Big Brake Kits (Pros & Cons)
A big brake kit usually comprises of larger brake discs, larger brake calipers, larger brake pads, and braided brake lines. Usually the materials used for each of these items are better.
There are many benefits for installing big brake kits, there are also some drawbacks and things you should be aware of, too.
The major benefits to a brake kit include the following.
Enhanced stopping power
Reduced brake fade
More durable and better for hard use
Enhanced Stopping Power
Due to the increased surface area provided by the larger brake discs and calipers pushing a larger brake pad, there is more stopping power as a result.
Also the material of the brake pads and discs may enhance friction and braking power even further.
Reduced Brake Fade
Brake fade is a condition caused by overheating of the brakes, reducing their effectiveness and even causing brake failure.
Larger discs can better absorb and transfer the heat generated from braking, reducing the likelihood of the brakes fading.
Also, some big brake kits can work at higher temperatures, usually due to better materials within the brake disc and pads.
Usually a big brake kit will look much better than standard OEM brakes, the calipers are typically painted and the discs look better.
Although this is personal preference, the majority of people agree that big brakes look better.
More Durable & Better for Hard Use
Typically, big brake kits are more durable and able to be used much harder than OEM setups. Braided brake lines can prevent bulging of the brake lines under hard braking and allow for harder usage.
Larger brake pads and discs also tend to last longer than smaller ones, due to their increased surface area.
There are some cons to bug brake kits, the following are the most notable.
Possible brake squeaking
Increased rotating mass
Big brake kits are typically heavier than OEM setups, resulting in an increase in overall weight of the car. This increased weight can cause reduced acceleration.
Possible Brake Squeaking
Ever heard a car with squeaky brakes? The same thing can happen on cars with big brake kits, this can be due to different pad or disc material.
Sometimes the brakes need to get some heat into them to stop squeaking.
Increased Rotating Mass
As mentioned, big brakes are heavier than standard OEM brakes. Because it is rotating mass instead of sprung or unsprung mass, it has a significant effect on the way the car handles and performs.
Rotating mass is directly connected to the engine, meaning it takes more energy to spin something heavier and can reduce acceleration. An example of this is a heavier flywheel, clutch, wheels, and brakes.
Some people can't justify spending lots of money on big brake kits. They are expensive, sometimes costing multiple thousands.
However, if you drive your card hard or on track days, it is a very good idea to get bigger brakes.