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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy,

I have a habit of looking for ways to improve my cars performance that don't put the transmission at risk since they are probably the most expensive single item to replace on the car that I can't do myself.

Looking at the Brembo brake swap information on here I have a few questions after making some obseverations and looking up parts specs.

A 2008 Cobalt SS brake rotor is 315.5mm Dia, 25.7mm Thick, 42.8mm High (from back of rotor to wheel mounting surface), and has a pilot bore of 65.6mm.

A 2008 Saab 9-3 brake rotor is 314mm Dia, 28mm Thick, 45.3mm High, and has a 70mm pilot bore.

The 12 vs. 14mm bolt thing is pretty well covered, as is the pilot bore enlargement. I still have a few questions though:
How do you fit a 2.3mm wider rotor into the Brembo caliper?

The 9-3 rotor is 2.5mm taller, is the wheel hub difference enough to accomodate this?

Are the spacers I have seen mentioned with the Cobalt rotors between the rotor and the hub or are they needed to get the wheel to clear the caliper?

Thanks,
 

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Honestly. You are better off with the 308mm Aero Brakes with slotted rotors and a good set of Pads. You lose surface area of pad when you go to the Brembos. You are pretty much paying for a Caliper that says "Brembo" and losing some weight in the braking system. Also saves you a good chunk of change that can be put elsewhere.
 

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Sad to say Dustin, thats a ^^^^^ silly post.
4 piston MONOBLOC calipers are superior to a SINGLE PISTON SLIDING caliper, in every way in my opinion, but you can rest the case simply due to the more positive application of pad to rotor. Produces a nice "high and hard" pedal/ rather than a mushy squishy pos pedal. Its not about BREMBO on the label, and realistically on a 3800 lb SAAB u aint worried about the weight savings.

The "equal and opposite force" single piston sliding caliper theory loses in practice through friction, even with perfect caliper condition, but especially with corroded sliders and pad bridges. Typically SAAB brakes front and rear can go to metal on the inner pad . totally worn out, and still have visible good thickness material on the outer pad.


Next point the OP has done his homework. The 26 mm Cobalt rotor can be enhanced with a 28 mm rotor. In fact, I make a floating rotor hat using USA made Coleman rotors that are 28 mm thick as a Cobalt upgrade. They just fit in there no problem. Worst case the anti squeal shims have to be discarded to use the 28 mm rotor. So no problem.

That said, the very best upgrade would be to use a PAGID SAAB OEM rotor 314 mm x 28 mm already bored and with the sixth hole for the locating screw. PAGID stuff is at least as good as the Brembo rotor stuff in my experience.

As for the 314 mm compared to the 312 mm cobalt rotor diameter, its just 1 mm a side overhang , doesnt matter.

Then Dustin quite rightly looks at cost. Here this is a slam dunk for the Brembo. It was the cost of SAAB replacement parts (200 freaking dollars for a SAAB rotor you kidding me??!!) that drove me insane and caused me to reach across the shop draw down a Brembo conversion from stock with fancy Silver Sparkle powdercoat, and toss that SAAB stuff away.

Well NOT quite. I have put up some feelers, to sell the stock SAAB single piston calipers off my 9-5 for cost of shipping only....No takers.

Calipers: Amazon have Bremb calipers for about 200-300. Price Saab Calipers on Rock auto. Ugh.

Brake pads: Price Bendix metal master ( I use these in the winter, great winter pad) for Brembo, $35.00/ free shipping on Amazon. Yup go price SAAB OEM pads ...match that price. I dare you. lol Brembo Cobalt rotors on Amazon 90.00 each. Add 25 for machining to fit.

lol.

Brake hoses? You should replace rubber brake hoses every two three years anyway, but the hot ticket is stainless plastic covered Goodrich lines, say 125.00- 175.00 a car set..


Hmmm. Brembo conversion? CTX-SLPR: just DO IT!!!

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Qwikred,

Thanks for the response. I am not a fan of drilled rotors or sliding calipers. I find that the drilled rotors leave funny wear patterns in the pads and the sliding calipers tend to not slide evenly and again you get uneven pad wear. Hense the reason I'm going to so much effort to put Nissan R32 Skyline calipers on my '64 Riviera when I could slap a set of 98-02 F-body calipers on there much easier.

There are a few questions that weren't addressed in your post however. Mainly the different heights of the rotors causing what I assume to be a misalignment between the caliper centerline and the rotor centerline. This seems like it would only be worse with a thicker rotor as well. Is the Saab front hub/bearing ~2.5mm taller than the Cobalt piece?

Does anyone sell the braided hoses with the slightly longer length and correct banjo end fitting or should I be piecing it together with Classic Tube "StopFlex" pieces?

Please send me an offline about the Coleman floaters.

Thanks,
 

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Qwikred,

Thanks for the response. I am not a fan of drilled rotors or sliding calipers. I find that the drilled rotors leave funny wear patterns in the pads and the sliding calipers tend to not slide evenly and again you get uneven pad wear. Hense the reason I'm going to so much effort to put Nissan R32 Skyline calipers on my '64 Riviera when I could slap a set of 98-02 F-body calipers on there much easier.

There are a few questions that weren't addressed in your post however. Mainly the different heights of the rotors causing what I assume to be a misalignment between the caliper centerline and the rotor centerline. This seems like it would only be worse with a thicker rotor as well. Is the Saab front hub/bearing ~2.5mm taller than the Cobalt piece?

Does anyone sell the braided hoses with the slightly longer length and correct banjo end fitting or should I be piecing it together with Classic Tube "StopFlex" pieces?

Please send me an offline about the Coleman floaters.

Thanks,
the alignment of the rotors is identical. so "offset" is the same. On the conversion for the supercharged Cobalt to Brembo, its necessary to put in a 2mm hub bearing spacer ( which I make) between the knuckle and the wheel bearing. To upgrade the same cars with stronger grand am wheel bearings it takes a 3mm spacer etc. BUT on the SAAB conversion nothing is required between the wheel bearing and the knuckle. Other than the issue of tge brembo caliper banjo is different.
I just dealt with it!



I had to trim the backing plate as well a tiny bit for the caliper fit.


New fasteners come from Fastenal..



There is no doubt the SAAB caliper bolt is hugely over engineered with a massive 4 mm washer and the usual torx head they seem fond of, but the 10.9 cad coated fastener does the job; there is a threaded insert in the Brembo caliper.

I cut the slots myself, it helps the initial brake apply in wet weather,and stops pad glazing.

I pulled the struts down mid winter to go after the strut bearing ( which was not bad) and the strut mount ( so so) and this is what the rotor looked like. I use VHT for coating whenever I install or pull apart to stop rust.



so roughly 30,000 km rotors are okay. touch up VHT and carry on. Ya I had to ditch the silly bolts for studs and use spacers so I can use the stock SAAB wheels in summer.

I may do a curved slot next time just for grins, thats what Tailleferro do for their conversions.
You are right. drilled rotors are retarded



Oh and for Dustin, when I bought the car it was from my buddy but he traded it so I did the in /out through the Chevy dealer, who did the safety inspection no problem. This was the inside of the front rotor.



Coleman..hmmmm
THis is the inside of the hat I make, using PFC bridge hardware. I am deciding after a few years of using these PFC pieces that I dont like them, and I am talking to Coleman about usung their more normal bobbin hardware,but the price creeps up.

Coleman machine to spec. Their stuff is very very good.

this is the inside of a Brembo rotor


photobucket is so slow on my connection. more to come
 

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this is the best picture quickly of coleman floating rotors on a brembo set up. I got three seasons out of the rotors. OOOPs thats a PFC E46 rotor same deal but 308 mm...



I dont think the PFC hardware can handle corrosion,it is stainless and all that. but....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I tend to like the Centric HD (black ecoat and higher quality iron) for standard duty rotors. Slots don't bother me since they are typically full pad width. Doesn't look like the 1mm overhang on the outside is wearing the rotors funny, is there a chamfered (sp?) lip on the edge of the pads?

Do what you like on the banjo bolts, I think I'd rather get the right banjo for the bolt and not rely solely on the washers.
 

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the caliper dicates the banjo thats my point. You cant use the SAAB banjo so get hoses is all.
u need new crush washers anyway. and torque values, never trust tightening on crush washers without a torque wrench. The brembo pad is chamfered on one end only that has to go UP otherwise you get brake vibration and noise.

The Bendix winter pads I use are chamfered both ends so thats ez. The OEM Brembo Ferodo HP1000 pads are brilliant but like soft compound tires, they can be marginal in very cold temperatures.
 

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I'll make it easy for you. You can get the set-up here with everything done. Drove the Sport sedan these were tested on and they are great:
Brembo Upgrade for 9-5


I wrote a long message, but not wanting to get into a giant argument. Personal Opinion - Not worth the money invested. Get stainless lines, New slotted rotors, Good Pads(which are cheaper for the 308 than the 315mm for same pad) and you will not have any issues.

I do like how you priced a "winter" pad instead of a good performance pad. 308 Hawk HPS = $80 - 315 Hawk HPS = $150. You seem to try and find the cheapest price for the Brembo set-up. Then look at OEM Saab. You should be looking at equal/same part across each. Plus having to get custom rotors is just a giant pain. Rather be able to run down to the local GM parts or even local auto parts store and get a set without headache in an emergency. But to each there own.
 

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I'll make it easy for you. You can get the set-up here with everything done. Drove the Sport sedan these were tested on and they are great:
Brembo Upgrade for 9-5


I wrote a long message, but not wanting to get into a giant argument. Personal Opinion - Not worth the money invested. Get stainless lines, New slotted rotors, Good Pads(which are cheaper for the 308 than the 315mm for same pad) and you will not have any issues.

I do like how you priced a "winter" pad instead of a good performance pad. 308 Hawk HPS = $80 - 315 Hawk HPS = $150. You seem to try and find the cheapest price for the Brembo set-up. Then look at OEM Saab. You should be looking at equal/same part across each. Plus having to get custom rotors is just a giant pain. Rather be able to run down to the local GM parts or even local auto parts store and get a set without headache in an emergency. But to each there own.
lol I shop all over for parts and buy stuff if the price is right. rockauto eeuro and rmeuro my fave places...amazon has some brilliant prices as well and ebay is always the bench mark.

rarely does the local ac delco store have stuff in stock and the GM dealer rip offs for saab parts pricing is well documented on here. and for stock inventory? I have yet to find a robust inventory on hand of SAAB parts.

But understand Dustin, the OP was looking for a Brembo setup, you dont like the price point, or the parts, and each to his own. The main thing is to enjoy your ride!
 
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