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Project EP3 Civic Si, Improving the Brakes with Fastbrakes, Stoptech and Willwood

by Mike Kojima

 

In the last edition of Project EP3 Civic Si, we explained how we went about converting our car from 4 lug to 5 lug hubs. We did this for two reasons: one to take advantage of the larger selection of 4x114.3 bolt circle wheels available on the market and the other to take advantage of the larger RSX Type-S wheel bearings and axles to stiffen up the bearing system in anticipation of performance fixed caliper brakes and more power from a possible engine swap.

Now that we have the right underpinnings, it is time to go ahead and do the brakes!

To read more about Project EP3 check here!

For a caliper, we selected Wilwood's forged Dynapro six-piston lug mount. We chose this caliper because it was the biggest and largest pad area caliper that had the 5.25" bolt pattern, so we could use easy-to-get adapter mounts.

The Dynapro also is available with small pistons and piston area, so our brake proportioning would be very close to the factory. The piston sizes are 1.62", 1.12" and 1.12" for an overall area of 4.04 square inches. The stock front brakes have a piston area of about 7 square inches, so there is less hydraulic gain in the caliper than stock. 

The reduced hydraulic gain makes for a firmer pedal and is made up for by the greatly increased pad area and the increased mechanical efficiency of having a much larger rotor. This keeps the proportioning in line with stock, which will help keep the ABS system happy.

 

The Dynapro Caliper is very stiff, having 5 bridge bolts and one substantial bridge formed into place. That in addition to the strong forged body makes for one rigid caliper that delivers a firm pedal and excellent brake feel. The caliper has a brake dust and corrosion-resistant electroless nickel plating for a unique look, easy cleaning and a long life. 
 
 
The Dynapro caliper has staggered piston diameters to eliminate taper wear of the brake pads. It also has stainless steel pistons to conduct less heat to the brake fluid and stainless abutments on the leading and trailed edges of the pad pocket. This prevents the backing plates of the pads from digging into the soft aluminum caliper body, potentially causing inconsistent action. 
 

For the rest of our brake system, we used a Fastbrakes EP3 big brake kit. We started off with Fastbrakes lightweight two piece rotors. They use a 12.2" in diameter vented friction ring on an alloy hat. Despite being an inch larger than the stock rotors, they are 4 lbs per side lighter than stock. 

The hats are machined from 6061 T6 aluminum and are hard anodized for corrosion resistance. The lighter weight is due to the alloy hat taking the place of a standard discs iron center. Having significantly lighter rotors gives better braking and acceleration due to their lower inertia. The light weight also means less unsprung weight, which improves both ride quality and handling as well because the suspension will be more responsive to bumps. 

 

The rotors are vented with radial vanes and have the friction surface slotted to give brake dust and gasses from vaporizing brake pads a place to go under hard braking. Slotted rotors resist cracking, unlike drilled rotors which have the tendency to crack in between the holes. The vented Fastbrake rotors cool better than stock, have better initial bite due to the slotting and are larger for more thermal mass and better mechanical efficiency.  
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Comments
warmmilk
warmmilklink
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 10:23 AM
I wish my Wilwood kit on my NC had the steel inserts...
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 11:01 AM
The old Dynalites didnt.
warmmilk
warmmilklink
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 2:09 PM
I have the Narrow Superlite. In hindsight I regret it a little, but there weren't any other options on the market when I bought mine.
thejaredhuang
thejaredhuanglink
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 2:15 PM
Mr. Kojima, can you explain why the cursed Philips retraining screws were used? I never put them back in when I change rotors and I'm sure a lot of people hate them as well.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 2:58 PM
I have the narrow superlite calipers on my car too. I wish these were out at that time as well. They would match the MC better and are stiffer.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 2:59 PM
I think the screws might center the rotor better. I don't use them.
Matt 25
Matt 25link
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 9:15 PM
What is the exact model for those calipers? I'd like to do this setup on my RSX-S.
Matt 25
Matt 25link
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 9:20 PM
Are they the (120-13430-N) and (120-13431-N) part code calipers?
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 10:37 PM
120-13436-N and 120-13437-N, I also think the RSX Type S has a 15/16" master cylinder and the EP3 has a 7/8 so you might want to think about using the larger volume caliper that you mentioned.
warmmilk
warmmilklink
Thursday, April 20, 2017 11:36 AM
Mike, you have an NC? or are your narrow superlite's on a different car?
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Friday, April 21, 2017 11:38 AM
my sentra race car.
Ben
Benlink
Monday, April 24, 2017 3:48 PM
I had one of these in between B13/B14 SE-Rs and NXs. 2004 Si probably still in my profile. They so much alike. EP3 is way stiffer general chassis obviously so its a capable platform under most conditions, with obvious flaws when pushed. Horrible suspension geometry a self inflicted wound by Honda no doubt. Good at everything excels at nothing.

I really liked the ergonomics. I am a fan of the shifter but it invites fast 1-2 shifts and there's the related clutch arm issue since it needs to be greased periodically (most people don't) or fixed and its a pita for diy... So many EP3 lost second gear as I recall. So much bumpsteer....

Overall the electronic steering is ok but has all the drawbacks everyone has identified so overall driver inputs/position is a B+ for effort but definitely flawed. Those seats visually make a promise they do not deliver but they're comfortable.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, April 24, 2017 4:14 PM
You hit it perfectly.
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