How to change brake pads and rotors

How to change brake pads and rotors.

Brake pads & rotors are considered wear items and as such, need to be replaced regularly. For track cars or race cars, the brakes must be changed even more frequently than street cars. My most recent brake upgrade is for my 1994 BMW 325is track car. Not too long ago, I purchased a set of Hawk DTC60 track pads and Stoptech slotted rotors. The upgrades will not only improve braking, but also survive the abuse of track driving. Since track driving generates extra heat during heavy braking, having upgraded pads and rotors is a must. The e36 generation BMW is fairly old these days, so changing brake pads & rotors is not quite as straightforward as some newer cars. This video covers how to change brake pads and rotors on my BMW, but it will apply to most cars out there on the market today.

Ford Focus RS review

Taking a spin in a 2016 Ford Focus RS.

I have always wanted to get my hands on a Ford Focus RS. I had the opportunity just recently to borrow a friend of mine’s Focus RS and take it out through the mountains for a spin. The Focus RS is Ford’s AWD hot hatch that does not disappoint. Armed with a 2.3L 4-cylinder engine, this turbocharged beast makes 350 horsepower and 350 foot pounds of torque. Putting all of that power to the ground is an advanced all wheel drive system with multiple drive modes, including a mode specifically for drifting! In addition, you have 4 doors and seats to bring along all your friends. What a ride, check out my video review for the whole scoop!

BRZ air filter installation

Looking for a cheap and effective upgrade? A BRZ air filter fits this requirement perfectly.

BRZ air filter upgrades are cheap, common, and easy to install. This not only applies to the Subaru BRZ, but also the Scion FRS and Toyota 86. The low quality panel filters that come with most cars are usually not very efficient. Installing a K&N drop-in air filter is a simple solution to a common problem. The K&N filter will fit just about all BRZ, FRS, and 86 model cars. The one exception is the 2017 manual transmission cars. In this case, you want to install the Blitz drop-in air filter. These filters improve air flow in the engine intake system and last much longer than a traditional panel filter. The installation process is the same, very straightforward with minimal tools and experience required.

BRZ burnout challenge part 2!

Not satisfied with my first burnout attempts, I head out for BRZ burnout challenge part 2!

So doing burnouts in my BRZ is not only fun, I actually put a legitimate safety feature to the test 🙂 Word on the street is that the 2017 BRZ had some sort of brake override feature. This feature would cut fuel or throttle to the car, if you pressed the brake at the same time. This has been seen on numerous vehicles in recent years as a safety precaution. In my BRZ burnout challenge part 2, I tested doing “brake stands”. Or, simple flooring the throttle while lightly pressing the brake, to keep the car from moving. Not only does this provide data for this test, but it also provides glorious burnout smoke signals.

Rota Titan wheels

Un-boxing my new Rota Titan wheels!

Upgrading your wheels can provide a number of benefits. You can improve the look and stance of your car by simply changing out your wheels. In addition, you can increase wheel size and reduce weight as well. I have been wanting a second set of wheels so I could try out a different set of tires. Low cost and low weight were important factors in my decision making. I checked out a number of different wheel manufacturers before settling on the Rota Titan wheels. These wheels are 17×9’s with a 42mm off-set. They weigh in at roughly 18.5lbs per wheel, which is on the lighter side for this size of wheel. Couple those benefits with a low cost and you cannot go wrong!

Tanabe Concept G exhaust

Installing a Tanabe Concept G exhaust system on my 2017 BRZ.

Exhaust systems are one of the first things people upgrade when it comes to modifying their cars. Most exhaust systems are simple to remove as well as install. More often than not, they also have the biggest effect on the sound of the car. As a result, there are many choices out there for aftermarket exhaust systems. I recently swapped out my custom exhaust system for a shiny new Tanabe Concept G system. This is a cat-back style exhaust system that comes in 2 pieces. The build quality is high and installation was simple. For the price, this is a fantastic upgrade for anyone looking to improve the exhaust note and save weight!

Tanabe Concept G exhaust for BRZ FRS 86

Perrin crank pulley

Installing a Perrin crank pulley saves weight and improves throttle response.

Lightweight pulleys are a common upgrade for most performance cars and are also suitable for street cars. By reducing the engine rotating mass, you are saving weight and in addition, improving throttle response. A Perrin crank pulley can be easily installed on any BRZ, FRS, or Toyota 86 with positive improvements. The installation process requires only basic tools and knowledge of car repairs or modifications. Because the cost of the pulley is relatively inexpensive, this is a good bang for your buck kind of upgrade. Lightweight pulley’s are typically an upgrade that I do along with other engine bolt-on modifications.

Perrin crank pulley

BRZ Sparco seat install

Putting my car on a diet in this BRZ Sparco seat install video.

One of the most cost effective ways to save weight in any performance car, is to replace the stock seats with lighter weight options. For my BRZ, I have chosen Sparco EVO race seats. These seats save roughly 15lbs over the stock seat, for a total savings of 30lbs when replacing both seats. The BRZ Sparco seat install process is pretty straight forward. However, you have to be careful with the various airbag and seat plugs. Not only do you save a good amount of weight, the race seats also hold you in place much better than the stock seats. This is invaluable in high performance racing like autocross!

Modified BRZ exhaust sound

Now that my engine mods are installed, it is time for the modified BRZ exhaust sound.

Not too long ago I installed a bunch of engine upgrades in my 2017 Subaru BRZ. These modifications include a complete set of engine parts from intake and header, to exhaust and tuning. Naturally, I wanted to see what the modified BRZ exhaust sound would be like after the changes. For this video, we get sound and footage from the inside of the car as well as the outside of the car. Can you hear the boxer rumble and the difference between this and the stock exhaust note?

BRZ modifications

It’s time to install the rest of my BRZ modifications!

My 2017 BRZ is getting closer to being fully setup for the STX autocross class. In order to produce maximum power, we are going to install a number of upgrades. To begin, I started off with the common bolt-on BRZ modifications. This includes a Grimmspeed intake as well as a RevWorks exhaust header. In addition, I added a Perrin overpipe attached to a  Berk front-pipe. The Berk front-pipe also includes a high-flow catalytic converter. Lastly,  a custom cat-back exhaust system with Magnaflow muffler completes the system. ECUtek is the engine management platform, which we use to get maximum power out of the complimenting upgrades.