Firebird Nation banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently posted up a question about disc rotors... I forgot to ask one simple question...

can I get better braking power from my existing setup?

My mechanic recons that you can not adjust the existing braking system???

98 firebird formula
 

·
Administrator
1993 6-spd T/A - 1996 C4
Joined
·
2,830 Posts
The only adjustment is for the parking brake. That isn't going to do anything for you. Better brake pads, tires, and shocks/struts might go a long way in improving stopping power, but, I'm pretty sure there is nothing else to be done to improve performance without going to something like Wilwood or another performance brand of calipers and rotors.

I'm not entirely sure you'll feel the expense of tires, shocks/struts, and better pads was worth it just for slightly better braking.

Wondering if you have a vacuum leak on the booster or something else going on there. My '93 has very acceptable stopping power and i was under the impression the LS cars got "improved" brakes.

...what is your issue? Do you just want more power, or, do you think your brakes are weak?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
15,115 Posts
As noted above, there is no "adjustment" related to routine braking. But you need to check the condition of the system.

Do you have any specific problems that concern you, or do you feel the Formula braking performance is in some way inferior to another vehicle you drive? Any strange noises, pulling to one side, or a vibration in the front end or pulsing in the pedal when you apply the brakes? When you do a hard stop on a loose or wet pavement, does the ABS system activate correctly, with the "LOW TRAC" light appearing on the dash? Does the amount of pressure you have to apply seem excessive?

Check the pads for wear. Should be even on both pads, and similar from side to side. Excessive wear on one side can indicate a sticking caliper, or the need to lubricate or replace the slide pins. Are the rotors smooth? Any signs of grooves?

I think I mentioned in your other post, the 98-02 front brakes were significantly improved over the 93-97 front brakes. Many LT1 owners get a complete set of LS1 steering knuckles with the full braking system. That seems to provide a decent upgrade, at minimum cost. So the LS1 brakes should provide decent performance.

You would get the most improvement out of upgraded pads. Slotted or drilled rotors really wouldn't provide a noticeable improvement. Larger diameter rotors would, but now you are talking about serious upgrades from Wilwood, Baer, various recent Corvette or Cadillac CTS-V systems.

I've never found my 94 brakes to present a problem. At the track, they pull the car down from ~130 MPH trap speeds fast enough and stable enough to take the first turnoff exit. I still have my ORIGINAL front rotors and pads, with about 70,000 miles on them. The rears were upgraded with slightly larger Baer drilled and slotted rotors and (PBR) calipers. But the rear brakes play very little part in the overall performance of the braking system. I actually bought the complete 4-wheel Baer package, but never installed the fronts, because they would not have allowed me to run my 15" drag wheels.

And, here's a reason you may not want to use drilled rotors if you subject the vehicle to heavy abuse:

http://www.ws6.com/cryo.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info guys...

my major concern is confidence and timing on the power of the braking. Recently, I had to stop from 110km/hr to a complete stop and quickly... felt like I "missed the mark" so to speak and felt a little unstable on the steering.

Yes, I'm a little spoilt with my daily driver, it's a Subaru Impreza (R) and it's got brakes that stop quickly... but it's not so much the comparison, it's the confidence factor. Feeling like you can stop within a certain time/space is what I'm after. I'm not feeling that confident in my 98...

Sounds like a good set of pads will be the right thing to do, any suggestions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I think a good set of drilled/slotted rotors makes a big difference. Ten years ago, I found an American company that makes a great set of drilled/slotted rotors and premium semi-metallic pads. It isn't racing stuff, just good replacement parts. It's not an expensive upgrade and I've had good results...better wet braking and less fade under hard braking.

WS6TANewBrakes_zpsdttogid7.jpg
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,002 Posts
Yes, Drilled, slotted and good pads. Ask your parts place if they can get Hawk brake pads and Powerslot Rotors. There pretty good for over the counter performance stuff. But can also check out EBC Brakes. Little more $$$ But well worth it. I run the EBC stage 5 on my 08 RAM. Man does that truck stop!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Yesterday

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
It is because you're spoiled from your daily Subaru Impreza, if your rotors and brake pads are in good condition. Because I know my Lancer's hard braking has that very controlled confidence in it rain or shine. Though the Firebird feels like it has more braking power, comparing them in autocross events, than the Lancer but its not as controlled which I'm guessing is because of all the electronics newer cars come with. It slows down faster but I have to make sure to not overload the tire with too much braking or I can't turn too well and keep it where I want it to go. Where in the Lancer I can put the pedal down and still turn it pretty well. Even if not comparing the cars braking power directly, the two cars should have different braking tactics. My Lancer stays pretty much straight through most braking situations from 0 to 100% of the brake pedal, or it turns in the direction I point it towards. But the Firebird needs more input from you to keep it where you want it to go if you smash your foot down. Also my Lancer has about a 300-400 pounds weight advantage, so there's less weight transfer to the front where most of the braking is done.
 

·
Administrator
1993 6-spd T/A - 1996 C4
Joined
·
2,830 Posts
... so there's less weight transfer to the front where most of the braking is done.
Exactly why I suggested upgraded suspension and better tires on top of a performance brake package. So few people realize how much of a role suspension and tires play in braking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Yes, in my opinion tires play a big part of braking if they're less than good condition. Even if you have the best brakes in the world, they're more than useless if your tires can't handle the force. My firebird handled, accelerated, and braked better after putting ultra performance tires on it. If felt like a different car. Now if they're worth it depends on you. Brake pads would still give you the best upgrade in braking power if everything else is in good condition,
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,002 Posts
The Hawk Ceramic pads I posted earlier about are low dust. Braking causes dust, and more grip usually equates more dust. No way around it but most ceramics dust less.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top