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Thursday, May 09, 2013

Preparing a NISMO Nissan Skyline GT-R for a Track Day : Brakes

Nismo #500 Show or Display R32 GT-R
Track day. Driving a car on the track. Its not racing, but its fun, and something car enthusiasts enjoy. Taking a car around the track with no real restrictions. As fast as you feel comfortable driving.

The 1990 NISMO R32 Skyline GT-R was the base for the Group A race car, but that doesn't mean that you can just take a 23 year old car, and hit up a track day. The GT-R does have some weak points that need addressing. Overall its just going to be some very limited HPDE(high performance drivers education)/ open track day kind of thing for NISMO #500. The real toy will come when the 1989's turn 25 years old.

Fontana Nissan Meet #5 at Auto Club Speedway

September 8th.  That gives me a few minutes to prepare the car. It could honestly go out on track as it sits now, but there are some systems that wouldn't be too happy with me by the end of the day.  Some things I am going to address.
  • Brakes
  • Tires
  • Engine
  • Driveline
I have worked as a crew chief, and crew in World Challenge GT(2006) and TC(2010). Did the 25 hours of Thunderhill as a crew chief, and several years of NASA PT, TT, and enduros(3 and 6 hour) as crew. I have a little more than a few days at the track, and preparing cars for an event. Normally its someone elses car, someone elses money, but when you are spending your own money on items for a car you are going to put on track, you want to spend the right amounts of money in the right areas.  If the brand I trust costs $100 more, then I buy it.

R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R front brake rotor and caliper

Brakes. In order to go fast, you must be able to stop.  A track day requires a different setup than a street car. The hardest part is a lot of guys(me included) want a dual purpose setup. Normally with brakes, if it works great at the track, it might not be as good on the street, and vice versa.

Heat is the enemy of the braking system,well excessive heat. Every brake pad, every rotor, every brake fluid is going to have a range that it works well within. When you run outside this range, things go down hill and wear out quickly.  I have written a lot about the brakes on the R35, and similar things apply to the R32, R33, and R34. The R32 Vspec, R33, and R34 all had Brembo 4 piston front, and 2 piston rear brakes.

Nismo R32 with R34 Brembo brakes retrofitted

  • Brake pads. Everyone has a favorite. If there is someone you know that runs a certain pad and likes it, works well for them, by all means try it out.  A street pad generally has a good mu or coefficient of friction at low temps, but then the mu decreases as the heat goes up. Great for a street car. Great for the freeway or around town. However coming at 140 mph into turn 1 every couple minutes can overwhelm that pad.  I have used Hawk Performance pads in my street cars, and for this event I will most likely be trying out a HPP. The brake pads use a reference number to refer to the shape of the pad. For the regular R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R the front shape is FMSI D460, D647, D1182  HB178  with a .564 thickness. At the rear the shape is a  FMSI D461 HB179 with a .630 thickness(although I have seen a thinner thickness listed from Porterfield).
    • Postscript. I ran the HPP on the R32 at Autoclub Speedway, and they were not enough pad for what I was doing. I never managed to get the ducts in the car, so I got a soft pedal in a couple sessions. It was a hot day, near 100F. The brake fluid - brand new Castrol SRF came out looking like it was about 5 years old, not 5 hours old. For the 2nd track day at Buttonwillow, we switched to some Carbotech pads, and those worked out well.  The braking at Buttonwillow isn't nearly as harsh as Autoclub, so if I ever go back will have a chance to test with some air deflectors.  Video from Autoclub
    • Carbotech™ XP10™ at the rear
      • When Carbotech™ unleashed the XP10™ to the general public it immediately gathered multiple regional, divisional, and national championships. The XP10™ has a very strong initial bite with a coefficient of friction and rotor friendliness unmatched in the industry. Fade resistance is in excess of 1475°F (801°C). XP10™ still maintains the highly praised release, excellent modulation and rotor friendliness that have made all Carbotech™ compounds so successful. Carbotech™ XP10™ is not recommended as a daily-driven street pad due to possible elevated levels of dust and noise.
      • They are loud for a street car, it makes race car sounds. If you are worried about noise on the street, this isn't the pad for you. 
      • Work great on the track. Great feel. No fade. If you can handle the noise, they are fine for the street. 
    • Carbotech™ XP12™ at the front
      • Another highly successful XP™ series compound with an excellent initial bite, torque and fade resistance over and above the XP10™ compound. XP12™ has temperature range of 250°F to 1850°F+ (121°C to 1010°C+). The XP12™ has that excellent Carbotech™ release and modulation that has made all other Carbotech™ compounds so successful. The XP12™ is more rotor aggressive than XP10™, but compared to the competition the XP12™ is still very rotor friendly. XP12™ is NOT recommended for use as a daily driven street pad due to possible elevated levels of dust and noise.
      • They are loud for a street car, it makes race car sounds. If you are worried about noise on the street, this isn't the pad for you.
      • Work great on the track. Great feel. No fade. If you can handle the noise, they are fine for the street. 

Feredo mu chart

Front R32 brake pad(non-Brembo) FMSI D460, D647, D1182  HB178 
Rear R32 brake pad(non-Brembo) FMSI D461 HB179
  • Brake rotors. 
  • Two piece OEM R32 GT-R size. 296 x 32
    • Front -296 mm x 32 mm
    • Rear-  297 mm x 18 mm
    • The OEM rotors are cross drilled. Eventually in the GT-R racing range they went to a solid rotor, because cross drilled rotors crack. For racing use, usually a different kind of surface treatment is popular(Plain, slotted, J-Hook). Cross drilling looks good, and works well enough on the street. I like a two piece rotor as they weigh less than a solid disk. You can save several pounds per corner by going to a aluminum hatted rotor. DBA has their 5000 series of rotors but not in the stock 296 mm size, just the 4000 series rotors (Front DBA 4926 296MM   4000 Series Heavy Duty.)(Rear DBA 908)  Have to see if I can come up with anything, or do something like a bracket to put a larger rotor on the car. Larger rotors mean larger wheels, and I think I am sticking with the 16's. (I lied, I'm on R34 18" now)
  • Brake lines. I like high quality brake lines. I would prefer to have something I trust. The OEM lines on the NISMO are probably original, probably 23 years old. Stainless steel brake lines expand less than the stock rubber lines, and have extra abrasion resistance.  Goodridge makes good brake lines. They list fitting 1989-2002 cars. The Vspec R32's and R33/R34 all have the same Brembo caliper, but the early car has Nissan(Sumitomo) calipers. The part number is listed as 22160. Phantom SNN0800.
  • Brake fluid. We ran Motul 600 on the Scion tC World Challenge race car. Worked out fine, didn't need to bleed it often. On the R34 GT-R when we used Motul 600, we had to bleed it often, like every session. Switching that car to Castrol SRF(in 2006) was the best thing we did for the brakes all year. Its expensive, it was worth it. Look at the wet boiling point. Consider any system has some water in it. Don't mind the exact numbers much, I know what we had, and what we saw.  From Pegasus Racing
Racing Brake Fluid Comparison Chart
Brand NameDOT
Compatible with
Brake Fluids*
Fl Oz
Motul RBF 6604617399Yes16.9MT660
AP PRF 6004608311Yes16.93338-17oz
Motul RBF 6004594421Yes16.9MT600
Castrol SRF4590518Yes33.83343-Liter
Prospeed RS6834583394Yes16.93340-201
AP 600n/a572284* No *16.93309-17oz
AP 5513540284Yes16.93305-17oz
ATE Super Blue4536396Yes33.83326-Liter
ATE Type 2004536396Yes33.83327-Liter
Castrol Advanced Performance
(formerly GT-LMA)
(was 446)
  • Speed Bleeders - 639560 10mm x 1.0 front and rear are the same bleeder. I have heard some good and bad things about Speed Bleeders. I tried them out, and so far I like them. You can bleed by yourself, and everything is A-OK so far.  I also want to install them in the clutch line. Eventually I am going to change the slave cylinder, and bleeding the Nissan Skyline GT-R clutch is a pain in the ass. 
  • Brake ducting. Air is free. Getting air to where you want it to go isn't free.  The stock Nissan GT-R has brake ducts, that put air into the wheel well, but its not directed to the rotor.  Brake rotors are cooled from the center outward. Most rotors pump air to the outside edges to cool. Over at MotoIQ Khiem Dinh made some pretty cool brake ducts for his S2000. Maybe I should bug(beg) him to help me with something for the NISMO. 

  • Rapid prototype ABS brake ducts for a Honda S2000. I'm jealous Khiem.

  • Brake Caliper Rebuild - NICO has a good guide on rebuilding the calipers. They aren't leaking, but they are old, and its always a good idea to go though the calipers about once a season if you keep the temps down. 
  • Rear Brake Caliper part numbers - R32 GT-R 
      • 44001-43P00 - RH   Alternate - 44001-05U00
      • 44011-43P00 - LH Alternate - 44011-05U00
  • R32 GTR (Non V-Spec)

    Master Cylinder diam (mm)25.4 area 506.71mm²
    Front Caliper Piston(diam x qty)40.4×4 = 5127.58mm²
    Front rotors (diam x thk)296×32
    Rear Caliper Piston(diam x qty)38.18×2 = 2289.78mm²
    Rear Rotors (diam x thk)297×18
  • R32 GTR V-Spec / R33 / 34 GTR with Brembos

    Master Cylinder diam (mm)26.9 568.32mm²
    Front Caliper Piston(diam x qty)(44+3Cool×2 ... leading pistons smaller then trailing 5309.29mm²
    Front rotors (diam x thk)324×30
    Rear Caliper Piston(diam x qty)40×2 2513.27mm² ratio FR = 2.1125
    Rear Rotors (diam x thk)300×22
    Brake to master ratio13.76 forum for discussion about importing vehicles over 25 years old to the US.

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