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Stillen/AP Racing Carbon Ceramic Matrix brakes and cooling kit


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#1 Bernie (OOParts)

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 08:08 PM

I just installed the CCM brakes, front active cooling kit, and rear passive cooling duct along with changing fluid out to PRF608. Besides Stillen stainless brake lines, I run my car completely stock at the track (and even revert my Accessport to stock maps). I thought I'd compile all of the information I've accumulated during this process in one review.

Let me get right to the point... these brakes are awesome.

Compared to the stock setup, I found myself braking about TWO CAR LENGTHS deeper on the back straight at Palm Beach International Raceway (with a maximum velocity of about 145-150 mph). The first time I hit the brakes on the straight, I was laughing hysterically because I had slowed down waaaaay too early. On a 90 degree ambient temp day, this setup was fade free over 4 different 20-25 minute sessions with a 10 minute active cool down (fans on while going on the way to the gas station 5 miles down the road) and another 30 minutes just sitting in the pits waiting for the next session with the fans off. Unfortunately, I have no comparison to aftermarket brake pads as I've only run the stockers up to this point.

The decreased rotational inertia was easily felt as soon as I pulled away from my garage. Normally, when cold, Ill get that little hesitation where it seems like the tranny engages just a bit too much clutch and then has to let it out again causing jerky takeoffs from a standstill. After installing the CCM's that was completely gone (to be fair, I also changed to 5 pound lighter wheels at the same time too). I didn't have my Traqmate hooked up this past track session because I was anticipating rain (of course it was crystal clear without a single drop though), so I don't have quantifiable data in the form of improved lap times, but the fact that I had to revise all my braking points was undeniable.

Front brake:
Posted Image

Rear brake:
Posted Image




FRONT COOLING SYSTEM: The fans are actually just a bilge marine application and the brackets are freaking heavy (should've been done out of aluminum). However, the fans are very powerful and put out a crap load of air. The fans are also really nice because you can just cruise around at like 5mph after your session around the pits and still get basically the same cooling effect as driving around at highway speeds. I wonder if there is any harm in leaving them on while stationary at the pits (besides draining the battery) between sessions? I was too worried that there might be warpage or something from uneven cooling, so I didn't try it. Included directions were adequate at best. No template was included to show where the bracket should be mounted... only pictures to guesstimate the correct positioning. A template would've saved me at least an hour of trial/error fitting to get it oriented just right.

Front fan setup... note the two directional nozzles (green arrow one directed at caliper pocket/rotor and the red arrow one directed at the caliper itself):
Posted Image


Xwing alerted me to the following clearance issue shown in the pic below. The hard brake line entering the caliper (red arrow) can be hit by the directional nozzle (green arrow) when turned fully to the right on the driver's side and vice versa on the left.
Posted Image




REAR COOLING SYSTEM: Rear passive ducting is shown below. The included directions were terrible on how to mount the end directed towards the caliper. I ended up using a small 90 degree bracket and attaching it to the caliper bolt indicated by the green arrow. I wasn't sure how close I should put the end of the duct to the rotor as the end is made out of plastic and I didn't want it melting. The way that the duct is mounted to the undertray is via three speed clips. I wasn't thrilled with how this duct was executed as it seemed a little bit flimsy the way it was mounted and it seems that it really sticks into (and probably dsturbs) the nice underbody airflow. I would've much rather seen a naca duct or such, but this is likely the cheapest and most effective method of cooling the rear brakes.

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

In terms of temperatures, my front red temp indicating paint turned white, showing that I had exceeded 610 degrees C. Hopefully, I was still well bellow the 750 degrees C needed to cause oxidation. I'm not sure exactly what symptoms might indicate that some oxidation has occurred given that oxidation just turns the brakes into carbon dioxide, but the brakes seem to be none the worse for wear. Maybe Chris AP-Racing can add something about what to look for when determining if any oxidation has occurred. There is a huge buffer zone between the 610 to the 750 degrees C, but unfortunately, there are no paints currently available in the US to narrow down this range. Chris AP-Racing is working on finding a higher temp paint for more accurate data collecting. The temp indicator strips on my calipers reached between 193-210 degrees C. All driving was done with VDC in R mode.

The Pagid pads that come with the brakes work well as a track pad and also have the added bonus of zero squeal. At first, I was somewhat disappointed that the pads came with yellow colored plates, but that soon changed as they became PINK?! after bedding them in.





Cost-benefit analysis:
Yes, they cost a bundle. But, assuming a price of $3400 to replace J- hook AP rotors, and $15k for CCMs, it will take just 5 rotor changes to make the CCMs worthwhile. So, if you race frequently enough that you'd have to replace the iron rotors 5 times within the lifetime of the car, then going with the CCMs initially might make good financial sense! The question is, will the CCM's really last forever? They certainly haven't been out long enough to assess longevity/durability, but so far under normal street and track use, nobody has had any issues with oxidation requiring resurfacing or replacement yet. Plus, being a full 3D structure allows them to be resurfaced once, so if somehow you do end up exceeding the temps you have one extra life in your pocket. This especially seems to piss off all other carbon ceramic brake owners (Porsches, Ferraris, etc). When I mentioned the fact that these are basically lifetime rotors to these other guys their response was a universal jaw-drop to the floor and start spewing expletives about how they've had to spend multiple thousands of dollars so far to replace their rotors... lol.

Couple of random musings and install notes:
1) Xwing discovered that the rear backing plates need to be pushed in by about a half inch or so because the hat bolts were rubbing against them.

2) The provided rear ducting is probably twice as long as needed, so you can have a spare set of rear ducting if you are careful about using it sparingly.

3) There are a couple of nice empty spaces in the relay boxes by the battery that I stuffed the included fan relay into.

4) I ran the wiring for the fans immediately behind the stock hard brake lines (figured that it would afford the wires some protection from any debris).

5) When removing the three caliper bolts for the front calipers, be very careful about wiping them clean and gently thread them in by hand when replacing the caliper. The hub that they screw into is aluminum and it seems like they are easily cross-threaded. I nearly cross threaded one of the small ones in the front due to this.

6) There is a minimal amount of clearance it sems between the caliper and the front rotors. I didn't measure it, but it looked like only 1-2 mm at the top part of the caliper and 2-3mm at the bottom part of the caiper. When reinstalling the caliper I was sure to provide some upwards support on the caliper to even out this clearance so there was about 2mm on both top and bottom. I'm not sure if there would be any clearance issues if this was not done, but it sure did look tight. Xwing reported similar findings.

7) The included caliper spacers are made of aluminum. No additional washers or spacers were needed in my or Xwing's installation despite some pictures that came with Xwing's kit that showed extra washers.

8) Be sure to bed the pads in. Even though the rotors come pre-bedded, proper bedding of the pads is still required.

9) I found the included self-drilling screws for the front fan bracket to walk around a bit when just trying to screw them in, so I had to drill pilot holes first.

10) Final adjustments of the exact orientation of the front directional nozzles was easily accomplished by tilting the black duct and screwing in place with the self-drilling screws.

11) If you plan on using 18 inch wheels I doubt that you'll find any that will fit. And it i likely that even most 19 inch wheels won't work. There is a template out there to test it out. Do not use brake template #version 122009-1. This was the one sent to me and it didn't even clear the stock wheels.

12) A whole bunch of extra brackets/bolts came with my front and rear cooling kits that were not needed. A call to Stillen confirmed that they were used in an earlier version of the cooling kits and just not removed, so don't worry if you have a ton of parts left over.

13) I have zero regrets splurging on this system and would do it again in a heartbeat. If I never tracked my car, I probably wouldn't have done it though.
Bernie, OOParts International
1991 Nissan 300ZXTT (Stage XII+ 630 hp)
2002 Subaru WRX (TXS Stage 3 ~300hp)
2008 Mercedes Benz AMG ML63 (stock 503hp... so far)
2009 Nissan GT-R (for the street: Cobb AP stage 1, for the track: stock 483hp)
Track times for GT-R in stock configuration with Bridgestone tires: Homestead- club configuration: 1:41.7, Palm Beach International Raceway - 1:29.7

#2 GTRheritage

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 08:18 PM

Congrat's Bernie thanks for the info,as i like these brakes also :cheers:

#3 pi-man

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 08:49 PM

Thanks for the post. I really want to get a set of these myself.

If you're looking for a higher temperature paint, you might want to check out this stuff from Genesis:

http://genesisparts....;action=product

It's a single-color paint but it changes color based on the heat it's exposed to:

0-359C = Red
360-429C = Red/Brown
430-579C = Brown
580-719C = Yellow/Green
720-799C = Green
800C+ = Beige

Edited by pi-man, 04 October 2010 - 09:04 PM.


#4 thebishman

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 06:33 AM

great write-up; those rotors are awesome.

BTW, you can get AP J-Hooks both front and rear for about $2300, so you'd go thru' 6 to 7 iron rotors cost wise.

Bish

#5 icarus

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 07:27 AM

Thanks so much for the write-up and detailed photos and notes! I really would like the CCM setup, but it's way out of my price range.
I will probably do the Stillen front active cooling kit, going to drop by Jotech to take a look at it this week.

#6 descartesfool

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 09:07 AM

great write-up; those rotors are awesome.

BTW, you can get AP J-Hooks both front and rear for about $2300, so you'd go thru' 6 to 7 iron rotors cost wise.

Bish


Seeing as rear rotors last almost forever even on track, you only need to buy sets of front iron rotors at $1200/set and rarely a set of rear rotors, so you'd go thru' quite a few more iron cost wise.

But I sure would like some of that CCM bling on my car.

Nice pics.

#7 Davin

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 02:02 PM

excellent write up, thanks for sharing.

#8 AP Racing - Chris_B

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 02:36 PM

Hi Bernie,

Thanks for the great feedback! It sounds like you are starting to have just a bit of fun with these. :bump:

And, you also pointed out a few areas for suggested improvement, which I'd like to quickly address here in case it might also help others.

The fans are actually just a bilge marine application and the brackets are freaking heavy (should've been done out of aluminum). However, the fans are very powerful and put out a crap load of air. The fans are also really nice because you can just cruise around at like 5mph after your session around the pits and still get basically the same cooling effect as driving around at highway speeds. I wonder if there is any harm in leaving them on while stationary at the pits (besides draining the battery) between sessions? I was too worried that there might be warpage or something from uneven cooling, so I didn't try it. Included directions were adequate at best. No template was included to show where the bracket should be mounted... only pictures to guesstimate the correct positioning. A template would've saved me at least an hour of trial/error fitting to get it oriented just right.

Aluminum was initially considered for the fan brackets. It was changed to steel due to durability, vibration and metal fatigue concerns. While heavier, we don't expect GT-R owners to constantly crack-check parts like a race team do. Going to steel eliminated all of those concerns.

A mounting template is being developed, which I hope will be shipping in new kits within a week or two. Also, warping CCM rotors isn't possible, so no concerns there.

Xwing alerted me to the following clearance issue shown in the pic below. The hard brake line entering the caliper (red arrow) can be hit by the directional nozzle (green arrow) when turned fully to the right on the driver's side and vice versa on the left.

This is more likely to be a potential issue when using the cooling kit with 380mm iron rotors. With 400mm CCM rotors, there is slightly more clearance available to work with. Regardless, the new mounting template will assist in locating the mounting screws.

Rear passive ducting is shown below. The included directions were terrible on how to mount the end directed towards the caliper. I ended up using a small 90 degree bracket and attaching it to the caliper bolt indicated by the green arrow. I wasn't sure how close I should put the end of the duct to the rotor as the end is made out of plastic and I didn't want it melting. The way that the duct is mounted to the undertray is via three speed clips. I wasn't thrilled with how this duct was executed as it seemed a little bit flimsy the way it was mounted and it seems that it really sticks into (and probably dsturbs) the nice underbody airflow. I would've much rather seen a naca duct or such, but this is likely the cheapest and most effective method of cooling the rear brakes.

We accept that criticism. New instructions are currently being developed and your feedback has been passed on to the engineer leading that task. Also, you might want to double-check the mounting of the urethane scoops. It almost looks like they are inverted. The new instructions will have much better pictures and/or diagrams to assist with component location and how they are handed. In their correct position, air flow disturbances are minimized.

1) Xwing discovered that the rear backing plates need to be pushed in by about a half inch or so because the hat bolts were rubbing against them.

This varies from car to car, but will be explained in more detail in the next revision of installation instructions so the installer is aware to check and adjust for potential interference.

2) The provided rear ducting is probably twice as long as needed, so you can have a spare set of rear ducting if you are careful about using it sparingly.

I've asked that we start cutting these to length (as opposed to how we get them now in one generic length). There is really no other way to route them, so we expect cutting to length will ease installation.

3) There are a couple of nice empty spaces in the relay boxes by the battery that I stuffed the included fan relay into.

That is a very good place for it. We will note this as a suggested mounting location in the new rev.

4) I ran the wiring for the fans immediately behind the stock hard brake lines (figured that it would afford the wires some protection from any debris).

5) When removing the three caliper bolts for the front calipers, be very careful about wiping them clean and gently thread them in by hand when replacing the caliper. The hub that they screw into is aluminum and it seems like they are easily cross-threaded. I nearly cross threaded one of the small ones in the front due to this.

6) There is a minimal amount of clearance it sems between the caliper and the front rotors. I didn't measure it, but it looked like only 1-2 mm at the top part of the caliper and 2-3mm at the bottom part of the caiper. When reinstalling the caliper I was sure to provide some upwards support on the caliper to even out this clearance so there was about 2mm on both top and bottom. I'm not sure if there would be any clearance issues if this was not done, but it sure did look tight. Xwing reported similar findings.

7) The included caliper spacers are made of aluminum. No additional washers or spacers were needed in my or Xwing's installation despite some pictures that came with Xwing's kit that showed extra washers.

#'s 4, 5 and 6: Good notes!
#7: The instructions sent to you apparently were one revision old. The only difference was that the latest rev deleted the appendix about the spacers. The next rev will not have the addendum either.

9) I found the included self-drilling screws for the front fan bracket to walk around a bit when just trying to screw them in, so I had to drill pilot holes first.

This is always good practice. We will add the pilot drill size in the next rev.

11) If you plan on using 18 inch wheels I doubt that you'll find any that will fit. And it i likely that even most 19 inch wheels won't work. There is a template out there to test it out. Do not use brake template #version 122009-1. This was the one sent to me and it didn't even clear the stock wheels.

This has been corrected.

12) A whole bunch of extra brackets/bolts came with my front and rear cooling kits that were not needed. A call to Stillen confirmed that they were used in an earlier version of the cooling kits and just not removed, so don't worry if you have a ton of parts left over.

Engineers are reviewing the bill of materials for adjustments. Early prototypes required much more hardware, but it should have been updated upon release.

We are always striving to release products that are correct, robust and timely. In this particular case, some tidying needs to be done on the instructions. The new installation aids should eliminate the snags that you experienced. We'll push to get them finished ASAP!

Chris

#9 Go!Zilla

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 08:18 PM

Would one be inclined to want to change these Stillen / AP Racing CCM brake rotors out for street versus track duty? How do they perform on the street cold and after they warm up? Any noise when brake pedal is applied and is there any when not applied?

#10 AP Racing - Chris_B

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 10:10 AM

Would one be inclined to want to change these Stillen / AP Racing CCM brake rotors out for street versus track duty? How do they perform on the street cold and after they warm up? Any noise when brake pedal is applied and is there any when not applied?

I don't know anyone who is switching back and forth. No warm up is required as long as the pads have been bedded properly. We have not heard complaints regarding consistent brake squeal when braking. At very low speeds while off of the pedal, you might hear some light rattling, especially when they are cold. This is due to the full-floating design of the hat/disc interface. Once the hats have warmed up and expanded, the clearances shrink and the noise is greatly reduced or goes away entirely.

Chris

#11 seanm

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 10:44 AM

Would one be inclined to want to change these Stillen / AP Racing CCM brake rotors out for street versus track duty? How do they perform on the street cold and after they warm up? Any noise when brake pedal is applied and is there any when not applied?


xwing posted some feedback on another thread. http://www.nagtroc.o...h...20&start=20

"Braking seemed a bit grabbier when CCM heated up, which makes me happy. The [Pagid Yellow pads + CCM] combo are "fine" on street so far, almost no dust, no squeal,"

"The supplied [Pagid yellow RS29 pads +CCM rotors] do not squeal at all, and leave almost zero brake dust on my stock light silver winter package wheels smile.gif
"No Filthy Brakedust Wheel Cleaning Needed" CCM bonus, every single time I wash the car...clean looking wheels always...that is worth something to me, the only truly nonrenewable resource, my TIME and less annoyance (lol)!"

Sean Morris
 


#12 wwjd

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 11:53 AM

Nice write up. Thanks for sharing.
My front J-hook's are dying... Hmm

#13 seanm

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 12:16 PM

Nice write up. Thanks for sharing.
My front J-hook's are dying... Hmm


I will save a set for you Ricky.

Sean Morris
 


#14 wwjd

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 12:43 PM

Hi Sean, quick question here. All the CCM in Ferrari's have some kind of rotors indicator that shows if the CCM rotors are gone. Because when the CCM rotors are done, they are no longer have stopping power which iron still has more or less a little. So how do I know if the stillen CCM's are done or so?

#15 seanm

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 02:52 PM

Hi Sean, quick question here. All the CCM in Ferrari's have some kind of rotors indicator that shows if the CCM rotors are gone. Because when the CCM rotors are done, they are no longer have stopping power which iron still has more or less a little. So how do I know if the stillen CCM's are done or so?


I looked around for some information on the Ferrari carbon ceramic brakes, and the only thing I saw mentioning a indicator was a brake pad indicator. The brake pad indicator showed up at 50% life.

The Ferrari, Corvette carbon ceramics are different than the STILLEN/AP carbon ceramics as the STILLEN/AP are a true 3D matrix. If you damage a Ferrari or Corvette rotor its a replace part. The STILLEN/AP's can be turned.

Chris should pop here in a bit, and give a much better explanation.

Sean Morris
 


#16 thebishman

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 11:14 AM

Hi Sean, quick question here. All the CCM in Ferrari's have some kind of rotors indicator that shows if the CCM rotors are gone. Because when the CCM rotors are done, they are no longer have stopping power which iron still has more or less a little. So how do I know if the stillen CCM's are done or so?


The Ferrari ECU records the number of heat cycles the CCMs are exposed to. At a certain number, Ferrari recommend replacing the rotors; at $8500 per front rotor; (at least on a 360 CS).

Bish

#17 MindlessOath

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 11:41 AM

the spec-v has sensors in the rotors for its Carbon ceramic setup. i forget the exact reason buy one of the nagtroc guys did a writeup on it and described it, if someone cares to search for it.

#18 FATNSLO

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 12:43 PM

OK Bernie you sold me - I'm in
Switzer R900 GTR Package on 2009 – 828hp, 829tq
IMRA 200mph Standing Mile Club & 9 Second 1/4 Mile Club Member
Switzer Stainless Steel Exhaust w/ Back Pressure Relief System
Switzer Transmission Upgrade W/ Sheptrans, PPG & Dodson components
Stillen Carbon Ceramic Brake System (W/Pagid Pads)
Stillen Max 5 Way Adjustable Sway Bars W/ Adjustable End-links
HKS DCT Transmission Cooler, Front & Rear Electric Brake cooling kits
Forged-Alloys AMT 20" wheels / Toyo R888's - JRZ RS Pro Adjustable Suspension
AMS Carbon Hood, Roof & Trunk - Zele Carbon, grill, front, side & rear lowers
Aeromotions S-2 Active Wing, Hush Mat Sound & Heat Suppression
JL Audio Clean Sweep & Amplifiers, Morel Speaker Systems Front & Rear
JL Audio 10W6 10" Woofer in Serious Autosport custom plexy enclosure
K-40 RL360 front & rear radar detector & laser diffusers
Video VBOX Lite 4 Channel / Nav-TV Factory Video kit with Backup Camera
Zele Front Bumper - Drive Shaft Shop 1000HP Axles front & rear...

#19 seanm

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 01:00 PM

OK Bernie you sold me - I'm in


Great to hear. Give me a call. I could get a set on its way to you today.

Edited by [email protected], 08 October 2010 - 01:05 PM.

Sean Morris
 


#20 FATNSLO

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 01:34 PM

Great to hear. Give me a call. I could get a set on its way to you today.


I think you already got a set on it's way to Switzer that's who's installing them for me
Switzer R900 GTR Package on 2009 – 828hp, 829tq
IMRA 200mph Standing Mile Club & 9 Second 1/4 Mile Club Member
Switzer Stainless Steel Exhaust w/ Back Pressure Relief System
Switzer Transmission Upgrade W/ Sheptrans, PPG & Dodson components
Stillen Carbon Ceramic Brake System (W/Pagid Pads)
Stillen Max 5 Way Adjustable Sway Bars W/ Adjustable End-links
HKS DCT Transmission Cooler, Front & Rear Electric Brake cooling kits
Forged-Alloys AMT 20" wheels / Toyo R888's - JRZ RS Pro Adjustable Suspension
AMS Carbon Hood, Roof & Trunk - Zele Carbon, grill, front, side & rear lowers
Aeromotions S-2 Active Wing, Hush Mat Sound & Heat Suppression
JL Audio Clean Sweep & Amplifiers, Morel Speaker Systems Front & Rear
JL Audio 10W6 10" Woofer in Serious Autosport custom plexy enclosure
K-40 RL360 front & rear radar detector & laser diffusers
Video VBOX Lite 4 Channel / Nav-TV Factory Video kit with Backup Camera
Zele Front Bumper - Drive Shaft Shop 1000HP Axles front & rear...


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