Ok, after crashing my car into a curb, I realize that brakes are the most important upgrade. I can't afford big wheels just yet, so Brembos and others are out. Those that have the STIs: do you like them? Are they enough, or do you wish you had more?
Before dropping the 700 bones (or whatever current price is) on the 4-pots, try getting a set of decent pads and some stainless brake lines. Good tires help too. The stock RS brakes are pretty good with a little help.
You will NOT find any difference with braking power right off the get go... Maybe just a little, but hardly enough to notice:-\
You will however see better brake fade resistance. I used to be able to come half way down a local mountain road, and have my brakes fade on me... now with the 4 pots, I can make it all the way down, without any fade.
This comparo' is of course based on stock pads, Vs. STi four pot stock pads.
I have since upgraded pads to Bozz Speed, and rotors to Bozz as well. The brakes now make noise, but stop harder than my friends porsche 996 turbo!
All- Porterfield pads have proven themselves time and time again. Although attention may have to be paid to the base fitment, the ends justify the means.
Paul Eklund of Primitive Racing sells a good pad that he uses on the "USX open class rally car" but, I can't remember the manufacturer. I'm sure that if you drop him a line, he would answer your questions with enough real world experience to make you gag.
For almost any application other than road racing, the stock brakes are fine, expeciialy if you get stainless lines and good pads. A better pad does not always mean a sqeaky pad. My EBCs have squeeked once since the day I got them, and that was the day I put them on for about 5 minutes. After that, they have been fine. Dusty as all get out (Dust Free pads my ass), but they stop well and don't squeek. I am concerned about the rotor warping issues that I have heard, but I have had these pads on for four months, two autocrosses, and three hard mountain drives, along with driving a nice twisty stretch of road to work and back every day, and there has been no warping yet.
I have also heard that the MRT master cylinder brace will improve braking as well.
i have 4pot brake set up for my RS over 2 years now. like brucelee said, you won't notice much difference unless you also change the brake master cylinder to single stage, and maybe change the support brace then you'd probably get the brake feel that you want.
my current setup is STi front 4pots w/ single stage brake booster, and SS brake lines. when i brake hard, the tail of my car tends to fishtail happy perfect for drifting i guess..it can be fixed if i get the 2pot rears
Knocking the dust off of this thread. The FHI four pots have several advantages of the oem RS setup- the obvious is the bigger rotor- 294 mm. Ofcourse w/ a WRX caliper bracket you can get this same rotor for much less. So what are the advantages of the four pots- no they don't have more brake torque becasue they have four pots- they actually have less. The two pot sliders have bigger pistons 42.8 mm vs 40.6 mm- you have to double the two pots as they are a slider design. Well what does that mean- it means you've shifted some brake bias to the rear- this is actually good. You want the rear to do their fair share of the work- less nose dive, less rear end wiggling under heavy braking.
The main advantage of the four pot setup is feel, opposed piston setups are much easier to modulate than sliders and under heavy braking this can be very critical. The four pots are also a stiffer caliper, less deflection again better modulation and less pad deformation. They are also lighter, not by much but a little ~ 1.7 lbs/side. Pad area is increased slightly, that's a plus. Pad changes are a little easier as well. Ofcourse they have all the reliability and longevity of oem brakes as they are oem brakes. Pad choice is abundant as the pads are shared by the Nissan 300Z TT as well (no these calipers don't fit- thicker rotor and mounting holes different, but otherwise identical).