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Advice needed: big brake kit project - fastbrakes.com

11635 Views 25 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  JoeMini
I think that brakes are the weak link in term of my car’s performance.

My car feels much quicker and more agile after I replaced the stock rims with performance lightweight alloys and after I fired an electronically controlled active suspension.

After extensive online research, I came across www.fastbrakes.com (as directly recommended by Willwood when I contacted them about brake kits for the 2014- Mazda 3).

(I am NOT affiliated in any shape of form to fastbrakes.com, but they seem to be offering a lot of brake for the money.)

Fastbrakes now offer two big brake kits for our Mazda 3, one with 4 pots calipers, the other one with a 6 pot caliper.



I’ve been talking to Brian, who’s been very helpful and who actually just fitted 6 pots to his own 2.5 litre Mazda 3.


I’m thinking of making the following upgrades to my brakes:


Willwood’s Forged Narrow Superlite 6R Dust Seal 6 pot calipers:


They look great, are forged and light, with stainless steel pistons and weather seals.

(That deep blue is my favourite colour, I think they’d go well with my red Mazda in an understated look.)


2-piece rotors in 330x32 mm.

A good option seem to be StopTech AeroRotors:



Im planning on fitting a pair of Mazda 6 calipers. Did anyone try to see if they fit?

I bought a pair from eBay for only £40. Would cost me £165 to get them stripped clean, replace all the moving parts and get them powder coated in 3 layers.

They should look like the calipers below:


? 2-piece 300mm rotors


I like the EBC YellowStuff, which I’ll probably fit on the rear. On the front are a few options, need to look more into it.



I’m interested in finding out your thoughts about my project and would be great if you’d offer me any recommendations.

I’m pretty new to the practice of modifying my car, but it has become a bit of an obsession!

I’d really appreciate your thoughts on the above - particularly if anyone dealt with fastbrakes.com in the past!?
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Anyone!? :/

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My own big brake kit project

Thanks for your reply.

I’m a pretty aggressive driver and I did change the pads AND the rotors, but I’m still not happy with the braking.

I’ve recently replaced my EBC YellowStuff pads and, as you can see from the pictures below, they have been close to bare metal after only 9 months of use!

I also have upgraded rotors and after the same period they need replacing as well.

I don’t think the brakes are only necessary when going very fast; in my experience is more about frequent braking on twisty roads.

I’d also add that it has been pretty frequent to notice the smell of “burnt” brakes.

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My own big brake kit project

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Looking forward to your journey. How was your experience with stock brakes but EBC yellowstuff pads? I have them on for almost 2000 miles now and they still seem to squeak like crazy. Did you have similar issues?

I didn’t have that problem, except once on driver’s side (but I suspect the garage didn’t fit them properly).

Had them on an Alfa Romeo before and this is my second set on my Mazda - but can’t fault them.

Did you follow the bedding in procedure?

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Did anyone try fitting the rear Mazda 6 calipers on the Mazda 3?

I know the front ones are alright, but couldn’t find out if the swap is possible for the rear as well.

Would save me the hassle of trying the fitting out first.

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I thought I’ll update this, as I’m close to getting a big brake kit made after a very long period of planning...

Nevertheless, I am almost decided on getting a kit made with AP Racing parts, as they are considered to be very high-end brake manufacturers.

It also makes more sense as AP Racing is based in the UK, where I live, and they have a strong reputation of being reliable with excellent service (apparently you can get very old calipers still services).

Another major advantage is that there is a huge choice of pads available.

I am considering the following components:
-AP Racing CP9200 4 pot calipers/ AP Racing CP9570 6 pot calipers
-full floating 330/28mm brake discs
-Ferodo 2500/ Pagid RSL29/ Performance Friction compounds 08 & 11 as options for brake pads

The only advantage of the 6 pot calipers would be that I could use 330/32mm discs in case I need them later for track use.

There are a few UK companies which make kits using AP Racing - but I think I’ll be going with Reyland.co.uk, as they have reasonable pricing and good buyer feedback.

Below is the page with their kits for Mazdas, my kit will probably be similar to the one for the RX8:


Going back to the heated debate of needing a BBK or not, after a lot of research my opinion is that a BBK is justified if you run through the OEM stuff pretty fast and you plan to track your car (as I intend to). In addition, a well designed BBK would offer lots of other advantages, like a vastly superior choice of pad compounds, lower long term costs, more confidence in braking, better brake modulation, etc.

I will update the post with my impressions once I’m getting the kit, but please feel free to make me any new suggestions in the meantime.
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It seems to me that you are going way overboard when likely all you need is a pad upgrade.

I find it hard to believe that you are getting brake temps well over 1200*F on the street, and if so, certainly not safely.

BBK's are more about heat management than all out stopping power, you are also limited by tire/pavement traction on exactly how much of that extra brake torque translates to reduce stopping distance.

Sure AP kits are the absolute most bad-ass kits you can get, but unless you are on track a lot, and with some super sticky tires, they are for naught.

As for rear calipers, even for track use, the OEM rears are so underutilized I wouldn't bother.
Generally speaking the brakes are ok for daily driving - I’m using the EBC YellowStuff pads, which are EBC’s most aggressive pad for street use and occasional track use.

However, if I’m driving really hard on bendy country roads for extended periods, my brakes start fading.

For me the reason to upgrade the front would be to be much more confident in my brakes, have more pedal feel/control, much more choice in brake pads and be able to use my car on a track without worrying about brake fade.

It should also reduce the rotational mass and improve my car’s performance, even if ever so slightly.

I think in long run the kit would probably reduce my costs, as I would change the pads and discs less frequently (for example, a pad for dedicated calipers is 16-25mm thick, compared to 10mm or so for an OEM pad).

A front BBK would also save weight, look great (as the stock setup looks pretty terrible) and would allow me to replace the brake pads myself with minimum effort (compared to the hassle of replacing the stock pads).

I’ve been looking into a BBK for a long time and I’ve decided I want to bite the bullet. Initially I’ve looked into swapping my calipers for larger calipers on other Mazda models. (I’ve actually bought a pair of real calipers from a Mazda 6, but they didn’t fit.)

I’ve realised there is little point spending time and effort and money on brakes, if there is more hassle than benefits. With other Mazda calipers you won’t get any major benefits - only minor increase in disc size with dubious performance benefits, same type of sliding calipers and same choice of braking pads. I’ve personally decided that at least if I’m doing an upgrade, it should be some clear benefit.

The AP Racing kit is actually cheaper than Wilwood or Taiwanese kits available online from other reputable sellers. And if that’s the case, it made more sense to go with the most reputable option.

In case anyone wants to give it a try, I’ve also found a company with positive reviews called Ceika - they make big brake kits which are highly customisable. However, I thought I’m better off with the choice of pads, discs and the excellent pedigree of AP Racing.

I wouldn’t worry about the brakes on the rear (except the fact they look pretty crap).
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It's not just 15 percent more braking power. These cars actually put more emphasis on the rear than the front. Hence the reason, I've got 180k and I still have the original front brakes and rotors while I've replaced the rear twice.

I don’t think that’s true - as far as I understand there’s a 60-40 front to back brake balance.

If more brake power would be used on the rear, then how do you explain the much larger front discs and calipers?

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Actually it's more than that. Thermal mass is key, which is proportional to the area (assuming the rest is exactly the same), which is more like 30% more. Larger diameter usually means wider too, so that's extra thermal mass. Larger rotors are a great way to get a good brake upgrade, assuming weight doesn't get out of hand.

Looks aside, I don’t think there’s much of a reason to upgrade the rear brakes.

If anything, you’d be better off replacing the front to a larger kit from another Mazda - but I’m not sure how compatible the parts are (I’ve tried to replace the rear with a Mazda 6 setup based on info available on this forum, but the calipers had different brackets and didn’t fit).

My point is also that this swap is not financially worth it - for a few hundreds more you’d get a high end set of calipers (bought as a kit, the pair of AP Racing calipers comes out around £570, compared to almost £1000 if bought separately).

The high initial cost of a BBK is also due to all the other components - see below the actual reply I’ve got from Reyland when thinking of getting the calipers from another seller:

“when working out a kit price we add everything together at cost price, add our margin then add VAT. So you can compare.. Bought individually we charge.. Bells are £250 per pair, brackets are £250 per pair, rotors are £275, disc to bell fixings are £36 & hoses £45. That leaves you £679 left to buy calipers and pads. 9200 calipers are £490 each in red with the VAT!”

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In what way do the rears not fit. verticle or horizontal? If it's horizontal, bigger bolt and washers is all you need. If it's vertical, then not a big deal. The hard part here is that the mazda6 uses vented vs the cx5 uses solid like the mazda3 so it's gotta have something to absorb that extra space, I'd lean on the wheel bearing needing replacement with it but it would also space out your wheel a little more in the back throwing off the tire spacing and balance of the car.

BTW, the front's should fit.

I was referring to the rear calipers not fitting. I think their bracket was different, so couldn’t mount them.

I think you can probably try and see if these other parts would fit (and let us know, too! ), though they won’t be significantly improving the brakes as a system.
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