TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

DIY...Big Brake Kit for Under 2k

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Lukez, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. Lukez

    Lukez Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2016
    Messages:
    415
    Location:
    Ontario
    This is for information only in case others are interested in a project, I'd be happy to answer any questions.

    Disclaimer 1: I have a classic MS with a separate parking brake in the rear, the new rear calipers have an integrated parking brake. If this is your case, you can just do the front calipers and paint your rears to match. Skip everything I say about the rear calipers :)

    Disclaimer 2: This will void your warranty on the brake parts you're replacing, just like installing a big brake kit would. Thankfully the parts below are much cheaper than anything else you can get.

    Disclaimer 3: I had help from someone that has done this multiple times already. I had confidence in knowing we were being safe. I am not responsible for any damage or harm you may cause to your car or yourself. Do at your own risk, I am not liable for it!

    The summary if you don't feel like reading everything…

    Like most of the parts on our car, the calipers are the same design as a different OEM.
    1. They are high volume off the shelf parts so the price is cheaper and they also bolt on directly to Teslas.
    2. There is no easy solution for 370mm 2 piece rotors, I created my own hats for off the shelf brembo rotors.
    3. This requires drilling but is reversible if necessary.
    4. Install is easy once you have all the parts ready to go, you can have a local mechanic do it for you if you are not handy for a few hours of labor.

    The full story…

    A friend of mine owns a CTS-V and a Pontiac G8 and noticed that our Tesla calipers looked really similar.

    His eye was right, the Tesla calipers are near identical to the 2004-2007 CTS-V calipers. Only difference is they are two pieces, halves are bolted together (GM is one casting) and the rear calipers cross over tube is flipped (easy to unscrew and swap sides to make sure the bleeders are at the top).

    So if you need new piston seals or new calipers or even want to custom powder coat stock calipers, you can get these new ones for a direct swap for around $800 (calipers, pads, pins) instead of paying Tesla prices. They are direct bolt on, no modifications of any type needed. Just paint to your desired color. Like these: 2004-07 Cadillac CTS-V 4 Piston Brembo Front & Rear Calipers w Brake pads & pins | eBay


    So what does this have to do with a big brake kit for Tesla…

    In the 2004 gen CTS-V and 2009 G8 community, changing the front calipers to the 2009-12 6 piston CTS-V is a very popular mod, and since our Tesla’s share the same parts I took on the challenge to do the same as the CTS-V and G8 owners. Google CTS-V 6 piston caliper mod and you will get a ton of results on the GM forums with lots of details for this mod. I will put those details here with additions needed to fit our Tesla.

    The hard part…

    There is a hard part about this mod :( It’s the rotors. The 6 piston calipers use a 370mm rotor. Our stock rotors are 355mm. Our rotor height is much different than the GM ones. You can’t use GM rotors (kind of…read on). If you kept our 355mm rotors and just bolted on the 6 piston calipers than there would be a (370-355)/2 = 7.5mm pad stick out. Not the end of the world and you probably could drive on it like this but I didn’t like that solution.

    My quest to find Tesla aftermarket 370mm rotors reached a lot of dead ends. There is a lot of big brake kits for Tesla that have 370mm rotors but not sold individually. The closest I have found is Girodisc would make them for me but they wanted a 10 order minimum and wanted $1000 for the pair of rotors.

    I ended purchasing the 2 piece Brembo rotors that go with the 6 Piston calipers, removed the OEM hats, made my own hats and bolted them on to the rotor ring. The hats I made have the same mounting as the OEM, only difference was the height and some custom looks!

    What you need…

    Parts List:

    Front 6 piston calipers (required, $757 on ebay): GM Part #20982734 & 20982719 (if you’re going to paint them a different color than yellow, get the silver ones instead, they are cheaper!)

    Rear 4 piston calipers (not required, just paint your rear calipers on your car to match, but I wanted everything new. If I was doing it again I would do just the fronts and paint my rear ones to save some money for the same result): GM Part 20982644 20982647

    I purchased both sets from ZZperformance ($1257): New Cadillac CTS-V 6 Piston Yellow Brembo Calipers Front & Rear w/pads pins ZL1 | eBay

    New front caliper mounting bolts (required, $15 on Ebay): Brembo 6 Piston Front Caliper Brake Mounting Bolts x 4 CTS-V Camaro ZL1 ZR1 Z06 | eBay

    Caliper Paint to match the yellow calipers ($20, closest match I could find is Porche Speed Yellow, paint code: L12G)
    Get caliper paint if you want a different color, such as red. The G2 paint is awesome. http://a.co/d/gj9SbXt

    Caliper clear (VHT gloss $14): http://a.co/d/dlkBppa

    Tesla Decals for calipers ($12, I made my own decal size and lettering and sent them to this guy to have printed, my decal template is available upon request): 12pc Tesla Brake Hi Temp Caliper Vinyl Decal Sticker (Any Color) | eBay

    Stainless braided brake lines (required, $150 from @EVTuning solutions, the square block on the OEM lines doesn’t fit properly)

    MISC:
    CRC Disc Brake Quiet ($6, http://a.co/d/3ES6417)
    Wet sand paper
    9/16” drill bit (for the knuckle, the bolts for the 6 piston calipers are bigger, there is no avoiding this. It’s not as scary as it sounds, it’s very easy to drill these holes and you can’t mess it up, the drill bit centers itself in the hole. If you want to go back to OEM calipers you would just need to put in a sleeve/bushing to make the hole smaller again. This is also required on the G8 and CTS-V mods, hundreds of these mods have been done without any structural integrity issues. Not much of the material is taken off the knuckle) http://a.co/d/iLHwKJP

    My Solution for the Rotors:

    Ac Delco 2 piece brembo rotors part number (I paid $516 for both on Amazon, they occasionally have AC Delco coupons for 20% off, keep an eye on it): 177-1145, 177-1146

    Custom made rotor hats, machined from 6061T Aluminum and black anodized like OEM and other aftermarket suppliers do ($350 from a local machine shop). You could do an online thing as a group buy also.


    I also purchased slotted rear rotors from R1 Concepts, Geomet series (not required, $252). @EVTuning has these as well.



    Total parts for new front setup and painting existing rear calipers: $1834

    Total parts for a complete new system as described (Above $1834 plus new rear calipers and rotors): $2586




    What do I do with all these parts…

    This project took me about a year to do! There was a lot of measuring and remeasuring, test fitting, 3D printed parts, and more measuring. I didn’t want to screw up the rotor hats! In the end I made a slight error but I was able to work around it. The error was in my 5x120 hole spacing for the hat. It wasn't quite right and I had to drill out some material to get it on the hub studs. But the rotor sits dead center in the caliper, which was my biggest concern.


    Before you do anything, flip the rear tubes so you don’t forget with 10mm and 11mm wrench…

    upload_2018-9-2_10-28-2.png upload_2018-9-2_10-28-12.png

    Using wet sand paper, sand off the V logo and tape for painting (the rear calipers dont have a good line to tape to so there will be a bit of a line but you can't see it once they are mounted on the car, the fronts tape up nicely…

    upload_2018-9-2_10-28-40.png upload_2018-9-2_10-30-13.png

    Paint doing multiple light coats, the lighter the better, enough coats to cover everything. Take your time and do multiple light coats, can't stress this enough…
    upload_2018-9-2_10-31-5.png upload_2018-9-2_10-31-11.png

    Apply the Decals…
    upload_2018-9-2_10-32-11.png
    upload_2018-9-2_10-33-10.png

    Clear coat, again light coats with a light medium coat at the end. If you put on too much you will ruin it, the paint looks all cracked and you will need to redo it like I did, learn from me and take it slow with light coats…
    upload_2018-9-2_10-34-23.png

    I let everything sit for a few days, then I turned the oven on to 200 degrees and turned it off when it hit temperature. I put the calipers in the oven and let them sit for an hour (I think? Follow the clear coat caliper paint instructions). This cures the paint, and didn't ruin any seals.
    I also applied multiple coats of Nu-Finish in hopes to make them easy to clean later. So far it has worked out great, easy wipe down. I might try ceramic coating at some point.
    upload_2018-9-2_10-37-48.png

    Continued below...
     
    • Informative x 4
    • Love x 2
    • Like x 1
  2. Lukez

    Lukez Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2016
    Messages:
    415
    Location:
    Ontario
    #2 Lukez, Sep 2, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
    Now that the calipers are ready, on to the rotors. Remove the hat from the ring and bolt on the custom hat (not sure I want to share my design as I don’t want any liability issues, I’d probably share the critical dimensions though as it took me a long time to make sure they are right. PM me if you are interested in doing this and we can discuss)

    GM rotor with GM hat with bolt removed:
    upload_2018-9-2_10-43-20.png

    New hat vs old hat (yes I had the tesla logo engraved!), notice the hat height difference!

    upload_2018-9-2_10-43-51.png
    New hat
    upload_2018-9-2_10-44-6.png
    GM hat
    upload_2018-9-2_10-44-14.png

    New hat mounted (Since I was using a local machine shop I also got slots put into the OEM ring to match the new rear rotors!):
    upload_2018-9-2_10-46-48.png

    I painted the rear hat black to match the front:

    upload_2018-9-2_10-47-11.png

    On to the Install...
    The dust shield is in the way of the new huge calipers, lets trim it a little!
    upload_2018-9-2_10-47-53.png upload_2018-9-2_10-48-9.png

    Drill out the knuckle with 9/16” bit. Before and after photos:

    Before: upload_2018-9-2_10-48-36.png upload_2018-9-2_10-48-50.png
     
    • Informative x 3
  3. Lukez

    Lukez Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2016
    Messages:
    415
    Location:
    Ontario
    #3 Lukez, Sep 2, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
    After with the new bolt in:
    upload_2018-9-2_10-50-0.png

    Change out brake line (no photos here, I didn’t realize I would need new brake lines until during the install. I had to modify the OEM block style banjo fitting, order new lines and install them afterwards. I had it done at a local mechanics (not Tesla Service). All they need is a pressure bleeder and it should be a pretty easy job for them to do. 2 hours labor is all it took. I gave them the bleed procedure from the Tesla Service Manual. I used the stainless braided lines that @EVTuning sells and they are perfect for this mod. I had the rear lines changed out as well (part of the 2 hours install).

    Use Disc Brake Quiet when installing the pads to the calipers. I found that the pads rattle over big bumps without it.

    Rotor and caliper mounted:
    upload_2018-9-2_10-52-4.png

    upload_2018-9-2_10-52-16.png

    upload_2018-9-2_10-52-23.png

    Bleed the brake system according to the Tesla service manual. It has a different procedure than you’d think!

    Final product:

    upload_2018-9-2_10-52-59.png
    upload_2018-9-2_10-53-4.png
    upload_2018-9-2_10-53-11.png


    I've been driving on these for about two months now. At first without the disc brake quiet the rattling was unsettling. After I put that on the rattling went away (the pads in the front are big and rattle over big bumps on the caliper pins).

    The stopping power is unreal. Could be a combination of new pads, rotors, lines and fluid but I'm loving it. Not sure if anyone else had issues when the rotors are wet and having 0 braking ability, but that is no longer an issue for me. Everything feels solid and I know I can stop on a dime in any condition.
    I think the slots help clean up the pads since we don't use our brakes often and they don't produce much dust.

    As for weight, the calipers net out to weigh the same as the stock ones (front ones are a few ounces heavier but rears are a few lighter).
    The front rotors are about 2.5 pounds lighter than OEM, the rears are about the same.

    I mainly did this for the challenge, as well as looks. I'm totally happy with it!
     
    • Like x 8
    • Love x 2
    • Informative x 1
  4. Lukez

    Lukez Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2016
    Messages:
    415
    Location:
    Ontario
    #4 Lukez, Sep 2, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
    In case anyone is doing more research, these are the drawings for the rotors.

    GM 370mm Rotor:
    [​IMG]

    Tesla OEM 355mm Rotor:
    [​IMG]
     
    • Informative x 2
  5. BigCity

    BigCity Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2015
    Messages:
    223
    Location:
    Avon, IN
    Well done, way out of my skill set, but the final product looks outstanding. I am about to replace my stock calipers with new ones I had powder coated, any tips on swapping them and bleeding the brakes for the first time? Saw you mentioned something about the bleed pressure above?
     
  6. Lukez

    Lukez Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2016
    Messages:
    415
    Location:
    Ontario
    The actual procedure is too long to post, I suggest to get your hands on the service manual available for download here on the forums, it has the proper bleed procedure.

    But the short version is front left first, then front right, rear right, rear left with a pressure bleeder at 30 psi. Outboard then inboard then outboard nipples.
    Then redo the bleeding using the standard pedal method, inboard nipple first, then outboard, in the same caliper order as above.

    But when I did the bleeding during the install I just did gravity bleeding instead of using a pressure bleeder then pumping the brakes like on any other car, in the order that tesla recommends above and had no issues.
    When the shop install the lines for me they used a pressure bleeder.

    Good luck!
     
    • Informative x 1
  7. KevinY

    KevinY Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2017
    Messages:
    79
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Racing Brake makes a 380mm rotor. But looking at your photos doesn't look like there is enough clearance for an additional 5mm between the rotor and brake caliper. What do you think?
     
  8. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 Porsche 918 Hybrid

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    Messages:
    5,555
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    Nice work! :cool:
     
  9. Lukez

    Lukez Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2016
    Messages:
    415
    Location:
    Ontario
    I didnt measure the clearance but I think there is only a couple mils. I think 380 would be too big but I'll measure it next time the wheels are off.
     
  10. Lukez

    Lukez Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2016
    Messages:
    415
    Location:
    Ontario
    Also forgot to mention that these clear the 19" wheels as well, I did a test fit. I think most of the GM guys ride on 18" wheels.
     
  11. KevinY

    KevinY Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2017
    Messages:
    79
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Since you made custom hats, were the hat offsets identical to factory?
    Or did the hat offset need to be modified so the rotor is properly centered in the caliper?
     
  12. Lukez

    Lukez Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2016
    Messages:
    415
    Location:
    Ontario
    There was an additional 1mm offset and that 1mm is the reason why I had to remeasure a thousand times, it just wasn't adding up, but it's there.
     
  13. KevinY

    KevinY Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2017
    Messages:
    79
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Model S & X
    Look what racing brake just came out with.
     
  14. Lukez

    Lukez Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2016
    Messages:
    415
    Location:
    Ontario
    Nice, I'm glad someone stepped up to the plate. This is now an easy modification but still more expensive than my solution. Would be just over 2k!
     
  15. Yinn

    Yinn Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1,578
    Location:
    Behind you
    What was the offset? Looks like it should be 39.7mm based on the tech specs.

    For those of us who aren’t as extreme, I wonder if Wilwood Disc Brakes - Rotor Hats (If it fits) plus a rotor would at least be a mid way upgrade.
     
  16. Lukez

    Lukez Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2016
    Messages:
    415
    Location:
    Ontario
    I'll have to check my CAD but I think it's 1mm less than the specs because the new rotor rings are 34mm vs 32mm. I can't remember if they offset the rotor or caliper to account for this extra 1mm but I think it was in the caliper (centerline from mounting surface is different by 1mm between the 4 piston and 6 piston calipers *I think*)
     
  17. Lukez

    Lukez Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2016
    Messages:
    415
    Location:
    Ontario
    Here is what I had mine made to.
    26.3mm from mating surface of hat to mating surface of hub. The grommet between the ring and the hat is 1mm thick (going by memory) so 27.3mm from hub surface to rotor ring surface.
    34.6mm hat height.

    upload_2018-9-12_17-5-37.png
    upload_2018-9-12_17-7-45.png
     
    • Informative x 1
  18. Lasttoy

    Lasttoy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2017
    Messages:
    997
    Location:
    St Augustine, Fl
    I asked my NAPA guy about replacement front pads. He looked in his computer and said Z06 pads were same part number.
    I still have almost half pad left, but am thiinking of change.
    Great post above.
     
  19. Lukez

    Lukez Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2016
    Messages:
    415
    Location:
    Ontario
    Ya these calipers have been cross shared in a lot of GM vehicles, but for some reason the CTS-V calipers themselves are cheaper than the other vehicles, even though they are physically the same part, different paint.
     
  20. Ludalicious

    Ludalicious Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2018
    Messages:
    603
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Nice work. Next time please paint calipers and rotors on the vehicle to give it the Tesla authentic look
     
    • Love x 1

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


    SUPPORT TMC