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Brakes! Who is running what?


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#1 SUNNY Z

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 08:56 AM

I'm trying to get a feel for what the guys with LSx engines are running for brakes. I offered a few choices, but I'm sure that I left out as many as I included, and for that I apologize. Please elaborate as well, as I'm trying to decide how big ($$$$) i want to go. Or rather, how big i NEED to go.

Edited by SUNNY Z, 08 February 2012 - 01:08 PM.

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#2 78 LS2 Z

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 09:47 AM

I'm running 2003 Cobra brakes up front (MM hubs)and the stock rear brakes from a 1996 Infinity Q45 (Full Technotoy short nose R-200 conversion, which uses 1990-1996 Infinity brake components). The only real downside I see for the Cobra fronts is weight. The rotors are just pigs and pretty heavy, but they are good brakes with 13" rotors. It's too bad that extra weight is where you don't need it.

#3 JMortensen

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:03 AM

I've got a pretty unique setup. JSK rears (like AZC), but the fronts I got off of Austin (240zhoke). They are a custom aluminum hub with a 12.2 x .83 vented rotor. He was using a Buick GN front caliper (popular with the roundy round crowd), I figured out that a Wilwood caliper fit perfectly. The rotor AND hub weighs 13.X lbs. I'm not sure that the smaller rotors will hold up for track work, but should be more than enough for autox. I also have the JSK front setup with stock hub and 12.2 x 1.25 rotors if I need for the track. If I recall the stock iron hub weighs 13 lbs and the rotor weighs 12. For comparison sake, I believe the iron Cobra rotor weighs 25 lbs all by itself, but you can get an aluminum hat and iron rotor setup that cuts some weight off of those too.

EDIT--Brakes and their use really isn't a function of the motor you have, so this post should really be in the BWSC forum. It's a lot more dependent on the tires. If you have 10" slicks and an L24 you can put a LOT more heat in the brakes than you can with a supercharged LS7 on 195/60/14 street tires.

Edited by JMortensen, 08 February 2012 - 10:14 AM.

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#4 SUNNY Z

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:53 AM

I've got a pretty unique setup. JSK rears (like AZC), but the fronts I got off of Austin (240zhoke). They are a custom aluminum hub with a 12.2 x .83 vented rotor. He was using a Buick GN front caliper (popular with the roundy round crowd), I figured out that a Wilwood caliper fit perfectly. The rotor AND hub weighs 13.X lbs. I'm not sure that the smaller rotors will hold up for track work, but should be more than enough for autox. I also have the JSK front setup with stock hub and 12.2 x 1.25 rotors if I need for the track. If I recall the stock iron hub weighs 13 lbs and the rotor weighs 12. For comparison sake, I believe the iron Cobra rotor weighs 25 lbs all by itself, but you can get an aluminum hat and iron rotor setup that cuts some weight off of those too.

EDIT--Brakes and their use really isn't a function of the motor you have, so this post should really be in the BWSC forum. It's a lot more dependent on the tires. If you have 10" slicks and an L24 you can put a LOT more heat in the brakes than you can with a supercharged LS7 on 195/60/14 street tires.


Ok, I guess maybe a better question might have been, which brakes for a 500whp street car (275 tires)that will see high speeds, and light drag / auto-x. For those who want to crucify me, I've read through the stickies, and everyone has a "best" setup. I just dont want to buy anything twice, plus import car parts are a PITA for me to source here in KS. I've called 8 junkyards, and none of them have any infinit or nissan cars. :huh:. I need a setup that is going to be functional (see: avoid death) and REASONABLY affordable. If it comes to sourcing used parts that will cost me $5-700 or buying new @1200, I'd rather buy new, save the headache, and have a nice finished product.

Edited by SUNNY Z, 08 February 2012 - 10:53 AM.

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#5 JMortensen

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:00 AM

Sounds like you want AZC or MM brakes. I'd go AZC due to Ross's spotty customer service.

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#6 SUNNY Z

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:11 AM

Sounds like you want AZC or MM brakes. I'd go AZC due to Ross's spotty customer service.


Of the above mentioned, I was actually leaning towards the silvermine motors kit. It hurts my wallet to LOOK at the AZC website. I've heard great things about the rears, but what would be a good match for the front? Their stage 4?

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#7 zero

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:15 AM

I don't have an LS1 (yet) but I was making the same decision and decided to go with AZC all around. It's pretty tough to beat Dave's price point for the quality of parts you get. I can also say his customer service is great.
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#8 h4nsm0l3m4n

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:22 AM

If youre willing to invest the money I dont see a huge reason NOT to buy the higher end AZC kit. It will get it done and you wont have to worry about potentially having to upgrade in the future. Whether you need it or not really depends a lot on the application.

I think any of the brakes would be ok for street/highway speeds. Autox speeds rarely exceed 60 and runs arent long enough to heat soak the brakes, so, again, most of those brakes will work ok.. Just add some decent brake pads. I dont have a lot of experience with drag racing but dont they have quite reasonable run off areas? In which case, again, most of those brakes you listed with some decent pads will be able to slow you down fast enough? If youre going to road race your car heat buildup will be a major issue then I would see going to vented rotors, wilwood calipers, etc as being more of a necessity.

FWIW, my car has the vented toyota fronts and 280zx rear brakes. I daily drove my car and did autox all summer, brakes worked plenty well (but I only make 350 hp). Though I've never done so, I wouldnt hesitate to run drags with these brakes. As noted in other threads I found these brakes to be fairly front biased. As such, I'm switching to a more aggressive rear pad to compensate (should be finished this weekend) and hope to see an improvement.

Edited by h4nsm0l3m4n, 08 February 2012 - 11:28 AM.


#9 SUNNY Z

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:28 AM

just curious, what does a base AZC kit cost?

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#10 zero

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:38 AM

$1695 shipped with proportioning valve.
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#11 SUNNY Z

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:59 PM

$1695 shipped with proportioning valve.


Hmmmm Damn thats a lot of money! I know brakes aren't exactly the place to skimp, but wow idk if I'd ever even use the full potential .

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#12 zero

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 01:16 PM

Most of brake kits that aren't DIY junkyard setups are in the same range. The silvermine rears are $7xx. The front's are cheaper, likely because it doesn't require a caliper mount like the front. All of these kits include pads and braided lines and the calipers are new.

You can certainly save money by piecing together a vented 4x4 kit(which the silvermine front kits are) and just buying a rear disc mount and doing one of the 280zx/240sx/mustang disc with junkyard parts.

I plan on tracking my car so I figured I may as well buy something I knew I'd be happy with in the long term.
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#13 JMortensen

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 02:39 PM

The main issue is getting the bias set correctly. You can put huge brakes on the front, and if the rear isn't doing anything you'll still have worse 60-0 braking performance than a properly setup and maintained stock brake system. A lot of the systems that use Toyota fronts and 280ZX or comparable rears are so front biased that I suspect they don't actually improve braking distances. On my car I removed the prop valve entirely and still couldn't get enough rear brake. I found the car stopped a lot better with stock front calipers and rotors and the ZX rear disc.

That said, there is more to braking than distances, and larger and/or vented brakes will provide more heat capacity, so that even if the brakes don't function as well in a braking distance test, the poorly biased brakes might still function at the end of a 20 minute track session where the stockers might have overheated. I've overheated my old stock front or 4x4 front and 280ZX rear brakes many many times, boiled the fluid a lot and even punched a hole through the back of the brake pad with the piston. Wilwoods are still not completely problem free, but they should cut down that kind of hassle.

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#14 RebekahsZ

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 03:47 PM

I'm keeping my front brakes stock with the addition of Portfield R4S compound pads. I've switched to Maxima rear calipers wit R4S pads, but only to make room for a second set of calipers for a "drifting" hand brake. I think that there is nothing wrong with the stock setup. Brakes should be matched to the weight of the car and the possibly the tire. You usually have your foot off the throttle when braking, so the size of motor doesn't matter.

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#15 JMortensen

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 03:57 PM

FYI, that pad with the hole in it is a stock caliper R4S pad. Fine for street and autox, not OK for track use with sticky tires. If you're going to do a lot of track days with 20-30 minute sessions, use the R4 pads or Hawk Blues. Not sure how drifting affects brakes, so YMMV.

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#16 SUNNY Z

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 05:15 PM

Ok, so in a 180 degree view change, would stock calipers and rotors with new pads, coupled with maxima / zx rears be a good combo?

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#17 JMortensen

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 05:48 PM

That's pretty similar to what I used for a while. Only problem is that you can overheat them quickly in a track situation. I got less than 5 laps before I boiled the brake fluid on one particular occasion when it was 110+ degrees, and the brake pad linings started chunking off. On several others I boiled the fluid after a couple sessions. The pad above had the friction material either disintegrate or just lose its bond with the backing plate on both pads after 3 sessions. I had ducting, but it wasn't very good and it was 2" hose.

If you're going to be on the track with brakes like that, just mimic what the ITS guys do as far as venting the fronts.

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#18 SUNNY Z

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 07:08 PM

That's pretty similar to what I used for a while. Only problem is that you can overheat them quickly in a track situation. I got less than 5 laps before I boiled the brake fluid on one particular occasion when it was 110+ degrees, and the brake pad linings started chunking off. On several others I boiled the fluid after a couple sessions. The pad above had the friction material either disintegrate or just lose its bond with the backing plate on both pads after 3 sessions. I had ducting, but it wasn't very good and it was 2" hose.

If you're going to be on the track with brakes like that, just mimic what the ITS guys do as far as venting the fronts.


In all honesty, this car has about a 1% chance of seeing any track time. I might go with this setup for the time being then.

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#19 galderdi

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 08:06 PM

I am running fronts from a Ford Falcon (An Australian Sedan). They are a 5000Lbs car so the brakes are quite good. On a Z they are excellent. Proabalby not quite as good as the willwoods but at least the pasts are readily available and cheap. I have used these brakes to stop from about 140MPH at Mt Panorama with no issues at all. I am also running 280zx rears with a hydraulic handbrake. The handbrake is important for me as I compete in motorkhanas (A bit like your Autocross but tighter and more technically challenging).

#20 Z-Monster

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:28 PM

i have finally machined up brackets to fit Mitsu Evo Brembos front and back onto my 280zx which had a s14 front and rear member conversion.

1980 280zx with a RB30DET heart daily driver. :redface:





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