Every enthusiast knows what makes up the most important parts of a braking system pads, rotors and lines; however it can be difficult to determine what specific brake components to put on your car. This blog will explore the different kinds of brake components, and what ones would be best for your build!
Let's start with brake pads, these are definitely the simplest of the components that make up a braking system. Firstly, you have to know what you will primarily be using your car for; is it a fun daily that you track occasionally? A dedicated track car built to go fast or you just want some better performance for the street? After determining what category you fall into, then you can make a decision on what brake pads to buy. You can never go wrong with HAWK Performance, they have a wide variety of different compounds that start with being slightly better than OEM all the way to dedicated track pads that can withstand temperatures of 1600 ℉; and everything in between! If you just want to squeeze a bit more performance out of your brakes, but keep the braking feel relatively tame, go with a more tame compound. Need something that's good for daily driving but will also stand up to a few track days over the summer? A HAWK Street 5.0 or EBC Yellow Stuff pad will do you a lot of good! Finally, want something built for ultimate track performance? Go with a DTC-70 track or some good ‘ol EBC Red Stuff!
Ok so now that we’ve talked about pads, what's next? Rotors. There are tons of different options for brake rotors, all of which have positives and negatives. Just like pads, you can go from slightly above OEM spec for a little bit of performance but very easy drivability and perfect for daily driving, all the way to crazy rotors that will give your braking system a big boost on track! So, what's the best bang for your buck brake rotor that offers a bit of a performance upgrade but is still relatively tame you might ask? Well I’m glad you asked, that would be the full face brake rotor, they look quite tame and not too different from OEM; however they do hide a few performance upgrades! Full face rotors generally have internal vanes for improved heat management and airflow, they also tend to be lighter than OEM rotors. Another advantage is that they have no holes or slots, because of this there is more contact with the brake pad, thus bringing you to a stop faster!
Next is drilled and slotted rotors, they look quite extreme but I wouldn’t say they’re your best bet for a street car; braking is about surface area and friction so when you take that away by slotting and drilling out sections of your rotor, you lose braking force. However if your car is a dedicated track car then drilled and slotted rotors are definitely an advantage over the competition! Having less surface area helps with weight reduction, as well as temperature management!
Now, if you want the best of both worlds, slotted rotors are your best option! The weight reduction from the slots will help on the track as well and the “cutting edge” created by the slot will help with initial bite when braking. Having only small slots also doesn’t sacrifice a lot of surface area, thus making your braking harder and faster on the street.
Now let’s switch to the opposite of slotted rotors, drilled rotors. The purpose of these bad boys is not only to look cool, but to have reduced weight and high heat resistance; however cool looking rotors come at a price, the downside to drilled rotors is strength. Under high temperature conditions it’s possible for them to crack if the heat is maintained.
Finally, if you want the best performing brake rotor and are willing to shell out the money for it; two-piece floating/semi-floating rotors and you are a match made in heaven. This is definitely the best all around brake rotor option for any performance oriented driving, however with the average set running around $1000 for just the rotors, you better be ready to pinch pennies in order to get some!
So what brands are out there? We carry and also recommend ECS , StopTech and PowerStop rotors! All three of these will do you good, and they all carry the different kinds of rotors that we just talked about!
Alright so last but not least we have brake lines! Are these even worth upgrading? If they are, what kind of options are available? You might ask, well we have the answer so don’t you worry. If you like the way your brakes feel right now, then definitely stick to OEM lines when you want to replace them! However if you want a more responsive feel from your brake pedal, stainless steel lines are where it's at. Due to the rigidity of the stainless steel, none of the pressure you put into the pedal goes into expanding the lines like it would with OEM, so you get almost instant pad engagement and a way better brake feeling, as an added bonus they’re also a lot more durable than OEM rubber brake lines. However, like all things, there are cons; stainless steel brake lines are hard to inspect, so make sure to be extra attentive to them when inspecting for any kind of leaks! Again, we recommend and carry StopTech , ECS Tuning and Goodridge brake lines!
Big Brake Kits
So drilled and slotted floating rotors weren’t enough for you? Good thing big brake kits exist! These will give your car an exponential improvement and as an added bonus they're absolutely stunning to look at. Big Brake kits are fairly simple as well, if you buy a whole kit then it will come with everything you need! Pads, calipers, lines and rotors are all included in most kits, however if you’re more of the DIY type then you can always take big brake kits from high performance cars, and put them onto your own car. The biggest advantage of big brake kits is the greater stopping force due to the bigger calipers applying more even pressure to the pads and rotors. However you do have to be careful when buying these kits, making sure they fit behind the spokes of your wheels is of utmost importance!
So what should you take away from this? Well, you don’t have to break the bank for good brakes! There are many different ways to get better braking performance without spending all your money, so think on how you’re gonna be using your car and spec out your new braking system from there! So the final question you might be asking yourself, where can I find all the components I need to upgrade my brake system? Well we have an answer for you, right here at Eurosport Tuning! Come to our cool shop in person, or order online today!