Been to a few track days, cycled through different pads and still not stopping down the main straight like you should? Either she goes on a diet and loses her interior, audio equipment, sound deadening and extra bolts/nuts/cabling OR you could just buy her a birthday present. Hmmmmmmmm I think Brembo brakes are the perfect present!
There are actually a few big brake upgrade options for the R33 GTS/-t/4 depending on your budget. Ranging from the simple but overpriced set from a R33/34 GT-R (noting that R34 GT-R requires enlarging to 14mm holes on the spindle) to an off the shelf #yolomode Alcon kit to an Alpha Omega Racing’s Evolution Brembo kit OR to what I simply did and just buy a set of Brembo brakes off a 350Z Track Edition! Yes you heard right, 350Z Brembo brakes fit and they fit very well indeed!
So certain forums say it can’t be done, whilst others say it can be done and at the end of the day that’s all hearsay. I’ve actually made them fit without too much fuss, so if you’re still reading I’m sure you’re needing some lush, golden goodness on your floating barge cough R33 Skyline too.
Another bonus, these brake upgrade also suits S13 / S14 / S15 Silvias!(Left) 296mm OEM Sumitomo vs (Right) 324mm 350Z Brembo
- Jack & Jack Stands
- 10mm & 14mm Flare Nut Spanner
- 12mm & 19mm Socket
- Torque wrench
- Angle Grinder with Flap Disc
- Drill with 14mm Drill Bit
- 350Z Front Brembo Calipers from Track Edition
- 350Z Front Brembo Rotors (324mm x 30mm)
- 350Z Compatible Brakes Pads, we recommend Intima SR or Type-D Pads located in our shop [Click Here!]
- 4x R34 GT-t Caliper Bolts (M14x1.5) & Washers (350Z ones are too long also the shoulder is too long, R33 ones are too small being M12x1.25)
- Braided Brake Lines (Optional, but Recommended, original brake lines can be used)
Duration: 2 to 3 Hours
Difficulty: Low to Medium
Profanity Level: Low (High if you’ve realised the R33 bolts don’t work and you didn’t buy the R34 bolts)
Jack up the front of your floating barge cough I mean car and secure them on jack stands. If you have an electric or air impact wrench then remove your front wheels and place them under your car for added safety. If you don’t have an impact wrench, then I should mention that there’s a Step 0 and that’s to crack your wheel nuts before you jack up your car.
To ease neck cramping and spasms, I suggest you turn your steering wheel full lock to the side you’re upgrading first. If you’re upgrading the right brake caliper then full lock to the right! Now unclip the brake lines, then proceed to remove that bracket held in by 2x 12mm bolts.
Time to get serious, remove the 2x 19mm bolts holding the caliper to the upright aka spindle. Once removed you may be required to push back the pads a little in order to move the caliper off. Once off, rest caliper with brake lines on a secure spot being either the lower control arm or a milk crate or a random bucket.
Yes the point of no return, if you decided to chicken out on the brake upgrade STOP NOW! If you’re destined for Brembo brakes, keep reading. Whip out that drill and that 14mm drill bit and go to town, I mean enlarge the existing 12mm bolt holes with finesse using plenty of lubricants or cutting fluid. Because the trak-life.com garage is so well equipped, I used WD40. Try not to make the hole any bigger than it needs to be, if you’re not confident in doing this I suggest remove the entire spindle then using a drill press.
Yes the point of no return of the point of no return, because the rotors are larger this also means the dust shield or fry pan at the back will interfere with the 324mm rotor. Most people opt to delete this entire shield, but I decided there’s a purpose to this so decided to trim off the lip. Using a flap disc on your favourite angle grinder, proceed to trim off the fold and create a flush surface, test fitting the rotor at this point will ensure nothing is touching.
Fit your braided lines and secure to your 350Z Brembo caliper to make your life easier
Clean your wheel hub, then slide on your 350Z Brembo rotor and attach a wheel nut to hold it in place. Then, install your 350Z Brembo caliper using the 2x R34 GT-t brake bolts (M14x.1.25) with a 19mm socket, noting the correct caliper side has the bleed nipples pointing upwards. Torque it to about 120nm using your favourite torque wrench, I have chosen a slightly higher torque setting, most recommend 100nm however using bigger M14 bolts it doesn’t hurt to go a little more.
Time to crack off your old brake lines from the body using your 10mm flare nut spanner and quickly attach the new brake line. Ensure it is firmly in place.
Install the brake line bracket using a 12mm socket and clip on the new brake line to the bracket
Install brake pads of choice (Brembo brake pad install article coming soon!)
Repeat on other side
Using a 11mm spanner, bleed the front brakes, make sure you bleed them very well. Being Brembo brakes, you will need to bleed both sides of the caliper (yes there are 2x bleed nipples). I also suggest bleeding the ABS pump as well if you’ve lost heaps of brake fluid from fumbling around with the brake lines. Top up your reservoir as needed.
Fit on your wheels, admire your new upgrade calipers and rotors then lower your car off the jack stands.
Go for a gentle drive and bed in your brakes according to the bed-in procedures for your brake pads of choice.
Hooray! Brembo life is upon you! Hope you’ve found this guide easy to follow and I hope your floating barge now is able to stop sufficiently on the race track without you falling into the sand trap each time. I forgot to mention, when you stop at the lights and the guy next to you has those Brembo caliper fascias stuck on his calipers you can thank yourself you’ve done the right thing by going real Brembo calipers and that your not supporting that junk that has the potential to fall off, jam into the wheel and cause an accident.
You now, are an ambassador for real brakes and real stopping power!