Tags Posts tagged with "Big Brake Kit"

Big Brake Kit

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!

 

 

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!

Every so often we get a car come through the performance shop that is BIG news here at STILLEN and that happened just a few weeks ago with an Infiniti G37x. It all started a few months ago when one of our performance specialists took a call from a potential customer about a supercharger for a G37x. Over the course of a few months, the performance specialist worked with the customer making suggestions and answering questions until the customer was completely confident in his purchase. By this time, this car had transformed from a very nice G37x into many employees’ dream car.

Infiniti G37x Customized with STILLEN Parts

Infiniti G37x Customized with STILLEN Parts

The Infiniti G37x Wish List

This customer is a professional mountain bike racer, who also manufactures mountain bike and motorcycle performance parts. He wanted to make sure that he could modify a G37x to handle and perform as close to a GT-R as possible. To achieve his dream, he was looking to combine GT-R performance with the luxury and practicality of a sedan. Therefore, speed, handling and braking were of utmost importance to him. This car needed to be able to perform and handle the way everyone dreams a sports car will handle, but also be reliable so that the customer could drive on a variety of services with confidence. That meant that he was looking to upgrade the car’s power, suspension, braking and also had to make sure he had all of the other performance upgrades necessary to ensure the other aspects of the car were ready for the modifications that were being made.

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Infiniti G37x in the STILLEN Performance Shop

Performance Upgrades

Supercharger

Infiniti G37x with STILLEN Supercharger

Infiniti G37x with STILLEN Supercharger

Parts: STILLEN 407730 Supercharger System, STILLEN 400338 STD Crank Pulley

Since additional horsepower was what had originally drawn the customer to STILLEN, we wanted to make sure we got him set up with the perfect blower for his car.  We recommended the STILLEN Supercharger for Infiniti G37, which comes in a polished or satin finish. This customer elected for the satin finish. While we haven’t dyno tested this customer’s car, this blower has previously been tested during development to output over 500 horsepower.

Cooling Kits

G37x with STILLEN Supercharger and Cooling Kits

G37x with STILLEN Supercharger and Cooling Kits

Parts: STILLEN 400740 Transmission Cooler, STILLEN 400632 Gold Oil Cooler

While power is important, so is longevity. Since this was also one of the customer’s concerns, we recommended he add a STILLEN transmission cooler and STILLEN oil cooler to the car. The transmission cooler will help preserve the car and help with power during hill climbs. The oil cooler will help keep the oil at the right temperature to make the supercharger last.

Coilover Shocks

Infiniti G37x with Aftermarket Coilover Shocks

Infiniti G37x with Aftermarket Coilover Shocks

Part: BC Racing BCRV-08U BR Serues  Coilover Shocks*

Since this customer’s vehicle is all wheel drive (AWD), our shock selection was admittedly slim. That being said, we found a solid option in the BC Racing coilover shocks. With their swift spring upgrade, it allowed the customer to get a higher quality shock with a more consistent spring rate. These coilover shocks also feature less coils per spring rate, which allow for a larger spoke and better travel.

*Note: These coilover shocks are not available online. Please call 866-250-5542 for more information.

Sway Bar

Part: STILLEN 304375 Adjustable Sway Bar Kit

Being an experienced driver that wants to enjoy a thrill when he drives, this customer was looking for a bit more oversteer than the stock sway bar could provide. With that in mind, we recommended that the stock sway bar be replaced with a STILLEN adjustable sway bar for G37X. This sway bar is made from high strength aircraft grade steel and is specially designed to reduce body roll and improve cornering.

Grounding Kit

Part: STILLEN 606358R Grounding Kit

With all of the upgrades being made to the car, we wanted to make sure that the electrical components were as optimized as possible and the customer agreed. To do this the sales representative recommended a grounding kit be added to the vehicle.  By adding this feature, it will allow the electrical system to work better, allowing the customer to enjoy all the performance benefits of the upgrades he had made.

Cat-Back Exhaust

Infiniti G37x with STILLEN Cat-Back Exhaust

Infiniti G37x with STILLEN Cat-Back Exhaust

Part: STILLEN 504377 Cat-Back Exhaust

The STILLEN cat-back exhaust was added for performance gains and sound improvement. Like our other STILLEN exhausts, it features a mandrel bent 304 stainless steel construction and boasts the trademark STILLEN sound that is mild while cruising, but becomes more aggressive as you accelerate.

Big Brake Kit

Infiniti G37x with Big Brake Kit

Infiniti G37x with Big Brake Kit

Parts: AP AP5700R Front Brake System, AP AP3752R Rear Brake System

When your car packs as much power as this Infiniti G37, it’s important to make sure that it has the necessary stopping power to safely slow the car down. In this case, stock brakes just weren’t going to cut it. That’s why we recommended the cross drilled and slotted AP Racing Brake Kit, which are known for being the top big brake kit manufacturer in the industry.

Wheels

G37x Aftermarket Wheels

G37x Aftermarket Wheels

Parts: TSW 1985NUR455114S76 Nurburgring Wheel, TSW 1995NUR415114S76 Nurburgring Wheel*

To complete the makeover, we suggested the customer go with a set of TSW wheels.  This was because the customer’s existing wheels would not fit the big break kit that was installed and because he wanted a sportier look with better functionality. Additionally, these wheels have a rotary forged design, which maintains strength and durability, while being light weight.

*Note: These wheels are not available online. Please call 866-250-5542 for more information.

The Results

STILLEN upgraded 2013 G37x

STILLEN upgraded 2013 G37x

After the dust settled from all the upgrades were made, the customer was extremely happy with the power and performance he’s now getting from the car. As you can imagine, his car has plenty of power and torque to meet his goal of turning his G37 into a four-door GT-R. He’s also loved the suspension adjustments that were made with the sway bar and coilover shocks – it’s handling wonderfully for him. Plus, he gets to enjoy the stealth factor when street driving. Other drivers have no idea how fast his car can go until he chooses to leave them in the dust!

Check out the slide show below to see the full transformation this car made!

Next Steps

If you have any questions about the Infiniti G37 parts above or want to explore upgrading your car, please contact one of our performance specialists at 866-250-5542. We will be happy to answer any questions you have about our parts, make suggestions of upgrades to make to get the most out of your vehicle, or schedule an installation appointment for you.

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!

STILLEN is proud to announce the release of the AP RACING 4 Piston and 6 Piston Big Brake Kit for the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ.

The 4 Pisont front kit under part number AP3120 uses a 330x28mm two piece disc and you have the option of getting either crossed drilled and slotted or just Slotted. You also have 2 color options when it comes to the 4 piston caliper: Red, or Black will look really nice in the wheel well of any BRZ / FR-S.

 

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BLACK

 

If you’re looking for the next level of braking performance we also offer the AP6100 6 Piston kit.

The  AP6100 kit uses the AP RACING 6 piston caliper with larger 355x32mm two piece discs. You also have the option of three different Caliper colors, and two rotor styles.

As you can see, we also offer the Slotted and Drilled, or just Slotted rotor options for the AP 6100 brake kit rotors.

Both of these AP RACING kits bolt up to the factory locations and are designed to work well with the factory ABS systems and brake master cylinder. They also feature dust seals over each caliper piston to ensure reliability and high performance for as long as you own your vehicle.

If you have any questions or would like more information on the BRZ / FR-S AP racing Big Brake kits please give us a call

(800) 891-1058

There are a handful of cars in this world that will make any enthusiast stop what they are doing and admire the “collection of parts” in front of them. Those cars will always hold a special place in just about any enthusiasts heart. While there aren’t many nameplates that can make just about any enthusiast stop in their tracks, anything with COSWORTH in it’s name will always fall into that category. Today, SPEEDHUNTERS.com featured a very special Ford Focus RS Cosworth that spared no expense with the level of quality and detail that went in to the car.

As you can see, this COSWORTH has been meticulously prepared and every area had either been rebuilt or improved. This holds true even with the brakes.

The factory brakes were ditched and replaced with AP Racing Six Piston Front Brakes with Reyland Floating Alloy Bells.

The quality and beauty of this car is hard to ignore and so are those 6 piston AP RACING brakes and 365mm discs.

You can catch the rest of the article here…

SPEEDHUNTERS.COM THE LADY IN RED

 

And for more information on our line up of AP RACING products.. don’t hesitate to pay us a visit.

STILLEN.COM AP RACING PRODUCT PAGE 

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.

We pride ourselves on the quality of products we sell here at STILLEN. From intakes to sway bars to superchargers we make sure that products we put our name on use the highest quality materials and can stand the test of time on any application. The same can be said for our brake selection. It’s no secret that we have partnered up with AP RACING on many products in the past. We also happen to be the main U.S. Distributor and Technical Partner for road car’s for AP RACING products.  While the reasons for this partnership can go on for days, I’ll spare you the details and compile a short list of AP RACING ‘s accomplishments.

 

Formula One
“AP Racing’s success has been underlined by the fact that every Formula One Championship since 1967 has been won using the company’s equipment. Since their first appearance in F1 at the Dutch Grand Prix in 1967, AP Racing has achieved 687 wins with brakes, clutches or both”. (Taken from AP RACING’s Website)

 

That statistic alone is enough to sell me on the products but I’ll continue. They also have plenty of other success in the world of Motorsport.

Their brakes are featured on many BTCC, Rally and ALMS teams, quite honestly too many to count.  As a matter of fact, the top 10 finishers of the last ALMS race all sported AP RACING brakes

 

Road Cars
“All of the organisation’s products are developed in close co-operation with leading car manufacturers using state-of-the-art, three-dimensional solid modelling/design and Finite Element Analysis CAD facilities, and dynamometers that simulate real world conditions. AP Racing also supplies leading performance car manufacturers with brake and clutch components as well as producing a comprehensive range of bolt on replacement performance brake kits. ” (Taken from AP RACING’s website)

Some note able OE placements are:  Aston Martin, Bugatti, Caterham, Ferrari, Ford, HSV,  Lotus, Koenigsegg, Morgan, Seat, and TVR to name a few.

 

 

Aftermarket Success
Truckin’ Magazine recently tested an AP Racing brake setup on the track with a GMC Sierra, and found that the stopping distance from 80mph was shortened by 144 feet over the stock brake setup., for a total braking distance decrease of around 35%. (Taken from Truckin’ magazine’s websiteThat’s stopping before going through an entire intersection.  Not only does that make the GMC more fun to drive but you can imagine how much safer that heavy truck now is.

 

TOP CHOICE OF WORLD CLASS TUNER’S

Garage Saurus uses AP RACING on many of their cars, including this mind blowing Ferrari 550 Maranello.

Garage Kagotoni exclusively uses AP RACING products on all their demo cars like this R34 GTR.

M&M Honda uses AP RACING on all their demo cars as well like this DC5 ITR

Evasive Motorsports also uses AP RACING on their record setting time attack Mitsubishi Lancer Evo.

This list of AP RACING applications and accolades can go on for days but I’ll digress and leave you with this.

Imagine you just spent $3000 on a set of Big Brakes from an overseas company that everyone says you “must have” because you have seen many advertisements of their cars in a few magazines. You are so excited about your new brakes that you book yourself a track day after you’ve selected the right set of pads and have bedded them properly just to see what your car can do. Halfway through the track event your brakes end up getting so hot and warped that flames start coming out of your wheel well. The brake fire ends up burning up your fenders, ruining your set of R compound tires and it ends up melting the cool blue paint off your shiny new “JDM” brakes. As soon as you call the company who imported the brakes for you, you quickly find out they can’t help you and you are stuck with $3000 paper weights.

That very same thing happened to me on my last project car before I started working at STILLEN and I wish I never made that mistake.

Before AP RACING approves any application from race to street, they make sure to test every single aspect of the product. Lifecycle, fitment, performance, durability, real world conditions, and extreme conditions are just a few items on the quality control checklist before any big brake kit gets put in a box and shipped out.

I can’t begin to tell you how important it is to me for a company to stand behind their products and that’s exactly what we do here at STILLEN. If you have any problem what-so-ever with your AP RACING brakes, we are just a phone call away. Since we are the MAIN U.S. Distributor and Technical Partner for road cars we will be able to solve any problems or questions you may have with your brakes. So don’t hesitate to call. Plus as an added bonus… ALL AP RACING KITS are on special this month.

 

If you are interested in a 4 Piston or 6 Piston AP RACING kit for your Car, Truck or SUV. Please click the following to find out more:

AP RACING 4-PISTON BIG BRAKE KIT

AP RACING 6-PISTON BIG BRAKE KIT

We look forward to hearing from you.