Monday, July 15, 2013

Z51 Brakes

I have been collecting parts since last year to upgrade my brakes to Z51. The main difference is in the rotors, the base coupe front rotors are 12.8", Z51 are 13.4. The base rear rotors are 12", Z51 are 13". The increase in rotor size will look nicer in the wheels but really does nothing more than that. This upgrade is about the quality of the rotors and pads.

My decision to do this was based on the cheap availability of DBA5000 series two piece rotors. I was reading a post on Corvette Forum and found a link to a vendor selling these rotors for less than $200.00 ea which is half of what they are generally advertized for. The two piece DBA5000's were the first purchase towards the project I made.  A few months ago I was looking at a site and accidentally came across the DBA4000 rotors I was going to use in the rear. Normally these are in the
$200.00 range but were listed for $119.00 ea. I bought Carbotech 1521 brake pads to use with the new rotors. I like that the Carbotechs do not have corrosive brake dust, and they are compatible compound with their race pads.

Having had very positive braking performance increases from easy changes in the past I was excited to move forward with this. Just before we left for vacation I ordered the caliper brackets and the new brake pads which came in the day before we left. I did not feel comfortable changing all of that out before a 3k trip so I decided to wait until we got back.

Front before:
 Front after:
Rear before:
 Rear after:

Unfortunately it was during this that I found the left front rim was cracked, it explained why the tire had random leaking during the trip, its also a bit scary.
It really sucked from a standpoint of the brake upgrade. The nice thing about the Z51 brakes is they will fit inside of a stock wheel package and were part of the reason I chose to go that route. Since I will be most likely looking at aftermarket wheels I could have upgraded to the Z06 brake package which are much more performance oriented.

All that being said I am very happy with this upgrade the brakes look good and they feel great.

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