast (Daytona-24Hr course, Sebring-12Hr course, Homestead, Moroso, Roebling Rd., and Charlotte/Loews Motor Speedway); the car consistently outbrakes the competition.
My point is, the pad compound is the most important part of braking performance (all else being equal).
A set of Pep Boys $19.99 Lifetime Guarantee pads are just not up to the job of repeated stops. I wonder which brake pads those of you with Z32 brakes are using? I know a lot of the aftermarket places offer Axxis Metal Masters as a common pad for the Z32s.
Maybe I'm using more than my $.02, but don't give up on stock brakes, you gotta try different compounds.
One more thing-why does it matter if the car is turboed or not? speed=speed regardless of how long it took to get there.
Michael<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

12-28-2001, 01:47 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial[/img]quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by handfulz28:

My point is, the pad compound is the most important part of braking performance (all else being equal).
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, this is a good point. However, a pad that works well with the stock setup is likely to be unsuitable for street use -- it won't get warm enough, and it'll eat through your rotors.

Using larger rotors allows you to run a streetable pad but still have a good amount of fade resistance.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial[/img]quote:</font><HR>
One more thing-why does it matter if the car is turboed or not? speed=speed regardless of how long it took to get there.
Michael<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

With a turbo you can build up a lot more speed between the turns http://www.freshalloy.com/

Asad

**DONOTDELETE**
12-28-2001, 02:13 PM
Calipers.. alex son, calipers.

But yes, the increase in rotor size would obviously increase the weight.

buawahahahah

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial[/img]quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Mav1178:


Mike, you're wrong.

-alex<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

12-28-2001, 02:21 PM
But you didn't say "calipers", you said "brakes" http://www.freshalloy.com/

Asad

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial[/img]quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by old_s13:
Calipers.. alex son, calipers.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

KAkiller
12-28-2001, 03:58 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial[/img]quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ffdet:
I'm not against big brakes, I love how they look and I totally understand your reasons for doing it <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

If your saying you understand that peoples reasoning behind doing big brakes is becuase they look good, then I really do not think you understand most peoples reasoning.

**DONOTDELETE**
12-28-2001, 04:14 PM
I can't believe I missed this thread. I switched up to Z brakes after a nice long road race a few years ago, basically autocrossing through traffic. I had never experienced brake fade like that, and decided before I ever got on road Atlanta, I would address this issue. The stock brakes are great for daily driving, but suck when pushed hard. I then did the rear swap to compliment the fronts, and love it. Hard stops scare me now because I know the guy behind me can't stop as fast. For anyone who pushes their car, the front upgrade is a must.

Mav1178
12-28-2001, 04:40 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial[/img]quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by old_s13:
Calipers.. alex son, calipers.

But yes, the increase in rotor size would obviously increase the weight.

buawahahahah

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Go "buawahahahah" about what you wrote. Go read what you wrote.

Stop contradicting yourself, or else I'll send more granny drivers to piss you off, or I'll send some Yahoo! advertisements your way and get you mad...

-alex

mrmephistopheles
12-28-2001, 04:52 PM
Alex, settle down, or I'll call Mr2 and sic him on you.

Kevin

jimc-s13
12-28-2001, 04:52 PM
I'm not going to say the Z32 brake upgrade isn't worth it, but I will say that the stock brakes are very capable if prepped right. I've put quite a few track miles on my car, and with race pads, the stock brakes are just fine. If you're changing tires anyway, changing the pads is just another couple minutes. I'd be surprised to keep even Z32 brakes from fading in less than 10 laps on any of the tracks I've been to without race pads and/or brake ducts.

As far as pads go, if you can stand some brake dust, the Panther Plus pads will work well on the street as well as the track. They won't eat your rotors, even when cold, and grip is good even when they are cold. I don't think they dust any more than the Porterfield R4S or Hawk HP+ pads I used before.

FWIW, I will be sharing my stock-braked car in a track event with a guy who has done the Z32 brake upgrade. I'll have to ask him what he thinks of the difference.

C-Kwik
12-28-2001, 05:26 PM
Well, geez, I was just trying to be informative of the reason for having larger brakes. =)

The brakes are significantly larger. The diameter is an inch bigger, but it's either 7-8mm or 11-12mm thicker than the stock rotors. And you can get all this for less than $400.

As far as pads, sure, you can create a carbon-carbon brake system that will outbrake anything else out there on a high HP 240 on a fast heavy braking track, even with relatively small rotors, but how feasable is that for the street. I take my car onto the track exactly how I have it set-up for the street. I pull out a few loose items from my trunk and that's it. Even my sub stays in.

But more than anything, the first time you experience some serious fade when you need your brakes to be there, you will think twice about this discussion.

Whether the need is actually there depends on the use and the car itself. The faster and heavier the car, the more brake you will need. Repeated high-speed braking requires more brake. Stupid driving on the street(me) requires more brake.

Could the $400 I put into my brakes have saved me an accident. Yes. Imagine...that's less than my deductible. It's a sound investment if you ask me.

Chano