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WRX brake swap


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10 replies to this topic

#1 allwheeldad

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 10:39 AM

I've been told that the rotors and calipers from an 02 WRX will bolt up to my 99 Legacy, but it has occured to me that the master cylinder might not be able to handle the increase in fluid capacity. Does anybody know if I will have to replace it or if it is safe to keep it?

#2 grossgary

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 10:56 AM

No - there is no need to replace the master cylinder. That issue is sufficiently covered on NASIOC by folks that like to argue pointless points and those that have done brake conversions with excellent results (like myself). Check there if you like armchair quarter back kind of discussions.

Larger brakes sometimes need larger wheels. Not sure about rears since front conversions are more common. The larger front brake caliper brackets need 16" wheels (or some 15" will clear). There are even some WRX STi set ups that need even larger.

Good luck and enjoy!

#3 allwheeldad

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 12:40 PM

I am already sitting on the 16 inch WRX rims, so clearance is not an issue. Thanks for the straight forward advice. I'm not building a rally car, just taking advantage of some hand-me-down parts from my more fortunate brother. I just need the car to stop when I hit the pedal.

#4 coldfusion21

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 01:21 PM

If i may slightly push this off topic, i would like to ask about doing the same swap on a first gen legacy. I would think it would be fine, or i could swap parts to make it work?

The brakes in my legacy are really sub par compared to my euro cars and really wanna change that.


Thanks,


Jared

#5 grossgary

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 02:04 PM

The brakes in my legacy are really sub par compared to my euro cars and really wanna change that.

euro car - most likely they aren't as old as the Subaru?

a full flush and refill with brake fluid can do wonders to weak brakes.
good pads, 15+ year old subaru's don't often get good rotors/pads.
calipers - slide pins may need greased and the clips might be original, those should be replaced.
if your braking is poor the tires may be to blame as well?

that being said - the first gen legacy brakes are as small as they get for Subaru EJ stuff. upgrades are easy on your car. get whatever you want, but the larger dual piston set ups won't clear 14" and 15" rims (some 15" alloys are okay).

it's a bolt on upgrade, you'll just need to keep them fitting under whatever rims you have.

Edited by grossgary, 11 November 2009 - 02:07 PM.


#6 subaru360

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 07:42 PM

The 99 legacy uses the same calipers as the 02 wrx. It's just different brackets and bigger rotors.

#7 coldfusion21

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 12:58 AM

euro car - most likely they aren't as old as the Subaru?


Well, any volvo made after 78 or so had awesome brakes, 4 piston front, single rear with decent sized vented front rotors (the vented ones were only on the turbo's). That's where I'm coming from, but my current other car is a 93 BMW 325is and it also stops on a dime compared to the Subaru.

a full flush and refill with brake fluid can do wonders to weak brakes.
good pads, 15+ year old subaru's don't often get good rotors/pads.
calipers - slide pins may need greased and the clips might be original, those should be replaced.
if your braking is poor the tires may be to blame as well?


I will flush them, i agree that can really do wonders.

What kind of brake pads do you suggest? There was a PBR ceramic pad I loved on the Volvo's, wonder if something equivalent can be had for my Subaru? Same goes for rotors, does any particular brand stand out?

Tires are a non issue. They suck, but I come no where close to locking them up.

that being said - the first gen legacy brakes are as small as they get for Subaru EJ stuff. upgrades are easy on your car. get whatever you want, but the larger dual piston set ups won't clear 14" and 15" rims (some 15" alloys are okay).

it's a bolt on upgrade, you'll just need to keep them fitting under whatever rims you have.



My overall goal would be bang for my buck. I dont need STI brakes and don't want to have to pay for wheels to fit them either.

But i'm hoping I can find some plain jane WRX brakes for cheap off a wrecked car. Plus some newer stock wheels and i should be good to go.

Edited by coldfusion21, 12 November 2009 - 01:05 AM.


#8 grossgary

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 05:01 AM

gotcha. the WRX brakes should do you just fine and of course upgrade all your fluid then. i think you'll like the improvement. have you seen jamal's brake thread, tons of information? even LSi or GT brakes are dual calipers and better than the single piston calipers and they are REALLY cheap, you can get them for $25 bucks a side. heck i might have a set I can sell you, i have both sides from a legacy GT dual piston.

pads, i've liked all the higher end stuff i've bought so i just go with ceramic.

rotors i've never worried with brand, except to have them turned (they still do that around here!?!?), or buy new ones.

My overall goal would be bang for my buck. I dont need STI brakes and don't want to have to pay for wheels to fit them either.


i guess you have like an L or brighton model, which got the single pot front brakes and 15" wheels? if those are steel then i don't think dual pot calipers will fit under them.

some legacy's have rear drum brakes, not sure when they quit doing that, but have you seen them yet?

#9 coldfusion21

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 10:03 PM

gotcha. the WRX brakes should do you just fine and of course upgrade all your fluid then. i think you'll like the improvement. have you seen jamal's brake thread, tons of information? even LSi or GT brakes are dual calipers and better than the single piston calipers and they are REALLY cheap, you can get them for $25 bucks a side. heck i might have a set I can sell you, i have both sides from a legacy GT dual piston.

pads, i've liked all the higher end stuff i've bought so i just go with ceramic.

rotors i've never worried with brand, except to have them turned (they still do that around here!?!?), or buy new ones.



i guess you have like an L or brighton model, which got the single pot front brakes and 15" wheels? if those are steel then i don't think dual pot calipers will fit under them.

some legacy's have rear drum brakes, not sure when they quit doing that, but have you seen them yet?


Got under and checked everything out. Rear discs, with some nasty pads. It is the L model, with the steel wheels.

I figured nothing else would fit under those, but it looks like craigslist has lots of options for picking up some newer 16 inch alloys. Not to mention I may have found all four brakes off a '01 Legacy for under 100. When buying discs for this setup do I just ask for the 01 discs?

Thanks for your help, hopefully by next rally cross season i will have a nice little setup.

#10 grossgary

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 07:10 AM

get the caliper brackets with all the brakes too, not just calipers.

as for rotors, try getting the ones off the car and having them turned? might get lucky?

subaru is real whacko with brakes, so i'm not sure, but i would just write down all the info you can of the donor car.

read Jamal's write up on all the various brake combinations. Subaru was ADD when it came to brakes.

#11 allwheeldad

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 12:57 PM

Just a side note to finish this thread off.... the front calipers on the 99 legacy are the same as the wrx, but the rear calipers are different. the front rotors are bigger, but the rear rotors are the same size. This is an easy swap if you are keeping the calipers on the car because you don't have to bleed the system. I decided to go that route and just swapped the front rotors and brackets and just did the rotors in the back. It took me about two hours start to finish with a crappy jack in my driveway.




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