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08 FXT limited
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so you all know it... The 08 FXT brakes are whack! I know, I know, I gotta get the brembos from an 04-06 STI, bla bla, kartboy thicker parking brake shoes and adapter plate, yadda yadda. I've gone down that rabbit hole. It's ends $2500 in the hole. But do I need the brembos? Probably not. The 06-07 WRX 4/2 pot brakes would be just fine, I'm sure. Ive gone down that rabbit hole too. But please, lead me down this rabbit hole... I found a set of JDM 2002-2005 WRX 4/2 pot brakes, along with the knuckles and the trailing arms and trailing arm mounts, 5X100, $550 from a local JDM importer. That's a hell of a deal.
So what do you know about this? Do we really think those 2002-2005 JDM WRX calipers are any different from the 2006-2007 USDM WRX calipers? I'm trying to make future maintenance straightforward. I ain't tryna have to source some goofball JDM rotors when I gotta do the brakes later.
What do you think?
 

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2010 Forester XT Automatic
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607 Posts
Just for context, are you tracking your car? The reason I ask is that even with oem brakes I was able to track my 04 FXTi just fine. OEM calipers, upgraded rotors (as simple as Brembo blanks or Hawk drilled/slotted), stainless/braided lines, much better pads (I use Hawk HPS 5.0), and better fluid. I rarely ever managed to push my brakes to mush and that was with years of tracking my car. If this is your DD, there is very little that should push you to out classing your OEM calipers.

If you feel your not getting enough stopping, have you upgraded your tires? They have more of an impact than the brakes themselves, unless you are having overheating issues. If you are still having stopping issues, I'd then look at calipers. I'd aim for red 4/2-pots because they are cheaper and parts are cheaper. By keeping it usdm, you are going to be able to easily access parts for the car too.

Just thought. If you're using 'poor braking' as an excuse to justify getting some nicer calipers, go for it. But realistically, you can track the oem calipers with the same collection of parts you'll need with new calipers: rotors, stainless linea, pads, a good bleed w/ good fluid.

Edit: given your other post, since you're looking to "beef up" your Forester, you should probably figure out what wheels you are going with and figure your brakes around that. If you get brakes only to find out they can't be cleared by any wheels you want, you're kinda screwed.
 

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08 FXT limited
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey, thanks for the advise.
I bought a 2003 WRX new and drove it every day for 15 years. Those brakes suck too, same ones I believe. The beefy Forester isn't going to be a track car or a daily. It's going to be my little mountain runner beater. So I don't rack up too many miles on my daily, which has good brakes. I like good brakes.
I'm going with some 16x7's with +15 offset, they should clear even the Brembos. And some 235/70R16's which will have an overall diameter of 29" and fit real nice up in them wheel wells with a 2" lift and some STI lower control arms to correct caster and bring the spindle closer to the center of the wheel well.

The question was, are those 2002-2005 JDM WRX brakes the same as the 2006-2007 USDM WRX brakes? If anyone knows.
 

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MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
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Yes, they are the same. They use the same pads etc.

The discs might have a slight variation of 170mm vs 190mm handbrake perhaps, but the calipers which you asked, are the same.

Pads make all the difference and sadly, there are a lot of crap pads out there.

Edit: Have you considered Alcons? They don't have the same space requirements as the Brembos but give much better braking performance vs the WRX 4/2 setup. Some say the Alcons are miles better than even the Brembos.......
 

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2004 Forester XS 5MT
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I used Powerslot rotors and Hawk HPS pads with stainless lines on my 2005 Mustang, autocrossed it for a few years and drove out to RMMR in CO and back, literally beat the crap out of those brakes, as well as daily drove it in MA for years. Those brake components never broke a sweat. Tires help too, I ran Michelin PSS tires, also drove it like a scalded ape and it was the best brake combo I have ever run. My 2015 Mustang GT had big brakes stock, also stopped on a dime. You dont have to spend a fortune on brakes, just pick a combo that works well together. I hear a lot of good press about DBA 4000 rotors here, they are what, $150 a pop. Maybe cryo slotted rotors, they are about the same. Hawk HPS are great, I hear the 5.0 pads are good too.Stainless lines make a huge improvment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Haha! Womprat... really! is a scaleded ape? Blahaha! Thanks for your input.
I actually have not heard of those alcons, TMX. Thanks for confirming my suspicion. For the record, I'm sure the slide pin 2 piston brakes would serve me just fine... But I hate slide pin calipers, I find them to be intellectually lazy. The slide pins stick, uneven wear, 2nd tier crap. I want it out in the dumpster!
Also for the record. The JDM WRX brakes are $560, all 4, with the knuckles, rotors, pads, trailing arms, trailing arm links, and handbrake. Not exactly "a fortune".
I just like decent brakes. Call me a showoff or whatever...
 

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MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
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Why would you replace knuckles/hubs etc jut to fit 4 and 2 piston setups from a WRX ? The rears I can understand to avoid the caliper adaptors but the fronts??

Alcons are mega money. They were the upgrade for the Impreza P1 with the 2.2 Turbo engine from memory (Or was that tthe 22B?) which rode on 5x100 P1 WRC Prodrive 17" wheels by Oz. The ET+53 version do not clear Brembos but do clear Alcons - The +48 offset version of the wheels does clear Brembos. For the P1, WRX 4-2 setup was standard.

Prodrive contracted Alcon to produce the calipers for them with fancy design and materials to make them super light.

Prodrive being a UK company probably didn't sell the Alcons much outside of Europe but some Subaru Dealers would source them for you.
They're still available today but they are not cheap. I would expect prices to be around £2-3K ($2,766-$4,149USD)

Example of the Alcon kits - Fronts only but includes pads and discs
More options here if you need 6 piston options Subaru Braking & Parts I Advanced Automotive

I like decent brakes too and currently rocking Brembo OE pads, WRX calipers, Brembo Sport discs/rotors. I've previously run EBC Bluestuff NDX pads and was happy with those too. I've tried numerous cheaper "performance" pads like the kevlar types etc and always found my way back to a "proper" brand when it comes to brakes. They've stopped me in time when a deer ran out in front of me, so the premium prices more than made up for the insurance claim cost saving in my view :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah man, I'm not trying to build the space shuttle here. Nah, I'm not changing the knuckles. That was just for price reference. I can get the job done for $560, maybe off the knuckles here or ebay.
I hear you on the pads. I put some stop-tech pads and drilled/slotted rotors on my big brake Grand Cherokee. They kinda sucked, fade, noise, dust. Then I tried Power stop drilled/slotted rotors, pads, amazing the difference! I figured stop tech to be the superior, not true at all. I just breathe on that brake pedal and I'm flying through the windshield!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, so I picked up the JDM WRX knuckles and brakes. Spent all day installing them, bled the brakes, torqued the axle nuts, took it for a test drive... Major grindage.
So, as it turns out, everything from a JDM WRX knuckle fits on my Forester.... Except the splines of the axles. Yep, that 2002-2005 JDM WRX uses R180 splines. Oops!
The lesson, dont use JDM poop. There's just not enough info about it
 

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MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
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Ouch! That's strange about the differences. By chance do you have 2004 Impreza WRX STI knuckles? That might explain the differences, as they used 5x100 back then but used the R180 rear diff from memory.
I would have expected R160 axles if it was a WRX, even JDM........ Again, how strange
 
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