When we look to improve the performance of our cars, we tend to jump to suspension upgrades and power increases. Often times overlooking the brakes even though we use them before every corner. On the track the faster we can slow down, the more time we can spend on the throttle. The ability to stop quickly and reliably is important on the track, but just as important if not more on the street. Today we made some simple brake upgrades to make our 86 stop faster, dissipate heat more efficiently, and prevent brake fade.
For brake pads we went with Project Mu. They have a pad for every application from a daily drivers all the way up to serious race cars. We chose to go with their Type NS400 pad because it offers a well balanced upgrade over the oem, while still keeping noise and dust to a minimum. However there were a few other choices we could have gone with.
Their B-Force pad would have been a great option if we planned to do a mix of both street and track driving. But if we choose to take this 86 to the track we switch to something more aggressive like Project Mu’s Club Racer or Racing 999 pad. The Club Racer is great for track days but we wouldn’t recommend it for street use. And if we need the ultimate stopping power, and fade resistance, we could move up to the Racing 999.
To keep our new brake pads cool, we wanted something that would dissipate heat quickly and efficiently, while also saving weight. That’s why we went with the DBA T2 slotted rotor. The slotting efficiently clears dust and debris, creating a better surface for the pad to grip to. That coupled with DBA’s Kangaroo Paw ventilation design that expels heat away from the rotor, will make this rotor more than qualified for the job.
Of course, if we need more from out rotors we could easily upgrade to DBA’s T3 two piece slotted rotor that can handle much more heat, cool down faster (which protects wheels bearing from excessive heat), and weight significantly less.
When preparing cars for a track day, the brake fluid is often overlooked, even though it is the only thing that links the brake pedal to the caliper. When brakes overheat, the fluid boils. Boiling fluid releases gases, which in a hydraulic system equates to air bubbles leaving the brake pedal feeling spongy and almost useless. To help prevent this, we went with Project Mu’s G-four 335 brake fluid that’s rated to withstand temperatures up to 635 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus it also has a really neat feature that changes colors from green to clear when it’s time to change fluid.
The last thing we needed to upgrade was the brake lines. The oem rubber lines are great for budget minded commuters, but not ideal for performance driving enthusiasts, like ourselves. So we went with the StopTech stainless steel braided brake lines to give us the firm and consistent pedal response we need when driving this car to the limits.