Like the lights, brakes are an essential part of going faster. If you have all this performance but can not use it because you can not stop.... If you have a pre MY99 (non import STi that is) then the brakes can be best described as adequate. Fitting an upgraded pad material from manufacturers such as Mintex, EBC or Pagid is well worth the investment with better pedal feel, less chance of over heating, and reduced stopping distances.
The introduction of the 4 pot Subaru brakes on the MY99 went some way to address the problems but these are still not ideal. Manufactured from cast iron they have poor heat disipation away from the piston area and so will after a number of hard stops start to degrade the brake fluid. This is something to be aware of when using this caliper on a track day, very fast road/country lane work or say when touring the Alps!
For the real enthusiast replacement calipers are available from Brembo, AP Racing, Tarrox, Alcon etc. These have two advantages over the standard 4 pots. The caliper is manufactured from aluminium which conducts heat away from the piston/pad area faster and they invariably use a bigger disc for a great swept area/mechanical advantage/stopping power.
You have to be wary that these 4 pot calipers (including the MY99 Subaru items) are much larger than standard and will not fit behind the standard 15 in wheel of a pre MY98, and in some cases the standard 16 in or even some upgrade 17 in wheels!
Brembo calipers and Leda C suspension available from Scoobysport
Scoobysport now offer KAD 6 pot caliper which are lighter and more powerful than the 4 pot Brembos. Available with 305mm, 330mm and 378mm AP ventilated discs for 16in, 17in and 18in alloys respectively.
AP Racing 4 pot calipers. Note there are two variations available of this caliper, one which fits behind the standard 16in alloy and the other which requires a larger 17in item.
AP Racing 6 pot calipers. Note these require a 17inch wheel with sufficient clearance. These and the alternative AP 4 pot items are available from Scoobymania.
Movit 4 pots behind ex MY01 WRX alloys on an early WRX.
Brakeman 4 pots available from TSL.
Here is a comparison of the standard Subaru 290mm disc/4 pot caliper with the Prodrive/Alcon upgrade. The Prodrive/Alcon upgrade is available from your local Subaru dealer.
Along with the calipers, it is also recommended to upgraded the hoses and brake fluid.
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Page originally created 23rd September, last updated 14th July 2002
Copyright © 2001/2 Steve Breen. Copyright © of photographs remain with source. Used here by permission and may NOT be copied for any purpose.