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General Braking Question

This is a discussion on General Braking Question within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; When I pile on the brakes (factory) in my 02 WS6 the ABS comes right on and I shutter to ...

  1. #1
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    General Braking Question

    When I pile on the brakes (factory) in my 02 WS6 the ABS comes right on and I shutter to an eventual stop. It's relatively quick, but not amazing, and I've been thinking of upgrading.

    But what I wonder is: How will the car stop any faster? > If the ABS is pulsing then supposedly I am at the limit of traction..correct?

    So if I throw on some nice rotors, new pads, and corvette front calipers am I really gaining much if anything in terms of reduced stopping distance? If so, is it just comming from a small fraction of a second increase in pedal response or initial "lock up"

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    Possibly in this case (and in alot of cases), to stop quicker you need better tires, not better brakes.

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    Electrical Engineer KMdef9's Avatar
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    With Corvette calipers, means you'll need Corvette rotors. They are bigger than stock (both pad and rotor), so the pads grab a bigger piece of metal to slow you down quicker than stock.

    As cutlass said, the tires also impact how well you stop too. If you a good set of street tires, with the 275's on the front, you should be stopping pretty good.

    If you have crap tires, you'll stop like crap no matter what braking system you have.

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    Better brakes would give you better stopping power. Its hard to describe but ill give it a shot. When you step on the brakes the pads use friction to stop the car, the main by product of friction is heat. At a certain temperature and pressure the pads actually begin to try to "bond" to the rotor surface. When you change the material, rotor diameter, material design, and so on you change when this action happens. Its at this temp/pressure that the brakes will lock up and the abs kicks in. Tires do play a role as well as suspension but brakes if done correctly will have a fair affect on this action. I hope this helps.
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    I was afraid tires might come up as a response, I've had a few different high performance sets always 275 front 315 rear. But I've never stopped as fast as most of the cars I race against (autoX) granted they are lighter.

    I thought I would pose this question though as you hear everywhere about people upgrading thier F-body brakes, and about better pads/rotors that are supposed to bring you to a stop faster.......I just couldn't get my head around how they would make much difference with the ABS already indicating a lack of traction.

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    Bigger, better brakes might make it easier to stop fast but you're always limited by the tires. If you can lock the brakes up now, then bigger, better brakes aren't gonna stop any faster.

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    Member Skippy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cutlass View Post
    Bigger, better brakes might make it easier to stop fast but you're always limited by the tires. If you can lock the brakes up now, then bigger, better brakes aren't gonna stop any faster.
    Not trying to cause a problem but I have to disagree. I deal with this in motocross racing. Had a problem with stopping and the front brake locking up. Switched to an oversized rotor and diff type of pad and voila, no more locked up front tire and super fast stopping. Kept the same tire and all, same track conditions, same suspension setup, and so on. Only thing I changed was the front brakes.

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    Its cool, no problems here with a little debate. Sounds like in your case, the brakes were too grippy, causing the lock-up issue. And a different brake setup gave you more consistent brake modulation and thus better braking. Am I reading that correctly?

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    Yeah thats correct. I was gathering that he was still on the stock brakes on his car which arent the best thing out there. Thats what I was trying to describe in my earlier post.

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    I think both of you guys are right......I think the tires will ultimately be a weak link but at the same time bigger brakes is never a bad idea if you're wanting to stop. Look at it this way. Lets say you're doing 60 and get on the binders and the tires start to break loose at 15mph. From 15 mph and down better tires will help you out but how fast did you go from 60 to that 15mph? That's where bigger better brakes come in.....they will get you to that thresh hold faster.

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    C5 corvette calipers. Is it a good upgrade for ls1 f body?
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    I was reading a thread over on LS1 tech where a guy (who claimed to have "done all his research and had things figured out") was chewing out the rest of the brake upgrading posts for not fully understanding what they were doing.
    I can't locate the post again but I believe it said something to the effect that F-body calipers have two 44mm pistons and corvette calipers only have two 40mm pistons. He was arguing that while the f-body caliper doesn't hold the superior corvette pad, it does at least clamp down harder with the smaller f-body pad.....his conclusion being that if you switch to the larger corvette rotor and stay with the f-body caliper you will have better braking.
    (though I wonder if he was only talking about street driving, from what I gather it would seem that when racing the bigger pad area would help more with heating issues)


    Regardless I think I will at least try upgrading my brakes to quality aftermarket corvette rotors when I do the rest of the suspension...I'm just not sure, what to do in terms of caliper or pad size. I need to stay balanced for autox and road course so I don't want to throw massive brakes on the front and do nothing to the rear (which seems to be the ONLY set up I've ever head about)

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intrepidman View Post
    I was reading a thread over on LS1 tech where a guy (who claimed to have "done all his research and had things figured out") was chewing out the rest of the brake upgrading posts for not fully understanding what they were doing.
    I can't locate the post again but I believe it said something to the effect that F-body calipers have two 44mm pistons and corvette calipers only have two 40mm pistons. He was arguing that while the f-body caliper doesn't hold the superior corvette pad, it does at least clamp down harder with the smaller f-body pad.....his conclusion being that if you switch to the larger corvette rotor and stay with the f-body caliper you will have better braking.
    (though I wonder if he was only talking about street driving, from what I gather it would seem that when racing the bigger pad area would help more with heating issues)


    Regardless I think I will at least try upgrading my brakes to quality aftermarket corvette rotors when I do the rest of the suspension...I'm just not sure, what to do in terms of caliper or pad size. I need to stay balanced for autox and road course so I don't want to throw massive brakes on the front and do nothing to the rear (which seems to be the ONLY set up I've ever head about)
    you could probably nit pick it to death really. The vette rotors are bigger and weigh more so then you get into the extra weight you're carrying around. At the end of the day just pick a direction and stick with it. The more braking surface you have the better off you'll be.

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    c5 corvette calipers are the same size as f body calipers..the c5 calipers are cast differently which helps prevent spliting (only a issue is hpe,autox or any other sport where you are heavy on the brakes for extended periods of time). the only improvement with the c5 is in the rotor size, the type of pad you can use....not to mention the rears on our car tend to be a little stronger than need be in our f-bodies..so to upgrade the rears will cause some serious stability issues. i think the biggest thing needed for our cars to improve braking performance for most people is 1. good fluid and 2. SS brake lines to improve the feel and prevent line bulge.

    the only kit i would ever use for our car is the stoptech kits. i trust them
    Last edited by shady milkman; 09-21-2010 at 08:44 AM.

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