Z Meets Wall: We Investigate Why the NISMO Zs Brakes Failed at Lightning Lap

Thirdgen89GTA

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Z Meets Wall: We Investigate Why the NISMO Z's Brakes Failed at Lightning Lap - Feature - Car and Driver

upgrading 370z nismo barely matching a standard 335i? pretty sads. interesting article.

Read that when it came out. Not really a surprise that stock pads and fluid can't keep up with consistent abuse. Even if the pads hold out, the fluid absorbs too much heat and becomes useless.

I can put about 5x 20 minute sessions at Road America into the Focus ST's stock brake system and after that the fluid is DONE. Pads are still good, but the fluid needs to be bled.
 

sickmint79

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that sounds impressive for stock fluid, a fast track, and 3200(?) lbs!

i never tried the brz. i was on stock tires for a bit, but i replaced brake pads all around and the fluid before i even filled up the first tank of gas.
 

Thirdgen89GTA

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that sounds impressive for stock fluid, a fast track, and 3200(?) lbs!

i never tried the brz. i was on stock tires for a bit, but i replaced brake pads all around and the fluid before i even filled up the first tank of gas.
The last time I had it at RA I was on session #6 about 10 minutes in when I had decided to call it quits since the pedal started to go to the floor. I barely got the car stopped in time for turn 8. I limped it to the pits at #14 then exited RA and did some slow street driving for about 15 minutes to keep the rotors moving and bleed the heat out of the system. I still had brakes, but nothing that would be good in a panic stop. After I got back I parked it for the rest of the day.

I didn't actually get around to bleeding the brake system. I just drove the car normally and within 2 days the brake pedal feel had returned to normal. It doesn't even look burnt. That was last year, and Ford still won't replace the original factory pads because I have 6mm left on them. lol. Rotors are clean, and have never needed resurfacing either.

The stock system needs better fluid, and once you can push the fluid harder you'll need better pads. But the brakes themselves are sufficient.
 

sickmint79

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i toased them fully on the sti. i don't think carbotech's site said the pads at the time (ax6) were not for 3200 lb cars (this even seems added more recently for the xp8?) but i had ax6 on. i probably don't have the best braking habits either.

my buddy said my rotors were glowing turn 1 on autobahn south during the day - yet he never snagged any pics, wah! i toasted them completely on the long straight though, like pedal to the floor all out emergency just to stay on the track. they were 100% cached after that. i pit out and had noooothing. rolled around to try and cool them off but they were gone. pedal to the floor was no resistance and resulted in no braking whatsoever. parked it and my buddy who works a lot with his hands so they are pretty rough couldn't even keep them on the tire very long, had to wait a while just to take the wheels off. scareh!

brz has bbk on, largely just so i could see how much pad is left between sessions (super hard on oem calipers) looking at ducting now just to go the extra mile. at 2800 lbs it should be impossible for me to fade them in a session even if i'm a total idiot with them.
 

nytebyte

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Not the first time I've heard about the 350 / 370 Z toasting its brakes. Probably not surprising on a relatively heavy car like that.

On the Cobra with stock pads and fluid, I could go almost 20 minutes before they started to fade. Switching to Carbotech pads and adding cooling ducts made a HUGE difference and then I finally swapped out the stock calipers for 4-pot Brembo's. With the Brembo's, I could go all day without any issues, even with the standard Ford brake fluid.
 

Turk

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Honest question, is it normal for a cars brakes to just go out like that? I figured a 370z would have came from the factory with racing worthy brakes...
 

Turbocharged400sbc

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figure more on "make it last for at least 100K miles" than "build it full retard for the 1% of drivers that actually take the car to its limit under long durations that 99.8% of customers would never see"
 

Turk

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True. I mean, I'm not expecting awesome track performance out of factory brakes, but I wouldn't expect them to completely fail either...
 

Turbocharged400sbc

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heats a bitch, but a street car you cant get rotors wet lest braking suffer, so brake cooling ducts are not used (ducting water spray onto brakes that tend to get used for panic stops more than hard corner entry isnt a good thing, especially when the street cars rotor is not much above ambient where a race cars rotor is probably at 400+ degree's regularly.

oem's gear more towards lack of maintenance, they know most customers dont give a shit. so they toss in dot3 fluid since it can go longer and absorb more water without the fluids boiling temp dropping as much as waterlogged dot4.



oem weakness's are the reason we have an aftermarket
 

nytebyte

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I think stock brakes are designed for decent braking at all temperatures (including winter), low dusting, long life and reduced rotor wear. Fine for your average driver.

Aggressive brake pads dust like a mofo, work better when their hot and are harder on rotors. Even the Galfer street pads I use in my Brembo's dust horribly, but I don't care. I'd rather have the great performance and feel and wash the wheels more often.

I recall some Porsche owners bitching to the company about brake dusting. Porsche basically told them "tough shit, it's a performance car and those are the drawbacks". Don't like it? Buy a Buick.
 

sickmint79

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True. I mean, I'm not expecting awesome track performance out of factory brakes, but I wouldn't expect them to completely fail either...
well, their conclusion was it was simply poor airflow, and they claimed it was the most dramatic loss of brakes they've ever had. the expectation on factory stuff is that you at least know when you're losing your shit so you can back off, and here they appeared to experience that rather drastically. instead of hey, i've got 1 or 2 more laps in, they appear to have thought that and had 1 or 2 more turns in.
 

Thirdgen89GTA

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I think stock brakes are designed for decent braking at all temperatures (including winter), low dusting, long life and reduced rotor wear. Fine for your average driver.

Aggressive brake pads dust like a mofo, work better when their hot and are harder on rotors. Even the Galfer street pads I use in my Brembo's dust horribly, but I don't care. I'd rather have the great performance and feel and wash the wheels more often.

I recall some Porsche owners bitching to the company about brake dusting. Porsche basically told them "tough shit, it's a performance car and those are the drawbacks". Don't like it? Buy a Buick.
Its a common complaint on the Focus ST's. So much so that Ford upgraded the Rotor's from 12.6x1" to 13.0x1" mid year on the 2014 Focus ST's so they could use a less aggressive pad for reduced dusting. My car is a 2013 and has the smaller 12.6" rotors and semi-metallic performance pads. They dust hard core. 1 week of driving and the wheels look terrible. Upkeep is so bad that I've given up and just let the brake dust accumulate till I wash the car.

But, its a hot hatch with decent brakes, so it doesn't bother me.

I did the worst thing ever for my GTA though. Got a set of White wheels on it. Thankfully they are powder coated so the dust just comes right off with a rag and some water. Its awesome.

My Focus RS will have black rims so I don't have to clean the rims as often. :rofl:
 

IDAFC21

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Its a common complaint on the Focus ST's. So much so that Ford upgraded the Rotor's from 12.6x1" to 13.0x1" mid year on the 2014 Focus ST's so they could use a less aggressive pad for reduced dusting. My car is a 2013 and has the smaller 12.6" rotors and semi-metallic performance pads. They dust hard core. 1 week of driving and the wheels look terrible. Upkeep is so bad that I've given up and just let the brake dust accumulate till I wash the car.
I don't even remember what color my wheels actually are anymore.
 

nytebyte

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I keep one of those Swiffer duster tools in the garage and clean the wheels with it between washes. It works pretty well.

Pic of Swiffer
 

sickmint79

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i have to import toxic waste from the russian black market to mix with off earth elements to even try and loosen up my bonded at the molecular level brake dust deposits and this guy over here is wiping everything off with a foofy swiffer, dafuq
 

Thirdgen89GTA

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i have to import toxic waste from the russian black market to mix with off earth elements to even try and loosen up my bonded at the molecular level brake dust deposits and this guy over here is wiping everything off with a foofy swiffer, dafuq
:werd:

The brake dust on my wheels could repel small arms fire.
 

sickmint79

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between acidic washes i rub my wheels with uranium cakes which results in barely visible changes, plus my hands hurt afterwards for some reason
 

nytebyte

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i have to import toxic waste from the russian black market to mix with off earth elements to even try and loosen up my bonded at the molecular level brake dust deposits and this guy over here is wiping everything off with a foofy swiffer, dafuq
:werd:

The brake dust on my wheels could repel small arms fire.

Jesus Christ, what kind of brake pads are you guys using?

Also, I wax my wheels which helps repel just about any kind of dirt and brake dust. Once you get your wheels clean, try waxing them.
 

sickmint79

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i have carbotech xp8 and it goes through some legit heat cycles of cooking then cooling off on the wheels plus the wheels themselves getting quite hot and cooling. nooks and crannies are a bad time
 

nytebyte

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How are those XP8's for daily driving? Do they work OK at normal street driving rotor temps? Good initial bite and modulation?
 

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The duralast gold ceramic pads from vatozone are popular replacements because the dust is nonexistent. Very popular with the challenger and corvette people I know. They are awesome, and make no noise.
 

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