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All of the modifications you have to your engine, all of the upgrades you have in your suspension, and all of the aero additions you have on your exterior are no good unless you have brakes. If your vehicle is in otherwise good running condition, your brake system is the most important series of components in your vehicle, and this is a highly vast subject to cover becaRead More

All of the modifications you have to your engine, all of the upgrades you have in your suspension, and all of the aero additions you have on your exterior are no good unless you have brakes. If your vehicle is in otherwise good running condition, your brake system is the most important series of components in your vehicle, and this is a highly vast subject to cover because you need to have the right brake components that are the most appropriate for your driving purposes and driving style. After all, it doesn't matter if you are using your vehicle for the daily commute, or if you have a purpose-built race car that is traveling at high speeds approaching the end of a long straightaway at your local track. All brakes share one common goal, and that is to stop your vehicle. Here, we are going to cover the majority of braking components, their purposes, when you need to upgrade, what is the right brake pad to have, when you need to upgrade further, and how to appropriately maintain your brakes. 



This is a broad subject to cover because there are so many variables to consider that go along with your driving style. You should not have OEM-style brake pads on a dedicated race car or rally car, and you should absolutely not have a race-compound track pad on a car you use as a daily driver.  



Let's explain in Layman's race car terms the big difference between the two. OEM or OEM-like brake pads have been designed to stop your vehicle throughout all weather conditions and temperatures. Meaning that they will have a solid braking "bite" when you leave your driveway at 6 am on a 20-degree December morning and your car stops normally when you approach the first stop sign in your neighborhood. You don't even think about it, your car is acting normal, and it's another normal daily commute. OEM and street pads are also quiet, they don't squeal, and they produce a minimum amount of brake dust so you don't get your fancy wheels dirty. 

Racing brake pads serve a main purpose and utility, and shouldn't be used on the streets. Racing brake pads are made using harder compounds designed to sustain and withstand extreme temperatures as they are constantly working to stop your race car at your track. Depending on the track layout, depending on how fast and powerful your vehicle is, racing brake pads will endure continuous and increasing heat to avoid the chances of brake fade to also endure endless stopping sessions. If you look at photos of race cars while stopping, you will notice the brake rotors glowing red hot. In these conditions, your OEM brake pads would literally melt, making you lose all braking pressure, and you wouldn't be able to stop. But the reason why racing brake pads are not good for the street is that they need to be warmed up before they start grabbing the rotor. Many times, a "bedding" process is required for your racing brake pads. This is where you find a safe area where you can accelerate to 60 mph or so and stop your vehicle as fast as you can. You do this until you start building heat and wearing off the top surface of your brake pads, while also building friction with your rotors. The bedding process would offer some brake pad "bite" if you were in a race event where you did not do a warm-up lap for your tires and brakes and just got sling-shotted out on the track. Now going back to the beginning, if you installed race brake pads on your daily driver and left your driveway on a cold December morning, and made your way down the street while approaching the first stop sign while applying your brakes, you would more than likely drive through the stopping area because there is no heat buildup in the pads. It would be like trying to stop with cold bricks as brake pads in your calipers. Maybe not this extreme, but you would at least be applying a lot of brake pedal pressure until you've got a little heat into the pad. 



There sure is. And this will be the best option for those of you with a daily-driven Subaru WRX, STI, or any fast car such as a Mitsubishi Evo where you have any mod that makes your car faster such as a proper tune with an intake, or full exhaust, and beyond. If you participate in a weekend track event such as an HPDE event at your local track, a half-mile event at your local airstrip, and at the drag strip if you make decent trap speeds, you will need a brake pad stronger than an OEM or OEM-like compound to avoid the chances of brake fade, and we're going to talk about that in a minute. A good hybrid brake pad will offer a good "bite" meaning they will grab well in colder conditions, but they will sustain higher temperatures during those high-performance driving conditions. The main drawback is that they will produce more brake dust and more noise during braking. And many of you know already what it's like participating in these events in OEM-like pads and how dangerous it can be. If you're approaching the first turn from a long straight at your track, or if you are trapping 140+ MPH at your drag strip and you hit the brakes and you feel as if your vehicle isn't stopping as it should, and if you are overwhelmed with the distinct pungent smell of burning pads, that is the reaction of cooked OEM pads. This is where you really need to pay attention. 



There are many examples. The short answer is that your braking components are overheated, you can't stop your car, and you have no choice but to crash, or in the best scenario run off track and hope the sand pits or the grass slows you down enough. Here is the first example of brake fade. Let's say that you're preparing for your first track day. You go to your local parts store and buy whatever brake pads they have in stock because you want to make sure you're safe and that your vehicle's maintenance is all caught up. You get them installed and head to the track the next day and everything seems fine, but the smell of the brakes increases and then the braking performance all of a sudden gets worse and worse and you either have enough friction left to pull off safely, or you keep going and you can't stop at all. This is a form of friction fade. What causes this is when your brake pads get so hot that they cook a film of pad residue that glazes over your brake rotors, and then you lose friction between the pad and rotor altogether. And this is why it is never a good idea to track with basic brake pads that don't have a high heat tolerance, and why a racing brake pad is required for dedicated race cars, and a decent street/track pad is the best idea for those of you who like to enjoy weekend track events.

Another example of brake fade is when your brake fluid gets too hot, and actually boils inside your braking system. If you have upgraded rotors and calipers with an appropriate brake pad compound for the track, these components will endure the heat. But if you have standard brake fluid or old fluid, you are at risk of boiling the fluid during a prolonged track session, or even a short track session on a mid-summer day. When your brake fluid boils, it creates air pockets inside the hydraulic system, then you lose your brake pressure. With old brake fluid, it can absorb moisture that creates vapor in the hydraulic system which can cause the same effect. You need to use a braking fluid with a higher boiling point to avoid this from happening. And often times while at the track, drivers can be seen bleeding their brakes in between sessions to release any built-in air in the system, and after every track session when your car is at home and in the garage, it is always wise to bleed the brakes again when they have had time to cool and to be prepared for the next track event, or just for safety measures when driving to work. 

Note that hot brake fluid can cause vehicles with rubber OEM brake lines to expand under pressure, but stainless steel brake lines will help with this issue. We will cover the topic later on in this discussion. 

Another example of brake fade is if you have an older vehicle or a modern classic that still has older brake pads. While at a track event, these older styles of brake pads can generate gases and residue, which can also glaze over the brake rotors to prevent friction. This is one of the reasons why cross-drilled or slotted rotors became standard-issued components on some older manufacturers' vehicles. The drilled holes or slots will wipe the face of the brake pad clean while repelling hot gases through the rotor vanes to reduce heat while providing an optimal friction surface between the pad, and the rotor. With newer brake pad technology, you can find a great brake pad replacement that will outperform the stopping power and performance when compared to older brake pads.



Stoptech PosiQuiet Ceramic Brake Pads Front Subaru WRX 2002 EBC Ultimax OEM Replacement Front Brake Pads 2004-2017 Subaru STI Sparta Evolution SPP 1.0 Front Brake Pad Set 2015+ Subaru WRX Stoptech Street Select Front Brake Pads 2004-2017 Subaru STI Hawk HPS 5.0 Front Brake Pads 2004-2017 Subaru STI Hawk Performance Ceramic Front Brake Pads 2004-2017 Subaru STI EBC Brakes Redstuff Ceramic Front Brake Pads 2015+ Subaru WRX



Faction Fab F-Spec Front Brake Pads 2015+ Subaru WRX DBA SP500 Front Brake Pads 2004-2017 Subaru STI EBC Brakes Yellowstuff Street and Track Front Brake Pads 2006-2007 Subaru WRX Carbotech 1521 Front Brake Pads 2018 Subaru STI



CarboTech XP12 Front Brake Pads 2004-2017 Subaru STI CarbotTech AX6 Front Brake Pads 2022+ Subaru WRX CarboTech XP10 Front Brake Pads 2022+ Subaru WRX DBA XP650 Track Performance Front Brake Pads 2004-2017 Subaru STI EBC Orangestuff Race Front Brake Pads 2003-2005 Subaru WRX EBC Brakes RP1 Racing Brake Pads Front 2008-2014 Subaru WRX Ferodo DS2500 Performance Front Brake Pads 2015+ Subaru WRX Ferodo DS1.11 Front Brake Pads Subaru STI 2004-2017 Hawk HP Plus Front Brake Pads 2006-2007 Subaru WRX



Brake rotors are one of the third major pillars of your braking system along with your brake calipers and your brake pads. The rotors are the friction discs that stop the overall movement of your wheels. Rotors are also wear-and-tear items that you should never neglect or ignore, and you certainly should never participate in a high-performance driving event if your rotors are warped, or showing any signs of wear. 



There are a few indicators. Vibration is one of them and this can be caused by a faulty caliper that causes uneven pressure on your brake pads which can cause uneven wear on your rotors. This will cause the balance to be off during rotation especially if there is more wear on one side of the rotor over the other. There will also be a substantial increase in vibration while braking. Physically while looking at rotors - at least steel rotors, they will be shiny, and this is just from the friction of the pad almost polishing the surface of the rotor. However, there are a few signs to look at while examining a bad rotor. The surface of good-condition rotors will be smooth. Worn rotors will have grooves dug into the surface as if the brake pads have trapped a piece of road debris and created damage. Another indicator to look for is when looking at the outside edge of the rotor, look for chips and wear to where there are no more shiny surfaces, and only rusted metal is exposed. But at this point, the inner edge of the rotor where it meets the hub will also show the same wear in terms of being so worn, that the inner edge no longer shows a shiny friction surface and only worn metal. 

Worn rotors will also have a major decline in performance. If you are coming to a stop and the vehicle keeps on moving that is an obvious problem you need to inspect. Also if you need to come to an abrupt stop on the freeway or surface streets, you would have to apply a lot more pressure to the pedal just to get the car to stop. Fresh rotors provide a highly noticeable response as soon as you apply little pressure to the brake pedal while providing you with the feedback needed to drive comfortably on the road. Note that whenever you change your brake rotors, it is always a good idea to upgrade your brake pads at the same time because unevenly worn brake pads will create uneven wear on your rotors, and you will experience vibration soon enough. 



Rotor technology continues to advance every year, but there are 3 main types of rotors that you can typically choose from to make for quality OEM replacements, or for a performance upgrade to improve the overall stopping performance. 


OEM-LIKE REPLACEMENTS: These will be rotor blanks. Meaning that in terms of design, they will look just like factory-issued rotors that are equipped in most vehicles. These will not have any slot designs or drilled holes, and provide comfort, safety, and performance for day-to-day activities. These types of rotors are not recommended for high-performance driving conditions as they will get hotter faster, as they do not have the drilled holes or slots to alleviate the heat. These will also be the most cost-effective when compared to performance rotor options. Listed below are some OEM-like brake rotor options available for popular Subaru models on the RallySport website.

Centric Premium High Carbon Single Brake Rotor Front 2005-2017 Subaru STI Centric Premium High Carbon Single Brake Rotor Rear 2008-2017 Subaru STI Centric Premium High Carbon Single Brake Rotor Rear 2002-2005 Subaru WRX Centric Premium High Carbon Single Brake Rotor Front 2002-2008 Subaru WRX


CROSS-DRILLED ROTORS: Cross-drilled brake rotors feature drilled holes in a specific direction of the brake rotor. The purpose of the holes is to collect brake pad residue, and hot brake pad gases, and repel them through the vanes inside the brake rotor. This will keep the caliper, the brake pad, and the rotor temperatures lower during high-performance driving conditions. Typically the holes are drilled in the same direction as the vanes inside the rotor, and there will be some argument on which direction the drilled holes should face when mounted on the hub. Either way, the drilled holes also keep the contact surface between the pad and the rotor clean so that you can have optimal friction levels during braking. Now there are some problems with the cross-drilled design, and because the holes are drilled through the rotor, it affects the overall structural rigidity. On dedicated race cars, it is almost typical to see little stress cracks throughout the rotor, and this is because the rotor endures multiple heat cycles just like any brake rotor, but these will constantly go from glowing red hot then back to normal operating range. Now with cheaper cross-drilled rotor examples, these are also prone to cracking because of the cheap casting, and because they can be exposed to extremely cold conditions or with a harsh brake pad could subject these rotors to cracking. Cross-drilled brake rotors are ideal for those of you who participate in weekend track or autocross events, who like to do spirited canyon drives, or who have a fun weekend car that avoids exposure to bad weather. And of course, race cars certainly benefit from the cooling effects of cross-drilled rotors. Make sure you make a quality choice to deliver the performance results that you need. 

Stoptech Drilled Rotor Single Front 2018+ Subaru STI Stoptech Drilled Rotor Single Rear Right 2008-2014 WRX Stoptech Drilled Rotor Single Front Left 2002-2008 Subaru WRX Stoptech Drilled Rotor Single Rear Left 2008-2017 Subaru WRX



SLOTTED ROTORS: There will be a much larger variety with slotted rotors, and that is because there is now more variety in terms of slotted designs. Like cross-drilled rotors, the slots have been designed to wipe the contact surface between the pad and the rotor for optimal friction. Unlike cross-drilled rotors, the slots are grooved into the rotor, and the slots are positioned in such a way that they repel the excessive brake pad dust, residue, and gases away to promote better rotor cooling. Because the slots do not go through the rotor like most cross-drilled setups, the slot designs may differ depending on the manufacturer. There is a little give-and-take when compared to cross-drilled rotors. Slotted rotors are less prone to cracking when compared to cross-drilled because they have more structural rigidity, but cross-drilled rotors provide a little better cooling performance. It depends on your driving style, and if you're the type that has a daily driver that enjoys weekend driving events these are a great option. And they are strong enough to deliver the performance needed for dedicated race cars or rally cars. Check out some of the options we have, remember to enter your make, model, and year in the site filter to see if we have an option for you. 

Stoptech Slotted Right Front Rotor 2004 Subaru STI DBA 4000 Series T-Slot Slotted Rotor Single Rear 2008+ Subaru WRX Faction Fab Swept Slot Bi-Directional Rotor Rear 2006-2007 Subaru WRX Wave Spec Black Line Front Rotor 2015-2020 Subaru WRX DBA 5000 Series T-Slot Slotted Rotor Single Front 2002-2014 Subaru WRX Wave Spec Silver Line Front Rotor 2015+ Subaru WRX



DRILLED AND SLOTTED ROTORS: Now these are going to provide you with the most optimal performance in terms of cooling and stopping power during high-performance driving conditions. The surface of the rotor will have cross-drilled holes, as well as slots to promote cooling and clean surface contact. These are ideal for those of you with a dedicated race car, but they can also deliver the performance and comfort needed for daily driving purposes. Are they extreme for the commute to work or while getting groceries? Sure, but they will deliver the braking performance needed especially for road course events whether they be Time-Attack style of driving or HPDE events. Like cross-drilled or slotted rotors, these will also help optimize the type of brake pad you are using to avoid overheating the compound you have and to also cool the brake pad faster. This also means that you are reducing the chances of brake fade. Here are some examples of drilled and slotted designs we offer:

DBA 4000 Series Drilled/Slotted Rotor Pair Front 2004-2017 Subaru STI Hawk Talon Cross Drilled and Slotted Rotor Pair Front 2005-2017 Subaru STI Stoptech C-Tek Sport Drilled and Slotted Rear Rotors Pair 2008-2014 Subaru WRX DBA 4000 Series XS Cross Drilled and Slotted Rear Rotor 2017-2021 Subaru STI



DIMPLED ROTOR EXAMPLES: Dimpled rotors will have that cross-drilled design, and there are some pros and cons. Since we carry a few examples we will take a moment to discuss dimpled rotors. The dimples will help clean the friction surface between the rotor and the pad for optimal stopping performance. However, when compared to cross-drilled they won't cool as effectively. However again, they will have more structural rigidity when compared to a cross-drilled setup and will perform much like a slotted design. We have dimpled and slotted examples, and we also carry drilled and dimpled examples.

DBA 4000 Series XD Drilled and Dimpled Front Rotor 2017-2021 Subaru STI EBC Brakes 3GD Series Sport Dimpled/Slotted Front Brake Rotors 2002-2007 Subaru WRX



2-PIECE ROTORS: Also referred to as "floating" rotors, this is a 2-piece design. You have the rotor hat which attaches to your hub, then you have the rotor blank that bolts onto the rotor hat. These are typically lighter than your one-piece rotor, however, they are not available like 1-piece rotors are because they are usually a larger size. These are found standard on R35 Nissan GT-R models as they come from the factory with a larger brake setup, and 2-piece rotors are common on aftermarket 6-piston big brake kits. These can be a little more difficult to service in terms of finding the right place that carries rotor blanks when your exiting rotors wear out. Luckily, we do carry some replacement blanks, and we also carry fully assembled rotors. Here are a few examples:

DBA 5000 Series T-Slot Slotted Rotor Pair Front 2002-2014 Subaru WRX DBA 5000 Series Drilled/Slotted Rotor Pair Front 2004-2017 Subaru STI Stoptech Aerorotor 380x34 Slotted Pair Front Nissan GT-R 2009+  DBA 5000 Series T-Slot Slotted Rotor pair Front 2004-2017 Subaru STI




Note that the faster your Subaru, or whatever vehicle you have, the more important it is to have a performance rotor. For example, if you have an 05 STI and you have an intake, cat-back exhaust, and a COBB Accessport you may be making anywhere between 300-350 wheel HP depending on how healthy your engine is, elevation, and other variables. Your stock rotors or OEM-like rotors should be fine for weekend autocross events and even driver's education events. You just need to choose the right brake pad to sustain the heat levels. However, if you have a Subaru with a rotated turbo kit, or an Evo making 400 wheel and above horsepower levels and you're running down cars, and entering 140+ MPH speeds just before braking while coming towards the end of the straightaway at your local track, you are going to generate much more heat than a standard bolt-on car. More speed will create more heat with your rotors, so if you are making big power, and you go to local track days where you are making more power to compensate for the weight of your vehicle, you will need a cross-drilled, slotted, or drilled/slotted rotors with the right compound of brake pad to avoid fading issues and to sustain the higher temperatures. Make sure you always have high0temp brake fluid installed as well for an extra measure. 




So this section makes brake shopping, and maintenance convenient for you, as these kits will include the main braking ingredients such as the brake rotors, brake pads, and in some cases, stainless steel front brake lines. Depending on your driving style, your brakes are wear-and-tear items that have a shelf life and need to be replaced when they wear out. Now, if you participate in weekend track events obviously your pads and rotors will endure faster wear. More importantly, it is always a good idea to replace your pads anyway if you are upgrading your rotors especially if they have pretty good wear on them. Uneven pad wear will accelerate rotor wear and will affect the balance of the rotors, which will cause vibration while driving. The only way you should re-use your pads is if they don't have too many miles on them, and you can verify if the wear is even on both sides, with no embedded debris within the pad itself. 

After new pads and rotors are installed, you will certainly notice a difference and will have that "ah" factor once you touch your brake pedal. With worn rotors and pads, your vehicle will continue to move and you have to keep applying more pressure to the pedal to get your vehicle to stop. 

Here is something to consider with stainless steel brake lines. Your factory brake lines are durable, but after years, of mileage, or track use where the lines can experience extreme fluid temperatures, the OEM brake lines could expand under pressure which will increase the brake pedal travel. Stainless steel brake lines will not expand under pressure, delivering a direct response from the pedal to the caliper for improved braking performance. 

Here are some examples you can consider while shopping for the next braking upgrade for your Subaru:



Stoptech Preferred Axle Pack Rear 2008-2014 Subaru WRX Stoptech Preferred Axle Pack Front 2011-2014 Subaru WRX Power Stop Z17 Coated Brake Kit Rear 2008-2014 Subaru WRX Power Stop Autospecialty Brake Kit Rear 2006-2007 Subaru WRX Power Stop Z17 Coated Brake Kit Front 2011-2014 Subaru WRX



Faction Fab Front Brake Upgrade Kit 2015+ Subaru WRX Faction Fab Rear Brake Upgrade Kit 2015+ Subaru WRX ESR Brakes S9 Front Brake Kit Yellowstuff Pads w/USR Rotors 2005-2017 Subaru STI EBC Brakes S4 Front Brake Kit Redstuff Pads w/USR Rotors 2011-2014 Subaru WRX Faction Fab Front Brake Kit 2004 Subaru STI Faction Fab Rear Brake Upgrade Kit 2015+ Subaru WRX



Power Stop Z23 Evolution Coated Brake Kit Rear 2015+ Subaru WRX Power Stop Z26 Evolution Coated Front Brake Kit 2005-2017 Subaru STI Power Stop Z23 Evolution Coated Front Brake Kit 2015-2021 Subaru WRX Stoptech Select Sport Front Brake Kit 2011-2014 Subaru WRX Stoptech Select Sport Brake Kit Rear 2008-2014 Subaru WRX Power Stop Z26 Street Warrior Brake Kit Rear 2008-2017 Subaru STI



EBC Brakes S5 Front Brake Kit Yellowstuff Pads w/3GD Rotors 2005+ Subaru STI EBC Brakes S5 Rear Brake Kit Yellowstuff Pads w/3GD Rotors 2003-2005 Subaru WRX EBC Brakes S6 Front Brake Kit Bluestuff Pads w/3GD Rotors 2006-2007 Subaru WRX EBC Brakes S6 Rear Brake Kit Bluestuff Pads w/3GD Rotors 2008-2017 Subaru STI




This is where you will find other braking components outside of rotors, brake pads, and calipers. However, they are equally as important to the overall state of your brakes. Here, you will find items such as brake fluid, brake lines, bleeding tools, and cooling upgrades to maintain or enhance your overall brake system. This is especially important when you drive something like a Subaru STI that is subjected to high-performance driving conditions. Make sure you bleed your brakes using a higher temp brake fluid. You can find Speed Bleeder valves or a Motive Power Bleeder for those of you who need to bleed the brakes while at the track and don't have a spare hand. You can upgrade your OEM brake lines that are prone to expanding by replacing them with stainless steel units that provide a quicker reaction. All of these components and fluids are a great way to maintain your overall braking system to optimize your overall braking performance and efficiency.  


BRAKE BLEEDING TOOLS: There are many times when you may find yourself alone at your home or at the track, and you need to bleed the brakes after performing a repair or putting in fresh new fluid. You can find items such as Speed Bleeders where you only have to loosen the valve just enough to where you can depress the brake pedal down enough to push out any excess air without bringing air back into the system when the pedal comes back up. Or, you can get the Motive Products Power Bleeder Kit which is highly effective. The adapter attaches to your brake fluid reservoir where it pushes fresh fluid and air through the system, and you simply open the bleeder screw to each caliper and push all of the old fluid and air out until you see fresh fluid, then simply close the bleeder screw. This is also a simple and effective way to bleed your brakes by yourself if you are at the track, or are performing maintenance alone. Check out some examples below: Speed Bleeder Screw 2004-2014 WRX Motive Products Import Power Bleeder Kit


BRAKE DUCTING KITS: Because heat is the biggest enemy of brakes, it is very common to see a brake ducting system on dedicated race cars. Here, you will find brake duct kits, as well as ducts to channel air to your calipers and rotors to reduce heat which will reduce the chances of brake fade. If you have a dedicated race car, rally car, or even an Overlander then cooler air will be highly beneficial. And brake ducting will be beneficial for your daily driver especially if you participate in weekend track events or spirited canyon drives. The majority of these kits and components are application-specific and will come with everything needed to keep your brakes cooler while improving the overall braking efficiency. Here are a few examples of brake ducts in this section to give you an idea of what they include:​ Verus Engineering Brake Cooling Kit 2015 Subaru WRX/STI APR Brake Rotor Cooling Kit 2015-2017 Subaru STI APR Carbon Fiber Brake Ducts 2011-2014 Subaru WRX/STI Boomba Racing Brake Cooling Deflectors 2008+ Subaru STI


BRAKE LINES: Your factory brake lines work awesome for daily driving purposes. However, there are a few reasons why you should upgrade. One reason is that if you participate in track events and you're experienced enough to get some heat into your brakes, the brake fluid could get hot enough to make the brake lines expand. Additionally, you may have an older WRX model, and your brake lines simply need to be replaced. We carry a massive selection of stainless steel brake lines. These make for an excellent upgrade as braided stainless steel will not expand during extreme braking conditions to deliver a direct response from your brake pedal to your master cylinder, and they are much more durable than your OEM brake lines. Here are some examples that you can browse through: Faction Fab Front Stainless Steel Brake Lines 2008-2017 Subaru STI / 2008+ Subaru WRX Goodridge SS Brake Line Kit 2018+ Subaru STI Stoptech Stainless Steel Brake Lines Front 2008+ Subaru WRX


BRAKE FLUID: It is always wise that you flush out your old brake fluid during your scheduled maintenance recommendations. Typically every 3 years for those of you with daily drivers, and after every track event for those of you with dedicated race cars. But why? So when racing, your brake fluid can get so hot that it can boil and create air pockets within your system. Bleeding your brakes after each track section makes sure that you have no air in the system to deliver the optimal stopping performance especially when racing. With daily use, brake fluid gets dirty just like any other fluid in your vehicle. Notice how your average new brake fluid is almost a clear gold color, and when you bleed the brakes starting with the rear caliper, dark and dirty brake fluid will come out. And since RallySport Direct is all about the performance, we don't carry just your average brake fluid, the options we carry have a higher boiling point to sustain arduous conditions associated with racing especially when it's in the middle of summer. Note that these high-performance brake fluids are also suitable for the street. Here are a few great examples: Motul RBF600 Brake Fluid Synthetic DOT 4 500ML  Motul RBF660 Racing Brake Fluid Synthetic DOT 4 500ML Stoptech STR660 Brake Fluid DOT 4 500ML  AP Racing Formula DOT 5.1 Brake Fluid AP Racing Super 600 Brake Fluid


MASTER CYLINDER BRACES: A very common problem in the majority of Subaru models is firewall flex during braking, especially during hard braking at a track event. The problem is that the factory assembly spot welds on the firewall of most Subarus will break or crack which weakens the overall structural rigidity. This creates a spongy or sloppy brake pedal feel because of excess firewall flex, and you will experience longer brake pedal travel. Because of these reasons, the aftermarket has introduced solutions in the form of master cylinder braces. The result is a stronger brake master cylinder support to improve the braking response and feedback. Here are just a few examples brought to you by the most familiar brands in the industry: GrimmSpeed Master Cylinder Brace 2008-2014 Subaru WRX/STI Torque Solution Master Cylinder Brace 2015+ Subaru WRX/STI PERRIN Brake Master Cylinder Brace 2015-2021 Subaru WRX/STI Radium Master Cylinder Brace 2015-2021 Subaru WRX/STI Cusco Brake Cylinder Stopper Subaru WRX/STI 2015-2021




Here is where things start getting serious in terms of the overall investment and the performance. In this section, you're mainly going to find big brake kits. Now, with larger brake calipers and larger rotors, yes, you will get more stopping power because you will have a larger brake pad and a larger rotor to work with, but mainly you will have more area surface coverage to distribute the heat. So if you have a Subaru WRX that is a 500 HP dedicated race car or rally car, and you have the factory 4-pot front brakes with an aggressive pad and a slotted rotor, generally this is fine and certainly useful. However, if you are constantly braking from 100+ MPH speeds you are entering another level of braking endurance. As discussed throughout the braking section, heat is what kills braking performance and can lead to all elements of brake fade. What if you have a 2005 STI built for time attack and you are running the factory 4-pot Brembos up front, and you are running an aggressive pad versus something like a Brembo Gran Turismo 6-pot big brake kit with 355mm rotors? The Gran Turismo kit will have larger 6-piston monoblock calipers to clamp down on larger pads and rotors to obviously reduce the stopping distance, but it takes heat longer to spread throughout the rotor and the caliper with more surface coverage. The result is more braking power if you tend to brake late on straightaways, reduced stopping distances when compared to your OEM brake setup, and better heat management because of the increased surface area. 



There are a few reasons why enthusiasts upgrade to a larger brake setup. 

PERFORMANCE: As mentioned above, larger calipers with a larger rotor increase the stopping performance when compared to your OEM caliper and rotor setup. There are some local race tracks that have 3/4-mile straightaways where you can reach substantial speeds well over 100 MPH depending on your power levels. Braking from these kinds of speeds, then constantly braking between hard corners, corner shifts, and setting up your apexes along with all that comes with racing can get your brakes cooking. In the Evo world, those who race regularly like to refer to their calipers as "brownbos" because the red paint finish on the factory Brembos will get so hot that they will turn brown. And even if you have drilled and slotted rotors with a high-temp track-only pad, the heat will also accelerate the wear on the brake pad. But at this point, you've really maximized the performance out of the braking system, and it would make sense to upgrade to a big brake kit. 


AESTHETICS: Fancy big brakes have been around for decades. Especially with exotics such as Ferrari and Porsche. A giant bright red caliper that is highly visible from behind the wheel spokes is very attractive. There is something about the look that makes every enthusiast do the chef's kiss. If you have a weekend show car, a big brake kit will complement the aftermarket wheels you have. But then you have the comfort of knowing that you wanted to go to a track event, you've got the brakes that will stop the car all day long. Big brakes also really complete the look of a car. If you saw a new Ferrari or Porsche with standard 2-piece 4-pit brakes it would look like something is wrong and missing. Aside from the performance side of things, big brakes are highly appreciated by enthusiasts with an eye for the main details. 




A big brake kit is a big investment and takes a certain kind of commitment. For those with dedicated race cars, you're highly aware of the obvious. But if you have a daily driver, you have to make sure you have the right wheel to fit around the big brakes. Now we do have large 4-piston big brake kits that will clear many aftermarket wheel setups. It's the 6-piston kit that you have to really do your research on. Wheels such as the Volk TE-37 clear larger calipers because the long and concaved spokes provide the clearance needed. Your factory WRX or STI BBS wheels will not clear a 6-piston setup. Do your research, see what wheels enthusiasts use to clear the calipers, and try to find a proper wheel fitment guide that specializes in your car, with larger brake calipers.  




It is actually not that bad, and it is something that enthusiasts can perform in their driveway with basic tools for the most part. If you can remove your old calipers and rotors, then you can install a big brake kit. With the majority of big brake kits, they will include adapters that will allow you to install the larger calipers onto your spindle/knuckle setup. Slide your new rotor on, install the caliper with the brake pads in and put them over the rotor, and bolt the caliper onto the adapters. Most big brake kits will also include new stainless steel lines. Once you get those installed it is a matter of bleeding the new system and you're good to go. 



We have the factory gold STI Brembos that you can upgrade your WRX with. And they have been paired with Brembo slotted rotors to make for an excellent upgrade. Here are some examples:

Brembo OE Gold Front Brake Kit 2002-2014 Subaru WRX Brembo OE Gold Front Brake Kit 2015+ Subaru WRX Brembo OE Gold Rear Brake Kit 2008-2014 Subaru WRX



Brembo GT Systems 4-Piston Monobloc Calipers w/326mm Rotors 2015+ Subaru WRX Wilwood Dyna Pro Radial 12in Front Kit 2002-2007 Subaru WRX



Brembo Gran Turismo 6-Piston Front Brake Kit Slotted Rotors 2004-2017 Subaru STI Stoptech ST-60 Trophy Front Big Brake Kit 2004-2007 Subaru STI Brembo Gran Turismo 6-Piston Front Brake Kit Drilled Rotors 2008-2014 Subaru WRX Stoptech ST60 Big Brake Kit Front 335mm Slotted Rotors 2005-2014 Subaru STI



KSport Pro Comp 8-Piston Front Brake Kit w/14in Rotors 2015-2018 Subaru STI KSport Pro Comp 8-Piston Front Brake Kit w/14in Rotors 2015-2018 Subaru WRX





The selection of pads, rotors, and big brake kits we have here is a major variety. Now most of us will not have a race car although we'd like to think otherwise. There is a polar difference between braking on the street versus braking on the track. Know that with performance driving, heat is the enemy.

For your everyday driver who wants better stopping power and performance, the best setup will be slotted rotors, a good performance street pad, fresh high-temp fluid, and stainless brake lines. This combination does not sacrifice OEM driving comfort for the street but will deliver the performance needed for spirited driving conditions. 

If you are making big horsepower numbers let's say 500 to 1000 and beyond, this is when you really need to consider a larger option. Higher horsepower cars that participate in sanctioned drag racing events, roll-racing, or 1/2 mile to full mile events will get your brakes cooking when stopping your 3000+lb object. And obviously, race cars at constant higher speeds with constant braking at these higher speeds would surpass the thermal limits of OEM rotors, calipers, and certainly pads. 

We have several options to suit all driving styles, and at the end of the day we want you to be safe, and we want your investment to be protected.