Big Brake Kit
|Circuit - Race|
- S-Line billet 6-piston ‘Generative Designed’ calipers.
- 2-Piece 370-395x34mm 72-vane disc assemblies.
- Disc drive system allows for radial disc expansion and contraction.
- Advanced curved directional cooling vane design for max cooling.
- Billet caliper mounting brackets with stainless steel thread inserts.
- Stainless steel braided brake lines with stainless steel fittings.
- Choice of premium race pad compounds available to choose from.
- Direct bolt-on kits for many popular production race car platforms.
- All necessary mounting hardware for quick, easy bolt-on installation.
- Comprehensive fitment and bed-in instructions.
Why should you consider upgrading the brakes on your track day or production-based race car?
With track days and grassroots motorsport growing in popularity worldwide, many people are learning the hard way just how punishing these events can be on factory brake system components. The fact is that factory (OEM) brake components (pads, discs, calipers, hoses and brake fluid) will not stand up too well to repeated track use....period. Factory brakes will fade, wear extremely quickly and possibly be permanently damaged by anything more than a few gentle sighting laps on track. Unfortunately, many enthusiasts who are just starting to experiment with track days or grassroots motorsport events find themselves at the beginning of an expensive and often frustrating learning curve when it comes to factory brakes and track use. The fact is that many enthusiasts initially try to avoid making the investment required to correctly set up their brakes for track use. This is a short-sighted approach. While we agree that decent quality big brake kits are expensive, they are worth every cent in the long run in terms of on-track brake performance and consistency, improved safety and reduced running costs in the long run. Over the years we have just seen too many people (with track day cars or production-based race cars) try to get away with running track pads on standard size discs and end up learning the hard way that this will result in poor (sometimes dangerous) on-track brake performance, extreme pad wear and damaged (cracked, distorted) discs that need to be replaced regularly. In the long run, these people end up going through an expensive learning curve and often end up spending more money replacing worn pads and damaged discs over a season or two than they would have if they had invested in a decent quality big brake kit in the first place. Our advice is to invest in a decent quality big brake kit from the outset. Fitting a quality big brake kit upfront (along with the correct pad compound and brake fluid) will buy you increased safety and confidence and will ultimately cost you no more than having to regularly replace standard size discs and track pads that are overheating, wearing excessively and failing. Your running costs in terms of brakes may actually come down after fitting a big brake kit.
What will a big brake kit do for you?
Powerbrake S-Line big brake kits are engineered from the ground up to be the ultimate brake upgrades available for track day and grassroots motorsport use. They deliver significantly improved brake performance, reduce brake fade and vastly improve pedal feel and modulation. The performance gains achieved by fitting one of our S-Line big brake kits will vastly outweigh the benefits that can be achieved by fitting upgraded, standard diameter discs and pads. Our S-Line big brake kits feature our new 3rd Generation S-Line calipers that were designed using the latest ‘Generative Design’ software - resulting in an ultra-rigid caliper design. The calipers are matched to our new 72-vane discs in either 370mm, 380mm or 395mm diameters. The ultra-rigid calipers, combined with the included stainless steel braided brake lines massively reduce flex in the system, thereby delivering improved pedal feel and brake modulation. The large pads that our calipers are designed around will deliver improved pad wear life. The cooling vane design employed in our new 72-vane discs is the result of a 2-year R&D project and on-car test results have shown that our new discs deliver extremely efficient cooling even in the most extreme applications. The ultimate goal of any big brake kit is to add thermal capacity to the brake system and significantly improve cooling efficiency. This results in lower operating temperatures on track. When it comes to brake performance, excessive operating temperatures are the enemy. Fitting a Powerbrake S-Line big brake kit to your track car will significantly reduce brake temperatures resulting in improved brake performance, consistency and safety.
Why choose Powerbrake?
Our new S-Line big brake kits were designed and tested by the same team that are behind our world-championship winning race brake systems. The new S-line big brake kit range delivers a level of features and technology that is simply unmatched in the market at this price point. When matched to the correct Powerbrake race pad compound and a decent brake fluid, our S-Line big brake kits will deliver exceptional brake performance and durability on track cars. Once you’ve driven a production-based track car fitted with a Powerbrake S-Line big brake kit, you will understand the level of engineering that has gone into this product. Market feedback from track day users and grassroots racers has been overwhelmingly positive.
Are there different kit options?
All front S-Line big brake kits use our (S6L) 3rd Generation 6-piston billet caliper matched to 370-395x34mm 72-vane 2-piece discs depending on the vehicle/application (see catalogue to check availability for your car). All rear S-Line big brake kits use our (S4R) 3rd Generation 4-piston billet caliper matched to 370x32mm 72-vane 2-piece discs. We only offer our dark grey hard-anodised finish for the calipers in our track kits. Our track kits are quoted excluding brake pads and our sales team will recommend the Powerbrake race pad compound best suited to your vehicle and application.
What does a S-Line Big Brake Kit include?
- S-Line billet 6-piston calipers (featuring stainless steel pistons, internal fluid crossovers, internal wiper seals, ultra high-temp pressure seals, all stainless steel hardware, MTR max temp recording system and pad anti-rattle spring plates).
- Our track kits are quoted excluding brake pads (the correct Powerbrake race pad compound will be quoted separately by our sales team based on your vehicle and application).
- Large 370-395x34mm 2-Piece, semi-float slotted discs (featuring 72 x curved / directional cooling vanes per disc, MTR max temp recording system and our proprietary black coating that ensures fastest bed-in time).
- Billet caliper mounting brackets (featuring stainless steel thread inserts for the radial mount bolts for max service life).
- Stainless steel braided brake lines (featuring stainless steel end fittings, PVC protective cover, Teflon hose inner and 32 x braid structure).
- All necessary mounting hardware for quick, easy bolt-on installation.
- Comprehensive fitment and bed-in instructions.
Our new S-Line calipers were designed using cutting-edge ‘Generative Design’ software. Unlike the traditional caliper design approach, in which a designer starts with a design based on experience and then uses traditional Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software to optimise the base design to meet various design objectives, the Generative Design approach places the specified material only where it needs to be to meet various strength, rigidity and safety objectives from the outset. Often the use of Generative Design software results in very organic, almost ‘alien’ looking parts. We believe that we hit the right balance between form and function with our new S-Line calipers. Generative Design software is often used to increase strength and safety in products, while significantly reducing weight. Our new S-Line calipers are approximately 15% lighter and 20% more rigid than the calipers they have replaced in our range. The extreme rigidity of our new S-Line caliper translates directly into an exceptional brake pedal feel, something that numerous pro race car drivers commented on during testing of these calipers under race conditions. The design also enhances caliper cooling and reduces peak operating temperatures. Continue reading for more detailed information regarding the many features and benefits of our new S-Line calipers.
At Powerbrake, we believe strongly in the benefits of machining our multi-piston calipers from solid billet. All of our championship-winning R-Line race calipers are machined from high-grade aerospace aluminum billets, and we’ve chosen to manufacture our S-Line range from the same material. Machining from billet is admittedly an expensive way to manufacture calipers but it results in a finished product that exhibits exceptional levels of strength and rigidity. How do we bring our billet S-Line calipers to the market at such competitive prices? Through significant investment in state-of-the-art 5-axis CNC production equipment that allows us to machine the calipers with maximum efficiency. The fact that we machine all of our calipers from billet, matched to the caliper designs themselves, results in calipers with an impressive rigidity to overall size ratio. The slim profile of the calipers reduces un-sprung weight and aids with wheel clearance.
Caliper Surface Finish
Our S-Line calipers are available in two finish options. Either a Red anodize (type-2) or a Dark Grey hard anodize (type-3). The anodize dyes used for our Red finish have been carefully selected to offer the maximum UV and temperature resistance to ensure long-term colour retention. The Dark Grey hard anodise is our most durable finish and is the finish that we recommend for advanced track day and race use.
Our logos and other markings are applied to our calipers using advanced laser technology. This creates a visually appealing contrast between the logo and the caliper colour. The logos on our S-Line calipers will not be damaged by heat, brake fluid or solvents, as is the case with paint in-lay logos used by many of our competitors. Brake calipers operate in a very challenging environment. They are exposed to dirt, carbonised brake pad material, constantly fluctuating temperatures and constantly changing environmental conditions. Powerbrake has focused on ensuring that our S-Line brake calipers will remain looking good under the widest possible range of operating conditions.
Our S-Line calipers are a 2-piece bolted design because you will never achieve the same level of caliper rigidity with a mono-block design when manufacturing a caliper from 2000, 6000 or 7000-series aluminums (which is what almost all aftermarket calipers are machined from) regardless of what the marketing people at brake companies would like you to believe. The caliper design does, however, have the caliper cross-bolts entering from the inboard side of the caliper so that the caliper cross-bolts are not visible from the outboard side (which is visible through the wheel). The design ensures maximum caliper rigidity while also delivering a clean look when the caliper is viewed through the wheel. The high-tensile caliper cross-bolts used in the assembly of our S-Line calipers are European sourced and coated with a silver zinc flake coating. This coating offers exceptional corrosion resistance while having no negative effect on bolt strength at all. The bolt positions of our S-Line calipers are the result of extensive FEA analysis and deliver optimum caliper rigidity.
Powerbrake S-Line calipers all feature stainless steel pistons. Stainless steel is significantly more expensive to manufacture caliper pistons from than the aluminum pistons used by many of our competitors but the benefits are well worth the investment. Stainless steel transfers heat far slower than aluminum. The result is that stainless steel pistons slow the transfer of heat from the brake pads to the calipers seals and brake fluid, hereby reducing the chances of boiling brake fluid and also extending seal life. Our caliper pistons are manufactured by a special grade of stainless steel that is more than twice as strong as regular 304-grade (in terms of yield and ultimate tensile strengths), while maintaining the same levels of corrosion resistance.
Internal Fluid Crossovers
Our S-Line calipers feature all internal fluid crossovers and bleed screws that are positioned on the inboard side of the calipers only. This eliminates the possibility of damaging fluid crossover tubes or bleed screws when removing and replacing wheels (which is a common occurrence on track day and race cars).
Caliper Maximum Temperature Recording (MTR) System
All Powerbrake S-Line calipers feature our MTR system. The system provides a permanent record of the maximum operating temperature reached by the caliper. Feedback from our track day and race customers has been extremely positive with regards to the MTR system over the years. Customers will really appreciate this feature as it provides valuable data in the support of brake fluid choice etc. The inclusion of a Max Temp Recording system on civilian big brake kit range at no extra charge is unique to Powerbrake on the world market.
All other caliper hardware components (including: pad retaining pins, bleed screws and pad abutments) are manufactured from stainless steel to ensure highest levels of corrosion resistance.
Caliper Mounting Brackets
Our S-Line caliper mounting brackets are machined from billet aircraft grade aluminium alloy, FEA enhanced for strength and rigidity and (type-3) hard anodised. One detail to note is that we use stainless steel thread inserts for the radial mount bolts that secure our S-Line calipers to the caliper mounting brackets. Since our S-Line calipers feature solid caliper re-enforcement bridges, you need to remove the two caliper radial mount bolts in order to change pads. For this reason, we use thread insert in our mounting brackets to achieve maximum thread strength and durability. Similar thread inserts are used extensively used in the aerospace industry due to their increased strength over conventional aluminum threads.
The brake lines included with our S-Line big brake kits feature an extruded Teflon inner lining that is highly resistant to the aggressive chemical properties of modern brake fluids, as well as being able to handle far higher temperatures than rubber. The Teflon lining is covered by 32 strands of tightly woven stainless steel braid that acts as the muscle of the hose, providing incredible resistance to expansion under pressure. Our stainless braid is covered with a polymeric outer layer that prevents dirt from getting between the stainless braid and the Teflon inner lining. The end fittings on our hoses are all machined from grade-304 stainless steel as opposed to the plated, mild steel fittings used by many of our competitors. The resulting hose assemblies offer the best possible pedal feel, matched to excellent durability and corrosion resistance.
Powerbrake S-Line calipers are designed around pad profiles which are available in a wide range of brake pad compounds from most pad manufacturers worldwide. In addition to this, we stock our own range of Powerbrake-branded pads in compounds covering: high-level street, track day and full race applications. Our pads are manufactured for us by a company that we feel (after 17 years of in-house pad testing) are currently the leading high-performance and race pad manufacturer on the world market.
Disc Friction Rings
The disc rings used in our S-Line big brake kits are cast from a proprietary high-carbon cast iron alloy that provides excellent durability and stability under the high thermal loads experienced under fast-street or track conditions. The discs feature 72 x curved, directional cooling vanes. The design significantly increases cooling vane surface area and air-flow when compared to factory / OEM disc designs, resulting in vastly improved cooling. The slot pattern chosen for our S-Line discs is our well-proven “RR” slot pattern that provides even heat distribution across the disc surface, while delivering a strong initial ‘bite’ and excellent release characteristics. In spite of the aggressive slot pattern, we have managed to maintain low levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) under braking. Every single Powerbrake 2-piece disc assembly is measured for run-out and disc thickness variation (DTV) using Swiss measuring equipment. When it comes to QC, there is no batch or statistical quality checking of Powerbrake discs. Every single disc is measured. Our machining tolerances are up to three times tighter than the industry norm.
Disc Surface Coating
All our S-Line disc rings are coated with a proprietary black surface coating. The discs are chemically de-greased before the application of this coating to ensure that no machining fluids or other contaminants that can be absorbed the brake pads and negatively affect brake performance are present on our discs at all. The coating is able to withstand extremely high temperatures and is flexible enough to expand and contract without flaking or peeling off of the disc surface during the constant thermal expansion and contraction cycles experienced by the brake disc. Our S-Line disc assemblies require no cleaning or preparation using solvents at all. Simply ensure that the car's hub is clean and fit the discs as they come out of the box. The black coating will be removed by the brake pads in the pad track areas within the first 4-5 brake applications. The un-swept areas of the disc will remain coated. While our disc coating was primarily designed to ensure that there was zero presence of oils and contaminants on our disc surfaces at the time of fitting (and was not in fact designed to provide corrosion protection), practical experience has shown that the non-swept areas of our coated S-Line discs will in fact resist the common formation of unsightly surface rust on the non-swept areas of the discs quite well (depending on environmental conditions in your area). This results in a far more visually appealing assembly visible through the car's wheels.
Disc Maximum Temperature Recording (MTR) System
Unique to Powerbrake, all S-Line discs feature our MTR system that provides a permanent record of the peak operating temperature reached by the discs. This information is extremely valuable when selecting correct pad compounds for your application. The thermal-paint tabs are applied to the outside diameter of all S-Line discs (on both the inboard and outboard disc plates). Each single-change paint colour (4-levels: Blue, Green, Orange and Pink) changes to white when a specific temperature is reached, thereby providing a record of the peak operating temperature of the disc. We also add a multi-change paint that can be used with a provided colour gradient chart to further refine the results to a more specific temperature. The simple information required to interpret the results recorded by the MTR system on our S-Line discs is provided in the instruction manual that accompanies every S-Line big brake kit.
The light-weight disc hats used in our S-Line disc assemblies are machined from a solid billet of high grade aluminium alloy. Again, machining brake components from solid billet is expensive but it results in an extremely strong finished part. All hat designs undergo FEA strength and thermal analysis to confirm strength and rigidity under load. The hats are then finished with a dark grey, type-3 hard anodise for maximum durability and service life. Logos and other information are then laser etched on the outboard face of the hats.
Disc Float System
At Powerbrake we have many years of R&D invested in disc float systems. We have developed advanced float systems for our full race brake systems for applications ranging from circuit racing to FIA off-road and Dakar Rally. For our S-Line big brake kits, we decided to use a semi-float system that has been very well proven within our big brake kit range over many years of use. The semi-float system allows the disc friction ring to expand and contract radially without any restriction as it heats and cools. This significantly reduces stresses within both the disc friction ring and the disc hat and reduces the chance of disc distortion and cracking, while ensuring a very consistent brake pedal feel. The design brief for our S-Line big brake kits was to provide race-proven technology to street tuning and track day markets. As a result, we concentrated on ensuring low levels of NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) under street driving conditions. Our semi-float system runs particularly quiet during day-to-day street driving.
Brake Simulation Software
As with all Powerbrake big brake kits, each S-Line kit is tailored to the specific target vehicle. This involves careful software modelling of correct brake balance, brake torque outputs and pedal feel using our proprietary brake simulation software (developed in-house) which is a key element in the success of our S-Line big brake kits. The software allows us to enter all aspects of the factory brake system on the car as well as all key data affecting chassis dynamics under braking. Our engineers can then simulate braking events at various negative G's and analyse dynamic weight transfer for the chassis in question. They are then able to perfectly optimise brake torque outputs delivered by our big brake kit by changing disc diameters, caliper piston ratios and brake pad friction co-efficient. The result is that the caliper piston diameters / ratios, disc sizes and pad compounds in each kit are tailored to the vehicle platform in question. Our S-Line big brake kits will perfectly integrate with the ABS, EBD and other stability control systems on the vehicle. When driving a vehicle fitted with a Powerbrake S-Line big brake kit, you will feel this attention to detail coming through by the way that the vehicle chassis reacts under braking.