Location, Location, Location

There are different theories, rumors, or just outright guesses when it comes to the actual position of the caliper in relationship to the rotor. We've heard guys say that the brakes work better with the caliper behind the center line of the rotor. Some say it's better if in front of the center line. And yet others say it doesn't matter. We have even seen situations where the calipers are positioned at the very bottom location of the brake discs. The thinking there is that by binding the lowest point possible on the rotor, you are also creating the lowest possible center of gravity for the wheels. The calipers used on the MP kit are sourced from GM, and the design of these calipers is to mount them aft of the axles. This allows the parking brake cables to feed in from the front. According to our contact at MP Brakes, "We suspect the choice of location [from the OE], was chosen more for packaging than anything. Locating both front and rear calipers to the inside (behind the spindles on the front and in front of the rear axles on the rear) would provide a slightly lower center of gravity, and there might also be a slight advantage in the polar moment of inertia, but any difference would be so slight that we doubt any difference could be noticed, especially on a street car."

Terms You Need To Know

Single-Piston Caliper Single-piston calipers have been the standard in braking for years. Single-piston calipers are very simple, and perform well in most applications. With the single-piston design, the disc brake rotor is squeezed between a pad that is stationary on one side, and a pad that is moved by the caliper's piston on its other side. The advantage of this design is that it's very simple, and is not prone to leaking or failure.

Four-Piston Caliper The four-piston caliper was the original design used by Chrysler. This system had one major weakness--four-caliper pistons had four times the chance of leaking or failing since there were four of them. Long term function without failure was the driving force to go to the single piston caliper design. An advantage of newer designed four-piston calipers is that the caliper is less prone to flexing under stress as opposed to early designs, which keeps the pads more evenly pressed on the rotor, producing more friction and stopping power. With today's four-piston calipers, the leaking problem can be virtually eliminated or severely reduced by having the caliper's piston bores sleeved with stainless steel. This eliminates bore corrosion, which leads to leaking.

Rotor Size Efficient braking requires the conversion of your car's kinetic energy into heat. This heat is produced by the rotor being clamped between the disc brake pads. Fast dissipation of this heat is critical to achieving good brake function. In essence, the larger the rotor, the more efficiently it will dissipate heat, which translates into better braking. For most street applications, an 11-inch rotor is more than sufficient.

Vented Rotors Vented rotors are essentially two parallel discs with airspace between them. Between the two discs are air-moving fins that hold the two discs together. The function of these fins is to increase the speed in the rotor cools.

Cross-Drilled Rotors Better braking performance is all about cooling the rotor as fast as possible. When a rotor is cross-drilled, these holes help to discharge the heat and gases that build up within the rotor, and therefore cools it faster and clamps better. We need to make note that some guys feel that cross-drilling a rotor does increase its tendency to develop heat cracks that develop from the drilled holes.

Slotted Rotors When friction is produced by the clamping of the caliper, a gas is also emitted along with heat from the pads. The theory is, these slots help remove the gases that develop under the pads. Although cross-drilled and slotted rotors are not an absolute necessity for street use they are a relatively inexpensive upgrade when adding disc brakes.

Costs

PartCost
Brake Kit$750.00
Metal Brake Line Tubing$6.00
Brake FluidWe Already Had Some
What we paid. you might pay less, you might not.

SOURCE
Master Power Brakes
110 Crosslake Park Dr
Mooresville
NC  28117
888-351-8785
www.mpbrakes.com