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Brakes Brakes And More Brakes


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Alright here is the low down. Withing the next 1 1/2 months my project Esprit should be running and driving again *LOUD CHEERING* with an estimated 400+ bhp. The problem is so far the brakes remain stock which of course with a brand new lotus suspension along with poly bush and 400+ bhp, stock brakes will not cut it. I am looking for a good upgrade that does not involve me spending any more then $1000 thus all the aftermarket packages are now out of the question. My thought was to buy a set of used Porsche boxster/911 brakes with rotors and fabricate mounts. Anyone have some experience with doing this? I have looked through a lot of old posts and have read about people trying to fit non standard brakes, but so far have not seen any finished. Comments/advice much appreciated!

-Graham

P.S. I am running V8 wheels

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Graham

IMHO you should bite the bullet and apgrade to the AP setup like it was used with the late V8s. With the AP setup for front and rear you will have more than adequate stopping power and additionally you wont have to fiddle around with DIY parts. The AP-upgrade is a straight forward job, all the parts like calipers, disks, mounting adapters, pads and brake lines come with the kit. Its a very powerful and "clean" upgrade that wil not disturb the looks and will keep your Esprit "original" :thumbup:

If you like, you may look here: http://freudhoefer.de/lotus/esprit/product...rembo/index.htm

Cheers

Marcus

Alright here is the low down. Withing the next 1 1/2 months my project Esprit should be running and driving again *LOUD CHEERING* with an estimated 400+ bhp. The problem is so far the brakes remain stock which of course with a brand new lotus suspension along with poly bush and 400+ bhp, stock brakes will not cut it. I am looking for a good upgrade that does not involve me spending any more then $1000 thus all the aftermarket packages are now out of the question. My thought was to buy a set of used Porsche boxster/911 brakes with rotors and fabricate mounts. Anyone have some experience with doing this? I have looked through a lot of old posts and have read about people trying to fit non standard brakes, but so far have not seen any finished. Comments/advice much appreciated!

-Graham

P.S. I am running V8 wheels

Marcus

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Marcus,

I appreciate the advice, but they are just way to much money. At this stage of the game I simply can't afford to spend that. Keep in mind that the US Dollar has deprecated big time recently making things way out of my price range. :thumbup:

-Graham

Graham

IMHO you should bite the bullet and apgrade to the AP setup like it was used with the late V8s. With the AP setup for front and rear you will have more than adequate stopping power and additionally you wont have to fiddle around with DIY parts. The AP-upgrade is a straight forward job, all the parts like calipers, disks, mounting adapters, pads and brake lines come with the kit. Its a very powerful and "clean" upgrade that wil not disturb the looks and will keep your Esprit "original" :welcome:

If you like, you may look here: http://freudhoefer.de/lotus/esprit/product...rembo/index.htm

Cheers

Marcus

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That is a good point, perhaps I will take a gander. :thumbup:

Graham, Welcome the club! I actually spent a good chunk of change upgrading to the Wilwood kit that Lotus pbc offers but have found it inadequate. I am currently in the process of fitting some Porsche 911 turbo(1991 vintage) "S" calipers which are ENORMOUS with a set of 13" rotors that are 1.25" thick. I am having the hats made right now and am awaiting the rebuild kits for the calipers before I have them painted(not sure which color yet). Anyway, I got the calipers from a friend for free, hats will cost me about $200 for the 2 of them. I am not sure what the brackets will cost but I'll document the procedure. I have seen many sets of large Brembo calipers for Evo's and Subaru's for about $500 US. But you'll need to find the appropriate sized rotors. If you want, you can upgrade the stock brake pads to EBC reds or Porterfield R4s's to hold you over for a while til I get my kit built and working so you can have a template to work from. Check ebay for Porsche dismantlers, there are a few. I went with the calipers I chose part by chance, and part by need. I wanted to go as big as possible as I was tired of poor brake performance and sloppy looks thru my wheels! Hope this will help some.

Artie

89 White Esprit SE

...a few little upgrades....

93 RX7.....Silverstone

....slightly modded...Muahaha...

New Addition:

1990 300ZX TT......Hmmm

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Graham, the least expensive upgrade with little hassle is to start out with the EBC Red pads. I'm in the same position, with stock brakes, and want to put some track time in, and the stock pads just won't cut it. And in not too happy about having to spend a couple thousand on the Wilwood set-up, especially if they aren't really that good.

As Artie said, you might want to try the pads for a while and see how they work. The're a high temp ceramic pad that is supposed to be great for the street and some track work. The Yellow stuff is more for the track as they need to heat up to be most effective. If you want to replace the whole brake system later, the pads only set you back about $85 and a little labor.

Best wishes,

Ed

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I allmost have the same set-up and power range

(Do you have the ram-air ?)

after driving 15 years in porsche's i also wanted to fit in some 964-993 brakes

but even with second hand calippers and discs it would have cost me more than the AP braking line

i have done the hispec upgrade on the front with hawk fastcircuit/race pads (PNM delivers this and it will cost you about $1000)

mind you PNM is a small company so depending of the colour of the set you want it can take a wile ((www.pnmengineering.com))

on the back side i overhauled the callipers and fit drilled and grooved discs with the EBC red race pads

this all with steelflex brake lines and synthetic dot 5 baking oil

on the circuit of Zolder (belgium// very demanding for brakes) and Zandvoort it turned out to be a good choice

hope this helps you

greets Rens

Edited by rens914

researche is something i do when i don't know what the hell i'm doing

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Another quick, cheap and easy help to the braking problem is to replace the standard DOT 4 (I believe that is the recomended weight), with a high temp racing brake fluid.

I was experienceing brake fade badly at a recent track event. Replaced the fluid with a race grade brake fluid and the difference was extreem for the better.

Also, as good as the red EBC pads are, they may be a bit much in terms of rotor wear, or was that the greens?. EBC now has a pad they call "yellow stuff" which is a happy medium between the reds and greens, and are supposed to work better than the other two for a wider range of conditions.

Both cheap fixes in comparrison to a complete brake upgrade. If you are serious about tracking the car then you will need to bite the bullet and spend some cash.

Lastly, have your rotors turned to ensure a good surface for your new pads and fluid. you'll be surprised at what a difference the combo will make.

good luck.

Al B.

Graham, the least expensive upgrade with little hassle is to start out with the EBC Red pads. I'm in the same position, with stock brakes, and want to put some track time in, and the stock pads just won't cut it. And in not too happy about having to spend a couple thousand on the Wilwood set-up, especially if they aren't really that good.

As Artie said, you might want to try the pads for a while and see how they work. The're a high temp ceramic pad that is supposed to be great for the street and some track work. The Yellow stuff is more for the track as they need to heat up to be most effective. If you want to replace the whole brake system later, the pads only set you back about $85 and a little labor.

Best wishes,

Ed

Ed,

I saw your write up after I typed fast and furious on mine. I thought the yellows were in-between the red and green in terms of application. They are advertised as quicker heat up times and for the cars that see street and track. Was I looking at a different add?

Edited by abrussich
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After reading all of the good advice, I think I am going to change out my fluid for some nice racing fluid (the stuff in the car is dark brown from the PO!) and put on some EBC pads. Since this car will almost be exclusively street driven I guess its a question of which EBC pad is going to give me the absolute best street performance. Until I can get the cash together to get this party started, I am going to have to wait and be continuously reminded that I need a brake upgrade every time I look at my 17" & 18" OZ Nova wheels. :thumbup:

I think it goes green ( street use) red (sport street use) and yellow (track use).

J

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FYI- I also went with SS Brake lines and drilled/ slotted rotors from http://www.rotorwork.us/servlet/StoreFront

We have the same front rotors as the 84 celica( I think thats the car, it has been some time since I bought mine) , so they are pretty cheap, but overall its a minor upgrade that will not break the wallet ...

Jason

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After reading all of the good advice, I think I am going to change out my fluid for some nice racing fluid (the stuff in the car is dark brown from the PO!) and put on some EBC pads. Since this car will almost be exclusively street driven I guess its a question of which EBC pad is going to give me the absolute best street performance. Until I can get the cash together to get this party started, I am going to have to wait and be continuously reminded that I need a brake upgrade every time I look at my 17" & 18" OZ Nova wheels. :unworthy:

Graham,

If you are interested I have a barely used set of EBC red pads, I think I paid about$75 for them and used them for about 3 months(maybe 200 miles in all). I'd let em go for $25 plus shipping. Also, new fluid will help a little, but the stock brakes are PATHETIC for such a stellar platform but really you won't see any real performance help from higher temp fluid if you aren't getting it HOT! You may get some water out of the system and cleaner fluid will give you better hydraulics but in reality, this isn't addressing the lack of braking power. Our stock discs are only 10.2" in diameter, this is TINY, even upgrading to the 11.2" ones I have this only marginally increased my braking torque at speed. Bigger diameter rotor equals better braking torque and thus better braking performance. Remember too that a stickier tire will improve braking distance too!

Artie

I allmost have the same set-up and power range

(Do you have the ram-air ?)

after driving 15 years in porsche's i also wanted to fit in some 964-993 brakes

but even with second hand calippers and discs it would have cost me more than the AP braking line

i have done the hispec upgrade on the front with hawk fastcircuit/race pads (PNM delivers this and it will cost you about $1000)

mind you PNM is a small company so depending of the colour of the set you want it can take a wile ((www.pnmengineering.com))

on the back side i overhauled the callipers and fit drilled and grooved discs with the EBC red race pads

this all with steelflex brake lines and synthetic dot 5 baking oil

on the circuit of Zolder (belgium// very demanding for brakes) and Zandvoort it turned out to be a good choice

hope this helps you

greets Rens

Rens, unfortunately for us here in the US a decent PNM upgrade kit will still run about $1800 to 2000 US dollars. The exchange rate sucks for the Dollar to the Pound first off, next we pay heavy shipping fees since the kit will take up several boxes and is very heavy. Finally, we pay pretty stiff import fees from customs. Better off spending $800 more bucks and get the WC engineering AP large brake kit.

Artie

89 White Esprit SE

...a few little upgrades....

93 RX7.....Silverstone

....slightly modded...Muahaha...

New Addition:

1990 300ZX TT......Hmmm

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OK OK Artie

so this time im in luck

but you guys have california girls and big burgers

i have to settle with Amsterdam and Paris and fine restaurants

:unworthy:

greets Rens

Edited by rens914

researche is something i do when i don't know what the hell i'm doing

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Art,

There is a huge Porsche swap meet this weekend in Hershey PA (2 hours from me) and I am going to go there and hopefully pick up a set of Boxster S calipers and rotors :unworthy:

-G

Don't buy the rotors, they won't do you any good. Just get the calipers and buy some rotors from Coleman racing products, you'll need to have some hats made to mate up the rotors to the hubs.

Artie

89 White Esprit SE

...a few little upgrades....

93 RX7.....Silverstone

....slightly modded...Muahaha...

New Addition:

1990 300ZX TT......Hmmm

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Hi Artie,

I also bought the Wilwood kit from Lotus PBC and I am very satisfied with the performance.

I'm really at a loss as to why you don't like them. Did you upgrade the rears as well or did

you just do the fronts? When I spoke to Claudius he recommended the 6 pot front/4 pot rear

setup which is what I bought. The difference between this and the stock brakes is enormous.

I have had the car on the track a half dozen times without any overheating or brake fade that

i would experience with the stock brakes. I've even let Lew Gaskell drive my car many times

and he even remarked that they are a major improvement. He did not experience any brake

fade or overheating. I do agree with you that the Wilwoods are a bit pricey, but at the time the

only available kit were the AP racing brakes from WC engineering. As great as they are I just

could not justify spending that much on brakes, hence the Wilwoods.

Good luck, I hope you find what you need.

Carl

Calypso Red 89SE

Graham, Welcome the club! I actually spent a good chunk of change upgrading to the Wilwood kit that Lotus pbc offers but have found it inadequate. I am currently in the process of fitting some Porsche 911 turbo(1991 vintage) "S" calipers which are ENORMOUS with a set of 13" rotors that are 1.25" thick. I am having the hats made right now and am awaiting the rebuild kits for the calipers before I have them painted(not sure which color yet). Anyway, I got the calipers from a friend for free, hats will cost me about $200 for the 2 of them. I am not sure what the brackets will cost but I'll document the procedure. I have seen many sets of large Brembo calipers for Evo's and Subaru's for about $500 US. But you'll need to find the appropriate sized rotors. If you want, you can upgrade the stock brake pads to EBC reds or Porterfield R4s's to hold you over for a while til I get my kit built and working so you can have a template to work from. Check ebay for Porsche dismantlers, there are a few. I went with the calipers I chose part by chance, and part by need. I wanted to go as big as possible as I was tired of poor brake performance and sloppy looks thru my wheels! Hope this will help some.

Artie

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I am curious, why are the rotors no good? Clearance issues? When you buy a set of calipers what dictates the size rotor? I would imagine that each caliper needs a rotor of a certain thickness to function properly. Admittedly I have not spent nearly as much time analyzing this as I am sure you have so any advice is appreciated! :band:

-G

Don't buy the rotors, they won't do you any good. Just get the calipers and buy some rotors from Coleman racing products, you'll need to have some hats made to mate up the rotors to the hubs.

Artie

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I am curious, why are the rotors no good? Clearance issues? When you buy a set of calipers what dictates the size rotor? I would imagine that each caliper needs a rotor of a certain thickness to function properly. Admittedly I have not spent nearly as much time analyzing this as I am sure you have so any advice is appreciated! :band:

-G

Porsche uses 1 piece rotors. the hat is cast iron ans is part of the rotor. The hat's spacing (offset) and it's bolt pattern will not match or work with the Esprit.

You need two piece rotor hat assemblies. The hats you can have made custom to work with the Esprit, and they are made out of aluminum. Also, you could utilize floating rotors to minimize distortion, but it doesn't matter for a street car, and the non-floating rotors will be less noisey.

Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

 

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Hi Artie,

I also bought the Wilwood kit from Lotus PBC and I am very satisfied with the performance.

I'm really at a loss as to why you don't like them. Did you upgrade the rears as well or did

you just do the fronts? When I spoke to Claudius he recommended the 6 pot front/4 pot rear

setup which is what I bought. The difference between this and the stock brakes is enormous.

I have had the car on the track a half dozen times without any overheating or brake fade that

i would experience with the stock brakes. I've even let Lew Gaskell drive my car many times

and he even remarked that they are a major improvement. He did not experience any brake

fade or overheating. I do agree with you that the Wilwoods are a bit pricey, but at the time the

only available kit were the AP racing brakes from WC engineering. As great as they are I just

could not justify spending that much on brakes, hence the Wilwoods.

Good luck, I hope you find what you need.

Carl

Calypso Red 89SE

Carl,

I bet the first problem is I got the old 4 pot front kit with the dynalite calipers and 11.2" rotors. I believe the newer kit with 6pot fronts is better designed and will add significant braking performance improvement. I got the kit from Harry at Viking Motorsports so my assumption and shame on me for not doing more research, is that he had these as old stock and sold them to me for what I thought was a good deal. In my opinion the Dynalite 4 pot caliper is too flexible and doesn't provide adequate torque. Soon to be remedied though with my Brembo's. I have someone making me a flat aluminum hat for the 12.75" rotors I have to go with the calipers I have(Porsche 911 turbo calipers). I am confident these will solve my braking issues. I don't intend on tracking the car seriously as my RX7 is for this, I just want some brakes that work very well and look awesome behind the wheels.

Artie

89 White Esprit SE

...a few little upgrades....

93 RX7.....Silverstone

....slightly modded...Muahaha...

New Addition:

1990 300ZX TT......Hmmm

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Hey Travis, what rotors do you recommend? I recently purchased some Porsche 911 brembo brakes and need as big a rotor as I can fit in the front 17" OZ nova wheels. Since this will be almost entirely a street car I am not to worried about getting some super fancy rotor, I just need a large vented one to get the job done :thumbsup:

-Graham

Porsche uses 1 piece rotors. the hat is cast iron ans is part of the rotor. The hat's spacing (offset) and it's bolt pattern will not match or work with the Esprit.

You need two piece rotor hat assemblies. The hats you can have made custom to work with the Esprit, and they are made out of aluminum. Also, you could utilize floating rotors to minimize distortion, but it doesn't matter for a street car, and the non-floating rotors will be less noisey.

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Hey Travis, what rotors do you recommend? I recently purchased some Porsche 911 brembo brakes and need as big a rotor as I can fit in the front 17" OZ nova wheels. Since this will be almost entirely a street car I am not to worried about getting some super fancy rotor, I just need a large vented one to get the job done :thumbsup:

-Graham

Graham,

you'll need to know how thick the rotor needs to be first. I'm assuming 1.25" since this is pretty standard for the 911 Brembo's (just like the one's I have). This will dictate how big a diameter rotor you'll need. You should be able to fit up to 13.5" rotors inside the OZ 17" wheels iirc. Bracketry is going to be the tricky part here!

artie

89 White Esprit SE

...a few little upgrades....

93 RX7.....Silverstone

....slightly modded...Muahaha...

New Addition:

1990 300ZX TT......Hmmm

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328~330mm seems to be about the max to fit under stock 17's. I've had the Lotuspbc front 4pot dynalite setup for a few years, and hate it. The rotors are only .81" thick, and hot spotted on the first track day. I think even the 6pot setup they have now still use the thin rotor. Claudius was very reluctant to investigate using a thicker rotor for some reason. Anyway, I'm in the process moving the 11.2x.81 rotor and dynalites to the rear, and have purchased Wilwood ITG4R's for the front on Performance Friction, slotted 328x35mm rotors. This should remove about 12lbs at each rear corner, and offer a four corner vented setup. Hats are bespoke Essex units. Caliper mounts are bespoke from the local machine shop. The Itg4r's are basically a 4pot caliper in a 6pot housing. This way, I'm not overwhelming the factory master cylinder. Lines are all from Earl's. ATE blue fluid.

I found the Lotuspbc kit to be a great improvement over stock on the street, but they just won't handle the abuse of constant heat cycles at the track. I fear that the 6pot kit from them is going to show the same short-comings.

Anyway, a couple of pics of the new front bits....

post-246-1178210557.jpeg

post-246-1178210577.jpeg

"Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence." - George Washington

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I'm getting closer to having the new brakes in place and running smoothly.

I just need to sort out a few things (like bolts arriving , then making sure run-out is within suitable limits)

So I've managed to fit one disc to check everything goes together.

The pics are in a suitably named album on

www.a-clements.co.uk

Andy

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Hey Travis, what rotors do you recommend? I recently purchased some Porsche 911 brembo brakes and need as big a rotor as I can fit in the front 17" OZ nova wheels. Since this will be almost entirely a street car I am not to worried about getting some super fancy rotor, I just need a large vented one to get the job done :thumbsup:

-Graham

Well, first you have to decide what kind of rotor you want to use.

First thing is, do you want a floating rotor, can you find a floating rotor that fits with your caliper?

Floating rotors utilize little oval holes and are pinned to the hat with sliding bobbins. This allows the rotor to grow radially and does not distort the rotor as it gets hot, cause the hat doesn't get as hot.

Floating rotors are noisy for the street though, but you can get springs that keep the noise down a bit.

However the bolts for a floating rotor system (inserts, washers, bolts) will run about $300.

Each caliper has a range of thickness and diameter rotors that they will work with.

Next you have slotted or drilled. Drilled is BS, especially on the track... It's ok on the street, and it does help initial bite. Which is a problem with some aggressive pads, they don't work until heated to the proper range, so the slots or holes help you stop when you need to on the street.

On the track, the holes will increase stresses, and can lead to cracking.

The slots are really good for initial bite, and constant cleaning of the pads. THey are more noisey, and chew up pads fast.

Claudius' reason for the thin rotors was that he was afraid the rotors wouldn't heat up enough if they were large, but I think what he chose was waaay too thin. Probably fine for the street, not for the track.

You can usually find some good used rotors on Ebay. look for Nascar +rotor...

and look for a size similar to what the porsche runs...

Personally i went floating, with superfreakinghuge rotors, full race calipers... Of course I have yet to try it...

Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

 

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