Upgrading your to make big power may be where all the fun is, but making sure you can stop safely is just as important. So we brought in Dan Maffett to upgrade our stopping power on MotorWeek’s “Your Drive.”
DAN MAFFETT: Let’s talk about brakes, one of the most overlooked upgrades on any kind of vehicle.
Whether you’re doing a restomod like this MGB, which now has over double the horsepower, those factory brakes are not going to up keep with that new power add and that moving mass. So, you’re going to need to take a look at what kind of power you’re putting down, what kind of stopping power you’re going to need. There’s a lot of options when you get to the aftermarket world, but don’t be overwhelmed.
You have something like this, which is really made for a performance vehicle. In my shop, we do mostly American muscle. So, what we do is we gut all the original brakes; the drums gotta go. And once those are out, we do something like this, which is a vented, drilled and slotted performance rotor. This is going to disperse heat, it’s going to keep your pads cool, it’s going to keep the calipers from locking up. It’s just going to give you really good stopping power without a lot of headache. Now, this might be overkill for a daily driver or a tow vehicle.
So, when you get something like this, this is just a standard flat rotor that’s got some vents and just a nice brushed finish that’s going to give a good bite. Now, it’s very specific to your build and the power output of your vehicle. Because this is good for a Honda, but this is from a trackhawk. You can see the size difference there. This is a beefy, beefy brake for something with a lot of power and a lot of mass that it needs to stop. So, your brakes need to be tailored to your project.
Now, this– this is your clamping force. This is the caliper that’s going to lock down onto the rotor and stop you if you’re moving. These come standard two-piston like this. Some of your retro vehicles will have a single large piston, but you can get these all the way up to an eight-piston setup. The more pistons, the more stop. And they take these pads here, and they clamp down on the rotors, and that’s your stopping force.
Now, pads are another customizable piece. You can get ceramics, you can get carbons, you can get all kinds of different materials for different styles of driving. The ones you use on a track might not be the ones you use on your daily driver. And when you get into outfitting your vehicle for your use, whether it’s track, daily or towing, you want to pick the right setup that matches your style of driving.
The more power you add, the more stopping power you’re going to need. If you add a whole lot of go, you need a whole lot of whoa. So, take this time, do some research, buy it once. And for around two, three thousand dollars in a classic muscle car, you can have a full disc brake conversion.
If you have any questions or comments, hit us up right here, at MotorWeek.