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MG MGF Technical - Best brake upgrade

I went on an airfield day last Friday
very enjoyable it was too
I didnt lunch the tyres (Toyo Proxis S pumped to 30psi all round made a big difference)
But the brakes went horrible
the 2 100mph straights didnt help but after 3 or 4 laps the brakes faded horribly and there was loads of judder...horrible

I have standard brakes apart from green stuff pads, all of which have been cleaned up since.

I just dont think that the standard discs are large enough!!
Any sensible suggestions and costs ?


Brake fade is not that enjoyable at 100mph! Get in touch with MOTOBUILD RACING based in Hounslow.I have just had their 285mm brake conversoin on the front and grooved discs on the back,all with braided hoses.Stop on a sixpence!They are having an open day on sunday,should be good. I will be there with mine if you want to have a look.

duncan dorrell

>>But the brakes went horrible<<
Sounds familiar !
If you've changed to EBC pads but not changed the discs then I recommend that you at least inspect the condition of your front discs. If there is *any* lip on the circumference of the disc then I believe you need to (1) change the discs - maybe to EBC's grooved discs, OR (2) replace the pads with Rover or Mintex pads.
And many thanks to Martin Farrar (hope I spelt that right) for showing all this to me at Stanford Hall.


Mike Satur aluminium and titanium 4 pot calipers, Mintex pads, Braided Brake Hoses and Black Diamond 280mm drilled discs on the front.

Black Diamond drilled and grooved discs and Mintex pads on the rear (IIRC they are 1144 spec).

This is what i have at the moment and it is a VAST improvement over EBC turbo grooved discs and Greenstuff pads i had previously. Incedentally, for track use, the front set up above survived the Nurburgring 100% intact, the EBC rear set up was totally shot afterward though (hence the rear upgrade to Black Diamond / Mintex combo)


Give me a week and I'll tell you what my new 4-pot callipers are like.

I have opted for the HiSpec kit ( and am using Mintex 1155 pads with them.

Total cost comes to ~600.

I used to have standard callipers but used Mintex 1177 pads - which were awesome until I violently broke the pad and piston doing 110mph on a track day. Ooops.

Initial thoughts while bedding the brakes in are ...
- much much more progressive braking.
- Seem to be as strong as the 1177s when pushed... but have not done this properly yet.

Hope this helps.

Paul Nothard

>>Total cost comes to ~600.<<
Is that parts cost or fully fitted cost ?


Hi Steve,

Cost covers front discs (grooved 285mm), front 4-pot callipers, front pads (Mintex 1155s are more expensive), braded lines all round and complete replacement fluid.

Does not cover fitting costs as I did it myself.

Fitting is easy. I'm no mechanic, but it is easy to do. Yes, it's your brakes, but so long as you use common sense and are careful then it really is only 4 bolts more than changing your brake pads.

Although I now have 10 bleed nipples to bleed!!! Aaargh!

Had a blast last night and it they feel very good and inspire confidence. Looking for a track day soon methinks!
I've talked over the brake balance issue with various people and although replacing all brakes would be best, the consensus was that I should be fine as I already have pretty good brakes at the back. I've not encountered any problems with the ABS kicking in early yet. But it is early days... :-)
Stay tuned !!

Paul Nothard

Anyone know of a 4 pot conversion similar to Mike Satur's that fits under a 15" VVC alloy?
Have seen 280mm disc convertions for sale that will fit but they use the standard caliper.
Steve WHite

Yes. I have 15" VVC alloys and use the HiSpec 285mm upgrade.
There is an even larger version for 16" rims.
Paul Nothard

Mikes FX aluminium and Titanium 4 pot calipers including discs and pads and braided hoses were also in the &600.00 region.

SF <--- Still grinning! :-)

Paul, any idea if these would fit under a non-VVC early 1.8i 15" alloy.
Any further feedback, is the initial bite improved?
Dave - Rugby

Nice work Paul :o))

I want to have a go!!!

I completely agree about the standard size discs with Mintex 1177 pads - awsome. BTW for the first time I got pedal sponginess at a track day (Kemble). Not particularly pleasant, but at least the brakes didn't combust!!! 8oO
Rob Bell

Hi Dave,

Sorry, I don't know for sure if they'll fit under any other standard 15" wheels.

I seem to remember that the 5 spoke "VVC wheel" has a little more clearance though.
And the callipers are *very* tight in the wheel. Not via the diameter though, but the proximity of the spokes. In fact, I've had to shim things a bit to give 2mm clearance.

I'd give them a call to discuss it. They do clearly state that they do a kit for MGF 15" wheels though... and because of their bespoke nature (mild pun intended) they may be able to modify things to allow it to fit no matter what the situation.

Let us know what they say.

As for feedback on the ability of the brakes...
The initial bite of my old 1177s was vicious. I grew to like that. I've now got used to the more progressive nature of the HiSpec brakes and my confidence is building. They initial pedal feel is similar to my other (unmodified) car - which leads me to believe that it's actually normal !
When cold (which is often for road driving) they do stop incredibly well. I've not used them in anger yet, or when they are really fully warmed up, but already they feel that they stop me just as well as my old 1177s did - which is a compliment indeed!

The next test will have to be a track day when I really push them hard... but at the moment I forsee no problems! :-)

Paul Nothard

If the 1177 were so good why change?
Dave - Rugby

1177s are brilliant - I still use them. But I suspect they represent the pinacle of what can be achieved using standard sized discs (as I do).

Paul's hand was somewhat forced, in that he had some kind of brake problem that lead to the melt down of a front caliper.

As a man who quite clearly has a big case of 'MG-itis' he figured that if he were going to have to replace the front brake calipers, he might as well do so with something better. And if doing the fronts, why not the rears too? Plus, bigger discs have better potential for future upgrades, above and beyond that achievable with standard discs, and twin pot sliding calipers.

Imagine, if you will, a big brake conversion with 1177 pads... you'd have to be prepared to scrape your eyeballs off the windscreen if you ever needed to perform an emergency stop... ;oD LOL
Rob Bell

I did indeed break my brakes(!)

The friction material broke down allowing the piston too far out. It was then ripped out of the cylinder and then melted to what remained of the pad backing.


(I'll upload some pictures when I get a chance but Dave from Amersham can testify that they were "a bit broken".)

You summed up my reasoning very well Rob. :-)
With the bigger discs and the upgrade to 4-pot callipers and Mintex 1155 pads there will be more scope to stop while keeping within the limits of the braking system.
I'm hoping that there'll be less disc/pad wear too.
Oh, they look kinda cool too!

I most probably wouldn't have upgraded had my calliper not been rendered useless. I was very happy with the 1177s... although they are very hard to source and are very "on/off" in nature.

I'll be at the next Pheonix natter btw.
Might even be coming into town for the next CoLPUC event... but will not be driving in!! ;-)

Paul Nothard

When's the next Phoenix meet Paul? Been quite some time since I last managed to get to one of those.
Rob Bell

>>but Dave from Amersham can testify that they were "a bit broken".)

I hereby testify.

Totally unrecognisable as a brake pad - since it had the piston welded to it and was sort of boomerang shaped!


Next Phoenix meet is due 11th October (2nd Friday of each month). I'm also interested in Paul's brake conversion as my discs need replacing and I'm wondering what else I can do ...


Who stocks Mintex 1177's and who much are they
Steve Kemp

Early VVC wheels are ok for bigger disk conversions. Dirk had them fitted with his standard VVC wheels. I think Dirk still has pictures available somewhere, not too much space left but they fit fine. The early MPI 15" wheels won't take them though.
Tony Escort Driver

>>Who stocks Mintex 1177's and who much are they <<

They are available through MG Sport and Racing - but sadly you need a motorsport licence and be registered with them as a competitor to obtain them :o(

Not entirely sure why this is - but the 1144s are perfectly acceptable for road use.
Rob Bell

This thread was discussed between 24/09/2002 and 02/10/2002

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