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I have the pre Brembo rear brakes on my 1990 SE and would like to upgrade them to Brembo ones.

So the question is do they fit in the standard 16" SE wheels.


Esprit Freak

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I think the V8's with the Brembo front discs had an Elise rear calliper.. as this is what I fitted to mine.

The Sport 350 has a rear brembo calliper, as well as the Elise one for the handbrake mechanism.

I really doubt they'd fit 16" wheels though I'm afraid. the front Brembo's certainly wouldn't, and you wouldn't want to upgrade the backs without doing the fronts or you'd end up in a wall.

Worth contacting PNM Engineering as they have loads of options that will probably suit your wheel size (and hub type.. this changed as well)

Edited by Glyn Harper

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thanks for the info Glyn.

My plan is to upgrade the brakes front and rear, however I haven't decided yet on what to use on the front (PNM do several versions).

At first I had the plan to upgrade the wheels (imagewheels.co.uk) but as I can get some new tires for the original wheels this plan is postponed. Bigger wheels would give me more options for the brakes.

The idea behind using the S4 rear brembo setup is that I can use them at a later stage as handbrake calipers ala sport 300 setup. (new rims etc needed).

    


Esprit Freak

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I fitted a set of the hispec/PNM 4 pots under 16” rears and 15” fronts. Granted the handbrake is rubbish but Hispec have an electronic handbrake you could fit or the Brembo’s as well or Possibly a wilwood mechanical handbrake caliper such as mp4.

i ran 300mm discs with the 16” se wheels and originally the 286mm disc under the 15” fronts.

If you upgrade the wheels to larger ones in the future you can keep the 4 pots and just change the disc size. I’m currently running a 330mm front disc but intend to stay at 300mm on rear.

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Anyone got some pics of the rear brembo set up, including the routing of the handbrake cables.

many thanks.

Freek


Esprit Freak

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Do you have ABS on your car '(with the Delco Moraine system)? Most probably this system fails, and changing to Brembo's front and/or rear, will not improve braking. I know, because I did... The diagnose is very simple: does your pedal pushes back, or if you depressurize, is there foam in the braking reservoir? If the answer on one of these questions is "yes", all costs and efforts will lead to nothing. Interesting to know is that the braking torque of the original Toyota fronts and original DBA rears is exactly the same as the Brembo's (as of the late S4) :The brake discs have a larger diameter, but the total surface of the brake cylinders is smaller, so that compensates. But the Brembo's are far better in dissipation, so you can brake more and longer before overheating will occur. And yes, they also look a lot better 🙂.

The routing of the handbrake cables is not easy: when Brembo's are used, there is a pass through in the rear hub. It seems possible to route around, but it never will look nice. Besides, the DBA rears are not that bad: I did temperature tests and they become hardly warmer (+ 10%) than my fronts which are upgraded to Brembo's. The technology is also the same: both have a sliding caliper. 

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No ABS on my 1990 SE, so no problem there.

I like to upgrade the front brakes from the sliding pin TMC calipers to something with better I also need to do something about the rear so that is where the rear brembo's come into play.


Esprit Freak

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Go for the biggest possible. I bought the biggest I could from PNM, but others have solutions as well.

PNM made me aluminium bells for the bolted front discs a la AP ones, but mine fit on the standard SE front wheel hubs.

They will also be able to make you bracketry to suit almost anything, incl. future upgrades.

Note that some multi piston calipers are designes to work within certain boundries, so take a look at AP, Brembo, Hispec's homepages for detailed infor on that.

Kind regards,

jacques

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Nobody does it better - than Lotus ;)

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My own experience is that on my 1990 SE, I have equal sized aluminium bell'ed 322mm front and rear, plus 4 piston aluminium calipers front and rear (various sized pistons). Thicker vented front, a bit thinner vented rear. Fresh braided lines and new fluid every year. And a brake booster, which holds spec and vacuum, but doesn't do much, so brakes feel quite "manual" un-servoed.  So far, so good. When pressed hard, fronts lock up first, but only by a fraction, to a degree, where I feel the front dive a little bit, bite into the tarmac and lighten the rear end a bit, and then the rear brakes bite. So the rear brakes blocking comes immediately after the front end locking. In reality it feels like at the same time. I hope it makes sense.

When braking hard on my motorcycle, I also pull both the front and rear brake at the same time, but a harder pull front, bike dives a bit, then I press the rearbrake more. If ativated simultaneously and hard , the rear would lock up and bring the bike into unstability. Now I get the rear to brake and stabilise the bike, then press harder and I also avoid an initial strong press on the rear brake to lock up the rear wheel, when the front dives.

Now it brakes and handles really well. I still miss a bit more initial bite, but it seems that the pads I use now, are extremely slow in bedding in, so still improving. Or I just don't drive enough ;)  What I do miss, is a regulator valve between front and rear, and still to test various pads against each other. I'll see if I can have that regulator valve legalised here in my waters. My brake mods will continue with suspension change, as I can have it cornerweighted.

Just to put this into perspective: the original brakes were outright dangerous to the point of extreme, even with no old school first gen abs. Various pads didn't help at all, renovating it all didn't help at all. The only thing that was satisfying, was the parking brake funcion. 5 hard stops and they were done. Braking from any speed over 50-60 km/h was like gambling with ones life. I don't like that at all. They should be forbidden to use. The only way forward is better discs, calipers, pads, venlitalion, hoses, mastercylinder etc. Hence my bigger brakes. Can only, I mean only, be highly recommended. It's like tires. Do you want to drive really fast in an otherwise great car, with say 30 year old tires? I thought not. Add suspension and bushes to that list as well. Anyway, that's my take on it. Others may differ to those points stated.

Hmmm, those AP Radical calipers surely does look the part. Less weight, stiffer, better modulation. I like em'.

Freek, PNM recently made another bracket so that not only can you run their Hispec 4-piston calipers rear, but their new bracket also have provision for installing the Brembo single piston sliding caliper rear, working only as parking brake. A bit heavier, bot look at the Sport300. Although it had different discs and calipers, that was the solution they did. And it works. Enough braking power, no fading and still having a street legal parking brake. On 16" front wheels and 17" rear wheels.

Having been on Knutstorp racetrack, I talked to two other Esprit drivers, on standard barkes, but with better fluid, pads and braided hoses, and they both said maximum 4-5 rounds on the track, then either pit or one or two cooling rounds on track. And they of course brake as late as possible, and as little as possible, to maintain the best speed. Dangerous standard stuff on a car like that. Yes, i know it's not made as a track toy, but it's still a very capable car, keeping up with most others on  Knutstorp.

One thing to look for in choosing better brakes for the road car, is piston seals, as some calipers does not have dust boots, to aid retraction of pistons. But they may seize quicker then used for street driving. Willwood springs to mind.

Thanks for the link. Interesting read.

Kind regards,

jacques


Nobody does it better - than Lotus ;)

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