Is Bigger Always Better? Talking Big Brake Upgrades With Wilwood Brakes

Big Brake Upgrade

Speedway Motors Brings Expert Insights on Big Brake Upgrades

In a recent video from Speedway Motors, Mark Houlahan and Mike Hamrick from Wilwood Disc Brakes discussed the intricacies of brake calipers and pads, specifically focusing on the question of whether bigger is always better in the realm of brake upgrades.

Common Wilwood Calipers Questions (00:00)

The discussion begins with Mark posing common questions about caliper pistons and brake pads to Mike. Customers often inquire about increasing their braking capacity, prompting questions about the number of pistons needed, the appropriate size for brake pads, and the ideal brake pad material.

Upgraded Brakes | Why Bigger Isn’t Always Better? (00:42)

Mike emphasizes that bigger doesn’t always equate to better when it comes to brake upgrades. While some enthusiasts seek larger brake packages, it’s essential to consider the specific needs of the vehicle, the type of driving, and, significantly, the wheel size. A larger brake package may not be the optimal choice for every application.

How Wilwood Brake Calipers Work (01:13)

The discussion delves into the functionality of Wilwood brake calipers. Mike uses a four-piston caliper as an example, illustrating how the square area of the pistons determines the clamping force. Interestingly, a larger caliper with more pistons may not necessarily have more clamping force than a smaller one, highlighting the importance of understanding the application and wheel size.

Big Brake Upgrade: How to Choose the Right Wilwood Caliper (02:06)

The conversation concludes with insights into choosing the right Wilwood caliper for a big brake upgrade. The decision depends on factors such as wheel size and the intended use of the vehicle. A smaller caliper with increased clamping force may be suitable for a street car with a smaller diameter rotor, while a larger caliper with more torque may be preferable for a pro touring car with a larger rotor.

In summary, the key takeaway from the discussion is that the size of the brake package should align with the specific needs of the vehicle, emphasizing the significance of considering wheel size and the type of driving the vehicle will undergo.