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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long story short.

Spent silly money on car, got it to 293 BHP.
Brakes are still completely stock. I bought some Cupra R brembo's only to find they wouldn't fit unless I spaced my wheels out massively so I sold them off.

Wheels are BBS CH's 18".
Recommendations or some advice. Would better pads do the trick or would I still need new callipers?

Cheers.


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You could go with a two piece rotor (slotted) and SS lines. High temp fluid as well. Try a racing pad (track pad) that has a lower initial temp startup (110F). Just an idea.


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For the sake of good recommendations it'd be helpful to know what car you have and what it's purpose is... primarily spirited DD? Will it see frequent track use?

A track pad or at least a street performance pad would be the first thing to consider. Some criteria to consider are the pad material, metallic or ceramic mainly. Metallic dust more but are cheaper and good ones have just as much or more stopping power as ceramic and consistent bite when hot or cold. Ceramic barely dust but bite is inconsistent as they work best when they are hot, they also don't tend to bite as well as top-tier metallics in my experience but everyone seems to have a different opinion on that and it probably just comes down to the quality for the most part. A lot of people assume they bite more because they are on high end cars... not necessarily. Also look into their temp range, in other words how much they can handle before you get brake fade. These days I'm just using StopTech sport pads since I have a StopTech big brake kit on my front end. I'm impressed with the pads and would have no issue recommending them. I can also recommend Hawk HPS 5.0 or EBC pads (green, yellow, or red series, depending on your preference/application). The EBC pads I've run stop damn well and seem to never fade but they are a bitch to bed in properly, are noisy for quite awhile, and aren't super consistent in my experience. Also, contrary to how they are advertised, they are notoriously harsh on rotors, which incidentally is another criteria to consider with the pads you choose. There are plenty of other options out there too. It's up to you.

As for rotor type... this is a hugely overblown subject. The reality is the type of rotor you choose, whether it be blank, slotted, drilled, whatever, makes veeery little difference for performance. I'd get blank or slotted, NO drilled. Drilled is an aesthetic thing only no matter how much every company trumpets the claim that they are for better heat dispersion, etc. The fact is drilled rotors are just for looks and the only thing you're gonna get with them is a greater risk of heat cracking your rotor because its structural integrity with all those holes is weaker. Not saying its likely at all on a street car, just saying its more likely. So unless you really just love the look of drilled rotors then stay away. The same marketing claims about slotted rotors when it comes to the difference they make because of heat/gas dispersion is mostly hocus pocus too but at least slots don't sacrifice structural integrity. I also like the way slotted rotors look (unlike drilled which I think look ugly) so I'd go for slotted. They can shave your pads down a little faster though. Two-piece vs. one-piece isn't a huge matter either; yes, two-piece will be lighter which reduces unsprung weight and can have a tangible affect on acceleration and stopping if reduced enough, but you'd have to shed a lot more unsprung weight in other areas too before you'd really notice. Since two-piece rotors are usually sold as part of big brake kits though they benefit from being larger than the OEM one-piece rotors and it's rotor size that is the biggest factor to consider in upgrading. It's clear that you are willing to spend a pretty penny on your brake solution so you're best bet is to probably do a big brake kit for larger calipers and rotors; however, there are some finer points to brake upgrades you must consider before buying just any BBK (and I'm not talking about making sure it fits in your wheels, there's more to it than that).

If you're opting for a BBK only do one in the front and, unless you have an R or a TTRS, keep it to 4pot calipers or else you will need to upgrade your master brake cylinder too. Unless you have an R or TTRS (which are the only models I can think of off the top of my head which have more capable master brake cylinders) then anything beyond a 4pot caliper, or even a 4pot caliper with large enough pistons, will be too much for the stock master brake cylinder to properly operate. If you have a GTI or GLI or more common model like that and want to stay within the confines of what the stock master brake cylinder can reliably handle then you'll need to look at 4pot calipers such as the Porsche Boxster 986 calipers, commonly modified and rebranded by companies such as StopTech for various big brake kits on the market, and made compatible in various kits for just about every VW model. I have a ST40 BBK for my B6 (basically the 986 calipers mentioned above but with modifications made by ST) and it performs very well and does not max out the master cylinders capabilities. I'm aware of other 4pot BBK options, however, I can only speak to the quality and proper brake bias/balance of the ST40 BBK (it's very good). I can't speak to those qualities of any other BBKs out there. Look at various 4pot options and consider the ST40 BBK strongly unless you find another route that is significantly cheaper. The reason I would personally pay more for the ST40 kit than other options is because it has well done brake bias/balance which is a very important, and very often overlooked, part of a proper brake setup and braking characteristics of your vehicle. In extreme cases if someone just does willy-nilly brake mods to their vehicle and throws the brake bias far off then brake performance (as in stopping distance) can be hindered more than helped. Heat management/resistance to fade would would still be higher but otherwise a really poor brake bias can actually throw off how your car physically responds under braking. The take-away point from this is that, brake mods aren't as cut-and-dry simple as they may seem; bigger isn't always better in every way, technically there's more to it and so you want to carefully research your options not just buy the cheapest, biggest calipers you can fit.

Aside from the advantages of the above stuff, if chosen correctly, BBKs generally include stainless steel brake lines. Even if you don't get a BBK, stainless steel lines would be a good upgrade for both front and rear like the guy above me said. They will greatly improve brake feel. Also like he said, a higher end brake fluid couldn't hurt but the only reason to go crazy on brake fluid is if you're going to be seriously tracking the car. A lot of people blow tons of money on high-end brake fluids like Motul RBF, etc. but it's a complete waste of money unless your car is basically a track dedicated car; otherwise, good old ATE Typ200 (formerly often called "Super Blue") is plenty sufficient and very affordable.

The above was, of course, primarily focused at your front brake upgrade considerations. As for the rear, aside from upgrading the brake lines, you'll likely be best off with stock size rotors/calipers and just upgrade the pads. See below.

http://stoptech.com/technical-support/technical-white-papers/rear-brake-upgrades
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
For the sake of good recommendations it'd be helpful to know what car you have and what it's purpose is... primarily spirited DD? Will it see frequent track use?

A track pad or at least a street performance pad would be the first thing to consider. Some criteria to consider are the pad material, metallic or ceramic mainly. Metallic dust more but are cheaper and good ones have just as much or more stopping power as ceramic and consistent bite when hot or cold. Ceramic barely dust but bite is inconsistent as they work best when they are hot, they also don't tend to bite as well as top-tier metallics in my experience but everyone seems to have a different opinion on that and it probably just comes down to the quality for the most part. A lot of people assume they bite more because they are on high end cars... not necessarily. Also look into their temp range, in other words how much they can handle before you get brake fade. These days I'm just using StopTech sport pads since I have a StopTech big brake kit on my front end. I'm impressed with the pads and would have no issue recommending them. I can also recommend Hawk HPS 5.0 or EBC pads (green, yellow, or red series, depending on your preference/application). The EBC pads I've run stop damn well and seem to never fade but they are a bitch to bed in properly, are noisy for quite awhile, and aren't super consistent in my experience. Also, contrary to how they are advertised, they are notoriously harsh on rotors, which incidentally is another criteria to consider with the pads you choose. There are plenty of other options out there too. It's up to you.

As for rotor type... this is a hugely overblown subject. The reality is the type of rotor you choose, whether it be blank, slotted, drilled, whatever, makes veeery little difference for performance. I'd get blank or slotted, NO drilled. Drilled is an aesthetic thing only no matter how much every company trumpets the claim that they are for better heat dispersion, etc. The fact is drilled rotors are just for looks and the only thing you're gonna get with them is a greater risk of heat cracking your rotor because its structural integrity with all those holes is weaker. Not saying its likely at all on a street car, just saying its more likely. So unless you really just love the look of drilled rotors then stay away. The same marketing claims about slotted rotors when it comes to the difference they make because of heat/gas dispersion is mostly hocus pocus too but at least slots don't sacrifice structural integrity. I also like the way slotted rotors look (unlike drilled which I think look ugly) so I'd go for slotted. They can shave your pads down a little faster though. Two-piece vs. one-piece isn't a huge matter either; yes, two-piece will be lighter which reduces unsprung weight and can have a tangible affect on acceleration and stopping if reduced enough, but you'd have to shed a lot more unsprung weight in other areas too before you'd really notice. Since two-piece rotors are usually sold as part of big brake kits though they benefit from being larger than the OEM one-piece rotors and it's rotor size that is the biggest factor to consider in upgrading. It's clear that you are willing to spend a pretty penny on your brake solution so you're best bet is to probably do a big brake kit for larger calipers and rotors; however, there are some finer points to brake upgrades you must consider before buying just any BBK (and I'm not talking about making sure it fits in your wheels, there's more to it than that).

If you're opting for a BBK only do one in the front and, unless you have an R or a TTRS, keep it to 4pot calipers or else you will need to upgrade your master brake cylinder too. Unless you have an R or TTRS (which are the only models I can think of off the top of my head which have more capable master brake cylinders) then anything beyond a 4pot caliper, or even a 4pot caliper with large enough pistons, will be too much for the stock master brake cylinder to properly operate. If you have a GTI or GLI or more common model like that and want to stay within the confines of what the stock master brake cylinder can reliably handle then you'll need to look at 4pot calipers such as the Porsche Boxster 986 calipers, commonly modified and rebranded by companies such as StopTech for various big brake kits on the market, and made compatible in various kits for just about every VW model. I have a ST40 BBK for my B6 (basically the 986 calipers mentioned above but with modifications made by ST) and it performs very well and does not max out the master cylinders capabilities. I'm aware of other 4pot BBK options, however, I can only speak to the quality and proper brake bias/balance of the ST40 BBK (it's very good). I can't speak to those qualities of any other BBKs out there. Look at various 4pot options and consider the ST40 BBK strongly unless you find another route that is significantly cheaper. The reason I would personally pay more for the ST40 kit than other options is because it has well done brake bias/balance which is a very important, and very often overlooked, part of a proper brake setup and braking characteristics of your vehicle. In extreme cases if someone just does willy-nilly brake mods to their vehicle and throws the brake bias far off then brake performance (as in stopping distance) can be hindered more than helped. Heat management/resistance to fade would would still be higher but otherwise a really poor brake bias can actually throw off how your car physically responds under braking. The take-away point from this is that, brake mods aren't as cut-and-dry simple as they may seem; bigger isn't always better in every way, technically there's more to it and so you want to carefully research your options not just buy the cheapest, biggest calipers you can fit.

Aside from the advantages of the above stuff, if chosen correctly, BBKs generally include stainless steel brake lines. Even if you don't get a BBK, stainless steel lines would be a good upgrade for both front and rear like the guy above me said. They will greatly improve brake feel. Also like he said, a higher end brake fluid couldn't hurt but the only reason to go crazy on brake fluid is if you're going to be seriously tracking the car. A lot of people blow tons of money on high-end brake fluids like Motul RBF, etc. but it's a complete waste of money unless your car is basically a track dedicated car; otherwise, good old ATE Typ200 (formerly often called "Super Blue") is plenty sufficient and very affordable.

The above was, of course, primarily focused at your front brake upgrade considerations. As for the rear, aside from upgrading the brake lines, you'll likely be best off with stock size rotors/calipers and just upgrade the pads. See below.

http://stoptech.com/technical-support/technical-white-papers/rear-brake-upgrades
Very informative info right there, it's much appreciated.
My car is just for the road, no track use as this is my daily. But under the high torque and BHP on stock brakes it scares me slightly when I don't have efficient braking to compliment the speed/acceleration.

I went down the 4 pot calliper route but the only concern was the amount of spacing needed to get the brakes to fit. When I had the brembos they needed 20mm spacing which would of looked silly for the front end.

I'm mainly looking at alternative for good braking which doesn't involve having to do major adjustments to the wheels. Are there kits which fit without spacing the weeks out massively, or would good pads and brake fluid be enough?


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What vehicle are we talking brakes about?
 

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Ah right, I meant to circle back to that but forgot. How did you arrive at the conclusion that you would need 20mm spacers to run those brembos? Not to doubt your methods but I seriously can't wrap my head around that, it sounds extremely unlikely going off of what I looked up for those wheels. I've never seen those wheels in person but from the pics it looks like while the spoke design isn't particularly convex it's definitely not concave either. I'm seeing offset is 40mm and backspacing of almost 6 inches, both of which are pretty good? You should confirm those numbers but that's what I'm seeing on Tire Rack for those wheels anyway. With those numbers and the spoke design in mind I honestly just assumed that the brembos you tried were some huge 6pot calipers without looking. Looks like they aren't as big as I imagined at first, they dont look much bigger than my StopTech ST40 calipers. I don't see how they could possibly require you to run anywhere close to a offset of 20 just to fit. I could see you possibly needing 5-10mm spacers absolute max but 20? Idk man that sounds crazy.

Anyway, if you want to put it to rest, at least as far ad a StopTech kit is concerned, just go on StopTech's site and print one of their little measuring card things for the ST40 kit, pull a wheel, and use the card to check fitment.

As far as staying stock goes, you'd just wanna get good street performance or light track pads. You could also consider stainless steel lines and a Tyrol brake stiffening kit if they make one for your model. Speaking of which you didn't mention your model but there is an OEM bigger brake solution for some models... The R32 has a very meaty single piston caliper that is considered an upgrade to several VW models. Lastly, forget the brake fluid. I mean if you do the stainless steel lines then you'll need to flush the fluid so may as well get a good fluid like ATE typ200 but otherwise don't bother. You aren't gonna get anything out of it as a DD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ah right, I meant to circle back to that but forgot. How did you arrive at the conclusion that you would need 20mm spacers to run those brembos? Not to doubt your methods but I seriously can't wrap my head around that, it sounds extremely unlikely going off of what I looked up for those wheels. I've never seen those wheels in person but from the pics it looks like while the spoke design isn't particularly convex it's definitely not concave either. I'm seeing offset is 40mm and backspacing of almost 6 inches, both of which are pretty good? You should confirm those numbers but that's what I'm seeing on Tire Rack for those wheels anyway. With those numbers and the spoke design in mind I honestly just assumed that the brembos you tried were some huge 6pot calipers without looking. Looks like they aren't as big as I imagined at first, they dont look much bigger than my StopTech ST40 calipers. I don't see how they could possibly require you to run anywhere close to a offset of 20 just to fit. I could see you possibly needing 5-10mm spacers absolute max but 20? Idk man that sounds crazy.

Anyway, if you want to put it to rest, at least as far ad a StopTech kit is concerned, just go on StopTech's site and print one of their little measuring card things for the ST40 kit, pull a wheel, and use the card to check fitment.

As far as staying stock goes, you'd just wanna get good street performance or light track pads. You could also consider stainless steel lines and a Tyrol brake stiffening kit if they make one for your model. Speaking of which you didn't mention your model but there is an OEM bigger brake solution for some models... The R32 has a very meaty single piston caliper that is considered an upgrade to several VW models. Lastly, forget the brake fluid. I mean if you do the stainless steel lines then you'll need to flush the fluid so may as well get a good fluid like ATE typ200 but otherwise don't bother. You aren't gonna get anything out of it as a DD.
It's was a bit of a funny one really because whilst the car was in the garage having other bits and bobs done to it I asked to see if the calipers could be fitted. The guy messaged me back saying there wasn't enough clearance from the wheels. I think the way the disc had aligned itself meant it sat further out towards the inside of the rim. Bit unfortunate really because I wanted those brakes on the car.

It's Mk4 1.8t Gti.

As far as it goes I have braided lines installed. I've spoken to someone and I've decided to go for some good pads. At first they have a slight squeal but once they bed in apparently there wicked. This is all information from a VAG specialist I've got to know in the past.

I think for the moment it's trial and error, the only concern is that I want to get this right first time so I don't have to keep spending money fixing a problem that could of been resolved with a simple solution from the get go.



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Yeah that should do nicely for a DD. Just throw in a brake stiffening kit if you wanna tighten up the brake feel and response, and if you were a fan of the aesthetics of the bbk too then you can clean up your stock calipers and paint them with G2 or something.

Don't forget to do a proper bed-in of the pads with according to manufacturers direction (they all have a bit of a different bed-in procedure from manufacturer). If you don't you won't get the most out of them.
 

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Boxster 986 brakes, a cheap and proven solution ever since the first mk4 brackets went into production a decade ago. They clear most OEM wheels with 5mm spacers, and fit under any wheel with appropriate spoke design.
 

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Boxster 986 brakes, a cheap and proven solution ever since the first mk4 brackets went into production a decade ago. They clear most OEM wheels with 5mm spacers, and fit under any wheel with appropriate spoke design.
This is correct and part of the reason I recommended the StopTech BBK; because ST BBKs, like mine for instance, are basically a re-branded and modified/improved Boxter 986 caliper.
 

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This is correct and part of the reason I recommended the StopTech BBK; because ST BBKs, like mine for instance, are basically a re-branded and modified/improved Boxter 986 caliper.
:thumbup::thumbup:

Not sure that I completely agree though. OEM Porsche Brembo's are true monoblock calipers, Stoptech are 2 piece. You can buy Boxster calipers for dirt cheap on ebay, car-part, etc, now that the platform is nearly 20 years old, then replace the seals and/or pistons with cheap Stoptech parts and maybe the crossover tubes and bleeders if necessary. Refinish with a sanding wheel and new G2 paint and you have a brand new set of calipers for ~$300.
 

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:thumbup::thumbup:

Not sure that I completely agree though. OEM Porsche Brembo's are true monoblock calipers, Stoptech are 2 piece. You can buy Boxster calipers for dirt cheap on ebay, car-part, etc, now that the platform is nearly 20 years old, then replace the seals and/or pistons with cheap Stoptech parts and maybe the crossover tubes and bleeders if necessary. Refinish with a sanding wheel and new G2 paint and you have a brand new set of calipers for ~$300.
I'm fairly certain I recall a StopTech retailer, not a StopTech employee, telling me flat out that StopTech rebrands and modifies 986 calipers for their kits but perhaps he was referring to some specific kits not the majority of them. I've never actually had a 986 caliper in person so I was unaware they were monoblock but if that's the case then you're right and most of the ST kits I'm familiar with, like my ST40 for instance, aren't 986 calipers. In any case, the only advantage that StopTech kits would have over the $300 method above is that most of them, even the cheaper kits like my ST40, have a bit larger pistons than the 986 calipers and are supposedly engineered to retain an excellent brake bias on the cars they are intended for (although it can't be that fine-tuned since even specific kits fit a variety of models with different overall weights, corner weights, and center of gravity). Although, to its credit, I suspect the true 986 caliper would probably not throw the bias off all that much either. Considering even the ST40 kit is almost $2K, the $300 route would be preferable for sure, you could still get 2-piece aero rotors and keep total expense under half the cast of the ST kit.
 
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