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Thread: Brake upgrade for 280zx

  1. #1
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    Jul 2009
    Charlotte NC

    Default Brake upgrade for 280zx

    I have a 1981 280zx 2+2 that rides on 195/70-14 tires with the stock 6 spoke wheels, 6 inch wide and 0 offset. My summer tires are 205/55-15 , 7 inch wide and 0 offset Compomotive ML wheels. I want to upgrade the brakes, especially on the front. The stock disc is 10 inches. I know there are options for the 300zx 10 1/4 rotor and larger caliper, then there is also the 12.2 rotor and larger caliper that is even stronger and lighter.

    I would like to know what is the best brake upgrade that can be made and keep the 14 inch wheels? Many tell me ditch the 14 inch but they look great in the car and I have brand new michelin tires on them. My preference would be to keep the 14 inch wheels.

    If bigger front brakes are truly going to require a bigger wheels, then can someone tell me if the 12.2 rotor will fit on the 15 inch wheel? Or will that require a 16 inch wheel?

    The bigger brake kits I'm looking at are made by Arizona Z car. I know there are several forums that discuss bigger brake kits but I have not seen clear mentioning on what size wheels are required. How does one measure what size wheel is required for a bigger brake kit?
    Last edited by mulde_ge; 06-14-2012 at 05:36 AM.

  2. #2
    Registered User steve91tt's Avatar
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    Dec 2009


    I am running the Arizona Z Wilwood package with a set of 15" Konig Rewind rims without issue. It's a pretty tight fit so I don't think they will work with a 14" rim. They make for a spectacular set of brakes on the track. Strong and fade free. If you go this route be careful which pads you choose for street use. I'm using what AZ calls an intermediate pad which is a Wilwood high performance street pad. I don't care for them on the street as they have to heat up before they stop well. Because the pads never get very hot in street use I don't think my car stops any better than it does with stock brakes on the street. Once they get hot, they can rip your face off so they are great for the track. Pad choice in a big brake system depends on what you want to do with your car. Good luck brake shopping!

    1973 240Z (daily driver)
    1971 240Z (track car)

  3. #3
    Registered User jmorrison146's Avatar
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    May 2013
    Los Angeles


    Great information! Is anyone running 15" Panasports with the Arizona Z Car / Wilwood brake upgrade? If so, what width and offset? I would like to stay with 15s and I don't plan to lower the car.

    Wilwood says their BP-10 is the most "street friendly" disc brake pad.

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