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Not sure where to go with brakes on the 86

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    Not sure where to go with brakes on the 86

    I've got an 86 that I've been using as a daily/occasional track use car on and off for 8 years. Has basic stuff done. Intake, exhaust, E85 tune, MCA red coilovers. 17x9 wheels with 255 Hankook RS4's. Had DBA 4000 rotors and QFM A1RM pads.

    Last outing at Wakefield I fucked up. I knew the pads weren't long for this world but YOLO'd it. Pads lost all material and ate the rotors. It's all fucked, rotors can't be saved and I'm a moron.

    Long term I'd like to add power so it feels foolish to just replace the rotors and pads when they likely won't keep up with that extra power. Short term I want to get it back on a track and enjoy it. I wouldn't mind spending a couple grand and winding up with something better than standard calipers+DBA's+nice pads, but there doesn't seem to be an option for that. It seems like either spend $1,000 on DBA4000's and good pads or spend $4,000 on performance pack brembos. There isn't a goldilocks "just right" solution that gets me bigger rotors, at least on the front. I thought that a car this popular would have some options after 8 years on the planet but it seems the only thing anyone has come up with that does what I'm looking for is the Cadillac CTS brembo caliper adapter but those Cadillac brakes aren't just sitting around wreckers here in Australia. Maybe WRX STI brembos but I hear they throw brake bias off a bit because the WRX is nose heavy compared with the 86.

    If I do just suck it up and replace rotors and pads does anyone have a suggestion for rotors other than DBA4000's? I think they're 30% at Kabab's until tomorrow so I might need to just suck it up and buy them while they're cheap. I also need a suggestion for pads because QFM are gone. The car is rarely driven these days, in future it'll only be used once a week/fortnight to keep the E85 from sitting too long so street manners don't really matter, track performance is more important this time around.

    I'm confused and have no fucking idea what to do.

    Not sure on price, but the Project Mu 343mm kit is pretty damn good on an 86 with some form of power. Also a bonus I'd they are quite a slimline caliper and have a wider wheel option than Brembo's.


      If you are considering investing in a brake kit, this kit doesn't have dust seals in the calipers but for a mainly track car would be a good choice:
      This is basically the kit we developed for the 86 series.

      The downside is the cost but over a longer term, the upside is reduced running costs - as per the feedback we get from customers.
      The brake temps stay down and so the pads and rotors last better - the 86 series guys can get a whole season out of a set of rotors for instance.

      Bottom line it is less money outlaid after a couple of years of track day use compared with doing other things.

      Need STi wheels though.


      Race Car: VT Commodore (Murray)


        qfm a1rm pads are total shit. I completely baked mine off the metal on a stock standard Evo at QR.

        If you didn't think the QFMs were complete shit then you'll be a fair way off the limit of some serious pads So a pad upgrade and good fluid probably has you covered.
        If no real road use Invest in some serious pads (proper project mu, carbotech, PF, pagid, Carbone lorraine etc) good rotors and SRF fluid and if you still have issues then add some ducting and you'll probably be right unless this thing is turboed.

        I'm a big fan of carbotech XP10 & 12. They lay down a transfer layer on the disc and seem to be reasonably kind to the rotor. But I haven't tried a heap of other pads as I've been happy.

        I've got 380mm fronts with Alcon 6 pots but I also have ~500awkw and 1700kg.
        Last edited by burn is weird; 08-04-21, 12:12 AM.



          Have you looked to see if Shockworks have a kit available?


            Your problem is the A1RMs.

            Our Swift (with stock engine) can destroy a set of those in a day at WP. And they don’t have much bite.

            Get some proper track pads eg Project Mu, Stick with your stock calipers and rotors, and see how that setup goes at your next track day. I see plenty of 86s at track days with this setup.

            and a set of street pads for street driving.


              +1 for what Sprinkles said. I think you will be surprised how much punishment the standard brake setup will cope with when it's got some good pads and fluid in it.

              Project Mu Club Racer would be my first point of call - they are a great pad for this kind of application. I've used them in a couple of different race cars - (1,000kg and 1200kg) on standard rotors and they have worked brilliantly. Really good pedal feel.

              Castrol SRF is the best fluid around, although it's pretty expensive. The Penrite racing equivalent is pretty good too and a bit cheaper.

              Once you start changing calipers you can go down a rabbit hole trying to sort balance etc.


                Just to muddy the waters somewhat I'm going to recommend Endless N35S compound. I was always a Hawk/DS3000 guy until a mate recommended these and I've never looked back. Easy on rotors amazing life span and more bite that you'll ever need.


                  I'd be surprised if the WRX was significantly more nose heavy than an 86- but that would explain why they handle like shit. An 86 is like 58% front axle by memory.

                  Proper pads (I use Forza from brakes direct), stainless lines, good fluid usually works great. We did Forza FP3 pads, DBA slotted rotors, HEL lines, and 600F fluid on our E46 330ci track car and it took 24 hours of punishment without a hint of fade or vibration. Could have done the whole race on one set too.


                    +5 on AR1Ms being shithouse if you have a go on the track, drove home very carefully on the backing plates on my fd and had callipers rebuilt after a sessionat WP on a not far from stock fd. Will either put up with wooden pedal on the road or swap in proper high temp pads for track work from now on.