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Gen 2 Wilwood front brake caliper upgrade

624 Views 17 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  The Old Guy73
Gen 2 Wilwood front brake caliper upgrade. Pretty straightforward upgrade, Wilwood D52 calipers, pads and SS braided hoses. This car has manual brakes and will be keeping it that way. Great pedal feel and much easier to work in the engine compartment. The Wilwood calipers work and look great, would recommend.
The Old Guy
'73 Fire Am 455 HO 5-speed
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Can you tell me why you deleted your power booster? Are the wilwood brakes worth the price? I have a 1979 Firebird I have had this car since it was new and was looking to upgrade my brakes and was thinking about wilwood but they are very expensive. Does the car stop any better?
This car originally had manual brakes. I like the manual brakes a lot. Decades ago back when I was racing the Fire Am it was much easier to modulate the brakes on the threshold of lock-up without any power assist. If you have enough leg strength to lock up the brakes there really is no technical reason to have power assist. As to the Wilwood brakes, as others have also stated, they are mostly just eye candy although they are lighter Vs the cast iron OEM calipers. There is nothing wrong with the OEM calipers, they do the job on the street and do it well. Any real-world improvement in braking performance is mostly a function of the pad compound and not the Wilwood calipers. I went with the Wilwoods mostly for the look when I upgraded from the OEM 15x8 WS6 Snowflakes to the 17x9 Yearone Snowflakes and also to slighty compensate for the heavier wheel-tire combination Vs the 15x8 Snowflakes. Also replaced the 40+ year old SS braided hoses with Wilwood hoses. Very happy with the performance and the looks of both the 17x9s Snowflakes and the Wilwoods. I would do it again. Worth the money? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You may have other upgrade priorities.
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I too went with the Wilwood brakes. I put the 12.29" rotors and upgraded to 6 piston calipers. I went to manual from power. I hated running a vacuum pump. I too love the feel of manual brakes.
Nice! Those are some pretty serious brakes for the street. Do you track your car?
Another great advantage to manual brakes is soooo much more room to work in the engine bay. Getting at those driver side rear spark plugs is a joy.
Would you recommend me deleting my power booster and going with manual brakes? If I did I would probably spend an extra cash and go with wilwood brakes and master cylinder
Personal preference. Do you track your car? Is great brake feel and modulation of brake pressure close to lock up important to you? Do you have good leg strength? Do you do your own engine work? Is more room in the engine bay and better access to the rear spark plugs on the driver side of the engine helpful?
Niiiiiice !
Below, 1994, Worcester, MA

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Too long ago? HA !
This one is from October 1981, Hanscom Air Force Base, Lexington Mass, SCCA 1st Place finish:

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