Products review

StopTech Big Brakes
When tuning your vehicle, mostly tuning the engine and suspension to go and turn faster, most people like to leave brakes as the last item. In my opinion brakes should be one of the first things that needed to be upgraded when the engine will be prducing signifigantly more power. I have installed a couple sets of StopTech brakes in the past and found the product to be absolutly first class. Yesm they are expensive but worth every dollar.

The install is very straight forward. Calipers and rotors come marked left and right. The
stainless steel lines and pads are all universal. Remove the front calipers, remove the original bridges for the pads and remove the rotors. Install the rotors and the new brakets for the calipers. The Pads sit inside the caliper so there are no "bridges" like stock. The brackets are machined so there is no adjusting. You can even install the calipers first and slide the pads after with the caliper torqued down. This makes for very fast changing of pads, you just need a special tool or a very strong set of hands to push the pistons back. I do use my own lube. Either straight brake grease or brake grease and anti seize. I use alot on the edges where the pads will slide. As with all pads without shims or backing plates I use a lot of grease on the back of the pads and it helps reduce brake squeel a lot. You will also need to bleed the brakes after you replaced the brake lines. Maybe the best part is that the Hawk/Stoptech pads accepted the OEM brake wear sensors! For the size of the rotors they were pretty light weight as well.

The best part about the brake kit is how it looks. If you have thin spoke wheels it really sets off your wheels and the rest of your car, espcially if the old brakes were rusty and/or discoloured from age. When most people look at tuned cars aswell and they see the brake upgrade they usually assume the car is tuned properly and that it so fast it required a brake upgrade.

When driving the pedal feel is VERY firm. I really like a hard brake pedal for a couple reasons. First it inspires confidence in the brakes and the quick engagement of the brakes when applied. Second, if there is a problem with the brakes due to a leak or faulty part you will know right away when the pedal becomes much softer. And third you barely have to touch the brake pedal to make the car stop fast.

The kits I installed all used the ST-40 Calipers (4 piston) and either used the 332mm or the 355mm directionally vented and crossed drilled full floating rotors. Go for the Gold cadnium rust proof plating too, it looks great.
I also installed an E46 M3 kit to a 330ci and the retrofit was very easy, only a VERY small amount of grinding on the front knuckles to accept the M3 brackets. This lets you fit the thicker M3 rotors.


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