Project C7 Corvette Stingray Z51: Improving Stopping With a Chevy Performance Big Brake Upgrade Kit


The Brembo caliper is a monoblock forging. The body is forged as one piece instead of your typical two-piece caliper.

The monoblock construction greatly improves stiffness, which helps pedal feel and response under ABS operation. The caliper also has this large anti-rattle clip that applies tension to the top of the brake pads to keep them from freely banging around in the caliper and making excessive noise.


The new caliper has pads with about 50% more friction material area than the stock Z51 calipers.

The Chevy Performance upgrade caliper has six pistons compared to the Z51 caliper with four pistons. Six pistons are needed since the new caliper has so much pad area.

Note that the piston diameters are staggered, with the leading pistons smaller than the trailing pistons. This is to prevent taper wear of the pads, as the leading edge of the brake pads tend to wear faster.

You can see the pistons have dust seals. Racing calipers do not have these, as they tend to burn up with extended track use, but they are helpful in long-term use on the street to keep dirt and brake dust out of the seals.

The pistons are equipped with radiator/heat shields. These are the metal discs made from stainless steel that contact the brake pads through a raised ring that have holes drilled annularly around their edge. These protect the caliper by reducing the heat transfer to it from the pads.


The Chevy Performance front rotor at a huge 371mm in diameter is much bigger than the base 320mm rotor and the Z51 345mm rotor. None of the standard C7 brakes are exactly small, so these should be excellent.

These rotors are not the same as the optional carbon ceramic Z06 brakes. Those rotors are extremely exotic and expensive. The main advantage of the carbon ceramic rotors is that they are much lighter than iron rotors, and they make very little brake dust on the street.

The Chevy Performance rotors are iron. For hardcore track use, iron rotors and race pads can work better than the carbon ceramic rotors and their special OEM pads. With iron rotors, the pad compounds can be tailored to the intended use. Carbon ceramic rotors tend to transfer more heat to the caliper as well. Many people whose cars come with carbon ceramic rotors use them on the street and switch to iron rotors and race pads for serious track driving.

The rotors have curved grooves in the friction surface. The grooves help evacuate vaporized pad material from the rotor pad interface zone.  This helps improve the bite of the brake pads under hard use and also helps reduce the affects of water on the rotor.


The Chevy Performance front rotors are also made by Brembo. They are 33mm thick and are vented. In this case, Brembo used pillar vane venting on the rotors.

Pillar vanes can sometimes reduce brake judder on street driven cars due to the staggered supports inside the rotors being resistant to rotor surface distortion, although some feel that the cooling is a little bit worse than with radial vanes found in racing rotors. In any case, the rotors are so much bigger, we don’t think rotor cooling is going to be an issue, even with hard track use.



  1. Thank you for the video and article regarding the Stingray upgrades. I have been looking at the Chevy brake upgrade but was hesitant due to Chevy performance article stating that the brake upgrade was not compatible with the z51 stock wheels for clearance. I saw your car in the video and read the article that you used the stock wheels. Therefore I wanted to ask if you had any trouble with the stock z51 wheels fitting the upgrade? Was a spacer needed? Thank you for any help or detailed pictures regarding brake clearance with stock z51 wheels.

  2. Which are you referring to as being heavier, the OEM units or the upgraded units? Do you know the actual weight of the upgraded calipers and rotors?

  3. What is the GM part number for this kit? My local GM Performance dealer was quite confused! The entire C7 project series was amazing and gave me inspiration to upgrade my 2019 Z51.

  4. So you did the video showing the b4 the Z51 brake upgrade. What about the after video (I can’t seem to find it). Also it appears that there are disclaimers for using this upgrade kit and it appears the spacer is not available.

    Please advise.

    Thanks in advance..

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