VW Rotational Mass Kit
Installing a Fastbrakes big front brake kit.

-Warning- Heavy Image Content.

John Moeller

Living in Arizona, I'm thankful to have excellent Honda performance resources. One of these many resources is a man by the name of Brian Hasty. Brian had written many articles on Hybrid about large brake swaps for 4G and 5G Civics, and using the Type-R brakes on a 4G Civics as well. After meeting him at HASport a couple months back, I learned of his Fastbrakes project. I was sure that his attention to detail would also be put forth into the kit, so I ordered one.

Fastbrakes for the CRX consist of CNC'd aircraft aluminum brackets, hubcentric rings, and all the nessecary hardware to bolt on 90-00 Teg LS/GS/GSR calipers and 90 Corrado G60 (11in) brake rotors. I elected to go with Brembo factory replacement rotors, and 94+ Integra GSR calipers, which I had rebuilt prior to install. For brake pads, I went with EBC GreenStuffs. I chose the EBCs because of the low price I was able to get from Fastbrakes, and they're friendlyness to rotors. What's included with the Fastbrakes kit is pictured below, as is a comparison of the Stock CRX Si rotor, and the VW Corrado G60 rotor.

Installation was simpler than removal of the old parts, and I can give a quick step by step.


Step 1.

Remove the old rotor and it's retaining screws, and throw them away. Remove the caliper, and let it rest on the suspension as not to stretch the brake hose. Also, clean off the hub area so you don't contaminate your new rotors. If you plan on keeping your dustshield, you would have to bend it back at this time.

Step 2.

Attach the Fastbrakes bracket onto the the steering knuckle. As mentioned in the instructions, some mild filing of the knuckle where it attaches to the bracket may be nessecary due to tolerances in the steering knuckle production. On my car, I had to file a small amount off my right side, and none at all on my left. Make sure to torque the hex head bolts to spec with a 10mm hex socket.
Also put on the hubcentric ring.

Step 3.

Remove your old CRX caliper, and toss it out. Put on your new Integra caliper, and try not to get brake fluid all over when swapping the line.
Note that although the Fastbrakes instructions says to remount the brake hose mount, that the Integra caliper moves it too far away, and that tightening it down could snap or break the hose.
Now would also be a good time to wash up and hit the rotors with brake parts cleaner.

Step 4.

Place the rotor on the hub, and make sure it's even on the hubcentric ring. If the rotor slips off, you can use a lugnut to keep it on.
Then attach the brake caliper bracket to the Fastbrakes bracket with the supplied bolts, and tighten to spec with a 3/4in socket.
You can now drop in your pads.

Step 5.

Go ahead and drop the caliper over the pads and bracket, and tighten it down.
Have someone pump the brake pedal to make sure that you have grip. Douce everything in brake parts cleaner one more time.
Bleed your brakes.

The finished product:

Ahhh, but does it work? In a word, yes. When i installed the brakes, I also installed a 90 Prelude Si Non-ABS Master Cylinder. I was having initial problems with locking the brakes often, but when another problem arised and my brake pedal would sink to the floor, I put my stock CRX master cylinder back on. The car stops much better with the working master cylinder, and became very hard to lock them up. Now that I've put some miles on the brakes, it stops better still. The first thing I noticed when I drove a lowered CRX is the lack of forward weight transfer. With the larger brakes, some of this has returned due to their grippy nature. I would very much recommend them.

Although if you have access to a brake pad you like better, you may want to go for that. These pads dust more than I would have liked, and they don't last very long (EBC says less than 20k miles). But for the price, they weren't bad.

There's some talk about the added mass. Without any kind of data to back me up, I still feel my Rota C8/Fastbrakes combo is lighter than the CRX/CRX combo that I was running on previously. It just feels better to me, or at least, it doesn't feel worse. And yes, you will need 15in wheels to clear these brakes.

5/28/00 Update: After a few weeks of breaking them in, I've become very used to these brakes. They're VERY good. I am very scared getting behind the wheel of the 96 Civic EX now because I am not used to the brakes. The pads offer great initial bite (although I can see their wear is quicker than other pads, just as EBC said), and the larger size really haul the car down with confidence. You couldn't convince me to go back. Also, with a b16, the kit is even of more use. I can feel the new weight up front, and the brakes still perform marvelously. All Hail Brian Hasty!

10/24/00 Update: I had some problems with the rotors that came with my kit. I had what we dubbed "cheetah spots". I talked to Brian @ Fastbrakes, and he had seen the spots on some other customers' cars. I bit the bullet and paid $77ea for some lifetime warranty Raybestos rotors from C/S/K in the hopes of never having to pay for rotors again. I put them on, and was only able to give about 100-150 miles of easy street driving on them. It's been about 400 miles since I put them on, and the rings are back. I think those are caused by the pad. The spots aren't here. Yet. No warping. The whole system feels great with my new pads (EBC Greens again). I only got about 9-11k out of my original EBC greens, but since they're so cheap and brake so well on the street AND on the track, I got another set. There's no way you could get me to give up these brakes on my street car, they just perform too well.

-John