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I'm not too much into the mechanical end of my cars, I spent all of my time working with my Dad on the body shop side. I have a couple of questions. One of the guys who works with me feels my best first steps will be to change out the rotors and calipers on my Solstice. I understand the reasoning since the car has to stop at least as good as it accelerates or it's no good on tight bends. What I don't know is what size rotors and calipers should I be looking at. I don't race, don't plan to race, I just like to go around bends 20 mph faster than the average driver. What is available and is this a do-it-yourself project (I can turn a wrench) or is this a dealer change to maintain teh car's warranty? The obvious next question is what cost is associated with the swap? I'm not afraid to put $250 a wheel into the swap if I need to, I'm just not certain if that is where I need to go. Also, I was told to start looking for a shock tower brace for the front to stiffen the car. What are your thoughts? Is the car designed stiff enough as it is or will a brace be needed for my driving style? I know I'm asking some difficult questions since you don't know my full driving style and what exactly I'm looking for. I basically want a car that handles much better than my Miata when the road no longer is in a straight line. Thanks for the help and advise.
 

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Looking around on the net, you can get a Vette like rotor for ~$125 each.
 

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I already plan to get STBs when they become available. Any stiffening parts will help your handling. As far as brakes, they're pretty easy to do if you just replace rotors.. I've never removed my calipers so I can't tell you about that. But just remember, it has been discussed many times that this entire car was over-built to withstand more power than it comes with. I'm sure the brakes that are on there should be fine if you don't race.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys!
 

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dori-san said:
I already plan to get STBs when they become available. Any stiffening parts will help your handling. As far as brakes, they're pretty easy to do if you just replace rotors.. I've never removed my calipers so I can't tell you about that. But just remember, it has been discussed many times that this entire car was over-built to withstand more power than it comes with. I'm sure the brakes that are on there should be fine if you don't race.
I hope Mallett provides documentation of when they had to replace stuff in it for their Turbo model like GM did when they got all that HP out of the Ecotec.
 

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If you don't race, or plan to race, bigger rotors will likely be a waste for you.

Larger rotors are usually only needed to store and reject waste heat from repeated (some call it abusive) braking with little cooling time between stops.

Larger rotors, in most of today's cars, won't do ANYTHING for stopping distance. All indications are that the Solstice's braking systems are definitely traction limited, meaning changing tires will have the predominant effect.

If you get ABS, it is concievable that you could actually mess up your ABS calibration if you get too large with the rotors - the ABS is tuned with the inertia of the brakes, wheels, and tires in mind. Changing these by increasing the inertia can affect how well ABS can achieve optimum braking slip - and potentially cause your braking distances to INCREASE, especially on low friction surfaces.

I'd go into a really detailed explanation, but the bottom line is unless you have to worry about brake fade, you'll be just fine with the stock brakes.
 

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I've also got a question about wether or not it would help or hurt your braking if you
drill and machine vent holes and grooves as I have seen on aftermarket set-ups along
with coating the rotor for oxidation and appearance.
I have a machine shop and could do this for myself and possibly others if interested.
I think the look is nice and plan on powdercoating my calipers red. I'm getting one of
the 1st 1000 Mysterious (41U ) and am considering buying another set of rotors and
possibly calipers to do this to from the dealership.
Any thoughts?
 

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HYPUR said:
I've also got a question about wether or not it would help or hurt your braking if you
drill and machine vent holes and grooves as I have seen on aftermarket set-ups along
with coating the rotor for oxidation and appearance.
I have a machine shop and could do this for myself and possibly others if interested.
I think the look is nice and plan on powdercoating my calipers red. I'm getting one of
the 1st 1000 Mysterious (41U ) and am considering buying another set of rotors and
possibly calipers to do this to from the dealership.
Any thoughts?
My thought is that I am not going to f*** with my breaks at all. Painting the calipers, sure... but nothing beyond that.
 

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HYPUR said:
I've also got a question about wether or not it would help or hurt your braking if you
drill and machine vent holes and grooves as I have seen on aftermarket set-ups along
with coating the rotor for oxidation and appearance.
I have a machine shop and could do this for myself and possibly others if interested.
I think the look is nice and plan on powdercoating my calipers red. I'm getting one of
the 1st 1000 Mysterious (41U ) and am considering buying another set of rotors and
possibly calipers to do this to from the dealership.
Any thoughts?
My thoughts prolly differ from many others. Sometimes, the more important thing is to have enough brake mass to act as a thermal capacitor.

The thinking is that crossdrilling rotors helps to increase the heat rejection of the rotor, and that grooves help "eliminate pad particles and gasses to maintain the coefficient of friction" of the pads.

Personally, I've not seen any emprical data that supports these hypothesis - but that's me, and sure as heck someone is going to post right after me defending the practice.

I've seen Corvettes as they come off the track, and guess what - they aren't slotted or crossdrilled.

A vented rotor for the front and a solid rotor for the rear is plenty fine if you have adequate brake ducting. Inadequate brake ducting will not be solved by crossdrilling and slotting your rotors.

These are totally irrelavant if you aren't concerned with fade. If you aren't going to race, then don't waste your money. Unless you're concerned about looking cool, then go 4 it - understand that the changes may be in the realm of those "amazing tornado valve that increases your mileage by 18%".
 

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Adrenaline said:
Looking around on the net, you can get a Vette like rotor for ~$125 each.
You can also get the pbr calipers(baer track kit) for 100 each, but i think the problem will be the rotors. The baer track kit uses rotors with a 5x114.3 lug pattern(these rotors are from a 2000 mustang cobra), and i think the vette does too. So finding 13" rotors with a 5x100 pattern that the solstice has will be a bit hard.
You'll also need a caliper bracket, and since these will be custom made they wont be cheap.

But i think the stock braking setup will be more then enough for everybody, the rotors are around 11.7", for a 2900lbs car this is more then enough. Im hoping gm went with a 2 piston caliper, rather then a single.
 

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shabby said:
Im hoping gm went with a 2 piston caliper, rather then a single.
On a $20K car? I don't think so.

Ex-Miata Man, Leave the brakes alone and wait until some company releases a good street/track brake pad, that will be all you need for the street.

Oh, and stop taking advice from that "guy" in the shop. You won't be any faster but you will have less money in your wallet.

First mod should be a good set of maximum performance summer tires and a 4 wheel alignment by somebody who has a clue on car set-up.
 

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Corvette Z51 has drilled rotors.

In race applications, drilling can cause premature cracking. Not necessary for the street at all and I would not do it. As S man said, tires are the limiting factor. If you're going to do any track days at all, upgrade to an aftermarket pad, i.e. Hawk blues or blacks, just be prepared to eat up rotors more quickly.
 

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Has anyone consided the Goodyear Eage F1 Supercar EMTs? I know they are expensive, but if they put them on the McLaren F1 they have to be good right? :)
 

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Sports Car Revolution was doing their RSX-S buildup project. They did dyno measurements after each part change. They put a 'big brake/big rotor' package on the car as one of the steps. They measured a significant loss in wheel HP after upgrading all the rotors. I believe it was about 5HP they lost due to the much larger distance that themajority of the mass was from the center now.
 

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Ex-Miata Man, what I am about to tell you shouldn't be a new philosophy.

Don't fix it unless it's broken and Try before you change.


If that's what you want to do, be my guest, but I HIGHLY recommend not listening to "your friend at the shop" quite yet. Early reviews indicate that these breaks are great... and you even said you have NO plans on racing or anything remotely close to that. I'm positive these breaks will be fine for taking nice bends and curves at 60mph, or whatever you plan on doing. Don't worry about the shocks until you have tried them either.

Start small, like painting your break calipers.


...and can anyone confirm these are single-piston calipers?
 

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Adrenaline said:
Has anyone consided the Goodyear Eage F1 Supercar EMTs? I know they are expensive, but if they put them on the McLaren F1 they have to be good right? :)
They have GREAT dry handling and traction... but they are a very hard riding tire, and they noisy, impossible to use in adverse weather conditions...

... and they have some of the worst tread-wear known to humankind.
 

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Ex-Miata Man, it seems to me that you just want it to be fun to drive. You say that if the car can't stop as fast as it accelerates, it's not good around a tight bend. How often do you find that you'll be stopping as fast as your car possibly can? If you're concerned with cornering capability, you shouldn't look at the brakes. Instead, consider stiffening the car with tower/torsion bars and tighter suspension, lowering the center of gravity by dropping it an inch, and recambering the wheels to get more traction while taking those tight corners. Instead of worrying about approaching the corner slow enough, make your car able to approach it faster since it can stick to the ground. Essentially, by lowering the center of gravity, you reduce the weight transfer while cornering, therefore creating more lateral grip for the tires. You could also increase the track width, but hey, this car is already perfectly wide enough! There's more opportunity for pulling G's around a corner than from off the line, anyways :)
 

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shabby said:
You can also get the pbr calipers(baer track kit) for 100 each, but i think the problem will be the rotors. The baer track kit uses rotors with a 5x114.3 lug pattern(these rotors are from a 2000 mustang cobra), and i think the vette does too. So finding 13" rotors with a 5x100 pattern that the solstice has will be a bit hard.
You'll also need a caliper bracket, and since these will be custom made they wont be cheap.

But i think the stock braking setup will be more then enough for everybody, the rotors are around 11.7", for a 2900lbs car this is more then enough. Im hoping gm went with a 2 piston caliper, rather then a single.
Belive it's a single piston caliper.

And bolt circle is 5X110.
 

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"Brakes" not "breaks"!

I like the idea of swapping pads. Stage 2 would be braided brake lines. Expansion under pressure causes mushiness. Braided steel lines eliminate that. Stage 3 might be a caliper upgrade. All of these will give you more feel & control. As somebody else stated, there's enough braking force there already.

I can't imagine the stock rotors would be too small in a NA car wth stock-sized wheels & tires for anyone except Steve McQueen.
 
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