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The VIPER Garage  |  How To Instructions  |  How-to section  |  DIY Big Brakes Gen1/2
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Author Topic: DIY Big Brakes Gen1/2  (Read 7513 times)
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Viper Nation - ezine
« on: January 02, 2012, 12:54:37 AM »

On the Vipers built before 2001 our rear calipers were original equipment on Diamond Star Motors or Eagle (small) cars.  Definitely low performance vehicles and those rear calipers were inadequate for the first 9 years of Vipers.  GT2 racing didn't matter since they don't use stock brakes on race cars.  Stock Gen 1/2 Vipers had a capacity of pulling only .7 to .8Gs braking force and I believe the Gen 2s stopped from 60mph in 117'.  The Gen 3/4s stopped in less than 100' and could read about 1G force.  17% farther to stop if you're in a pre-ABS Viper is an excellent reason to upgrade your brakes.  Stock front 13" Brembo brakes ... see attached

Tom's big piston (40mm) rear calipers are a good upgrade and will almost equal Gen 3 stopping forces of 1G for lower speeds and short stops.  Longer stops and higher speeds will overheat the Gen 2 rear braking system much quicker than the larger (14") Gen 3 brakes, resulting in brake fade.

Drilled rotors are a good improvement on the street, but not recommended for any track use because the drilled holes cause the rotors to crack prematurely.  For any high speed or track use slotted rotors are what are recommended.  Lightweight (-9# on average) or 2 piece rotors are recommended because unsprung weight makes a significant difference to the cars performance and handling.  Light wieght rotors and upgrading to lightweight wheels can make as much as 100# lighter weight and should equal MORE than a tenth of a second in the quarter mile.  Another factor to keep in mind with the rotors is that high performance requires high carbon steel for longevity  and crack resistance/.

My 2001 GTS came with lightweight rotors (slotted and drilled) and EBC red pads.  With the larger (43mm) rear calipers of the ABS system I decided to upgrade the front 13" Brembos to 14" Roe Racing Big Brake kit.  For a reasonable price Sean sold me Gen 3 Calipers, Stainless Steel (caliper to frame) braided lines, adapters, 2 piece slotted lighweight, finned rotors and EBC Red brake pads.  Stock Gen 3 rotors can be used with the Gen 2 18" wheels, with a 1/4" spacer.  My lightweight rotors and VR1 wheels required no spacer.  The difference in size and surface area between the Eradiuspeed drilled slotted 13" rotors and the Roe Racing 14" lightweight slotted rotors are easily see in the second attachment.

This upgrade is simple and straight forward.  The ABS master cylinder is larger than the earlier years so no change is required.  Although the earlier Gen 2s master cylinders can be used it is likely that "brake feel" will be lost.  Reviews I read on the Gen 1 braking system said that the brakes were "hard and unresponsive".  Usually that means that the master cylinder pistons too small for gentle control and would require a larger master cylinder for the larger brakes.  On my 99 GTS I also plan to upgrade the master cylinder.

I bought some Duplicolor Brake Caliper paint and painted my rotor "hats" (aluminium hubs) and 'black" (clear) calipers medium Blue to look good on my Sapphire GTS.

It was extremely simple to removed the wheels, unbolt the calipers and slide them off.  I used vice grips, screwdriver and 10mm tube wrench to undo the rubber braided line to the steel line at the frame.  It was simple to install the Stainless Steel line to the frame, and later the calipers.

The new rotors just slid over the wheel studs and the adapter plate bolted to the old caliper mounting position with the Gen 3 calipers bolting directly to the adapter.  I used locktight on the adapter to spindle bolts as I expect they won't ever need to come off again.

After the rotors, calipers, brake pads, adapters and SS braided lines were all installed I used a wooden broomstick to hold the brake pedal down (jammed under the steering wheel) when I bled the brakes myself.  Many people have a power bleeder or a check valve self bleeding system.  Bolt on the wheels and tires (90-100# torque) and you're good to go "brake-in" the new brakes.  I found instructions for that on the Stoptech website.

Many people keep their crappy Gen 2 brakes because they fit CCW drag pack wheels and 16" wrinkle slicks and 16" skinny front wheels and tires fit the car.  Traction requires smaller wheels and bigger tires.  Slicks 'squat' and wind up the sidewalls imitating a short tire for the launch and grow with centrifugal force to make the tire taller as the speed increases.  Much faster and besides the sidewall allowing the reduction in effective tire diameter the squat makes the "footprint" of the tire to got from the tread width plus about 2 tp 3" length of the tire contacting the asphalt to as much as 6" length of the contact patch for traction!
« Last Edit: June 12, 2016, 03:14:27 PM by RTTTTed » Logged
1999 1200rwhp TT GTS - ART, 2001 Roe sc GTS- (4 sale), 440 Duster restomod (sold), 3x Stealth TTs, 92 Daytona IROC with T3, 580whp/1080wtq Cummins pickup.
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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2012, 01:07:49 AM »

 :D

ABS rear brakes with slotted/drilled 2 pc. Eradispeed rotors and fresh Caliper paint...  as in attached pic

My brakes are also greatly improved by having wheels with a lot of open space for cooling air to move over the brakes.  After market rotors also have curved fins for directing cooling air though the inside of the rotors (which helps tremendously).  see attachment

The way I broke-in (tempered) my new rotors and pads was;

Drive at 35mph and hit the brakes with medium force until the speed was 5mph.  Immediately accelerate to 35mph and slow again, and again, etc.  After 8 speed and slow, I drove for about 20 minutes at highway speeds (in a rural area of course) to cool the entire brake system.

Next, I did 60mph - 5mph and over again for 10 times quickly using a firm foot on the brake pedal and slowing quickly.  I then drove, without touching the brake pedal, at 60mph for 45minutes.  These stops had my smoke coming off my fronts.

My final "tempering treatment" was 10 near stops from 100mph.  This treatment caused my brakes to get very hot and smoke came off all the wheels at the last couple slow downs.  Again I drove for at least 45 minutes to cool the brakes without touching the pedal at all. 

After this final treatment I coasted to a stop and looked at my brake rotors.  All of my rotors were medium blue!!! 

Stoptech had several methods of brake-in, but it depends on where you live and if you have the time and space to be able to do a similar brake-in proceedure.  Most brake pads come with a brake-in coating as few people can do a complicated method or have as much driving room as I do here. 

Personally I believe this aforementioned method is a good one and works for me as my stopping power was drastically increased after my front brake upgrade. 


Brake upgrades require an adjustable proprotioning valve to allow the brake balance to be adjusted for the car and brakes.  The adjustable proportioning valve also allows you to adjust the braking of your car according to tire changes.  If you put skinny tires onthe front then you should open the adj proportioning valve to allow more brake pressure to the rear tires because the front tires changed to skinnies would skid too early and could cause a loss of control or flat spots on your tires.  Changed braking on cars need an adjustable proportioning Valve and several tests to maintain that the front brakes lockup long before the rears.  Tom's rear calipers added to a stock braking system with no other differences between front and rear brakes "reportedly" balance the older braking systems without any change to the proportioning valve.  My 98 GTS had the Tom's upgrade and it worked perfectly.  The front brakes locked up well before the rears.  The rears took full pedal pressure to lock the rears (perfect for me).
« Last Edit: June 12, 2016, 04:18:48 PM by RTTTTed » Logged
1999 1200rwhp TT GTS - ART, 2001 Roe sc GTS- (4 sale), 440 Duster restomod (sold), 3x Stealth TTs, 92 Daytona IROC with T3, 580whp/1080wtq Cummins pickup.
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2012, 09:47:44 PM »

The rotors on my TT GTS are "dimpled" and slotted.  1 piece heavy premium 13" with new pads.  The "cooling fins" are really fins as much as they are extra metal between the surfaces to hold them apart and disapate heat better.  They are not curved vanes to direct airflow as are all the 2 piece performance rotors I've seen.

Exactly the same as stock throughout the middle (between the braking surfaces.  This shows another great reason for buying 2 piece rotors.  The vanes are curved and move a lot of air through the middle of the rotor which really helps the cooling ...  These are slugs.  I guess in all fairness they were designed only to be operated up to about 70mph on the streets ...

« Last Edit: August 18, 2015, 11:44:53 AM by RTTTTed » Logged
1999 1200rwhp TT GTS - ART, 2001 Roe sc GTS- (4 sale), 440 Duster restomod (sold), 3x Stealth TTs, 92 Daytona IROC with T3, 580whp/1080wtq Cummins pickup.
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2012, 12:23:56 AM »

Here is the stock rear calipers on my 215mph GTS ...   :lol first attach.

It sure is a good thing that they are only required to do 20% of the stopping.  They're still too small for that 20% and they need to go.  The slotted dimpled rotors help but the non-performance stock "cooling vanes" don't. 
 
I released the Ebrake cable and removed the top bolt of the stock caliper.  That tiny bit of shine against the brake pad you see in the lower pic is the brake activation piston and as you should know, the size of the piston is used to determine the amount of pressure going to squeeze the pads against the rotor.  It looks to measure less than 30mm while I think it's supposed to be 32mm?   Tom's rears are 40mm so there's nearly a 30% increase in clamping force with that upgrade! 

With 4 pistons for each front brake and 1 equal size piston in the rear that may seem to be a balance 80% piston surface area in front and 20% surface area in the rear brake?  With only one rear piston the rear only pushes one side and "hopefully" the other side creates the clamping force ... although common sense tells us that will not be equal to the pinching force of 2 small pistons pushing against each other (like the front).  Adding to that the rear brake proportioning valve cutting brake pressure to the rear (cutting the less than 20% braking even further) there is much less braking on the rear!  The biggest Gen 2 flaw according to the magazines was that Porsche would outbrake our cars and beat us badly on the track.  Tom's increased rear braking pressure actually balances the Gen 1/2 braking and works excellent.  With my stock braked GTS the rear brakes couldn't even lock up the rear tires under full pedal in a rain storm!  Scared the sh*t out of me and I thought I was gonna have an accident.  Remember, just crack the front bumper cover and that could cost you $7,000 just to fix YOUR cxar.  Another few inchesshort of stopping and each headlight could cost another $1500 plus labor.  A $5500 brake kit really seems cheap if it stops even 1 small accident!

Two of my Vipers had Toms' rear brake upgrade.  My 2nd GTS had ABS which comes with 43mm calipers.  My next Viper ACR I removed the rear proportioning pressure reduction spring and tossed it into the glove box for the next owner who seemed happy with that part of the brakes, but unhappy with the drilled slotted rotors because they surged.  Overheated?  warped?  don't know but I offered him a set of stock rotors which he didn't want.  Not sure what happend - it may have been rust deposits? 

This GTS has the thinner rear rotors that come stock on Gen 1 and 2s which also cuts the braking slightly because the thinner rotors heat up and fade faster.  Tom's 40mm caliper upgrade balances the car and the rear brakes lock up long after the front brakes do, which is mandatory for maintaining control of the car during extreme braking.  If you can't drive and modulate the brakes to get maximium braking while maintaining control, you can just buy ABS ONLY and it'll pulse the brakes for you to maintain your control.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2016, 06:19:11 PM by RTTTTed » Logged
1999 1200rwhp TT GTS - ART, 2001 Roe sc GTS- (4 sale), 440 Duster restomod (sold), 3x Stealth TTs, 92 Daytona IROC with T3, 580whp/1080wtq Cummins pickup.
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2012, 05:28:45 PM »

It looks as though the Stoptech BBK is sold so I purchased Tom's 40mm rear caliper (with cover plate) upgrade from 97Snake.  He installed a stoptech brake kit of his own to slow his 780rwhp Paxton beast. 

As much as I would LOVE big brakes all around (Leslie does) I'll use these rear calipers and upgrade the fronts to 14".  At least until they ban me from all drag strips for not having a funny car cage, SFI approved scattershield, SFI clutch, etc etc.  Then I'll upgrade the rears to 14" as well.

One thing to note is that the 2001/2002 ABS Vipers cannot fit the CCW drag pack wheels and 16`slicks!  The brake line fitting is on the wheels side instead of the inner surface and that leaves no room for the 16`wheels
« Last Edit: August 18, 2015, 12:12:45 PM by RTTTTed » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2012, 01:03:29 PM »

To keep the 16" CCW drag pack wheels and wrinkle slicks I bought 97 Snk's Tom's 40mm rear calipers now that he's gone to Stoptech 14" brakes and custom wheels.

Took them out of the box last night and measured the visible part of the piston (I think it's larger under the seals). 

I removed the wheels and the old caliper, then isntalled the new larger calipers.  I used a "one man bleeding tool" and bled the brakes. 

I went out to my shop after midnight and including a coffee break I was back in the house and the brakes finished in about an hour and a half.  Simple and easy upgrade completed quickly.  Reading Tom's site the larger pistons surface area increases the clamping force the perfect amount to balance the brakes without requiring an adjustable pressure regulator. 

Although the plate improves the look of the ugly rear cliper, it becomes obvious as a cover plate when looking closely.

« Last Edit: August 18, 2015, 12:32:40 PM by RTTTTed » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2012, 12:03:52 PM »

I started shopping for 2 pc brake rotors.  $450 to $850 EACH!!!  $200 and up for slotted solid steel rotors.  Adding shipping and taxes can add up to 80% extra.

I saw a set of well used (50,000 mi) Gen 3 calipers for sale on ebay for $850.  Although I'm comfortable with 50,000mi calipers on a 50,000 mile car ...  I'd want to rebuild those before I'd instal them on MY car.  I'm thinking that a Big Brakes kit is definitely the best way to go.  ... and 18" of bigger wheels if your car is a 98 or older, of course.

FYI:  I hate ABS systems because my 2001 GTS and all my Stealth TTs happily wear out the Right Rear brakes at double the speed of the other 3 brakes on the car.  Attention has to be paid to check the RR pads and make certain that the rotor doesn't get damaged by the steel backing of the brake pads.

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« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2012, 04:07:22 PM »

Truth on lighweight 2 piece brake rotors.

I removed the premium cast steel rotors from my TT GTS and the lighweight rotors from my 2001 Roe GTS.  The astounding weight difference between the two rotors seems to be about 15.6# and 9.4# (6.2#) for the lighweight Baer rear rotors.  There are a couple things about the lighweight rotors that make a significant difference even more than the weight.  After the original purchase the steel rotor ring that does the wearing is cheap to replace ... and Baer is in Phoenix, Az.  Cost of the slotted drilled rotor ring was $133 when I emailed Baer.  The rotor ring of the 2 piece has curved cooling vanes that force the air throught the center of the rotor, the 1 piece steel rotor is premiumin in that it has similar surface area with the slots and dimples throughout, but it has the stock straight teardrop "vanes" in the middle of the rotor.  These look like they would block air and instead of being curved as a fan blade, they're straight and won't force cooling air through the rotor's center.  The Baer's are also prettier.



« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 04:11:46 PM by RTTTTed » Logged
1999 1200rwhp TT GTS - ART, 2001 Roe sc GTS- (4 sale), 440 Duster restomod (sold), 3x Stealth TTs, 92 Daytona IROC with T3, 580whp/1080wtq Cummins pickup.
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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2015, 04:58:56 PM »

I took my TT GTS to Bremerton drag strip and ran through the quarter mile twice.  Both times I was in 6th gear as I crossed the finish line (on my pump gas tune).  I did a few roll races of a 1/3 mile distance and was well into 6th gear across the finish line!  That is FAST and stopping I used all the room there was but still my brake rotors were BLUE.

The lighweight Roe Racing 14`rotors on front weren`t just blue, but patterned Blue and the cooling vanes could be seen in the pattern of the Blue colors from overheating.  The Eradispeed rear rotors were also blue but merely a slight hue with no patterns.  If the brakes were balanced all the rotors would be the same color. 

I`ve purchased some premium slotted/drilled 13`rotors for a Gen 2 front and I ordered/prepaid for a set of Wilwood rear racing brakes.  These look to be a 11.5 or 12`lighweight rotor with 4 piston Wilwood brake calipers.  $1000US plus $60 shipping.  These smaller diameter brakes will allow me to have a much better tires selection since I will be able to run 15`wheels on the rear of my TT GTS now.  I am cutting the frame in the front of the rear inner wheelwells to allow me clearance for the 28 and hopefully, 30 inch tall race tires. (different How to).

I also bought a set of stock Gen 3/4 14 in`Brembo brakes and will build some caliper adapters for them.  I`ll use the heavy rotors on my TT and I`ll switch the lightweight Roe Racing 14`brakes to the Sapphire GTS. 

I also plan to install the slotted drilled premium 13 in. rotors and stock Brembo Gen 2 front 4 piston calipers to the rear of the Sapphire GTS.  The 4 piston Brembos will allow me to use the 16`wrinkle slicks while the stock ABS single piston rear calipers don`t fit the 16`wheels!




« Last Edit: January 31, 2016, 02:47:44 AM by RTTTTed » Logged
1999 1200rwhp TT GTS - ART, 2001 Roe sc GTS- (4 sale), 440 Duster restomod (sold), 3x Stealth TTs, 92 Daytona IROC with T3, 580whp/1080wtq Cummins pickup.
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« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2015, 11:40:50 PM »

See the How To on installing the 4 piston Wilwood brakes to allow 15" rims ...

http://thevipergarage.com/index.php/topic,6061.0.html

Personally the Wilwood rotors are equal in thickness and a premium carbonsteel with drilled and slotted surfaces.  The "13"" stock rotors are slightly under 13" and the Wilwood rotors are 12.25" so their outer diameter is close.  The brake pads are about the same width but look to have more surface area with their rectangular shape compared to the stock triangular shape.  The stock single piston Gen 2 caliper is a serious joke and I couldn't even get the stock rears to lock up in the rain with my 2000ACR.  Obviously the 4 piston calipers are far superior.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2015, 02:49:16 PM by RTTTTed » Logged
1999 1200rwhp TT GTS - ART, 2001 Roe sc GTS- (4 sale), 440 Duster restomod (sold), 3x Stealth TTs, 92 Daytona IROC with T3, 580whp/1080wtq Cummins pickup.
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« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2016, 03:03:53 PM »

January 2016;  I've purchased a set of PartsRack.com  IPSCO rear brake adapters.  For a couple hundred I'll be installing my 2001 front brakes and calipers to the rear.  The rotors are a larger diameter and much thicker material for better heat dissipation.  4 pistons for clamping force and larger brakes pads. 

I purchased some premium slotted/dimpled 13" rotors and JonB/partsrack sold me 2 sets of Hawk (Front Gen 3 = HB193 Z.670) (Rear Gen 2 fronts HB1 Z.665) brake pads for the street.  I repainted the Roe Racing front calipers, rotor hats and installed new Hawk brake pads.  I painted over the black coating of the Brembo brakes so they'll match the Deep Sapphire Blue car color and the front calipers. 

The front RR adapters were straight aluminium and corroded so I gave them a quick sanding and painted them black.  The IPSCO rear adapter plates have a clear coat so I didn't paint them. 
« Last Edit: January 31, 2016, 02:50:51 AM by RTTTTed » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2016, 04:04:11 PM »

Good news!  With a little `massaging`I did manage to reuse the stock rubber brakelines on the GTS front brakes.    It is important to keep in mind that the Gen 3s came with Metric threads altough the Gen 2s used standard thread.  Use the Gen 3 Banjo bolts with the Gen 3 Calipers.

The rear ABS rubber lines will NOT work with the front calipers unless you can reshape the steel part of the brakeline because they are completely different mounting.  With the ABS rear calipers the banjo brake lines bolt to the top of the caliper reducing the amount of wheels that will fit this car.  16`CCW drag pack whels don`t fit which is the main reason I need to change out these brake calipers (for traction).
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« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2016, 11:15:38 PM »

I posted a picture of the 3 differnet rear rotors; New slotted and drilled premium,  used slotted and drilled premium and  eradispeed lightweight alum hat drilled slotted premium rotors!  There is about 7# difference in weight between the 1 and 2 piece rotors.

2nd picture shows the difference in friction surface  between 13" front rotors and 13" rear rotors. 

3rd photo shows the ABS rear 43mm calipers mounted on the car.

4th photo shows the pre ABS rear calipers, triangular brake pads and the friction area of the rear rotor!
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« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2016, 10:35:56 PM »

I removed the ABS REAR caliper, cable and old rotor from the back of my Sapphire Viper. 

Then I got out my rule and drew a straight line top to bottom as a guide for cutting the Caliper mounts from the spindle.  Then I got out my reciprocating sawzall and removed the ears.

After removing the ear I used my angle grinder to sand down all the rough gouges left in the spindle to remove the created stress risers (and look proffessional).  Then I primed the fresh aluminium and used a Stainless Steel chassis epoxy paint colored silver.  Since the A arms and spindles are aluminium and factory painted to seal the pores of the aluminium, it`s only fair to do a proper job. 
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« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2016, 11:01:27 PM »

Once the paint job was dry I removed the 2 front (19mm) Hub bolts from the spindle.  I placed the IPSCO Front Gen 2 brake adapter (From JonB at PartsRack.com) behind the spindle and inserted the new longer kit bolts into the adapter and tightened them all the way using a breaker bar to make certain that the hub bolts never come loose. 

I slid the new premium steel slotted/drilled rotor after I used some sandpaper on both sides of the friction surface to clean off most of the coating.

Next I put special grease on the back of my new Hawk HB1 Z.665 brake pads (also from JonB) into my freshly painted Blue Gen2, 4 piston Brembo front calipers.  Using the allen head bolts supplied in the kit I bolted the caliper to the adapter. 

Now the Emergency brake cable will be tied to the upper A arm for later installation when my Ebrake bracket arrives.  IPSCO has several options for ebrakes at varying prices.  I had helped to develop a different bracket to mount a stock single piston caliper for use as an Emergency/Parking brake.  Chris Sheib will be supplying that bracket.



« Last Edit: January 31, 2016, 02:34:50 AM by RTTTTed » Logged
1999 1200rwhp TT GTS - ART, 2001 Roe sc GTS- (4 sale), 440 Duster restomod (sold), 3x Stealth TTs, 92 Daytona IROC with T3, 580whp/1080wtq Cummins pickup.
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