FRS StopTech Brake Upgrade
Updated: Nov 3, 2019
Hello and welcome to Teq Digest where we are dedicated to featuring classic and sporting Toyota vehicles. Today we have my own personal vehicle, a 2013 Scion FRS also known as a Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ. I've owned this car for a little while now and put about 20k miles on the clock, mostly street, some autocross, and now track days. To cope with the abuse of my instructional track day i decided to make some changes to the braking system; as it is the most important aspect of high performance driving outside of tires...safety first!
While many of you, including myself; have seen sometimes expensive big brake kits and other mods installed, I decided to keep my budget tight and go with a tried and true upgrade, StopTech's Sport Kit. The kit itself is affordable and I purchased my set here, it included almost everything I needed, slotted rotors, brake pads with a more aggressive compound, and stainless braided brake lines for improved pedal feel.
Included in my upgrades were not only brakes but a set of ARP wheel studs, I have seen first hand wheel studs break when not only routinely changing wheels or doing a rotation, but at high speed when they fail in a turn. Extended ARP wheel studs are an upgrade I'd recommend not only because the stock studs are super cheap and break easy, but because it offers the option of going with wider wheels without running out of space. To accompany my longer wheel studs I went with an open ended lug nut in black by Muteki that are known for their toughness, good looks, and affordable price. A bottle of Motul RBF 600 was also thrown in to ensure that brake fluid temperatures were maintained to optimize braking during my day at Sebring International Raceway.
In order to make things painless and easy I decided to take my vehicle to Artillery Motorsports in Lakeland, FL, which is run by my good friend Steven who has been building cars most of his life. For Steven cars are his passion and for something like a brake upgrade it's simple, because he uses the right tools and techniques to get the job done.
Surely this job could be done in your home garage or driveway, but with access to a lift and a skilled mechanic why not take advantage? It also doesn't hurt to pay a visit to my beloved AE86.
First thing's first, lifting my FRS off the ground, removing the wheels, and getting access to the brake components.
Their hasn't been too much wear and tear on my brakes, with Florida roads being fairly straight and free of congestion; I don't suffer stop and go traffic like many others do. You can't tell here but as I stated earlier, the OEM wheel studs are prone to breaking in half; I used some aftermarket stock replacement studs in the mean time with no issues.
Brake cleaner makes everything look close to brand new, also take a look at the slots in the brake backing plate, pretty innovative for a car at this price point.
While this isn't meant to be a true step-by-step installation guide, I must make a note of this cool Lisle wheel stud tool. Using this tool with an impact gun or ratchet protects your lug nuts and creates a wobble free seat as you crank down the torque on your new studs.
The fronts are in! Plenty of space to upgrade wheel in the future when that time comes, along with all the strength needed for when I dive in to a turn at Sebring.
A quick comparison of my old brake pads and new, I had plenty of life left on my old pads, but the compound probably wouldn't hold up with the type of driving I was going to do. If you can afford aftermarket brake pads try to go with what works for you, most FRS owners are going to drive to and from the track which means you need a compound suitable for street driving as well.
You won't be able to see it with the multi-spoke stock FRS wheels but the slotted rotors underneath look pretty sweet when exposed. I chose slotted over drilled rotors on my vehicles because drilled holes on a rotor are prone to crack over time and cause premature rotor wear. It's not to say drilled rotors are dangerous or do not work, I just plan on taking full advantage of my set and want to use these for as long as possible.
The rear wheel studs require that you get access to the back of the hub, we chose to remove the center nut and just slip it off a bit to get each wheel stud on. Along with trying to get the wheel studs on it was also a chore to reassemble the parking brake which is simple to reinstalling drum brake shoes.
While my car was up in the air I took time to check underneath for anything that looked worn or damaged. My Scion FRS was in good shape but if you ever get a chance it doesn't hurt to look at suspension components and your exhaust...while you contemplate upgrades.
The rears are in! So much extension of the lug bolts themselves to fit a variety of wider wheels.
When you chose a mechanic or you plan on doing a job yourself you want to take in to consideration specialty tools. The tool above was used to rid my brake system of all the regular low temperature brake fluid that occupied my lines. Luckily Steven has these specialty tools that make his job easier, efficient, and clean.
Another specialty tool used was this reservoir which was full of Motul RBF 600 and entered my brake system without air as I sat inside and pumped my brake pedal.
After bleeding my brakes it was time to get my wheels back on, I normally use an impact to get the lug nuts on first. When the car is lowered I make it a habit to go around with a torque wrench and check each lug nut, for this application ARP recommended 85 lb ft of torque.
And that's all we have for today! Following the work done by Steven at Artillery Motorsports i took my car down the road and bedded my brakes. Bedding your brakes is the process of mating your new pad with your rotor, this ensures even wear while removing any remaining glaze or oil that might have come from the factory on these components. After replacing pads, rotors, lines, and fluid; my FRS stops shorter, has a stiffer pedal, and gives me the confidence to inch closer towards the limits of this platform as it is.
Stay tuned for a review of my high performance driving education class at Sebring to see how my car felt and performed.