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Big Front Brakes

 
 
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Author Caterham Zetec
Driving through town
#1 | Posted: 26 Oct 2013 17:56 
Have owned my car now for 21 years and as the years have progressed and brakes have improved on my everyday road cars the brakes on the Caterham brakes appear to have got left slightly behind the times. I am not saying the brakes are bad but 20 years ago compared to my Golf GTi they were excellent, now compared to my Seat Leon or the wifes Kia Ceed they are OK at best. Over the years I have tried several types of different pad material in the front, Ferodo DS2000 was great but when they required replacing due to a leaking hub seal I used the much acclaimed Mintex 1144, I found it to be total pants. Noisy, dirty and lacking in bite I changed back to Ferodo but this time DS2500 which was a great improvement, cannot say for definite if its better than DS2000 but its quiet and the rims stay dust free.

Winter is nearly upon us and the time for upgrades arrives. Looking at a new set of calipers and wondering what the collectives view is of the options. The Caterham AP kit is undoubtedly very tasty but so is the price. James Whitings much acclaimed Alcon kit appears to have bit the dust for some reason. That leaves HiSpec and Willwood. Both kits appear to be similarly priced but looking on various forums there appears to be as many dissatisfied users as satisfied ones.

So over to you lot, what is your opinions.

Or should I just keep pressing hard.

Author Rob Knox
In garage
#2 | Posted: 26 Oct 2013 18:33 
Rally Design in Whitstable are very competitive on price for Willwood.
I have a Alcon kit on mine very pleased with them.
Caterham Superlight # 12, Caterham R300 SV,Ginetta G15,Spaceframe Stiletto.

Author Eugene

Heading South
Male
#3 | Posted: 27 Oct 2013 16:47 
I Use HiSpec 4-pots, with dust covers (many 4 pots don't have them, and they really are needed for road use).

I also use Mintex1144 pads, and you may want to try them first, as the difference they make is huge
Eugene
Le Presidente

Author Caterham Zetec
Driving through town
#4 | Posted: 27 Oct 2013 18:17 
Thanks for the info, I presume you have to ask for the dust covers to be fitted.

Eugene:
I also use Mintex1144 pads, and you may want to try them first, as the difference they make is huge

As I said in the original message I tried Mintex 1144 and found them to be terrible despite all the excellent ratings from others. Not a patch on Ferodo DS2000 (no longer available) and DS2500.

Author TobyCoulson

On country roads
#5 | Posted: 27 Oct 2013 18:22 
I've got hi spec four pot brakes with Mintex 1144 pads and the braking is greatly improved in all departments.
Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Author sequential 7
Planning a blat
#6 | Posted: 2 Nov 2013 07:57 
Have Hi Spec 280MM solid discs and four pot callipers on the front, and Hi Spec two pot "handbrake" callipers over the vented disc from the Caterham front "big brake" kit on the rears.

Braking is phenomenal, and the larger diameter front discs provide a lot more control over it than smaller discs. Front callipers do not have dust seals and have had no problems with that since fitting them in about 1999.

Pads are Mintex 1144 all around.

I would add that I have had truly excellent service from Hi Spec. over the years. On one occasion they stayed open until 7PM on a Friday night, so that I could collect some new discs.
Mud

Author chelspeed
Planning a blat
#7 | Posted: 3 Nov 2013 00:38 
Got AP. Would try Alcon if they were available.

Wouldn't even think of fitting hi spec or willwood. Their calipers are too flimsy, you can see them flexing when you press the pedal. A flexing caliper means less clamping pressure on the pads hence less braking and rubbish pedal feel.

Author Eugene

Heading South
Male
#8 | Posted: 3 Nov 2013 09:33 
There is zero flexing on the HiSpec calipers I have - and great pedal feel...
But, there is more than one size of caliper, and I have the large ones!

Eugene
Le Presidente

Author Caterham Zetec
Driving through town
#9 | Posted: 5 Nov 2013 10:38 
Eugene:
There is zero flexing on the HiSpec calipers I have - and great pedal feel... But, there is more than one size of caliper, and I have the large ones!

Bit more info would be helpful. The kits I have seen don't have dust seals and despite the fact I don't use the car in the winter not having them still worries me. I have also seen may reports about flexing although reports do indicate that that this was only with early versions, the new ones are supposed to be better.

Thanks.

Author Eugene

Heading South
Male
#10 | Posted: 5 Nov 2013 11:01 
I use the Billet 4 caliper, not the ones that are 'suggested' as being for Caterhams...

http://www.hispecbrake.co.uk/B4RAD.html

This is a piccy of the actual calipers before fitting.

HiSpec
Eugene
Le Presidente

Author Caterham Zetec
Driving through town
#11 | Posted: 5 Nov 2013 11:17 
So I presume you had to get the mount/adaptor manufactured and source your own disks to suit. Looking for a more off the shelf solution as nice as that calliper looks.

Author Eugene

Heading South
Male
#12 | Posted: 5 Nov 2013 11:26 
Nope, was all 'off-the-shelf' from HiSpec

I used Chris (Uncle Albert) at 7 Workshop to specify all the bits
Eugene
Le Presidente

Author Caterham Zetec
Driving through town
#13 | Posted: 5 Nov 2013 16:38 
Well I rang Hi-Spec at lunchtime to find out about the Billet 4 kit since its not shown on their site. At 1.00pm I was promised a call back in 20 minutes, 3 hours later no call. So I conclude that the stories about customer service you read on the web are correct i.e. if you get problems forget it. If they cannot be bothered to ring you before they get your money what chance do you stand after.

Author Eugene

Heading South
Male
#14 | Posted: 5 Nov 2013 16:58 
That's not good...
More fool them if they can't follow-up a simple request like that!

Eugene
Le Presidente

Author Caterham Zetec
Driving through town
#15 | Posted: 14 Nov 2013 09:01 
Decided to give Hi-Spec one more chance yesterday (we all miss returning calls occasionally) before giving up on them and fitting big front brakes. Rang them up and a lady answered, told her I had rung the previous week and no one had returned my call. She replied that was not very good but the person I needed was on a call, she would pass my number over and get him to ring back once he had completed that call.

Well that was yesterday and still no call from them.

Based on the service (or lack of it) I have received anyone who gives them money would have to be crazy based on my experience. Can only conclude all the negative posts I have read about their customer service are absolutely spot on.

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