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Home > Performance > Brembo Brake Kits > Installation Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to install a Brembo system?

Most 2-wheel applications take only 2-3 hours to complete. A few 4WD applications require changing the knuckles (which are included with the kit).

Will it work with my standard master cylinder, ABS, or traction control?

Brembo brake systems are designed to work with your standard master cylinder, and do not hamper the function of your ABS or traction control systems.

Should big brakes be installed on the front wheels or all four?

During braking, the front of the vehicle does the majority of the work. Exactly how much is influenced by the vehicle's weight distribution, wheelbase, and center of gravity height. Brembo engineers all of its systems to ensure that the brake balance of the vehicle is not compromised. If not designed properly, adding a big brake system to the rear of the vehicle can result in an unstable condition, and actually degrades braking performance. Brembo offers rear brake systems for a select number of high performance applications.

What should be put on the rear?

Direct OE replacement drilled or slotted discs are available for the rear. They work with your standard calipers and give you increased stopping power, cooler operating temperatures, and reduced brake fade. It's an engineered balance for the larger, more powerful front braking system.

What is the difference between the different systems Brembo offers?

Brembo offers different levels for different applications, and for different budgets. There are currently three performance levels within the Brembo program. The first level is the Sport system. These kits include cross-drilled or slotted discs and high performance brake pads, and are direct replacements for the OEM components. The second level, the Gran Turismo system, upgrades the entire corner brake assembly. These kits combine fixed mount, four-piston aluminum calipers equipped with high performance brake pads, one or two piece directionally vented discs, and steel-braided brake lines. For those seeking a system for exclusive or nearly exclusive track use, the Track systems offer upgrades consisting of true racing components.

Where can I find test data on stopping distances?

At the speeds that stopping distance is generally measured from (60 to 70mph), the test is primarily testing the tire's grip on the pavement. As delivered from the manufacturer, nearly all vehicles are able to engage the ABS or lock the wheels at these speeds. Therefore, an increase in braking power will do nothing to stop the vehicle in a shorter distance. For this reason, we do not record stopping distances at this time. The Brembo systems will show their greatest advantages when braking from higher speeds, or when tasked with repeated heavy braking. The increased braking torque provides for maximum deceleration at speed, and the ability to absorb and quickly dissipate the intense heat generated during repeated braking insures that the braking system will perform at the same high level each time.

Will I experience brake noise with Brembo brakes?

Brembo makes every effort to test for and eliminate abnormal brake noise from the systems we offer. There are many factors that can contribute to abnormal brake noises, and while it is unlikely that a Brembo system will create noise, the engineering and customer service departments are available to answer questions and work to solve any noise issues which may arise.

What are the benefits and features of the Gran Turismo Brake System?

Features:

  • Dual use-street and track events
  • Race-based components
  • One or two-piece drilled and/or slotted discs
  • Billet aluminum hats
  • "Floating" disc mounting system
  • Four-piston cast aluminum calipers
  • High Performance friction material

Benefits:

  • Can be used on the street at drivers' schools and at club events.
  • Proven on-track performance at the highest levels of racing.
  • Disperses gasses, cleans pads for better "bite."
  • Reduces "unsprung weight" for better handling.
  • Provides maximum braking force without the flex of sliding calipers.
  • Reduces heat-related stress, increases brake performance and pedal feel.
  • Aggressive pads that last longer and provide the highest level of performance.

 

What are the benefits and features of the Sport Brake System?

Features:

  • Fully compatible with stock brake calipers, wheels and tires.
  • Cross-drilled or slotted rotors
  • Attractive, anti-corrosive finish
  • Brake pads with optimized frictional coefficients
  • Provides a complimentary appearance on all four corners of the vehicle

 

Benefits:

  • Easily fitted onto customer's vehicle
  • Disperses gasses, cleans pads for better "bite"
  • Bold, aggressive appearance
  • Optimizes performance of the system
  • Provides a finished look when used with Gran Turismo systems

 

How does reducing weight of the braking system benefit the vehicle?

The mass of any vehicle requires energy to accelerate or decelerate. Reducing the vehicle mass improves acceleration, and requires less energy to be dissipated during deceleration. Rotating mass requires additional energy in order to increase or decrease its speed of rotation. Therefore, decreasing the mass of the caliper is valuable due to its contribution to total vehicle mass, and decreasing the mass of the disc has an even greater benefit due to the fact that it must rotate as well. Additionally, the mass of the brake system is also unsprung mass. Reducing the unsprung mass has the additional benefit of improved suspension performance, resulting in enhanced ride and handling.

What are the benefits of opposed-piston fixed calipers?

A fixed caliper is secured rigidly to the axle assembly and has at least two opposing pistons that force the pads against the disc. A sliding or floating caliper has pistons on only one side of the disc. Therefore, when the caliper acts, it must slide or float in order to bring the pad on the opposite side in contact with the disc. Nearly all original equipment calipers are of the floating type. In a system with fixed calipers, not only is the mounting much more rigid, but the stiffness of the caliper itself is greatly increased. This manifests itself in enhanced braking performance, pedal feel, and pad wear.

Are Brembo calipers directional?

Brembo's calipers are directional, due to the use of differential piston sizes. The leading pistons are smaller in diameter in order to combat uneven wear of the brake pads. Upon close examination of the caliper, you will find a small arrow cast in place which denotes the direction of disc rotation. Additionally, when mounted on the vehicle, the bleed screw(s) must be at the top of the caliper.

The caliper nuts supplied in my kit aren't round and won't easily thread onto the studs.

The caliper nuts that are supplied with the kits are aerospace grade self-locking nuts. They have an oval crossection that prevents them from being threaded onto the studs by hand. They will need to be installed with a wrench, and torqued to the specification called out in the installation manual.

Are calipers available in alternate colors?

Brembo now offers its high performance brake systems with your choice of red, silver, or black calipers.

What is brake torque?

Brake torque is essentially the power of the braking system. The brake caliper acts on the disc at a certain distance from the hub center, known as the effective radius. The force exerted by the caliper, multiplied by the effective radius of the system equals the brake torque. Increasing either the force applied by the caliper, or the effective radius results in increased brake torque.

Why use larger discs?

Braking generates heat, and the more heat the disc can absorb and dissipate, the greater the fade resistance of the system. Additionally, the use of a larger disc generally results in a larger effective radius, which increases brake torque.

Is the biggest brake disc the best answer for my vehicle?

Not necessarily. There are many factors to take into account when choosing a performance brake system. First and foremost, a brake system must be designed based on the vehicle parameters, and the type of use it will experience. Brake systems are designed to operate best within a prescribed temperature range. While modern high performance friction materials broaden this temperature range from relatively cold pad temperatures to the high temperatures experienced in performance driving situations, the use of a disc that is too large will limit disc temperatures to the extreme lower end of this range. Not only will the disc temperature not reach the optimum range, but it will also be heavier than necessary. Below you will find an explanation of how reducing the weight of the braking system further enhances performance.

Why use a two-piece "floating" disc assembly?

There are several reasons that a two-piece floating disc assembly is of benefit. First, by using an aluminum bell for the hub section of the disc saves a great deal of weight. Since this is both rotating and unsprung, it benefits the acceleration, braking, and handling of the vehicle. Secondly, it is better able to handle the large temperature changes that a brake disc experiences. During severe use, temperature variances become present in a one-piece disc and generally cause warping of the disc. This not only results in vibration of the vehicle, and pulsing of the brake pedal, but also pushes the pistons farther away from the disc. In a two-piece floating disc assembly, the iron disc heats up more uniformly, and the controlled float which is present allows for the differential expansion of the very hot brake disc, and the relatively cool aluminum bell. This allows the disc to be used under severe conditions without having a detrimental effect.

Why use drilled or slotted discs?

Drilling or slotting discs aids the disc in several ways:

  • The edges of the slots or holes continuously clean and refresh the pad surface as well as providing increased brake "bite". Additionally, they prevent gasses from collecting between the pad and disc interface.
  • The disc is lightened, thereby decreasing its rotational inertia.
  • Improved ventilation increases the disc's ability to shed heat, resulting in cooler operating temperatures.

 

What are the advantages of drilled and slotted discs?

The main advantages of drilled and slotted discs are the same: increased brake "bite", and a continuous refreshing of the brake pad surface. Drilled discs have the additional advantage of being lighter and running cooler. However, there are certain pad materials that should not be used with a drilled disc.

Why are there so many holes in a cross-drilled disc?

The number of holes in a cross-drilled disc is part of the engineered system. Brembo has done extensive testing with regards to the number of holes, their size, their location and their chamfering. This attention to detail is what truly sets Brembo apart in the world of braking. The same attention to detail that is delivered to the Ferrari Formula One effort is a component of the high performance program. The number of holes in a disc is in part a function of the size of the disc and the internal venting (if it is a vented disc).

Are discs with cast-in-place holes better than cross-drilled discs?

Brembo has extensively studied and tested cross-drilling versus casting the holes in place and found no significant effect on performance or durability.

Should new discs and pads be bedded in and if so, how?

The answer is yes, for optimum performance, any time different friction materials or discs are introduced, a bedding procedure should be carried out.

  • While the vehicle is stationary, pump brakes to ensure a firm pedal.
  • Drive the vehicle cautiously to test fit and function.
  • The brakes should be smooth, with no vibrations, judder, etc.
  • Drive the vehicle to a remote area and perform at least 30 brake applications of 3-second duration. Use light/medium deceleration with varying starting speeds. Leave at least mile between each brake application.
  • The purpose of this procedure is to gradually increase the temperature in the components without inducing thermal shock, and to mate the brake pad and disc friction surfaces.
  • After the repeated stops, drive the vehicle for several miles with little or no braking in order to adequately cool the components.
  • After the above process is completed, the system is ready for normal use.
  • When the system achieves elevated brake temperatures for the first time, a slight increase in pedal travel and pedal effort may occur. After this first "fade" and proper cooling, the system will maintain its optimum performance at all temperatures.

Some of the bushings in the two-piece disc assembly seem to be loose.

The two-piece disc assemblies utilize a floating disc. The mounting system of the disc is designed to allow a specific amount of float in both the radial and axial directions. The merits of this system have been discussed earlier. Brembo has engineered special springs that are used on every other fastener in order to slightly preload the assembly. This has been done to prevent excessive noise from the system during street use, while still maintaining the benefits of a floating disc. These springs can be seen when looking at the backside of the disc. The small screws on the backside of the disc are properly torqued during assembly and utilize thread lock compound to prevent loosening. They must not be tightened further.

Does Brembo manufacture OEM cross drilled discs?

For some OEM applications, Brembo designs and manufactures cross drilled brake discs to be fitted as original equipment by a vehicle manufacturer. In these instances, the vehicle in question is usually of very high performance and needs the additional performance that these discs offer. The Sport discs that Brembo offers are direct replacements for the discs fitted as original equipment. These discs are available in both drilled and slotted configurations, and are engineered and manufactured to the same high standards as those fitted as original equipment.

Does Brembo offer drum to disc conversions?

No. Brembo does not currently, and is not planning on producing drum to disc conversions. Those vehicles originally fitted with drum brakes are generally not of a high performance nature. Brembo has chosen to target only performance oriented vehicles for our systems.

How long do Brembo discs last?

The useable life of a brake disc is influenced by a number of factors including vehicle weight, driving style, vehicle usage, brake pad material, and many others. Therefore a blanket disc lifetime cannot be given. However, when used in the same conditions, a Brembo disc should meet or exceed the life of the disc it replaces. It is important, however, to periodically check the disc thickness, and replace the disc if it falls below the minimum allowed thickness.

Which direction should the discs rotate?

It is a popular misconception that the slots or drillings in a disc determine the direction of rotation. In truth, for an internally vented disc, the geometry of the vanes dictates the direction of rotation. There are three vane types in use:

  • Straight
  • Pillar vane (comprised of many small posts)
  • Curved vane

The first two vane types are non-directional, and can be used on either side of the vehicle. The curved vane disc, however, is directional. A curved vane disc must be installed with the vanes running back from the inside to outside diameters in the direction of rotation. Please see figure. Orienting the disc in the manner creates a centrifugal pump. The rotation of the disc causes air to be pumped from the center of the disc, through the vanes, and out through the outside diameter of the disc. This greatly enhances the disc's ability to dissipate heat.

Additionally, all of Brembo's slotted discs are directional as well, regardless of the vane geometry. The discs should be installed such that the end of the slot nearest the outer edge of the disc contacts the pad first. Please see figure.

Does Brembo participate in sponsorships?

Brembo currently does not participate in sponsorship programs, however we have a wide range of applications fitting many types of import and domestic vehicles. For a full application list, click here.

Is Brembo's complete product list featured on the Web site?

Yes, Brembo's Web site is updated daily with all its latest product information. If a brake system for your vehicle does not appear in our catalog, please visit our "Recommend a Brake System" page.

Who can I contact of additional engineering questions?

Simply e-mail your questions to engineers@brembo.com
Please provide the make, model and year of your vehicle.

What brake pad materials are available?

The pads that are provided with Brembo brake systems are high performance pads that offer a very broad temperature and performance range. The pads are effective at cold temperatures as well as the higher temperatures seen during performance driving. These pads are suited to high performance street driving, and limited track usage. If the vehicle is going to be used predominantly on the track or if you wish to change brake pads when driving on the track, please call Brembo for recommendations on alternate friction materials, and the trade offs


 
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