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Old 04-23-2007, 08:03 AM   #1
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Driving Impressions: 996 Brake Upgrade

well, i put my 996 front calipers and rotors on the car and took it to the track. WAY, WAY better.

on the street, my base boxster brakes seemed great to me. i could stop quickly, pedal feel was good, etc. On the track, though, i definitely experienced fade. much of that could be due to the fact that i used aggressive street pads rather than race pads, but i got fade for whatever reason. this prompted the upgrade.

two weeks ago, i threw the 996 brakes on the car w/ textar pads. while the limiting factor for braking distance is of course tire grip, the ability of a braking package to allow the driver to modulate short distacnes should not be overlooked. i consistently beat my boxster braking distances by about eleven feet from 60mph (interta based measurement). the pedal feel was much, much better.

then, i purchased a set of Hawk HT-10 race pads and installed them. i bedded them in on a deserted road. i then took them to the track. WOW. my first hot lap of the day was faster than my best previous time at that track. i had so much more confidence in the pedal. right about the time when my old brakes would start to fade is when these brakes started to get REALLY, REALLY good. i had a buddy drive my car to compare to his. he was shocked; he kept braking WAY early.

i would say that the rotors / calipers accounted for about 50% of the improved track performance while the pads accounted for the other 50%. also, i removed my dust shields behind the front rotors to help cooling. anyway, if you take your car to the track, i cannot stress enough how big a difference race pads make. this caliper / rotor upgrade is a treat as well. i will post the rear caliper conversion notes when i do that work. there are some pics of the 996 vs. boxster brakes for comparison below. the only difference to the calipers are the larger pad retaining area and the mounting depth. the pistons and calipers are exactly the same other than those differences. the rotors are about an inch larger in diameter and two milimeters thicker.

BASE BOXSTER BRAKES

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Old 04-23-2007, 08:05 AM   #2
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996 Brakes
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Old 04-23-2007, 08:07 AM   #3
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rotor Comparison
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Old 04-23-2007, 08:10 AM   #4
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caliper Tops
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Old 04-23-2007, 08:11 AM   #5
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Caliper Backs
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Old 08-26-2007, 11:53 AM   #6
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Great job.

what a great job.

I have base boxster with
powerslot rotor,
hawk hp-plus pad,
steinless steel line,
ATE super blue fluid
for track use.

However, after 3~4 aggressive session it would fade actually.
So I am looking for an upgrade this winter.

I am thinking
Brembo Big brake set,
or simple 996 (boxster S) front conversion.

Please post your rear job also.


Yushin
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Old 08-26-2007, 12:40 PM   #7
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With good pads in the original calipers, were you able to get the ABS to activate?
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Old 08-26-2007, 12:46 PM   #8
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Pat,

I can introduce ABS at every time I want.

You can do that with stock system also.

After 3~4 aggressive laps, my brakes also fading,

I did not test whether I can lock up my brake at this moment yet.

Also in the track I really like to have room for safety,

So I intentionally keep ABS away at the track.


And I want to be a fast as well as smooth driver.

So I just applied long and soft braking usually,

(except chasing or being chased by GT3s ^^)


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Old 08-26-2007, 12:51 PM   #9
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I'm glad you're happy with the new brakes. Had you tried some higher-temp pads with the original brakes? I'd bet some DS-2500s or even Pagid Sport Blues would have done the job.
Frequently going with bigger brakes increases lap times due to the extra weight. That is, assuming the correct pads are used in the regular brakes.
I've driven many cars similar to mine with Stoptechs and other aftermarket setups, and have yet to find one that stops as well and consistently as mine. Of course, the others use street pads and I use a very light race pad.
Your thoughts?
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Old 08-26-2007, 01:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4941cc
what a great job.

I have base boxster with
powerslot rotor,
hawk hp-plus pad,
steinless steel line,
ATE super blue fluid
for track use.

However, after 3~4 aggressive session it would fade actually.
So I am looking for an upgrade this winter.

I am thinking
Brembo Big brake set,
or simple 996 (boxster S) front conversion.

Please post your rear job also.
before you try larger brakes, go to a full race pad. the Hawk HP Plus is a street pad. try a Hawk HT-10. if you're still not happy, the 996 / boxster S fronts are great.
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Old 08-26-2007, 01:37 PM   #11
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Wow, I'm surprised you were able to get fade with the HP+ pads. While not full-on race pads, they are very agressive. Are you on R-comps? I don't have much experience with Boxsters, but am surprised with such nice OEM brakes, great pads and fluid, and a lightweight car you'd be able to realize such fade.
Show's what I know, I guess....
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Old 08-26-2007, 01:59 PM   #12
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Thanks for the advice

I have already ordered HP+ for my front.
Rears are still good.

I will try HT-10 next yr.
What is comparable pads to HT-10?
Pagid orange? or Performance friction compound 97?

Are race pads have low heat transfer rate to caliper also?

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Old 08-26-2007, 10:23 PM   #13
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doesn't just changing the fronts make for some imbalance in the braking system? seems like you'd need a different proportioning valve or some other way to compensate for increased braking up front.
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:44 AM   #14
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I'd somewhat agree

Given that the front one is so straightforward and rear one requires such a task, I think it is OK to do front one 'first' and use it for a while.

It is also true that majority of braking is done by front.
Therefore on the street it is no harm to change front only.
Even at the track it is said to be ok (or dramatic improvement)



However, I always think that balancing the brake is also important.
Moreover, Porsche cars have engine/transmission on rear axle and that makes
rear brakes bigger than other brand.
Other brand such as Mitsubish Lancer EVO uses Single piston caliper.

Therefore I can assume that the rear brake of porsche plays more important role than that of other brands.
I do upgrade my boxster's brake and plan to upgrade it more.
I would do both axle at the same time since I think it is right.



(It is not proven by anything but only my guessing)
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Old 09-08-2007, 05:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat
Wow, I'm surprised you were able to get fade with the HP+ pads. While not full-on race pads, they are very agressive. Are you on R-comps? I don't have much experience with Boxsters, but am surprised with such nice OEM brakes, great pads and fluid, and a lightweight car you'd be able to realize such fade.
Show's what I know, I guess....
Don't forget, driving style has a lot to do with brakes performance as well. The longer one stays on the brakes, the more heat they generate. That ultimately results in brake fade and/or fluid boil. Doing well in threshold braking helps minimize wear on the brakes system. Try talking to other drivers about their brake pad consumption - how many days of track driving can they get out of a set of pads. I still have a set of race pads (SBS brand I got from TireRack, tho they don't sell them anymore) in storage with probably 40% life on them after ~ 8 days (IIRC) of 4 sessions @ Watkins Glen - a fairly fast track.

This is my experience with Boxster (base) brakes is on my '98 Audi A4 Quattro (~3200lbs) with the K04 turbo (~235HP). I've never experience brake fade, and very rarely do I have ABS kick in.

2 laps @ the Glen in the A4
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Old 09-08-2007, 07:52 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cris
Don't forget, driving style has a lot to do with brakes performance as well. The longer one stays on the brakes, the more heat they generate.
very true. the stock brakes were fine for me until the re-did my most frequent track; it now has three 100mph straights in a row w/ threshold braking to about 60mph at the end of each; they get REALLY hot after a few laps.
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Old 09-09-2007, 07:07 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4941cc


And I want to be a fast as well as smooth driver.

So I just applied long and soft braking usually,

(except chasing or being chased by GT3s ^^)


yushin
The "long and soft braking" will accelerate brake fade. Use throttle to control your speed/distance between cars as much as possible, and threshold brake (standing on the brakes, but to the point just before ABS kicks in) just before you enter the turn.

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