posted on March 24, 2011 20:44
Testing Fastbrakes' Bigger Brake Kit
By Mike Kojima
Fastbrakes is an Arizona company whose claim to fame is making affordable brake upgrade kits for many cars and having applications for niche models like the Nissan Sentra SE-R. Since some of us race SE-Rs as they are a cheap and sturdy platform, we have a lot of experience with Fastbrakes' upgrade kits for the car.
|The new larger Fastbrakes kit uses the Superlite caliper instead of the Ultralite. The Superlite has more brake pad choices and has 39% more pad area. The pad friction material is 25% thicker as well. This means longer life between servicing. We used rally Hawk DTC30 pads which worked really well for our relatively light car.
In the past, Fastbrakes made two kits for the Sentra B13 and B14 (1991-1999 models) an 11 inch solid rotor kit and an 11.8 inch two piece rotor kit. Both kits used the Wilwood forged Dyna Lite caliper, which is a nice compact 4 piston caliper with 1.38" pistons.
|The Superlite caliper has a forged body, internal fluid passages and a bridge bolt which is the primary reason why it is stiffer than the Ultralite. The stiffness is one of the reasons why the brakes have better feel and less pad taper wear than the Ultralites.
These kits work awesome on the street as they are much bigger than the wimpy stock brakes. For racing the Fastbrake kits are also great. Not only are they bigger than the stock brakes, just about every racing brake pad compound is made to fit the Dyna Lite caliper. Pads for the Dyna Lite are ½ the cost of high performance pads made to fit the stock Nissan calipers as well. This is perhaps the biggest selling point as the savings on brake pads will pay for the brake upgrade in a few races.
Thursday, March 24, 2011 11:57 PM
Just got my SL6R 12.2" kit from Fastbrakes. Can't wait to try it out..
Friday, March 25, 2011 12:51 AM
Hey Mike, do you know if Fastbrakes does custom hat and caliper's bracket?
Friday, March 25, 2011 7:14 AM
Braking requirements on track are proportional to the average HP output per lap, and don't follow that closely with vehicle weight. It's a simple energy in = energy out system. All your energy in is coming from average HP output, and the vast majority of the energy leaving the system is through the braking system (and shed as heat energy). Other small energy losses are aero drag, rolling resistance, and drivetrain drag; but since you're comparing between "roughly similar cars" that all have 4 wheels, rubber tires etc. then you can drop them out as roughly constant.
As for the Superlite calipers, I use them in my S chassis brake kit and have really liked them so far.
Friday, March 25, 2011 7:38 AM
im assuming that the front half of the "functional" script of the sticker on the Dog's sides is a "HellaFunctional" sticker and i want to know where to get one.
Friday, March 25, 2011 8:07 AM
Jamal who posts here makes the hellafunctional stickers.
Friday, March 25, 2011 10:46 AM
Def, are you sure that vehicle weight has little to do with braking requirements? It seems to me (I'm not quite as knowledgeable as some) that vehicle weight would be one of the biggest factors in braking requirements. So a 5000lb Cadillac with 150hp needs less brakes than an Ariel Atom? I can see speed being a huge factor, but ultimately it's how much weight you have and how much grip you have from the tires. The brakes simply turn kinetic energy into heat through friction. Weight and traction would be the biggest factors. Well, it seems to make sense to me at least. Mike am I completely wrong?
Friday, March 25, 2011 11:03 AM
I'm just suprised that there aren't more "tricks" to be had in the world of brakes. A poor example in my head would be, let's say, using a Maxima caliper with a properly made bracket for a Sentra and then just having to worry about upgraded or larger rotors and proper pads. Some of these brake kits have a huge mark up when I've seen diesel pickup brake upgrades for a grand less, and that's a LOT of metal. So I wonder, why aren't there more neat tricks in/ with road race cars?
Friday, March 25, 2011 12:12 PM
Do these big brake upgrades affect the brake bias in a negative way? Also is the master cylinder big enough for extra fluid being displaced by the bigger calipers?
Friday, March 25, 2011 6:24 PM
hey nice brakes. and nice sticker!
Friday, March 25, 2011 8:30 PM
The big thing is they are not many pad choices for stock type calipers and where there are pads, they are expensive. Its cheaper to get racing brakes.
Wilwood calipers are pretty cheap as well. Price new stock calipers and compare to Wilwood.
Saturday, March 26, 2011 10:28 AM
@Def, it's a combination of power and weight. Braking is converting kinetic energy into heat. 1/2 * mass * velocity^2. The power comes into play into increasing velocity. But lets say we have a super long straight, 100hp cars, same aero drag, but one car weighs 2000lbs and the other 2500lbs. Because our hypothetical straight is long enough, they both reach the same max speed which is determined by aerodynamic drag and hp. When it comes time to brake, the brakes on the heavier car have to get rid 25% more energy due to the heavier car weighing 25% more.
Saturday, March 26, 2011 6:06 PM
What size rim do you run with the 11" kit?
Saturday, March 26, 2011 9:28 PM
Sunday, March 27, 2011 11:13 AM
I was finally able to follow up on your suggestion this morning Mike. No doubt Fastbrakes and their Wilwood setup is nice and cost effective. Great website to research brake upgrades, although they could use a model filter under the manufacturer filter. It's reallly amazing how much more affordable it seems Wilwood's stuff has become. They seemed to be fairly high dollar 7+ years ago.
I priced the "grassroots" type of upgrade, and let's say, for arguement's sake, you could do a 5 lug upgrade for the sentra or say a 240sx, you could go with 350z stuff with the following dollar amounts from Summit (all 4 wheels):
Replacement calipers: $250
EBC Slotted rotors: $350
Hawk HP plus pads: $215
Granted there are a load of variables (like where to get the ss brakelines, need for 16 or 17 inch rim,whether or not brake master cylinder would be propotioned correctly, etc.), but $800 toward all four ends with readily available parts all around would be nice. I understand that I'm oversimplifying to a point but as previously posted, innovative, DIY upgrades would be pretty neat to see.
Sunday, March 27, 2011 11:26 AM
Mike, have you ever tried - DUCKs to the front brakes? The cooler you keep the rotors, the longer the pad should last. The longer the rotor should last.
Not Ducks - ducts. Some orange hose and pump some air at the center of the rotor.
Sunday, March 27, 2011 12:11 PM
Sean- How do you keep the ducks from flying away? I don't used ducts for 4 reasons; one the openings on my bumper are used up for an oil cooler and my air box, two my brakes hit around 1200 degrees which is controllable, three it is sorta hard to make a proper duct with the FWD axle in there and four, it would make my splitter less effective which is one of the reasons why I just relocated my oil cooler.
Bruce- Here is my opinion on the cheapo kit, The Z calipers are gonna weigh twice what the Wilwood ones do. You have to fab or have an adapter bracket fabbed up and you are gonna have to re machine your hubs or rotors and maybe get new lugs depending on what you do.
You can get Wilwood calipers for around 150 bucks or maybe less, I bought mine for $115 but most people can't buy wholesale.
The biggest difference are pads. HP plus is not going to cut it in the front of a track car with sticky tires. Racing pads for a Wilwood are as low as $50 vs $120-215 for oem caliper performance pads. If you go through pads like one set every two events like me the savings evaporate fast.
With a race caliper I can have the whole range of pad compounds from Performance Friction, Hawk, Carbotec, Ferodo and others. With OEM calipers you are limited to a few choices of usually street performance compounds.
Dunno about brake bias and MC Piston size either, didn't try to figure that out. On Nissans it would be ok, dunno about others.
Sunday, March 27, 2011 12:14 PM
Also Fastbrakes has a few low cost upgrades using bigger OEM parts for some models, look at the website, they have all sorts of stuff.
Sunday, March 27, 2011 12:50 PM
And that's why you're the pro Mike, totally forgot about the weight and we both know weight is a big time enemy! I know, you get what you pay for! I was trying to see if there are any innovative DIY ideas, so to speak.
In the world of 4 wheel drives where I had spent my time and dollars for a half decade, there were a lot of DIY approaches that worked just as good or better than many kits and at much better dollar amounts, but WEIGHT was never an issue, outside of professional competitors, that I or others thought about.
Sunday, March 27, 2011 9:34 PM
The most compelling reason isn't weight, its the cost and availability of pads. In racing you tune the brakes to a large degree via pad choice and you also go through a lot of pads. Pads are half the cost for Wilwood vs OEM calipers. Many oem calipers have no race brake pad compounds available for them. You cannot race on street type pads very well.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011 10:05 AM
I've had my 11" Fastbrakes kit installed for 8 years now. I wouldn't know what to do without it.
Monday, December 19, 2011 1:52 AM
I just purchased this kit but with the one piece rotor. Would the dtc30 be a good choice for a stock weight nx2000 (2500ish lbs) with a 250whp det. Or woulf the ht10 probably be a better fit? Thanks.
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