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Glutton For Punishment
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Big Brake Kit Lotus Esprit 13" 4 Piston Wilwood Calipers | eBay

Says they will fit my '88, but curious if they really will? The stock brakes are miserable, and I am afraid I am going to warp them under hard braking. Thinking of doing a track day soon, so a suitable upgrade would be required.

I have 17" rims up front, so clearance isn't an issue, but will they bolt right up?
 

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since you have bigger wheels, they will probably fit.

I have the Esprit V8 AWI cast 17" wheels and my 328mm Brembos barely fit, so it might depend on how much clearance there is in your wheels. Some wheels are not great.

Keep in mind that those brakes go over the front hub, and will space out your wheels by the thickness of the rotor hat ~6mm. Those rotors don't have a lot of offset, so if your wheels are dished and have spokes near the middle of the wheel, then they might hit the caliper.

It is best to get a PDF of the wheel clearance so you can print it out 100% scale and place the paper template inside your wheel. Looks like that supplier provides a template so you can check fit.

Not to mention that having the bigger front brakes might cause a brake balance issue with your '88 inboard rear brakes...

Also, I'm not a big fan or drilled rotors...
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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X 2 on the drilled rotors. Get slotted or dimpled...:up:

BTW if you ARE tempted to do a trial track day on the stock brakes, make sure you get a high-performance pad. I always used Mintek C1144 (from RD Enterprises), an intermediate compound, but the R4s brakes work well also (at the expense of street effectiveness). Also, my brakes had a Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On (they should write a song about that :rolleyes: :D:D) until I had Cyrogenically treated rotors installed.


Other than that, and what Travis warned about, that brake kit seems nice, the vendor certainly has his act together!
:clap:
 

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Glutton For Punishment
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
These won't work for me as I have some custom stuff going on at the front hubs. I will need some rotors that mount to the stock location behind the hub, and not squeezed between the hub and the wheel.
 

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Still fingers crossed one day I will see some Lotus Esprit AP Racing or Brembo's on ebay or classifieds here.. :)
 

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I bought this same kit from another member here and it works just fine on my 1994 S4 with stock 17" wheels. If you do it, make sure you get instructions, kinda hard to figure out all the spacers, different bolt sizes and brackets.
 

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Glutton For Punishment
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I called the vendor. He states that the rotors bolt into the original rotor location, and the photo on ebay is a generic. He is looking to see if he has an actual photo or install instructions.

If the rotors do go to the stock rotor location, and not lay over the hub, then I will be good to go. Curious what this would do to my brake bias? Guessing these will require less pedal pressure for the same braking force, which means the rear brakes will in turn become under powered.

Regarding slotted / drilled / solid, I think solid is the only way to go. Slotted brakes make annoying sounds with a strange feel, and drilled rotors crack. This vendor offers solid rotors as an option.
 

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Glutton For Punishment
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I bought this same kit from another member here and it works just fine on my 1994 S4 with stock 17" wheels. If you do it, make sure you get instructions, kinda hard to figure out all the spacers, different bolt sizes and brackets.
Did they really sit over the hub and get sandwiched between the wheel and the hub, or bolt behind the hub like the original rotor?
 

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Glutton For Punishment
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here is the photo sent by the vendor for these brakes. Looks like they do mount in the standard location and not to the outside of the hub.
 

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Sorry guys but for me these look funny. I don't like it that the disc is so damn HUGE and the 4 piston caliper only covers the outer part of the disc. Now if the hat was larger making the rotor not so wide/thick it would look much nicer. Just me though...
 

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4 piston caliper on a 13" rotor behind a 17" volk GT-n wheel. Notice how the hat is larger and the rotor is smaller?:clap:
 

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BUT larger rotor with caliper outer equals greater clamping force by way of leverage..

Had a 300ZX Twin Turbo which I got a kit which used OEM calipers and bracket to allow larger rotors. Difference was amazing in increased stopping ability
 

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BUT larger rotor with caliper outer equals greater clamping force by way of leverage..

Had a 300ZX Twin Turbo which I got a kit which used OEM calipers and bracket to allow larger rotors. Difference was amazing in increased stopping ability
Couldn't agree with you more I am referring to the huge space between the hat the edge of the caliper. The set up I had on my S2k had a hat that was larger bringing it closer to the edge of the caliper. I guess function before fashion but man that would bug me everytime I look at it.
 

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Glutton For Punishment
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yeah, I agree the engineering could be better, lots of extra material and weight that is unnecessary, however when it comes to "vintage exotic" parts beggars can't be choosers, especially when trying to hit a price point. I just want something that will hold up for a track day, and give this car the stopping power that its deserves after the first couple of heavy braking zones. Sounds like this setup is my best bet. While not the most aesthetically pleasing, it sure is a good bit better than the tiny little stock rotors my car has.
 

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Besides possibly using a different pad you should also make sure the brake fluid has been replaced recently. It should be flushed and bled EVERY YEAR! Of course it will be done if you replace the calipers. By increasing the braking capacity up front you WILL unbalance the delicate bias designed in by Lotus. The only thing you can do is install a bias valve and adjust it by trial and error otherwise you run the risk of locking up the fronts before the rears. Not what you want especially going into a turn! Other preparations for a track day:
helmet
gloves
shoes
increase the tire pressures
torque the lug nuts
David Teitelbaum
 

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Besides possibly using a different pad you should also make sure the brake fluid has been replaced recently. It should be flushed and bled EVERY YEAR! Of course it will be done if you replace the calipers. By increasing the braking capacity up front you WILL unbalance the delicate bias designed in by Lotus. The only thing you can do is install a bias valve and adjust it by trial and error otherwise you run the risk of locking up the fronts before the rears. Not what you want especially going into a turn!
David Teitelbaum
I can't speak to the '88, nor the V8.
I do own a '95 Brembo version

But, for the '89 and on Toyota Bendix version I totally disagree with your statement.
The stock brakes are crap and are dangerous for the speed of the car. Can you learn to drive the car with the bad brakes...obviously, but they are still crap.

I put AP Racing brakes on my '89 (non ABS) from SJ up front and upgraded my rear pads. The difference was like night and day. Great control and modulation. No undesired lock ups, and the ability to stop the car fast.
I did go to stainless lines, but did not change the pro portioning valve.
In my opinion better than the ABS stock Brembros on the 95.

The only thing worse than the fronts locking up is the rear locking up!

I've driven a bunch of 4 cylinder Esprits and I would advise anyone with the stock Toyota brakes to do a proper upgrade.

Randy
 

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haha that pic is my car, I sent many to Daryl as we worked out the kit. I have more if needed. I did not like how far inboard the disc was with my 25mm wheel spacers so we worked out a better kit. also be aware that kit may require the steering tie rods to be shortened. we also developed a rear kit which I have installed. sadly, I only have about 40 miles on them, so cant say much. Randy posting above drove my car and commented that he liked them...
they certainly look better than the stockers and are unlikely to perform worse than stock
 

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The Wilwood calipers lack the extra little bits that most civilian calipers include, like anti-squeal shims and anti-rattle springs. They are prone to squealing, and they rattle like a hub cap full of rocks... it's not subtle.

Large brakes are a better heat sink, and are better at dissipating heat, which makes them better for sustained lapping at a track day or in motorsports. However, on the street, the brakes need to be effective the first time, every time. They need to heat up to operating temp quickly. Lotus designed a street car, and if you drive it most of the time on the street, the OEM brakes are more appropriate. However, at a track day, they're only good for a handful of laps back to back, and you need to give them a rest.

Big brakes and track pads aren't very impressive until you get some heat into them. The first application is far less impressive than the street brakes... like when the kid chases a ball out in front of you.

Regards,
Tim Engel
 
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