Author Topic: Brake upgrade options  (Read 5573 times)

Offline RedSwede

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Brake upgrade options
« on: May 02, 2019, 12:34:36 PM »
Hi all.

One of the main things that bothers me with my Pirelli is the brake feel. Believe it or not, the outright stopping power of the 312mm brakes I am happy with. They can pull the ABS in just fine and I have never had any fade issues with good pads.

The biggest issue I have is the first "soft" movement of the pedal, where almost no pressure is required. It gets firmer for really hard applications, but the top soft movement makes modulation and heel/toe really difficult in most driving. (There is nothing wrong with the brakes - I've owned the car from new and they are the same as then).

I had wondered about the Boxster small-big-brake upgrade - I think I saw somewhere that piston volume was smaller than standard with these, so maybe that would give less assistance (plus removing caliper flex, of course).

Just looking for input from peoples experience, basically, but particularly on feel.

Offline Pudding

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Re: Brake upgrade options
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2019, 05:06:36 PM »
It could be poor initial bite from your pads, or the calipers could do with an overhaul.

The same applies to the rear calipers.  All 4 corners contribute to the overall pedal feel, so if any one of them is sticking/seized etc, it will soften the top of the pedal.

I agree about the braking power of the standard brakes.  Mine started to feel like yours (and also making lots of cracking/clacking/clicking noises at slow speeds) but I couldn't be bothered with caliper overhauls.  I just replaced the rear calipers/carriers with new VW parts and fitted the MK7 brakes up front.  Standard GTI pads (from VW) all round.

Top of the pedal still isn't razor sharp but I've no complaints.  Excellent stopping power from the fronts with no noises or fade.
Black Edition 30 with manually selected cogs, a beefier clutch, some extra boost and them Whiteline thingies, otherwise standard.

Online bobby_fodge

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Re: Brake upgrade options
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2019, 05:18:33 PM »
I've got standard calipers and braided lines and decent pads but still don't like the pedal feel. I've got a pair of front Boxster calipers which I've refurbed, I'm hoping these might improve the pedal feel.

Ambernevill@outlook.com

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Brake upgrade options
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2019, 07:44:04 PM »
Can I put 2014 s3 front calipers

Offline RedSwede

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Re: Brake upgrade options
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2019, 10:56:24 AM »
I think I explained it badly with "soft" etc.

What I mean to say is that the top of the brake pedal movement travels a lot with very little force. However, this really does produce a lot of stopping force - the brakes are overly sharp if anything. So it is more like braking is proportional to distance moved of the pedal, rather than force applied to the pedal. As you lean on the brakes more strongly, the pedal firms up (you can feel this transition easily at a standstill), and braking becomes proportional to force.

I would just rather have the pedal harder from the top, more force required, and consistent - at road speeds, heel & toe whilst braking in this "soft" region is impossible for me. I don't know why the pedal would feel like this - though reading last night I saw something about RHD Mk5 GTIs having some weird two-chamber/stage brake servo. Does anyone know more about this?

Offline The Red Warrior

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Re: Brake upgrade options
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2019, 01:31:42 AM »
@RedSwede changing to the Boxster brakes is unlikely to change your pedal feel. I upgraded to them a couple years ago and pedal feel for me is exactly the same. The main you I notice about the upgrade is that there is lots of braking power in reserve when pulling up from higher speeds. In other words, the pedal isn’t as far down in the stroke for the same amount of braking at higher speeds. Initial bite is still the same and the little bit is initial ‘free play’ is still there.
I never learnt to heel and toe (although I would like to) so it doesn’t bother me.

Offline RedSwede

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Re: Brake upgrade options
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2019, 07:19:44 AM »
That’s really good to know. Often people just say what a great brake upgrade something is without saying how exactly.

I suspect my issue with the brakes is probably mostly related to the brake servo. Porsche’s have terrific brake feel power, incidentally, in my experience.

Heel and toe isn’t required on the road at all - in fact it is against many so called advanced driving techniques, but I enjoy the flow it gives. With a well set up car, it’s quite easy. You need well positioned pedals (easy to modify), and crucially a good firm brake pedal to roll your foot off.

Online bobby_fodge

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Re: Brake upgrade options
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2019, 10:56:41 AM »
Is there a master cylinder upgrade? I did such a thing on my mk2.

Here is a good thread on this topic, the links within it are worth a read. The gist is that the mob r32 m/c is a good upgrade as it's not too much of an increase over the gti.

https://www.golfmkv.com/forums/showthread.php?t=175147

I was hoping my boxster fronts would remove the 'dead' travel at the top of the stroke. I feel like the 'active' section of the stroke is strangely short, even with new discs, pads, fluid and braided lines.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2019, 11:16:39 AM by bobby_fodge »

Online colesey

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Re: Brake upgrade options
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2019, 11:53:23 AM »
Later production Mk5 already have the 23.81mm MC. Mine, registered Aug 2006 and supposedly a 2007 chassis, has it and so will the OP’s Pirelli.

Offline The Red Warrior

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Re: Brake upgrade options
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2019, 05:32:19 AM »
Later production Mk5 already have the 23.81mm MC. Mine, registered Aug 2006 and supposedly a 2007 chassis, has it and so will the OP’s Pirelli.

Strangely, mine is a 2005 as has the 23mm master cylinder too.

Online colesey

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Re: Brake upgrade options
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2019, 06:15:37 AM »
Maybe the rhd market had a different fitting specified to the lhd one? Is not like Holger (The Bruce) to be mistaken about facts and I may have read this from a non-UK post.

It is sometimes easy to read things on overseas forums like MkV without fully realising the context in which they were written i.e. someone claiming great results from an intercooler without knowing that he was from Texas where the temperature it is frequently in the 30s.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2019, 09:31:58 AM by colesey »

Offline Pudding

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Re: Brake upgrade options
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2019, 12:02:13 PM »
OK, so they are too sharp for the first X amount of travel.  Well that's easily fixed by fitting the MK7 calipers.

Not sure I get the whole heel and toeing thing.  Have tried it several times and given the faff of it, the rewards weren't there.   I can get from A to B quickly enough driving normally, so don't see the point of it.....or double declutching.  Relics of a forgotten era I think.

Disagree about Porsche brakes in the context of the 993.  Horrible, dead, lifeless things with absolutely no bite at the top of the pedal.  I prefer and really like a sharp response from the pedals, throttle included.   The servo is normal as far as I can tell.  I have one in the spares cupboard.  They are prone to leaking though, which makes a hissing noise near the pedals.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2019, 12:04:21 PM by Pudding »
Black Edition 30 with manually selected cogs, a beefier clutch, some extra boost and them Whiteline thingies, otherwise standard.

Online colesey

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Re: Brake upgrade options
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2019, 03:17:38 PM »
Most uprated pads will give you a softer initial response though I would forget about heel and towing as neither the pedal positioning nor the throttle response are that great. This isn’t a Caterham running high compression & hot cams on twin webers / ITBs.

Offline Pudding

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Re: Brake upgrade options
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2019, 05:25:36 PM »
Depends on the compound.  I've had some very fierce pads in the past  :grin:   

I didn't think you could heel and toe in a GTI anyway?  DBW ECUs normally cut the power if you brake and throttle at the same time.

I think the most responsive pedal I've felt is an R32 (Golf).  Almost too responsive in traffic.
Black Edition 30 with manually selected cogs, a beefier clutch, some extra boost and them Whiteline thingies, otherwise standard.

Offline The Red Warrior

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Re: Brake upgrade options
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2019, 12:52:28 AM »


I didn't think you could heel and toe in a GTI anyway?  DBW ECUs normally cut the power if you brake and throttle at the same time.


I think my APR software allows this. I was meaning to try it out but wasn’t in a safe area to do so at the time.