Cadillac CTS-V 6-Piston Brembo Brakes, Nitto Tires, And Wheel Upgrade - What's The Holdup? - Tech
Our STi Killer Gets A New Set Of Cadillac CTS-V 6-Piston Brembo Brakes, Some Track Ready Nitto Tires, And A Set Of Gorgeous Wheels That Don't Break The Bank
From the November, 2010 issue of GM High-Tech Performance
By Justin Cesler
Photography by Justin Cesler
If you have been following our STi Killer project, you may recall these famous last words from our most recent installment (10-Bolt Basics, August '10): "The next time you see the STi Killer, it will be loaded up with all of it's drivetrain goodies and ready to do battle." Well, we lied. OK, it's not so much that we lied, it's just that we may have gotten carried away over the last few months and decided to go crazy with some really cool brake upgrades. It happened much like it always does, after seeing a couple of other cars with big brakes, we got jealous, decided we had to have them and started scheming. After weeks of research and phone calls, we had a plan and a couple of great options. Of course, here at GMHTP, we try to stay on the cutting edge, which meant if we took on a big brake upgrade, it would have to be something that no one had ever tried before, even if it meant spending a couple of long nights at the shop, stealing parts off other cars in an attempt to make everything fit.
These were the factory brakes...
These were the factory brakes on our '01 Camaro project and, while adequate for street driving, they certainly wouldn't hold up to the abuse we plan on giving the Camaro. Not to mention, a factory Subaru STI comes with Brembo brakes, so we needed to step it up.
Enter the '09-10 Cadillac CTS-V 6-piston Brembo caliper, a mass of gorgeous aluminum that can make even the most hardened brake enthusiast weak in the knees. Looks and shear size aside, the CTS-V brakes flat out work, stopping the portly 4,200-pound sedan from 60 to 0 in under 110 feet, 11 feet shorter than a stock '02 Camaro, even with the extra weight. Needless to say, we were sold on the idea, but finding all the parts proved much harder than it seemed. After fumbling around with multiple incorrect part numbers, we decided to give the ultimate GM parts gurus at Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center a call, and luckily for us, they were able to correctly locate everything we needed in just a couple of minutes, shipping the parts directly to us without any hassle. If you're following along at home, you will need to order two front calipers (PN 25912477, 2591296), which retail at $446.46 apiece. Be warned however that these calipers do not come with pins, so you will have to do a bit of haggling with your local dealer to get a set. Of course, you will also need a set of rotors, which can be sourced from a variety of places, although we chose to stick with GM parts, opting to run a set of C6 Z06 units (PN 19121787, $101.17 a piece). Interestingly, you can use that part number twice, since the C6 Z06 rotors are not side specific, which saved GM and ultimately us, quite a bit of money.
For brake pads, we gave EBC Brakes a call, since we were just dying to try out the company's new Bluestuff pad (PN D1405). Billed as a race pad for the street, which needs minimal (or no) bed-in time and works right off of ambient temperatures, the Bluestuff pad seemed like a perfect choice for a street/track project like the STi Killer. On top of that, we have used the Yellowstuff pads before and had great success, so the Bluestuff pads should be just that much better. With those components in hand, we decided to upgrade our stock brake lines and ordered a set of coated, braided stainless steel CTS-V/Camaro SS/C5/C6 swap specific lines from Ed Miller at Flynbye Performance. Almost ready for the install, we also hooked up with Summit Racing for a set of extended length ARP wheel studs (PN ARP-100-7708, $13.25) and matching Summit Racing open-ended lug nuts (PN SUM-7540021, $2.95).
Only two bolts hold the caliper...
Only two bolts hold the caliper to the stock spindle, both of which can be removed with an 18mm socket. After time, abuse, and rust, these bolts can be a little tricky to remove, so make sure you blast them with a good penetrating lubricant before giving it a try.
With the caliper out of the...
With the caliper out of the way, we slid the stock rotor off and began removing the stock hub from the spindle. This gave us access to the spindle and allowed us to press out the stock studs and install new, longer pieces.
With the four 13mm bolts removed...
With the four 13mm bolts removed from the hub, Greg Lovell gave it a little love-tap to break it free from the spindle. Make sure you unplug the wheel speed sensor before you try to remove this or you will be making a trip to the parts store.
We used a press to remove...
We used a press to remove the stock wheel studs from the hub. If you don't have a press handy, you can hammer the old studs out, it just takes a bit more time and force.
Besides length, these heat-treated...
Besides length, these heat-treated chromoly ARP studs offer an advantage in tensile strength and will allow us years of use without having to worry about an issue. Since these brakes require a spacer, the extended studs are a requirement.
The ARP studs press into the...
The ARP studs press into the hub just the same way they come out. Again, if you don't have access to a press, you can use an open-ended lug nut to "pull" the stud through the hub, a technique we have used in the past with some success.
Back to the stock spindle,...
Back to the stock spindle, Greg began by drilling the caliper mounting holes with a 1/2-inch drill bit, stepping up to a 9/16-inch drill bit for the final hone. These larger holes will allow us to bolt the CTS-V calipers in place, using larger bolts required for the caliper.
With our spindle modifications...
With our spindle modifications complete, Greg bolted the stock hub in place, tightening the four 13mm bolts down to spec before plugging the wheel speed sensor back in place.
Here it is, the massive 14x1.3-inch...
Here it is, the massive 14x1.3-inch C6 Z06 front rotor. Not only does it look fantastic but these rotors are also engineered to withstand everything GM can throw at them, which gives us peace of mind. Of course, being an OEM piece, the price was also right.