I did my first track day in my R last fall and had an absolute blast - if anyone has not done a track day / HPDE - I can't recommend it enough. My R ran amazing and was great fun on the track, but one thing performance wise that I was slightly disappointed in was the brakes - mainly from a feel standpoint. Note - this was my first time doing an HPDE in any car, but I used to race motorcycles and am no stranger to the track. Anyway, in the heavy braking zones, I was not by any means trying to "late brake" or anything - I was typically held up by others anyway, but I was just a little surprised at how mushy / spongy / inconsistent the brake pedal felt under those conditions. This was a completely OEM brake system at that time. So I started researching brake upgrades over the last couple of months and was planning to just try some better pads, fluid, maybe the Tyrol kit and was tempted by the RB (RacingBrake) rotors, but on the fence on those due to the price.
Then I found out about the 330mm rotor and caliper kit (thanks to ryeboy's posts on the subject). Yes - 330 is slightly smaller diameter then stock. For me - this was not a concern. I am not building a race car. I do not plan to shave 10ths of a second of my lap times or dive in underneath anyone on the brakes at the race track. I am simply upgrading / tweaking the performance characteristics of an already fantastic car to drive to suit my personal tastes somewhat better. The stock diameter RB rotors were very tempting to me mainly because of the reduction in unsprung, rotating mass over OE rotors. This kit takes the weight savings to a whole-nother level - to the tune of 22.5 lbs per corner, which is a difference in weight accounting for the rotors, calipers and caliper carriers combined - OE vs RB.
For those who are stuck on "bigger = better" I hear RB is coming out with a set of light weight calipers which fit the OE size rotors, so you could do just the calipers / just the rotors or both. Very cool, but I had no concerns about loosing anything in braking performance with the 330 kit, weight savings are better with this kit, and I got a helluva deal that could not pass up, so I took the plunge. I'm here to tell you: I am happy I did
I had never done anything brake system related on a car before, so was slightly nervous, but I had bled lines, changed pads and so forth on motorcycles, so I had at least a vague idea - plus all the helpful DIYs and info on this forum made it much less scary (shout out to the DIY posters!!!). A couple of notes on working with the OE front calipers - getting the spring clip thing out is not as hard as it sounded from some posts I read.
My tips from having done it: (1) figure out which surfaces you will need to pry against before applying any significant prying pressure and put some tape on them before prying. This will protect your blue caliper paint. I found that sticking some tape on and then sticking a needle nose down behind the clip and prying gently from behind whilst prying with a flathead as shown in the stickied front brake DIY worked great for me. Having done this, I would say changing pads on the OE calipers is really not difficult at all. If you can change oil, you can do this. (2) the Motive Powerbleeder works great. (3) removing the rotors is not difficult at all. Once your calipers are off, all you have to do is back out the triple-square set screw in the rotor. "Duhhh" some might say - but this was the first time I've done this, and at first I didn't realize that's all I had to do to get the rotor off and assumed I had to get a 12 point socket to fit the nut in the center of the hub (you do not - in case anyone else gets to that point and initially feels panicked as I did coz you don't have the right socket for that nut). (4) if you get this kit, you NEED the SS lines which are an optional add on as part of the order (+ $50) as the RB calipers and OE lines are not plummed the same - the RB stuff uses banjo bolts. I was lucky in that I ordered the lines anyway, though I didn't know they would actually be required at the time. Swapping the lines can be messy, due to the brake fluid, but is not difficult at all.
Breaking in the new brakes:
Having never done a car brake upgrade or attempted to bed in a sport oriented new set of brake pads on a sporty car, I was very uncertain of my initial results, so just posting a couple of notes on that in case it helps anyone else in a similar situation. When I first went out to do the RB recommended "brakings" procedure, all seemed fine doing the slower speed ones, but I noticed some weird things with the higher speed ones. For one, it seemed like very little pedal pressure would result in firm pedal feel, strong brake torque, then both the pedal and brake torque would yield a bit and I heard a kind of grinding sound. I'm pretty sure this was the ABS kicking in. The other odd thing was that it seemed like I was getting more brake torque on the driver side then the passenger side, as the car would kind of pull left a tiny bit. After having done the "brakings" several times now and finally getting out for a proper back road thrashing, all is well. I can still get the ABS to engage (assuming that's what that sensation is) but I think after heat cycling the pads several times now, they are able to grab the rotors with better consistency. It feels like I can push allot harder on the pedal before that happens. The tendency to pull left has also gone away. So my notes to fellow n00bs at this sort of thing on the break in process - be patient - you may have to do it more than once (probably several times). Also, I got the RB ET500 pads, which are slightly more aggressive than the default ET300 pads (not sure how much difference that makes, but just thought I would mention).
This may sound like an exaggeration, some may call it placebo effect (though I did not expect this at all and had not even thought about it) but I swear - I could feel a difference from the first turn of the steering wheel backing the car out of my drive way. The steering wheel effort feels noticeably lighter. It almost feels like the car has become more rear wheel drive biased (it obviously has not changed in that regard - I'm just trying to convey the feeling). Having finally had a chance to flog it on a twisty back road, I am amazed at the change in front end feel. The steering feels so much lighter and more precise. It seems like the front stays more planted / less bounce AND less jolt from mid corner bumps. The car feels more toss-able - quick left right transitions feel more direct / less sloppy. As for brake feel - fantastic. When I stopped trying to "brake in" and just started driving the way I normally would, slowing between corners feels better than ever. I tried to simulate track conditions (which is obviously very difficult on the street) in a couple of places where that was sort of possible, and the pedal feels much more consistent now. Granted - I won't know for certain how it compares in track conditions until I do another track day, but from what I can tell so far - awesome improvement.
I'm sure most people will be well served with the OE brakes, most others will be happy just upgrading pads and fluid, maybe throwing the Tyrol kit in and maybe SS lines, but if you want not only a huge improvement in brake feel but also the incredible steering feel / chasis dynamic / handling benefits of loosing 45 lbs of unsprung mass from the front end of your R, I HIGHLY recommend this kit!!!