Brakes Wheels 1st Gen Tires Brake recommendation?

Discussion in '1st Generation: 2002–06 R50, R53 & 2004–08 R52' started by UKXPAT, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. UKXPAT

    UKXPAT New Member

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    I currently have the JCW big brake kit fitted on my 04MCS. Now I have recently added a lot of power I am thinking I might like to improve the braking. Looking for some recommendations on brake kits?
     
  2. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    You really can't go wrong with the vast majority of the offerings out there. Just about every sponsor that offers hard goods also has a BBK of some type.

    I've had 12.2 Wilwoods from TCE and currently have the TSW BDM. First off, there was nothing wrong with the Wilwoods and if I didn't live 5 miles from TSW World HQ I'd probably still have the Wilwoods.

    They both would take me to ABS kicking in corner after corner with no fade issues even when chasing a certain unnamed sponsor at stupid speeds on the Dragon.

    The W or E clip on the Wilwood caliper makes it a little easier to do a quick pad swap and I didn't need to keep cotter pins on the shelf. An odd size cotter pin too, not available at the local hardware mega-mart.

    I wasn't thrilled with the Wilwood hats. Red quickly went to purple/black. It's mostly hidden by the wheel center but it was just one of the little things that mildly annoyed me. TSW uses a different type of anodizing but the silver they use is...well...dull.

    TSW also uses aircraft fittings, no safety wire needed. Sure does make for an easier rotor swap.

    Neither caliper had boots on the pistons, TSW's come that way, I speced the Wilwoods that way. For use here in TX where salt is not spread on roads that is not a big deal. A more northern climate would probably need new pistons more often. Not a big deal to swap out when rebuilding the caliper anyway. On the subject of rebuilds, TSW's Outlaw caliper needed a rebuild before the Wilwood did.

    Just some of the impressions I have, I'm sure others will chime in as well.
     
  3. Nitrominis

    Nitrominis Banned

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    Why not experiment with some pads that have a bit more bite. You might find it a lot easier on your wallet and with some great improvements.
    Try looking at your local auto parts store and check out Vortex Graphite Metallic pads. You would be very surprised how well they perform.
     
  4. quikmni

    quikmni Moderator

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    I guess it depends on how you intend to use your car.
    - If just aggressive street driving I would lean towards different brake pads. On top of pads you can add higher temp fluid, brake ducts, and stainless steel lines as you deem necessary for your street use. There are many great pads for the stock calipers.
    - If you plan to go to track days with your car, I would lean towards a TCE or TSW big brake kit (BBK). The BBKs are more expensive but you will get consistent stopping (no fade), longer pad life (the pads for my wilwood calipers are about twice as thick as stock pads), longer rotor life, and in general less expensive replacement costs for pads/rotors.
     
  5. TGS91

    TGS91 New Member

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    With a existing JCW BBK I gotta ask what is lacking from the current setup?

    If you have OEM pads I could understand.

    There are many good mfg's out there with pads that have great bite and low dust.

    On the other hand if your looking for something different for the sake of some new wheel bling I can completely understand as well! :D
     
  6. Dr Obnxs

    Dr Obnxs New Member

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    Save your money

    and only spend it when you get to the point where you're getting fade. As for the rest of it, play with pads and the like is a great idea.

    Matt
     
  7. Onramp

    Onramp Enjoy the Hiways of Life!
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    I've got the JCWs and am still using the JCW pads (lots of them because the dealer was replacing them). I will go to something else this year because I'm out of the service warranty. I had a lot of problems with the brakes when I first got the car, and was pretty unhappy until I flushed out the factory fluid and installed stainless covered teflon brake lines. I am now pretty darn happy.

    As an instructor for the BMW and PCA clubs here in the NW, I do a ton of DEs in the summer, and usually have a student in the car (we require that instructors take students for most of their sessions). The brakes last all day, and after a quick bleed when I get home, back to being very good. I do tend to watch the pad transfer on the rotor, so I get good hard, quick stops. Braking technique is important when managing brakes (set the brakes, then HARD HARD HARD and then start squeezing off as you slow). I don't get into the ABS very often unless I hit a bump.

    Brake late, brake HARD and DOG those M3s until they let you go by...
     
  8. minimark

    minimark Well-Known Member

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    Ditto.

    Please note that you will not find with any big brake kit a pad that is great for the track and great for the street and vice versa. For best results you'll need a track set and a street set and the desire to learn how to work on them yourself or deep pockets...:lol: 2cents
     
  9. quikmni

    quikmni Moderator

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    The current R56 JCW brakes are great. However, the R53 JCW brakes are nothing special. The R53 JCW brakes are the same as the stock R56 brakes.
     
  10. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    everything's relative... compared to the stock R53 brakes, the stock R56 MCS brakes are FANTASTIC - especially with good fluid and good pads. I know hard-core trackrats with fully prepped cars that use the stock R53 calipers and very uprated pads with good results. For me, I was cooking good track pads on the R53 calipers (probably because my car is heavier than the track-prepped cars, plus I abuse brakes). The R56 MCS / R53 JCW setup has almost twice the effective pad area to work with vs. the R53 brakes... a HUGE difference.

    meanwhile, I have friends who have spent $$$ on BBK's that work no better in their specific case.
     
  11. Nitrominis

    Nitrominis Banned

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    Brakes 101:



    Calipers:
    Larger pistons create more piston area on the caliper so using larger piston calipers or more pistons can have greater squeezing force on the disc. But you will have the feeling of softer brakes because those increases will also increase master cylinder movement. The use of different pad material will effect the braking by way of friction between the pads and the disc. This means that larger pads will not really increase the braking but will allow them to last longer and run cooler even if you are heavy on the brakes such as on a track.

    Brake discs:
    Larger discs have more lever capacity which will increase the torque on the wheel.

    So by this a cheap effective way to increase the braking capacity with the Minis calipers is to increase the disc diameter and get a pad with aggressive material.
    Or just get better pads and improve driving characteristics.

    Should we talk about tire choices now because they are in fact part of the braking component of a car. Tire are always forgotten and play a large roll in the braking capacity of a car! I constantly see mismatched combination tire/brakes followed by reports of insufficient braking.
     
  12. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    No kidding - I've always run tires of 280+ treadwear. I was blown away by the difference in braking when I put the RE-11's on.
     
  13. Nitrominis

    Nitrominis Banned

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    :Thumbsup:
     
  14. ScottinBend

    ScottinBend Space Cowboy
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    Saferacer.com has the carbotechs at a good price right now.
     
  15. quikmni

    quikmni Moderator

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    As people have stated, the JCW brakes can work well depending on upgrades such as pads. However, one thing about the R53 JCW brakes is that they are very heavy. Any unsprung weight that can be removed is a good thing. I believe my 13" TCE/Wilwood BBK are 4 lbs per wheel lighter than the JCW brakes I removed.
     
  16. UKXPAT

    UKXPAT New Member

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    I thought with the Gen 1 JCW brakes you could only get OEM Pads to fit. Has this changed?
     
  17. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    Yep. There are some options available now - partially because the Gen 1 JCW's are the same as the 2nd Gen MCS stock brakes.
     
  18. TGS91

    TGS91 New Member

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    Case in point - Have a set of Carbotech Bobcats for Street use and a set of AX for the track. Nice
     
  19. YesIFit

    YesIFit New Member

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    Yes, b/c the R53 JCW brakes are the brakes that come standard on the R56 S. On my R56, my current setup is stock rotors and pads for street use (with Motul RBF600) and then I throw on Hawk DTC-60's and r-comps for the track. The DTC-60's work well ... medium initial bite and a nice progressive modulation thoughout the braking zone.

    It's literally a 30 min or less job to swap out the front pads the night before a track weeekend. Since going to that setup, I've had no issues with brake fade.
     
  20. UKXPAT

    UKXPAT New Member

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    Agree with you there. I got rid of the old S lites and put on Kosei, which are 14 lbs per wheel instead of 24! The car definately handles better, especially over bumps and pot holes.
     

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