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Big brakes - are they worth it ?

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by firestorm, Aug 28, 2012.

?

What should I do with my brakes ?

Poll closed Sep 11, 2012.
  1. Renew with boggo parts, new fluid and DS2500 pads

    45.5%
  2. Go for it ! Porsche big reds + 330m discs

    45.5%
  3. DS2500 on the back ?

    18.2%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. firestorm
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    firestorm Member

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    [Aug 28, 2012]
    Hi,
    I've had my S3 for about a month now, I've got caught up in the mod fever going around here. I started buying some choice bits even before filling the thing with petrol. It's on standard 17" Avus wheels on Conti SportContact 3s.

    The car has quote worn front and rear discs. Standard Audi pads with loads of life left in them. Fluid was changed about 2 years ago.

    It stops ok, but I'm sure it could be a lot better. I had a Mk2 Golf 16v with G60 brakes and Mintex Polo G40 Cup pads, that really stopped well. Also changed to radially mounted R6 monoblock 4 pot calipers on my bike, with EBC greenstuff pads, which I've had brilliant results on all my bikes.

    So far I've got me a set of Porsche Cayman (Boxster S) front four pot calipers, that look like they've only been on the donor car for about 1000 miles with original Textar pads. I've also got a new pair of Alfa Romeo Brera 330mm discs of the correct size and offset to work with the Creation motorsport brackets, which I haven't bought yet.

    I've had a few large bills come my way and have started to have seconds thoughts about keeping the brakes. Also need to sort out a new remap and some bodywork for the S3.

    If I renew the fronts with new 312mm discs, clean up the calipers (crud around the pistons etc), change to some decent brake fluid, fit a set of Ferodo DS2500, will it be sufficient ? Would I be missing the 330mm and 4 pots ? I don't do any track driving or track days any more.

    I've got a new pair of rear discs too. Do I stick with the standard pads or go DS2500 on the rear too ?

    What do you guys think ? Or am I asking the wrong people ;-)

    Cheers
    #1
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  3. <tuffty/>
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    <tuffty/> Badger 5 Edition Staff Member Moderator

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    [Aug 28, 2012]
    DS2500's and decent fluid will give you good brakes... I ran these for a while before I upgraded mine to 4 pots and 330's... only reason I did really was that I got a pair of 4 pots for a good price...

    My 312's and DS2500's pulled your face off big time...

    <tuffty/>
    #2
  4. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 28, 2012]
    Personally, i think a sorted 312 setup should be fine for most road use. I've just rebuilt a set of 312mm calipers for my A4, and will be fitting them with new disks, braided lines and Ferodo Premier pads. I derusted the calipers and carriers with an electrolytic bath, painted them up in gloss black, and fitted new pistons and seals. I will do similar for the rear end, with the 256mm vented disks and calipers. I expect it'll be spot on once sorted.

    Run the same pads all round.
    #3
  5. <tuffty/>
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    <tuffty/> Badger 5 Edition Staff Member Moderator

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    [Aug 28, 2012]
    DS2500's for the rear have half the thickness of a std pad and contribute very little to the breaking effort... personally I would save your money and run std Pagids or similar on the rear... I have Badger5 330mm 2 piece rotors and AP Racing 4pots up from and run Vtech discs and Pagid pads on the rear... never had a problem pulling up from triple digits...

    <tuffty/>
    #4
  6. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 28, 2012]
    You dont really want the Bias moving around though.
    #5
  7. Colly
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    Colly The Tangerine Machine

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    [Aug 28, 2012]
    im going for some brembo's for mine more for looks than anything
    #6
  8. firestorm
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    firestorm Member

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    [Aug 29, 2012]
    I've done it on my other cars and bikes because decent 4 pots give much better feel - especially when using them hard. Yes, they look the business too.

    The consensus so far is that a fresh 312mm setup isn't too shabby. I'm going to sleep on it for a day or two. Chances are I'll be putting the Brembo-Porsche calipers on the classifieds and spend the money on fixing the generic map on my S3 instead.

    I'm just waiting for Prawn to contribute ;-)
    #7
  9. s3gazz
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    s3gazz Active Member

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    [Aug 29, 2012]
    Well mate iv just bought some new brembo grooved discs and mintex pads for my LCR brembos but reading back to something prawn said a wile ago the ds3000 pads are a lot better than ds2500 so I will be changeling to them when these have had it
    #8
  10. PaulRS3
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    PaulRS3 Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 29, 2012]
    With the benifit of hindsight, I now wouldnt bother.

    I covered in excess of 90K miles across two modified 225 S3's and while the Porsche Big reds, oem discs and oem textar pads obviouly worked, Boy did it cost me to maintain them. Easily way in excess of double the hefty install cost over 10 years. Discs lasted 20K miles if your lucky, you might get two sets of pads fitted to every set of discs. The calipers corrode over time which require initially the pad running guides replacing, then later the calipers themselves. This was only Road use.

    Couple up the other issues, ie they dont fit 18" RSTT's without spacers.
    You cannot use the space saver spare on the front.
    You need longer bolts to allow for the spacers, and in my case, I had different spacers on the rear with even longer bolts, which means you have to chase the tyre fitters to
    A to refit the spacers
    B with the correct bolts
    C make sure they do not loose the aftermarking locking wheel nut seat( conical washer) to match the oem wheels.

    All in all a PITA and an ongoing cost that I am glad i no longer have to deal with. Luckily the 8P S3 has decent sized brakes to start with.
    #9
  11. firestorm
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    firestorm Member

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    [Aug 29, 2012]
    Thanks for your input Paul. The replacement 330mm discs are £100 a set (Pagid) and the pads about £125 (ds2500). The calipers I'd clean once a year as a matter of course after the winter, which keeps them sweet.

    Not a huge difference from the standard 312mm setup. I think the ds2500 for the standard calipers are a little more expensive at £150. 312mm Pagid discs are about £60.

    I put the Q out as I am looking to justify or not changing to the big reds.
    #10
  12. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 29, 2012]
    I dont doubt the 4pots are better, infact i'm currently working out the details for a 4pot conversion on my other A4 because i want to try some for myself.

    But i think given the scenario you posted, where the moneys better spent elsewhere at the moment for your particular case, it makes sense to stick with the 312's as when working properly they really are pretty good. The porsche calipers and disks are fairly ubiquitous, so its not as though selling them will lose you tonnes of cash and you'll never be able to find them again. You might even get more for them selling as a "kit" than the bits cost you individually.
    #11
  13. colicabcadam
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    colicabcadam Guest

    [Aug 29, 2012]
    imo save your money

    spend a fraction of a caliper upgrade money on new discs, yellow stuff pads (take a bit of heat to get working, so are **** on the first brake) and rbf 600 fluid

    the front brake setup on the s3 is capable of locking the frotn wheels with the above setup

    unless you drive like a complete NUTTER then fade wont be an issue, i only had it happen when i drove to 100, braking to 30 3 times in a row straight after each other !
    #12
  14. colicabcadam
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    colicabcadam Guest

    [Aug 29, 2012]
    also 330m disc really make the rotating mass MUCH heavier and you can really tell when pulling away
    #13
  15. vfr800
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    vfr800 Member

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    [Aug 29, 2012]
    Um ... I don't think I drive like too much of a nutter but 'ere in Milton Keynes brake fade is quite easy to attain between all the round abouts if you're having a bit of a spirited drive about.

    Never had brake fade on the bike though - phew!
    #14
  16. Reesy
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    Reesy Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 29, 2012]
    I would go along with most here..

    The S3 setup is alright, I have ds2500's, plain discs and rbf660 in the car, but I don't think it's much better then alright if you really start pushing on. The ds2500's need a bit of warming up, but once their they are warm they are really good, that is until they get too hot. Also, initial bite unless they are warm is an issue.

    They work but I'm sure their is better.
    #15
  17. antwan
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    antwan Member

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    [Aug 29, 2012]
    I'm currently running mintex 1144 sport pads and 312mm discs on the front and mintex oe rear pads and discs, I've also switched to braided brake lines and dot 5.1 fluid which improved the pedal feel massively and perform really well even when pushed. I chose the mintex pads over ferrodo purely on cost ( £80 for mintex and £115 for ferrodo) but have run the ferrodos on other cars I have owned and they seems similar, but it's difficult to do a direct comparison of brake performance on different car marques !
    #16
  18. firestorm
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    firestorm Member

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    [Aug 29, 2012]
    I find decent 4 pot calipers give much better feel, whether you are breaking lightly or at the point of locking the wheels and everything in-between. That applies to two or four wheeled vehicles. My fav calipers are 2006 R6 monoblock 4 pot calipers pushed by an Aprilia Tuono radial MC, great feel, great feedback.

    I need to get a bracket for mine and some hoses and I'm away. I did worry about the rotating mass of a pair of 330mm discs and considered staying with the 312mm discs, but got persuaded otherwise.

    The issue is that my money will be better spent getting the mapping right and a B5 v2.2 tip to make the most of what I've got. The car has a no-name generic map with the standard tip which has the structural integrity of an accordion. I should fix them first. I can't afford to get it all done at the same time.

    I got carried away and started buying bits before I had the car even, if I don't stop myself now, I'll end up with a GT something big turbo and rifle drilled rods :)
    #17
  19. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 29, 2012]
    Fit new disks and some Ferodo Premier pads. Cheap and means you've not blown a zillion quid on DS2500's for a temporary setup.

    Sort the other bits, then you can reconsider the 4pots later.
    #18
  20. firestorm
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    firestorm Member

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    [Aug 30, 2012]
    hmmm, I've looked at the Ferodo Premier pads, about 1/3rd the cost of the DS2500. If I stay with the 312mm, single pot setup, I think better pads will be the way to go, unless the Premier pads are 95% of the DS2500 at 30% of the cost.

    I'll sleep on it. I'm going to put the Porsche-Brembo calipers and discs in the classifieds at the weekend. If I get my money back, then I'll sell them, otherwise I'll use them.

    Aragorn, how will you say the two Ferodo pads compare ?
    #19
  21. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 30, 2012]
    Not sure, but they get a really good rating over on SRS on S4 and RS4's for road use from people that have tried all sorts.
    #20
  22. JD09
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    JD09 I'm not modding, I'm improving VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 30, 2012]
    I was/am in exactly the same position. I worried about how much same size pads and disks could make a difference, over buying LCR brembos.

    They make a difference.

    I am now running DS2500s, plain disks and ATE Super Blue fluid. BIG DIFFERENCE. Back to the braking abilities of my old tiny Clio which had sharp brakes and decent feel.

    491f2d4b_do-it.jpg
    #21
  23. brasiliangringo
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    brasiliangringo Member

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    [Aug 30, 2012]
    Be an interesting sticky - brake refurb ?

    would also been keen to know if you made a DIY electrolytic bath and if so how.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
    #22
  24. firestorm
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    firestorm Member

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    [Aug 30, 2012]
    I've used electrolysis in the past. It's very easy; a weak solution of washing soda , steel anode connected to a battery charger, negative connected to the thing you're refurbing. Used a 12v 35w bulb in series to limit the current. Worked a treat. Or if you have a variable current supply, set it to 200mA ish. Depending on the size of what you're cleaning, it takes about 12 hours to clean a screwdriver. A caliper bracket will probably take 24hours. I used this to clean tools that were kept in a damp shed for ages.

    There are plenty of guides on the web. Don't use stainless steel anywhere in contact with the solution, it'll make your electrolyte poisonous.

    Getting back on track, I still haven't decided 100% yet. Keep changing my mind.
    #23
  25. S3Zek
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    S3Zek Member

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    [Aug 30, 2012]
    Wack the brembos on!!! End of :) lol
    #24
  26. Gops
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    Gops 6th gear @7000rpm

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    [Aug 31, 2012]
    Brembo's, lcr discs and 2500 pads. Jobs a gooden!
    #25
  27. S3 Paul
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    S3 Paul Well-Known Member Regional Rep

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    [Aug 31, 2012]
    I bought my S3 with the Brembo upgrade already on so... its all ive know on this car. Tried no end of pads/ fluids and discs... Non of which have realy given me confidence.
    My car before this had 312mm brakes from an S3 and with zimmerman discs and Pagid fast road pads... spot on
    #26
  28. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Aug 31, 2012]
    I hate 312s. work OK on a lightweight A3, but still fade. On a heavy S3 they must be awful.

    Sorry for not giving a more helpful reply earlier on in the thread when I was mentioned, to me it's a no brainer.

    I'd rather make my car stop safely before making it fast, and I certainly wouldn't skimp on brakes to be able to make it quicker!

    if you are indeed looking at a B5 TIP and a decent map, you're looking at 270bhp, and I don't think 312's are up this this, unless you fit some serious pads like DS3000's, and even then heat build up will be an issue.
    #27
  29. Dani_B19
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    Dani_B19 Audi-sports own special child.

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    [Aug 31, 2012]
    Slightly off topic but still on topic lol.

    Are the brembo jnr calipers a good compromise between the lcr and porkas? Arnt the jnr's mono block? Would they be a better choice?
    #28
  30. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Aug 31, 2012]
    Dani, Jnr GT's are no better than the LCR brakes because they're essentially the same in every way that matters. both are a 2 part caliper.

    Having owned both, I'd also say that the porsche 330's are no better than LCR brakes either. the size difference is just 2.1%, and in the real world, you can't notice this.

    Just use whichever you can get the cheapest, and use THE BEST pads you can afford
    #29
  31. s3dave
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    s3dave TFSI Hybrid

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    [Aug 31, 2012]
    Ive never had any noises from my LCR ones with no shim plates etc...
    #30
  32. Dani_B19
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    Dani_B19 Audi-sports own special child.

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    [Aug 31, 2012]
    Argh right, thought id read some where that the jnr's were mono block lol.
    #31
  33. firestorm
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    firestorm Member

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    [Aug 31, 2012]
    Hi Prawn,
    thought you might contribute, I've had my S3 just over a month now, it goes well, not perfect, but good enough. The front and rear discs are worn and need to be changed soon. I've got carried away with reading about how you and the other guys have hybrid or BB turbos etc. I've enhanced many of the cars and bikes I've had in the past.

    I've never driven a S3 with 100% healthy standard brakes. It may be good enough for my style of driving. I got into a slippery slope of changing bits with my last bike and my Mk2 Golf I had all those years ago. I enjoyed making the changes and driving it, hard. I used to do track days. Castle Coombe was one of my favourites, along with Angelssey. That was 20 years ago. The money I make is spread thinly, between the mortgage, gas and leccy, kids, food etc there isn't much left to spend on my car, so I have to choose carefully.

    What are the stock brakes like in tip-top condition ? I know it's a 1450Kg car with 250ps (ish). Surely fresh ATE Racing blue of Motul RBF660, new discs, cleaned and lubed pistons with new DS2500 will be a worthwhile improvement over stock ? Certainly better than my worn out discs and 2 yo fluid. If I'm not driving it on the track, the discs and calipers will have time to cool down in-between bouts of heavy braking, its not like I have the Nurburgring on my door step (that'll be epic though ...)

    For road use I'm not 100% convinced I'll get good value out of them. If I was still a track day fiend, then there would be no doubt.

    Any one in Surrey want to take me out in their S3 with modified brakes ?
    #32
  34. vrbob
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    vrbob Thats no Moon, Thats a space station!

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    [Aug 31, 2012]
    If you come along to one of the south central meets Future on here has the porsche 6pot brakes on his car with the big discs and they are immense and m ake your face feel like its gonna come off.

    JtotheD has just fitted the front 4pot Porsche calipers to his 312`s and they seem pretty good too comapred to my stock setup, which is still not too bad i think for OEM kit.
    #33
  35. s3 Hoggy
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    s3 Hoggy Whats going on???

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    [Aug 31, 2012]
    Not mono block Dani but I know what your thinking, the juniors only have one bleed nipple on each caliper and they transfer the brake fluid internally. But the Lcr's have external 'transfer tubes' And a bleed nipple on each side of the caliper
    #34
  36. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Aug 31, 2012]
    My gripe with 312's is the way they deal with heat, nothing else.

    Pedal feel isn't too bad, and even standard healthy setups are sharp enough. Given decent pads they will pull you up very well indeed, once, twice, maybe 3 times, but beyond that they start to suffer.

    For a road car, If it's driven sensibly, then I guess the stopping power is more than adequate, as you say, it's all down to your driving style. S3 Paul has had nothing but trouble with his brakes, despite running a setup many are over the moon with, he's obviously hard on his brakes, so what works for others doesn't work for him.

    If you live in a city and take the odd weekend blast out onto your congested country roads where you rarely get more than 30 seconds of brisk enjoyment before meeting the next doris, then 312's will be right up your street.

    If you live in the highlands, and your commute is 30 miles across the windy roads without another car in sight, the 312's will ruin the enjoyment for you within a few miles.
    #35
  37. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Aug 31, 2012]
    *Que Kev telling us that he lived in the highlands and never once cooked his brakes*

    [​IMG]
    #36
  38. firestorm
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    firestorm Member

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    [Aug 31, 2012]
    Prawn,
    funny you should say that - I live in the 'burbs now, used to tear up the A82 in my 280mm, mintex pads, with the fogs removed and some flexi tubing for brake cooling, koni shocks with eibach -35mm springs, poly bushed, neuspeed arb, gas flowed 16v, schrick cammed mk2 golf with circa 170ps with oversized karl schmidt pistons and skimmed head. I spent thousands on that car and kept it for 10 years. I took it all around europe, redlined it many times, in 5th and returned 38mpg when I wasn't thrashing it. The brakes on that were brilliant, the only downside was the pads deposited iron filings on my BBS RA alloys. So I've lived with a fettled car before, although with hindsight, I'd probably hate it now, it'd be too uncomfotable as a DD, but fine around the highlands or the ring.

    I'll see if I can install some brake ducting on the S3.
    #37
  39. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Aug 31, 2012]
    Make sure you point at towards the centre bell and not the disc surface or caliper :)

    I'm installing brake cooling ducts on mine when it finally sees the road again. I started the other day, then found 'the hole'. haha
    #38
  40. firestorm
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    firestorm Member

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    [Aug 31, 2012]
    I remember the touring car capris had water cooled brakes, at the time I seem to remember they were limited to 14 or 15" wheels, so the disc size was limited. Something like a WMI without the M bit.

    May be worth considering if you are pushing the envelope with your LCR setup on DS3000s.
    #39
  41. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Aug 31, 2012]
    mine should be fine with cooling, without it they do get too hot for sure. I also noticed by discs aren't 'vaned' internally in the way I'd prefer, so I'll be changing those for some with better cooling properties next time around.
    #40

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