A little while back I purchased the StopTech & Hawk complete brake upgrade pack from Adrian (https://www.torqen.uk/nissan/350z/brakes/pack-deals/4036-350z-stoptech-hawk-performance-complete-kit-for-brembo-brakes-slotted-350ztq-cshb-s.html) and after having them on the car for around a month, driven a good 1,000+ miles and had a track day, decided it's a good time to write a honest review about my experience with them. In short, they are RIDICULOUS, an outrageous improvement over the standard OEM Brembo discs and pads, and I'd be lying if I said they didn't genuinely surprise me on the track, which I will get onto below...
To give you a bit of backstory....
I've had my Zed now for a good 4 years now and when I bought the car it had Brembo discs and Brembo pads fitted, and although they weren't massively sharp, I always thought they provided sufficient braking force, and how the pedal felt under my foot didn't even cross my mind. I ran this setup for around 3 years and early last year they needed replacing due to wear, having not had any problems with them, I had no doubt in buying the same setup again, Brembo discs, Brembo pads and replacement standard fluid. All fitted, I continued to daily my car as I always do and as expected, they were fine - or they were, until I decided to go around Donington last year at Japfest. After I warmed them up, I gave it the beans and after 2 short laps, I started smelling some seriously hot brakes, experienced quite severe brake fade and had a lovely hard brake pedal (I presume this was due to the standard fluid boiling), I had to back off and could only go around the track giving it about 60-70% capacity, only due to the brakes. Although I wasn't expecting any miracles from the Brembo setup, I did think it was going to last longer than a few laps before they started to fade, so I was pretty shocked to see they were completely shot after 2 laps and the rest of my session was a bit of a waste; although I did have a hell of a lot of fun! It's worth noting at this point once I had come back into the pits I made sure I didn't put the handbrake on etc to make sure the brakes didn't stick, however during the journey home a few hours later, under heavier braking I felt a slight wobble and alas, the discs were slightly warped... What surprised me here is that I had done some 'fast' road driving before with some harsh braking into corners and NEVER experienced any brake wobble or fade on the road with the Brembos, just goes to show how much harder you're going into the corners while on track!
Fast forward to a few months back and having just booked up yet another Japfest Donington track session (yep, I'm my own worst enemy) I umm'ed and arr'ed whether I should just refresh the standard Brembo setup again for around £300-£400 all in, preparing myself for being potentially in the same position I was last year, or bite the bullet and buy some upgrades. I read some reviews online and although everyone mentions they are a vast improvement over the standard brakes, I was slightly worried as my Brembo setup was perfect on road, but failed massively on track, I wasn't after an improvement on the road, I was after something that I could beat down on track, and be confident they weren't going to let me down..
Having purchased a few bits from Adrian before, I decided to have a look on Torqen and send him over a message asking for some advice (I won't blow too much smoke here but Adrian honestly knows his stuff and gets back to you at all hours of the day, think we had some late night convos about this so I'll take the time to apologise here for that Adrian!). Having some doubts about how much 'better' these upgrade packs could be, and after numerous conversations I decided to bite the bullet and order the Stoptech discs, Hawk Ceramic pads, performance Fluid and Braided Lines - had all these items fitted at Kaizers so thank you to the chaps there! Adrian kindly sent me over the recommended bedding in procedure for the discs and pads which I made sure I did to the T, immediately the pedal felt completely different, initial impressions were very good. Once I had driven around 500+ miles with the brakes I was happy they were fully bedded in. From cold the brakes provide a marginally better stopping force than standard but the pedal feel is a lot better, very progressive and the harder you stomp on it the harder your face tries to come off, something that comparing this setup to the Brembo one I had before, was something I couldn't believe has changed so drastically! I felt like with the Brembo discs and pads once you had pressed the pedal down around 70% there wasn't a lot more to give, this is not the case anymore!
A few weeks back we travelled down to Japfest Donington and although for the odd month and miles I had driven in the car up until this point were fantastic, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little worried about what was going to happen to my big juicy brakes when I went on track, as the issues at last years Japfest was niggling at the back of my mind... We pulled up into the pits and although I was very excited, I was honestly worried about what was going to happen. We completed a few warm-up laps and then we all hit the loud pedal and went for it, hard! Once these brakes are properly warmed up they genuinely seem to get better and better to more you hit on them, and I was honestly giving the car absolutely everything It had going into each corner and I just couldn't believe what was happening. The feel, the physical stopping force, everything about these things just blew past my expectations and then some, I was grinning from ear to ear throughout the whole session and came back to the pits having had admittedly the best time driving my 350z since owning it, I sat there in disbelief that something as simple as this upgrade pack could make such a vast difference to the feel and capabilities of the car using the standard calipers. I'm not one for being gobsmacked by much, but these brakes blew me away! I drove 150 miles back home after beating down on them and on the way back they didn't miss a beat, a completely opposite experience to what I had last year!
Considering the whole package costs around 2 and a half times more than what I had paid for the Brembo setup (and I wasn't getting braided lines and racing fluid in the Brembo cost) these things seem like the deal of the century for the sheer performance, feel and improvement over the standard setup. Would I recommend it? Without a moment of hesitation, absolutely!
Thanks again Adrian!