"Dissatisfied with the brakes on my previous C5 and my current Z06 I set off to create the most cost efficient and highest performing brake rotor setup currently on the market"
This may seem a bit long-winded but you are getting information that has taken me three years to realize for myself. If your solution is a cheaper or more expensive alternative, I take pride in at least offering you my experience and let you know the pros and cons of each system.
The StopFORCE Solution!
On my last track day of 2002, another driver offered me the wheel of his mid 90's Twin Turbo Porsche. I was amazed at its stopping power as I continued to push the vehicle deeper and deeper than I ever thought possible. While in the car I asked him about his brake setup, and he replied by saying it was completely stock, even down to the brake fluid. I gave up valuable “seat time” in a Twin Turbo so I could pit immediately and to see this brake setup for myself. Obviously it had very large Porsche/Brembo four piston “Big Red” calipers. But it also had a very nice two-piece rotor setup. Even the track day head instructor made the comment that only Porsche and Ferrari come with an OEM brake setup necessary to withstand the type of extreme driving abuse a track can cause.
My research pointed me to Porsche rotors, and to see if they were a viable alternative to my braking problem on the Corvette. After many weeks of research I found a two piece rotor setup from Porsche that identically matched the thickness and diameter of the stock C5 front rotor. I quickly purchased them knowing I at least had found the proper rotor size. My next task was to create a rotor hat to bolt to the C5 hub. You may think it is as simple as creating a piece of metal to mount another piece of metal. IT’S NOT! I went through several iterations before finding the right material. I had originally machined the rotor hats using the same type of steel Porsche used. And they performed well for months, but the added lightness and heat dissipation of 7075 T6 aluminum proved to be a better alternative. I found the proper rotor mounting hardware, rotors and machined the custom rotor hat. The installation of these components together proved to be crucial. Torque specs, torque pattern, and high-temperature anti-seize between the mounting hardware and the hat were all very important. Balancing of the rotor individually and then high speed balancing of the rotor hat where necessary to ensure a long trouble free component life. Also, measuring brake rotor runout was necessary to eliminate any brake pedal pulse. If you have a rotor hat made like I did and just bolt on a properly sized rotor you will have rotor problems, without taking all necessary precautions. After the actual components were produced and the assembly perfected (and I do mean perfected), I had the rotor on and off my ZO6 at least 15 times before learning and developing the procedure necessary for a trouble-free install. After documenting the installation, it was time to test this setup.
I participated in three trackdays and had no problems whatsoever. The setup repeatedly brought me down from triple digit speeds at Buttonwillow and Willow Springs raceway in California with no fade! The new rotor setup with Hawk EP+ brake pads proved to be a fantastic combination. So much so that I recommend these pads highly for your rotors. My three track days were no indication of long term performance, however.
Ten rotor/hat setups were produced and lent to various road racers and drag racers in my local Southern California Corvette chapter. Five of the rotor setups where hard anodized black and Five rotor setups where left bare metal color. After three months of abuse, all the rotor setups where returned on March 7th 2003. Every one of these setups came back without a single problem. The bare metal setups started to show signs of rust on the rotor hat from where they make contact with the wheel. This was expected--I just wanted to see to what degree it would happen. They also showed a fair amount of rust on the rotor hardware, but when disassembled had no rust between the rotor and the hat. The five coated kits showed signs of rust on the untreated mounting hardware but nowhere else. Also the hat itself maintained its black appearance on all but one of the kits. The kit with lightened hats came from the person who was probably the hardest of all 10 brake testers. He regularly races SCCA events in the Pacific North West. His brake hats started to lighten color and, based on expected rotor life, it would probably lighten even more before the rotor needed replacing in another 3-4 months. Because of this I decided to hard-anodize the rotor hat to the twice normal thickness, and zinc coat the mounting hardware on all production brake kits. Although I agree the bare color of metal on a black rotor hat adds to its appearance.....you’re not going to like the color of rust that appears a month down the line.
So that's my experience. You’re not going to find this kind of information on any other webpage. Here is a real life story of a problem and a final solution.