Cadillac Brembo Front Brake Upgrade on a C5 Corvette - Information, Notes, and a Comparison

Per my review of various upgrade brake options on the market for the C5, the option that stood out the most was utilizing the Cadillac Brembo 4 piston calipers with 14" C6Z06 calipers on the front. The price was reasonable, parts availability would be excellent, and it allowed utilizing much larger rotors (14" vs 12.6"). Thus this upgraded seemed like a good way to reduce heat build up while also increasing braking ability, and it didn't hurt that this involved a bit of DIY and a fair bit of cost savings over other kits.

Establishing A Baseline

The first thing I wanted to do was establish a baseline of just how much heat the base model brakes built up along with what their braking capabilities were. We setup a simple enough test: Take an initial temperature reading after driving from my house to the test location. Drive down a largely untraveled road at 50mph. At the road cone, stop as agressively as I can. Repeat 5x. Take a cooloff lap, check temperature again. During our initial test we found the numbers didn't have enough data, and were possibly influenced by a sherriff deciding to park nearby and watch the test. So we decided to do 4 more runs and another cool down. Below are the findings.

Environmental Temperature: 73F

TestDistance (ft)Temp (F)
Initial0140
Stop 159'6"

220

Stop 248'6"282
Stop 351"337
Stop 435'9"363
Stop 536'10"345
Cool Off 306
Stop 636'4"302
Stop 738'8"369
Stop 845'10"405
938'2"404
Cool Off 375

Takeaways were that there was some unexpected variations in the braking distance, with each segment having an above average outlier in the mix. Overall though braking distances after some temperature got into the brakes remained fairly consistent at around 36-38 feet once the brakes exceeded 300 degrees. Outliers are likely variations in my execution of the full power stopping.

The data collection definitely has some imperfections, but hopefully should be enough for some overall trends to compare to.

Parts list

Initial Installation & Failure

My initial effort at installing these unfortunately was failure. The rotors fit great, and I was able to center the caliper on the 14" rotor with 2x 1mm M14 washer (linked above)... however the 18" "wagon wheels" did not clear the caliper. See the picture below.

Other wheels may yield different results. I have been advised that 5/8" spacers with extended wheel studs would allow me to clear the calipers... I may try that next.

Testing the Brembo Brakes

Testing will occur and be documented after succesfull installation. The plan is to bed the brakes in and have fun for 100 miles, then redo the test above. After that I will also test them at a track day and report back on operation and functionality.