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If sanity wasn't an issue what brakes would you choose.

  • Brembos

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  • Wilwoods

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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Next on my list of things to blow cash on is brakes.

I'm looking at either the brembos or wilwood 6/4 pot combo. I'm running 2004 sti wheels.

I realize the subaru 4/2 pot are nearly as good an option, but after factoring in total cost for a used set of calipers after lines, pads, rotors, fluid, etc they're within close enough distance to the other two options that they may as well be dropped from consideration.


I am also well aware that either option is above and beyond my needs and rationally at most pads, lines, rotors, fluid, h6 rear upgrade would probably suit me fine. But I'm nuts, if i wasn't nuts I wouldn't be dumping money into a car, plus unnecessary excessiveness is the american way.

So far from what i've gathered here are the pros and cons of either option, feel free to correct me where I'm wrong.

Oem brembos:

Positives-
-Leaves door open for 114.3 in future
-Dust boots
-Oem
-Beyond my needs

Negatives-
-Less bling
-Increased unsprung weight over stock (larger rotors should weigh more right?)
-Used
-1 of 3 methods to use rears necessary, wether it be different knuckles, shoes, adaptor brackets, adaptor rotors, etc.
-Gold calipers

Wilwoods:

Positives-

-2 piece rotors all the way around should provide less unsprung weight than stock, though probably not enough to care about.
-New
-Package includes lines, fluid, pads, rotors, calipers, etc.
-No adaptors necessary
-Beyond my needs
-Bling
-Prefer black calipers over gold

Negatives-
-Closes off upgrage path to 114.3 down the road unless compatible hats are available.
-No dust boots (though after hours of reading forum posts on wilwood use across all vehicles it seems to be a minor issue even for 4 season use, just clean pistons before compressing when doing pads, o-ring rebuild is easy and cheap.
-Not oem
-Minor grinding necessary to mount rear calipers

Cost breakdown

4/2 pots (guestimation)

600-800 - used calipers
200 - new pads
300 - new rotors
100 - lines
200 - rear adaptor brackets

= too close to other options

Wilwoods

$2300 range, everything, including fluid.

Brembos

$1000+ - Used calipers shipped
$200 - New Pads
$400+ - New Rotors
$100 - lines
$300+ - adaptors

= $2000+ all said and done, $2300 range is more likely.


Any input/feedback would be appreciated.
 

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IF you're doing any sort of track time, I'd go with the wilwoods over the brembos. If you're not tracking it and just want some nice fixed calipers, I'd just go with the oem red 4/2 pots.

If you're doing brembos, I'd definitely run the STI brake booster and master cylinder.
 

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2005 Sequoia, V70R auto
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I've never ridden a car with Wilwoods, but I've hear there's a lot of maintenance with them.
 

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2009 Outback XT-B 5MT
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Having rode shotgun in a FXT with Wilwoods and a STI with Brembos(doh) I will say the Wilwoods brake a lit harder. Even with BP10 pads they will throw you thru the windshield.
You mean the tires threw you through the winshield?

You can only compare brakes when using the same tires. It becomes a point of pedal feel and modulation, and little more. The Brembo calipers have a LOT of meat on them and are a relatively stiff caliper. The Wilwoods, I've heard, aren't as stiff. It isn't a HUGE issue, but it's something to consider.

Also, gold isn't a negative. Paint the Brembos black, or get 07 Sti Limited brakes. Either way. I'm painting mine silver.

There is a LOT to be said for using OEM components, however. That fact alone is reason enough to want to use the Brembos.
 

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I've never ridden a car with Wilwoods, but I've hear there's a lot of maintenance with them.
^^ YES. Wilwoods were the hot bling item from my VW days and I recall the rebuild period was yearly. What a PITA that would be.

You mean the tires threw you through the winshield?

You can only compare brakes when using the same tires.
Eggs-actly. Common misperception is that just a better braking setup stopping you faster. The tires are probably 70% of the equation . Put some Geosquealers under a nice set of Wilwoods/Brembos with race pads and see how easy it is to lock them.

OP - Do you have a genuine need for "better" brakes or just want to throw money at the car (which is ok too). I have extension track experience with the OEM calipers and have never run into a situation where I needed more brakes. Instead I run a better brake pad, we're talking $200 worth of parts instead of $2000.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks for the responses so far. If I the 4/2 pot option wasn't going to end up at 2/3 or more of the cost of brembos/wilwoods I'd definately take that route. But so far the used 4/2 pot calipers i've seen have been around $800+ for the set, which is a hair under used brembo caliper prices.

I'd say Wilwoods... they have better rim clearance than the Brembos (same clearance as 4/2pots) allowing for more more snow tire options.
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f68/wilwood-6-pots-under-stock-17-rim-64951/
Have the stock xt 16" out in the garage, figured I'd resell them and get a 17" set for snow tires if the brake changeover happened. The 4/2 pots will clear the stock xt 16" according to one thread I saw, unlike the wilwood 6 pot front.

IF you're doing any sort of track time, I'd go with the wilwoods over the brembos. If you're not tracking it and just want some nice fixed calipers, I'd just go with the oem red 4/2 pots.

If you're doing brembos, I'd definitely run the STI brake booster and master cylinder.
Covered my stance on the 4/2 pots in the op.

Brake booster and mc is definitely a planned upgrade once one is found at a good price. Since it's probably as useful for the wilwoods it isn't a point for one route or the other.

It becomes a point of pedal feel and modulation, and little more. The Brembo calipers have a LOT of meat on them and are a relatively stiff caliper. The Wilwoods, I've heard, aren't as stiff. It isn't a HUGE issue, but it's something to consider.

Also, gold isn't a negative. Paint the Brembos black, or get 07 Sti Limited brakes. Either way. I'm painting mine silver.

There is a LOT to be said for using OEM components, however. That fact alone is reason enough to want to use the Brembos.
I agree fully about the tires, rather than going straight at power and worrying about braking/handling later I'm trying to mostly focus in the opposite direction. I've had a 400 hp car, it was fun, but the power was never needed and rarely utilized. For the time being some mediocre conti all seasons are mounted (oem vw), cost me $40 to move them over. Was either that or basically give them away when selling the wheels they were mounted on.

Being oem is also a strong plus, I do realize that gold calipers can be repainted, and maybe I could do a decent rattle can job. Limited brembos would add to cost pretty significantly.

Modulation and pedal feel is a large factor imo since it is constantly noticed.

Wilwoods were the hot bling item from my VW days and I recall the rebuild period was yearly. What a PITA that would be.
Been reading pretty much everything I can find about them on nasioc, here, google etc. There is without a doubt more maintenance than typical dust booted calipers, but from what I gathered yearly rebuilds seems a bit excessive.


OP - Do you have a genuine need for "better" brakes or just want to throw money at the car (which is ok too). I have extension track experience with the OEM calipers and have never run into a situation where I needed more brakes. Instead I run a better brake pad, we're talking $200 worth of parts instead of $2000.
From the original post

I am also well aware that either option is above and beyond my needs and rationally at most pads, lines, rotors, fluid, h6 rear upgrade would probably suit me fine. But I'm nuts, if i wasn't nuts I wouldn't be dumping money into a car, plus unnecessary excessiveness is the american way.
Not to write a novel, but far as my needs go, I don't need either option, but needs and wants are different. I spend a lot of time driving the majority of it work related, mostly off highway, non city, regular roads. A hatchback/wagon is required, and not being too flashy since I handle low income apartments. It pretty much rules out any m3, s4, etc, even a gr sti was borderline acceptable, flashy brakes won't be as noticed.

A few years back I had a gto, loved the car, hated how it didn't fit my needs and sat at home. For me the forester like the gti I had the last couple years is a way to enjoy the car hobby while not having to let it sit in the driveway. The work truck is on its last legs as well, for the limited use it sees a 4x8 trailer with ramp and foot or two high walls towed by the fxt will replace the truck more than adequately. That will save a boatload of cash, extended cab 4x4s aren't cheap around here, even used. The dedicated work car is an older tdi vw wagon, but its glass cannon auto tranny means no trailering.

I'd love to get into tracking, from what i've gathered theres autox locally, but for any sort of road course it would mean a significant drive. In the past that sort of thing hasn't worked with my schedule and other obligations. Till then any significant brake upgrade is overkill, I'm aware of that, and ok with it.
 

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on my last 1992 240sx hatch i ran a full set of black brembo's from a r33 skyline GTR.

one day at a stop light there was a ghetto donkey ford taurus in the lane next to me with a big black guy behind the wheel and his big black friend in the passenger seat. i mean they were your stereotypical-gangster-looking type of guys (bad to say this i know).

anyways the driver rolled down his window and started yelling at me in my car trying to get my attention. i was trying hard not to pay any notice to him cuz i didn't know what he wanted, but i finally rolled down my window and said "hey..."

"YO DAWG DID YOU PUT BREMBO'S ON THAT *****?!?! THAT'S TYTE DOOOOOG RIGHT ON!"

so i was polite and replied but luckily the light turned green so i waved and drove off.


moral of the story: flashy brakes ARE noticed and will be noticed by ALOT of people, some of whom you may least suspect.

just something to think about that pertains to both brembo's and wilwoods.
 

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You mean the tires threw you through the winshield?

You can only compare brakes when using the same tires. It becomes a point of pedal feel and modulation, and little more. The Brembo calipers have a LOT of meat on them and are a relatively stiff caliper. The Wilwoods, I've heard, aren't as stiff. It isn't a HUGE issue, but it's something to consider.

Also, gold isn't a negative. Paint the Brembos black, or get 07 Sti Limited brakes. Either way. I'm painting mine silver.

There is a LOT to be said for using OEM components, however. That fact alone is reason enough to want to use the Brembos.
I agree about the use of o e m components. My judgement on the braking is based on my opinion. A stock wrx sti has a lot better tires than jeff does with his kumhos.

The only way to tell the difference is to actually use a gps or monitoring system to calculate braking distance. But that is apples to oranges in the tires are not the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
moral of the story: flashy brakes ARE noticed and will be noticed by ALOT of people, some of whom you may least suspect.
True, but some assorted parts on a forester are far more subtle than a flashy car. The couple tenants that may know what the brakes are are the same ones that may not be so ignorant to be jealous over it, the ignorant ones would see a 10 year old s4 avant (drool) and throw a fit because of the brand. Over a vw I've been told "oh it must be nice" from people that don't work, collect a government check and piss away the majority of it on cigarettes and booze. Well **** you, it must be nice to have the biggest task in life to handle being getting a check from the mailbox. Just to clarify with my moderator given title and not be a complete douche. The worst typically are white people, my favorite ones right now are a couple haitians. I deliver the mail part time too in a rural town, people will come up to you mid route (half the time drunk) looking for their check. Few weeks back a junkie girl was waiting for me with a guy down the road where I have to stop after I told her no earlier on the route.....

moral of the story: done up forester will scratch an itch, hobby wise and work wise.

Its a good point though, maybe some brembos refinished black with no logos would be best.
 

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LOL, that's funny stuff. Haters are everywhere, I've had a few "must be nice" comments in my day. Yes, its nice that I got off my buttock, got a job and can purchase a nice car.

If its mostly about just having BBK that's good too, I piped up as too many people think they "need" it when the OEM stuff is actually pretty decent. One downside here is slapping on Brembo's means you can't run 16's so more expensive winter rims & snow tires. Now that said, you can buy 16's like Team Dynamics that will clear 4 pots.
 

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I'm halfway finished with my brake upgrade. I'm running red 4pots in the front and OEM FXT calipers in the rear, with the intent of upgrading those to 2pots. I haven't had a chance to push them hard, but the difference in pedal feel and brake fade is night and day. I also like the fact I can use 16" wheels in the winter.
 

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2009 Outback XT-B 5MT
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Stock 16's will clear the 4-pots, too!

To me, it actually makes more sense to put brembos/bbk on a street car than a car you track semi-regularly.

The Forester can get away with dark-painted or just "normal painted" brembos. There are plenty of other cars out there that have multi-piston fixed calipers (the Audi and VW SUV's, Mercedes SUV's, etc). Look at Silke's SubedUp. You could stare at a profile picture all day, and never raelly notice the brakes as "out of place".
 

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the difference in pedal feel

That is what some people have told me is the real improvement over stock. We have a Subie track day coming up, I'm going to try and find an 06+ WRX and take it out for a couple hot laps to see how the brakes compare to mine.

I run race pads, fading is no longer an issue (lapping not competitive racing)
 

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I remember Todd talking about how disappointed he was in his 4-pot/2-pot setup. IIRC, he loves his Brembos though.
 

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I remember Todd talking about how disappointed he was in his 4-pot/2-pot setup. IIRC, he loves his Brembos though.
When they first came out a lot of people thougth they would "perform" better" and I think given the cost of the upgrade, that is relative to the dissapointment of many who did the 4 pot upgrade. If it gave me at least equal performance, better braking modulation not to mention its easy to swap pads out every time I go to the track I may actually make the jump.

Also, since its a Nissan part there are much more performance orientated brake pad choices.
 

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^That's the reason I switch to 4/2 pots.
the pads are the same as those on my Skyline, the pads are super easy to swap out, and the larger rear setup eliminated the nose-dive on heavy braking.
I can't say I notice the fronts being drastically better if at all though, but the convenience factors won out in the long run... and the red calipers are totally bling! :lol:
 

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Don't all Brembo 4-pots use the same pads? So EVO/STi/350z etc. all use the same pad, right?
 

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The Evo and STi have the same Brembos front and rear, but the 350Z uses different front pads.

Example: Hawk HPS Pads

HB453F.585 - Subaru STi, Mitsubishi Evo 8/9/10 Front pads
HB545F.564 - Nissan 350Z Front Pads
HB178F.564 - Subaru WRX, Nissan 300ZX/Skyline Front pads

HB180F.560 - Subaru STi, Mitsubishi Evo 8/9, Nissan 350Z Rear pads
HB615F.535 - Mitsubishi Evo 10 Rear pads
HB179F.630 - Subaru WRX, Nissan 300ZX/Skyline Rear pads
 
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