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Thread: Brake upgrade

  1. #1
    Registered User XYZ's Avatar
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    Default Brake upgrade

    Hi gang-

    I prepairing to do the toyota caliper brake upgrade on my Z. I have a couple techinical questions about this upgrade.

    1. Did anyone go with the 300zx rotor upgrade and what problems did you encounter?? I've read that doing the larger rotor requires having a spacer made to accomodate the caliper and keep caliper-to-wheel interference at bay. Will this change the offset on wheel selections down the road?
    2. If the only upgrade was the caliper (no rotor change) did you need a spacer or did you simply rework the back plate and the 'S' shaped brake line. Did anyone get rid of the backing plate?
    3. I've been reading about an air duct system that directs air onto the rotor to better cool it. Any thoughts or experiences? Apparently there's an inexpensive system using some dryer duct and bubble gum (just kidding). The dryer duct needs to be mounted on some brackets and fastened. Where and how?

    I know there were some recent postings on this topic but not covering these questions. I'm going to go to braided hoses and probably leave the stock master cylinder. If anyone can think of anything else besides the parts and a little elbow grease please share. It's always easier if you know the insider tricks! Thanks a lot for any input.

    P.S. -Since the rotor can be changed out is there a rotor that fits early Z's that has a five bolt pattern instead of 4? (this maybe a dumb question but...) and if so what happens to the rear since it's a drum brake system?

    P.S.S. If anyone has links about this subject other than washington z club I would appreciate it if you could post them.

    P.S.S.S. Sorry this is so long!

  2. #2
    Registered User jcdozier's Avatar
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    Default

    I didn't change out rotors, so I can't address the larger rotor question. I didn't need a spacer - just trimmed the splash plate and CAREFULLY re-bent the S-shaped brake line.

    I think there may be some information on the brake caliper swap on the IZCC site - www.zhome.com - you'd have to look for it in one of the categories far down the page on the left.
    JIM DOZIER
    1971 240-Z (Type-1)

    I Fish - Therefore I Lie

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    Registered User dhayes5's Avatar
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    I also went with the Toyota 4-pistion calipers only. I replaced the s-shaped steel brake lines with new ones -- this helped because I found that the stock ones needed to be a little longer to accomodate the 4-pistion calipers. I got my calipers from a 1980 Toyota 4x4 (actually got them from Advance Auto parts). You will have to trim the splash plate as well. Other than that, they were a direct bolt in and work great -- even with the stock rotors. Good Luck.
    1972 240Z (79,000 original miles) Poly bushings, 4-piston front calipers, Pertronix electronic ignition with Accel Super Coil, Tokico Shocks, European Spec. Stock springs, 16x7 Panasports with Kuhmo 205/55/16's, MSA Performance 2-1/2" Exhaust, 280ZX 5-speed.

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    Registered User XYZ's Avatar
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    I just bought some toyota calipers yesterday from checker auto parts here in Denver and paid $75.00 for the pair unloaded. I did get kind of lucky as the guy didn't charge me the core fee but still you do get that back. I was also told if I brought back any caliper in the box that would work. I'm going to keep mine just in case I want to switch back to stock parts. Also, you can get Kevlar pads R4-S high performance pads for these toyota calipers through porterfield for $89 for the pair. Call 1.800.537.6842 or go to the website for the # at www.porterfield-brakes.com. If you do order these pads try to get as much info about the vehicle the caliper would go on ie.. 1/2 ton pickup, 4wd etc.

    If your interested in braded hoses Nismo had the best price I could find @ $120 for a full set (all 4 corners). This is a little less than VB at $128. I couldn't find any less expensive. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Registered User XYZ's Avatar
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    This is going to be a dumb question but since I don't know the answer I'm going to ask it. What is MSA and do they have a web site. If the price is half @ MSA I'm going to cancel my current order and save some money.

    Thanks- the sooner the better!

  6. #6
    Registered User XYZ's Avatar
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    Thanks Mperdue. Hopefully I can make the ordering switch.

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    Enthusiastic Amateur Nigel Mulvey's Avatar
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    Question

    Is the Toyota upgrade documented on the web somewhere? I just can't seem to find it.
    Nigel Mulvey
    www.spreadtheword.com.au
    1977 260Z (project car)

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    Registered User jcdozier's Avatar
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    Wink

    Nigel:

    The Toyota 4WD caliper conversion can be found at several Z-related web-sites - here's just a couple:

    The IZCC site at www.zhome.com . Scroll down the left side almost to the bottom and click on "Index of Technical Articles", which will then show the index on the right portion of the screen. Scroll down the Index to the "Suspension/Brakes/etc...." heading and click on "Toyota Brake Calipers for Your 240Z or 280Z".

    The Z-Car Club of Washington's Technical section at www.zccw.org/tech/ . There are several articles under "Brake System".

    The conversion is relatively simple, even for those of us who are mechanically challenged like I am.
    JIM DOZIER
    1971 240-Z (Type-1)

    I Fish - Therefore I Lie

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    Registered User d240man's Avatar
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    Talking

    I two have used the toyota caliper upgrade for my 73, I left the back guards of to help with the cooling issue ( I live in AZ ), I also had to add a 1/16th washer to the bolts to offset the calipers from my wheel ( old slotted dish mags ) Other then that I can stop on a dime and give you the change!!!!!!! Im very happy I did the swap, And I would do it again. Just my two cents worth.
    Z Ya
    Regards, Kevin

  10. #10
    Registered User XYZ's Avatar
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    Default brakes are installed!

    I just installed my toyota calipers this weekend. Everything went pretty smooth with the exception of having the right parts (never fails).

    First if you are looking for some sites as Mperdue suggested in a previous post, go to google and type '240z brake upgrade toyota', I believe and you'll get several sites.

    Second, if you do this upgrade and you are using basic calipers/pads it's real easy. Buy a set of loaded calipers, cut the back plate, attach your new lines and bleed. If you do what I did then it can be a pain in getting the right parts. I bought unloaded calipers remanuf.'d and porterfield racing pads R4-S I believe. Some people don't like these pads (so I've read) and I will soon find out. Anyway, if you get unloaded pads make sure you get the pins that hold the pad in before you go to install and the spring clips, the pins from the Z caliper are too short and the cotter pin hole is covered by the new caliper housing and the Z springs are to small period. You don't need the shims with these pads. If I'm wrong about this, please someone shout. I had calipers and pads (no springs or pins). I didn't get the pins to hold the pads or the springs when I bought the other stuff so I had to go buy loaded calipers and change the pads in order to get the hardware (pins, clips). The stock pads come with a shim on them and I believe it's for squeaking. After chasing everything down it took just a couple of hours to change the front calipers, and then install new brake lines on the rear drums. So far so good. I do need to go back and bleed the system again as the pedal is a little softer and If I pump twice real quick the pedal gets very stiff very quick.

    I do stop better. I can get on them pretty good but not locking them up and get my nose to dive which I couldn't before. I'm going to fix the nose diving when I install my new springs and struts.

    Also, you can cut your back plates with a good set of metal sheers. I took about 3/8" -1/2" off each side and that was it. Good luck to those of you looking to make this switch.

  11. #11
    1978 280Z (stock) TomoHawk's Avatar
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    I never thought about this before, and I haven't seen it said anywhere, but

    where does the spacer go? Under the hat (between hub and rotor)?

    It would be different than putting it between rotor and rim, you know?

    Can't think of why people will give such a detailed writeup (with pictures even) without telling you where the spacer goes

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    Originally posted by TomoHawk
    I never thought about this before, and I haven't seen it said anywhere, but

    where does the spacer go? Under the hat (between hub and rotor)?

    It would be different than putting it between rotor and rim, you know?

    Can't think of why people will give such a detailed writeup (with pictures even) without telling you where the spacer goes

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that you are referring to the Toyota 4 Piston caliper Upgrade using VENTED rotors (since no spacer is needed for the SOLID rotor set up. Right????

    There are only two places to put a spacer.

    1. Between the HUB and the RIM..........or
    2. Between the HUB and the ROTOR. That's it.

    Think about it. The idea behind using a spacer is to center the rotor within the new caliper. Correct? If you put a spacer between the HUB and the RIM, you move the rim outboard (to correct backspace of the WHEEL); the rotor would remain where it always was. That would not gain you what you need to make this work.

    In order to MOVE the rotor in relation to the caliper, you must place a spacer in between the HUB and ROTOR. That will accomplish the MOVEMENT of the ROTOR which is what is needed.

    As for why something like this isn't explained.......... Please don't take offense but,............. if it was MY website the reason would be that I would assume that anyone considering doing this job had a certain level of mechanical competance and understanding as to what was needed and why. It is really just common sense where to put the spacer. Same reason I wouldn't bother to explain how to bleed the brakes after the install.
    Last edited by Bambikiller240; 01-21-2004 at 04:37 PM.

  13. #13
    1978 280Z (stock) TomoHawk's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bambikiller240
    ... I would assume that anyone considering doing this job had a certain level of mechanical competance and understanding as to what was needed and why. It is really just common sense where to put the spacer. Same reason I wouldn't bother to explain how to bleed the brakes after the install.
    I put a bandaid on my brakes the last time they were bleeding.

    It makes no difference how competent you are, when you inquire where to put the spacer in question. According to your statement, you would assume one also knows the thickness of the spacer, which is impossible to determine without either trying it yourself, or asking someone else.

    Have you considered that the caliper might interfere with the wheel, regardless of the backspacing, just because it extends past the face of the rotor?

    That makes 3 reasons to use the spacer. In that case, An explanation of bleeding the brakes is irrelevent to the reason for having the spacer, and would also be covered in any general service text, so I personally wouldn't bother asking about that.

    Chill out, man.

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    Originally posted by TomoHawk

    It makes no difference how competent you are, when you inquire where to put the spacer in question.
    Au Contrare. A little thought on the subject goes a long way to answering questions like this.


    Originally posted by TomoHawk
    According to your statement, you would assume one also knows the thickness of the spacer, which is impossible to determine without either trying it yourself, or asking someone else.
    No, not true. I WOULD (if I were the author) post the thickness that *I* used , though the thickness required is easily measured when one installs them on their own car. (see below)

    Originally posted by TomoHawk
    Have you considered that the caliper might interfere with the wheel, regardless of the backspacing, just because it extends past the face of the rotor?
    Yes I have, but spacer needed to correct for this will vary based on the offset of the wheels on YOUR car. Impossible for the author to tell the world in general, and would NOT be corrected by the same spacer that would center the rotor within the caliper. If you have a problem with the Wheel hitting the caliper, you would need a different spacer between the wheel and the hub to correct that. Again common sense.

    Understand it's not like these instructions are for a comprehensive kit PURCHASED from the author, IMO it is unreasonable to expect, and impossible for the author to hold someone's hand though the entire process. They have no obligation to do so, and have no idea of the size of wheels on anyones car but their own. They are doing a service to the community by posting ANYTHING on the subject.

    Originally posted by TomoHawk
    Chill out, man.
    Dude, I'm chilled, you are the one who should relax.. I just gave you an explanation. I also asked you to not take offense at the statement as none was meant. Guess you don't read BOLD very well

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    Default toyota/300zx brake upgrade is a death trap

    my spacer needs to be about 5/8" to make my 300zx vented rotors line up with the caliper. I put 6 washers on each bolt to create the space between the hub and the rotor. This setup doesn't seem safe to me. ]!!!!!![

    ] = hub
    [ = rotor
    ! = washer

    the washers are hardened steel and the bolts are #8's, but something about this setup makes me uncomfortable.

    What is wrong with using washers as spacers? I have visions of bolts shearing and my rotors free wheeling while I wrap my car around a tree.

    I talked to a machine shop today that can make the spacer that I need, but I am still uncomfortable with this set up.

    The rotor does not touch the hub axle when the spacer is in place. There is about 1/8" gap. When the rotor is not very snug against the hub axle, the four bolts that hold the rotor to the hub are subject to intense sheering forces. Normally when you apply the brakes, all the forward force is applied to the hub due to the fact that the big hole in the rotor is machined to fit exactly on the hub. When the spacer is in place and the rotor hole is bigger than the hub axle, all braking force is borne by the four little bolts. That scares me to death.

    These bolts can only withstand a few thousand pounds of sheering force. I don't know how much a 240z weighs, but the force = mass X decelleration. The faster you slow down, the more force is applied to those bolts. Even at 1g, I'll bet you exceed the sheering force ratings of these bolts.

    I haven't seen anyone mention it before, but has anyone had any bolts break with this set up?

    My solution is to machine a thin ring to put around the hub axle so that the inside diameter of my rotor contacts the hub. This takes all the force off the bolts and transfers it to the hub axle as the engineers originally intended. Without that ring, it is my humble opinion, that you are driving a death trap.
    Last edited by 71_240Z; 07-07-2005 at 08:30 PM. Reason: answered my own question

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