Ninemeister - Performance - Brakes
Braking performance is all about stopping power, in simple terms if you can brake harder you can brake later; braking later make straights longer and longer straights result in higher speeds. The good news is that most Porsche models are already equipped with some of the best brakes available on a production sports car, but this does not mean that they cannot be improved upon. However, before you immediately start thinking about fitting huge discs with 6 pot callipers, whether you have an early 911, Cayman R or GT3RS the first option should be to fully optimise the performance of your standard braking system.
The braking system converts the kinetic energy of the car into heat, so the faster you go and the harder you use your brakes the more temperature the braking system has to endure. The front brakes are the ones which do the majority of the work, so the starting point is to ensure a plentiful supply of cooling air from the addition of brake scoops if not already fitted.
Hydraulic brake fluid is the most temperature sensitive item in the brake system and it is rated by the wet and dry boiling temperature of the fluid. Ninemeister use and recommend Millers RBF 300 Plus (310°C) and Castrol SRF (320°C).
Brake fluids are hygroscopic, i.e. absorb water from the air, and over time the boiling point reduces as more water is absorbed from the air, which is why regular brake fluid changes are essential if you want to keep the brake system working at its best. For maximum performance Ninemeister recommend a full brake system flush & fluid change at a minimum of every 18 months, although 12 months would be preferable. With regular track day use we also recommend bleeding all the callipers after every couple of events (approx. 0.5-1.0 litres total) and for race cars do the same after every race weekend.
All this heat in the braking system comes from the friction between the brake pads and the brake discs and the amount of energy dissipated is proportional to the force on the pad (generated by the pedal pressure) and to the coefficient of friction of the brake pad against the disc, so unless you can press the pedal significantly harder (!) higher friction brake pads are the answer to increasing braking force without changing discs or callipers.
Pagid RS are the Ninemeister brake pad of choice as used by Colin to four consecutive Speed Championships in his 993RSCS. A wide range of compounds are available suitable for fast road or full race use, for more information and our recommendations download the 9m brake pad datasheet.
Bigger is definitely better
You’ve got the fluid, you’ve fitted the pads and you still want more braking power, so what next? Braking effort is actually the result of torque (turning force) applied by the brakes to the wheels generated by the friction of the pad at the radius of the pad on the disc. If you have reached the limit of available force from the pads the only option left to explore is to increase the leverage of the pad force by fitting larger diameter brake discs, larger callipers & pads or a combination of both.
Porsche themselves use this approach in each model line-up so the easiest upgrade path is to do the same by installing larger brakes off the S, turbo or RS version: Boxster S brakes for a 2.7, GT3 brakes for a Boxster S; Big Red RS/Turbo brakes onto a 993; 993 brakes onto a 964. Lots of combinations are possible, Ninemeister have probably tried most so why not call us first for ideas?
The Ninemeister 380mm front + rear fully floating brake disc conversion for the 996 & 997 GT3, GT3RS, Turbo and GT2 is the most effective brake package available. The unique design of the Ninemeister disc to bell mounting method comes from the Bugatti Veyron, the system allowing distortion free expansion of the discs under hard use. Unlike other systems our stainless steel retaining clips reduce internal friction and wear and also eliminate backlash for totally quiet operation under light use on the road. With peak recorded retardation of over 1.5g the Ninemeister 380 kit is simply the ultimate brake package for those who dare to explore their own limits.
The 964 & 993 are unique in respect that Porsche offered several different ABS systems depending on the model. For instance the Carrera 2 version of both cars was fitted with vacuum operated brake servos whereas the Carrera 4, RS and Turbo models have hydraulic booster cylinders. The 964 models are a 3 channel system (front left, front right and rear pair) whereas the 993 is a fully independent 4 channel system.
The 964RS, Carrera 4 & Turbo have the same ABS control unit whereas the 993 model has different control units for the Carrera 2, Carrera 4 & Turbo and RS. There is also a unique ecu for the 993 Cup and it’s a similar story with the 996 & 997 compared to the GT3 and Turbo variants.
When using Big Red brakes on the 964 Carrera 2 you may experience brake pedal travel issues on the limit and this is due to the size of the 964 master cylinder. Our solution to that problem is to fit the 993 cylinder in its place, however whilst this is not a bolt-in replacement Ninemeister can do the conversion with their specially made components
ABS system upgrades
Out of all these different ABS systems it should not surprise you that the 4 channel 993 Carrera 4/Turbo/RS package is the best performance option, hence provided all the parts are available the conversion of any Carrera 2 964 or 993 model to 4ch is highly recommended.
Please contact Colin for more information on ABS system upgrades to suit your specific model.