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Can I haz better brakes?

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by az3579, Feb 19, 2010.

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    az3579

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    April 9, the first Driver's School of the year for my chapter, is right around the corner. That's lovely and all, but there is something missing from the picture; oh, I know, I know! Pick me!

    Brakes.

    Yes, it's amazing to have gobs of power to propel me into oblivion, but if I can't stop at my destination, then I'll most likely destroy it instead by smashing into it, and I'm not too fond of smashing things using my personal items, i.e. my car.


    Since I have gotten nothing of use for my birthday other than a card that kept me entertained for all of 10 minutes (yes, it was an awesome card!) and $60, I figured I'd put it to good use and start a brakes fund, which would include a full brake refresh. I've had a suspension refresh and a drivetrain refresh, so now it's time for the overlooked brake refresh.

    What I'm looking at hiring for these almighty open positions at E30 Corporation:
    * Bigger front rotors, looking at 280mm or 300mm, depending on references [MUST fit 15" wheels!]
    * Perhaps Hawk HPS or HP+ pads if they work well with others (aka rotor compatibility)
    * 4-piston calipers I hear are excellent accountants
    * stainless steel brake lines are to do the plumbing work
    * Whatever the new recommended brake fluid is (get creative on the résumé!)
    * Anything else my advisors recommend

    Soooo, registration now begins, and I seek useful recommendations!




    (sorry for the attempted flair - I'm bored)
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Where are you finding a 280mm front brake kit... I do not see such an option thus far...

    Your options for 15" wheels (surely you must have looked at these yourself already?)

    Korman Autoworks:
    http://www.kormanfastbmw.com/e30brake.htm

    Ireland Engineering: (personally I'd say skip the cross-drilled rotors)
    http://store.nexternal.com/shared/S...reType=BtoC&Count1=190426051&Count2=107566475

    VAC Motorsports: (looks like 4-piston Wilwoods compared to IE's 6-piston Wilwoods)
    http://www.vacmotorsports.com/catalog/e30-big-brake-kit-non-m3.htm

    & possibly, BMP Design, although they don't say if they fit 15" wheels, and I don't know why anyone would pay $1k more for essentially the same thing the others offer.
    http://www.bmpdesign.com/product-ex...tegory_id/62/search_year/1987/search_model/36

    The standard brake fluid options are ATE Super Blue/Gold, unless you want a higher boiling point; reasonable cost higher boiling point fluids are Motul, Brembo LCF 600 and others listed here:
    http://www.racerpartswholesale.com/category/Brake_Fluid2
    Generally, it appears you're looking at just under $20/ .5l bottle for boiling points above 550°F.
    This "Endless" brake fluid was new to me - the expensive stuff is 613°F boiling point, the S-Four is a liter can for $30 w/ a boiling point of 563°F. Fine if you don't see brake temps above that, but they're also selling Motul for less than S-Four, which is 585°F.
    http://www.vividracing.com/catalog/brakes-brake-fluid-c-4238_6631.html

    I get brake temps using stock calipers/rotors w/ ss-lines (& air ducting directly to the rotor centers) in excess of 550°F, but don't break 600°F. Considering your extra hp, I wouldn't be surprised if you broke 600°F with stock brakes and no air ducting. Any air ducted to the rotors would help, ideal is a setup like the Korman page that shows backing plate replacements ducting air into the rotor centers.

    Stainless brake lines - I'd say go w/ a known vendor so you can presumably have some confidence your getting a quality product (Bill-Bob's perfeshunal break lynes; Yup, A'm Bill-Bob, hode on a sec thar wayall Ah fix yew up wit sum o' them-thar break-lions.... wayell hayll yays thar cheep, but whut deed yew expec??) But, uh.. I digress... anyway; Turner, Bimmerworld, BavAuto, yadda yadda yadda lots of places to get those.

    Bimmerworld does have some other nifty options; I like the idea of the titanium heat barrier plates, but the heat has to go somewhere - I wonder about how that could affect the pad through the course of a session, for instance.
    http://store.bimmerworld.com/shared...2=397620797&CategoryID=30&Target=products.asp

    Probably lots of pad options, depending on whatever brake kit is chosen - use a step or two up from street pads until you start burning through them in ohhh... a day (3 25-min. track sessions) or find yourself exceeding the pads' capability to deliver.

    I don't know what your advistors would recommend, because I don't know what an advistor is - sounds like some sort of electronics part you'd solder onto a circuit board. :p
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

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    You will probably have a hard time finding 300mm rotors that fit under 15" wheels.

    I suggest Lee at Massive Brakes if you can pony up $750.

    http://www.massivebrakes.com/kits/e30/null/null/null/318-325

    If not, search r3v and see if anyone has brackets that fit RX7 brakes. I think you need modified Corrado rotors or something like that. There are budget brakes out there, but sadly nothing that is an easy bolt up solution from the BMW parts bin.

    jeanm guest

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    Massive Brakes gets my vote.
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    That's where those 280mm rotors are! I did see some posts someplace (r3v or e30tech?) about somebody/someplace that made the brackets Paul mentions.
    • Member

    az3579

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    massivebrakes.com

    This is where I saw the 280mm's. They say all of their brake kits for the E30 fit under 15" wheels, including the 300mm discs.

    Only problem is, those are a little high on the cost side, though the price of the 280's or the in-between 300's is what I was prepared to pay for them anyway. Should I be upgrading both front and rear, or can I leave the rear alone?

    Someone once mentioned to me that he could get a set of E36 M3 brakes for free. I was really excited, until I looked up and saw that some people were saying you need the 5-lug setup for this. That is a major downer... is this true?
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    mooseheadm5

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    You would have to do the whole 5 lug conversion using E36 front struts for those to work. I am terribly interested in them for my wife's car, though, so please send him my info.

    If you want to do it cheaper, check this out. That would probably be the cheapest way to go (if you buy used calipers.) Massive says their 280 kit is sized for stock rears and the 300 kit can be ordered to work with stock or upgraded rear.

    z31maniac guest

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    ^They aren't expensive considering what you get (especially considering what the competition charges). And yes, even his 300x32mm Race kit will fit under alot of track oriented wheels. For those running big 17s his also getting ready to release a 4 lug 332x32 kit!

    I had Massive's Street kit on the Bronzit S52 car, amazing brakes. But sold them along with the suspension.

    I'm about to put the same setup on my M42 car, mainly for pedal feel, not that I need the extra power. Although this time I'm just using blanks as opposed to Racing Brake rotors.

    "2002maniac" on r3vlimited.com, great machinist is making brackets for RX-7 calipers and also modifies the Corrado rotors to fit. YOu open up the center bore by exactly 1mm. I actually just got my Rotors from him and already have a set of Massive brackets for the Wilwood Dynapros. Just need to get the calipers and pads now.

    Then I can put on my 17x7.5" SSR Type Cs with 215/40 Falken RT-615s

    Yes, for E36 M3 brakes you need to swap to E36 M3 suspension (front at least, rear uses Ti stuff, or if you have big money MCoupe arms/brakes) or E30 M3 suspension using a ~12.7mm spacer under the rotor to provide alignment in the caliper.
    • Member

    az3579

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    It seems that a "custom" setup comes relatively close to the price of a "compatible" setup, so I think I'll go with a kit from massive. Other kits I've seen are higher in price for seemingly the same stuff, so their prices are a deal.

    z31,
    What brake kit did you have on the bronzit S52? Will 280mm be adequate or would 300's be a better choice? (Does anyone know the stock size of E30 fronts?)

    The 280x22mm kit would be $750 for the fronts, and if they work well with the rears then that's fine.
    What's the difference between the 300x21mm and the 300x32mm rotors? Rotor thickness? Does a thicker rotor help resist brake fade (more rotor to heat up takes longer time)?

    (All of massive's kits are compatible with 15" wheels)

    I would be most interested in the 280mm kit because the car will only see about 3 Driver's schools a year with autocross throughout the year. If it was a dedicated trackie, I'd get the best setup, but this is primarily a daily driver.

    Would the rears ever need an upgrade if I just did the fronts?
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    mooseheadm5

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    That price of the custom stuff is too high because he used all new stuff. You can cut that price to shreds if you buy used calipers.

    Stock E30 front size is 260x22.

    Thicker is better for endurance racing, but you won't likely ever reach the limits of the thinner setup.

    You can likely leave the rears as they are forever (just get really good pads) unless you plan to make it a dedicated track machine.

    z31maniac guest

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    I had the 280x22 on the Bronzit, which is plenty with some good pads/fresh fluid. The only reason I'm doing it on the M42 car is for brake feel, not because it needs more power or fade resistance.

    Like moose said, 280 fronts with Wilwoods, good pads/SS lines all the way around will be more than enough.

    If you had a dedicated track car I might go 300x32 all the way around, but there just isn't the need in your case.

    Massive's 280 kit fits behind most wheels (even Ronal LS and EUroweaves) but the bigger kits don't fit behind every 15" wheel.

    Check the brakes subforum on R3V and there is wheel fitment thread regarding his brakes.
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Rears should be ok with stainless lines added. It's kind of in the fuzzy-memory bin, I think I recall hearing that the E30 M3's brakes were basically 5-series calipers, but yes, same scenario, you'd need M3 struts and have to convert the car to 5-lug wheels. So yeah, there's probably some way to make E36 calipers fit requiring 5-lugs too.

    http://www.e30tech.com/forum/showthread.php?t=83511

    If this doesn't work, search r3v for 'rx7' in the brakes section
    http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/search.php?searchid=7353734

    Looks like you can do things for less than the plug-n-play, off-the-shelf kits, but there's more rigamarole, do your homework and read, read, read.

    Somewhere in there was a mention that if you are using one of the bigger Massive Brakes kit and some uber racing pads, brake ducts would not allow the brakes to get up to temp and the race pads would tend to cut through rotors more quickly than if temps got to where they should be - of course some covers or temporarily, duct tape, probably could be an option for blocking off brake ducts if needed.
    • Member

    az3579

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    I don't have brake ducts, so luckily this is not a concern.

    I'm pulling the trigger on the 280mm kit in a couple of weeks. The easiest solution is best for me, as I plan on doing the swap myself. That, and it's been proven to clear Ronal LS's and Kosei K1's, the very wheels that I have, so that's comforting.
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    az3579

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    I was pretty sure on a 280mm set earlier today. But now I'm thinking I want 300mm...........

    So, I printed out the reference cards from massive's website and compared them to the wheels sitting in my garage.

    Kosei K1, 15x7, et27
    280mm:

    [IMG]
    [IMG]

    300mm:

    [IMG]
    [IMG]
    • Member

    az3579

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    Ronal LS, 15x7.5, et25

    280mm:

    I lost the pic for it, but it definitely fit.

    300mm:
    Not so much. I've gotta figure this out, because I really don't want to get rid of this set...

    [IMG]

    [IMG]
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    You're shaving hairs - if the 280mm's fit, use those.
    • Member

    az3579

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    280's seems to be a decent size up from stocker. I believe stock ones are about 10", roughly ~250mm if I remember correctly, so the street package is 30mm up. How much of a difference would that be? Such small size increments make that much of a difference? (Hence the ~$250 price difference between 280 and 300mm kits)?

    z31maniac guest

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    If Lee is selling the Street kit brackets separately, you can knock $100 off that price by going with blanks instead of the Racing Brake rotors. Or he may be willing to let you substitute, just shoot him an email.

    He always responds quickly and is very helpful.

    massivebrakes@gmail.com

    Personally, for your usage, I think the 280mm kit will be fine. Good fluid and the correct pads for the usage plan will make a difference regarding resistance to fade then just bigger heatsinks (rotors).

    I'd just run something like a Porterfield R4-S in the rear, and run a similar pad up front on the street, go to the track, swap out pads up front and hit the track.

    The Dynapros allow SUPER EASY and SUPER QUICK pad changes. You don't even have to pull the caliper, just take the wheel off, remove the retaining clip, cahnge pads.
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    mooseheadm5

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    The stockers are 260mm (didn't you read my post?) Great tip about using blanks instead of high dollar rotors. I don't think you will get your $400 worth of upgrade (since it looks like you would need spacers or something for the 300mm kit) jumping up fromt he 280 to the 300. It isn't just the 20mm up from stock, it is the multiple opposed pistons vs. single piston sliders (better feel and modulation) in addition to the higher brake torque. It'll be just fine and you can keep your wheels and dollars. I would bet that if you really really wanted to in the future you could trade in or upgrade the brackets or whatever to go to 300s. Lee may aggressively market in the forums, but by all accounts he is nice guy.
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    MGarrison

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