Project Cappuccino: Better Braking with Project Mu

One of the biggest goals with our 1992 Suzuki Cappuccino is to improve on the fun factor of our tiny little Kei roadster: preserving a balance of stopping, handling, and power is key to what makes this car so great.  We’ve got some power upgrades in mind, so we need to balance that out with some more grip and more stopping power.  On both of those fronts, we’ve got a new wheel and tire package planned that should make a huge difference to how this car handles and stops.  But as we were test fitting wheels, we found that we would have to do a little work on the brakes.  Follow along as we tackle some important braking upgrades to our baby Suzuki.Project Mu Brake Pads

While test fitting new wheels (a process we will detail later) we found that the brake pads the Cappuccino came equipped with were badly worn. So we decided to swap out all four corners with Project Mu’s HG+ pads. Project Mu has a huge selection of pads for the Cappuccino, ranging from OE replacement to full track day, with everything in between.

Project Mu Type HC+ Specs
The HG+ are near the middle of that spectrum, with a bit more emphasis on track day performance than street comfort. They have a wide temperature range, which makes them good for both the street and track. Since this is a summer only toy, this seems like the perfect pad for our needs. We also intend to autocross and track the Cappuccino, so a wide temperature range is a necessity.
Project Cappuccino Front Brakes
We popped the car up on jackstands and knocked out all four corners at once. The front pads were the easiest. The calipers are a standard single piston sliding design, so all we had to do was remove the two caliper bolts, pull the pads, reset the piston, and put it all back together. We were pleasantly surprised to find a set of Suzuki Sport stainless steel brake lines already installed. Suzuki Sport was Suzuki’s in-house tuning arm (like TRD or NISMO), but Suzuki has since shut it down and outsourced all of their factory tuning to Monster Sport (Suzuki’s version of Mugen).  Unlike any of the other braided brake lines we could have bought, these are built to Suzuki’s OEM standards and are dipped to prevent chafing.
Project Cappuccino Brake Pad Comparison
The front pads were completely toast, though admittedly not the worst brake pads to come off of one of my weird Japanese cars.  You will also note that the dead pads are the same seafoam green as our new pads: seems Project Mu is a popular choice with Cappuccino owners. Anyway, out with the old!
Project Cappuccino Front Pads Installed
And in with the new! The new pads did not come with anti-rattle shims. We suspect these will be a bit louder than the older pads (unfortunately we’re unsure which compound the previous owner used as it was not printed on the back of the pad). We did use a bit of pad grease on the backside to help reduce rattles and squeaks. Time will tell if this works at all. The calipers were in great shape: despite being nearly three decades old, there was almost no rust and the pistons and pins moved easily. The rotors are well above the minimum thickness from Suzuki and they showed no signs of grooving, warping, or other abnormal wear, so we reused them.

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