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Stuck in the 30's
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120 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey experts,

I'm trying to correct some poor planning on my part. My project has been underway for some years (see tc33s Journal). When I planned this out I collected parts, as the budget would allow. I'm thinking my choice of rotor sizes was wrong.

What I have right now 17" front wheels, 20" rears. Rotors are 11" and they look tiny on the car. I haven't had the chance yet to road test the car to check brake performance. Its still not road worthy and I can't get a good brake pedal. That's another issue.

Question: Do I need larger rotors? The car weighs at most about 3200 lbs. I have a 450 horsepower 383 stroker. I'm planning on cruising not racing but...

So what do you experts think? All comments, thoughts, suggestions appreciated...
 

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I'm no builder but I run a Boston tire & auto shop. We see lots of high end import stuff this time of year when the 1% come in for their winter wheels & tires.
So that's part of my point of reference.
Find brackets to move your calipers out. If you are going to a really big visible rotor you might want to get bigger better calipers as well. Little calipers will look funky on big rotors and there will be less swept area than the rotors would normally use.
So you may end up doing a whole setup that works with your hubs or spindles. Measure how much rotor will fit inside your front wheels and maximize it. The largest rotor & swept area is your best stopping power. It will dissipate heat and accommodate a bigger pad & caliper set. You only need enough caliper to wheel clearance for a stick on wheel weight. Like 1/4" or 3/16".
It's not just function, it will also look cool on your build. There are brake parts available nowadays that look like jewelry.
No sense doing a job with out doing it well. The military call it mission creep. I know how it goes. I spent so much extra on little things when I built my engine project.
 

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More for Less Racer
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The 1968-1981 Corvette's were all equipped with 4 wheel 11" diameter disc brakes, and weighed around 3600 lbs average depending on options.....do you think you need more stopping power than that??

A lot of us think its the 20" wheels that look goofy big, and not the 11" brakes looking goofy small....

The only place big brakes have any stopping power advantage is in combating brake fade due to heat....like a track car on a road course.....when it comes to a street car and a single panic stop to avoid an accident, the bigger brakes don't stop you at any shorter distance than the standard size brakes do. As long as they are capable of completely locking and sliding the tire, no stopping distance decrease is there to be had.
 

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Stuck in the 30's
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120 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Appreciate all the comments so far. I guess I should have been more specific. In addition to the larger rotors I was also considering larger calipers to go along. The 11" rotors I have now are 2 piston and I was thinking bigger (4 piston) would be better.

My biggest concern is stopping power and not the looks.
 

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More for Less Racer
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19,897 Posts
Larger diameter rotors and bigger calipers do nothing to decrease braking distance....all they do is decrease brake fade in a repeated use situation where the rotors have less time to cool between applications....like a race car on a race track. The larger diameter is just more area to dissipate heat.

On the street, where typical daily use and a single once in a while panic stop situation never overheats the rotors anyway, they are nothing more than a "look at me" bling item.
 
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