Video: Can a big-brake kit make you faster on track?

Want to go faster on track? There are several things you can upgrade, like the air intake, exhaust, suspension, tires—the list goes on. But what about your brakes?

We got ourselves a big-brake kit from Wilhelm Raceworks—composed of Wilwood Engineering calipers and Wilhelm adapters—for our 1991 Toyota MR2 to see if this upgrade can actually give us better lap times.

Presented by CRC Industries.

RonB001 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
7/8/21 7:01 p.m.

I guess I'm spoiled by the tire comparisons, but I was disappointed to not really see the "better lap times" comparison.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
7/8/21 9:13 p.m.
RonB001 said:

I guess I'm spoiled by the tire comparisons, but I was disappointed to not really see the "better lap times" comparison.

Our "after" test day was spoiled a bit by on-and-off showers. We still managed to pick up a little over a tenth of a second despite more inconsistent conditions, but we didn't feel that actual lap times were representative because of lingering wetness in some key corners. So we leaned on highlighting some key points in the data to give us an indication of performance.

With brakes—even our originally substandard brakes—there's also every chance you can get even the crappy brakes to produce a single lap as fast as upgraded ones. All you really need is for those brakes to work good for two miles. But the real key is how do they work on lap 7? or 12? or beyond?

Also, as we saw from the data, we were able to produce max decel forces equal to the Wilwoods with the original brakes, but the decel curve of the factory brakes with it's more rounded top was indicative of their lack of feel and lack of initial bite. In that case you;re actually getting a graphic representation of the subjective feel of the brakes simply being more confidence inspiring and having better feel and bite.

bosswrench New Reader
9/15/23 1:50 p.m.

Referencing the swap-meet article in this post, my best add-on for my '92 Toyota Turbo was a set of original NSX wheels that bolted straight on and were the next size up both in diameter and wider! The only work was to bondo-up & spraypaint the NSX hubcap logo-script that said 'Honda'. Never needed bigger than stock brakes (with Porterfield pads)- it was my commuter for years.

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