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.
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).
Now, you know we weren't going to just stick all of these fantastic parts underneath the hideous black and polished salad shooter wheels our Camaro had been sporting, but what you don't know is just how difficult it was to find the correct wheel. Because the CTS-V 6-piston caliper is so intensely humongous, not just any wheel would fit and finding the right one meant loading the STi Killer onto the trailer and towing it down to our friends at OE Wheels, a company that stocks an insane amount of fantastic looking wheels. After test fitting about every wheel they make, including several deep-dish varieties, we finally found one that would fit, a set of C6 Z06 replicas (PN 6902224, $597), in an 18x9.5 arrangement. Unfortunately, even the C6 Z06 replicas wouldn't fit without a 0.5-inch hub-centric spacer, which we also received from OE Wheels. Now, we know, chrome on a race car? Well, yes, it was the best available option and it actually does look pretty good. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so only you can decide what wheel would be right for your project. As far as the tires go, that was an easy pick. We chose to go with Nitto's NT05 in a 295/35/18 configuration, which will sit on all four corners of our Camaro. The NT05s should provide the perfect mix of traction and wear to keep us killing for a long time to come.
Ready to see how everything goes together? Check out the step-by-step guide on the following pages. This story contains everything you will need to convert the front of your LS1 fourth-gen F-body to run the biggest-of-big 6-piston CTS-V front brakes. As for the rear-that's an entirely different story, and one we won't be telling at this time. Suffice it to say, converting the rear may be too costly and time consuming to be worth it in the long run. For now, we plan on installing a set of EBC Bluestuff pads in our stock rear calipers, along with a new set of EBC rotors. If we feel that stopping power could be improved, we may revisit the rear in a future issue, but we are confident that our 6-piston Brembos up front will be more than enough to bring our STi Killer to a stop in a major hurry. Next up, we're really going to hit the track, dyno, road course, and skidpad, so stay tuned to see the killer in action!