Low Buck WRX Brake Upgrade

If you own a GD WRX (2002-2007), your car is probably getting up there in miles and if you need to go through your brakes, there is a nice low buck alternative to expensive aftermarket big brake kits.  With a little bit of effort, you can upgrade your car too much better STI brakes for not too much money.  The stock WRX comes with smallish two-piston sliding caliper front brakes and a single-piston rear caliper with a smallish solid rear rotor. The STI brakes are made by Brembo and are an order of magnitude better. All it takes to do this conversion is a special rear rotor by DBA which makes it an easy direct bolt-on!

The STI calipers are made by Brembo for Subaru and are racing type fixed calipers with 4 pistons in front and 2 pistons in the rear.  Unlike the stock iron calipers, the Brembo/STI calipers are lightweight forged aluminum.

Unlike a lot of racing-oriented 4 piston calipers, the STI calipers have full dust seals.  They also have stainless steel pad abutments that prevent the steel pad backing plate from digging into the aluminum.  This assures long life and smoother, quiet operation over time.

The rear calipers have the same features as the front.  As the calipers are engineered for the car, they have the correct hydraulic proportioning so the bias will be correct for good ABS function and the pedal feel will be perfect.

A DBA STI front rotor was used with a DBA STI to WRX conversion rear rotor.


    1. For the fronts you have plenty of options like from Centric and it’s child subsidiaries. It’s a standard STi fitment part. DBA is an “OEM plus,” level upgrade.

      The rears are of course more tricky. Another option for that is the Kartboy rear brackets (San Diego company, makes all things in-house) , to get to a two pot rear caliper and still keep the dust shield I believe? Going that route nets you not having to buy a special rotor over time.

  1. I’m in the process of piecing together a super budget brake upgrade myself for my VA WRX. I looked at going with OEM STi calipers front and rear but came across a set of brand new Cadillac CTS-V front calipers from a local Chevy dealership for $200 and found a company from that makes brackets to mount them. All in, it should be less than $2,500 front and rear even factoring the rear STi setup. Excited to see how this works out in comparison.

  2. Although not in the same league as the STi brakes, the 2006-2007 WRX had 4-piston front/2-piston rear fixed calipers. The 2002-2005 had the sliding calipers, and the 06-07 package is a popular swap for the earlier years as a mild upgrade.

  3. Love the content and will probably look into getting some used calipers to do this on my 05 Saab 92x Aero! Awesome write up with great details!

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