Project NSX: Part 7 – Installing PFC Multi-Pad Monobloc Calipers

Performance Friction ZR31 Multi-Pad Monobloc Caliper for Acura NSX

Altogether, the Performance Friction ZR31 multi-pad monobloc NSX brake system is an impressive and technologically advanced setup.

Now let’s analyze the stock brakes.

The stock NSX front brakes are 11.1” in diameter and use a 2-piston sliding caliper with piston sizes of 40/36mm. Back in 1990, this was respectable but they are barely sufficient with good pads for a fast HPDE driver on modern rubber.  The 1997+ 11.73” rotors and smaller 40/34mm calipers hold up far better but even then, the NSX benefits from the added capacity of 13” big brake kits.  Funny enough, the OEM rotors are the same size as a 4-500lb lighter new MX-5 Miata.  Needless to say, when we increase our power output, these brakes will not be sufficient.

Note: the 2002 NSX-R used the larger 40/36mm front calipers on the later 97+ 11.73” front rotors; shifting the brake bias forward.

The stock rear brakes are also 11.1” in diameter and use a single 42mm piston sliding caliper. In 1997 the rear rotors grew to 11.93” and a larger 48mm caliper was used.  Increasing the rear braking thermal capacity is not as crucial as the front, but this also means that with a larger rear brake system, the rotors and pads will very rarely need replacing.

PFC Multi-Pad Monobloc Caliper for Acura NSX

The brakes bolted right up with no issue.  The entire setup managed to shave 2.2lbs off each front corner of our NSX, while delivering more stopping power than any other system created for an NSX.  The monobloc calipers weigh in at 8.4lbs empty with the mounting bracket, compared to the OEM caliper’s 12.4lbs.  The PFC rotors were almost 2lbs heavier at 14.8lbs vs 13lbs for the OEM 11.1” rotors, which is not bad for being nearly 3” larger in diameter and carrying significantly more thermal capacity.

There is plenty of clearance to the upright and lower ball joint. We installed a set of ARP studs so we can mix and match wheel spacers as needed with our wider fenders.

8 comments

  1. OK, that’s just lovely. Wish the multipad stuff was more commonplace but even the “budget” ZR34/ZR94 calipers look pretty nice.

  2. Any idea if the NSX ABS module is similar to the S2k stuff? I am kicking around adding the S2k ABS system to my 240sx as it is a self contained standalone setup. Would be nice to go from no ABS to something more modern and workable.

    1. It’s somewhat similar. The programming is different and there are some hardware differences. People have used it on the NSX but I do not how know it performs vs a system designed for the NSX, however for your application it may be a better option.

  3. I had no idea individual pads were so rare in the automotive world. In the motorcycle industry, lots of even stock calipers use 4 individual pads.

  4. Neat. A lot of new information in this thread. I am one of those people who thought PFC was left only for those in NASCAR circles etc. I have a 328mm Stoptech ST40 kit behind 18″ TE37s. I thought they were cool (just like Milhouse’s mom), but you said otherwise.

    1. They’ve been in formula cars, prototypes, and sportscars for decades. I never said anything bad about StopTech. They are a great product at a great price point and put far more engineering and focus on brake bias for each application than their competitors.

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