Time to update this thread. Its going to be long so apologies.
In January I decided I was going to do it, just had to decide which kit. It appeared all kits had some poor feedback other than the Caterham AP kit which looked the dogs but it was very expensive, needed a new master cylinder and everything was out of stock. After much thought I eventually ordered the Wilwood kit from a well know seller of such kits. All parts in stock and it arrived the day after ordering, excellent so far. Opened the box, calipers as expected, brackets very disappointing (in 3 pieces and not substantial looking) but the worst part was the discs had been drilled in a location on a chamfer that resulted in the bolt heads not having a flat area to seat on (they also had 7 redundant holes). Never seen like that on any "safety critical" mechanical part before, all bolt heads have always had a flat seat to tighten down onto. Contacted them but they basically said that is what they supply and it should be fine, told them I would be returning the kit.
So back to where I was the previous week. Considering my experiences before Christmas with Hi-Spec not returning calls I did some more research and the general advice was not to buy direct but to buy from a local supplier who could sort out any issues. I found one about 20 miles away, never heard of them but they were not interested unless your name was Barry and you drove a Saxo or Scooby. Found a site on the internet offering Caterham Ultralite kits, one small catch, the price, they wanted £650 for the exact same kit that Hi-Spec sold for £529 (inc. carriage). Don't mind paying a bit extra for local service but £120 is having a laugh, they were not local either plus again I had never heard of them. On the Hi-Spec web site by substituting economy calipers, plain discs and standard pads into the kit the price dropped to just over £360 which looked quite a bargain.
So despite their earlier failure to return calls I decided I would risk it and buy direct from Hi-Spec. Called them and spoke to a chap called Alex, very helpful. Asked about the Billet 4 calipers as used by Eugene in an earlier post, I liked the fact they had dust seals and a much bigger pad area than the Ultralites, Alex worked me out a price, about £530 delivered (economy calipers with 34mm pistons, 260mm plain discs, brackets, hoses, EBC pads and bolts). I was a little concerned about clearance on my 13" wheels (not used them for 12 years so not a major issue) and he e-mailed me a template for checking, they just (and I mean just) cleared. As I said its not an issue since I use 14" wheels but its nice to know that they would fit if I ever decided to use them again.
So I ordered the kit and waited.
Took just over the 4 weeks originally quoted and arrived in a very well packed box. Everything looked nice and solid, the brackets were in a different league to the ones with the Wilwood kit, big and meaty, the calipers were superbly finished even though they were the economy versions (only difference is the fact they are not polished before anodising) and the discs were correctly drilled on a set of blanks (no redundant holes), very happy. Unfortunately the hoses had a metric fitting and not the UNF ordered (it said UNF on the order and packet) and the bracket mounting bolts were too short. Spoke to Alex the next day, apologised and got the correct hoses and bolts sent out the same day with a next day courier.
Fitting was strait forward with no issues. The 13" wheels just cleared as per the template (but the brackets can be machined about 2mm which will then give plenty of clearance – a job for next winter). Just had to Dremmel a bit of rough casting from the back of one of the vertical links where the bracket mounted
Been out a couple of times now and I am very happy. The pedal has a great feel, not wooden but not soft. The stopping power even on the bog standard EBC pads is superb, expect it will improve slightly as they finally bed in but even now its a big improvement over the standard calipers which were fitted with expensive Ferrodo DS2500 pads (the best I have used). I have also fitted new EBC rear pads on the original discs and I expect these will take a little longer to bed in than the fronts
Two more things before I finish. The first I discovered was the lack of local stockists for UNF bolts. Years ago we had several good companies who carried a huge variety of metric and imperial fasteners, the staff was knowledgeable and helpful. Whilst doing the upgrade I decided to use new bolts for the discs and these were not supplied, no panic, just drive 2 miles to the nearest. Answer was simple from a spotty 17 year old, sorry mate, only do metric, they should fit, nearly the same. Left it at that. Same answer from the next place. Eventually found a supplier who just happened to have exactly what I wanted but even the helpful knowledgeable chap on the counter admitted they did very little imperial these days.
The second thing is the hub rear oil seals. Ordered a set from a well known supplier of all bits Triumph. Came quick but what a load of tat. Nothing like the originals, much smaller, no way they would fit correctly and one was torn and crushed. Spoke to them and they assured me they were OK but I sent them back for a refund. Bought a set from E-Bay, exactly the same as the originals and ½ the price of the previous tat. Bought another 2 sets the next day, the last he had.