We've gone about this a little bit backwards: we fitted the Crossfire Z with all the best components from Hotchkis to improve the handling and help it get around the corners as quickly and safely as possible. But before we can really put the car through its paces on the windy roads of the foothills, we needed to make sure that we get it stopped. You just can't dive into a corner by simply decelerating; if you want to wring it out, you've gotta have the hoofs to slow it down quickly. Since we've attacked this project trying to keep things somewhat affordable, we're going to stay with the stock rear drum brakes for now. So, the logical place to begin is on the front. While we contemplated a simple pad and rotor upgrade, once we put a pencil to paper, we figured that the Stainless Steel Brake Company's (SSBC) Quick Change Aluminum Caliber Upgrade Kit we've had our eyes on would be worth the extra expense. Besides, nothing says "cool" like a set of aluminum calibers peeking out from behind the spokes of your billet wheels. Add a set of slotted, and cross-drilled rotors like SSBC's new Big Bites and the "Wow Factor" is complete. The SSBC front Quick Change caliper kit is designed to work with the factory spindles, brake hoses, and rotors with no modifications. The company claims that it can be installed by anyone that has replaced a caliper on their car before. The Upgrade Kit (#A181 $495) comes complete with a pair of SSBC's Force 10 Sport Twin 2-piston forged-aluminum calipers (you have your choice of seven different powder-coated colors as well as a highly-polished finish), high-performance carbon metallic brake pads, and all of the necessary fasteners. To complete the installation, we added an Earl's Hyperfirm stainless steel brake hose kit (#28A090ERL $71.95), which also comes with the rear line. This is always a worthwhile and cost-effective upgrade to the stock rubber hoses. Like everything else on our 140,000-mile smog-motored wonder, these front brakes and rotors have seen better days. Like everything else on our 140,000-mile smog-motored wonder, these front brakes and rotor Source Interlink Tech Center Director Jason Scudellari employs his trusty Snap-on swivel ratchet to remove the stock caliber bolts. Source Interlink Tech Center Director Jason Scudellari employs his trusty Snap-on swivel r One good thing about working with a car with lots of miles is everything has plenty of clearance. The stock calibers slipped off without the slightest struggle. One good thing about working with a car with lots of miles is everything has plenty of cle Our next step was to remove the rotors. Begin by removing the wheel bearing castle nut. Don't forget to pull out the cotter pin first. You'd have quite the battle on your hands if you didn't. Don't laugh, we've heard of it being done before. Our next step was to remove the rotors. Begin by removing the wheel bearing castle nut. Do Like most of this installation, everything was pretty straightforward: the rotors slid right off, so don't lose your grip on this. Cast iron doesn't bounce too well and it (and you) will make an awful noise if it lands on your foot. Since we were going to replace the stock rubber hoses it was okay to leave the caliper hanging on them. You wouldn't want to stress your hoses with the weight of the caliper if you intend to reuse them. Like most of this installation, everything was pretty straightforward: the rotors slid rig It goes without saying that we replaced the old wheel bearings. We actually even remembered to make the trip to Pep Boys to purchase a fresh can of grease, the bearings, and a new set of seals before we started. We did, however, forget to buy new cotter pins and dust covers. Remember, your new bearings will come out of the box dry. To properly distribute grease in the bearing, place a glob of the lube in the palm of your bare hand. Push the bearing into the grease and against your hand until it forces it out through the needles. Do it all the way around the bearing for full coverage. It goes without saying that we replaced the old wheel bearings. We actually even remembere Its never a good idea to mix new pads with old, shoddy rotors. If yours are still in workable condition, spend a few extra bucks and have them turned by a reputable machine shop. We stepped up to a set of SSBC's new cross-drilled and slotted Big Bite rotors (#23046AA3L&R $126 ea.). We felt that using the forged-aluminum calipers with the old stock rotors would have been like wearing new dress shoes with a pair of grease-stained Dickies. That just wouldn't fly. We prepped the new races (installed from the factory) with a liberal coat of high-temp disc brake wheel bearing grease. Its never a good idea to mix new pads with old, shoddy rotors. If yours are still in worka After thoroughly cleaning the spindle, we re-installed the rotor. The slots in the rotor provide much-needed airflow to both cool and clean the rotor. Beware when installing, as the rotors are specific to each side. Thankfully SSBC clearly marks them so they're difficult to confuse. As you can see, we re-used the stock backing plate. One nice thing about the SSBC kit is that it utilizes all of the stock components. After thoroughly cleaning the spindle, we re-installed the rotor. The slots in the rotor p Carefully seat and install the new wheel seals with a rubber mallet. Remember to install the inner wheel bearing first! We've made that mistake more than once. And no, the bearing won't fit through the seal after it's installed. Carefully seat and install the new wheel seals with a rubber mallet. Remember to install t 1 | 2 | » | View Full Article By Joe Rode Enjoyed this Post? 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