Wilwood Brake Survey - Team Camaro Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions, Steering & Handling

 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 27th, 01, 07:06 AM Thread Starter
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I've read all the posts I can find on Wilwood brakes, and most of them are negative. (I guess I found this website a little late. I had already bought the Wilwood Heavy Duty front disc set-up for my 67 conv.(small block).)
I was just wondering what specific problems people were having and if I should return it and go for some other set-up?
I like the fact that I can use my stock drum spindles & that I can use 15" wheels. Also the price was better than any other system. (Except for searching for used parts & having them rebuilt).
I only use the car on the street, and just want better brakes than the stock drums. Will the Wilwood be reliable?
Any installation problems?
Thanks in advance for your responses!
Brichead
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 28th, 01, 03:24 PM
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Brichead, I certainly hope that all the opinions are wrong...! I too purchased the same kit and mounted it to the car already! A friend had told me of the same comments that you are reffering to. However I have also spoken with others that have real experience with Wilwood products and the've indicated that they were happy with them! One thing that I keep hearing from everyone who are using Wilwood products that the installation is critical to being sucessful.
1.) Use as little rubber as possible seems to be the most common concern! Rubber flex's and bulges causing a fading sensation that most folks don't like about the products
2.) Remember that all the light stuff that Wilwood makes does tend to flex a little and also gives a fading sensation making the 1st issue all the more important to adhear to!

I bought the rear kit as well and hope to install a dual master cyl kit to keep pressures balanced and seperate from each other (Front vr. Rear) Please let me know what your experience is and whether you like the finished product or not!

I will do the same when I get it all back together and get a chance to try em!


Good luck!



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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 28th, 01, 04:03 PM
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Bob
 
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Gentlemen,

I too have the front disc kit from Wilwood. I have yet to mount them on the car but I have no concerns what so ever. Reason being...I know a couple of guys who work for Wilwood and have met Bill Wood personally. Most of the people that work for Wilwood are gearheads and have hot rods, street machines etc. with Wilwood products on them. Sure they are known for making Racing braking kits for Nascar, Short Track etc, but they have realized the hi perf market and are putting alot of R&D into that end of the business.

Regards

Bob
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 28th, 01, 07:15 PM
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There are a couple of factors that affect brake performance that the willwood kits are short on.
1. the brake rotors are smaller OD than stock. I think they are smaller than stock. I don't know the thickness but think I heard an inch thick.

2. The rotors are lighter than stock, less mass means the rotors heat up quicker.

3. The calipers are somewhat small. While the piston size in them is the same size as used in a 67 or 68, the caliper itself is pretty small and MAY lack rigidity. It will be operating at around 800 psi on a normal Camaro to lock a wheel. the higher the pressure, the higher the flex.
If you had air conditioning or a big block the caliper pressure could easily go to 1100 psi.
Usually 1200psi is the limit these calipers can stand.
When you look at what the NASCAR guys are using in the willwood line, it is a much heavier caliper with similar piston sizes.

I met a guy last year running a 69 Camaro on the road course at Laguna Seca for the first time. He had the willwood heavy duty kit, and was bragging about the weight he saved.
I came back this year and he has a Baer brake setup on it. The Willwood kit was not "enough".
He has also added big brake ducts.

Some people have posted in defense of the Willwood kits. I can only guess that they drive fairly stock cars on the street where the brakes are not highly heated. Or have the heavy duty version Willwood kit.
A lot depends on the use and weight of the car. But the willwood brakes are not overkill or equal to the Baer kits.

Willwood is certainly capable of producing better kits right off their parts shelves.
They have bigger rotors, and stiffer calipers, and seem to be moving in the Pro-Touring direction.
David

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[This message has been edited by davidpozzi (edited 11-29-2001).]
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 29th, 01, 04:53 AM Thread Starter
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I measured the rotor & it's 10-3/4" on the O.D. (is that the correct place to measure?)
If so, maybe Wilwood has changed their "heavy duty" kits.
I've decided to keep the Wilwood kit (thanks for your responses) and will update with any problems I have on the install or opperation of the brakes. Hopefully I will only have good news.
I'm doing the whole front end, (brakes, moog 6308's, 1" swaybar, balljoints, poly bushings, ect...$$$...), so it will probably be January before it all gets done. By then we'll have 10" of snow & I won't get to enjoy it all.
BRICHEAD
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 29th, 01, 09:46 AM
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The 10 3/4" sounds great. Are the calipers cast or machined billet?
You must have the heavy duty kit.
The smaller rotor is the regular duty and that is the one that I read a bad report of.

The one I saw on a 69 was probably the HD kit also, but I didn't get a good look at it.
You will probably be happy with that kit. It isn't up to a Baer kit but very close to a stock rotor size, so it should work as well as they do.
David

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[This message has been edited by davidpozzi (edited 11-29-2001).]
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 29th, 01, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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The Wilwood calipers are machined billit, 4-piston. The rotors are cast iron .810" thick.
Here's a link... http://www.wilwood.com/products/kits/hdfbk/index.asp
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 01, 06:54 AM
 
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I can't tell you about Wilwood brakes, but I fitted a set of Aerospace Components heavy duty brakes to the front of my 69 big block. Design is very similar to Wilwood, with 4 piston billet calipers and 10 3/4" ventilated rotors 0.875" thick. Well, it never stopped very well, the pads rattled and were wearing away the aluminum caliper abutment. After about three months one of the rotors exploded into fragments. I was lucky there was nothing in front of me or that would have been the end! When I examined the other rotor, it was overheated and cracked right through. I would not recommend brakes this size for anything other than show or gentle city use. I threw off the Aerospace brakes in disgust and fitted the Master Power brakes "JL8" heavy duty kit, with the late model Corvette calipers and 12" x 1 1/4" rotors. These are the biggest brakes that will fit in a 15" rallye wheel. They bolted right on and worked great -I would highly recommend this kit for serious street or road race use.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 01, 11:38 AM
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I too am using the Wilwood heavy duty on the front of my 67, along with their 12 5/8 rears.
I'm not happy with the performance of the fronts.
I had pretty bad pulsations under normal braking conditions.
I checked them, they were out by .006 (lateral)
They are better now, but they still shake if you don't really stand on them, this is no surprise, as I understand they were designed for drag racing.
I'm going to upgrade to 12" Baers soon.


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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 01, 12:05 PM
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Calculations I've done show that a little added weight or difference in rotor dia of over a half inch make a huge difference in pedal pressure and stopping ability.

Rotor mass is key to stopping without overheating the rotor. The rotor is supposed to absorb stopping heat, then radiate it down the next straightaway. If the mass is too light, or venting too small, the rotor will heat cycle too fast and too much.

If your rotors are turning purple or dark color it takes about 800 degrees to do that and you are getting above what normal pads can handle. Racing pads can work at higher temps, but on the street you should not be getting the rotors that hot or they won't last.
With the willwood hub, I would think you could bolt on a larger rotor to it and use a heavier caliper with more stiffness to keep the pedal firm.
David

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 01, 09:12 PM
 
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Although I haven't had direct experience of Wilwood brakes, I did fit a set of Aerospace Components heavy duty disks to a 69 big block convertible. The calipers were 4 piston billet, and the rotors 10 3/4" by 0.875" ventilated, very similar to the Wilwoods.

IMHO brakes of this design may look nice but are totally unsuitable for their primary purpose of stopping a car in regular street use. Problems started with the pads rattling in the calipers -no anti-rattle springs. Because the pads abut directly onto the aluminium caliper, there was rapid wear on the caliper. Braking performance was always poor, with high pedal pressure. Finally, one of the rotors exploded into fragments, causing me to lose all my brakes -luckily there was nothing in front! The other rotor was cracked all the way through.

DO NOT use these brakes for repeated stopping from highway speeds -they just can't take it.

I replaced them with the Master Power Brakes "JL8" kit, which uses late model Corvette calipers and 12" by 1 1/4 " rotors. These are the biggest brakes that will fit in a 15" rallye wheel, an easy bolt on and WORK! I would highly recommend them over any of the "toy" brakes put out by Aerospace etc.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Dec 10th, 01, 05:39 AM Thread Starter
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I've decided to return the Wilwood's. Thanks for all of your replies!
Now what?
I am looking at the Master Power Brakes conversion. I like the fact that they use all new parts, and the kit appears to be very complete.($795.00) http://www.mpbrakes.com/db1741p.HTM
Any comments or sugestions are appreciated!
Brichead
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Dec 10th, 01, 07:07 AM
 
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Master Power have two different kits -the regular one at $795 uses single piston calipers (I think). The JL8 4 piston kit with the big rotors used to run about $1100 including new spindles and hubs.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Dec 10th, 01, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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I'm looking at the "standard" kit. The JL8 kit is currently $1395.00, a little out of my price range. And I'm putting it on a street car & don't expect to need the larger JL8 package.
BRICHEAD
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