Tags Posts tagged with "BMW"


The BMW E46 M3 is probably one of the most iconic vehicles to come out of Bavaria. Not too long ago, Tony Jackson (Eibach Springs account manager) was in the process of selecting a new track vehicle to replace his Honda Civic which he had been racing, and winning championships with for almost 10 years. Tony wanted something rear wheel drive and figured he’d start with one of the best platforms available.


On the Track

In stock form, Tony was very impressed with the M3’s performance. Tony didn’t feel the car needed a lot to make it more competitive so he set out to add only the necessary modifications. Working for one of the largest suspension companies in the world, you can imagine what was worked on first. Tony worked with the Engineers at Eibach to develop custom rear shocks that he paired with Eibach Springs and Sway Bars. The improvements to the suspension helped push the M3 further along on the track, but there was still a major weakness in the car.



Slow down to go faster

Tony noticed after only a couple of track days that the stock brakes weren’t up to par saying, “I noticed that the pistons were seizing up from too much heat.” He elected to go with the AP Racing by STILLEN Radi-CAL Big Brake Kit. The forged Calipers, Bigger Pads, and J-Hook Rotors really allowed him to manage the heat in the brakes a lot better. This translated to being able to dive into corners much harder and not worry about brake fade well anymore.


The advantages of the AP Radi-CAL Brakes are quite extensive. The pressure forged calipers design is derived from the highly successful race Radi-CAL caliper. Utilizing an asymmetrical design the piston are positioned in a way to reduce torsional stress on the rotor as the pistons apply pressure under braking. This forging technique also allows for less material to be used than in traditional casting making the caliper lighter and stronger at the same time. The unique gives us the ability to have a larger brake pad annulus (radial contact patch) than normally found on similar big brake kits. This allows us to utilize more of the rotor surface increasing heat transfer and management (read more about it here).


The AP Racing Big Brake Kit comes with rotor options. For Tony’s racing focused uses STILLEN recommended the J-Hook Slotted Rotors. The patented design increases durability and performance. The J-Hook design gives you all the benefits of a drilled and slotted rotor without any of the downsides. Drilled rotors can potentially crack from rapid expansion and contraction while racing, and traditional slots create a less even heat distribution throughout the rotor. Because the J-Hook machining does not penetrate through the rotors and does not completely transverse them radially, they are phenomenal at withstanding harder driving and higher temperatures (read more about J-Hook Rotors here).


Tony gave us some lap time improvements of tracks that he frequents.

  • Buttonwillow Raceway – 0.7 second improvement
  • Chuckwalla Valley Raceway – 1.1 second improvement
  • Willow Springs – 1.5 second improvement
  • Laguna Seca – 2.4 second improvement
  • Streets of Willow – 2.7 second improvement

Everyone puts an emphasis on power, but a lot of people forget the slowing down (efficiently) can make you faster than some extra horsepower. Also consider the added confidence the driver has in their car knowing they can continually push to the limit and the brakes will be there to support them.

More power is still nice…

We don’t want anyone to think we are against adding power, and neither is Tony. That is why he went to our friends over at Magnaflow and commissioned them to build a high flow and light weight single exit exhaust to help the powerful 3.2 straight six breathe a little better. The whole system saved about 50 lbs and really helped open up the top end of the power band.


Wrapping it all up

All these modifications are great, but let’s not forget what makes all these upgrades useable. Connecting the all this horsepower, suspension, and braking performance to the ground are Nitto NT01’s wrapped around a set of Volk Racing forged ZE40’s.


STILLEN Partners with the best companies in the industry for all of our projects, so it is no surprise to see that Tony did the same with his M3. Tony is currently leading both Super Lap Battle and Global Time Attack series in points (for his class). This is one of our favorite examples of someone who understands that racing is about balance and synergy.

If you have questions about our BMW E46 M3 Big Brake Kit or any of our Big Brake Kits for other makes and models please visit our website (www.stillen.com) or give one of our performance specialists a call at 800-576-2131.

Since we do have a special running our AP RACING products this month, I figured it would be fitting to give you 4 more reasons why AP RACING should be your first choice when it comes to Big Brake upgrades for your car.

Two year’s ago, ROAD AND TRACK magazine featured an article that immediately struck a chord with me and I still read that article to this day. They compared the fasted production cars on the road (at that time) vs. their ALMS beefed up twins. What made this article so interesting to me is that the cars in the ALMS (American Le Mans) field are completely based off their production siblings. The ALMS cars use the same motors, drivetrain, and body parts as their street car siblings that come off the assembly line, just much more beefed up. In fact, some of the racecars actually have LESS horsepower than their street ready siblings, go figure.

Because the ALMS cars are restricted to use the factory drivetrain layouts, and body componenets (plus some aero components) as their street siblings, you can imagine how competitive this series can be. In order to gain an advantage on the guy next to you, you have to make sure your car uses the highest quality components in every area possible. Every part of the car has to perform at the highest level and this includes the brakes. I was shocked to see that 4 out of the 5 ALMS cars tested dumped their factory big brake options and ran AP RACING.
First up we will start with Team BMW…
The AP RACING big brake upgrade is actually a very popular upgrade with BMW enthusiasts who frequently track their vehicles.

Next up, we have Ferrari… yes Ferrari! The F430 GTC Michelloto team opted to ditch their factory Brembo option and go with an AP RACING J-Hook upgrade.

Ferrari weren’t the only guys who opted to ditch Brembo for some AP RACING goodies…. Porsche also followed that tried and true formula.

Lastly, we have the extremely competitive Team Corvette…

IF you noticed the lack of a big AP RACING sticker on the side of these cars don’t be alarmed. That just suggests that these teams ACTUALLY paid for their brake set up and didn’t get persuaded into running something inferior in hopes of a kick back for a sticker placement.  If those aren’t 4 big reasons why you should consider AP RACING as your first choice for big brakes, I’ll leave you with this….  Since Formula 1’s inception in 1967 AP RACING has tallied up over 228 wins with cars running their brakes.  (That’s at least 5 wins a year since the beginning of Formula 1)
If you have any questions regarding applications for your specific vehicle, feel free to give us a call at anytime.
(800) 891-1058
For more information on this article… please cruise over to ROAD AND TRACK’s website it’s worth the read.

News Release

2008-2010 BMW M3 (E9x)

Features innovative Strap Drive System for road and track day applications

Costa Mesa, Calif. AP Racing, the braking technology choice of professional race teams worldwide (including Rahal Letterman IMSA ALMS GT2 M3, BMW Motorsports FIA GT2 M3, etc), has introduced front and rear Big Brake System for the 2008-2010 BMW M3 (E9x). Available from the Brake Pros product division of STILLEN, these new brake upgrades fit most 18″ and 19″ OE wheels. They are compatible with OE ABS, traction control, stability systems and factory brake master cylinder.

Front systems may be ordered with AP Racing’s newly updated 6-piston CP5555 calipers finished in black (AP7100), red (AP7100R) — or — limited-edition Comp Gray (AP7100G). For optimum mechanical and thermal balance, complimentary rear systems are advised. The rear systems are supplied with AP Racing’s new CP5306 4-piston calipers in matching colors (AP7150 / AP7150R / AP7150G).

Manufactured for maximum stopping power and minimum brake fade, the kit offers high performance braking capability with race proven technology and comes complete with calipers, rotors, brake pads, coated stainless steel braided brake lines and all necessary mounting hardware for immediate bolt-on.

Two-piece modular rotors float on an aluminum hat and have 72 directionally curved vanes to maximize cooling in extreme brake situations. Both front and rear rotors are available in a cross-drilled and slotted pattern for an aggressive pad bite and better face cooling or can be purchased slotted only for aggressive track use. The AP Racing Strap Drive System has been developed for both road and track day applications. It uses a series of stainless steel straps to locate the disc to the mounting bell, producing a flexible coupling between the hub and the disc faces. This allows the disc to run true in the caliper under all conditions and also permits the disc to expand and contract without being restricted.

Strong, durable and designed to withstand any punishment, AP Racing Brake calipers are manufactured with a lightweight, pressure cast aluminum alloy 2-piece body and finished with a hard anodized 2-part paint finish. This 2-piece design is more rigid than commonly available monoblock calipers. Differential piston bores eliminate pad taper and maximize braking efficiency, and the anti-rattle clip eliminates pad knock and noise. A fixed radial mount ensures minimal caliper flex for the best available brake feel under all operating conditions.

To learn more about AP Racing Big Brake upgrade kits for the 2008-2010 BMW M3 and other high performance vehicles, visit www.stillen.com, e-mail pr@stillen.com, or call (888) 221-2012.

For high resolution images, please view the main Press Release here.

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Developed by enthusiasts for enthusiasts, STILLEN is a manufacturer and distributor of premium high performance products for late model import and domestic vehicles. Founded in 1986 by renowned professional driver and race car builder, Steve Millen, STILLEN incorporates cutting-edge race proven technology and advanced aerodynamic designs into the company’s proprietary performance and appearance product lines. Millen is known worldwide for achieving the greatest number of wins in IMSA GT history during the course of an impressive 30-year racing career. Family owned and operated, STILLEN branded products include exhaust systems and components, superchargers, fuel systems and components, brake kits and components, and urethane body styling products. In addition, STILLEN is an online reseller of many high performance products for late model cars and trucks, import and domestic, and creator of unique, one-of-a-kind performance project vehicles.  For more information, visit www.STILLEN.com.

For Further Information, Contact:

Josh Biggers
(714) 540-5566, ext. 157