Upgraded Brakes for 3.6 DI Performance Models
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2008-2013 Cadillac CTS Performance Mods Discussion, Upgraded Brakes for 3.6 DI Performance Models in Cadillac CTS Second Generation Forum - 2008-2013; I have already warped rotors with a few spirited drives and some track time. So far as I can see ...
  1. #1
    btlfedcts is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Upgraded Brakes for 3.6 DI Performance Models

    I have already warped rotors with a few spirited drives and some track time.

    So far as I can see EBC has some "improved design" rotors and some other compound pads but not much else for non V owners.

    What options are available?

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    X E Ryder's Avatar
    X E Ryder is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    I'm actually looking into this as well - I'm planning to give this car some track days also.

    I've gotten mixed results in searches for pads and rotors - applications not clear.

    A good friend of mine, Todd at TCI performance is looking into Willwood 6 piston calipers like I ran on my last track day car.

    Has anyone done a swap of the V Brembos yet?

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    CTSCHICK is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Upgraded Brakes for 3.6 DI Performance Models

    I have used EBC Redstuff pads with their Ultimax Rotors on my last car and loved them.
    Good stuff they will be going on my CTS as soon as I need to replace the pads or rotors..

    A lot better than the Hawk pad's that I had where I had to drive a mile or 2 in cold weather in order to get the brakes up to temperature to where they would be at 100%,
    The brake dust would also cling to my wheels. :0(
    That was the last and only time I was allowed to pick and order brakes on my own and put me in to one of those I told you so situations with my b.f. lol

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    X E Ryder's Avatar
    X E Ryder is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Upgraded Brakes for 3.6 DI Performance Models

    Quote Originally Posted by CTSCHICK View Post
    I have used EBC Redstuff pads with their Ultimax Rotors on my last car and loved them.
    Good stuff they will be going on my CTS as soon as I need to replace the pads or rotors..

    A lot better than the Hawk pad's that I had where I had to drive a mile or 2 in cold weather in order to get the brakes up to temperature to where they would be at 100%,
    The brake dust would also cling to my wheels. :0(
    That was the last and only time I was allowed to pick and order brakes on my own and put me in to one of those I told you so situations with my b.f. lol
    You liked the Reds? Did you do any track days on them? I'm wondering how they held up to the heat build up.

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    btlfedcts is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Upgraded Brakes for 3.6 DI Performance Models

    The guys at TCI in Ontario are great. I am headed there to see Sal and Jason Friday about my 1949 project truck. They know their Wilwood inside and out. If I ever did go big brake I would look at a wrecked V for donor parts and start there ... I have few insiders at Race Tech / Brembo but upgrading one of their GT kits to our steering knuckles would require me getting back on Mastercam and building some new tool paths to makes some trick parts. The OE V brakes need little improvement so aftermarket support has been sparse so far as I have been able to see.

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    CTSCHICK is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Upgraded Brakes for 3.6 DI Performance Models

    Quote Originally Posted by X E Ryder View Post
    You liked the Reds? Did you do any track days on them? I'm wondering how they held up to the heat build up.
    Just hard street driving, I like the Red's better than the Greens just because they would leave less dust even though the Reds are rated better heat wise to with the same cold performance..
    They do have other pad's for track use though..

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    X E Ryder's Avatar
    X E Ryder is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Thumbs up Complete CTS J55 Brake Upgrade

    J55 Upgrade. Well as suspected, there just is not much to choose from for our brakes. This thread is referring to Performance models of CTS so I'm referring specificly to the J55 rpo code found on the underside of your spare tire cover. If you have this code (instead of standard brakes code JE5), you have 345mm front and 339 rear rotors.

    Rotors. Centric and Powerslot both make slotted rotors for J55 owners, which is great. These run you $118 and $93 front and rear each, respectively. If you have done any trackdays you know how hard they are on brakes. What I leanred is to find the best stock type rotor for your car, and then swap in some powerful calipers and good compound pads. Your rotors go in the trash at the end of the day - yes I mean it (If you are not ok with this you should not do open course road racing in your car). By using a stock size rotor it costs far less to replace them.

    drr_126_07flt_v280px.jpg

    Calipers. I have had great experience with Wilwood brake products and they have been stopping racers for years. With the size rotors we run, I would go with the W6A calipers, available in black, red and nickel. They have 6 pistons and more important to the discussion, 6 pad compounds available; 2 high performance street, and 4 track only (remember never to run race pads on the street because you will literally mill down your rotors to nothing!). In the rear, I would try to fit the W4A though I might have to go with a Dynalite Narrow.

    W6A_Radial_Mount_Red-lg.jpg

    Mounts / Pads. Clearly I will have to build the mounts for the calipers, which is no biggie, but the result means lots of stopping power and much more flexibility in the pad choices. Since your ABS uses wheel speed sensors to measure slippage, the system accepts the big brakes and will actually not have to work as hard in ABS, traction control, or stabilitrak functions. The temp ranges of the track pads are ridiculous!

    compound_chart-1.jpg

    Food for thought huh?

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    BTTBSS is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Complete CTS J55 Brake Upgrade

    I used Carbotec XP-10's on my last track day car. It weighed over 4,200 lbs. Was a manual and I was able to get a years worth of driving out of a set of rotors and pads. Unless you use the manual down shift feature all the stopping has to be done with the brakes and that will kill rotors quickly. A six speed manual is the way to go for track days.

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    X E Ryder's Avatar
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    Re: Complete CTS J55 Brake Upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by BTTBSS View Post
    I used Carbotec XP-10's on my last track day car. It weighed over 4,200 lbs. Was a manual and I was able to get a years worth of driving out of a set of rotors and pads. Unless you use the manual down shift feature all the stopping has to be done with the brakes and that will kill rotors quickly. A six speed manual is the way to go for track days.
    I will look them up, thanks for the tip! Not too many people flogging CTS' on the road course it seems. Do you have linkage of the products? I also have looked into K-Sport's calipers, EBC makes pads for them which further reduces track expenses. Can you provide the part number used and do you have the 345mm and 339mm rotor diameters? (J55 brakes)

    Geez, I can't believe you got a year out of rotors! How many track days? Car has paddles but pretty heavy for much decel effect.

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    BTTBSS is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Upgraded Brakes for 3.6 DI Performance Models

    CTS has the performance suspension and brake package so I presume it has the 345mm brakes. Have not measured the rotors. Carbotech lists CT 1331 Front and CT 1337 for the CTS. Simply says heavy duty so I would contact them before purchase. I know they can and will make pads for anything if you send them a set of old pads. Have not tracked CTS yet. The car I referred to was a 1996 Impala SS. 4260 plus driver. I was getting 5-6 track days and about 800+ miles out of the pads and not cracking or warping rotors. I was using DBA C-6 corvette rotors and calipers and the XP-10 pads in front and XP-8 pad in rear. Car has Tremec TKO-600 installed.

    Prior to that I used couple of different Hawk pads and rotors would last a week-end if I was lucky. The key is to measure your rotor temps with a infrared temp gun and buy pads that will work in the temp range you see on the track. The Carbotech pads work fine on the street once they are bedded in and will take up to 1,300 degrees F on track. Using solid rotors, no slots or holes this set up would hold up fine and I put up to 200 track miles in a week-end on the car.

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    leigh1322 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Upgraded Brakes for 3.6 DI Performance Models

    Pad selection and the chemistry there-in is much more critical than most people believe. And good technical data is hard to come from from most companies. And you can try some state of the art pads for only $150.

    I used to race pro-solo and have both used the Carbotech pads and have done some brake pad performance testing. Proper pad selection is really about proper temperature control. When you over-heat a particular pad it feels greasy, doesn't stop as well, tears up the pad quickly, and maybe rotors too. I measured 650 F rotor temperatures on my SHO Taurus driving in rush-hour traffic after just three 60-0 mph stops! The standard parts store organic pads were already fading badly, with stopping power down 30%. Semi-metallics ran the same temps but felt better and didn't fade. They can handle 800F degrees or so. But they were very dusty. The Carbotech Ceramaic pads can go about 900F, before fade and stop great and are very low dusting. This is their current 1551 or bobcat compound. I have run both those and their Panther or autocross pad and the Panthers can handle a little bit more heat. But a 4200lb CTS at 90 mph on a high speed race track is going to generate a lot more heat than that and would need true race track pads for track days. I would not be surprised to see 1300F plus rotor temps and you will need real track pads to last at that level. Rotors actually glow red at that temp so you even have a visual temp indicator.

    Once you get the pad to last at race day temp levels, then a better caliper might should improve the pedal feel by reducing flex, but it may or may not improve stopping itself. Bigger, heavier rotors lower overall rotor temps and make any pad work cooler & better unless they are too cold, and they usually also increase diameter, leverage and stopping power at the same time.

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