I'm wondering about the logistics of this.... Could larger front disc brake assemblies be bolted onto the insight? Say like from a Delsol or Civic Si. And, can the rear drums be replaced with disc brakes with an adapter for the calipers?
Anything is possible, but I have no idea if it is easy or not.
Why do you want to do this? Just curious. I would think that tires are the weak link in braking performance on the Insight. Even with stickier tires, the brakes should be sufficient to activate the ABS. Now, if you are planning to track your Insight , and want to decrease fade, that's a different story....
i doubt that they would have them for the insight...i cant find any for the rolla (i stopped looking when i decided i want a new car though). i knw that they do have larger disks for the echo though, im sure you could find some that fit.
The problem is that you would need to add a brake proportioning valve. Because if you change any or all of the brakes, the braking power between front and rear needs to be optimized to have maximum braking.
For example if larger front brakes are added, when the front tires are braking at 100% the rears would only be at 30%. With the OEM brakes, when the front tires are at 100% braking (just a guess don't quote me) the rears are at 90%. So in this example much smaller but properly proportioned brakes have shorter stopping distances.
Properly engineered aftermarket braking systems, are developed with lots of R&D and they are designed specificaly for each vehicle.
For the track, the reason one would need larger brakes is to prevent fading from overheating. There are no specially designed aftermarket performance brakes available for the Insight so the best approach to solve the overheating issue.
1) Replace brake fluid with high temperature synthetic brake fluid (to prevent the brake fluid from boiling over on the track)
2) Try to get high temperature performance brake pads specially for the front (with sticky tires you want to move some of the brake bias towards the front)
3) Remove the dust covers from the front brakes, the ones that cover most of the inside of the rotors.
4) Add cooling ducts from under the front bumper to channel air to the front brakes
5) If that's not enough then you can add washer nozzles to spray water into the vented rotors to cool them down. Just buy a windshield washer kit and add a switch that activates it when the brakes are applied.
Note: Because the Insight looses battery power on the track after 1 or 2 minutes, I don't think suggestion #5 would be neccessary in our cars.
I'm not really concerned with brake temps getting too high. The stock set-up does quite well for dissapating heat in the track environment. I'm more interested in shorter stopping distances. Brake late to stay ahead of the pack. If a stock set of discs from an SI would bolt on with minor customization that would be ideal.
I have to agree, the tires are the weak link, not the brakes. I think one interesting concept might be a rear disk conversion though. Not too sure how much it would help, but I like disks over drum brakes. I know there are some advantages to a disk drum setup, but it seems a lot of newer vehicles are going to a all around disk setup. I wounder just how difficult it would be to get a set of front brakes and slap em on the rears. Damn, a set just sold on eBay too.
I'm sure it would be pretty expensive too. I was looking for a rear disk conversion for the Tahoe I had (it stopped about like a speeding locomotive) and the cheap ones ran about $750 all the way up to several thousand. I'm sure a custom kit would be expensive.
What kind of brake pads are you using? I ran my Civic HX at Buttonwillow a few years ago totally stock except for Kumho Victoracer V700 race tires and Porterfield R4S pads. The brakes held up pretty well to extremely hard braking for about 5 laps or so, then it would sorta fall off a bit. Still, braking performance was excellent given how tiny the stock brakes are.
The Insight weighs something like 400 pounds less than my HX, plus has a lot less power, and thus probably wouldn't be going as fast, and wouldn't need to provide nearly as much total braking power. Generally, the most important things to upgrade on a stock car for track events are the tires, brake pads, and brake fluid. Springs and shocks would be next on the list, but I'm not sure anyone really makes performance shocks for the Insight, or it's compatible with other models. I'd do tires and pads and see how it does before spending money on anything else.
front discs identical to old Civic/CRX/Prelude; Porterfield
I was checking out that website with the cross-drilled rotors, and went searching for the previous Hondas that share the Insight's discs. Their part # for the Insight front right disc, listed as JBR155R, matched up with the '88-'91 CRX HF and '84-'87 CRX Si/DX. The '84-'87 Civic DX/Si shares those CRX discs of the same years.
Interestingly, they list a different part number for the Insight's left side that doesn't match up with any of these Hondas, but does match up to their part (JBR302L) # for the '84-'87 Honda Prelude Si. There was no Prelude Si in '84-'85 though.
The Porterfield R4S pads are really great, and I plan on getting them for the front and rear eventually. I have a set on my '94 Mazda MX-3, and it's only for street driving.
Although a rear disc conversion perhaps wouldn't be extremely difficult to install, the problem remains not having a brake proportioning valve that is designed for a Honda with rear discs. I have a rear disc conversion on my '84 CRX, off of an '86-'89 Acura Integra. For several months I drove around with the original CRX proportioning valve, and managed to lock up the brakes in a very hard stop. In 14 years I had never managed to lock up the brakes in that car. I changed over to the same-generation Integra brake proportioning valve, and I've not locked up the brakes since. I've read of the same issue with other 1G CRX owners. The Integra part bolts right on with no modification. Perhaps 6th or 7th generation Civic Si proportioning valves will bolt into an Insight? I believe they have rear discs. Likewise for the 3rd generation Integra or RSX. If the valves can be swapped, then the rear disc conversion makes some more sense.
The cross drilled brakes do not shorten stopping distances on their own. It's the fact that they dissipate heat better so it takes longer for the brakes to overheat and loose braking power. Unfortunately the holes increase brake pad wear.
With the new brake pad technology race cars have moved away from from cross drilled rotors because it reduces braking surface area. Less braking surface = less friction.
The only reason Ferrari's and Porshes and some other exotic cars come with cross drilled rotors from the fatory is for cosmetic reasons! People expect these cars to have brakes that look like that.
Money is much better spent on the best brake pad for your application. And a better brake pad is going to wear out your rotors quicker so you don't want expensive rotors...
If your OEM brakes are still strong enough to lock up your sticky ultra high performance tires, then bigger brakes CANNOT shorten your stopping distance.