Project Tundra: Fixing the Brakes with Stoptech

by Mike Kojima

So as we alluded to in our last article, our powerful supercharged Tundra without a limited slip was continually activating the Trucks electronic nannies.  With the more powerful engine, the electronic LSD was working the rear brakes constantly trying to keep one tire fire under control and with the added cornering forces that our bigger tires allowed, the stability control was grinding away at the front brakes in tuns all the time.  The electronics were probably causing the brakes to be used at twice the normal rate.

We had tackled some of the issue by limiting body roll with a Sequoia front and TRD rear anti sway bar and turning up the stiffness of our King Adjustable shocks.  Adding an Auburn Gear Limited Slip Differential also helped a lot to keep the electronics from grinding away at our brakes.  However our brakes and rotors were shot with the rear brakes worn to the backing plates and we had to replace those ASAP.

We turned to Stoptech for some help in the brake replacement department with some new rear sport rotors and some less aggressive brake pads in the hopes of reducing brake dust and rotor wear for this brake service period.

To Read More about Project Tundra click here!

For the massive 406x35mm front rotors we simply bought some new front TRD big brake rotors from our local Toyota dealer.  One cool thing about TRD parts is that service parts are easy to obtain conveniently. 
Our rear brake rotors were once again provided by Stoptech from their Sport Rotor catalog.  Stoptech Sport rotors are made with high quality dimensionally stable, wear resistant iron alloy with a high carbon and molybdenum content.  We previously had ran slotted rotors but we replaced them with drilled rotors mostly for cosmetic reasons to match the front rotors. For race cars we prefer slotted rotors because of their resistance to cracking but since this is our truck, not a race car we decided to try drilled this time. The rotor's friction surface is drilled to disperse vaporized brake pad material under hard braking.  The holes also help evacuate water making them work a little better in the wet.  To help resist cracking the drilled holes are chamfered to reduce the stress riser created by the edge of the hole. The non friction surfaces of the rotors including the internal venting are e-coated for rust resistance.
For pads we opted for Centric (Stoptech's OEM replacement pad division) Posi Quiet extended wear brake pads.  These pads are designed to have low rotor wear, quiet operation, long pad life and low dusting, while still having a decent level of performance.  They are ceramic with some metallic content.  While we know that these pads won't have the track performance of the TRD pads they are replacing, we do know they will last a lot longer and not chew up the rotors as badly.
What we do like about Centric is they make Posi Quiet pads for the high performance six piston caliper our brake kit uses. We can accept the fact that we will give up a little fade resistance and bite for much longer service life of these expensive rotors and the huge TRD brake kit will still give vastly better than stock brake performance even with a less hardcore pad.  If we decided to enter our truck in time attack, we can always switch back to race pads!  Just reducing the amount of yucky black and corrosive iron based brake dust will be a great assist for our truck which is also nearly a daily driver.
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Thursday, March 05, 2015 8:15 AM
I'm not a truck guy, but for some reason I always enjoy reading the posts for Project Tundra. Maybe because every modification has such impressive results. Keep them coming!
Thursday, March 05, 2015 9:13 AM
Surprised it's only a 5 lug, are they 14mm studs?
Thursday, March 05, 2015 10:50 AM
So the rotors for the TRD brakes only come in drilled flavors? I've taken to dislike the look of drilled rotors lately and definitely prefer a solid look.

Please do report back on how the drilled rotors fair after a few long tows, it'd be interesting to see if newer technology has fixed the cracking issues.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Thursday, March 05, 2015 11:05 AM
The TRD rotors only come drilled. Please note that our truck has had the TRD big brake kit for some time and we completely wore out one set of drilled rotors with no cracking issues and are replacing them now. You will probably never crack drilled rotors with chamfered holes on the street. In real racing on the track you definitely might though.
Thursday, March 05, 2015 3:51 PM
I noticed the same poor initial bite and mushy pedal with the Posi-Quiets on the wife's car, but also need a lot more force for the same stopping distance versus the stock Subaru brakes. I was hoping it would go away after a few thousand miles but that has long since come and gone, and they really don't inspire any confidence when braking. It's good to see someone is having positive experiences with that line of pads because I'm sure not. When reverting to OEM pads would be an upgrade, something is wrong...
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Thursday, March 05, 2015 5:26 PM
I think the huge TRD brake system mitigates a lot of the lower coefficient of friction that these long life pads have giving acceptable performance. As a note these pads are marketed as a heavy duty fleet service long life pad and not a performance pad. Centric has more agressive street OEM pads and Stoptech has even higher performance pad lines with several offerings as well. What we wanted is long life, quiet and low dust and these pads work well.
Thursday, March 05, 2015 7:24 PM
The Tundra series is definitely fun and informative to read about. The best towing upgrade I made to my Dodge Cummins was put on Toyo M-55 tires. They handled every thing from Seattle to Spokane with ease.
Friday, March 06, 2015 5:32 PM
Next time it comes to swapping out rotors, are you considering cryo? Fleet firetrucks and ambulances are using the process, and I wonder if the bedding in process would change? Since Kono got his freezer, I've been doing everything I can get my hands on. Maybe even dental carbide burrs.....
Friday, March 06, 2015 9:00 PM
I've had a similar experience upgrading to ceramic brake pads, lost a TON of initial bite and the pedal effort increased substantially. The interesting part was how long they have lasted. The reason I choose ceramic pads was because I performed a caliper upgrade and was going through pads within 6 months of install! The brakes were awesome, but they just went through pads like the cookie monster. With the same calipers after upgrading to ceramic pads, the brake dust is gone and the pads last FOREVER (I have yet to replace them after several years). I honestly don't like the friction performance, but once you have a powerful enough caliper in the brake system, I guess you don't really need aggressive pads anymore. I can certainly see why OEMs would spec. ceramic pads, they are quiet, low dust, and troublefree, great for a daily driver!
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