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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There's an interesting Wilwood brake kit on eBay:

Big Brake Kit Lotus Esprit 13" 4 Piston Wilwood Calipers | eBay

But I remember vaguely reading about some Wilwood kits - that there is a 'show' kit and a 'track' kit version? The show kit version supposedly had brackets that tended to flex under load - meant for the car show crowd that never really raced/tracked their cars, hence the lower cost.

Is this one of those kits? The brackets look somewhat weak to me.

Any of the Esprit track folks have an opinion on this one?

Thanks,
 

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I have those on the rear of my car and the 6 pistion on the front my brackets def look stronger and bigger than the ones in the link.
 

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I had both the 4 piston and the 6 piston on my S2k. The brackets for the 4 piston were smaller than the 6 piston but I saw no difference in performance when I tracked the car. To be honest, the 6 piston looked a lot better but neither had any brake fade nor did the size of the brackets make any difference. Had a huge hair drier in front of the engine to get a little more power so upgraded to the 6 piston but saw no difference other than price.

4 piston



When I went to the 6 piston had to change the wheels since the calipers were thicker.





 

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I don't have any knowledge/experience with the kit that you linked, but I did help a friend install a Claudius Wilwood kit on his 89SE

https://picasaweb.google.com/116113253735518541549/LotusWilwoodBrakes




There were several issues with them that I didn't like about the kit, but the owner is happy with them.

The kit that you linked actually has steel brackets rather than aluminum, which is good, because they tapped the brackets for the bolts that hold the bracket to the upright. If they had done that with aluminum, then I would run away....

Looks more than beefy enough IMO.

Just make sure they fit in your wheels! Also note that it looks like they switch the rotor mounting to the outside of the hub as on the later cars, so it will space your wheel out by that thickness of the rotor hat.
 

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Vulcan what issues did you have im running the same kit on my car?
The Claudius kit had these things IIRC.

1)rotors are bolted directly to the aluminum hats (aluminum tapped), they didn't use a bolt and bobbin like everybody else. Not the best idea since the rotor will grow at a different rate than the aluminum hat, and the bolts with begin to distort the bolt holes.




2)Caliper was originally lug mount, they sawed off the lugs and bolted through into an aluminum adapter plate. Bolting a steel bolt into tapped aluminum is not the best for thread retention. Sawing off the rounded lugs causes a higher stress point, rather than the nice rounded lug.




The front rotor hat is bolted to the back of the hub with each hole in the aluminum being sized for clearance for the bolt. The aluminum is soft and could be distorted but the hard steel bolts. Lotus (and I) used harder steel bushings pressed into the aluminum to spread the load of the bolts and prevent ovaling of the holes. Also IIRC the hat was not centered concentrically on the hub, it was only located by the 4 bolts, so radial run-out is an issue.

3)the parking caliper alignment was off so that really only the inside pad could push against the rotor, and the outer pad would never function.

out of travel already...
 

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Do you think there is a chance of the brackets cracking from the load?
 

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No I don't think it's that bad.

I wouldn't loosen and tighten the bolts in the aluminum a lot, because that could ruin the threads. But I would check them periodically and look for signs of cracking or wear around where all the bolts go into aluminum. Any vibration develops, then look into it!
 

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Got it thanks I dont track the car or put a ton of miles on it but I will check on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the input guys - learned alot about the brake design and tradeoffs for sure!

And thanks Travis for pointing out the hub impact on wheel offset. It's painful enough looking at wheel adapters and stuff for Esprit wheels and that tidbit can save some serious pain.
 

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I put a Wilwood 4 piston kit on the front of an M100 Elan that I owned. Great stuff, but way overkill for the performance of that car!
 

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I like the AP Racing brakes on the front of my '02 model (although I did have to find the right combination of rotors and pads to really stand up to regular track use, which I think is no fault of the caliper). The AP CP5200 calipers look like they are about 387 GBP apiece, and the other pieces like brackets and such would be stock stuff. Instead of pursuing something that kinda fits, have you considered just making your own AP Racing front brake "kit"?

Knut
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
[snip] Instead of pursuing something that kinda fits, have you considered just making your own AP Racing front brake "kit"?
[snip]
Actually, this kit 'fits' in the sense that it's an upgrade - you still have to get new wheels (and that 'fit' is a whole other pursuit). None of the brake upgrades will be 100% drop in fit (except maybe that Hi-Spec kit that works with 15" wheels).

The appeal is that 90% of the work is done - it fits and is compatible with Esprit.

I'm not a track person, but looking at picking up an easy upgrade while replacing my 25 year old Toyota front brake hardware.

I'm already looking at wheels, so I'm thinking may as well look at brakes (Shipwright's disease).
 

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Hi, I've noticed these kits have had the price reduced and I've been reading through the blogs for opinions on them. I see you did this job a few years back and was wondering if you had any relevant info to add after time has gone by?
Very much appreciated.
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
No - I never did the brake up grade. I still had the original Toyota brakes until the late 88 Esprit's untimely demise.

Note that it was pointed out this kit (still available on eBay) changes the offset of the hub mounting so take that into account.
 

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I've had mine on for quite a few years and nothing bad to say. 330mm is a good sized disc, a little heavy as it's one piece but Wilwood offers many options when it comes to rotors and hats when replacement eventually comes around.
Pretty much can't beat the price.
 

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Just a thought on this kit-
I think it uses the Superlite caliper, which is not listed as having dust boots on the pistons. Probably not an issue on most pampered Esprit's, but I worry about piston bore corrosion from dust/salt/debris on a car that's used more often.

I can confirm the front Hi-Specs are an easy bolt-on to a G-car under stock wheels.
 

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Big brake kits revisited...

Saturday,

I want to upgrade my '90 Esprit SE brakes (eventually) from the Celica calipers & rotors to better, four piston brakes. I don't drive the car in any capacity that would be considered extreme (i.e. tracked). However, I do not want nor plan to change from the OEM 15 inch OZ Ruote rims I currently have.

If anyone has successfully fitted a "big brake" kit on the '90 Esprit SE OEM OZ wheels please reply with comments/experiences. Happy motoring everyone!
 

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If anyone has successfully fitted a "big brake" kit on the '90 Esprit SE OEM OZ wheels please reply with comments/experiences. Happy motoring everyone!
I too would be interested in this same information.
 
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