Project FR-S: Getting Stopping Power with Stoptech Brakes!
By Mike Kojima
Our FR-S isn't the fastest thing but it has inspiring handling and best of all it's rear wheel drive. Some of our friends that have have been doing track days with the car have reported to us that the brakes are woefully inadequate for track use. Cracking and warping rotors, fade and even warping and leaking calipers have all been suffered by the hard driving.
With our sticky tires and the anticipation of our upcoming supercharger we knew we would have to do something about the braking soon and we decided to get the brakes out of the way. We asked Stoptech for help in the braking department and they obliged us with a 4 wheel upgrade using their excellent Trophy Sport system that we have used with great success in the past on our Evo X and STI projects.
The Stoptech Trophy Sport system has amazed us with excellent braking power, good pedal feel and great brake balance when we have used it on our other projects so we were expecting great things here!
We are starting out on the rear brakes. The rear brakes are a more difficult upgrade because the FR-S has a parking brake integrated within the rear rotor. The rear parking brake is a small drum brake inside the disc rotor. Here Martin has started to unbolt the rear calipers to remove the stock brakes. Martin uses a deadblow mallet to remove the rotor. You can also use a couple of 6mm bolts in threaded holes in the drum section of the rotor to get the rotor off sorta like a gear puller in reverse.
With the rotor now off the car the rear dust cover must be removed to make room for the bigger Stoptech ST22 two piston caliper and the much bigger rotor. Here Martin uses a pry bar to break the stock spot welds that hold the dustcover to the parking brake backing plate. This is pretty easy.
Once the spotwelds are taken care of tin snips are used to cut a slot in the dust shield so the shield can be totally removed from the car.
Martin is now bolting in the adaptor bracket for the two piston ST22 caliper. The bracket changes the caliper mounting from the tab mount stock caliper to a racing style radial mount. Most racing calipers are radial mount because this is a stiffer way to build calipers. The torque loads on the caliper body are more centered with a radial mount. The bracket is made of stiff CNC machined billet aluminum that is hard anodized for corrosion resistance. The radial mount bracket has corrosion resistant, strong and stiff stainless steel mounting studs. These are nice parts!