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280z - 1977 upgrade brake to 4 calipers Toyota 4Runner


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Posted (edited)

Greeting,

 

this question probably asked hundreds of times …. Here goes one more.

 

Upgraded the standard 2 calipers to 4 calipers Toyota 4Runner.  The S-8 caliper.  Not the larger one that need thicker, vented rotors.  I figure, the 4Runner is much heavier than the Z, no need to get the biggest, baddest of all.

 

definitely the new calipers have better grab to the rotors.

the question are.

- is it worth upgrading the booster and  the master cylinder from 280ZX?

- what about only the master cylinder and uses the existing booster?

 

much appreciate.

 

regards

 

Edited by 240zadmire
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I did the Silvermine Toyota upgrade like you are talking about. I didn't change anything but the calipers and rotors (mine were original and no longer able to be ground down). I got the drilled rotors. The only noticeable change was the pedal had a bit more slack before the brakes activated...like maybe 1/2". Did I notice a great difference in braking efficiency? No. A new set of OEM calipers and new discs would probably be similar, but hard to come by.

Cheers, Mike

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Due to a NASA (supposed to be) weekend on stock brakes (which lasted about 2 track sessions with the instructor) I started out with the 4-piston non-vented mounted on stock disc. (just the caliper change and I can't remember the friction material - probably semi-metallic back then) The "butt dyno" couldn't really tell the difference between this and stock.

Disappointed, I installed the Z31 vented rotors with the 4-Runner wide calipers (stock master and booster) - friction was either semi-metallic or ceramic, can't remember. I noticed a good improvement in braking and a large improvement in fade and heat dissipation.

A short time later, I installed Porterfield friction material on all four wheels (stock drums in back). These pads grip about the same as an OEM with normal street traffic, when they warm up they get VERY grippy and do not fade. Goldie likes to hill climb (L28ET builds a lot of torque) and coming back down the hill is much less dicey with this particular friction. At the bottom I still have full confidence as these grab better at the bottom than they did at the top and I've yet to experience fade. I've been on this setup for 7-8 years and I daily drive my 260Z.

I still use the stock master. My youngest son did the same brake swap on his 1975 280Z but replaced the master with a 15/16 280ZX master cylinder. I'm sure there's some difference, but I've never really been able to tell when I drive his car.

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47 minutes ago, Zed Head said:

What is the goal?  Better pedal feel, less force required, racing performance?  Can't say what's better unless you define what you're trying to achieve.

My setting is a drilled StopTech rotors with Wagner ceramic ThermoQuiet pads.

Have good results with Wagner ceramic thermoQuiet pads that I'm using on all my cars/vans.

the upgraded for the Z is definitely grabbing the rotors better than OEM.  I'm wondering if upgrading from 7/8" to 15/16" caliper, either w/out the booster, help braking the car to stop, faster.

The pedal feeling with this new calipers is marginally the same.

I'm not racing, autocross or track at all.  Just normal daily driving but every now and then, the need for speed kicks in that you're helplessly just follow with it 😉  I'd like to be able to brake as fast as I could should the unfortunate event should happen.

 

regards

 

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Once the wheels lock up there is no "faster".  Unless you go with wider tires.  Then you might not be able to lock them up without more force.  A bigger booster will give more force, it's a multiplier.  A bigger MC will create less force it's done for volume, to get rid of the travel in the pedal.

I'm just teasing out the details.  cgsheen's story is a good one showing both feel and fade as concerns.  But also in a competition setting.  He chose pad and shoe material to achieve his goals.  He also probably adjusts the system to remove all play in the linkage and air in the lines, so pedal feel is high and tight.  I'd guess.

I just saw a brake question on another forum and the guy was asking opinions about "caliper covers" and slotted drilled rotors.  That's a whole different angle, the look.

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If you want better brakes. The standard setup properly rebuild with Porterfield R4-S pads and shoes will work fine. I have been using them since 2014 and never had issues for street use.

If it is for looks, then there are plenty of "upgrades" out there. Getting the front to rear balance right is the biggest challenge you will have to deal with.

I have no experience in racing zeds.

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Posted (edited)

We have some mountainous areas near us and I have found the stock brakes to have a lot of fade on long downgrades. I hate the idea and smell of burning brakes. That's where the brake upgrades appeal to me

Edited by Patcon
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Posted (edited)

My only advice on upgrading is choose wisely.

This original brake set-up, although primative, worked well. In its time it was regarded as a good set-up.

Building your own system and taking a couple of runs up and down the local supermarket parking lot doesn't add up to the R&D that went into this set-up.

Power booster and MC is not the issue here. They only determine the force needed and brake pedal travel. The biggest issue I have is getting the balance between the front and rear set-up.

I often read threads where people have made their own combination and having trouble with balance. A lot of aftermarket setups available out there, but it would pay to research them and read what others have experienced before taking the plunge.

My system is standard with Porterfield pads and shoes. I just visited their website and wow they certainly are pricey these days. Mine have less than 20k km so they will last for a while yet. I was thinking of upgrading to slotted/drilled discs when I need to replace the pads.

The garage that does the roadworthy test commented on the brake test. You don't see that very much on these old cars.

@Patcon Understandable in your country, but I live in a "flat as a pancake" country called The Netherlands. Smelling brakes in a street car is not on my bucket list. My only hill climbs are the highway overpassesROFL.gif

Edited by EuroDat
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Installed a set of Toyota calipers as shown on my 72. I really like them. Way better braking.

Still using the rear drums and stock master cylinder. A little lower pedal but you get used to it quickly.

I would not go back to the stock caliper myself.

20220618_152927.jpg

20210905_144117.jpg

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On 7/16/2022 at 11:50 PM, EuroDat said:

Building your own system and taking a couple of runs up and down the local supermarket parking lot doesn't add up to the R&D that went into this set-up.

What? You’re saying there are more than this to constitute a thorough R&D? 
 

my car is pretty “bone stock” except the recent “force” upgraded transmission to closed ratio, and I love it.  The front brake thing is another upgrade.  The Z sure fun to tinkering and improving things.  My pain point right know is my shallow pocket.   I don’t see myself upgrading the rear to disc anytime soon.  Whenever I upgrade anything, I try to retain the original look as much as possible.

 

I try to absorb the reading materials as much as possible before pulling the trigger … but until I actually do it… I always curious of what iffff .  The upgraded calipers with stock MC and booster feel great so far.  No spongy feeling.  Brake pedal feels tight.  One thing I notice is the ceramic pads get gripper as the rotor get hot.

 

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