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Brake Upgrade Kit with Stock Wheels

13 April 2001
Rockville, Maryland
I had my first experience at a track recently and it was a blast! I expect that I will try and make it back about four times a year or so. I love my completely stock '95 NSX-T but the one real weakness that I noticed in daily street driving was the braking power. On the track, my OEM brakes performed even worse with a noticeable amount of fade and shutter. Not much is left on the pads and the rotors are now slightly warped.

My question:

What are the brake upgrade kits that are compatible with my stock 16/17 inch wheels and which ones do you prefer?

Specifically, I am not interested in purchasing new wheels or adding spacers, etc. I want to upgrade to at least 4 piston front calipers and better rotors and pads all around.

I have read through the FAQ as well as all of the old topics in the Forum. I have also checked out the RM Racing, SOS, and Dali R websites. Unfortunately, it is not completely clear to me which kits do not require some other modifications. I know that the Brembo Big Brake kit does require other modifications while it appears that the RM Racing AP/KVR kit does not. The feedback on RM kit seems to be good but what other options are out there (not interested in upgrading to the '97 OEM setup).

Street performance is key but I need something that will hold up well at the few track events that I will attend throughout the year. My NSX is primarily a weekend driver on which I put about a 6k miles a year.

Your opinions would be much appreciated!

'95 Green NSX-T

[This message has been edited by Arnis (edited 15 December 2001).]
On the track, my OEM brakes performed even worse with a noticeable amount of fade and shutter. Not much is left on the pads and the rotors are now slightly warped.

That's quite possibly the reason you ran into these problems. On the street you can go until your pads have about 2 mm of material on them. On the track, you ought to replace them when they've got about 3-4 mm of material left. More material means it can absorb the heat and act as insulation to prevent the fluid from boiling. Don't let your pads get worn all the way down on the track.

I would suggest trying some good aftermarket pads and rotors ONLY, at first. I like the RM Racing pads, although I've also heard some good things about the Carbotech Panther Plus pads and am looking forward to trying them next year. You'll want to replace those rotors if they're shuddering; the PowerSlot rotors from Dali Racing will do nicely. You should also flush your brake fluid with a good high-temperature fluid such as Motul RBF 600 or Castrol SRF or ATE Super Blue.

That may be all you need. Try it. If you still run into problems, THEN consider a big brake kit. The Tarox kit from Dali should fit the stock 16"/17" wheels without spacers or special wheels.
Unless you are driving totally INSANE, your stock brakes should be fine for the street. That being the case, there must be something wrong with your brakes. Flush the fluid, and inspect the pads for starters. If your planned upgrade is primarilary for looks, go for some caliper paint, and slotted or x-drilled rotors.

If, on the other hand, you really want a performance upgrade, before you shell out the big bucks, check out this link:

Good Luck!

I was thinking about upgrading to Brembo brakes but I tried new RM Racing slotted rotors and new OEM pads. In addition, I removed the splash shields all around as well as adding the Dali air deflectors up in front. I pounded on the brakes all day long at Laguna Seca and no shudder. Held up beautifully. I believe the RM Rotors are made of a better metal than the potmetal Honda uses to make rotors. The slotting definitely helps.

One of our club members had OEM rotors that were slotted by a machine shop with OEM pads, no splash shields and with Dali air deflectors. Told me his brakes felt solid and no shudder.

I agree with Ken on this one. First replace your stock pads with better pads (cheaper than stock also) You can try the big three out there right now, RM Racing, Porterfield, and Carbotech Panther Plus. I used the Panthers at VIR and had a great deal of improvement over the stock pads. They all will wear faster and dust worse than stock, and probably give you some squeal. Keep your stock shims and lubricate the back of the pads and shims liberally with anti-squeal goo to lower or eliminate the squeal. You will be shocked at the difference. Stock rotors or the Bradi blanks sold by Dali are fine for learning purposes.

Definately flush your brake system and get some better fluid. I am presently using Ford heavy duty, but brake fluid is a very hotly contested subject, and you will get 5 different opinions from five different people. Then bleed your brakes after every track event. Speed bleeders and the one man bleeding devices from Griots Garage make this much simpler.

The best kit for stock wheels may be the Tarox 6 pot that Dali Racing sells. Both Mark Basch and Andie Lin are running this kit and love it. Plus it is less expensive than the Brembo. Chris Wilson also sells a great kit from AP Racing at Science of Speed, but I think you need larger wheels.

Also check out the threads on braking by doing a search on the forums for brake related problems.

Drive fast, stop faster!

Gary Yates
1995 Red/Tan
Originally posted by Vytas:
I was thinking about upgrading to Brembo brakes but I tried new RM Racing slotted rotors and new OEM pads.

"RM" slotted rotors are Power Slot rotors in an upgraded box with an upgraded price.

need more info? please private me @

[email protected]

Mark Johnson, CEO of Custodial Services @ Dali Racing, a Not For Profit Company.
Thanks to all who responded to this topic. In my attempt to not get too long winded in my original post, I did not go into all of the research that I had done or my point of reference. A little more information may be of help.

I am the previous owner of a '98 Supra TT and an older model Ferrari (I have driven other high end sports cars but did not own any of them). The Supra brakes were the best of any car that I have driven and that is the yard stick that I was comparing my NSX to (sorry, no Lamborghini or 90's Ferrari experience). The Supra brakes and tire widths were larger than the NSX (about 1" larger rotors and 10mm wider rubber)and had four piston front calipers and twin pistons in the rear. The stopping distances were definitely shorter in the Supra despite 300 lbs more car to stop and the brake "feel" was much grabbier. If you look at stopping distance for other comparable cars, the NSX does not seem to have superior stock braking numbers.

Please no flames, I am just trying to explain my reference point [
]. I love my NSX and I have no desire to turn this into a NSX versus other cars thing.

What I am hoping to do is replicate the kind of "street" feel and stopping performance as my previous Supra; hence, why I mentioned moving to four pistons front calipers thinking that would go a long way.

Before making my original post, I did make sure to read all of the related information in the NSXPRIME site and narrowed down the modifications that I was considering to just calipers, pads, and rotors geared more to street use but with good occassional use track applications. With only a few track events a year planned, the heat buildup issue is less of a concern since most of my driving is in the city and local DC highways. Besides, I won't even pretend to be a good enough track driver to be able to push the brakes as hard as most of you can. I will be upgrading the fluid system but not taking off the dust/heat shields as that can cause other problems. If I get into more track use then, additional air ducting could be a possibility but I will wait and see. By the way, looks are not something that I am concerned about in making this decision.

I believe that I am familiar with all of the popular upgrade option (Comptech, AP Stage 1 from SOS, AP/KVR from RM, Brembo, TAROX, etc). My main difficulty is that it is not always clear which ones require non-stock wheel setups. Many of the posts on NSXPRIME about some of these packages are several years old and I am not sure if the manufacturers have changed the packages so that they now clear the standard wheel configuration. Also, if improvements have been made, the forum and faq review information may be a bit outdated.

Just looking for the most up to date information available before making a big purchase. If anyone thinks that I am off base on the difference of four piston (or more) calipers or anything else in this post, please let me know. I am by no means an expert so I will happily absorb information from those more knowledgeable - this site is a great place to learn and I wanted to take full advantage!

Thanks once again to all those who have responded and to any of you who send out additonal responses!