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FAQ ..::| Simple Brake Upgrades |::..

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Old 07-31-2007, 07:43 PM   #1
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Default FAQ ..::| Simple Brake Upgrades |::..

Before i start, no i never went to college to get a master degree in english, so please excuse the misspelled words and incorrect usage. and no i don't know EVERYTHING there is to know about brakes, if i left something out or got something wrong, don't get mad, just tell me whats correct or should be in here and i will kindly change it.

big shout outs too: Reza for the pic of his car, http://www.JHPusa.com for more pix, and yahoo for letting me steal the rest of the pix =P

Now that i have that outa the way, i myself have been looking into improving my brake systems because (1) my brakes feel a little sluggish (2) i plan on going turbo and i wanna be able to stop my car lol. im really gonna talk about some upgrades (not really the technique, which can be more important than upgrades), all the way from a few bux to a few grand.

here's some of the really cheap upgrades or restoration.

bleeding system: this can help if you have a spongy brake pedal or if you have just changed the pads. i like a firm pedal w/o too much play, but if you have a firm pedal with NO play, check your brake booster/hose, something could be broken. a soft pedal reduces your reaction time, not by much, but every millisecond counts to me. a spongy pedal can be a few things:
--> air in the system- air doesn't hold its form like brake fluid does. it'd be easier to compress a square inch of air then it would be to compress a square inch of brake fluid.
--> water/contaminates in the system- water kind of breaks the brake fluid apart and makes it easier to compress (hence spongy/not firm pedal). if you live somewhere where it rains/snows a lot it would be a good idea to check your fluid every time you check your oil.
--> bad master calender seal- not much you can do here but replace or rebuild it. it leaks brake fluid (usually in or on the brake booster, not good). when your m/c goes bad you'll usually see on the brake booster directly under it, peeling paint or rust.

you usually wanna do a flush any way if your fluid is black for safety reasons because your brake fluid will absorb all the water it comes in contact to from leaving the top off to condensation. if you go to race events it is a good idea to flush and fill your system before and after each event. there are plenty of DIY's on the internet on how to bleed brakes, im not gonna get into that here. there's a couple different fluids you can use from regular to synthetic. how much you wanna spend is up to you. check YOUR owners manual to see which type of fluid is for your car

--> DOT 3
--> DOT 4
it is ok to use a high temp DOT4 instead of DOT3 but DOT4 can absorb moisture quicker than DOT3 so pick and chose which will benefit you in the long run.
--DOT 5.1 - this is a glycol-based fluid designed for ABS which aren't too happy with DOT3 or 4.

NEVER USE DOT5 INSTEAD OF DOT5.1 OR DOT3/4. it is silicone based and will eat at your brake system.

your brake fluid can get hot and will break down when it boils (turns from liquid to gas). the dry boiling point is the temperature when pure 100% brake fluid begins to boil. the standard dry boiling point is anywhere from 400F to about 510F, these listed are for higher performance and from about 590F to 620F
Castrol SRF - 590F
MotoulRBF600 - 593F
Brembo Racing Lcf 600 - 601F
Neo synthetic super DOT 610 - 610F
Cobalt Super XRF - 620F


wet boiling point is when it is fully saturated with all the water it can hold. the wet boiling point is probably the most important because it can never be 100% dry for daily driving. the standard are about 285F to 360F. these are in the higher range 390F to 518F
ATE TYP200 - 392F
Brembo Racing LCF 600 - 399F
Motul RBF600 - 420F
NEO Synthetic super dot610 - 421F
Castrol SRF - 518F

here's a pic of a few different kinds of fluid



Using sweat bands on resivors: like many things done to cars, these are usually for a bling factor. all they do is soak up excess brake fluid that may drip out the master cylinder.....thats it.

spoon resivior covers




front brake assembly: now before you start replacing pieces for high performance parts on your front brake setup, wouldn't you like to raise the potential first? by this i mean getting better oem parts, and starting from a higher platform. for example, a good upgrade for a DX civic would be an EX/Si/integra front knuckle assy. if for a reason you cant or dont want to, im not gonna force you too. but the best bang for the buck upgrades involve oem parts (unless you drive like an ITR =P )


Replacing/upgrading pads: one of the easiest component to upgrade on your brake system. they usually range from $20 autozone pads to $120 high performance pads. but there are some variables, some are catch 22 as in good performance while sacrificing daily drivability. here are some stuff you might wanna look up before upgrading your pads:
--> pad wear
--> rotor wear
--> effective heat range
--> noise
--> dust
--> price

those are pretty much self explanatory. there's a lot of pads on the market that can out perform oem ones while still being daily drivable. some names include: AEM, Hawk, Endless, Project Mu and etc.

project mu pads



Rotors: most of the time upgrading these are more for a bling factor as opposed to function. cross drilled and slotted rotors on stock systems should be avoided, no they don't dissipate heat faster, and the groves and notches act more like a cheese grader to your pads wearing them faster.

a good street upgrade for rotors would be resurfacing them or getting new oem ones, don't waste your money on blingy rotors unless you get a compete setup with bigger rotors and calipers(explained below)

read more here: https://honda-tech.com/zerothread?id=1437513

drilled and slotted rotors vvv



cooling your rotors is also a good way to improve the performance under hard braking situations. you can cut away the dust shield behind the rotor to help dissipate heat. but remember, the will expose suspension and steering components to heat and brake dust. you can also create a brake duct that will pull cooler air from the front of the car to the brake components. this can be fairly cheap for some dryer hose (about a few bux or free if you dont wanna dry your clothes) to a few hundred for custom ducts and hoses. if you do this PLEASE make sure it is not close enough to melt (brakes get hot) and tied down so that id doesn't bind in anything.

as you can see the ducts in this pic



here's a behind the scenes look and cooling ducts



Brake lines:now it would make no sense to go out and spend $1500 on some spoon calipers if you cant control or use them to their full potential. thats where stainless steel brake lines come into play. most of the line from the m/c to the caliper/drum is a professional bent hard line, then there is about a foot and a half of rubber hose. this rubber hose will expand, crack, balloon and maybe even burst (probably not tho) under hard brake usage. the stainless steel lines wont expand and keep you with a firm brake pedal. these range anywhere from $100-$400 depending on name and material. some good manes are earl's, mugen, spoon, and a few more i cant remember at this time.

Earl's stainless steel lines




calipers: these are usually upgraded to fit bigger rotors or to have more clamping force. there are a few things that determine a calipers performance:
--> the number of pistons and design of the caliper so it can exert an even steady pressure.
--> the size of the caliper and how much of the rotor it can use to clamp on to (the more, the better)
--> the manufacturing of the calipers:
> Billet calipers - considerably the best because of the solidness and strength, these are also the most expensive
> Forged calipers - shaped under high pressure from a mostly solid material
> cast calipers - made from a mold, these are usually the weakest

i would recommend staying with something OEM here cause the racing calipers have a tendency to absorb moisture into the brake fluid and you might have to flush the fluid every time you drive in the rain. not too much of a hassle for a race team, but can be annoying for a daily driver.

some Spoon 4-Pot Mono Block Caliper

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Old 07-31-2007, 07:43 PM   #2
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Brake drums: these usually come on older/lower model trucks, cars, and diesels. they aren't bad brake setups, just not the best for high intensity track racing. many people just say forget it and ditch them for a rear disk conversion, but some people don't have the resources/money to do that at the time. if you just wanna stick it out with the drums there is a way out. there is shoes (like pads but for drums) which as opposed to clamping in on something to create friction to slow down, it pushes out on the inside of the drum to slow itself. upgrading anything more than the shoes will not be profitable in brake performance. may as well upgrade to rear disks

rear discs: this could be an extremely good bang for the buck upgrade since most cars with rear drums (in the honda world anyway) have a superior counter part with rear discs. 4th gen civics can directly swap with 2nd gen integras and have rear discs. 5th and 6th gen civics can grab them from either a 3rd gen teg or 99-00 si model.

pros of rear discs:
--> preforms noticeably better than drums, stock vs. stock.
--> easy to find upgrade from faster/higher models
--> fairly inexpensive (about $100-200 depending on variables)
--> upgradeable- you can upgrade calipers, rotors, and pads fairly easy

cons of rear discs:
--> if the proportioning valve isn't right for the car and brakes, they may not stop as good as the drums.

Master Cylinder: these are another part that can be replaced by an oem part. since the brake pedal is more or less connected to the booster which is connected to m/c this can also help pedal feel and reaction. some replacements are:
--> a standard replacement from the same make and model if yours isn't performing as well as it could
--> a m/c from a higher trim or power model, when replacing a civic with an integra it is wise to grab the brake booster also seeing as its not a direct bolt up to the civic brake booster. but one that is a direct bolt up is from a 1991 civic which is 15/16 (proportioned like integras) that directly bolts to the civic brake booster.
--> an aftermarket m/c designed for your specific caliper and rotor setup.

there is also m/c braces which prevent it from moving when you mash on the brakes. the usually mounts in front of it and to the chassis. this can also help pedal firmness.

a cusco m/c brace for an EG/DC




Last but not least 2 things that can improve your acceleration, braking and handling at the same time! yes, all that at the same time. witchcraft you say? no it is....

weight reduction:removing excess weight from your car can help a lot that might cost a little. also re-arranging the weight to a lower part of the car can help too, ex: instead of the battery sitting high in the engine bay, you can relocate it to sit lower like where the spare tire was. there are many ways to reduce weight, be creative but SAFE!

Tires: the only part of your car that touches the ground (unless you got a m4d jdm towhook doll). the "stickier" or softer the tire, the better it can grip. which
will help slowing down and keep the brakes from locking up, because some times rolling wheels can slow a car down faster then locked up wheels (hence ABS). but be careful, softer tires wear faster than regular tires.

here's the highly popular FALKEN AZENIS RT-615

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Old 07-31-2007, 07:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: (MasterShake)

Nice!!!
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Old 07-31-2007, 07:52 PM   #4
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thanx

took me 6 hrs to do =/
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Old 07-31-2007, 07:55 PM   #5
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Do you have anymore info on the Master cylinder brace? I think this would be a great sticky and a good place to post reviews of different brake products.
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Old 07-31-2007, 07:59 PM   #6
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Old 07-31-2007, 07:59 PM   #7
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I mean like experiences.
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:00 PM   #8
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Default Re: (MasterShake)

Nice.

= Track Braking for dummies.
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: (ek forever guy)

Quote:
Originally Posted by excivicboy96
I mean like experiences.
the only person i ever knew with one upgraded his m/c, brake lines and that at the same time. so it was hard to tell if it worked or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ek forever guy
Nice.

= Track Braking for dummies.
haha yes sir!
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:14 PM   #10
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Nice post, i vote for sticky. Nice info for newbs
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:45 PM   #11
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Default Re: (95vxtealhatch)

Very good general info about brakes - I'm adding it to my FAQ section now.
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:47 PM   #12
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thank you
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Old 07-31-2007, 10:08 PM   #13
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Default Re: ..::| Simple Brake Upgrades |::.. (MasterShake)

Nice, very informative.
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Old 10-21-2008, 07:18 PM   #14
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Very nice write up.
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Old 10-21-2008, 09:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 95vxtealhatch
Nice post, i vote for sticky. Nice info for newbs
X2
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Old 12-30-2008, 06:58 AM   #16
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Default Re: ..::| Simple Brake Upgrades |::..

Great job man
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:22 PM   #17
 
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Icon6 Re: ..::| Simple Brake Upgrades |::..

great write up
quick question though, ive been playing with then idea of swapping some ef calipers and rotors onto the front of my eg lx....i recently discovered the older rotors are actually larger, but would still fit in my steel running shoes. is this a viable option, or not worth the trouble?
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Old 06-11-2009, 06:32 PM   #18
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Default Re: ..::| Simple Brake Upgrades |::..

old thread but has alot of very useful information, thanks op
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Old 11-13-2010, 06:28 PM   #19
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Default Re: ..::| Simple Brake Upgrades |::..

A lot of useful information in here.

I want to do some SS lines and performance pads on my hatch eventually.

What are my chances of getting my old lines off without anything breaking?
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Old 11-13-2010, 06:38 PM   #20
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Default Re: ..::| Simple Brake Upgrades |::..

it's a good thing I came across this when I did. I was thinking about buying some slotted rotors, but after reading this, blanks are looking better for my daily.

great write up! *subscribed*
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Old 11-13-2010, 06:41 PM   #21
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Default Re: ..::| Simple Brake Upgrades |::..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebelliuz View Post
it's a good thing I came across this when I did. I was thinking about buying some slotted rotors, but after reading this, blanks are looking better for my daily.
Same here.

I do love the look of slotted rotors though.
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Old 11-14-2010, 05:46 AM   #22
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Default Re: ..::| Simple Brake Upgrades |::..

What SS brake lines do you guys recommend?

Not looking to break bank.
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Old 11-14-2010, 07:55 AM   #23
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Default Re: ..::| Simple Brake Upgrades |::..

hello guys, what u can offer for honda civic coupe 1995m with 250hp ?
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:22 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MHCTI View Post
hello guys, what u can offer for honda civic coupe 1995m with 250hp ?
Offer in terms of what?
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:25 AM   #25
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about brakes ,here ewery one talking about that
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