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My 2009 AWD 3.6 DI has the JE5 brakes. While I'm not having any braking problems per se, it does seem like a heavy car and could always use more stopping power. It also has the performance package with 18" wheels, so I assume there's plenty of room there for larger rotors. It seems the J55 rotors are 1" bigger than the JE5, how are the calipers different? Is there anything else that needs [to be] changed out?

Having upgraded my old '94 Firebird from 10.5" rotor, single piston iron brakes to the 98+ Fbody 12" rotor, dual piston aluminum brakes (which required a spindle and line change) and also my '00 Grand Am from the 10.5" rotor, single piston brakes to the 12" Impala rotor, and same 98+ Fbody dual piston caliper, I'm always interested in upgrades using other factory GM parts to get better performance.
 

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2016 CTS 3.6 Premium RWD, 2012 CTS Coupe Premium RWD (sold)
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the links, I'm sure that would give the car no holds barred stopping power! Unfortunately that's way out of my price range. In my other cars brake upgrades the cost of the bigger/better rotors and calipers were very little more than the cost of the wimpy stock parts. Just looking to clarify, when it comes time to replace my front pads and rotors, is it a simple part swap from a J55 to the JE5?
 

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2016 CTS 3.6 Premium RWD, 2012 CTS Coupe Premium RWD (sold)
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I don't know what oem brake package I have, but I went from that to V brembo's, so I can only assume that it wont be any problems going from J55 to JE5. If the JE5 rotors are larger, you my need to get larger rear backing plates.

BTW, I don't track my car, so to keep cost down, I went with aftermarket rotors and pads. My total cost for parts was 1800 including stainless steel brake lines.
 

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2010 CTS Premium Sedan, RWD/3.6 DI
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I am interested in this as well. Only suggestion I can find here has been skip the J55 and move to Brembos. Like you I am not interested in dropping big bucks on a brake upgrade, as it stops OK now. But if I could upgrade with a few junkyard and/or normal service replacement parts, why not.

I am pretty sure you would need, backing plates, caliper mounts, calipers, rotors. Not sure about the brake line; I think it is the same though. Master Cylinder is the same.

If I do the research and or do the upgrade i will share it with all and hope others will do the same. Trouble is I never even got around to forming a local procrastinators anonymous chapter, which I really wanted to do... :(
 

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2016 CTS 3.6 Premium RWD, 2012 CTS Coupe Premium RWD (sold)
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I am interested in this as well. Only suggestion I can find here has been skip the J55 and move to Brembos. Like you I am not interested in dropping big bucks on a brake upgrade, as it stops OK now. But if I could upgrade with a few junkyard and/or normal service replacement parts, why not.

I am pretty sure you would need, backing plates, caliper mounts, calipers, rotors. Not sure about the brake line; I think it is the same though. Master Cylinder is the same.

If I do the research and or do the upgrade i will share it with all and hope others will do the same. Trouble is I never even got around to forming a local procrastinators anonymous chapter, which I really wanted to do... :(
No need for caliper mounts or aftermarket brake lines. In fact, I could've saved $150 on stainless brake lines and used the oem.
 

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A quick look at GMparts direct reveals that the caliper mounts and splash shields are different for the H/D brakes, hyd lines are the same.

This was looking under '09 w AWD. There may be other minor changes. Consult the parts list
 

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A quick look at GMparts direct reveals that the caliper mounts and splash shields are different for the H/D brakes, hyd lines are the same.

This was looking under `09 w AWD. There may be other minor changes. Consult the parts list
I guess I don't know what a caliper mount is because my oem and brembo calipers bolt directly to the car without any kind of "mount".
 

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I guess I don't know what a caliper mount is because my oem and brembo calipers bolt directly to the car without any kind of "mount".
The O.P. requires p/n 15851384 (R.H.) and 15851476 (L.H.) to put the H-D calipers on his AWD '09 . GM refers to these parts as "mounting brackets". Let me put it another, simpler way, when you change pads you remove only the caliper, if you need to remove the rotor you have to remove the "mounting bracket".
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Generally there is a fixed bracket that bolts directly to the spindle, and the caliper rides on slide bolts attached to the bracket. If merely changing pads you could pull one of the slide bolts and swing the caliper out to access, but if changing the rotors the entire bracket/caliper assembly must be removed.

Typically upgrading to a larger rotor requires changing the bracket as well as the caliper because the brake assembly needs to be moved outward to accommodate the larger disc. What is interesting is that front brake parts listed for AWD Right for example also state RWD Left, so the brake hoses and bleed bolts must be reversed from AWD to RWD. On my AWD the front calipers are mounted on the front half of the rotor,... based on the above info on the RWD they are mounted to the rear.

Also from parts I'm looking at, the JE5 have 315mm (12.4") rotors front and rear, while the J55 HD brakes have 339mm (13.3") rear and 345mm (13.6") front. BUT when looking at the calipers the JE5 are dual piston with 45mm bore while the J55 are dual piston with 42mm bore. The brake pads also appear to be a similar size 10x.133 so the sole advantage in the J55 brake package is the larger size of the rotors. Now I'm wondering if I could simply get ahold of some J55 mounting brackets and rotors, and keep my calipers?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
99flhr if I order the J55 brackets will my JE5 calipers fit them? Or do I have to change out the calipers too? I'd prefer to just change the rotors and brackets if that's all it takes. Anyone know why GM omitted the HD brakes from the AWD? Is there a reason why I can't use the HD brakes on my AWD?
 

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I guess I don't know what a caliper mount is ...
Apparently not. :)

No need for caliper mounts or aftermarket brake lines.
With sliding calipers (which is what the non-Brembo calipers are), the caliper and caliper mount are two separate parts - as Procrastinator posted, the bracket is #5 in that diagram. FunkZ explained it all quite nicely. The Brembo calipers are fixed / opposed piston calipers, so there is no separate bracket.

Also from parts I'm looking at, the JE5 have 315mm (12.4") rotors front and rear, while the J55 HD brakes have 339mm (13.3") rear and 345mm (13.6") front. BUT when looking at the calipers the JE5 are dual piston with 45mm bore while the J55 are dual piston with 42mm bore. The brake pads also appear to be a similar size 10x.133 so the sole advantage in the J55 brake package is the larger size of the rotors. Now I'm wondering if I could simply get ahold of some J55 mounting brackets and rotors, and keep my calipers?
Looking at the pictures of the pads on rockauto.com, the HD vs non-HD pads are quite different in shape (specifically looking at the tabs where they slide into the caliper brackets). That would lead me to think the calipers are different, too. But looking at the pictures of the calipers, they look pretty much the same, so it could be they're the same casting, just with different machining for the different piston diameters, and it's just the caliper brackets (and the associated pad shapes) that are different. I have a feeling the only way to figure this out will be to order a caliper/bracket/pad set and see how the parts interchange. If you get them from Amazon or Rock Auto you can return them for free (well, other than shipping costs) once you're done experimenting.

Maybe check your local parts chain (Autozone or whatever) and see if they have the parts on hand - from my experience, most counter jockeys appreciate a break from the monotony of the "normal" pulling of parts and changing of wiper blades :p, so if you explain what you're trying to do they'll be happy to help.

Anyone know why GM omitted the HD brakes from the AWD? Is there a reason why I can't use the HD brakes on my AWD?
When I looked at the part numbers on GMpartsdirect.com they have the HD calipers listed w/AWD and w/o AWD. That doesn't necessarily mean anything - their listings could just be labelled incorrectly.
 

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If it helps I have the bigger J55 brakes on my stick shift, and it stops very very well. Hard smooth stops from speed. With decent ceramic pads. Not much dust. Great firm pedal feel so I wouldn't waste my money on stainless lines. I don't track this. But I did race for years. These are great powerful brakes for the street, even driven aggressively. But I doubt they would handle track use on a 4000 lb car without fade. That's where the Brembos shine. Not a lot of pad choices for J55 tho. Almost all are semimettallic and dust like mad.... Never felt a performance advantage on the street. Just lots o dust. Finally found some ceramics.
 

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If it helps I have the bigger J55 brakes on my stick shift, and it stops very very well. Hard smooth stops from speed. With decent ceramic pads. Not much dust. Great firm pedal feel so I wouldn't waste my money on stainless lines. I don't track this. But I did race for years. These are great powerful brakes for the street, even driven aggressively. But I doubt they would handle track use on a 4000 lb car without fade. That's where the Brembos shine. Not a lot of pad choices for J55 tho. Almost all are semimettallic and dust like mad.... Never felt a performance advantage on the street. Just lots o dust. Finally found some ceramics.
My 2008 AWD CTS came with the J55s.

Can you share the brand and p/n for those ceramic pads?

Thanks.
 

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The ceramic pads that I found that fit the J55 front brakes are the ones from Pep Boys. Their Pro Stop Ceramics. Part # PR1331C . Any FMSI Plate number 1331 pad will fit the J55s. Most brake mfgrs incorporate that into their model number. I mention this because many specifications on many brake pads at many parts stores are not clear on whether they fit J55 or not. 1332 is the std size front pads, the JE5 IIRC.
I have had these pads on for 2 years and 50k miles. NO dust and no noise. And only half worn. Now my front polished wheels get dirty about as fast as the rear, which comes factory equipped with ceramic pads. With several brands of semi-metallic front pads, my front rims would look dirty grey / black / not polished after only a day or two.

NO fade even in an 80MPH panic brake / ABS engaging lockup, and that's good enough for me on the street!
How I know that is a long story...
 

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The ceramic pads that I found that fit the J55 front brakes are the ones from Pep Boys. Their Pro Stop Ceramics. Part # PR1331C . Any FMSI Plate number 1331 pad will fit the J55s. Most brake mfgrs incorporate that into their model number. I mention this because many specifications on many brake pads at many parts stores are not clear on whether they fit J55 or not. 1332 is the std size front pads, the JE5 IIRC.
I have had these pads on for 2 years and 50k miles. NO dust and no noise. And only half worn. Now my front polished wheels get dirty about as fast as the rear, which comes factory equipped with ceramic pads. With several brands of semi-metallic front pads, my front rims would look dirty grey / black / not polished after only a day or two.

NO fade even in an 80MPH panic brake / ABS engaging lockup, and that's good enough for me on the street!
How I know that is a long story...
Thank you for the information.
 

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Has anyone completed this swap? What parts work? What parts need to be replaced? And will all of this fit under a 17" wheel?
 

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Re: J55 Brakes in 17" Wheel?

Has anyone successfully upgraded from JE5 to J55 on their own? It seems to be a popular topic, but I have not seen any success story.
 
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