Project DBA R35 GT-R: Upping Stopping Power with Brembo and Race Technologies
As you can see so far in this series, we are doing a lot of things to fight the weight of the GT-R. At 3800 pounds, the GT-R wheels throw around a lot of mass with a great deal of speed and grace, but it can only do it for short periods of time before the weight takes its toll, mostly on the brakes and tires.
Well, we are working on the tires part with bigger tires, less rotating and unsprung weight and tuneable suspension to get the rubber on the road better. Now its time to work on on the brakes.
One thing about the brakes is that the GT-R already comes with huge brakes, almost the biggest you can stuff in the 20″ wheels. The front brakes are huge 6-piston Brembo units, and the rear are 4-piston. The stock front rotors are large 390mm x 32.8mm and the rear are 380mm x 30mm. Those are some serious brakes.
However, the GT-R is a seriously heavy, powerful and fast car, and to cope with this, Nissan uses a very aggressive brake pad that quickly wears the rotors and makes horrible dust. We would drive for a couple of miles to dry the brakes after washing the wheels and in that space, the wheels would get dusty again!
Big brakes, aggressive pads or not, you can’t fight physics, and when a GT-R is equipped with sticky tires, the brake will cry uncle after a few laps around the track. So, we will plan some mods that will let us have decent stopping on the street without killing rotors and making tons of corrosive dust, and it will be the biggest thing you can use that will fit in the stock diameter wheels to be the ultimate in stopping on the track with race pads.
The system is engineered by Brembo and distributed/supported by Race Technologies LLC, which is Brembo’s performance partner in the USA and other select overseas markets. The Brembo R35 GT-R upgrade consists of 2 piece disc assemblies, caliper spacers, and brake pads.
The front Race Technologies rotor is 405mm in diameter and 34mm wide. This is an increase from the stock rotor, which is 390mm in diameter and 32mm wide. The new rotor weighs 29 lbs compared to the stock 26.4 lbs- an increase of 2.6 lbs.
The Race Technologies disc assembly is Brembo’s high thermal rotor, which means that the faces of the rotor are proportionally thicker and the vent air gap narrower to give the rotor a higher thermal mass and more heat capacity. This is one of the reasons why the rotor is heavier than stock.
The rotor is a full floating type with the rotors floating on large steel spacers. This gives a larger surface area for the braking forces to bear on to reduce wear on the aluminum hat. Floating rotors allow the friction ring of the rotor to move freely against the hat. This prevents the rotor from distorting into a cone shape with heat, this giving a harder pedal and better braking.
The rotor bolts have stainless leaf springs that put tension on the rotor to disc interface so the rotor won’t rattle against the hat. This is a good feature on a street car. Race cars don’t use these because who cares about noise!
You can see how narrow the air vents are on the high thermal capacity spec rotor compared to others you might have seen. You can also see how thick the friction faces of the rotor are.