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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok. so I've been looking at a lot of specs to see if this makes sense. The new E has a really haggard steering wheel and I found a pilot on Craigslist that is being parted out. The guy will give me the whole steering column and wheel for $60 (which gets me the pilot intermittent wiper, the steering wheel audio control harness and buttons as well as a leather bound wheel that hypothetically isn't as bad as the one I'm currently holding on to.)

At the same time he's offered to sell me the entire brake system for $60... which feels like a win across the board. The pilot weighs an extra 800lbs and has an additional 3500 lbs. tow capacity. I'm sure the difference in tow capacity is partially suspension, but I've got a set of custom coil springs that adds 300lbs capacity to the rear, which should help out. At some point 130HP just isn't going to tug, and I think the brakes and suspension will keep me safe up until that point (which I hope to never approach.) I'm not signing off on this increasing the tow capacity, I'm just looking for a little added performance for the car with cheap OEM parts... Here's what I've found so far.

First question, can I just grab the rotors and the caliper hangers:
Element Rotor 11.1"x 23mm
2005 Pilot Rotor 12.3"x26mm" (thoughts on this? Its a 3mm difference, which seems significant to me. If I can pass on the calipers and just use the rotors and caliper brackets then I'm in a much easier world.)

Second question, will the brakes fit under my 16" Lincoln wheels:
Pilot factory wheels: 16x6.5 . . . Likely. For $60 I'd be happy to roll the dice if everything else checks out.

third question (where I'm stuck) do I need a larger brake master cylinder?
I couldn't find any information on capacity, but someone said that matching the brake cylinder to the size of the system and weight of the vehicle is important. The weight of the vehicle isn't changing (except that I'm interesting in putting closer to 2,000 behind the E eventually. DIY canned ham + gear.) The only system wide change is the volume of the front caliper pistons... I'm guessing I could test the size of those pretty easily. I'm also guessing that the length of the system doesn't have as large an impact as the volume of the range of travel. hose flex seems like it should be minimal compared to a moving piston...

Any insight you can lend on this issue? Anyone tried this yet and failed? I searched but didn't find much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Looks like this is going to add 4lbs per side to my rotational mass. I don't think that's worth it. CRVs are common enough that I'll likely find a similar deal on OEM brakes in a pull a part. I'm going to hold.

Sorry for anyone finding this later. My guess is that it will work well. With my mileage-sink tires it's not beneficial enough to justify the weight gain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I only minded when I was towing. Felt like an easy way to get a lot out of $60 when I first thought of it, but I've moved back on my thinking a bit.

Day to day I'd pay more for a little extra go than a little extra stop.

Unfortunately the go is much more expensive.
 

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I tow too and live in the mountains.

My fix: a set of PowerStop rotors and pads. You can get them in a variety of combinations for your needs. Anywhere from a stock replacement up to severe duty for towing or aggressive driving. I upgraded to a set of drilled and slotted rotors with the matching pads. After the recommended break-in, the brakes feel awesome and much improved over stock. I can brake so hard now that I would almost swear the rear tires are going to come off of the ground. The unfortunate part is that this has amplified the mushiness/wear of the stock compliance bushing that is due for replacement.

I bought my set from Summit Racing online. Less expensive than buying replacement pads and rotors at the local auto parts store.
 

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Centric blanks and Akebono pads. No need to go to slotted drilled rotors. On a car like an Element, they are not needed. I can easily brake hard enough that the front tires would skid if not for the ABS kicking in. Trying to make the car brake faster than that is kinda useless.

Out of curiosity, what is the definition of a mountain in North Carolina? Kinda used to our mountains which are over 8K feet.
 
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