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Old 2004-02-09, 03:22 PM   #1
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Default Let's talk about brakes!

So, after my little jaunt around Reno-Fernely Raceway's road course, I think I need to start considering a brake upgrade if I'm going to be tracking the car frequently.

Here are the popular options, and my initial results from research:

StopTech - Big, bad ass, expensive ($1700), Gary Sheehan races on 'em! 2-piece rotors / fixed calipers. Some people have complained about excessive knockback and clicking, but they've got dust shields so their very streetable. Rotors and pads aren't too expensive. Rota Attacks and P1's will clear 'em, so I'll just need a new set of winter rims.

Prodrive - Very capable, on par w/ the StopTechs. Expensive and hard to find (ask Kevin!). Rotors and pads cost bank aparently. Very high quality, on par w/ OEM.

Brembo - Retarded expensive. Very few rim options. Not quite as good as the StopTechs performance wise, but higher quality and more streetable.

STi 4-pots - Affordable. Uses stock WRX rotors, so doesn't really increase heat resistance. Doesn't actually make the car stop better either, but adds much needed "feel" to the brakes. Fits under tons of rims, including 16"ers... except for the OEM WRX 16'x7.5"s!

Baer (GT Kit) - More affordable ($900) than the other BBKs. Single piece rotor but has high quality OEM C5 Corvette calipers! There's confusion as to the size of the rotor in this kit... some people claim is so big that it'll only fit under 18" rims! :shock:

TWR - Almost as expensive as the StopTechs, but has no dust seals so you'll have to rebuild them once a year on a daily driver. Front and Rear kit available.

Willwood - Good track kit, but no dust seals. Rave reviews for the 6pot front / 4pot rear setup on track. Some people complain about build quality. On par with StopTechs cost-wise.

So, I'm sure there's plenty of info I'm missing or simply got wrong, so feel free to corect me!

So far, I'm leaning towards the StopTechs, but they're about $700 more than I want to spend. I'd really like something along the lines of the Baer kit, considering the price, but I'd much rather get the 2 piece rotor (I know Austin had issues w/ his till he upgraded to the 2-piece, right?) and the Alcon calipers from the more expensive Baer kits (which I don't even think they make in a WRX fitment yet) since the C5 calipers are only 2 pots. By the time you add those parts to a Baer kit, I might as well be running the StopTechs, which are pretty much the most popular of the trackable WRX kits.

My goal isn't really to decrease my stopping distance so much as it's to prevent fade (yes, I'm aware you can go to a very agressive pas and fluid on the stockers for a zero-fade setup, but then you start melting plastic parts and ruining wheel bearings) and to increase positive feel. I *really* want a stiff as hell pedal that has next to no throw... I just want a brick inbetween the clutch and gas that slows the car down as I push on it. I've even thought about going to a single stage booster, but that seems like a far too complicated way to help the feel... when a BBK should do the same and help with fade.

What's everyone else's opinion? I know there's people out there w/ BBKs... let me know what works!
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Old 2004-02-09, 03:28 PM   #2
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Well, from what I've read, and from what you've posted here, I of course would say the Stoptech's are my #1 choice, but the cost is very high. 2ND choice would be the Baer's, as long as they fit 17's, because having to run 18's pretty much wipes out all cost savings vs. the Stoptechs...However, a quick fix that is actually a good consideration is the STI 4 pots, like you said it won't add a ton of stopping power, but you'll have a more connected feel...

1. Stoptechs
2. Baer (if they fit 17's)
3. STi 4 POTS
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Old 2004-02-09, 03:44 PM   #3
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Actually I have 1-piece cast iron rotors on mine, always have. The two-piece alum. hub rotors just shave off some unsprung weight. They seem to cost 2 to 3 times as much as 1 piece rotors, so it's not really worth the price to me yet.

[img:8fb4b5884b=400]http://www.seccs.org/gallery/Car%20Pictures/Austin's%20Mustang/Right%20Front%20Coilover%202.jpg[/img:8fb4b5884b]

The rotors I initially got with the Baer Track kit were gas-slotted, and apparently made by a different manufacturer than the ones I have now; the curved-vane vent holes in the rotor were quite a bit wider (which you would think was good), which actually meant there was less mass in the rotor (which is bad, in terms of heat anyway). As I recall I didn't season the brand new rotors right - so after a year or so they were vibrating like a quarter-fed honeymoon hotel bed. I bought a new set direct from Baer, plain rotors this time, and what I got had narrower vent holes.. but since the overall thickness is the same it means significantly more iron material present, which has actually resulted in much better ability to deal with heat. They've lasted for a couple years now IIRC, and the only problem at all is that I just noticed a few weeks ago there are some tiny tiny cracks developing on the firepath surface (my guess is it's just wear due to heat cycling). I'll keep an eye on them, and if they're still small when when it comes time for a new set of pads I'll just have the rotors turned.. if not, it'll be time for new rotors again.
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Old 2004-02-09, 03:50 PM   #4
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Nice Austin.... that's the kinda info I need. I heard, the 2 piece rotors prevent "coning" of the rotor as they heat up meaning less knockback and better pad wear in addition to the lighter rotor.... have you noticed a bevel on your worn pads, or does AutoX not really heat things up enough to notice that?
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Old 2004-02-09, 03:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: Let's talk about brakes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sperry
STi 4-pots - Affordable. Uses stock WRX calipers, so doesn't really increase heat resistance. Doesn't actually make the car stop better either, but adds much needed "feel" to the brakes. Fits under tons of rims, including 16"ers... except for the OEM WRX 16'x7.5"s!
I don't know what the STi option is; usually "pot" denotes a caliper, but you said it uses stock calipers?

Quote:
Baer (GT Kit) - More affordable ($900) than the other BBKs. Single piece rotor but has high quality OEM C5 Corvette calipers! There's confusion as to the size of the rotor in this kit... some people claim is so big that it'll only fit under 18" rims! :shock:
http://www.baer.com/Products/BrakeSy...ntSystems.aspx

The Baer page explains dimensions & calipers used. Up to and including the GT systems use one of the 2 PBR caliper variants; Pro & up use Alcon 4 or 6 piston calipers
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Old 2004-02-09, 03:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: Let's talk about brakes!

StopTech's it what you want and it sounds like they will save your car in the long run
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Old 2004-02-09, 03:56 PM   #7
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I know they may be hard to find...but what about endless? Do they even make a kit for the WRX?
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Old 2004-02-09, 03:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: Let's talk about brakes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomicLabMonkey
I don't know what the STi option is; usually "pot" denotes a caliper, but you said it uses stock calipers?
Woops, I meant that is uses the stock rotors!

As far as the Baer kit for the WRX, it doens't seem to be specifically listed on their site. I guess they came out with a setup a while back that everyone hated, so they tried again with a newer one, but it uses such giant rotors that no rims fit. To be honest, I really don't know what's in the WRX kit anymore... and Baer's site isn't helping much!
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Old 2004-02-09, 03:57 PM   #9
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nice Endless would just be sick :shock:
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Old 2004-02-09, 03:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArthurS
I know they may be hard to find...but what about endless? Do they even make a kit for the WRX?
I don't have $1700 let alone $7500 for Endless Brakes.
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Old 2004-02-09, 04:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sperry
Nice Austin.... that's the kinda info I need. I heard, the 2 piece rotors prevent "coning" of the rotor as they heat up meaning less knockback and better pad wear in addition to the lighter rotor.... have you noticed a bevel on your worn pads, or does AutoX not really heat things up enough to notice that?
I haven't heard that before; I haven't noticed any irregular wear of my pads with the "Track" kit, but I haven't been out on an actual track, either.

I would tend to think the caliper and caliper mounting bracket stiffness would have the most effect on keeping the pad oriented true to the rotor surface, since they're mounted up there on a lever arm. Off the top of my head, I would also think 2-piece rotors would flex more under a given load, since AFAIK they use an aluminum center hat of roughly equivalent thickness to the iron hat they replace, and iron is a stiffer material than aluminum.
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Old 2004-02-09, 04:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sperry
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArthurS
I know they may be hard to find...but what about endless? Do they even make a kit for the WRX?
I don't have $1700 let alone $7500 for Endless Brakes.
I would have to say there problly not the best thing for street use then also thats a lot of money for brakes
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Old 2004-02-09, 04:06 PM   #13
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Scott, I just went through this debate myself. After much searching and debating, I'm sticking to the old school STi 4pot/2pot setup. The rear 2 pots are dictated by the R180 hubs, not my belief that the stock rears (or Legacy rears) would fade, because they won't. I could have had all 4 wheels with STi golds, but decided that the limited wheel choices made that not so good. Brakes themselves are excellent given better than stock pads and rotors.

Next choice was Stoptech. I can get them cheaper than retail, they are EXCELLENT brakes, and quite a few 17" wheels suitable for an Impreza fit them. However, I decided to stick to the 4 pots I have for now. With stainless lines, Ate Racing fluid, and suitable pads on the OE rotrs, I really doubt I will fade them, at least not during autocross. Maybe, just maybe, at the track, but I doubt that too. The really big advantage, though, is spending half as much as Stoptechs cost and being able to run lighter 16" wheels, which means I can even keep a set of cheapo stocks or rotas with gravel tires for rallycross and "side trips". If, and only if, I manage to fade these, then I may go to StopTechs later on. And if $$ were no object, I'd go with 4 piston APs with super jammy slotted 2 piece rotors.
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Old 2004-02-09, 04:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomicLabMonkey
Quote:
Originally Posted by sperry
Nice Austin.... that's the kinda info I need. I heard, the 2 piece rotors prevent "coning" of the rotor as they heat up meaning less knockback and better pad wear in addition to the lighter rotor.... have you noticed a bevel on your worn pads, or does AutoX not really heat things up enough to notice that?
I haven't heard that before; I haven't noticed any irregular wear of my pads with the "Track" kit, but I haven't been out on an actual track, either.

I would tend to think the caliper and caliper mounting bracket stiffness would have the most effect on keeping the pad oriented true to the rotor surface, since they're mounted up there on a lever arm. Off the top of my head, I would also think 2-piece rotors would flex more under a given load, since AFAIK they use an aluminum center hat of roughly equivalent thickness to the iron hat they replace, and iron is a stiffer material than aluminum.
Interesting comment on the alu vs. iron. As far as the mounting bracket flexing, I hear the biggest flex comes from the bearings/hub (at least on the WRX which is notorious) which means the *rotor* is what get's out of line, not the caliper. Check out this article on knockback to see what I mean: http://www.stoptech.com/whitepapers/knockback.htm
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Old 2004-02-09, 04:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomicLabMonkey
Quote:
Originally Posted by sperry
Nice Austin.... that's the kinda info I need. I heard, the 2 piece rotors prevent "coning" of the rotor as they heat up meaning less knockback and better pad wear in addition to the lighter rotor.... have you noticed a bevel on your worn pads, or does AutoX not really heat things up enough to notice that?
I haven't heard that before; I haven't noticed any irregular wear of my pads with the "Track" kit, but I haven't been out on an actual track, either.

I would tend to think the caliper and caliper mounting bracket stiffness would have the most effect on keeping the pad oriented true to the rotor surface, since they're mounted up there on a lever arm. Off the top of my head, I would also think 2-piece rotors would flex more under a given load, since AFAIK they use an aluminum center hat of roughly equivalent thickness to the iron hat they replace, and iron is a stiffer material than aluminum.
Coning comes from the contact surface of the rotor getting hotter much faster than the hat portion. Because the outside edge of the rotor is expanding more than the inside part, it tries to move outward, making the rotor have a larger radius. But since it can't, it tips to the side instead to allow the expansion. 2 piece rotors prevent this by allowing the inner portion of the rotor to change shape without binding against itself. 2 piece rotors have some play in the fasteners for that reason.
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Old 2004-02-09, 04:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BAN SUVS
Scott, I just went through this debate myself. After much searching and debating, I'm sticking to the old school STi 4pot/2pot setup. The rear 2 pots are dictated by the R180 hubs, not my belief that the stock rears (or Legacy rears) would fade, because they won't. I could have had all 4 wheels with STi golds, but dedcided that the limited tire choices made that not so good. Brakes themselves are excellent given better than stock pads and rotors.

Next choice was Stoptech. I can get them cheaper than retail, they are EXCELLENT brakes, and quite a few 17" wheels suitable for an Impreza fit them. However, I decided to stick to the 4 pots I have for now. With stainless lines, Ate Racing fluid, and suitable pads on the OE rotrs, I really doubt I will fade them, at least not during autocross. Maybe, just maybe, at the track, but I doubt that too. The really big advantage, though, is spending half as much as Stoptechs cost and being able to run lighter 16" wheels, which means I can even keep a set of cheapo stocks or rotas with gravel tires for rallycross and "side trips". If, and only if, I manage to fade these, then I may go to StopTechs later on. And if $$ were no object, I'd go with 4 piston APs with super jammy slotted 2 piece rotors.
Mmmmmm... "super jammy" rotors....

I'm not really opposed to going with a more affordable alternative, expecially if I can upgrade all 4 corners for only $800. But since I got the crap 16"x6.5" stockers, even the 4-pots leave me shopping for another set of rims... unless I can find someone that'll trade me some <='01 rims for my stockers.

Where's a good place to buy the FHI 4-pot/2-pot setup? And where can you get the StopTechs for cheap!
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Old 2004-02-09, 04:15 PM   #17
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$700 for the front 4 pots at www.subaruwrxparts.com . That includes absolutely everything you need to do the swap. You don't need the rears since you have R160 hubs, and doing the Legacy disc upgrade (~$225) does you just as much good. Plus, the 2 pots usually go for about $1100. Go figure.

RS wheels go for about $250, and Rotas for not much more. And since the 17s for competition would no longer be necessary, you could even profit from that change.

As for the hookup... let's just say I gots connections y0.
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Old 2004-02-09, 04:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BAN SUVS
$700 for the front 4 pots at www.subaruwrxparts.com . That includes absolutely everything you need to do the swap. You don't need the rears since you have R160 hubs, and doing the Legacy disc upgrade (~$225) does you just as much good. Plus, the 2 pots usually go for about $1100. Go figure.
Tell me more about the Legacy rotor swap... is that just the ventilated rear rotor that's the same size as the WRX rear rotor? The WRX rear single-pot calipers fit over it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BAN SUVS
RS wheels go for about $250, and Rotas for not much more. And since the 17s for competition would no longer be necessary, you could even profit from that change.
Huh? You lost me, how do I profit on that deal? If I go to a 17" rim, even a cheap one, I'll still need to pay for the rims and a new set of snow tires, since my 16" Blizzaks won't fit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BAN SUVS
As for the hookup... being a mod comes with perks.
Bastard! I'm a mod! (Here, on a board that doesn't really count... )
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Old 2004-02-09, 04:27 PM   #19
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The Legacy brake swap (aka H6 swap) is just bigger, vented rotors and caliper brackets. Small increase in brake torque, good increase in fade resistance. Should be plenty for autocross, and sufficient for the track.

I thought you had 2 sets of 17" wheels? Selling 17" competition wheels in favor of RS wheels or 16" rotas for autocross would probably net you a profit.
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Old 2004-02-09, 04:36 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BAN SUVS
The Legacy brake swap (aka H6 swap) is just bigger, vented rotors and caliper brackets. Small increase in brake torque, good increase in fade resistance. Should be plenty for autocross, and sufficient for the track.

I thought you had 2 sets of 17" wheels? Selling 17" competition wheels in favor of RS wheels or 16" rotas for autocross would probably net you a profit.
Well, I need three sets of rims: snow, summer, and race. Right now I'm running stockers, P1's, and Rota Attacks for those jobs. If I were to get a set of RS rims, I could just swap my Blizzaks on 'em and be done with it. But I'd still have to find a way to trade my WRX rims for RS rims.

As far as racing on RS rims... they would be faster for acceleration, but the Azenis (my preferred race tire) only come in 215/45/16, so I'd be giving up width, and frankly it actually makes a difference, ask Theo, he raced on Stockers w/ Azenis last season and ended up w/ a less traction than me on the 225/45/17's. It's a shame that Falken doesn't make a wide size selection for the Azenis Sports, but that's what keeps 'em cheap I guess. I'd love some 245/35/16's on RS rims for race tires!!
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Old 2004-02-09, 04:40 PM   #21
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Kevin, one more question:

On the H6 upgrade, I'd prolly just get the bracket and a set of StopTech rotors... what car has that sized rear rotor? The '02 Legacy GT?

The H6 upgrade kit on subaruwrxparts.com is a solid rotor... doesn't seem worth it unless it's ventilated.
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Old 2004-02-09, 04:40 PM   #22
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Ah, I forgot about the winter wheels needing upgrading too. Well, you wouldn't lose more than about $50-100 going from stocks to 16x7 RS wheels. However, any other worthy brake upgrade also presents this dilemma. RS wheels are cheaper than any 17s. The only "upgrade" that fits under your stock wheels are the Perrin/Wilwoods, but they suck. They have to be periodically rebuilt (which isn't that hard, but it's still harder than not doing it at all) and, the calipers themselves flex under strong pedal pressure. Not good.
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Old 2004-02-09, 04:42 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sperry
Kevin, one more question:

On the H6 upgrade, I'd prolly just get the bracket and a set of StopTech rotors... what car has that sized rear rotor? The '02 Legacy GT?
Basically any late model Legacy. You can just order it with the 4 pots from Exeter online. It's pretty obvious which one it is. You could do rear StopTech rotors, but it's really overkill. Your rears don't need much help beyond pad/rotor choice. I only think the H6 upgrade is smart because it's barely more expensive than just doing rotors anyway.
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Old 2004-02-09, 04:42 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BAN SUVS
Ah, I forgot about the winter wheels needing upgrading too. Well, you wouldn't lose more than about $50-100 going from stocks to 16x7 RS wheels. However, any other worthy brake upgrade also presents this dilemma. RS wheels are cheaper than any 17s. The only "upgrade" that fits under your stock wheels are the Perrin/Wilwoods, but they suck. They have to be periodically rebuilt (which isn't that hard, but it's still harder than not doing it at all) and, the calipers themselves flex under strong pedal pressure. Not good.
Well, I wasn't planning on keeping the stockers if I did the brakes... so I might as well go with a big-ass upgrade... at least that was the thinking originally.
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Old 2004-02-09, 04:44 PM   #25
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oshkosh, WI
Posts: 4,063
 
Car: '13 WRX
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BAN SUVS
Coning comes from the contact surface of the rotor getting hotter much faster than the hat portion. Because the outside edge of the rotor is expanding more than the inside part, it tries to move outward, making the rotor have a larger radius. But since it can't, it tips to the side instead to allow the expansion. 2 piece rotors prevent this by allowing the inner portion of the rotor to change shape without binding against itself. 2 piece rotors have some play in the fasteners for that reason.
Interesting. Make sure you've got those things safety-wired...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sperry
STi 4-pots - Affordable. Uses stock WRX rotors, so doesn't really increase heat resistance. Doesn't actually make the car stop better either, but adds much needed "feel" to the brakes.
Going with the STi stuff might be all you need; the beefier calipers will actually increase the heat storage capacity of the brakes.. not as much as larger iron rotors do, but a little. The extra pistons (as long as they're sized correctly for the rest of the system) & change in the way the rotor is being clamped will probably give a better feel like you said and let you modulate pressure better at the threshold. The biggest difference for track use though will probably come from running the correct heat range pads, and getting some cooling air on those front brakes. I'm not talking about the WRX's dookie stock "cooling ducts" either , I'm talking about the real thing. Even World Challenge cars don't do very well without any air ducting to the brakes.
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