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Old 11th May 2007, 13:41   #1
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Default Improving your car's brakes: Options and costs

Been meaning to do this for some time now. The stock Octavia TDi has pretty lousy brakes. The disc/drum combo fades really early, and there simply isn't enough stopping power in them for my liking.

So what are the options available out there? And how much do they cost.

Option 1: The budget way.
Cost: Less than Rs.10,000/-
Cross drill the existing rotors and change to some better brake pads. slotting or cross rilling the rotors would cost about Rs.1,000 or so (I'm guessing) and new pads would be about Rs.4,000/-. Option for the rear drums are limited though. But which pads would suit the Octavia best? Suggestions please.

Cost vs improvement ratio
Should be pretty economical. Existing rotors can be used (provided they are within the tolerances) or new OE rotors can be bought. The slotted/drilled rotors along with better brake pads should produce a noticable improvement over the stock brakes.

Option 2: The expensive way
Cost: Rs.20,000 onwards
New, larger rotors with 6 pot calipers. These call for mucho dinero, but will surely improve the performance considerably. How much better than option 1 is the question, especially when bringing the price into consideration.

Maybe someone can help out with the pricing of a big brake kit for the skoda.

Cost vs improvement ratio
Braking performance should be significantly improved over the stock brakes. How much of an improvement would it make over option 1 is to be considered as you are spending more that double the amount.

Option 3: Option 2 + rear disc conversion
Cost:Cost of Opt. 2 + another Rs.10-15,000(?) for the rear discs.
All the items listed out in option 2, but with the addition of rear discs from the RS and the associated parts required for the swap. Again, I doubt any major difference over option 2 in this setup for street use.

Cost vs improvement ratio
Not worth it for the TDi IMO.

Any other options I may have overlooked?
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Old 11th May 2007, 13:51   #2
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for the brake kit get in touch with petes. We had seen a car here with the tarox cross drilled brakes with 10piston calipers.

I guess that's a bit too much but they must be having basic options as well.

Pete's Performance Products

i guess it wont be advisable to just change the front pads as that would change the brake bias heavily to the front.

Also are the RS's front brakes larger than the TDi's.

Last edited by Vid6639 : 11th May 2007 at 13:53.
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Old 11th May 2007, 14:07   #3
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Hey RT,

Any branded replacement option for front alone will set you back by minimum Rs40,000/-upwards (Brembo, Tarrox, Wilwood) for the complete set(rotors, callipers 4,6,8 or 10 psiton + performance pads + ss braided lines + all fitting hardware.

For the rear disc conversion it should cost you a minimum Rs35,000/- upwards again.

There are some other lesser known brands or some Taiwanese companies which may be cheaper. All these prices are for Mumbai delivery. They will be considerably cheaper abroad.

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Old 11th May 2007, 14:20   #4
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I wouldn't want to cross-drill or slot my existing rotors, if I were you.
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Old 11th May 2007, 15:01   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vid6639
We had seen a car here with the tarox cross drilled brakes with 10piston calipers.
Yes. I saw that. Also seem Pete's website. However, no prices were mentioned on that. Wonder if Turboindia a.k.a. Pete can put up the various options and prices here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vid6639
i guess it wont be advisable to just change the front pads as that would change the brake bias heavily to the front.
Why would you say that? Changing the pads will not affect the brake bias. It will simply improve the actual braking force.

Thanks for the approximate prices there viper. What you've mentioned are viable for option 2.

However, working within a budget, for discussions sake, what are the options out there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by v1p3r
I wouldn't want to cross-drill or slot my existing rotors, if I were you.
Care to expand on that? I presume you mean that if the work is not carried out correctly, the rotors will be weakened to a level where they are not safe any longer.

Any other reason for your post?

Just to add here that the point of starting this thread to to get in all the available options out there, from the inexpensive to the expensive, which could then serve as a database for others.
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Old 11th May 2007, 15:10   #6
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oops my mistake i meant changing the front discs and pads to a more powerful setup like cross drilled discs and performance pads will alter the brake bias even more towards the front.


edit: man I'm too sleepy changed in bold.

Last edited by Vid6639 : 11th May 2007 at 15:26. Reason: too sleepy hence typed rubbish.
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Old 11th May 2007, 15:17   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vid6639 View Post
oops my mistake i meant changing the front discs and pads to a more powerful setup like cross drilled discs and performance pads will alter the brake bias towards the front.
Errr,

Aren't most cars sold in India biased more towards the front in any case. Dont know exact ratios but something like 60/40. And as regards the point in question the answer is no the bias does not change but the bite improves.

@RT - You can easily get the brakes cross drilled locally(price mentioned is also appropriate) doubt the grooving can be done easily.

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Old 11th May 2007, 15:18   #8
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Vid, in a front engined, FWD car, 80% or thereabouts of the weight is already over the front. When you brake, further weight is transfered to the front. Hence you need maximum braking power from your front brakes.

Improving your front brakes while leaving the rear's unaltered is not a problem at all in this case. However, messing with the rear brakes alone could bring up the problems you are referring too.
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Old 11th May 2007, 15:22   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtech View Post
Care to expand on that? I presume you mean that if the work is not carried out correctly, the rotors will be weakened to a level where they are not safe any longer.
A disc basically acts as a heat sink. If you take away material, the remaining material will have to deal with higher specific stress. Eventually, this will lead to cracks around the drilled areas. Slotting is slightly better, but has its drawbacks again. If I'm not mistaken, OE slotted discs are made of a different grade of grey iron than regular solid or ventilated discs.

Addedly, I do not think anyone in India has the expertise to do this in a safe manner. It's not something you'd like to take a chance on, you know?
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Old 11th May 2007, 15:22   #10
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Rtech,

I dont know if an effective sub-10K solution might exist at all - unless replacing the pads is considered such a method
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Old 11th May 2007, 15:25   #11
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Yeah viper, RT, that I know the bias is towards to the front always. I guess yeah it's something like 60/40.

Actually i said that cause while playing some pc games everytime I put the front bias too much towards the front I was never able to control the car.

If you improve upon the front I guessed the brake balance change would reduce the stability a bit.

But RT what you said does make sense that if it just bites better then it's effective.

hmm dint get the part about the bias not changing. example if you have 60/40 bias and you improve the front by 10% then the bias would change to 70/30 right as the front will be more effective than the rear?
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Old 11th May 2007, 15:26   #12
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@Akshay - The purpose of cross drilling is to dissipate the heat faster. We are not talking about plastic or some thin metal sheet which will crack here but sold cast iron. Has been done on my cars and can guarantee improvement in braking with absolutely no worries. The longest I have had this on a car is for 3 years in my Esteem which was sold later. It is more likely you will wear out the discs and pads faster rather than the discs cracking.

Do you of anyone who had it done and their discs cracked.

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Old 11th May 2007, 15:29   #13
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Jiggy, depends on how hard you drive. Have seen hard-driven e-Zens with Esteem brakes drilled, and they started to develop cracks around the holes. At those temperatures iron also experiences failure, which is why we have warped discs et al.

I don't want to start a debate here. Like I said, if I were doing it, I wouldn't mess with the existing rotors, except as a last-ditch attempt. And I think brakes are not something you want to experiment or take chances with.

Robin, cheap way to improve braking for high-intensity apps like hill-descent or track is to channel more air towards the brakes. Route a CAI style piping towards the inside of each front wheel, and your brakes will fade a lot less. This is something I see no one does in India.

Last edited by v1p3r : 11th May 2007 at 15:31.
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Old 11th May 2007, 15:30   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vid6639 View Post
hmm dint get the part about the bias not changing. example if you have 60/40 bias and you improve the front by 10% then the bias would change to 70/30 right as the front will be more effective than the rear?
Hi Vid,

Brake bias in simple terms means adjsutment of brake booster pressure to either front or rear brakes. In order to adjust the bias you need a bias controller something not available in India and not all cars can be adapted to fit the same easily.

By changing or upgrading the front brakes the bias is unaffected but the efficiency improves.

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Old 11th May 2007, 15:32   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v1p3r View Post
Jiggy, depends on how hard you drive. Have seen hard-driven e-Zens with Esteem brakes drilled, and they started to develop cracks around the holes. At those temperatures iron also experiences failure, which is why we have warped discs et al.

I don't want to start a debate here. Like I said, if I were doing it, I wouldn't mess with the existing rotors, except as a last-ditch attempt. And I think brakes are not something you want to experiment or take chances with.
Akshay,

Like you said no debates here. Anyways we are referring to normal situations here and not racing or extreme applications. It is perfectly safe to do under normal driving conditions.

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