Installation instructions covering our ND caliper upgrades, rotor upgrades, and Big Brake Kits.
Currently without pics, I will edit in photos in the near future.
Good-Win Racing LLC strongly cautions that professional installation for any brake parts is vital because negligent installation can cause serious injury or death! If you want to learn how to be good with tools...do NOT do it on your brakes. All warranty disclaimers on the Wilwood parts included in this kit are incorporated here by this reference to the entire kit and continuing beyond this point is acceptance of all risk and acknowledgement of such. Do not take chances, brakes must be installed properly to perform properly. If you are not trained, licensed, and qualified to perform a proper installation on automotive brakes then pay somebody who is to do the install for you because that is money well invested. No warranties express or implied, and user accepts all risk.
Before you begin, make sure you have the following:
- Metric socket set (12mm, 17mm)
- 8mm OR 5/16” allen head socket
- 10mm flare nut wrench a.k.a. “line wrench” (Get one that is high quality! Cheap versions can strip the fitting)
- 1/4” open end wrench
- Red Loctite 271 (High Temp)
- Brake fluid bleeding system of your choice
- Jack and jack stands
- 4mm or 5/32” allen head socket or wrench (Big Brake Kit only)
- T-40 Torx head socket (11” Superlight/Race rotors only)
The wheel lug nuts should be cracked loose first, the rear brake should be set and the car in gear and the car should then be safely raised and supported on a lift or with jack stands on a level solid surface (never work under a Miata held up by only a jack!!!). Remove the front wheels and place a drain pan under the caliper where you will start.
1. Brake Line Removal
Disconnect the rubber OEM brake hose where it bolts to the car by removing the 12mm bolt and then disconnecting the line with a 10mm flare nut wrench (you MUST use a flare nut wrench here or risk damaging the fittings).
Remove the bolt that holds the locating bracket to the upper control arm with a 10mm wrench.
2. Caliper removal
Remove the two bolts that hold the stock front caliper to the MX5 using a 17mm wrench or socket. Now you can remove the stock caliper from the car.
3. Installing caliper bracket
Install the blue aluminum mounting bracket to the car. This mounts to the holes vacated by the factory caliper on the car by re-using the two factory mounting bolts through the bracket’s thickest section with the open holes toward the rear of the car. Use red Loctite on these bolts and tighten to 35 ft/lbs.
** If you are installing our caliper-only upgrade, leave your factory rotors installed and skip ahead to step 7 for new caliper installation **
4. Remove the factory rotor.
5. Rotor assembly
Bolt the aluminum center hat to the friction ring with the supplied hardware. Tighten these as you would wheel lugs; in a criss-cross pattern. Follow the appropriate instructions below for the rotors provided in your kit:
12.88” Big Brake Kit rotors: Includes 12 bolts & 12 serrated flange nuts per rotor. Assemble so that the head of the bolt will be facing outwards when it is mounted on the car, with the nut on the inner side of the ring. No Loctite required. Tighten using the crossing method in a star pattern. Torque nuts in two steps; first tighten all nuts to 10-12 lbs-ft. then final torque should be made to 16-18 lbs-ft. This is done to ensure proper stretching of the fastener and to seat the serrated flange nut.
Superlight/Race 11” rotors: Includes 6 bolts per rotor. Apply red Loctite 271 to the threads of these bolts prior to installation. Tighten using the crossing method in a star pattern. Torque nuts in two steps; first tighten all nuts to 18 lbs-ft. then final torque should be made to 25 lbs-ft. This is done to ensure proper stretching of the fastener.
6. Install the new rotors on the car. Note the direction of rotation:
12.88” rotors are directional. Ensure the arrow on the rotor is pointing towards the FRONT of the car with the arrow at the 12 o’clock position on the rotor.
11” Superlight/Race rotors are unidirectional. These can be interchanged between the left and right sides of the car.
7. Brake line connection - first half
Connect the 90 degree adapter fitting to the hole in the back in the Wilwood caliper and connect the new stainless line to the 90 degree fitting. Orient the 90 degree adapter fitting so that it is pointing up and towards the front of the car once the caliper is mounted on the car, directing the brake line away from the rim of the wheel. Do NOT over-tighten these fittings or you risk stripping threads if you over do it, it does NOT need a lot of torque here on these soft connections for a good seal. Do not attach the brake line to the car yet.
8. Mounting the Wilwood Caliper
Slide the caliper over the rotor and then attach the caliper to the mounting bracket with the included socket head bolts, with one of the included washers on each bolt head. Apply red Loctite to the bolts prior to assembly and tighten to 25 ft/lbs.
4-piston caliper: You can do this step with pads preloaded or without the pads in there, your choice… To load the pads in the caliper simply remove pad retaining clip by removing the socket-head bolt that retains the W-shaped pin, then slide the pin out of the caliper, drop the pads in, replace pin and bolt.
6-piston caliper: You must load the pads in the caliper before sliding the caliper over the rotor and bolting it to the bracket. To load the pads in the caliper remove the small c-clips from the holes on the back side of the caliper using a very small flathead screwdriver, then slide the retaining pins out. Insert the pads through the bottom of the caliper, replace the pins, and replace the c-clips to lock the pins in place.
9. Centering the caliper
Now check the centering of the caliper on the rotor. You should tighten down at least two lug nuts onto the rotor to ensure it is seated straight before checking this.
Spin the rotor by hand. The rotor should turn easily with pads installed.
The variation between factory caliper bosses can be up to a couple millimeters. Because the variation in the factory parts is so much, in some cases it may be necessary to add shims between the bracket and the caliper to shift the caliper slightly to center on the rotor.
6-piston calipers are a tighter fit than the 4-piston caliper. 6-piston kits ship with shims included. If there is resistance to the rotor spinning, feel free to use shims to center the caliper on the rotor precisely.
4-piston calipers have more “wiggle room” and do NOT need to be perfectly centered. These kits do not come included with shims as we have not encountered an MX5 which needed shims for the 4-piston caliper. If you need shims for your kit, contact us and we can send some to you.
10. Brake line connection - second half
Connect the other end of the stainless line to the MX5 OEM connection point using the 10mm flare nut wrench (line wrench). Reinstall the 12mm bolt to hold the connection in place.
Use the factory bolt to attach the locating tab on the new line to the upper control arm.
11. Repeat the above steps for other side of the front end.
12. Double Check!
FINAL TORQUE CHECK. It is vital that once installation is complete that you make one final check to make sure that each of the four bolts holding the calipers at each of the four corners are tightened to the proper torque. You will repeat this procedure after the bedding process below.
It is also CRITICAL is to check length of the stainless lines. Turn the wheel from lock to lock both ways to double check you have enough line length and that the line is not binding in the locating tab on the control arm.
13. Brake bleeding
Fill the master cylinder reservoir with a quality DOT 4 fluid (do NOT use DOT 5) from a fresh sealed bottle and bleed the brakes in normal fashion, starting with left rear, then right rear, then right front, finishing with left front. Yes, you will lift the rear of the car in the air and remove the rear wheels for this. Use jack stands!
When you get to the new Wilwood calipers in the front, use the two top bleeders on the Wilwoods (ignore bleeders facing down). You must bleed from both of these valves to bleed the two halves of each front caliper. The black bleeder screws are 1⁄4 inch. We recommend using a small “T” fitting in the brake bleeding line to bleed both screws at the same time. If you do not have a “T” fitting, bleed the outside valve first followed by the inside valve.
14. Reinstall the wheels, tighten the lugs as best you can while car is in the air, lower until the tire just hits the ground and then properly torque the lugs, then lower the front end all the way and check lug torque again to 80 ft/lbs.
15. First test-drive
When you go out for your test drive, be CAREFUL because the new pads will not yet be bedded and will not work optimally until properly bedded. Use the brakes very lightly for the first 50 miles or so. If the pads drag in the front you may need to shim the caliper outward a few thousandths of an inch further.
After the first test-drive, once again DOUBLE CHECK all the bolts that hold the calipers to the brackets and the brackets to the uprights of the car to verify they are tightened to proper torque.
16. Brake pad bedding
After you have driven on the new pads/rotors for about 50 miles it is time to bed them in. Find an isolated area where you can do repeated stops and starts safely. Do a few light brake applications from 30mph to 5mph to warm up the rotors, then do twenty progressively harder stops from 60 mph to 20mph. Your goal is to get them HOT!! You should be able to smell the pads when they get hot enough. Then drive 5 minutes in a large circle without hitting the brakes to cool them. You do not want to come to a complete stop until they cool down a fair bit or you will get uneven pad material transfer (which causes the feeling of warped rotors). After cooling them drive home and park the car in gear but WITH HANDBRAKE OFF, overnight. While it is cooling rapidly you may hear some pop sounds because of the differential expansion rates of the rotors and aluminum hats, do not worry, that is normal. The next day you are ready to roll! Before and after any hard track day you should recheck the caliper and bracket mounting bolts. Brake fluid is CHEAP so at least once a year you should change fluid and check all bolts and screws for proper torque.
Note: Wilwood calipers are “race calipers”. Even with the anti-rattle clips that are installed on the calipers, some rattling (or creaking sound/feel) of the pads should be considered normal because there are no retaining springs to pull the pads back and keep them in place. If this occurs try some anti-squeal compound on the back of the pads which helps but usually will not totally cure this. This usually occurs with brand new pads but usually goes away quickly in time. The rattling/creaking generally reappears as the pads are wearing down past the mid-point and have more and more room to move around quite a bit.
WARNING: Some wheel cleaners can damage the powder coat on the calipers. Specifically, Eagle One A to Z wheel cleaner has proven to fade the calipers. Use at your own risk!