Jump to content
HybridZ

Toyota front brake upgrade - still relevant?


Recommended Posts

I need to convert to 5 lug setup for my front wheels.  The rear is already taken care of with the super 8.8 kit.  I am heavily leaning towards the Silvermine conversion hubs.

 

But on to the brakes.  I am not planning on tracking the car, but it will be a single turbo LS and need decent stopping power on the street.  So I saw there is a conversion to run Toyota brakes.  Looks fairly low cost.  There are a lot of threads but most of the info is lost or broken links.   I did find this link to a page about the swap: https://web.archive.org/web/20140110095234/http://drivendaily.org/s30-toyota-brake-upgrades/

 

My questions are:

 

1) is this swap still a decent option in 2021?

2) is the information in the page above still correct and relevant?

3) does this swap clear 15" wheels ( I will be running a spacer)

4) is buying a kit the way to go or is ordering parts from Rockauto better?

 

Thanks for any input.

 

Joe

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't recommend a front brake system without knowing the details for the rear brakes you have. Need to know what rotor size and calipers are on the car now.

 

Yes, the information on the link for the Toyota swap is correct, but I do not recommend the Wilwood MC as I had three of them fail - two of which leaked internally right out of the box.

 

 

My set up is:

 

  • Front - Toyota calipers, solid rotors and Carbotech AX6 pads. Unless you are racing you do not need vented front calipers.
  • Rear - 240SX calipers, 300zx rotors (non turbo) and Carbotech AX6 pads.
  • Booster - 9 inch 280z
  • Master cylinder - 15/16 280ZX purchased from Arizona Z Car. Tried the Wilwood 1 inch MC three times but they all failed.
  • SS flex lines
  • Brake bias calculations:  Front - 60%  Rear - 40%
  • Toyota calipers clear my 15in Ansen slotted wheels.

 

I have had this setup for 12 years and it works well for street driving. The only thing I don't like is that the pedal travel is a bit long. The Carbotech AX6 pads have the best cold bite of any pad I have ever used and the bite gets better when the pads heat up. These pads never fade. I have heated them up to smoking hot and there was no fade.

Edited by Miles
Link to post
Share on other sites

As confirmed by @Miles, the Toyota front brake upgrade is still very much relevant and a popular swap.  If you haven't seen the thread in the FAQ section, you can find it here (even though it was initiated in 2005, most of it is all still relevant and a wealth of information):  https://forums.hybridz.org/topic/39435-help-what-brake-options-are-available-for-s30-z-cars/

 

 

Kit vs piece it together yourself:  Several vendors offer a variety of kits, from mild to wild, and many of them offer individual pieces of their kits if you prefer to pick-n-choose.  A few of these vendors include T3, ArizonaZCar, SilvermineMotors, ZCarDepot, ZCarGarage, Milkfab Engineering, MSA Auto, etc.  I would check them all out before making any decisions.  You can generally save a money by piecing things together yourself, but lots of folks would rather just buy the kit and get it installed asap....really boils down to your own preferences.    On my current 260, I recently pieced together my own front brakes using universal Wilwood 4-pot aluminum calipers with 11.5" vented discs from a Saab 93....it involved a lot of research and some custom fab, but I'm an engineer by training and personally enjoy that process.

 

Good luck with it.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, fusion said:

Thanks for your reply.  I will be running stock 2015 mustang rear brakes which are 11.8" calipers

 

Factory brakes are designed as a system. Change one component and it has a domino affect. 

 

You will need to consider brake bias in your decision on matching front brakes to the Mustang brake you already have.   I recommend that you read up on front to rear brake bias before making a decision on any front brake install.  Brake bias is covered extensively in the Brake Forum.

 

 

Edited by Miles
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

This was one of the few allowed brake upgrades in VARA racing 10 or so years ago and many people ran it. It's a huge increase in heat capacity over stock and very worthwhile if it's your only option. If you have other options, there are better, lighter BBKs out there - but they mostly require bigger than 15" wheels. And yes, matching front to rear and getting the bias right is important.

Edited by JMortensen
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys.  I won't be tracking the car, but will have lots of power on tap so want to upgrade the stopping power.  I understand I'll need to tune the brake bias.

I am leaning towards the later model s12+8 calipers with vented 300zx rotors.  I feel like that will be a good match with the mustang rear discs.

 

Does anyone know if the front rotors from an 84-86 turbo 300zx will bolt right in to this setup?   I will be using the Silvermine 5 lug hubs with a 5x103mm rotor bolt pattern.  I think it works

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, should work....provided offset is compatible (or can be made compatible with spacers).  I'm assuming it is, as Edan seems to be producing those 5-lug hubs specifically for compatibility with the Z31 5-lug, if I read his literature correctly.  I'm sorry I don't have first-hand experience with that swap to confirm 100%.  

 

I do, however, have the attached handy spreadsheet of tech data on Nissan rotors that I snatched off of one of the 510 forums I belong to -- may come in handy for you, or others, in the process of upgrading the stock brakes.

Nissan Brake Rotors.xlsx

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

The big challenge is not in making one or another individual choice, of this brake-kit or that, but in having the entire combination work as a system... brakes, wheel/tires, suspension and drivetrain.

 

Larger brake rotors mean larger wheels, which often means conversion to 5-lug and/or the coilover mod to accept larger backspacing.  5-lugs means, in the rear, new stub axles, and that likely leads to new half-shafts and so on.  The project snowballs.  There is no obvious way to change one set of components, leaving the rest alone, without glaringly deleterious effects, like the rear brakes locking up first.  Meanwhile, these various "upgrades" aren't necessarily useful for the street, but they are heavier, and thus sap acceleration.

 

Should we just stay with stock components?  Maybe, but how to find suitable tires for original rims?  And what of brake components that are leaky, rusted, frozen?  Is it really all that sensible to do a complete shop-manual-spec restoration, on 50 year old components?

 

There doesn't seem to be a good solution.  Thus the dilemma!

Edited by Michael
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Michael said:

The big challenge is not in making one or another individual choice, of this brake-kit or that, but in having the entire combination work as a system... brakes, wheel/tires, suspension and drivetrain.

 

Larger brake rotors mean larger wheels, which often means conversion to 5-lug and/or the coilover mod to accept larger backspacing.  5-lugs means, in the rear, new stub axles, and that likely leads to new half-shafts and so on.  The project snowballs.  There is no obvious way to change one set of components, leaving the rest alone, without glaringly deleterious effects, like the rear brakes locking up first.  Meanwhile, these various "upgrades" aren't necessarily useful for the street, but they are heavier, and thus sap acceleration.

 

Should we just stay with stock components?  Maybe, but how to find suitable tires for original rims?  And what of brake components that are leaky, rusted, frozen?  Is it really all that sensible to do a complete shop-manual-spec restoration, on 50 year old components?

 

There doesn't seem to be a good solution.  Thus the dilemma!

 

In fairness, in that hypothetical situation (trying to just upgrade the brakes) none of the latter is required. 4 lug 15" wheels work just fine with the 4x4calipers/300zx rotors (14" might just fit depending on the wheel but no personal experience), and as mentioned above the bias works out nicely with 240sx calipers in the rear and deleting the stock drum brake bias block (or a aftermarket bias adjuster is really no biggie to add).

 

No need for 5 lug, beefier axles, etc unless you're making way more hp than stock, and 5lug won't massively change backspacing unless you're completely replacing the rear suspension with something off another car. IIRC you can even fit 15x8 +0 wheels without coilovers (just) although I built my own coilovers for other reasons.

 

Obviously not directly related to OP's needs here, just talking about the brake upgrade in general

 

Source: my car :) .

 

 

IMG_20210506_164649754.jpg.95eb132626f93e03beee7a01bc86014c.jpg

 

IMG_20210506_171717198.jpg.61d4d22f6191a3fe51efbd1ca2ecdf56.jpg

 

 

Edited by Noll
Link to post
Share on other sites

While of course I can't speak for Fusion (or others), the rationale behind 5-lugs is that it allows for use of the standard drag-racing wheel choices, especially in 15" diameter.  If easier/cheaper alternatives are forthcoming, then of course it would be silly to insist on an upgrade merely for upgrade's sake!  But in my experience - broad, but shallow and unsophisticated - to find decently light/strong wheels in 15x8 in 4x114.3 has been problematic, to put it mildly.

 

Noll - your photos are intriguing indeed.  What wheels to you use, and where did you find them?  What size are they, and how much do they weigh?

 

Not to hijack Fusion's thread, but my vantage point is that of a car that's been sitting for decades.  The tires and probably the brake-pads/shoes date from the Reagan administration.  Now, attempting a return to serviceability, would be less daunting, if the task could be done incrementally.  Fusion's question about old-school brake solutions tickled an itch.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Michael said:

While of course I can't speak for Fusion (or others), the rationale behind 5-lugs is that it allows for use of the standard drag-racing wheel choices, especially in 15" diameter.  If easier/cheaper alternatives are forthcoming, then of course it would be silly to insist on an upgrade merely for upgrade's sake!  But in my experience - broad, but shallow and unsophisticated - to find decently light/strong wheels in 15x8 in 4x114.3 has been problematic, to put it mildly.

 

Noll - your photos are intriguing indeed.  What wheels to you use, and where did you find them?  What size are they, and how much do they weigh?

 

Not to hijack Fusion's thread, but my vantage point is that of a car that's been sitting for decades.  The tires and probably the brake-pads/shoes date from the Reagan administration.  Now, attempting a return to serviceability, would be less daunting, if the task could be done incrementally.  Fusion's question about old-school brake solutions tickled an itch.

 

Makes sense! All depends on what your goals with the car are. The wheels on my car are Rota Kyushas in 15x8+0, although there are a good few options in that size from various brands. Not sure on the weight unfortunately, but they didn't feel super heavy when I unboxed them.

 

And yeah, I feel you on the serviceability front, my car had been sitting over a decade and was in terrible shape when I got it (no joke, the only exterior panel I haven't replaced is the roof, and have done floors, rockers, seatbelt mount areas, half the firewall, much of the engine bay, etc), so I was basically starting from scratch in regards to suspension/brakes/etc - all needed totally redone one way or another.

Link to post
Share on other sites

According to this site: https://www.wheeltech360.com/ROTA-Wheel-Kyusha-15x8-4x11430mm-73mm-Hub_p_136.html , the Rota Kyusha 15x8 in 4x114.3 weigh 16.6 pounds.  Not outrageous, but a bit on the heavy-side.

 

A search for 15x8 wheels in suitable offset (+0; or was that -0?  I'm so confused!!!) shows that many weigh around 16 pounds.  Some months (years?) ago, I had a thread on Vors wheels (https://forums.hybridz.org/topic/132345-vors-wheels-specifically-tr3-opinions/), which were 2-3 pounds lighter.

 

Next question is tires.  As expected, choices in 15" are... limited.  There's an OK selection in 225/50-15, but anything wider gets rare.  Not having overdrive on my 5-speed, I'd really prefer a taller (and wider?  maybe) tire.  Options dwindle... it's not 1994 anymore.  Darn.

 

Options greatly increase if we go to 16" wheel diameter.  But unfortunately tire weight (not to mention wheel weight) jumps... typical 225/50-15 tires goes from ~23 lb each, to ~29 lb.

 

But perhaps I'm obsessing over the wrong thing?

Edited by Michael
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...