Wildwood Brakes... A Warning- Pls Read!


B O N Y

MODERATOR & FGT OWNER
Mark IV Lifetime
Sep 5, 2005
12,110
Fresno, Ca.
Well after several days of considering the possibilities I feel that I need to share that which was brought to my attention; in fact I spoke with the person that was intimately invloved with this system again today because it concerns me so much.

Now once you read this if the shoe fits I suggest that you wear it and if not or you elect not to investigate it further at least I have shared that which was shared with me.

I have been aware that several folks had the Wilwood big brake kits installed by "G" and if like myself assumed that they were properly spec'd and tested before being brought to market; apparently this was not the case in fact;

I was told that they were installed and then during at least one track event there was a significant brake bias issue which caused the rear wheels of all things to lock up as such they were removed from one of "G's" cars and the OEM system was reinstalled.

Because I fear that most will not experience such a situation on a track but rather on the street the results could be devastating.

Here is what I know;

The alternate Wilwood brakes were installed and there was no compensating for pressures front to rear aka brake bias as such the likelihood of a pair of wheels locking up remains high. There was no adjustable proportioning valve or check valves installed during this conversion to compensate for the changes in bias from OEM

Now during normal boulevard cruising the issue will never show its ugly head however under an extreme braking situation it would happen so quickly that for most the ability to react would never be there.

Let me reiterate; I had no desire to make this post and mean no harm in doing so but rather hope that those that had the systems installed find the time to have the systems operation verified with heavy emphasis on the brake bias aka front to rear.

There are many personal touch tweaks that pose little or no associated risk however I am a stickler for good tires and proper operating brakes.

Takes care

Shadowman
 

B O N Y

MODERATOR & FGT OWNER
Mark IV Lifetime
Sep 5, 2005
12,110
Fresno, Ca.
OK I reposted Bill's warning. I wanted it done NOW. It is up to every owner to notifty their fellow owners of this warning. Get some expert advise NOW. This is important.
 

californiacuda

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Oct 21, 2005
919
Thanks for the warning.

I thought, wrongly I guess, that with an abs system, the abs controller would compensate by adding more brake pressure to the front in the situation described.

Thanks again for the warning.
 

B O N Y

MODERATOR & FGT OWNER
Mark IV Lifetime
Sep 5, 2005
12,110
Fresno, Ca.
I am taking Mark Gerrish off his 'vacation' so that he can reply on this topic.
 
Aug 25, 2006
4,436
*** UPDATE ***

I just had a long chat with Mark and he confirmed the situation.

He will be posting his recomendation however as I undertand the initial Wilwood brake system used 6 piston front and 6 piston rear calipers and it was with this setup that the brakje bias was way off and caused not only the rear brakes to lock up but also for him to experience the spinning of the car twice under extreme track conditions.

He said that the fix is to remove the 6 piston Wilwood rear calipers and install 4 piston Wilwood calipers.

Please look at youre brake system and if you have 6 piston Wilwood calipers on the rear this corrective measure should be considered as "NEEDED"

Again I share that Mark assured me that he will make a post and fill in the details better than I have

All the best

Shadowman
 
Aug 25, 2006
4,436
**** My Final Update ****

As with all I respectfully await Mark's direction however this situation was also presented to "The GT Guys" aka Rich and Denis a short time ago and without so much as a hesitation they recommend that the gals have the OEM Brembo brake system reinstalled.

The OEM Brembo system was thoroughly tested as such there is empirical data that confirms that they not only work; but work very well.

Now I too like and install some of the cool custom brakes that are offered for a variety of Marquees however never without empirical data that confirms that they operate as well or better than OEM and are safe in all braking conditions. Sadly there is no such data for the Wilwood brake system when associated specifically with the Ford GT Supercar; and the key word IMO is Supercar because these cars were designed and do run at extreme speeds as such "NEED" extreme brakes.

The only empirical data that we have for the Wilwood brake system is that with 6 piston calipers at the front and rear the bias is off enough to cause the rear brakes to lock up under extreme conditions and place the gal in an uncontrolled spin and then we also know that by installing 4 piston Wilwood calipers at the rear this seemed to have corrected the problem however there was no definitive testing done.

Takes care

Shadowman
 

B O N Y

MODERATOR & FGT OWNER
Mark IV Lifetime
Sep 5, 2005
12,110
Fresno, Ca.
Thanks Bill,
I invite Stillen and Alex to comment if they so desire...
Also Mark to post on this subject...
 

nota4re

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Feb 15, 2006
3,590
He said that the fix is to remove the 6 piston Wilwood rear calipers and install 4 piston Wilwood calipers.
Conceptually, no doubt, this would be an improvement - but potentially no more tested and researched than what has been installed previously.

I would highly recommend heeding the advice of Shadowman and the GTGuys and return to the stock Brembo set-up. When a company the likes of Brembo, Stop Tech or others validates a "system" for the GT, then and only then, would it be wise to move away from the stock Brembo.

If there's any of these Wilwood cars in So Cal, I will gladly donate my shop and my labor to return your car to a safer configuration.
 

STUNTS

FORD GT OWNER & LITTLE TIMMYS DAD!
Mark IV Lifetime
Apr 5, 2006
2,418
SoCal
Conceptually, no doubt, this would be an improvement - but potentially no more tested and researched than what has been installed previously.

I would highly recommend heeding the advice of Shadowman and the GTGuys and return to the stock Brembo set-up. When a company the likes of Brembo, Stop Tech or others validates a "system" for the GT, then and only then, would it be wise to move away from the stock Brembo.

If there's any of these Wilwood cars in So Cal, I will gladly donate my shop and my labor to return your car to a safer configuration.
That is way to awesome of you to do that.... "and I'm all stock"..... really freeking cool gesture..:thumbsup :cheers
 

B O N Y

MODERATOR & FGT OWNER
Mark IV Lifetime
Sep 5, 2005
12,110
Fresno, Ca.
Conceptually, no doubt, this would be an improvement - but potentially no more tested and researched than what has been installed previously.

I would highly recommend heeding the advice of Shadowman and the GTGuys and return to the stock Brembo set-up. When a company the likes of Brembo, Stop Tech or others validates a "system" for the GT, then and only then, would it be wise to move away from the stock Brembo.

If there's any of these Wilwood cars in So Cal, I will gladly donate my shop and my labor to return your car to a safer configuration.


GREAT ADVISE AND GREAT OFFER, I PRAY THAT IT WILL BE CAREFULLY REVIEWED. THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS MATTER. I HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT MG IS AWARE OF THIS SITUATION AND WELCOME HIS COMMENTS.
 

Mr. Genaddi

Permanent Vacation
May 9, 2007
41
The GT was tested with the 6-piston fronts and worked very well with the gas slotted 14-inch rotors, it was our opinion that the ABS system would compensate for the rear but sadly it did not under extreme track conditions. I have told all of the GTX1 owners that have the 6-Pistons all the way around that they need to be changed to 4-piston at the rear. The fronts are fine and work very well but, yes, if any one is running 6-piston yet that is a customer of Genaddi please contact me so that we may get you the 4 pistons in the rear. We have increased the size of the rear rotors to 14-inch over the stock 13.25 for more surface area, and we run a more aggressive puck compound.
 

barondw

GT Owner
Sep 8, 2005
1,109
The GT was tested with the 6-piston fronts and worked very well with the gas slotted 14-inch rotors, it was our opinion that the ABS system would compensate for the rear but sadly it did not under extreme track conditions. I have told all of the GTX1 owners that have the 6-Pistons all the way around that they need to be changed to 4-piston at the rear. The fronts are fine and work very well but, yes, if any one is running 6-piston yet that is a customer of Genaddi please contact me so that we may get you the 4 pistons in the rear. We have increased the size of the rear rotors to 14-inch over the stock 13.25 for more surface area, and we run a more aggressive puck compound.

I thought that Wilwood has a valve that can be added to the system to avoid the problem.

Also what has Wilwood said about the issues? I don't remember seeing a post that some one has contacted them.

I also don't understand why some one would have changed from the stock rotors, since 6 piston rearsa really aren't needed for track events since the fronts do most of the work.

:cheers
Dave
 

MR2Race

FGT The Velvet Hammer
Apr 6, 2006
300
Northville Mi.
Electronic brake intervention on the FGT is Both EBD and ABS.

Its calibration was build around the best performing metal rotor brake package available.

If you dig into the Brembo Monoblock Caliper design used on the GT. You will find the stiffest unit money can buy in a production based car. And the Brembo Rotors are more efficient than most Carbon Street super car rotors.

It is my opinion that unless you are ready to do a real development project.

Using a high end data system & first define the ability of the production system.

Then Remove the ABS & EBD systems from the car.
Install a dual master cylinder race pedal package.
And then try your aftermarket big brake stuff.
Only then will you be able to make any improvement in brake performance.

My gut tells me that the brake efficiency gained will be quite small in relationship the amount of work and time required.

As for Willwood calipers, I think they are quite good as far as cost to value ratio.
But they are not even close when it comes to stiffness ratio.
And that is where the real brake system efficiency is rooted.

I feel it will be hard to improve on the stock parts.
With any aftermarket parts (that are reasonable for street use).
Unless you go to bigger high end (Brembo type or carbon street use) rotors in larger rims with high end calipers.

I would love to go track testing with a team that is ready to develop a package for the track.

But in reality any “big hitter” serious improvements will reduces the effectiveness on the street.

There are small things that will improve the stock stuff, but no big hitters.


Then there is brake balance front to rear.
The same Electronic brake intervention (EBD) controls the systems balance.
And the only way to affect the balance front to rear would be to eliminate the EBD.
This is way too much work to be practical no all but a full time track car.

The good news is the FGT has class leading brakes from the factory.
 
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B O N Y

MODERATOR & FGT OWNER
Mark IV Lifetime
Sep 5, 2005
12,110
Fresno, Ca.
Alex, Thanks for the post. Knowing that you have been involved from day one of development of the FGT makes your post required reading for anyone planning to change the brake system. We are appreciative of your support of our Forum and owner's group.
Bony
 

B O N Y

MODERATOR & FGT OWNER
Mark IV Lifetime
Sep 5, 2005
12,110
Fresno, Ca.
gentlemen,
i am moving posts that don't stay on topic regarding this safety issue to other threads.
 

kmillen

Well-known member
Jan 29, 2007
504
Thanks Bill,
I invite Stillen and Alex to comment if they so desire...
Also Mark to post on this subject...
Bony, just thought I would take you up on your offer and post my reply from the other brake discussion thread.

I hope you don't mind but I would like to offer another opinion on this subject.

There is definitely room to improve the braking system for the Ford GT. The Brembo caliper used is the F40/F50 caliper that has been around for the past 20 years. It is the best street/O.E.M caliper that Brembo offers but it can definitely be improved upon. As many people have found out it is the same caliper used by Mitsubishi, Nissan, and pretty much every Brembo brake upgrade for street cars.

When developing our GT for the Targa rally we upgraded to AP Racing brakes. We use 2-piece cross-drilled/slotted floating rotors with 6 piston AP Racing calipers. The rotor is slightly larger than the factory rotor (limited by wheel selection) but allows for better cooling and lighter weight. With the extra clamping points (2 extra pistons) in the 6 piston AP Racing caliper we are also able to increase the pressure applied. Thus slowing the car down even more.

AP Racing is actually owned by Brembo but it is the top tier division of Brembo. Some of the cars using AP Racing brakes are the Bugatti Veyron, Aston Martin, Konigsegg, and Lotus. AP is also on most Formula one cars, NASCAR, Champ and Indy cars and even World Rally Championship cars.

The factory brakes are good, as proved by Heffner Performance in the 0-200-0 test. But, there is definitely room for improvement. When Camillo Pardo was out in California for the Ford GT Rally we let him drive our orange car. His exact words were "Holy sh!t, these brakes are incredible! These are the brakes that should have come on this car."

Adding a little bit more to this...

So far we have quite a few customers using the AP front kit with no problems at all. Most of the cars that have been equipped with our kit spend a lot of time on race tracks. So far I have not had any negative feedback regarding the kit.

We have a few more products that we will be testing soon and they will require track testing. During this time we will be putting the AP brakes through more testing. I plan on inviting Cobra or Bony to one of these test sessions. That way we can have an unbiased opinion of how well they perform.
 

kmillen

Well-known member
Jan 29, 2007
504
I would like to clarify that the factory Brembo's are very good for the normal GT owner. Most of these cars will never be pushed to the point of needing an improved braking system. Our upgrade is designed for the guys that want to take their cars and themselves to the next level of driving.
 
Aug 25, 2006
4,436
Kmillen your insight and technical information is always appreciated.

I just wanted to add a bit of information as I understand it with regards to the AP and Brembo relationship as it was shared with me

All the best

Shadowman

"Brembo Italy bought AP 4 or 5 years ago probably more for their clutch technology than their brake program. Brembo felt it was a well run company and has left the AP management in place. I a sure they are providing additional resources.

Technology is absolutely not shared in engineering or manufacturing. It's like 2 F1 teams each with their own secrets.

Brembo encourages competition between both companies and feels this pushes both companies to design and engineer even better components. AP has the right product and strengths in some racing series and Brembo in others.

I do not believe the AP High Performance program will ever grow as large as our Brembo program. The o.e. relationships are definitely Brembo and are growing at such a fast rate that additional manufacturing capacity is being built.

Brembo NA has expanded to over 350 people and is relocating to Detroit to work closer with the manufacturers"
 

kmillen

Well-known member
Jan 29, 2007
504
That is pretty much exactly the story of the AP/Brembo relationship.

Basically what happened is AP Racing was sold to the GUY that owns Brembo. The same guy owns both companies but as you stated they are run completely seperately with no interaction.

Brembo definitely has the large majority of the O.E. contracts because as you pointed out they are much larger. AP Racing really wasn't a company that developed parts for street use. All of their parts were designed and engineered with racing in mind. Over the past few years we have been working with them on developing more products specifically for street use but their focus is and will always be racing.

AP Racing has more of the "low production run" O.E. contracts such as Bugatti, Aston Martin, Konigsegg, Lotus. However they simply can not even come close to supplying the larger companies such as Ford, Nissan, Dodge, Mitsubishi, Subaru...like Brembo has done.