Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Set Up Part 3: Braking in the S2000

Consistent and good braking power is of critical importance at the track as it allows you to carry as much speed as possible from the straight, helps you to turn in certain corners, allows you to dictate position when challenging for a corner and helps you allow the car to take a set before the corner entry to be as stable as possible. An optimum combination of pads, fluids, brake lines and discs used in consideration of the conditions the brake system, as a whole, will be exposed to will be necessary to achieve the desired braking. The stock brake system on the S2000 has pads & fluids which are not equipped to take the stress of track racing while the rotors may crack frequently if heat management modifications are not undertaken.

I decided to modify the stock brake system to suit my track use as opposed to replace it with an aftermarket big brake kit due to the massive cost that a brake system would entail which would be in excess of 5500 SGD just for the front set. The other 2 reasons why I chose to stay with the OEM stock caliper setup would be that most aftermarket brake kits only sell brake kits for the front whilst those that sell kits for the rear are either extremely expensive (exceeding 1500 SGD) or sell a kit that deletes the hand brake mechanism & the fact that staying with the OEM calipers allows me to keep the stock brake balance thereby removing an additional variable in troubleshooting brake related issues.

I opted to use quality brake fluid by Motul, currently RBF660, which has high fade resistance together with braided steel brake lines on slotted OEM discs. This setup combined with Ferodo Racing DS2500 brake pads, has proven relatively reliable when coupled with the grip of the stock suspension and Federal 595SS budget tyres while being able to deliver approximately 1G of straight line braking on both of the long braking zone of my local circuit. These results were with the addition of a brake ducting system, as previously discussed here, which helped stave away fluid fade in most part. The choice of the brake pad did give me rather low, although easy to modulate, bite especially when track temps were high although pad fade/degradation would eventually rear its ugly head. 

With recent upgrades to a track focused coilover, high downforce aerodynamics, higher speeds capable on the straights due to an increase in the power of my car and much gripper performance tyres, I have decided to look for high performance pads which are able to give high consistent bite throughout the heat range. I had used Seido-ya N1 500 pads but the compound was extremely heavy on disc wear which is not comparable performance when considering the advances in ceramic brake pad technology which can give good pad/disc wear, flat torque and high bite throughout the heat range. 

Options considered were the Pagid RS19 and Ferodo DS 1.11 as there was a possibility to get these in both front and rear sets as opposed to most major brands which only sell performance pads for the fronts. Having the same front and rear compound is important in my view when your car is of a 50-50 weight balance much like the S2000 so you can maximize the braking potential at both ends of the car. This will help bring out one of the comparative advantages that the S2000 commands in terms of braking.


  1. Hi Nelson, I've read through all your articles on this blog and I feel your definitely in the right direction in terms of your s2k build, and you've thought it out well to work on function and ensure everything works the way u want it too. I may not be a pro driver but I do try to read when I can and my vision is to build a car with great handling whilst adding parts that actually make a positive change to the car that suits my own driving style. Keep up the work and I shall be visiting here to get more tips from you. I also enjoy driving my ap1 s2000 :) maybe one day I can see your s2k in person.


    P.s maybe your next post could be on the topic of your non-staggered wheel and tire setup and how it differs from a standard setup and the pros and cons.

  2. Hi Aaran, thanks for your comment. It's Norman here by the way :) Would be great to meet up either in Malaysia or if you drop by Singapore.

    My next post will be on suspension & handling and will touch on how a non staggered setup alters overall balance. Will elaborate in more detail for your sake.

    Hope you enjoyed all my articles and do refer any folks driving AP1/AP2 to drop by for a read or leave their comments.