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Ok, so I have a 1994 S4 that I bought in September and am currently going through the car and fixing some things. I'm making the engine run better (tune-up etc) and am now finding out the brakes don't stop that great. I've been going through numerous posts about Toyota brakes, Brembo's etc and have a few questions. The previous owner installed new pads front and rear, but they are EBC yellowstuff, which look to be more of a track only pad. Any thoughts if I replace the stock rotors with cross-drilled and slotted and upgrade the pads to Porterfield R4S? This I can do for less than $300. Or should I bite the bullet and buy the Hi-Tech upgrade kit with new 4-piston calipers and larger rotors for $1000? What is happening is that if I'm going like 80-90mph on a straightaway, when I hit the brakes to slow down, it's almost as if I'm driving in rain - I get nothing for a little while and then it slows, but I gotta keep my foot in it, almost like the rotors are glazed maybe? The pedal is firm and not soft. Oh and the car already has ss brake hoses front and rear.
 

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Ok, so I have a 1994 S4 that I bought in September [snip] get nothing for a little while and then it slows, but I gotta keep my foot in it, almost like the rotors are glazed maybe? The pedal is firm and not soft. Oh and the car already has ss brake hoses front and rear.
If those are the original 20 year old Toyota calipers, they may be binding.

My 88 has what I believe are the original 26 year old Toyota calipers (BTW I'm using EBC Yellow pads on a daily driver Esprit - they seem fine). The braking feel on my car is just fine - hard pedal, good modulation, etc. But the brake system was also flushed heavily in 2011 and converted to SS lines (when I bought it) and flushed again in 2013 ( (18 months later). The difference at the 2013 flush was very dramatic; much harder and better feel - I may have an air leak in the brake system.
 

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1988 Esprit Turbo
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You have to be careful with the R4s compound for street use.

They don't stop well the first time, when cold...-eek- Once the Porterfields warm up they work GREAT.

Perhaps the R4 compound unless you are a track-day junkie?

If you want to improve your rotors (again, for street use), buy new & have them cyrogenically treated. I had mine done at

High Performance Brake Pads and Brake Rotors - Frozen Rotors
 

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The Early S4 brakes IMO suck I was at all confidant when it was time to stop the car. I went with an upgrade Wilwood 6 piston in the front and 4 in the rear Night and day now not worried when it comes time to stop the car.


 

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Discussion Starter #5
I did flush out all the lines a few months ago when I changed the abs accumulator and cleaned the abs pressure switch. I may need to do it again. The front brake calipers I believe are original based on my going through stacks of receipts. The car was originally owned by Jim Knowles who did tons of work on it back in 2008-2009.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
yeah, kinda what I'm finding out about the brakes. I can fly along, but when I have to brake, I have to really anticipate it. Not sure I wanna put the $2500-3000 in to the brakes to upgrade to the 6 piston, but maybe the 4 piston will be enough.
 

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4 piston is enough if you buy a good set of brakes! No offense to anyone that has already bought Wilwood (I know vulcan grey might chime in here) they are not a quality product. I am in the industry and there are a few other choices that can be had (try buying used). AP and brembo for street are OK. Stop Tech in their bridged series better. I don't want to go into why 6 is not as good as 4 right here but I can tell you in the very least that with the small crossover tube that is available on most calipers 4 piston calipers will react more quickly and evenly (again, not willwood)

my 2 cents worth
 

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Im Happy with My brakes and they stop alot better than before :panic:
 

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Last year I had my braking system flushed and as two hydraulic hoses were leaking had them all replaced by braided steel ones from JAE which cost about $140 for the set. The difference in the pedal feel was amazing, much harder and with noticeable shorter braking distances.
 

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I did the same upgrade on my S4. I went with the factory Brembo brakes. Nice upgrade both front and rear for about 1200 bucks. I also had the calipers rebuilt and powder coated yellow. Took some time to find the parts and the mounting brackets are obsolete so make sure the kit is complete if you go this route.


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4 piston is enough if you buy a good set of brakes! No offense to anyone that has already bought Wilwood (I know vulcan grey might chime in here) they are not a quality product. I am in the industry and there are a few other choices that can be had (try buying used). AP and brembo for street are OK. Stop Tech in their bridged series better. I don't want to go into why 6 is not as good as 4 right here but I can tell you in the very least that with the small crossover tube that is available on most calipers 4 piston calipers will react more quickly and evenly (again, not willwood)

my 2 cents worth
I agree, Wilwood aren't the best, but I do know some people with them, and are happy with them. The kit for sale looks better than some kits I have seen, and the price is much more reasonable compared to others.

I do think most Wilwood kits are an upgrade from the original Esprit Toyota/Bendix brakes.
 

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I have an S4 with factory Brembros, and a non-ABS SE with 4 piston AP Racing fronts and yellow pads all around.

The original Toyota brakes are poor at their best and dangerous at their worst.

The Brembros are ok and way better, although the ABS sucks.

The AP RACING are the best and are good enough for light track use.

Randy
 

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I have an S4 with factory Brembros, and a non-ABS SE with 4 piston AP Racing fronts and yellow pads all around.

The original Toyota brakes are poor at their best and dangerous at their worst.

The Brembos are ok and way better, although the ABS sucks.

The AP RACING are the best and are good enough for light track use.

Randy
To put things in perspective, AP and Brembo are the same company and have been for a while. They make essentially the same product that looks different on the outside. Brembo chooses different race categories it wants its brand to be featured. Essentially AP does most of the track development stuff while Brembo likes to concentrate on the OEM product (mass volume=more money)

I hear a lot about yellow green etc..
Each pad has a temperature rating. If you do some research and look at the codes on the edge of the pads it should give a good indication of how they are going to work from cold to hot. If the pads don't have that you can ask the manufacturer for it. Street pads are street pads and should not be misconstrued for race pads. Most really good street pads wont last more than 3 hot laps at most, before fading. If you want great performance at the track swap to track pads at the track.

Also, as a good practice DO NOT buy silicone based fluids. Buy AP Racing DOT 5.1 http://www.apracing.com/products/road_car_upgrades/brake_fluid.aspx
or (dare I plug!!!) TBM Extreme 6: POLY PERFORMANCE OFF-ROAD PARTS :: Manufacturers :: Brake Man (these guys are dealers)
 

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I have an S4 with factory Brembros, and a non-ABS SE with 4 piston AP Racing fronts and yellow pads all around.

The original Toyota brakes are poor at their best and dangerous at their worst.

The Brembros are ok and way better, although the ABS sucks.

The AP RACING are the best and are good enough for light track use.

Randy
I do realize my S4 has drilled rotors, and SS lines, but frankly, I found it much better than some of the stories I'd heard. You may know what the pads are, I'm not really sure. I did have an uhtOH moment a couple months ago where I suddenly realized my light was red as cars begin entering the intersection in front of me. I guess I was just a little lost in thought. Hammered the binders, and she went from about 40 to zero in I'd guess 25 feet or less... I was thankfully surprised as most talk seemed to be that they were atrocious. While, I'm sure not up to track use in their current state, they seem perfectly adequate for street use.
 
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