How To Upgrade Your Brake Rotors, Brake Pads & Brake Fluid

How To Upgrade Your Brake Rotors, Brake Pads & Brake Fluid

You might be wondering… When it’s time to replace your brake rotors, should you upgrade your brake rotors or just replace them with identical OEM rotors? One tip the STILLEN brake experts offer: consider how you use your car.

Is it a daily driver used for commuting and errands? Are you an enthusiast who lives for the open road and canyon carving? Or maybe you participate in autocross or track days.

Regardless, there are many choices in rotors, and one way to shop for replacement brake rotors, as well as brake pads and brake fluid is with a Good- Better – Best approach.

For more info about this approach, check out this how-to video from STILLEN expert Mark.

 

Brake Rotor Upgrade Level: GOOD

Drivers seeking a good rotor that offers a performance and durability upgrade from OEM rotors should consider upgrading to STILLEN OEM replacement brake rotors.  They are well suited for aggressive driving and the occasional track day.

Features include straight cut vanes, zinc coating, chamfered slots and precision ground friction surfaces.  Multiple machining options are available, from slotted to cross drilled to the popular hook slot hybrid finish.

Available for virtually any passenger vehicle on the road today, STILLEN sport rotors are proudly Made in USA.

Brake Rotor Upgrade Level: BETTER

For hard core enthusiasts and track day fans concerned with high temperature heat management, a better option might be the DBA 4000 series brake rotors. These discs offer more sophisticated metallurgy for longer life.

They also feature DBA Kangaroo Paw vane technology. These vanes are multi-directional, meaning they draw cooling air in from any direction.

This improves heat dissipation and also permits the rotors to be mounted on both driver and passenger side hubs. Another stylish touch is the available gold rotor vanes and hats.

Brake Rotor Upgrade Level:  BEST

The ultimate brake rotor upgrade could be the DBA 5000 series.  Suitable for frequent track use, these rotors offer the Kangaroo paw vane technology and improved metallurgy of the 4000 series, but add a two piece design.

The rotor hat is a separate assembly that is bolted to the brake rotor. This helps isolate the wheel hub bearings from excess heat, reduces brake vibration caused by rotor warping under heavy use, and offers weight savings as well.

One indicator the DBA 5000 series are meant for serious drivers is the brake temperature paint applied to the rotor edges. These indicators help drivers ascertain the temperature range their brake system is operating in.

This in turn helps determine proper brake pad and brake fluid selection for track use.

Brake Pad Replacement and Upgrades

It’s always advisable to replace brake pads when mounting new rotors. STILLEN Metal Matrix brake pads offer a nice blend of bite and power along with reduced dust and noise. This makes them ideal for street and occasional track use.

Other brake pads might be better suited for full-on track use, such as the Hawk HPS 5.0s or Ferodo DS2500 HP.

Brake Fluid Replacement

When you’re considering brake system upgrades, it’s essential to include brake fluid replacement in the thought process.

One popular opinion is that it’s best to upgrade to racing brake fluid.

As STILLEN brake expert and all-around good guy Mark explains, this is a common misconception.

While your OEM brake fluid does have a limited heat capacity, so does your OEM brake system. Upgrading your rotors and pads does give you a higher threshold, but your calipers still have a limit.

If you upgrade your brake fluid past what the calipers can handle, you could exceed your brake systems operating envelope without knowing it. Should it occur, brake fluid boiling is an indicator that your brake system is overheating.

Going with a little bit of an upgrade is fine, but you don’t need to go with a full-on race brake fluid.

While shooting the how to video for brake upgrades, Mark installed the DBA 4000 series rotors and STILLEN Metal Matrix brake pads on his Subaru BRZ and had the following to report:

“After we finished the install on the brakes, we moved onto the bed-in procedure then onto our test drive and you could really feel the difference. Our stopping distances were much shorter, our initial bite was much better and brake fade was much less apparent as the brakes heated up so this is an awesome upgrade for the BRZ or for any vehicle. You can really improve your driving experience.”

Questions About Brake Rotors?

Our brake experts are standing by and will stop at nothing to help you in quest for better braking. Take a brake from whatever you’re doing and call them at 866-250-5542!