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2008 Forester XT Sports
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Discussion Starter #1
So I went to Laguna Seca today, and ran 24 laps in 3 sessions until my brakes were completely shot. I pulled in after my 3rd session and all 4 brakes were smoking. I had to stop for the day. My rotors are all black and grooved fading to orange near the hub. Pads and Calipers both turned orange/brown. They're toast. My pads are crunchy and seem nonexistant. I think they crumbled from heat. They scrub in a straight line with no brakes.

So my question is! Please someone send me a link for a good brake kit with stainless lines and upgraded rotors and pads. I cant afford Brembo's, bur I remember seeing links for brake kits at like 750$ with lines pads big rotors and the caliper relocation kit. Turbometrics made one, and maybe someone else.... Links Please!!!

1:54 was my last lap, brakes on the floor every turn. Stage 2 Forester Sports. My first day on a racetrack. Laguna Seca. Feb 1 2010!
 

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02 Foz 4eat
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5,536 Posts
You're really going to want better rotors and pads for track use. As you can see, you'll destroy the stock/street stuff in a day.

Contact KNSBrakes.com and talk to Ken. See what he recommends and what deals he can make for you.

There's usually a couple of sets of brakes for sale in the classifieds here and on NASIOC. If you want stock replacement calipers, let me know, I have about 3 sets of them.
 

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2008 FSXT M/T
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i wouldnt go w/ better rotors per se. id go w/ the cheapest set you can find since they are considered consumables, the autozone duralasts will do. pads on the other hand, invest in a good pad. maybe hawk hp+ for starters then you can move up to something more aggressive.
 

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05 FXT
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Also consider your driving style. I'm a broken record on this topic, but newer people to track driving and Subaru's tend to lend to overly aggressive braking and not carrying as much speed as possible through a corner.
 

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07 Forester XT
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6,759 Posts
Here's a few things that probably contributed to sizzled brakes.

ran 24 laps in 3 sessions until my brakes were completely shot.


1) You ran too hard too long, if you feel it fading the best thing you can do is back off and do a cool down lap. Running until your brakes fail is a surefire way to destroy them not to mention set yourself up for a nasty accident when the brakes fail coming up to a hard corner. Coming off the track with hot brakes will just cook them more as you sit in pit row with no rushing air to cool them off.

PS. Did you put the parking brake on when you got out of the car ? That's a big no-no. It presses the pads up against the hot disk and can sieze them on.

2) Maybe you're being too hard on your brakes which is getting them hotter

3) Sounds like you're on OEM setup. OEM pads will burn up with anythign more than enthusiastic lapping

4) You didn't service your brakes before heading out to the track . Did you purge the system and put in fresh fluid, check the calipers and make sure it was lubricated with grease and not dry ?

I'll tell you right now you don't need to drop $750 on brake components to go lapping. I've done 2.5 seasons of lapping on my XT and with a quick calc probably spent about $450 on rotors / pads / fluid / consumables. I'm running OEM calipers with race pads and el cheapo rotors. Every season I start with a fresh set of rotors.

FYI - I did a race school with my other XT in the rain and left the rear pads OEM. After one day they crumbled into nothing. OEM pads simply can't take that kind of abuse. They're a crappy street pad to begin with.
 

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04 STi and Fxt
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Here's a few things that probably contributed to sizzled brakes.

ran 24 laps in 3 sessions until my brakes were completely shot.


1) You ran too hard too long, if you feel it fading the best thing you can do is back off and do a cool down lap. Running until your brakes fail is a surefire way to destroy them not to mention set yourself up for a nasty accident when the brakes fail coming up to a hard corner. Coming off the track with hot brakes will just cook them more as you sit in pit row with no rushing air to cool them off.

PS. Did you put the parking brake on when you got out of the car ? That's a big no-no. It presses the pads up against the hot disk and can sieze them on.

2) Maybe you're being too hard on your brakes which is getting them hotter

3) Sounds like you're on OEM setup. OEM pads will burn up with anythign more than enthusiastic lapping

4) You didn't service your brakes before heading out to the track . Did you purge the system and put in fresh fluid, check the calipers and make sure it was lubricated with grease and not dry ?

I'll tell you right now you don't need to drop $750 on brake components to go lapping. I've done 2.5 seasons of lapping on my XT and with a quick calc probably spent about $450 on rotors / pads / fluid / consumables. I'm running OEM calipers with race pads and el cheapo rotors. Every season I start with a fresh set of rotors.

FYI - I did a race school with my other XT in the rain and left the rear pads OEM. After one day they crumbled into nothing. OEM pads simply can't take that kind of abuse. They're a crappy street pad to begin with.
This!

Also, pick a brake fluid with a higher boiling point. I would try an Dot4 on the track if I were you. You also need to change the brake fluid every 1 to 2 years of normal driving, or every couple of events. The harder you use the brakes(track) the more water will get in the brake system. Water in the fluid will reduce the braking power and pedal feel. So, change the fluid after a couple events. If I did 23 laps at laguna, I would be changing my fluid now.

As stated above, always do a cool-down lap!!! I cannot stress this enough. Also, as stated above, do not leave your foot on the pedal or have your brake on for any reason after your runs. The pad will cook onto your rotor, making your car feel like you are driving with a warped rotor/bent wheel.

If you are serious about tracking your car, you should invest in some 2 piece rotors. Yes, they are expensive, but they will keep your car happy. They reduce heat to the wheel bearings, and disperse heat better than a cheapo oem. They will last a lot longer than a oem rotor. Plus, replacements are much cheaper the second time around because you dont have to buy the hat.

You should also get a brake pad designed specifically for track use. They will require a greater heat cycle to become effective, but there will be a great improvement on the track over a street pad. *NOTE* These will not work on the street and may get you killed if you choose to use them. They dont work well until they are pretty hot, so do not use them on the street.
 

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2008 Forester XT Sports
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54 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the great info! Let me make some clarifications. Sti brake master cylinder/ booster, and freshly changed dot 4 synthetic fluid before race. My brakes were replaced by Subaru 10,000 miles ago on warranty, and I stupidly assumed that they were OK. I did not leave my E-brake on, or excessively overbrake in the turns. I agree though that less braking is more, as my best lap was a 1:54 and I had no brake pads that lap. My pedal was on the floor in every turn. I tried to cool down my brakes every session. When I came in to pit they were smoking. I drove them around 10 mins slowly to cool them down. I took them apart at my house later. My pads disentigrated due to heat. The back pads crumble if I scrape at them. Winter shredder, good call on the bearings. My calipers are shot from excessive heat. The rubber is all destroyed. My brake pad's steel backing plate is forged and deformed with the brake piston stamped in the back of it. My bearings definately suffered. When I fix my brakes, I should replace my bearings... After some research I want the 6 piston wilwood front brakes and 4 piston rear with two piece rotors. Will they fit under my 08 Forester Sports STI rims 17"?I cant afford that just yet though. I can get reman STI 04 brakes for like 800 bucks with new rotors and pads from local auto parts store. add that to some legacy rears??? How would my brake bias be? Also there's this wilwood brake kit off ebay... What rear brake setup would be a good match for these front wilwoods??? Search Ebay forester brakes 13" wilwoods at 799$ shipped for fronts with lines...

Should I save up my money and get the wilwoods, or does someone know of a good comprehensive brake kit that includes front calipers because mine are toast and pads for around 1000$. I want a track worthy set of brakes. Should I build off Subaru Parts? or go aftermarket???

Frank
 

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2008 Forester XT Sports
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Discussion Starter #10
"FYI - I did a race school with my other XT in the rain and left the rear pads OEM. After one day they crumbled into nothing. OEM pads simply can't take that kind of abuse. They're a crappy street pad to begin with."

Legacy is correct. The lesson to be learned from this thread is that OEM pads crumble under heat. The calipers and rotors would have been fine if the pads had not crumbled under heat creating steel to steel contact which destroyed my rotors and then my calipers due to excessive heat...

If you're going to track your subaru, upgrade your pads! I learned the hard way...
 

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2006 Forester 2.5XT
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PS. Did you put the parking brake on when you got out of the car ? That's a big no-no. It presses the pads up against the hot disk and can sieze them on.
This is normally good advice, but does it even apply to the Forester? What years have the separate parking drum?
 

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05 FXT
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^ Not completely true. Realize the e-brake is a completely seperate drum brake setup located in the rear brake assembly. So really, the heat aspect isn't there...completely, hence my earlier caveat. Can the heat from the system be causing issues and cause the drums to stick, maybe..but I severly doubt it.

Plus, I'm guessing the rears aren't getting cooked all too bad. I figure you destroyed the fronts more-so.

One thing to keep in mind are the different aspects of brake fade, and you can sense them while driving.

Fluid boiling will be a mushy pedal going to the floor. Pads cooking will have the pedal feel wooden/dead, but it sits close to the right level.

Fluid boiling can be countered w/ higher grade fluid to a point.

Pads cooking can be countered w/ more aggressive pads to a point. But once the heat gets above a certain point, as you've found you'll destroy seals, crack rotors and other bad things. At that point, you need a bigger setup.
 

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07 Forester XT
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Here's a cheap mod I recommend you do with / without the other upgradres. Pick up a set of cooling ducts and run some hose to provide air. You'll benefit more from this at the track then from upgrading to expensive calipers. I had a very long talk with one member of a pit crew for a Subaru race team. Put it this way, they swapped the STi brembos for lighter 4 pots with ducting.

I picked up a set but they wont' be going in till May. I'm installing mine to save my bearings rather than improve braking which is plenty good with race pads already. Those pads are generating a lot of heat and its going to go somewhere. I'd rather disperse it with cool air.
 

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^ forgot to mention that. Good call Legacy. Ducting can make a HUGE difference. On our track car, we even did the nifty little in duct fans. We actually had to turn them off 50% of the time or the system wouldn't get up to temp.
 

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07 Forester XT
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Little OT (well not really) , I've read about inline fans and always wondering if they actually did anything or hindered airflow. Seems you have experience, would you recommend them for non-competitive use ? Exactly what kind of fans does one use and how where are they best located ?
 

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2014 CVT
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^ Not completely true. Realize the e-brake is a completely seperate drum brake setup located in the rear brake assembly. So really, the heat aspect isn't there...completely, hence my earlier caveat. Can the heat from the system be causing issues and cause the drums to stick, maybe..but I severly doubt it.

Plus, I'm guessing the rears aren't getting cooked all too bad. I figure you destroyed the fronts more-so.

One thing to keep in mind are the different aspects of brake fade, and you can sense them while driving.

Fluid boiling will be a mushy pedal going to the floor. Pads cooking will have the pedal feel wooden/dead, but it sits close to the right level.

Fluid boiling can be countered w/ higher grade fluid to a point.

Pads cooking can be countered w/ more aggressive pads to a point. But once the heat gets above a certain point, as you've found you'll destroy seals, crack rotors and other bad things. At that point, you need a bigger setup.
the e-brake system uses the top hat of the rear rotor as the drum you speak of, so when the rotor heats up, the top hat heats up, then you press the e-brake shoes on to the top hat
 

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^ Correct. But the drum pads are not hot so I'm not seeing how they'd seize up. The old e-brake issue was more of a problem on cars that used the regular brakes as the e-brake as well (my MR2 for instace). Taking smoking hot pads and burying them against the rotor right after lapping, not so good.

As for the inline fans...well, I cheated a touch. I have an inside connection to some NASCAR boys and they hooked me up w/ the fans they run. So the duct fans were some pretty sweet units that moved a boatload of air. Negative was they also drew a ton of current.
 

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2006 XT
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brakes on the floor every turn.

Well... it has to be said. Everyone on track days need to "run what they brung", and stay within their cars capabilities. That many laps on those brakes is silly especially when you noticed your pedal feel. R-Comps, better brakes/suspension may help but it still would be up to the driver to notice when the tires get hot.

As a track/corner worker I see it a lot. Fools, young and old, that think there car doesn't have mood swings that must be anticipated. Ever wonder why club racing is for only twenty minutes???

Keep at it. Mazda Raceway is a gem.
 
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