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Old 08-25-2016, 03:13 AM   #1
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Default How Much Braking Power Do I Really Need?

All,

First off let me give you a little background on a few things. Lets start with me and the car. I am mechanically inclined and i'm in the process of starting my half DIY and other half Pre Fabed Turbo kit. As with everything that I put on my car it has to be of great quality and reliable so naturally you can assume that this build is not going to be cheap for me and I would rather save my money and stay unmodified then cut any sort of corners buying cheap parts that will fail, unproven, or are not extremely popular in the miata community. Why you may ask? That's because my car and what I am building to be is in my mind the perfect 90's sports car and made/looks like it just came out of the factory and that includes factory reliability. With that said the car has already had a full suspension overhaul including getting the sub-frame powder coated, control arms professionally painted, zero rust blah blah blah too much to add/not important. The point is that I would be out of my mind to cut corners on this car. I am starting my turbo build now due to the fact that fall and winter are coming and I want my car to be ready for tuning in the spring.

Now for the dilemma. The turbo is going to cost a lot and I am realizing that the supporting mods (Clutch, maintenance parts, radiator, brakes) are costing close to 3/4 the price of the turbo parts. Due to this I simply can not at this time afford a big brake kit as that would put me a decent way out of price range. With that being said I know the brakes need addressed especially since this car will hopefully be putting down 250rwhp come spring. The car is used on the street only for this time, I plan on starting to dabble with autocross in the future but there is no rush and the car is not being tracked. I am easy on my car and don't ever do burnouts, drifts, or ever find myself in a situation where I have to slam on the brakes. I am not suggesting I am a good driver but instead that I love my car and would hate myself for ruining it from driving recklessly or excessively fast (also all my moneys going to turbo parts and I don't wanna put money in broken parts from a crash ect).

So here is the question, What kind of brakes can I "get away with" or be comfortable with at that power level for a year or so until I can put some real money down for a big brake kit? The G-Loc or Supermiata Stage 1 kit (I'm in need of new rotors soon anyway and that's whiten price range) that 949 racing is selling but i'm wondering if they are enough for my application (FM ones look nice too!). I figured that If i got the Stage 1 with new rotors that if I add the FM little big brake kit down the near road I would already be set with newer rotors ( I cant shove too big of a brake kit as I run 15in enki rpf-1 wheels) or perhaps maybe I should just go with G-Loc pads for a year or so and just throw on new rotors with whatever kit I decide at the time. I am not specifically just set on 949s options and would love for people to give me their opinions on the 949 brakes and others as well.

P.S. Please remember my driving style and that this car will be receiving big brakes in the future I just want to be safe in the mean time with good brakes for that power additionally brakes are my weak link when comming to cars, i understand them the least so please forgive my ignorance.

Thank you for reading and your time,
Josh

Last edited by joshbot007; 08-25-2016 at 04:39 AM.
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Old 08-25-2016, 08:00 AM   #2
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Performance street pads, blank rotors, dot 4 fluid. Shouldn't cost more than $300-350 unless you go unnecessarily baller on the pads. Don't bother with fancy coated, slotted, or drilled rotors. Stainless braided brake lines are never a terrible, but if you intend on going with aftermarket calipers in the future, they'll require a different type of line. In fact, if you don't intend to ever track the car, I wouldn't even bother with a true BBK. Just upgrade to NB sport brakes and you'll be more than good in the deceleration department.
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Old 08-25-2016, 08:09 AM   #3
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You can get away with just aggressive pads for a while, but you're going to found out quickly (no pun intended) that they won't be sufficient. It's very easy to roast your brakes when trying to stop 100mphs of fury with undersized brakes from the factory. I would have issues street tuning a 275rwhp miata with stock 1.8L brakes and HP+ pads. after a few boosted runs and quick stops they were overheating stops became interesting.

I thought the M-tuned Big Brake kit was a nice less-severe upgrade, but I don't think they still sell the front bracket. That would give you 11" F rotors and 10.9" R rotors. Coupled with a decent set of pads it made a very nice street setup for a boosted miata.
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Old 08-25-2016, 09:55 AM   #4
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Forgot to mention that i installed 949's braided brake lines when i did my suspention restoration a few years back. Ill look into thr nb sports brakes. Something else that i should throw out there is that a big brake kit is something i want to do in the future reguardless because its part of my plan for the car. May they be a little overboard down the line? Yes but just like the cars hp is overboard. And i do want some of the cosmetic + found in a bbk down the line
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Old 08-25-2016, 10:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
You can get away with just aggressive pads for a while, but you're going to found out quickly (no pun intended) that they won't be sufficient. It's very easy to roast your brakes when trying to stop 100mphs of fury with undersized brakes from the factory. I would have issues street tuning a 275rwhp miata with stock 1.8L brakes and HP+ pads. after a few boosted runs and quick stops they were overheating stops became interesting.

I thought the M-tuned Big Brake kit was a nice less-severe upgrade, but I don't think they still sell the front bracket. That would give you 11" F rotors and 10.9" R rotors. Coupled with a decent set of pads it made a very nice street setup for a boosted miata.
now you got me thinking lol. Perhaps increacing the rear rotor size while keeping thr front the same would help balance the front brake bias w/o a proportioning valve! (I would be willing to try without as i know i can get one in the future and im not cutting corners with cheap parts just waiting till the future to install quality. Of course if it clearly needs a proportioning valve im not opposed to getting it now as i would need it with bbk in the future. Again im ignorant on brake technology but its working out in my head. It just seems a little off place as nearly everywhere i go people talk about upgrafing front brakes or just adding a front bbk but i like the idea of slightly touching up the rear (should also give the car a more balanced look ) with this i offer another idea. What about new stock replacement rotors, high performance pads, and a prop valve for now? I feel the prop valve couppled with the freshed break system will allow it to work to full potential and i would need on with a bbk in the future anyway, thoughts?
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Old 08-25-2016, 10:20 AM   #6
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cheap blanks + the rear upgrade brackets + a prop valve + good pads would probably work pretty well.

While the BBKs have pleny of other advantages, one of the main things they solve for us is even wear of pads. Stock calipers wear unevenly and dont distribute the loads as well.
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Old 08-25-2016, 10:37 AM   #7
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A good street pad and fresh fluid has handled everything I've been able to throw at it on the street. I "downgraded" to smaller/lighter 1.6 rear rotors on my last car that was pretty deep into the 300hp's and never missed the bigger brakes. I'm sure you could over heat them, but you'd really have to work at it.
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Old 08-25-2016, 11:58 AM   #8
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I run :

Front Nb sport front calipers and rotors, corbotech xp pads

Rear NB sport rotor, NA caliper with bracket, Carbotech xp pads

Prop valve

This combo works really well for me so far. I auto x a fare bit, and my car stops really really fast.
I am not completely sold on the prop valve. I cannot with absolute certainty say the the valve works better than the factory unit.
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Old 08-30-2016, 01:26 AM   #9
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NB sport fronts is a cheap upgrade. Use M Tuned brackets for the rear.
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Old 08-30-2016, 06:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
You can get away with just aggressive pads for a while, but you're going to found out quickly (no pun intended) that they won't be sufficient. It's very easy to roast your brakes when trying to stop 100mphs of fury with undersized brakes from the factory. I would have issues street tuning a 275rwhp miata with stock 1.8L brakes and HP+ pads. after a few boosted runs and quick stops they were overheating stops became interesting.
I cannot judge what kind of driving joshbot is doing on the streets, but once you keep stopping from 100mph+ speeds you are going to punish the brakes.
So it depends how aggresive you drive on the streets. Judging from joshbots description I am thinking that some sport brakes with decent pads will be sufficient for his driving style.
I think if he spends money on a sport upgrade now, there is no real reason to upgrade to a real BBK later unless the car will be tracked.
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Old 08-30-2016, 10:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaWaN View Post
I cannot judge what kind of driving joshbot is doing on the streets, but once you keep stopping from 100mph+ speeds you are going to punish the brakes.
So it depends how aggresive you drive on the streets. Judging from joshbots description I am thinking that some sport brakes with decent pads will be sufficient for his driving style.
I think if he spends money on a sport upgrade now, there is no real reason to upgrade to a real BBK later unless the car will be tracked.
Your reply is awesome, not only the information but also the way you integrated my username into it made me laugh a few times while reading Thanks for your input!
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Old 08-30-2016, 11:19 PM   #12
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When you REALLY REALLY need to stop, no brakes are too big.

I was running stock 1.6 brakes with aggressive pads on my '91turbo at Pocono a few years back and needed to run through the cones instead of diving into the left turn off the oval into the East track infield. Forgeting the embarrassment, I am glad they failed where they did. I replaced them with NB Sport Brakes that week and two of us ran the car back to back the next week with no brake reduction at any point.
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Old 08-30-2016, 11:39 PM   #13
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You can lock street tires with bottle caps and enough pedal force.

Just get some good pads and rotors and you will be fine. Your description says you drive like a grandma, bbk sounds like a waste for you.
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Old 08-31-2016, 12:38 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by aidandj View Post
You can lock street tires with bottle caps and enough pedal force.

Just get some good pads and rotors and you will be fine. Your description says you drive like a grandma, bbk sounds like a waste for you.
Yea you could say that lol, only really "push" my car on roads I am familiar with and therefor rarely have to hit the brakes hard due to my driving habbits. Right now for now my plan is stock replacement rotors (mine just look like **** on the spots the pads don't touch due to age and need to be replaced anyway) with HP brake pads on front and rear. Currently considering G-LOC and Porterfield options.
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Old 08-31-2016, 11:39 AM   #15
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On the turbo DD:
OEM 1.8 brakes with recently overhauled calipers, centric rotors, Goodridge steel braided lines and StopTech Street Performance pads (pretty inexpensive from Rock Auto). Fresh DOT4 fluid.

On track car:
Front: Early Goodwin front BBK with Wilwood Dynalites, Wilwood GT72 11" rotors, 949 steel braided lines, Trackspeed Engineering cooling ducts and PFC01 pads (switched from Carbotech XP10s)
Rear: OEM 1.8 rears, 949 steel braided lines and PFC11 pads (switched from Carbotech XP8s)
Fresh DOT4 fluid and cockpit-controllable proportioning valve (cockpit control makes it easy to adjust the first time out -- you never really touch it after that)

The main advantage to the BBKs is pad wear, not stopping power. The BBK came on the car when I bought it (also had a rear BBK that I removed due to suckage). To be honest, every time I get out of my track car and back into my DD, I marvel at how wonderful the brakes feel with a firm, high pedal. Part of that is the PFCs naturally feel more "squishy" than some other pads (they modulate beautifully though). But a lot of it is that Mazda blessed the Miata with some really nice brakes. I've been thinking about returning the front of the track car to OEM and dealing with more frequent pad replacement to recover some NASA TT points.

Given your driving, I can state unequivocally that all you need is well maintained OEM brakes with some nice pads. Take a look at those StopTechs, much less expensive with easier-to-clean dust than the other options you mentioned.

Brain's description of successive 100mph stops during tuning is the most severe possible brake use. You won't even see that on track and no braking system will stand up to that for any length of time. Heck, that's how I used to go out and overheat my Carbotech race pads with a BBK for bedding purposes.

You're doing the right thing coming here. Be careful of what you read on vendor websites . . . they're selling stuff. IMHO, the best one for straight talk is Emilio's (949).

Of course, if you want a BBK because of looks, that's your business and it's fine with me.

Last edited by hornetball; 08-31-2016 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 08-31-2016, 12:02 PM   #16
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Rick. Try out the 929 1" mater cylinder. It made a world of difference in brake feel. Firmer pedal, less travel. Really sexy.
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Old 08-31-2016, 12:06 PM   #17
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I'll need to check that out. Does it cost points? A master cylinder brace would also be a good thing to fab up.
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Old 08-31-2016, 12:12 PM   #18
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Idk about points. But it's awesome.
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Old 08-31-2016, 02:07 PM   #19
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Quick rule of thumb:

Street/autox car? Stock rotors & calipers are fine.

Forced induction track car? You need a BBK. You can get away without it for a while, but you'll wind up needing to lift on the straights to keep from melting the brakes, and that's no fun.

There are a few reasons to put a BBK on a street car too (appearance, weight reduction, ease of pad changes), but none of them are safety-related.

--Ian
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Old 08-31-2016, 04:28 PM   #20
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Gonna echo the stop tech street performace (sport now?). Cheap, easy to clean up after. On my N/A 1.6 they hold up just fine for 20min lapping sessions on Pocono running the 2.5 mile double infield course.
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