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AP Racing

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AP Racing World Radi-CAL II Calipers

Where do they come from?

These brakes may look alien but they come from the master minds in the engineering department at AP Racing.  In 2007 AP Racing revealed the original World Radi-Cal brake calipers to the world at Watkins Glen on Tony Stewart’s NASCAR race car.  He went on to win the race crediting his brakes with giving him the upper hand over his competition.

In fact, they were so dominant that NASCAR actually outlawed the brakes until all of the other teams were able to have equal access to them!  Since then the race spec calipers have become the spec calipers used on DTM touring cars, Aussie V8 super cars as well as filling out most of the Formula One field and sports cars around the world including LMP1.

When AP Racing were thinking of developing a new caliper they decided to take a very unusual approach… They started with a blank sheet of paper.  They did not want to rely on “what they knew” and instead they wanted to test themselves, their finite element analysis software and challenge themselves to reinvent what a brake caliper is.

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During their testing and development they used an FEA analysis software that is common in the engineering world.  However, they quickly realized that FEA analysis software is designed to introduce a static load and the intense environment of a braking system is far from static.  The heat generated, the RPM of the rotor, the modulation of the brake pedal, all of these factors and more equate to a very dynamic environment that can’t be treated like a traditional mechanical part.

AP Racing knew that the only way to move forward was to develop their own proprietary FEA analysis software.  AP Racing began working on developing a software that could replicate the incredibly diverse and ever changing environment that is a braking system.

During their initial testing the AP Racing engineers recognized that the friction between the brake pads and rotors was literally trying to rip the caliper from its mounts.  In a static environment the only way to test the rigidity of a caliper is to introduce a pressure and measure the amount of flex in the caliper.  This flex is basically how much the caliper expands horizontally.

During their dynamic testing they noticed that the caliper was actually twisting diagonally due to the forces created by the RPM and mass of the rotor interacting with the friction created by the application of the brake pads.  The solution was to reinforce and stiffen the caliper in key locations to counteract this force.  In turn, AP Racing realized that they could remove material that was unaffected by these forces.  The end result is an asymetrical design that is incredibly stiff yet also lightweight.  To further improve the rigidity of the caliper AP Racing implemented their patented “stiffening bands” which wrap around the caliper to form a “chassis” of sorts which ties all points together offering an even stiffer design.

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AP Racing knew that the World Radi-CAL brake technology was the way of the future and that they needed to find a way to bring this technology to the road car market.  While race calipers offer a no compromise solution, they also mean higher prices and more regular service intervals.  AP Racing leaned on their expertise in developing a road car brakes for the Bugatti Veyron and Chiron as well as McLaren, Lotus, Holden, and more.  By applying their OEM manufacturing standards and test procedures AP Racing was able to launch the World Radi-CAL I road car calipers with STILLEN at the 2014 SEMA show.

These road car calipers employ all of the features of the race calipers but also add other features that make them suitable for daily driving as well as high performance environments.  Road car calipers are manufactured out of pressure forged aluminum.  This manufacturing process is less expensive than a Monobloc caliper which makes these fantastic brakes accessible to the average road car enthusiast.

Additionally, these calipers are equipped with dust seals which prevent road debris and dust from entering the hydraulic circuit or caliper pressure seal over time.  Road car calipers also feature anti-rattle clips to prevent any issues with pad knock back or residual noises.

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Never ones to settle, AP Racing again went back to the drawing board to develop a range of calipers that would take even more from the racing world.  Enter, World Radi-Cal II.  World Radi-Cal II calipers offer the unique look and style that is associated with the Radi-Cal race brakes.  The goals for Radi-Cal II were simple: Make the caliper stiffer, lighter and look even more aggressive.  We are excited to say that each of those goals was achieved with unbelievable results.  The Radi-Cal II calipers also feature the superior stiffening bridge that not only ties the caliper together horizontally but also vertically by connecting the top and bottom of the caliper.  Even with this incredible rigid structure the design still allows for quick pad swaps that do not require removal of the caliper.

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Further improvements were made to the calipers by removing additional material and pocketing around the calipers and non-structural areas of the caliper.  One of the benefits of removing this material is not only the weight savings but also the improvements with the unobstructed airflow around and through the caliper.  This airflow improves cooling and reduces overall operating temperatures.

Not only is World Radi-CAL II the most technologically advanced caliper ever made.  The aggressive design also makes it the best looking caliper available today.  World Radi-CAL II calipers are sure to draw attention with their unique futuristic styling and their performance numbers to back it up.
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AP Racing World Radi-CAL II Big Brake Kit

  • AP Racing patented asymmetrical, forged aluminum WR2 6 piston brake calipers
  • 6061-T6 aluminum high strength bracket and billet aluminum rotor hats
  • DOT Compliant stainless steel braided brake lines
  • Designed to work with OEM brake master cylinder and ABS system
  • Unique scannable QR code for authenticity
  • 6 piston calipers are 150g lighter and 33% stiffer than Radi-CAL I calipers
  • 4 piston calipers are 100g lighter and 28% stiffer than Radi-CAL I calipers
  • Engineered to fit most 18 inch wheels (370mm rotor applications)
  • Toughest testing standards in the industry
  • Engineered for compatibility with OEM brake master cylinder and ABS systems
  • Finished in OEM quality red or black anti-corrosion finish

In 2014 STILLEN introduced AP Racing World Radi-CAL road car brakes at SEMA show which very quickly became recognized as the best aftermarket big brake kits available.  For the past 3 years our customers have been reporting back that the STILLEN AP Racing brakes are adding improved looks and style to the car as well as reducing lap times when used at high performance driving days!

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AP Racing World Radi-Cal road car calipers take the features of the asymmetrical design, reinforced stiffening bands and pair them with a cost effective, strong and lightweight pressure forged aluminum manufacturing process to deliver superior results for the road car market.

Following on from the success of motorsports Radi-CAL™ brake systems, AP Racing has brought the same design philosophy to the road performance market in the form of the new World Radi-CAL II calipers.  These new pressure forged aluminum 4 and 6 piston calipers incorporate AP Racing’s patented technology allowing the road user to experience the superior performance that World Radi-CAL™ offers.

05_Header_3_Calipers_v2World Radi-Cal II calipers incorporate all the features demanded by the road performance market including boot type dirt seals, advanced anti-corrosion attractive paint finish and noise abatement solutionsCompared to WR1 calipers, WR2 calipers are stiffer (6-piston: 33% stiffer, 4-piston 28% stiffer) and lighter (6-piston: 150g lighter, 4-piston 100g lighter). Utilizing the latest FEA (finite element) analysis software and brake dynamometer testing, it was designed to implement the latest technologies learned through 40+ years of highly successful motorsports participation and an unparalleled 700+ F1 Grand Prix victories.

AP Racing pressure forged aluminum caliper bodies are tested at over 500,000 cycles of pressure and torque to meet AP Racing’s stringent OE and high performance road use validation testing to ensure maximum stiffness and durability required for use on road registered vehicles. The forged aluminum process was chosen as it offers a 25% stronger and lighter caliper than similarly sized units using a casting process. These larger, lightweight AP Racing calipers replace the typical heavy cast iron OE calipers that are designed for low cost and little regard to high performance driving.

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The opposed piston design guarantees maximum stiffness for better pedal feel, modulation and immediate braking action from the drivers input. Four piston and six piston designs allow a larger pad area to be used which decreases heat at the friction point between the pad material and disc surface while maintaining the same brake torque. This single detail increases both rotor and pad service life. Additionally, a larger caliper aids in braking performance by acting as a more efficient lever on the rotor. This in turn applies more torque to the rotor thus increasing the force applied to the rotor.

The asymmetrical design achieves improved stiffness while also reducing weight by removing material where there is little dynamic load and relocating that material to areas that need additional reinforcement due to the dynamic forces that occur during high performance driving.  This revolutionary caliper design guarantees maximum stiffness for better pedal feel, modulation and immediate braking action from the drivers input.  Additionally, AP Racing WR2 calipers offer the largest pad possible.  The larger pad decreases heat by distributing the kinetic energy generated during braking across a larger surface area thus better controlling the thermal dynamics of your braking system.  Additionally, this larger piston/pad surface area applies superior clamping force to the rotor.  Furthermore, the larger diameter rotor allows us to move the caliper further out thus increasing the brake torque applied to the rotor assembly.

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By controlling the operating temperature caused by the friction between the pads and rotor we are able to better manage the performance of the big brake kit. Controlling the temperature in a braking system is one of the biggest goals when engineering a system. A vehicle will create the same amount of heat when stopped from the same speed, the brake component choices will control how that heat is managed. Both pads and rotors have optimum operational temperature ranges. For a street car, we must make sure the brakes work flawlessly at sub-zero temperatures but still offer excellent performance when being pushed in a high performance environment and being pushed to their limits. All calipers are double sealed to protect piston bores and pressure seals from road debris. High temperature seal material is used to ensure safety at high temperature use. These seals are designed to minimize off brake pad drag on the disc which will increase pad and disc life.

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Light weight, improved rigidity and better cooling characteristics than other competitions’ conventional brake caliper designs.  AP Racing World Radi-CAL™ concept represents a major innovation in braking technology.

Rotors:

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The AP Racing discs in the Radi-CAL big brake kits are directionally curve vane vented for maximum air flow through the disc. AP Racing’s unique curve vaned discs are Dyno and race proven as the best designed rotors for optimized cooling. The curve vane rotor acts as an air pump pulling air into the center of the rotor and blowing it through the veins and out of the top of the rotor. This act allows the rotor to be self-cooling and work extremely efficiently.01_Header_Rotor_v1

AP Racing’s Wide Disc Technology (WDT) is used for the most efficient way to transfer heat to from the disc. Designs using wider discs with larger air gaps increase air flow rates within the discs as proven by AP Racing’s FEA, CFD and TSA testing. This goal was achieved while also  decreasing disc weight and  disc stress as well as  decreasing disc temperatures by up to 300 degrees F.

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Larger two piece rotors allow for greater thermal capacity with an eye on weight by using aluminum center bells (hats) that minimize the unsprung weight of the overall disc assembly. This means greater heat management without increasing corner weight. It also increases the effective radius (leverage point) of the brake system which creates more brake torque with same braking effort.

Floating rotor assembly hardware is used to allow the brake disc and bell (hat) to move freely radially and axially to allow the disc to expand and contract under thermal stress without  binding or cupping. This allows the disc to stay centered to the caliper and reduces pad knock back. STILLEN utilizes McLaren tension springs on all floating assemblies to reduce any noises or rattles and to meet our NVH standards.

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Lightweight billet aluminum bells (hats) are made vehicle specific to match the OE bell (hat design) for a perfect match to the OE hub. For the AP Racing Radi-CAL brakes STILLEN has selected an aircraft grade 6061-T6 billet aluminum. This is the same material used by AP Racing in their aluminum hats.   6061-T6 aluminum is considered the standard aluminum used in all aerospace applications and offers excellent strength and durability along with excellent longevity and service life.  Caliper and rotor location is optimized during the hat and bracket engineering phase by moving the caliper and rotor as far inboard to the wheel well as possible.  This ensures that AP Racing by STILLEN big brake kits fit the widest range of wheels possible.

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“Industry standard” is to use a 10 point bolt pattern to connect the rotor and hat assemblies.  AP Racing and STILLEN have chosen to go with a 12 point bolt pattern configuration.  This means that the stresses and loads put on the braking system is distributed more evenly across both the rotor and the hat thus reducing the stress and fatigue placed on the system components.

  • All kits feature 2 piece full floating rotors for lightweight and high durability
  • All rotors are available in either J hook or cross drilled slotted patterns
  • Rotors feature AP Racing wide disc technology to allow for better cooling and longer service life
  • Directional vanes are used in every rotor to allow optimal airflow and cooling efficiency

Performance Brake Pads

The friction material used in the brake system is a key factor for the overall performance of the system. There are many variables to consider including pad material heat range, dust, NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) issues and of course performance characteristics. Most OE and aftermarket brake pad materials concentrate on low dust and NVH issues while sacrificing performance levels. AP Racing and STILLEN consider all four points in the selection of the supplied brake pad material.

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The result is a material that produces a high, linear mu level for high initial bite and consistent grab through a wide heat range. These low dust brake pads are equipped with noise abutment shims that control NVH issues. Unlike carbon pads or ceramic pads, our high performance pad material is also environmentally complaint to the upcoming California and Washington legislation (pending in other states) that requires the elimination of copper and other harmful pollutant byproducts in brake dust that eventually make their way into our water systems.

STILLEN has also worked hard to ensure a wide range of pads are available for this caliper.  All kits come with the standard brake pad optimized for low dust, NVH and performance driving however race pads are available upon request.

  • Performance street brake pads included (various pad compounds available)
  • Standard pads feature low dust composition with performance street driving in mind
  • Optional brake pads for enthusiasts looking to take their driving to the next level

Stainless Steel Brake Lines

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This is an often overlooked component in performance braking. Brake lines used in the AP Racing Radi-CAL kits are built using extruded PTFE hose that is wrapped in corrosion and fire resistant stainless steel braided hose and then covered with a clear plastic coat for additional protection. Each brake line design goes through rigorous testing and must pass the whip test, where the line is whipped through thousands of cycles, before being approved for production.

The result is the most efficient delivery of fluid pressure to the brake caliper, bringing a solid feel to the brake pedal sure to inspire confidence at every brake zone. By reducing the factory rubber lines ability to swell or expand means a quicker response, firmer more consistent pedal feel that allows for great brake modulation.

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All AP Racing by STILLEN brake lines are provided by Goodridge.  Goodridge is the leading brake line supplier in the industry and one of the only companies to achieve DOT compliance.

 

Who is AP Racing

For over 50 years AP Racing has been recognized as the leader in motorsport friction technology.  In 2016 alone AP Racing supplied brakes and/or clutches to over 30 champions across multiple disciplines of motorsport.  AP Racing is the primary brake component supplier to NASCAR, WRC and other major forms of motorsport around the world as well as the spec clutch supplier for Formula One while also supplying half the field with racing brake components.  To date AP Racing has won over 700 Formula one Grands Prix.

There is no other friction manufacturer that has the experience, or track record to match AP Racing.

 

Who is STILLEN:

In 1990 STILLEN company founder Steve Millen was testing at Mosport International Motorsport Park only one day after joining his team in a successful campaign at the 24 hours of Le Mans.  The purpose of the test was to develop a new braking system for the world famous IMSA 300ZX twin turbo race car which Steve would later take to victories at Daytona, Le Mans, Sebring and multiple world championships.  During the test Steve discussed his passion for tuning high performance roads cars and that he was looking for a solution to improve the brakes.  He was making the cars more powerful, handle better and as an experienced racer knew that this improvement in speed needed to be matched with an improvement in braking.  Since this initial conversation in 1990 STILLEN has continued developing high performance big brake kits for all makes and models of cars, trucks and SUVs.

Brake Systems 401: Bigger Calipers Clamp Down on Speed

By Richard Fong

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It’s no secret that brakes serve an important role from the standpoint of both performance as well as safety. After all, the typical street vehicle (cars, motorcycles, etc.) generates approximately 80-percent of stopping power from its front brakes. In Brake Systems 101, we covered some of the basics of braking, focusing on pads and rotors. Brake Systems 201 put emphasis on two-piece rotors as well as stainless-steel braided lines and higher performance brake fluids. The third installment, Brake Systems 301, introduced one component of the Big Brake System, larger rotors, which increases the heat capacity and friction surface area relative to stock. Now we’re going to look at the visual and functional star of the big brake kit, the brake caliper.

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Applying Pressure

Brake calipers serve one purpose, to squeeze the pads against the rotor to generate friction, shave speed and eventually bring the vehicle to a stop. Calipers come in a variety of types, configurations and sizes. One of the most common factory caliper types is the sliding caliper, where one or more pistons press against the inboard brake pad, while the brake caliper housing slides inward, pulling on the outer pad to equalize the pressure to both sides of the rotor. Automakers often favor this type of caliper for its low cost and satisfactory stopping performance on the street. Unfortunately, these calipers suffer from excessive deflection under performance conditions and contribute to less than ideal braking performance. By contrast, fixed or opposed calipers, as the name implies, do not slide or move. There are an equal number of pistons that press on the pads isometrically to ensure equal pressure is applied to both sides for even wear.

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Bigger Rotors, Bigger Calipers

Increasing the heat capacity and the friction surface area by way of larger rotors prompts the use of correspondingly larger calipers. Upgrading to larger brake calipers and the use of larger brake pads make best use of the increased area availed by larger rotors for improved stopping performance. Larger calipers also tend to employ multiple pistons to ensure even application of pressure to the backing plate of the larger pads as they generate friction with the rotor surface.

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Pumped Up Pistons

The number and size of the pistons that a caliper employs is typically an indicator of the size of the calipers, pads and rotors. As rotors and pads get larger, so do the size of the calipers necessary to make use of the available friction surface. In order to evenly apply pressure to all of the available friction surface area, it becomes necessary to increase the number of pistons pressing on the pads. Sliding calipers employ a single, dual or even triple piston configuration, while fixed calipers feature an even number of pistons in an opposed configuration (pressing toward each other.)

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In an opposed, multi-piston caliper, the caliper body stays in a fixed location while the hydraulic fluid builds pressure behind the pistons and forces them to squeeze the pads to the rotor surface.

 

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Cast, Forged, One Piece, Two Piece

Calipers are not only defined by their size but also their construction. Calipers are included among the components of unsprung weight and are subjected to a variety of conditions such as extreme temperatures and pressures. Thus, caliper design must take several variables into consideration.

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In the case of a single piston sliding caliper, the piston (red arrow) pushes on the inboard brake pad onto the rotor. The caliper body moves the opposite direction from the piston (green arrows) and pulls the outboard brake pad (blue arrows) onto the rotor surface.

The least sophisticated is the cast sliding caliper. Sliding calipers strike a balance of cost, weight and performance for the average streetcar. However, these calipers suffer from deflection and inadequate pressure under performance conditions, resulting in less than satisfactory results.

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The cast two-piece caliper features an opposed piston configuration that resists deflection while offering improved application of pressure to the brake pads. An even stiffer solution is the forged two-piece caliper. This fixed caliper shares similar design traits to its cast cousin, but benefits from being forged for greater strength and stiffness.

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The stiffest and lightest solution, which also happens to be the most expensive, is the fixed, forged one-piece monoblock caliper. These tend to be machined from a forging of aluminum for strength and light weight. While offering the greatest performance, the cost to manufacture this type of brake caliper becomes cost prohibitive for all but the most well-funded of individuals or teams.

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Racing calipers are massive, stiff and look really cool. But they’re not for street use. Racing calipers must be rebuilt on a regular basis throughout the racing season. As you can see, they do not have dust boots covering the pistons. This could lead to failure if debris or other contaminants damage the seals. Street calipers do not require the same maintenance schedule as racing applications, making them ideal for street driven vehicles.

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Piston Power

As mentioned earlier, calipers feature a greater number of pistons based on the size of the pads and the rotor. When increasing the pad and rotor size, applying equal pressure across the entire pad surface becomes essential for even application of pressure for optimal generation of friction. This can be achieved (up to a point) by way of larger pistons. When the caliper design calls for a lower profile to fit within the barrel of certain wheel sizes, adequate pad coverage can also be accomplished by way of additional pistons. Typical multi-piston configurations can range from four to six pistons with some designs employing up to as many as twelve pistons.

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Bigger isn’t always Better

So, when four is good, six is better and twelve is fantastic, right? Not necessarily so. Optimizing your brake system depends on a myriad of variables, including purpose, vehicle weight and power output, to name a few. There is such a thing as overkill, and overkill on brakes could actually compromise other aspects of performance like handling and feel. Brakes fall under the category of unsprung weight, which has a direct effect on responsiveness and overall feel. This is why a smaller and lighter vehicle like a first generation (NA) Mazda Miata that weighs in at just over 2,000 pounds would not benefit from the massive factory six-piston, forged monoblock brakes engineered for the 3,800 pound Nissan R35 GT-R. Not only would the Miata have to run much larger wheels just to fit this brake system, it would be far too much brake for the fly-weight Miata. The nimble feel of the NA would also be lost due to unsprung weight gained at each corner. Conversely, the much heavier R35 GT-R would brake as if it were in the vacuum of space while trying to stop with the NA Miata’s diminutive braking system. Exaggerated examples aside, a properly sized brake upgrade can lend greatly to vehicle performance. The right combination can improve feel, heat capacity and longevity while mitigating detrimental side effects related to unsprung weight. Ultimately, the right brake system upgrade for your ride will complement the overall build as well as its appearance.

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Sized Up: Brake Master Cylinder

Brake systems function on the mechanics of hydraulics, which is the use of fluid to perform mechanical force. In this case, the movement of the piston(s) in the calipers to apply pressure to the brake pads by displacing the pistons with brake fluid. The brake master cylinder forces fluid through the brake lines to each caliper to apply pressure to the pads. Since the amount of fluid displaced depends on the size and number of pistons, properly sizing the brake system includes evaluating the size of the brake master cylinder. When upgrading to a larger brake system, it is necessary to measure the displacement of the system to ensure that the brake master cylinder displaces enough fluid to deploy the pistons to press the pads against the rotor surface. Small bore brake master cylinders produce high pressure, while larger bore master cylinders deliver more volume.

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Automakers go to painstaking lengths to properly size the brake master cylinder to the brake calipers they equip the vehicles with to ensure a balance of pedal feel and brake system performance. Properly sized, bolt-on brake systems should be designed to work with the factory master cylinder. If upgrading to significantly larger brakes, it is sometimes necessary to increase the size of the brake master cylinder to ensure that the feel and performance is not thrown out of balance.

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Science of Stopping

Properly-engineered brake system improvements ranging from the most basic pad and rotor upgrades to full Big Brake Kits will enhance the feel from behind the wheel while delivering longer sessions on twisty highways or quicker lap times. While horsepower will make your car faster, balancing that horsepower out with improved braking performance will help you navigate the streets and the track safely and, in record time.

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Find out what STILLEN has to offer to improve your brake system! Check out www.stillen.com and click through to the brake section. 

Brake Rotors

Brake Pads

Big Brake Kits

Brake Fluid

Brake Lines

Got questions or ready to upgrade your brake system? Reach out to STILLEN at 866-250-5542, by email at sales@stillen.com, or via Live Chat at stillen.com!

Brake Systems 301: Increasing Torque, Friction & Surface Area

By Richard Fongstillen_u_banner_v1 (1)

Practice and experience lend to improving your driving skills. As you go faster and quicker, you will inevitably uncover more limitations of your vehicle’s hardware setup. In Brake Systems 101 and 201, we explored the basic bolt-on upgrades that help to improve initial bite, heat capacity and feel while retaining the stock calipers and rotor dimensions. However, even aftermarket upgrades have their limitations, especially when it comes to heat capacity, which leads to brake fade. This is where upgrading to a big brake kit could prove an effective solution.

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Understanding Big Brake Kits

As had been mentioned before, the factory equipment on most vehicles are selected as a compromise of cost versus performance – meaning that the vehicle manufacturer will offer you a safely adequate braking system necessary for your vehicle within their targeted budget. This opens the door to aftermarket improvements, and a big brake kit usually rides high on the list of upgrades. However, contrary to popular belief, upgrading to a big brake kit is not for the sole purpose of shortening stopping distances. Its greater merit is increasing the heat capacity of the braking system. A big brake kit increases the heat capacity of a braking system by incorporating larger rotors, larger pads and larger calipers. The increased surface area lends to greater heat capacity and an increased friction surface. (NOTE: Before investing in a big brake kit, consider the wheel size you are running, as some kits might require specific wheel sizing and offset to clear the rotor diameter and the larger brake calipers. Contact STILLEN for more information.)

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Physics of Braking

Braking is the conversion of kinetic energy (motion) into heat (and stopping power) by way of friction generated between the brake pads and the brake rotor surface. Put simply, the greater the friction produced, the greater the stopping power. However, with more friction comes more heat. While certain pad compounds thrive in specific operating temperature ranges, the collective brake system also has particular temperature requirements. Individual systems begin to fall short once their optimal temperature range has been exceeded. Increasing the temperature capacity by way of fluid upgrades and rotor cooling strategies are logical first steps. To take upgrades a step further, increasing the heat capacity by way of larger rotors and correspondingly larger calipers and pads add to the available rotor surface area and the size of the pads that can be used to generate friction.

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A Big Brake Kit not only benefits from increased friction surface area and greater heat capacity, it also benefits from a greater moment of torque.

Get More Torque From Your Brake System

Increasing the heat capacity and applying more friction are just two of the benefits that a big brake kit offers. Another important benefit comes in the form of increased torque. The application of torque is a matter of leverage. In the same way that increasing the amount of leverage by way of a breaker bar (torque arm) helps to increase the torque applied (moment of torque) to a bolt or nut, the same principle applies when increasing the rotor diameter and caliper size. Increasing the diameter of the rotor increases the torque arm and subsequently increases the moment of torque for braking. This is one of the significant advantages that a big brake kit has over a factory brake system.

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Rotor Designs

Most vehicles come equipped with vented rotors up front, which help to facilitate cooling of the rotors in order to mitigate the potential for brake fade. A variety of vent types (radial, pillar and directional) have been developed in the pursuit of efficient rotor cooling.

 

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The Disc Brakes Australia proprietary “Kangaroo Paw” pillar design (left) compared to a typical radial vent design (right).

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As mentioned in Brake Systems 101, the various brake pad compounds deliver varying levels of endurance, initial bite and resistance to heat. Pads designed for the street require little warm up and offer great initial bite, but sacrifice braking performance (reduction in friction under conditions of excessive braking and heat build up) when subjected to an endurance or heavy use situation. By contrast, an endurance race pad can take a lot of heat while maintaining optimal friction, but they must be heated to racing temperatures before becoming effective, which is unlikely to be achieved during normal street driving. Somewhere in between, there are pads that offer a balance of performance and endurance that suit a wider variety of driving situations.

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Exotic Materials – STILLEN CCM-X Brake Upgrade

Technology and space-age materials have enhanced our world in many ways. When it comes to stopping, STILLEN and AP Racing have worked together to improve on the heavy yet nimble, Nissan R35 GT-R. Their efforts led to the development of the high thermal capacity (HTC) Carbon Ceramic Matrix brake rotor (CCM-X) that offers superior heat capacity compared to its iron counterpart. Once found only in the world’s most exotic sportscars, this is the first CCM rotor offering for a production tuner vehicle. In addition, STILLEN worked with Pagid to formulate its RSX1 pad material to offer easy bedding and greater performance for both street and track applications. During extreme performance testing at Auto Club Speedway, the HTC CCM-X rotors and RSX1 pads proved to run 142F cooler than previous generations of CCM rotors (1,346F vs. 1,488F), which validated the test results recorded on the brake dyno at AP Racing’s facilities in Coventry, England.

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At the Limit

At this point the question is, how do you know when you’ve reached your brake system’s heat capacity? Since the friction between the pads and the rotor generates heat, this heat transfers into the components of the brake system (rotors, pads, calipers and brake fluid.)  If you’ve upgraded these basic brake system components with aftermarket components (as outlined in Brake Systems 101 and 201) and are still experiencing unresponsive braking and/or a spongy pedal feel after aggressive driving, you’ve likely reached the heat capacity of the brake system. This condition is referred to as brake fade.

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Don’t Get Faded

Brake fade occurs because the heat generated by the friction between the pads and the rotor has built up to the point that the pads are no longer able to create friction with the rotors (unresponsive braking) or pockets of air have formed in the brake lines due to brake fluid boiling (spongy pedal feel.) In both situations, heat is the culprit, which drives home the value of cooling the brake system. While adding brake ducts that direct air to the calipers and rotors certainly helps to facilitate cooling, increasing the amount of surface area available offers greater heat capacity and an increased friction surface area for use with larger brake pads and calipers.

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 More Surface Area

Generally speaking, improving a brake system’s heat capacity typically requires more iron and thus, larger rotors. Larger rotors offer more material to absorb and dissipate heat, as well as a larger friction area for a larger brake pad to be employed. This is also why larger calipers are an integral part of the big brake kit (to be covered in Brake Systems 401). By increasing the amount of friction surface, more heat can be stored before reaching temperatures that cause fade. The increased heat capacity also increases the usable range brake pads have that would not have been practical on a lower heat capacity setup.

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Mechanical Grip Improves Braking

While increasing the size of the brake calipers, pads and rotors inevitably improves the heat capacity and overall brake performance, a brake system is limited by another factor, mechanical grip. Mechanical grip refers to the tires, the only thing between your vehicle and the pavement, ground or terrain. In the case of road vehicles, the brake system’s ability to slow and stop a vehicle depends heavily on the tires. A vehicle with worn or inappropriate tires (i.e. endurance tires being used at a track day, rain tires when its dry, etc.) will not perform optimally compared to one fitted with tires suited to the purpose at hand.

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Continuing on the subject of big brake kits, the next issue of STILLEN University, Brake Systems 401, will go into caliper sizing and selection along with the mechanics of how they work. Do you need a 4-piston or 6-piston caliper? Is bigger always better? Check back with us soon!

Check out some of the available brake rotor and pad upgrades available at www.stillen.com!

STILLEN Sport Brake Rotors

Disc Brakes Australia

AP Racing By STILLEN

STILLEN Brake Pads

Hawk Performance Brake Pads

Ferodo Brake Pads

Mintex Brake Pads

Pagid Brake Pads

Got questions or ready to upgrade your brake system? Reach out to STILLEN at 866-250-5542, by email at sales@stillen.com, or via Live Chat at stillen.com!

 

 

Brake Systems 201: 2-Piece Rotors, Fluids and Lines

By Richard Fong

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Upgrading brake pads and rotors can make considerable improvements to a vehicle’s braking system, especially since the factory equipment is generally adequate for an everyday street application but not always ideal for high-performance driving. However, there are a few other variables that can further enhance the performance of a factory brake system before making the jump to aftermarket calipers and larger rotors. Now that you’ve been familiarized with some of the first and most straightforward brake-system upgrades in our Brake Systems 101: Pads and Rotors, it’s time to look at the next modifications in line to optimize the factory brake system. Two-piece rotors, performance fluids and braided brake lines can further improve your factory brake system for greater performance on both the street and the track.

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Room to Expand

A smoothly-operating vehicle typically indicates that all is well and functioning properly. When an ABS-like vibration feeds back through the brake pedal, it can be disconcerting to some and annoying to others. It’s certainly an indication of something amiss that requires attention. That vibration could simply be caused by uneven pad material built up on the surface of the rotor, for which a proper brake service (new pads, resurfaced or replaced rotors, brake fluid flush) would remedy. However, in the case of performance and heavy utility applications, the damage to the rotors could be more severe.

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Dissipating Heat

A vast majority of brake rotors on the market are manufactured as a single piece of iron for cost and durability. As the friction surface for the pads, rotors are subjected to extreme heating and cooling cycles. Since the center or “hat” of the rotor bolts to the wheel hub, it is sandwiched between the hub and the mounting pad of the wheel. This limits the rotor’s ability to expand and contract freely when subjected to extreme braking conditions (as would be the case on a racetrack or during an aggressive mountain drive) and could lead to warped rotors. A viable solution would be to upgrade to a 2-piece rotor solution. In this application, a billet aluminum hat is fastened by way of “floating” hardware to a rotor, which permits the rotor to expand, contract and dissipate heat without being restricted by the hat. A 2-piece solution also permits the use of exotic and lightweight rotor materials as well, like a carbon-ceramic matrix.  An added benefit to having a billet aluminum hat and/or lighter rotors is reduced unsprung weight. This weight reduction helps to sharpen and lighten steering response which further lends to improved handling.

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Boiling Point

A recurring theme in brake systems is that heat is the enemy. For the most part, this is true, the exception being specialized brake pad compounds formulated to function optimally at higher temperatures (racing brake pads). Aside from this instance, heat that is generated by the friction between the rotors and the pad material eventually transfers to the calipers and then the brake fluid. Modern brake systems are hydraulic, which means that they rely on incompressible hydraulic fluid (in this instance, brake fluid) to actuate the pistons against the pads when the brake pedal is depressed. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has established standards to indicate a fluid’s capabilities. DOT 3 brake fluid is the most common fluid used in automobiles. The name denotes the fluid’s heat capacity and performance capability as required by the DOT. Street vehicles rarely exceed the capabilities of DOT 3 fluid under normal driving conditions. When brake fluid heats to the point of boiling, pockets of air form in the brake lines. These compressible voids translate into a spongy brake pedal and an unresponsive brake system with dramatically reduced stopping ability. If you’ve upgraded your pads and rotors and have not upgraded the brake fluid, this could be the cause of poor braking performance. The solution is to upgrade your brake fluid. Under performance conditions such as on a track or a road requiring significant and frequent brake input, upgrading to DOT 4, DOT 5 or DOT 5.1 brake fluid will help to maintain the responsiveness and effectiveness of the brake’s hydraulic system.

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DOT Standards

Typical factory brake fluid is engineered to function within a prescribed temperature range optimized for the majority of driving conditions that the manufacturer expects a vehicle to encounter. This covers a broad spectrum of conditions ranging from freezing to triple-digit ambient temperatures. While these requirements cover a seemingly broad range of temperatures, the brake fluid must endure far more extreme temperatures. DOT 3 fluid is the most common fluid type employed by automakers with some requiring DOT4 fluid (in the case of higher performance or heavy duty applications). DOT 3, 4 and 5.1 are polyethylene glycol based fluids while DOT 5 is silicone based. The hygroscopic traits (propensity to absorb moisture from the atmosphere) of the DOT 3, 4 and 5.1 fluids could render the fluids less effective over time. Regular flushing of the brake system mitigates this effect. The silicone-based DOT 5 fluid tends to cost more but benefits from its hydrophobic properties.

Fluid Grade               Dry Boiling Point                  Wet Boiling Point

DOT 3                                          401 F                                              284 F

DOT 4                                          446 F                                                311 F

DOT 5                                          500 F                                                356 F

DOT 5.1                                       500 F                                                356 F

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Typical OEM rubber brake lines tend to expand under hard driving conditions, resulting in slower response and a spongy pedal feel.

Containing the Pressure

Another component of a factory brake system that could benefit from improvement is the brake line. The stock brake lines are often high-pressure rubber hoses designed to be flexible throughout the full range of travel for your suspension. However, during high performance braking, these factory lines tend to expand under extreme pressure, resulting in reduced responsiveness and braking performance along with a spongy brake pedal. To improve the responsiveness of the brake system hydraulics, swapping out the factory brake lines with performance brake lines is an essential upgrade. Performance brake lines (like those offered by Goodridge) feature a PTFE liner (inner hose) that is shrouded by a flexible sheathing (stainless steel or even exotic materials like Kevlar) that protect the liner and prevent expansion. This keeps the fluids moving toward the calipers, for more responsive braking under all driving conditions.

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Stainless-steel braided brake lines like this Goodridge unit feature a PTFE liner for durability. The braiding helps to protect the liner from abrasion while also mitigating the expansion of the line under pressure.

Maxed Out

Now that you’ve learned about the basics of brake systems, you can maximize the stopping performance of your vehicle. Slowing and stopping are paramount for safety as well as performance, regardless of your application. From streetcars and track cars to tow and utility vehicles, a good braking system is a must. If you’re pushing your vehicle beyond these bolt-on solutions, you could be a candidate for a big brake upgrade, which will be covered in the next two installments of STILLEN University. Stay on track!

Do you have more questions about what would be right for your application? Reach out to us at 866-250-5542, at sales@stillen.com or by Live Chat on our website stillen.com to help you select the product that best suits your needs.

In our next installment of STILLEN University, we’re going to explore big brake system upgrades in greater detail. Check back with us soon!

#1 – AP Radi-CAL II and AP Racing by STILLEN

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AP Racing by STILLEN introduced the World Radi-CAL II Braking System. These revolutionary Forged Calipers are the most advanced brakes on the market. Forging makes them Lighter and Stiffer than Casting. The Asymmetric Design allows for optimal strength while still using Sequential Sized Pistons for even pad wear. Quick Change Pads are as simple as removing the retaining pins. The calipers still feature High Temperature Double Sealed Pistons so they are safe for road use but will stand up to the high temperatures of track use. The AP Radi-CAL II are available in Red, Black or Silver Calipers (custom colors available – contact us for pricing).

Comparison: Radi-CAL I vs Radi-CAL II

  • 4% Lighter than Radi-CAL I
  • Stiffer than Radi-CAL I (6-piston: 33% stiffer | 4-piston: 28% stiffer)
  • Incorporating iconic Radi-CAL Stiffening Band
  • 6-Piston Radi-CAL II Caliper can effortlessly fit behind an 18-inch wheel with a 370mm rotor.

One of the best parts about Radi-CAL II is you can easily swap out Radi-CAL I Calipers for a Radi-CAL II upgrade! So if you already have our Radi-CAL I kit, you can simply swap out calipers to upgrade!

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AP Radi-CAL II behind a Flow Form 18 inch wheel (HRE FF15 18×9.5)

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#2 – Widebody Civic Sedan from Seibon (teamed with AP Racing and Mackin Industries)

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The Honda Civic is still one of the most commonly modified cars of all time. The thing is, this isn’t a true statement for a lot of Honda’s post millenia change. Countless enthusiasts started out in the Honda scene and many have moved on to different platforms because of the void of performance potential left vacant by Honda with the early-to-mid-2000’s Civic. Perhaps not on purpose, but certainly to our delight, the Civic now comes with a turbo motor available. While the 10th generation Civic is still developing in the market, it is exciting to see what is already available.

This wide body Civic Sedan kit produced by Seibon Carbon was inspired by the Type-R concept to give the sedan an aggressive look and stance. This kit also allows for you to run wider wheels and tires for the performance minded. We assume we will see these kits on the turbo model sedans mainly as we have already seen impressive results from bolt-ons and tuning. This kit will be available exclusively through STILLEN. If you would like more information on the Seibon wide body kit please give us a call or email sales@stillen.com.

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This build featured some of the best names in the industry with AP Racing by STILLEN creating a prototype Radi-CAL Brake Kit, Rays Performance Wheels, Cusco Suspension, Pioneer Audio, Razo Lighting, and Continental Tires. After seeing this kind of effort put into the new Civic we can only imagine what kind of resurgence we will see in the Honda scene.

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#3 – Honda Civic Type-R Concept & the Honda Civic Variants

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The Civic Type R Prototype is all kinds of crazy and we love it. The visual differences are instantly obvious, but the most impressive part of this car is it is all functional. The wider fenders accommodate a larger tire for additional grip while the splitters and diffuser aid in down force and overall aerodynamic efficiency. The 3 tail pipes are all completely functional as is the hood scoop to feed the 2.0L Turbo motor. Numbers haven’t been officially released but the European Type-R makes 306 horsepower and there are rumors that there may be a 340 horsepower version.

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#4 – Vossen Wheels

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Vossen Wheels has been an industry leader for years in the aftermarket wheel industry. STILLEN has been privileged enough to work with them on several projects and are always blown away with how they are always innovating. This SEMA Show they debuted their new 3-piece forged series which blew us away. The detail and options available are amazing!

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We also love the Vossen X Work wheels. The collaboration of the two companies produced some beautiful 2-piece wheels that appeal to a wide variety of owners. We have seen them on a lot of Nissan & Infiniti builds that we have greatly admired.

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Vossen also debuted their “Wheel Configurator” which allows users to preview every Vossen wheel available on their car. It includes options such as Lowering, Camber, Vehicle Color, Wheel Color, Tire Size, etc. You can try it out from yourself – http://www.vossen3d.com/

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#5 – Garrett Turbo Systems

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Honeywell Garrett has been a leader in the Turbo industry for decades. While STILLEN has shied away from Turbos in recent history, the introduction of factory turbo cars from so many manufactures has allowed us to get back in the turbo game without violating EPA or CARB policies. Now Garrett is the manufacturer of the turbos in the new VR30 DDTT motor found in the Infiniti Q50 and Q60.

Knowing what some of their systems are capable of, maybe we will get the opportunity to work on some CARB Legal Turbo Upgrades in the future.

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#6 – NITTO Tire’s Drifting Huracan

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Nitto recently worked with stunt driver Stina Hübinette to bring us the drifting Huracan. It’s not everyday you get to see an exotic driven like this. Check out the video on youtube: The Hübinettes Star in #HuracánDrift

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#7 – Mazda Miata RF Kuro

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The Mazda Miata has been the best selling two-seater convertible in the world since it’s release in 1989. Mazda debuted their Miata RF Kuro concept as their foray into the sport compact coupe segment. While nothing is certain about production plans, the RF Kuro gives drivers a glimpse of what a coupe could be like and gives the Miata a new look that we are sure everyone is going to love.

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#8 – Ford Booth

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Ford is always known to have quite the display at SEMA. 2016 was an exciting year for them and their booth definitely showed it. Showcasing cars like the new Ford GT Racecar, the Focus RS (which is proving to be quite the little beast), and even a wide body Fiesta ST. Ford is definitely making their presence felt in the performance world and we look forward to seeing more amazing cars from them.

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#9 – Lexus LC500 F-Sport Concept

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We have all seen the Lexus LC500 in the media and at auto shows. However, we had the opportunity to see the F-Sport concept version in the Lexus booth. Aside from the bright yellow paint, this car really makes a bold statement. Lexus is definitely doing a lot to shape their image in a more “sporty” light. We didn’t get many details, but we liked what we saw.

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#10 – Ferrari-powered Scion FRS/Toyota 86

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When someone puts a Ferrari motor in anything it’s bound to grab some attention. This Ferrari-powered FR-S is absolutely nuts!

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That wraps up our SEMA 2016 Top 10. Stay tuned for our upcoming SEMA 2016 gallery…

The mecca of automotive enthusiasts (aka SEMA) took place on November 1st-4th in Las Vegas, NV. STILLEN & AP Racing by STILLEN had a solid presence this year. We debuted our new AP Racing Radi-CAL II brakes in Central Hall and even took home a Global Media Award for new product. What you will see below is our SEMA quick look- a summarized view of what went on.

The world debut of the AP Racing Radi-CAL II.

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It was a great honor to receive the SEMA Global Media Award!

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Tein Suspension’s Q50 featuring the STILLEN Aero Kit.

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The Seibon widebody Civic was a huge show stopper. AP Radi-CAL Brakes gave this car some serious presence.

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SUBISPEED’s WRX running AP Racing Brakes.

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The Vossen GTI hiding AP Radi-CAL Brakes behind forged wheels.

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Nissan Maxima outside bagged with the STILLEN Body Kit.

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DINAN M3 sporting AP Radi-CAL BBK behind Vossen x Work Wheels.

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Radi-CAL II on display in the new product gallery

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K-Pax Racing with AP Racing brakes.

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Many automotive enthusiasts go to great lengths to remove all orange (amber) lights and reflectors from their vehicle. Now here is a customer who not only wanted to add some orange accents, but did it with some flair. There is a lot more to this Z than meets the eye though. Subtle clues hint at the potential of this 370Z…

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Tom S. brought his 2010 Nismo 370Z to STILLEN with big plans. He wanted raise the performance level of his Z in every aspect possible. We sat down and went through all the upgrades and how they would benefit the car. In the end Tom made his decisions wisely.

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He chose the STILLEN 370Z Supercharger Kit (407770NP) paired with the STILLEN 370Z SS Cat-Back Exhaust (504355) for added power. Taking the Nismo from 350hp to over 500hp is absolutely mind bending. With the added power from the STILLEN 370Z supercharger, the Z’s slight handicap in the straights is gone. Throw in the STILLEN Short Throw Shifter (452352) for quicker shifts and you’ve got yourself a competitor off the line.

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We all know the VQ37 has heat issues. We always suggest the STILLEN Setrab 25 Row Oil Cooler (400638) to keep those oil temperatures down and your Z out of limp mode.

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Any 370Z owner can tell you the car handles pretty well out of the box. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t improve upon that as well. The best handling upgrade for the Z is definitely the STILLEN Sway Bars (304375). With the car setup from the factory with safe understeer in mind, balancing out the body roll and oversteer/understeer dynamics is a huge improvement (read more about 370Z sway bars here: STILLEN Buying Guide – Aftermarket Swaybars).

We round out the rest of the suspension with the top of the line RS-R Sports-i Coilovers (RSRXSPIN134M). RS-R makes one of the best street performance coilovers we have ever tested. They are incredibly comfortable on the street but can still perform on the track and twisty roads. We left the ride height at the RS-R factory preset which gives us ideal suspension geometry for handling as well as plenty of clearance for speed bumps and steep driveways. SPC Front Upper Control Arm Kit (SPC72130) & SPC Rear Camber Arm Kit (SPC72262) were both installed to make sure we are able to set up our alignment perfectly to take advantage of all our new suspension mods and not burn through tires too quickly.

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What good is power with no control, and what good is going fast if you can’t stop right? Well believe us…this car can stop. Tom S. wanted the best, and he got it (with his own personal touch too). The AP Racing by STILLEN Radi-CAL Big Brake Kit (APR57100APR37702) in Solar Orange (custom option) are the finishing touch on this Z. With more stopping power than a GTR, controlling all the power we added is easy.

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This Supercharged Z is an absolute blast to drive. The car made 430 whp and 318 ft-lbs of torque on our Dyno (on California 91 Octane gas). We know the owner will absolutely love the results and we are looking forward to our next unique build. Who knows, it might be your car on our blog next.

If you have any questions about the car, its STILLEN 370Z supercharger, or any of the other parts shown please leave a comment, shoot us an email (sales@stillen.com), or call (800-576-2131).

SCOTT 370Z SC

 

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Tony Jackson's BMW M3

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.

STILLEN is proud to announce that new applications are now available for the AP Racing brake kits, which include applications for select Chevrolet and GMC trucks and SUVs! We now have brake kits for the Chevy Silverado, Chevy Suburban, Chevy Tahoe and GMC Sierra through the 2014 model year. For a full list, see below or visit the AP Racing AP7500 brake kit page.

Why Upgrade to the AP Racing Brake Kits for Chevy & GMC Trucks & SUVs

Like the other AP Racing big brake kits, these kits feature 2-piece rotors with 6-piston calipers that are made of the highest quality materials. Additionally, these slotted & cross drilled AP Racing brake kits include DOT compliant and TUV approved stainless steel brake lines, which provide a noticeable improvement in stiffness and pedal feel. Here are a few more reasons why we feel the AP Racing brakes are the best brakes available:

  • Features curved vane rotors for maximum cooling and reduced unsprung weight
  • Specially designed to work with OE master cylinder, ABS, traction control systems
  • Brackets and hardware are constructed of aerospace grade materials
  • Available with red or black calipers
AP Racing AP7500 Big Brake Kit in Black

AP Racing AP7500 Big Brake Kit in Black

AP Racing AP7500 Big Brake Kit in Red

AP Racing AP7500 Big Brake Kit in Red

Note: To see if this brake kit will fit your wheels, use the STILLEN brake profile template to check your brake kit/wheel compatibility.

AP Racing AP7500 Brake Profile

AP Racing AP7500 Brake Profile

Complete Big Brake Kit Applications:

The AP Racing AP7500 brake kit fits the following vehicle applications:

  • 2007-2014 Cadillac Escalade
  • 2007-2013 Chevrolet Avalanche
  • 2007-2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • 2007-2014 Chevrolet Suburban 1500
  • 2007-2014 Chevrolet Tahoe
  • 2007-2014 GMC Sierra 1500
  • 2007-2014 GMC Yukon
  • 2007-2014 GMC Yukon XL 1500

Note: The AP Racing and STILLEN team is hard at work updating applications for the AP Racing AP7550 rear brake kit for Chevy and GMC trucks and SUVs. The brake kit will be available soon. However, if you would like additional details, please call (866) 250-5542 and we will be happy to answer any questions you have.

Next Steps

If you’re ready to upgrade your Silverado, Sierra or other GMC/Chevy truck or SUV with a new set of AP Racing brakes, please visit www.stillen.com or give us a call at (866) 250-5542. Also, if you are looking to get your brake kit professionally installed, be sure to consider the STILLEN performance shop in Newport Beach/Costa Mesa area, which specializes in big brake kit installations.

STILLEN is pleased to announce the release of our new website, www.apradical.com featuring information on our brand new line of AP Racing Radi-CAL Big Brake Kits by STILLEN.  The micro-site has been designed with the user in mind with user-friendly navigation, bold colors, stunning photography as well a contemporary design. The newly designed Web site went live January 31st, 2014.

AP Racing Rad-CAL by STILLEN homepage image

Design, Functionality, Technical Information & More

The site has been broken down into several sections that clearly highlight the different features, functionality, applications and technical information on the kits. It features expanded content and streaming media including an in-depth video filmed in the STILLEN performance garage. Also included is an “About Us” page that provides information on both of the major companies involved in the production of these big brake kits, AP Racing and STILLEN, as well as an applications page in which every viewer can see the list of vehicles this braking system is available for.

AP Racing Rad-CAL web site image

The apradical.com site aims to extend its reach to a broad audience of brake professionals, enthusiasts and wholesalers. Online visitors will now experience a more vibrant and seamless view of the entire Radi-CAL Big Brake Kit system with photography showing the calipers and discs in fine detail.

AP Racing Radi-CAL by STILLEN application page

In addition to the huge catalog of beautiful photography, the micro-site showcases pages of technical information our customers have been asking for since we released these brakes at SEMA last year. The site has been organized to provide quick and direct access to all of these resources for all audiences.

AP Racing Radi-CAL by STILLEN contact page

AP Racing Radi-CAL BY STILLEN Informational Video

Learn More About AP Racing Radi-CAL by STILLEN

For more information about the AP Racing Radi-CAL brake kit by STILLEN and to read our full white paper on the Radi-CAL, please visit our website or call us at 800-576-2120 and we will be happy to answer any questions you have! Be sure to check back regularly for information on new applications and to check out new images and reviews from our happy customers!