Chevy Impala SS Forum banner

Which front rotors and pads would you choose?

3329 Views 50 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  killian96ss
The Speedtech front control arms and QA-1 coilovers have been sitting in the garage for almost a year. It's almost time to install them on my 96 Impala. While the changes are being made I thought it would be a good time to do the pads and rotors also as the rotors are still the originals at 135k. Sorry no wear-down disk thickness measurements to report. I've been looking at three brake/rotor kits, all on the Summit Racing web site. Probably use the same stock calipers, brackets, and pins unless someone talks me out of it, or I see damage to them upon removal. The car is not a daily driver, just goes out for joy rides when the weather's good and longish trips with wifey. It won't see any drag racing or autocross. Just want a nice upgrade to enhance stopping performance and appearance. The brake proportioning valve on the master cylinder was installed years ago. If you do not recommend one or more of these and could provide reason(s) why, I'd appreciate that, too. Suggestions for another better quality brand/deal are welcome, too. So here's the three I like in order of preference. Thanks for your help!
1. https://www.summitracing.com/parts/hwk-hkc4150-131f/make/chevrolet/model/impala/year/1996
2. https://www.summitracing.com/parts/ebc-s5kf1069/make/chevrolet/model/impala/year/1996
3. https://www.summitracing.com/parts/ebc-s13kf1528/make/chevrolet/model/impala/year/1996
21 - 40 of 51 Posts
@Fred Kiehl For the hydroboost conversion do you need to edit the brake pedal?
The brake pedal has a 3/8" stud on it. The Hydroboost has a larger eye. The eye needs to have an eccentric washer in it that holds the stud on the pedal against the rear of the hole. The washer can be welded in place. You may have to slim the eye area to keep it from binding.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
That thread inspired me a few years ago to try D153 pads with J55 calipers. Braking butt dyno was/is mighty impressed.

I embrace my dust, so I've always used Fleet MetLok pads.
Astrafari front brake rotors and J55 calipers with D513 or D614 pads is what GM should've done.
I get why GM did not do it, but ...
Anyway
The Astrafari-J55 upgrade would likely outperform any Summit kit that does not improve on the OE B- car's (lack of) rotor mass or thermal capacity - and for far less money.

Those of us who are still lucky enough to own Caprices RoadMasters or Fleetwoods would be clever to expand our definition of OE to profit from sherlock9c1's efforts.
Balls SS - I'm interested in the rebuild kits you used for front & rear calipers. Also, the SS brake hoses. Part #'s, sources, and a how-to link would be ideal in a perfect world.
I answered ?'s in your PM but for others...

I bought rebuilt kit for calipers at AZ many, many years ago. The rears are hard to find as those are the Australian ones (IIRC from Holden) that were Capri front calipers I believe.

To remove piston in caliper just remove bleeder and use a air hose to push out piston...takes very little pressure.. Install new rubber and insert piston. Lube with brake fluid.

My SS lines are Fisher Hydraulik (German) I got from Hans who had the 95 who terrorized the Autobahn. Great videos he used to post. The Russel set should be fine you posted.

Pads, probably the EBC ones you posted. I don't think Performance Friction pads are available anymore

Got my Baer slotted rotors from Summit IIRC

IDK if Bill Harper (Navylifer) is still around. He has a ton of 411 on brakes but I believe he is the one who uses the Kore 3 set up??. Pretty tall $ on that setup.
See less See more
Just to add. New pistons too if old ones are pitted/rough. They're the sealing surface to the rubber. Usually not part of a rebuild kit.
  • Helpful
Reactions: 1
I agree w/ BALLS, and just do the stealth brake bolt mod.

I agree w/ BALLS, and just do the stealth brake bolt mod.
The brake proportioning valve on the master cylinder was installed years ago.
I read that as he did that already
rockauto has several parts kits for calipers.

Summit has many rotor types/brands to chose from

the "stealth mod" proportioning valve will balance the front/rear for disc/disc

stainless braided flex lines provide a firmer pedal

IMHO I would stick with DOT 3 or 4 fluid.
How old is this sticky?
Braking
  • [email protected]$$ Brake Cooling System $???
  • PowerStop AR9501 & AR9502 Front 9C1 Rotors $??? Each - Special Order from PowerStop Use discount code PS531001
  • 9C1-JA9 Brake Calipers Dal plus
  • 9C1-JA9-D614A BrakePads $?? - $???
  • TUV/DOT Approved Stainless Steel Brake Lines $???
  • ATE Brake Fluid $? in a can OR Valvoline Synthetic Brake Fluid & Easier to find in a bottle
  • JL9 Rear Disc Brake Proportioning Valve $??
  • JL9 Rear Disc Brake Metering Valve Mod !
  • ???9C1-JA9 Brake Master Cylinder/Brake Booster??? Dal
I edited the prices because they're 14 years old.

Anyway, point is if you're not going to improve on the rotor's thermal capacity, either with a larger rotor, or with more assertive cooling (vanes), then the above is pretty much what's left.
To pile on with no knowledge as the OP didnt flesh out his interpretation of " better " .

If fade ( brakes stay hard but it stops " stopping" ) lining choice might help.
If over heating fluid ( pedal gets soft ) fluid upgrade may help
STAY AWAY FROM DOT 5
5.1 is not 5 it is an ABS friendly viscosity.
Possibly stainless or titanium between piston and inner pads
The above on top of previous suggestions of keeping the brakes cool.
  • Helpful
Reactions: 1
Did anyone ever offer phenolic pistons for our calipers?
Hopefuly not :ROFLMAO:;):ROFLMAO:
Now if someone made a stainless vented piston for the stock caliper ,,,,,,,,,,
I read that as he did that already
I did the stealth bolt and wasn't happy with it.I never did it on any of my B bodies when they had stock brakes, but with my current setup (KORE 3 325mm front, Bill Harper/Kore 3 305mm rear, hydro boost, ABS delete) it biased the rear way too much. It felt great during normal driving but on harder stops the rear locked up way too soon. Ended up scrapping it and going with an adjustable proportion valve to dial it in how I wanted. Still working on that (not very enjoyable testing it out with no ABS knowing you may be putting flat spots in expensive tires LOL) but it's much better now.

It got me thinking though, something like the stealth bolt may provide much better seat of the pants feeling at lower brake inputs, less nose dive etc... but how many have actually tested it 60-0 to see if it's helping, hurting or not changing stopping distances on a hard stop? With ABS, it may be difficult to notice the rear is being biased too much since you'll never have the obvious lockup I had with ABS deleted.

That's my issue with brake mods in general though, car guys hardly ever measure brake mods in any quantitive way other than seat of the pants feeling...which is great when it comes to brake fade. Pretty easy to tell your larger mass rotors on your big brake kit don't fade as quickly as stock brakes but probably not very easy to tell when and if 60-0 stopping distances were improved with any given mod.
See less See more
Just going to leave this here :)


Doesn't fix horrifically mismatched parts though.
It got me thinking though, something like the stealth bolt may provide much better seat of the pants feeling at lower brake inputs, less nose dive etc... but how many have actually tested it 60-0 to see if it's helping, hurting or not changing stopping distances on a hard stop?
As usual the brake mod crowd may not want to read all of this post.
Short version:

The no ABS is as follows 7.29 sec (stopped to disconnect the connector and got hot) and 146 feet!
Before Stealth Bolt mod and After Stealth Bolt Mod

Before After
0-60 60-0 0-60 60-0
------------------------------------------
seconds feet seconds feet

6.99 120 7.12 122
7.10 122 7.36 123
7.04 123 7.06 120
7.09 122 7.09 117
7.01 120 7.08 118
7.11 121 7.16 118
7.23 122 7.11 118
7.10 121 7.05 120

Average 7.08 121 (stock) 7.13 119 (stealth bolt)

This doesn't mean that the braking is unchanged. But the differences are not quantifiable using the G-Tech meter. The front end dive is significantly reduced and it requires less pedal force to obtain a
given g force deceleration.

That's my issue with brake mods in general though, car guys hardly ever measure brake mods in any quantitive way other than seat of the pants feeling...which is great when it comes to brake fade. Pretty easy to tell your larger mass rotors on your big brake kit don't fade as quickly as stock brakes but probably not very easy to tell when and if 60-0 stopping distances were improved with any given mod.
They have to stop quicker after the mods. They have spent thousands of dollars so their wallets are lighter. 😁
See less See more
Couldn't find the PowerStop AR9501 rotors on their website. Leads me to believe they are no longer available. Instead they recommended the Z26 rotors and ceramic carbon fiber pads for $313 at Rock Auto. The Black EBC 5 rotors and aramid fiber pads go for $595 at Summit. Both rotors are same diameter at 11.9 in. What is the stock rotor diameter? I'm looking for plug and play rotors and pads without having to modify brackets, bolts, etc. for fitment.
The Power Stop rotors I sent you a link, PM, to on rock auto are available. 11.8" rotor, stock
I checked out the Powerstops and the Baer links you sent me. They appear very similar. Still shopping. Narrowing down choices. They all look good.
21 - 40 of 51 Posts
Top