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Racing Brake system - Long Term Test

15584 Views 37 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  GTR-NISMO
It is accurate to say I have done a fair amount of brake testing on the Nissan GT-R. 4 years, approx 40 track days on 10 different tracks, and street driving in all conditions (rain, snow, sleet, desert, mountains, coast). And, early on, I made a very good decision to embrace AP Racing's rotors which worked fantastic and were very durable, combined with Carbotech 1521 pads for the street and Carbotech XP12 pads for track, Goodrich stainless steel lines and Castrol SRF fluid rounding out the system.

Those of us who go to the track know that the GT-R lacks in the brake cooling department. Pad life is very short, and rotors can be obliterated if run hard enough. This is a weakness that can prove to be very costly. So, in the interest of science (lol), I tried various cooling options over the years:
  • Rexpeed brake air guides (not enough improvement to measure)
  • Stillen Active Brake Cooling (awkward, noisy, ineffective)
  • Willall Brake Cooling System (highly effective, but expensive and somewhat awkward)

So in the past 3 years, with the AP/Carbotech/Willall setup I was pretty happy. Little to no fade, could run full 30 min track sessions, improved pad life, good rotor life. I often praised the OEM Brembo calipers, (Brembo is an experienced, premium brand, right?) and considered the braking feel to be just fine. In fact, I went so far as to question and criticize the efforts of Racing Brake, when they made some assertions that the OEM braking system was flawed, and in particular, that a better caliper was needed.

That is when a devil, in the disguise of 7racer, appeared at my doorstep, with a simple invitation: "Try out my new RB braking system". And like an innocent lamb, I took the bait. Even driving 7's car for a brief period, it was SO CLEAR to me that the braking feel was absolutely in a different league from the OEM system. The pedal feel at the very top was very firm, no mushy play before the braking force started coming in. The entire brake pedal had a consistent, linear resolution, you got exactly the amount of braking force your foot asked for. And the pressure applied felt so directly connected to the brakes - like your foot was directly connected to the calipers. On the OEM braking system, I might have 25 degrees of braking force resolution I could apply, but with the Racing Brake calipers it feels like I have 100 degress of resolution. Which is SO great for trail-braking on a road course, and helping make your braking smooth, which is so important for ultimate grip.

Now, you might know, 7 runs the WGP ZR1 CCM rotor kit and Endless W007 pads, but I had driven his car before with that setup and it felt great, I was really impressed the CCM rotors worked well cold, and the W007 pads seemed strangely quiet for a track pad, but overall the braking feel was roughly the same as stock. So I knew that it had to be the new Racing Brake calipers.

So, again, in the interest of science (lol), I decided that just maybe the engineers over at Racing Brake were on to something here, and I should take the plunge and report my findings back. One thing that I will do differently than others who are now running the Racing Brake calipers is, I will install the full Racing Brake system. Warren at Racing Brake has often asserted that the brakes are best designed and implemented as a system, and all of the components Racing Brake has produced are designed to work optimally together. So it is that complete system that I will run.
  • Racing Brake hard-anodized calipers front and rear
  • Racing Brake rotors and hats, 390x34mm front and 380x30mm rear
  • Racing Brake stainless steel lines
  • Racing Brake ET500 street pads front and rear
  • Racing Brake XR70 Enduro track pads front and rear
  • Castrol SRF fluid

Make no mistake, a final judgement has not been reached. This will be a long-term test - over months and years. I will not pull any punches or promise any happy endings. Readers of this forum will get an honest write-up from me, and I believe that Racing Brake will use this feedback as one more data point to further improve their products for the GT-R community.

And that long-term test begins TODAY.

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Good luck. RB has fallen short on other applications so I hope you have better luck.
Good luck. RB has fallen short on other applications so I hope you have better luck.
so far so good for me on the ZR1 Dave kit. I have the new CCX rotors from Surface Transform that RB partnered with arriving any day now.
I'd love for it to work. I've just seen too many issues including the M3 kit that I personally worked with them to develop.
Looking forward to the reviews.
I'd love for it to work. I've just seen too many issues including the M3 kit that I personally worked with them to develop.
Shawn has more miles on his calipers than I do. I have one track weekend and some drag events, but as soon as the car comes back from the wrap shop, the track days will be in full swing.

Sometimes it takes someone to test a product like I took the chance with the AV system upgrade. Sometimes you win, sometimes far I like what I have been seeing.
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I assume that chart was made by RB?
I assume that chart was made by RB?
of course, I think it was referred to before when they try to expound on the benefits of their brakes.

I glossed over it and didn't think much of it at the time. But after owning the calipers and feeling the difference, the other aspects of the chart really start to jump out.

One that is obviously apparent is the ability to run stock sized pads. This gives you access to a lot of different companies and materials to try. For me at the track, the top loading makes it super simple to swap.

Finally, so far, neither Shawn nor I has had pad taper compared to stock Brembos (though I am still early on the set, but did remove them to look at).

Like anything there is advertisement and customer experiences. I'm posting from the customer side and remarking on how it really is starting to reflect the touted benefits from the marketing side.
I'd love for it to work. I've just seen too many issues including the M3 kit that I personally worked with them to develop.
Sorry to hear of your problems. As my original post states, I will review the Racing Brake kit objectively. I will be testing on both street and track over a long period and my results will be shared here, whether good or bad. If I find any flaws or ways the system could be improved I will provide that feedback to Racing Brake, and hopefully it will allow them to improve the product for the GT-R community.

I could have stuck with my AP Racing and Carbotech setup, which worked great, but I wanted to try something new.
Racing Brake - 390x34mm, 25.2 lbs
OEM Brembo - 390x32.8mm, 25.2 lbs

The RB front rotor comes pre-assembled with a forged aluminum alloy hat. Even though the rotor is 1.2mm thicker than OEM, it is the same weight. The thicker RB rotor should be significantly more durable, with better ability to absorb heat. The black coating you see is a temporary coating that burns off after you bed in the brakes.


Racing Brake
- Forged 7075-T6 aluminum
- Pad changes -(2) allen head pins and a single 15mm bolt that all unscrew from the front face of the caliper. Hoping this design will make pad changes much easier; I change pads in/out for every track day.
- hard-anodized finish - we will see how resistant it is to track heat cycles
- will the stiffer caliper promote more even pad wear? To be determined...
- pads are vertically spring-loaded for a snug fit
- pads same size as OEM, but caliper could potentially accomodate a slightly thicker pad
- Racing Brake will service and rebuild their calipers
- 16.2 lbs per corner with pads, lines and hardware (0.6 lbs heavier than OEM)
- Direct bolt-on (no spacer required)

OEM Brembo

- Cast 6061 aluminum monoblock
- Pad changes - (2) hammer-out pins that need to be pounded in/out and (2) 13mm bolts that unscrew from the BACK of the caliper... (arghhh)
- painted finish (chips easily, discolors after repeated track heat cycles)
- uneven pad wear (taper)
- Brembo will not service, rebuild or refinish the OEM calipers
- 15.6 lbs per corner with pads, lines and hardware

The front Racing Brake setup really fills out the wheel, I think a 19 inch wheel should fit fine if you are mindful of where you put the wheel weights, but I am doubtful it will fit with an 18 inch wheel. Despite being larger, it is only 0.6 lbs heavier per corner versus OEM.

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Still prefer a mono block caliper to a 2 piece design.
Still prefer a mono block caliper to a 2 piece design.
I agree, super high-end monoblock calipers like Brembo's GTR (not GT-R) race caliper and Endless monoblock may be stiffer than a 2-piece forged design like Racing Brake, StopTech, and Wilwood. But the OEM Brembo calipers are NOT the same as those monoblocks. I'll post some articles I found when researching brake calipers.

This is so much appreciated.
I want to be able to enjoy the GT-R to the fullest.
This will help all of us.
Still prefer a mono block caliper to a 2 piece design.
I think the problem is that sometimes we see a spec and feel that this the most important part of the piece and rightfully or sometimes wrongfully focus on that.

While I would like to think I am a fast marathon runner, buying a race shoe would never work for me as it wouldn't make any difference in my performance getting to a 2 hour marathon (when I average 4!)

I think for a very very fast street driven and almost 100% track car like the GTR, the 2 piece RB design works surprisingly well. Add to that the intangibles with rebuilding in the states, using OEM pads, and a good entry price, I think it makes up for the one "spec" of it not being a mono block.

Plus, you just have to try it. It's really remarkable how different these feel compared to stock. Icarus better expressed it than I and it really is the truth.
Regarding monoblock versus 2-piece caliper design, I did some research prior to going with the Racing Brake kit and concluded that:

1) The OEM Brembo is a monoblock cast aluminum caliper that is good, but not the same as true high-end forged race monoblock calipers
2) The 2-piece forged caliper design used by Racing Brake, StopTech and Wilwood is a much better, stiffer design than OEM Brembo
3) Super $$$$ high-end monoblock calipers like Brembo GTR (not GT-R) and Endless may be even better than 2-piece design

Per Wilwood:

Everything being equal, a properly designed two-piece caliper will flex less than a monobloc caliper. Stiffness is a function of the material's modulus of elasticity. Steel bolts have an elastic modulus approximately three times that of aluminum bridges. There are some exotic aluminum alloys that were developed for F-1 racing that have almost the same elastic modulus as steel; however, they are expensive and not normally seen in after market brake kits. Steel has the added benefit of not losing its elastic modulus as things heat up.

Here is StopTech's white paper on 2-piece versus monoblock calipers saying most OEM and aftermarket monoblocks cannot be compared to high-end race application monoblocks:

Some excerpts:
Caliper operating temperatures can and do often exceed 300 degrees F on high performance street vehicles - at which point the Aluminum bridge of the monobloc has lost more than half of its strength while the steel bolts in a two piece unit are unfazed. In fact, steel is essentially unaffected until around 200 degrees F where it begins to gain in strength.

If you are able to use a monobloc caliper designed for a production application made either by squeeze or semi-solid forging, cost might be comparable but any claim of them being intrinsically better than a well designed two piece caliper with bolts is simply not true. It is pure marketing hype when a commercially available monbloc caliper, where the manufacturing strategy was aimed at reducing costs to produce a fixed multi piston design, is represented as better than every other design in the aftermarket.
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