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Old 11-16-2012, 07:46 AM   #1
SeeD65
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Default Potential Brake Upgrades Worth It?

Good day!

I was thinking about upgrading my brakes to Brembos/CTS-Vs. But then I asked myself, why do I want Brembos? Why not just upgrade rotors and pads when the time comes and be done with it. Do I really need Brembos?

This is why I am posting this question so that you all can help me.

My G8 is my daily driver and my commute is rather short. However, I enjoy taking my vehicle out on weekends and go around the typical fun roads around the area. I do not plan on tracking my car. I have not pushed my brakes too hard knowing from past experience from my GTP that I can go through pads rather easily over a short time with aggressive driving. I just want to have a brake system that does not fade and provides good bite during and after fun road courses.

All that said, if I upgrade to Brembos I will also have to get rid of my stock 19" wheels since the Brembos do not fit. I planned on using my stock 19s with all seasons for my winter set-up and purchasing some Nuburgring TSWs for my summer set-up . Hence my other thread on what wheels clear Brembos.

Would it be worth upgrading to Brembos or just getting better rotors/pad combo? Are the Brembos THAT much better?

I know the ultimate decision is mine...I just want to real world knowledge and not bravado

Thanks!
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:01 AM   #2
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I went w/ stainless steel lines for more pedal feel, DBA slotted rotors, and hawk ceramic pads plus flushed the fluid. This is a major difference over stock, and unless you're autocrossing the car more than you will need. The G8 GT even in stock form stop ridiculously well...like german super sedan well. 60-0 in as little as 109' has been documented, compare that to ANYTHING and you will be impressed. It is the fade and feel that is a problem w/ the stock setup, w/ the mods I listed that will help in those departments.

A larger caliper w/ more pistons will always be "better" but not necessarily needed nor will it yield better "panic stop" results in the real world.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:17 AM   #3
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My GT brakes are currently stock, like you and am in a similar thought process but not considering Brembos.

I am going to stick with stock type rotors and hear the Carbotech 1521 pads are pretty fade resistant for a street pad. They even held up for some limited track duty. I did debate the ~$350 cost vs ~$250 for Hawk Ceramics but someone who ran the Hawk Ceramics did say that they do fade with spirited driving and preferred the Carbotechs.

So given that limited track duty and spirited driving really upper bounds what I will do with my GT, I will go with Carbotech 1521s on my stock rotors. Then if the stock rotors go to hell, then evaluate better rotors.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:19 AM   #4
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I went to EBC USR rotors and Redstuff pads. I'm liking them a lot, but they're dusty. Then again, most good brake pads are. Hawk are too, and I'm not a fan of Hawk. I like Akebono brake pads but those aren't available for the GT. They are for the Brembos.

I previously had ****ed up both OEM pads and Bendix pads pretty quickly. These RedStuff have been handling heat a lot better so far.

I was actually really, really intent on upgrading to Brembo calipers myself, but I didn't because I have three sets of wheels for the car and not a single set would fit with the Brembos. But so far I am glad I didn't do that. The EBC setup is working well.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:22 AM   #5
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For the average person (myself included) the upgraded stockers would most likely perform well enough. Its the different look that makes me want to go with some brembos instead. I hate the look of the stock brake calipers on our cars.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:40 AM   #6
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Not a brake expert, but the stock system is pretty darned good. Then again, those Brembos do look really sweet, but the price is ridiculous
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:38 AM   #7
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2007 CTS-V front brembo calipers/2010-present Camaro front rotors with Bendix CQ pads and SS lines all around work well IMO. Complete brake overhaul for around a grand (rear retains stock calipers).

You can always add a 5mm spacer on the front wheels for winter time
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Bullet View Post
I hate the look of the stock brake calipers on our cars.
Paint them black and you'll never even notice them.
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:25 AM   #9
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Paint them black and you'll never even notice them.
That's on my list to do. Just hate getting the car up on jack stands.
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRG963 View Post
2007 CTS-V front brembo calipers/2010-present Camaro front rotors with Bendix CQ pads and SS lines all around work well IMO. Complete brake overhaul for around a grand (rear retains stock calipers).

You can always add a 5mm spacer on the front wheels for winter time
Hmmm! So a 5mm spacer will allow me to use Brembos on my stock front 19s, and the rears will clear without any spacers?

If this is true, then that sounds simple ansd make my decision easier. But...Is it really THAT simple?
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:34 PM   #11
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I was gonna go with upgraded GT pads, and rotors but I got a set of front 2010 ss calipers, pads, and rotors for 350$ so I jumped on the deal. Already had replica camaro 20's on there so I figured it was worth my while for the price. I just have to get em coated and figure out what knuckle needs to be drilled and mount em. Also Im wondering if I should go with stainless brake lines or just use the lines that came with em.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:43 PM   #12
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Stock brakes have been fine for me; I'm at 97k miles with 7 hard road course track events behind me using track pads, still have the stock original rotors except for one I screwed up. They have some surface cracks from the high heat from the HPDE's but no functional issue. With very high horsepower and the abuse I've put into these brakes, I don't think you need Brembo's, want Brembo's, then go for it!
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
7 hard road course track events behind me using track pads, still have the stock original rotors
Thanks, this validates my plan to stay with stock rotors and get Carbotech street pads.
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:38 PM   #14
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I love Carbotechs and I've been run several of their compounds on my hybrid street/track '92 Mustang for over a decade. I've found every compound I've used, from 1521's to XP10's, to be extremely rotor-friendly for every level of performance they bring to the table. The tradeoff is they make a corresponding level of dust, but it's generally easy to remove, it's not partially made up of rotor material like the dust from Hawk's traditional compounds seem to produce, and it's a tradeoff I'm happy to make IF I need the performance.

Here's the catch: As good as the 1521's are, you may hit their limits sooner than you think at a road course track day with a car this heavy. Meanwhile they'll be making rather expensive dust while you use them on the street. I would really consider leaving stock-like pads on for the street, assuming you're not reaching their limits within street usage, and then swap out to a heavier-duty pad for track days.
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Old 11-17-2012, 06:00 AM   #15
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Great input on Carbotechs! Not planning any track time with 1521s. My motivation for 1521s is that a route I take frequently has a ton of deer and if I can spot them I need to scrub speed off really fast and the stock pads don't have any initial bite.

So based on that and another goal to avoid fade for spirited driving, are 1521s recommended? Hawk ceramics are next on my list.

I don't put a lot of miles on the G8 only 17k miles now, so I'm not concerned about eating expensive pads up in daily driving.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:42 PM   #16
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Give the 1521's a shot, I think you'll like 'em.
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:45 PM   #17
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MFE lol I knowww youuuu.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:52 PM   #18
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Brembo's should be considered a 'look' mod for your situation. So would any rotor other than stock. Pads, fluid, and MAYBE lines are all that you need to do what you want, and can handle much more.

...and yes, a 5mm spacer will allow the stock 19's to fit over Brembo's as they allow my stock 18's to fit although it is DAMN close. New studs and a 10mm spacer and your set.
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:09 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I12XLR8 View Post
...and yes, a 5mm spacer will allow the stock 19's to fit over Brembo's as they allow my stock 18's to fit although it is DAMN close. New studs and a 10mm spacer and your set.
Thanks for confirming that the stock 19" wheels only need a 5mm spacer. Is the spacer only needed for the fronts?

Also, does this mean that they do not require new studs like the 18"rs require?


So based upon all this good information, here is what I will do:
  • I will keep my 19" stock wheels since I will be able to adapt the fit for Brembos....IF.... I decide to go that route. Knowing about the 5mm spacers gives me more freedom of choice when the time comes to switch out.
  • There are many non Brembo options that will fit my needs and we shall see how much money I have at that time. It looks like the DBA4000 rotors and Carbotech 1521 pads may be a good route.
  • I will sell my stock 18"rs that I was going to use as my winter set-up since I will be using my stock 19"rs for that purpose and start saving for the TSWs!
Many thanks for all the good information!
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeD65 View Post
Thanks for confirming that the stock 19" wheels only need a 5mm spacer. Is the spacer only needed for the fronts?
I can only 100% confirm the 18's but believe the 19's would be the same. You only need the spacer on the axle with Brembo's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeD65 View Post
Also, does this mean that they do not require new studs like the 18"rs require?
18's don't need studs with the 5mm spacer but if you get longer studs and a 10mm spacer you will never have any issues. I had some rubbing on a track day when throwing the car into a tight corner so bought 3/4" studded spacers to avoid this issue and still keep my stock studs for my Camaro 20's.
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