There are many big brake upgrade kits available today for the Skyline GTR models ranging from budget conversions to full on AP Racing kits, however, we decided to use the brake system from mighty R35 GTR with its Brembo 6pot 380mm front and 4pot 380mm.
By 1989 standards the BNR32 brake setup consists of 298×32 front with 278×18 rear discs along with sumitomo 4 pot front and 2 pot rear was a very capable setup which was found on high end super cars of that era.
However when you look at the evolution of brakes and how they have advanced over the past 25 years it is very clear the R32 setup just cannot cope with fast road demands as effectively and lags behind in terms of braking power and durability of many modern family saloons and sports hatch backs.
Later R32 V spec models featured a larger 324×30 front and 298×20 vented discs and Brembo 4 pot front and 2 pot rear calipers with increased piston sizes. This offered a significant improvement in braking performance and with a good set of fast road pads and racing fluid would work well for both fast road and track day use. Ultimately this setup became the basis for later BCNR33 and BNR34 Skyline GTR variants.
After market and motorsport manufacturers such as Endless, Grex, Project Mu, AP and Alcon began to offer larger 6 pot and 4 pot racing kits with increased disc sizes and widths for track use. These kits would prove very effective for regular track day and competition use. The larger disc surface area offered better cooling and improved braking performance from the larger calipers with bigger piston and pad area. Some high end motorsport calipers would feature titanium cooling rings to prevent heat soak from pads thus boiling over the brake fluid.
Often with such increase in caliper and piston sizes the brake master cylinder is also changed more commonly to the BM57 from the BCNR33 and BNR34 models.
Over the past 3 years at Supertec Racing, we have developed an R35 GTR brake kit upgrade for the BNR series skylines to fully transform the cars braking ability and bring in line the raw braking performance similar to many sports cars of today including the Nissan R35 GTR, not to forget modern cars are equipped with faster acting ABS systems as well as brake stability controls which the skyline lacks.
The kit was designed to be an almost a bolt on upgrade with minor trimming required including the brake dust shields to allow for the 380/390 x34mm front and 380x30mm rear discs. This setup features use of the Brembo mono block 6 pot front and 4 pot rear calipers to ensure maximum braking power, durability and pad area coverage. Front calipers also come fitted as standard with titanium cooling rings to prevent heat soak to the brake fluid and causing a long pedal – not what you would want on track!
What is included in the kit and what needs to be sourced? We supply the complete hardware and fittings that is required to fit the upgrade such as front and rear mounting brackets and a pair light weight bells made from high strength T7075 grade alloy and a high tensile bolt kit.
The actual calipers and discs need to be sourced used and often is the case where majority of R35 GTR owners feel the need to upgrade to an Alcon super kit – this opens up the opportunity to purchase the required parts anywhere between £1300-£2000 (4 calipers and 4 discs).
It is also advisable to upgrade the brake master cylinder in BNR32 models to a BM57 master cylinder that is found on later models such as the R33/34.
On road performance is very impressive – certainly gives full confidence to abuse the brakes much more with good repeatable performance with out any fade or drop off as would be the case with standard brakes. The initial bite was strong, we were able to generate 1.4g under braking offered even with factory discs and Cosworth street master pads which we tested initially to get a base line feel for the kit. If the tyres are not warmed up to operating temperature or using a harder compound with less grip it is easy to lock up the brakes even with ABS as the R32 setup is a little slow by modern standards though somewhat improved on the R33 and R34 models.
Later upgrading to a set of DBA 5000 T3 discs with Project Mu HC+ pads and Endless RF-650 brake fluid further improved braking performance even further to a point we could do several lap stints of the track and have a more consistent pedal feel and braking with no loss of performance.
Any changes to brake bias? On our track test where we were able to push a little harder and trail braking to get a better beep for brake bias with the setup and a BM57 brake master cylinder from the R34. We did notice a light rear ward bias – still very controllable and not like you will lose the back end, we were able to use that to our advantage to help with rotation into the apex.
With regards to wheels that would clear the large 380mm setup – most of the wheels made by Rays such as the Nismo LMGT4 or TE37 series or Gramlights would clear with around 3-5mm. We know from tests that the 18″ TE37 and SL model (pictured) would also clear later spec GTR 390mm front disc setup with 3mm clearance.
For further reading please click here to 2009GTR blog where they have carried out a more in depth test with various wheel and disc sizes.
Conclusion: The R35 brake kit slots into around the £3000-4500 mark (depending on whether you buy brand new discs and pads and able to source a set of used calipers for around £1500-1800) and is as every bit as good and in some cases better than the very high end setups. One such area is that the calipers do come with rubber sealing rings which increases caliper piston longevity and reduces the need for regular rebuild and maintenance which almost all motorsport kits do not offer.
There are other big brake upgrade kits on the market these days to suit various budgets ranging from £2000 for a low end street setup such as K Sport or D2 to high end more track setups from Endless/AP/Alcon or Brembo coming in at around £5000-6000.