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I have a 2000 Outback with 45000 miles on it. When we purchased it new, it wasn't long before I could smell like burning from the wheel area. Then the brakes started squeaking and shaking when I applied the brakes. The dealer (several of them) have checked it out, turning the rotors, and told me that the brakes are within limits. Also the dealers and most people I have talked to have always told me of Soobys weak brakes.

I am looking to upgrade my brakes.

1. If I just put on ceramic brakes will that be enough.

2. If I must upgrade the rotors as well, which type (drilled or slotted) to get the best performance.

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The brakes on the 2000 Outback are too small, and they easily warp.

 

Subaru realized their mistake and installed bigger brakes on the 2001 Outback, the new brakes are 1" bigger in diameter and this is very significant (works out to about a 30% increase in both cooling surface and pad contact area). BTW: 2001+ models also got an outside temperature gauge.

 

You should switch to the 2001+ brakes and this is quite easy. You will need the calipers, rotors, pads, shims, backing plate (dust shield), and pad retainer (the bracket which attachs to the hub and holds the pads and caliper). Complain enough and you might be able to get Subaru to foot at least part of the bill, I know several people that have had Subaru cover half the cost of upgrading. You should be able to find these brakes from a scrapyard, but be sure they are not in any way damaged.

 

The only downside of the 2001+ brakes is that 16" wheels are required (ok since the 2000 alloy wheels are also 16"), but some people put 15" winter tires on their 2000's because they will fit and cost a lot less.

 

Installing slotted/drilled rotors wont help. They will still warp and these types can not be resurfaced. I would get the bigger brakes from a 2001 model and see how you like it. If still not sufficient then install "Mintex" brake pads to go along with the stock rotors. The Mintex pads do not offgas (which is the real reason for slotted or drilled rotors), and will give a better feel. They will not stop the car any faster though. The Subaru pads are tough as nails, and last a very long time. I am on target to get 70-80k miles out of the pads on My 2001 Outback. My car is 5 speed though, and automatic vehicles are much harder on brakes.

 

Subaru brakes are not weak, if fact they are generally considered to be more than adequate. Subaru's are known for a soft brake pedal, and this is due to the dual stage brake booster. You can fool around with the brake pedal adjuster rod to eliminate some of the softness, but be sure not to tighten it the point where the brakes begin to drag.

 

If you still warp the bigger 2001 rotors, it not a brake problem, its a driver problem. Repetative hard braking (more than three hard stops in succession) will warp any non race brake. Also running a wheel through a puddle with hot brakes is very bad....

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Well said. Like alias20035 said, bigger brakes are the only way to reduce possible warpage, but ultimately, its up to the driver. Perrin makes a really nice 4 piston front setup with wilwood calipers, slotted rotors, stainless brakelines, and good fluid for about $650. You can make those glow orange, won't fade or warp. They are for the hardcore though.:brow:

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