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rhouck Review: Urge AP Racing BBK

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Old 05-14-2013, 06:16 PM
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Talking rhouck Review: Urge AP Racing BBK

REVIEW: URGE DESIGNS AP RACING BIG BRAKE KIT

Finally I am getting around to write a review on this product.

Cliff notes for those with short attention spans:
1. Quality kit
2. Affordable pads
3. Pads last longer and are affordable (but consider rotating)
4. Rotors should last longer and are affordable
5. No brake fade experienced
6. Braking feedback improved

THE KIT
For information about the CP8350 caliper and what makes it great (and why Urge and Essex selected it for use on the S2000), take a read here: http://www.essexparts.com/shop/compe...0-caliper.html

AP Racing offers a LOT of different calipers, each customized to fit different applications (take a look here http://www.apracing.com/products/rac..._calipers.aspx ). The selection of the proper caliper reflects the thought and attention to detail that has gone into the entire kit's design.

For great pics and detail on the kit (as well as another glowing review ), check out 99SH's review here: https://www.s2ki.com/s2000/topic/974...-quick-review/

Only 4.8 lbs! (vs 10+ for stock caliper)




INSTALLATION
There are already other reviews going over the installation details of the kit, so I wouldn't get too much into that. It's all fairly straightforward and not a problem to toss on in the garage. I remember being annoyed that something was an odd size (I believe standard instead of metric) but I have forgotten now So here are the bling bling fresh pics (with new Carbotech XP12)

[attachment=39008hoto (8).JPG] [attachment=39009hoto (6).JPG] [attachment=39010hoto (7).JPG]

CONSUMABLE COSTS
This is a major decision for people. Obviously we are all familiar with the woes of cracked rotors. However, personally I often found myself more annoyed with how few days I would get out of brake pads. Only getting a couple days out of a set quickly becomes a very expensive consumable in itself.

Now, I had not previously used the XP12 on the S2000 myself, so I unfortunately do not have a true A to B comparison. I was previously using Project MU CRs.

So after six track days, I decided to pull the pads and take a look at everything.

Passenger Side:
[attachment=39013:857.jpg] [attachment=39012:856.jpg] [attachment=39014:858.jpg]

New pad (not XP12, but for comparison): NOTE: all pad measurements are pad ONLY and do not include the backing plate
[attachment=39025:869.jpg] [attachment=39020:864.jpg]

Passenger/Outside:
[attachment=39015:859.jpg] [attachment=39016:860.jpg] [attachment=39019:863.jpg]

Passenger/Inside:
[attachment=39017:861.jpg] [attachment=39018:862.jpg] [attachment=39011:865.jpg]

Passenger Rotor: (I had trouble getting accurate measurements here, so take with grain of salt)
[attachment=39022:866.jpg] [attachment=39023:867.jpg] [attachment=39024:868.jpg]

Driver Side:
[attachment=39026:870.jpg] [attachment=39027:871.jpg]

Driver/Outside:
[attachment=39030:874.jpg] [attachment=39021:875.jpg] [attachment=39033:877.jpg] [attachment=39035:879.jpg]

Driver/Inside:
[attachment=39028:872.jpg] [attachment=39029:873.jpg] [attachment=39032:876.jpg] [attachment=39034:878.jpg]

Driver Rotor: (again, don't put much stock in these measurements)
[attachment=39031:880.jpg]

Summary -- Pad Life Remaining (mm) after six track days (stock is ~15.5mm):
Passenger (Inside/Outside): 4.9/6.1
Driver (Inside/Outside): 8.6/6.5

Conclusions:
1. Remember that pad price is basically the same as stock rotors. And so after six track days, I still have enough pad life to run 1-2 more track days. Had I rotated, I probably could eek out even more (as the 4.9mm pad will be limiting factor).
2. Pad life is somewhat uneven. In the future, I will be sure to keep a closer eye on them and rotate them around. (note: the stock caliper suffers from uneven wear as well). I was a bit surprised at my inside passenger wear rate.
3. I'll talk more about this next but PAD FEEL AND PERFORMANCE WAS UNCHANGED. Yes, I did not know I had worn through half (or more) of the pad life. With pads on the stock calipers, you definitely notice as they wear down (fade faster is the biggest).

I also am going to try another pad next. Patrick at Urge recommended the Ferrodo DSUNO (it is one they sell with the kit) and I may consider that next. Or the Carbotech RP2 (endurance pad). I also have Project Mu
999s coming (eventually) so I will be sure to update with wear/performance feedback in the future.

UPDATE: (May 19, 2013)

So I pulled my bumper off this weekend, and noticed that my passenger side brake duct was not attached!! The hose was disconnected from the front duct and so zero air was getting through there.

Anyway, that certainly seems to at least partially address my uneven pad wear... It's also an interesting (an completely unintended ) comparison of brake ducts vs no brake ducts. To reiterate, the driver's side (with ducting) inside pad still has more than half (55%) it's starting pad remaining, and the outside pad has 42% of starting pad life remaining.

UPDATE: (September 16, 2013)

Have completed 16 track days (including days at tracks that are particularly hard on brakes like Auto Club Speedway). Plenty of wear left, and no major cracks in either rotor. The last 10 of these days are with a supercharger, and many on rcomps (NT01). Plus those 10 (at least) are without any brake ducting. Car running as fast as 1:55 at Buttonwillow 13CW (on RS3) and we are still in summer heat.

I got 7 days out of XP12s before I pulled them (but still had some life left). I just swapped DSUNO, still with some life, after 8 days. Onto Project Mu 999s now.

Even without ducting and with 100+ more rwhp than an N/A s2k, the brakes continue to perform excellent and consistently.

Also, I am on Day 16 of my brake fluid (PMU G-Four) without a flush (just top offs and 1-2 light bleeds). Finally starting to feel like it's time to change it out as it starts to feel a little soft.

PERFORMANCE
Obviously saving money is great and the kit definitely will save money over time in pad and rotor savings (I estimate my pad costs will be cut in half, perhaps slightly more). But in all honesty, the PERFORMANCE benefits of the kit are what really put a smile on my face.

The stock calipers can lock up the brakes so for turn 1 lap 1, the performance benefit is negligible. However, what the kit adds is consistency. If you watch my 1:59 OEM aero video, you will notice I take a complete [email protected]#ked up line into Turn 2. A lot of people asked me "is it faster that way?" and the answer is a resounding NO! I lost several tenths due to that. And the reason? BRAKE FADE!! Pedal went to the floor and car would not stop (I was lucky I didn't go off the track!).

But now, zero issues. I have gone out and abused the car for twenty minutes straight (including hard braking from ~120mph to ~40mph) without reduction in braking performance.

What is most remarkable is I have tested the kit on three sets of tires: RS3, NT01, and Rivals. All three have different characteristics, including how long it takes them to grease and start to slip. On stock calipers, my brakes were usually starting to fade soon after the tires would go off. So then in addition to managing a reduction in tire grip, I had to manage a reduction in braking performance -- not fun. But with the bbk, I could actually feel and continue to modulate the brakes as the tires went off. It was the first time in the S2000 I could actually really threshold brake as a tire went off and really feel that changing traction.

CONCLUSION

BUY THIS KIT!

Seriously. I get that it's not cheap (but keep in mind that bbks do not depreciate much, so you can resell later and recoup a substantial portion of your purchase price -- you don't get cracked rotors/worn pads back). And that a lot of wheels don't fit (although, FYI you can get 17x9.5" Enkei NT03s that will clear and are strong for less than $1000, so no excuses). The reality is that brakes are a shitty thing to have to worry about when on track. It sucks to replace cracked rotors. It is annoying to swap pads. It is annoying to debate whether to replace pads when you know that they are worn down and performance is suffering, but you can still eek some life out of them.

And it is DANGEROUS to run at a fast pace and not be 100% sure that your brakes are going to do exactly what you want them to. I don't pretend that I am the fastest driver around, but a run a respectable Advanced group pace and consistently podium in S2K Challenge, Redline Time Attack, and other competitions.

I remember when I first bought the S2000 about 7 months ago now, I asked Mike (psychoazn) about big brake kits. His recommendation was "it will pay for itself". And I wish I had bought it back then, several sets of pads and rotors ago. This kit is well-designed and just plain works. It lacks the "bling" of some of the Brembo/StopTech offerings, but I believe it to be a far superior option when you evaluate price and performance.

Many thanks to Patrick from Urge (http://www.urgedesigns.com) for developing and distributing the kit, and Mike from CounterSpace Garage (http://counterspacegarage.com/) for the continued assistance in developing my car.

Happy tracking, all!
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:17 PM
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(reserved for subsequent brake pad reviews)
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:43 PM
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Excellent review! It is my plan to move to a BBK once I go to a square setup, really doesn't look like one can go wrong with the Essex kit.
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:34 PM
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What is the rotor size, thickness and price of this kit?
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by robrob View Post
What is the rotor size, thickness and price of this kit?
I skimped on those details as it had been in a few other reviews, but I should probably add it in for those who might read this one first. Full kit details are available here: http://urgedesigns.com/brakes.html and here

Essex Track Brake Kit w/ AP Racing Track Calipers & Rotors $2299
Full Essex Track Kit details
Saves ~ 15lbs of Rotational and unsprung weight
AP Racing CP8350 Calipers w/ S2000 specific bore sizes and better ABS engagement
True Track Calipers used in Late Model Racing & European Rally Car
299mm rotors much less rotational weight than other track kits
299mm rotors used on 500HP, 2800lbs late model race cars
32mm thick rotors with much wider vanes, ~20 to 50% more air flow
Full floating rotors significantly reduce cracking
Reduce Tracking costs, ONLY $158 replacement rotor (vs $300+ for other 2 piece)
Reduce Tracking costs, 20mm thick pads last 50-100% longer at same prices!!
299x32mm rotor (the stock-sized rotor is partly why fitment is harder, but reduces weight and inertia)
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:53 PM
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How does this compare to the 4-piston Stoptechs in initial cost, consumable cost, and performance?
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by thepoi View Post
How does this compare to the 4-piston Stoptechs in initial cost, consumable cost, and performance?
It's hard to compare performance across BBKs, mainly because most people buy ONE BBK and stick with it. The overall consensus tends to be that once you go BBK, you don't go back. And generally, the upgrade to a BBK (ANY BBK) is such a drastic improvement over stock, that one does not explore swapping to another BBK.

All of that said, I have had the same exact experience with switching over to the StopTech kit (non-trophy). I only have 3 track days on mine since the swap, so i can't comment on pad wear specifics other than that I still have over 60% of my pad left (xp10/xp8 combo would only last me 3 track days up front).

Not to take away from this review or this kit, though. I would have much rather purchased this kit over the StopTech kit, except the price differential was too great AFTER I got cut an amazing deal with one of the vendors.

I think there's a number of features in this kit that give it advantages over the StopTech kit - even the trophy kit (the differences are minor between the regular stoptechs, although the price isn't) doesn't quite match what's incorporated into the Urge/Essex AP kit.

If you have money to burn and are after that extra performance, you can't go wrong with the Urge/Essex kit. I have no complaints about my StopTech kit - i just would have rather purchased this BBK if i had the extra cash. At the end of the day, almost every BBK with a "common" pad shape will be an improvement over stock and will eventually pay for itself in consumables both with pad life, pad cost, and rotor life.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by thepoi View Post
How does this compare to the 4-piston Stoptechs in initial cost, consumable cost, and performance?
Initial Cost: Urge is more expensive.

Consumable Cost: Urge is less expensive (brake pads slightly cheaper, rotors significantly cheaper)

Performance: Urge kit is lighter, rotational weight is more centered. I have not used StopTech kit to see if I would get similar on track performance. Urge pedal feel and control is excellent. Pad bite is instantaneous. StopTech is a mass-produced kit reusing the same generic caliper on all sorts of applications. I firmly believe that Essex is a higher quality product and is worth the price premium.


By the way, if anyone is curious: while Patrick has been very helpful, I did not even buy my kit directly from him (I bought it through CounterSpace, but Urge is the distributor for the kit). I did not receive any sort of sponsorship discount from Urge for trying their kit. I bought this kit because, after researching, I felt that it is the best available product. I am grateful that we still have vendors who are willing to continue to develop products and push the envelope on the S2000. I wrote this review because I hope others will recognize quality work and support it (even if you can't get the calipers in pretty colors).
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:18 AM
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The uneven pad wear has me curious, cuz the BRZ (same caliper and pads are being used) doesn't have as extreme uneven wear, but I also regularly take off the pads. We can swap pads a bit to try to even out our wear if you want.
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Old 05-15-2013, 05:51 AM
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I haven't noticed any uneven wear on my Essex kit using DSUNO pads. May be the XP12s?
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