Recently the team attacked the WRX to install the Stop-Tech Big Brake Kit. Immediately when you open the boxes for this kit you can see the attention to detail put into the kit. The parts themselves look amazing, and the solid packaging guarantees that the parts will arrive in perfect condition. Keep in mind that the BBK arrives in 2 boxes, and all of the brake pads are in one of the boxes, so don’t be surprised when one box doesn’t have them in it. Check the second box before thinking that the pads are missing. Also, you need the plan ahead to determine if your current wheels will clear the new larger calipers and rotors. For this reason Stop-Tech supplies printable templates on their website for you to use as a guide before you run into problems with wheels hitting your new big brake kit.For the install we opted to have everyone get involved and get dirty. To accomplish this we decided to divide into two teams, one for each side of the car. So we loaded the car on the lift, and started pulling the wheels off along with the stock brakes. The stock calipers and rotors popped off without much issue, but the brake lines did require a bit more convincing than expected. We had to be careful to remove the stock rubber lines without damaging the hardlines that stay on the car. With some muscle and lots of penetrating spray we got the rubber lines off with out any significant damage to the hardlines. So at that point it was time to start popping the Stop-Tech parts on.The caliper relocation bracket bolted on right where the stock caliper was mounted, then the new huge rotor slid into place. We needed to slightly bend the stock heat shields out of the way so they wouldn’t come in contact with the inside rotor face, which wasn’t a big issue, it just required some more muscle. For safety’s sake tossed one lug nut on, just to keep the rotor in place while sliding the caliper into position. The relocation brackets have studs in them for the caliper to mount, so we slid the caliper onto the studs and into position. Once the caliper was on, you could really get the feel for how big these calipers and rotors are in comparison to the stock ones. Once the caliper was loosely bolted on, we routed and attached the brake lines to the new caliper and tightened everything down. Stop-Tech WRX Big Brake Kit is an amazing item thus far, so lets keep looking at more install information.
The next step was to pop the new brake pads into the calipers. Thanks to Stop-Tech’s top loading calipers, this was a breeze. The basic idea here is that you remove the two Phillips headed studs, pop the bridge and spring clip out, drop the pads in, and slap it back together in the reverse order. Super easy. Then in an attempt to reduce the amount of front brake bias we also replaced the rear pads with the same 309 compound from Stop-Tech. So this was also the perfect time to upgrade the rear lines and rotors with some Powerslot rear rotors and another set of Stop-Tech rear brake lines. So once all of those parts were mounted, we flushed the fluid and added Stop-Tech’s recommended fluid; Motul 600 DOT-5 brake fluid. While bleeding the system, we noticed one of the hard-line fittings on the caliper that crosses from the inside to the outside of the caliper was leaking, so we tightened it up and wiped everything down so we could drive the car to bed-in the pads.
The Stop-Tech BBK came with specific instructions on how to properly bed-in the pads. They suggest a sequence of 60-0 stops without actually stopping the car, just coming to a roll then taking it back up to 60 and braking again. Basically a simple process, once you find a safe place to do it. During this process the brakes let off quite a bit of smoke from the pads and rotors heating up for the first time and burning off any residues from the manufacturing process. So once we let everything cool down, the car was ready to rock.
Our initial impressions are that the car brakes significantly quicker than it did with the factory brakes, so we expect it he car to quite well on the track and at autocrosses in the near future. The kit was a very easy installation that is really only slightly more complicated than a typical brake replacement. The labor involved is minimal and well worth considering when building a car for any purpose. Check out Stop-Techs’s website to see all of the different BBKs they offer. www.stoptech.com
We have a lot more parts sitting here waiting to be installed, so once we get a few more things done, we’ll be able to take the car out and see how it performs with the new brakes and all of the other parts on it. Keep an eye out for more updates.