Baer brake systems vs. StopTech

Discussion in 'RT/10 and GTS Discussions' started by Will, Jun 20, 2002.

  1. Will

    Will Enthusiast

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    Anyone have any experience with the Baer brake system? I know that the Viper community has endorsed StopTech for the last 1.5 years, however, I have heard good things about Baer. They have been around for a while and supposedly make systems that will fit the Viper. They have a number of different product lines for the Viper (PRO, PRO+, PRO+14, EXTREME, EXTREME+14, EXTREME+15).

    “PRO+ - Is Baer's top-of-the-line 4 piston system. Standard with 13.5" (or optionally, 14") diameter x 1.25" thick, Alcon 48 vane directionally ventilated rotors. PRO+ systems deliver outrageous braking performance and repeatability simply not available from other 4 piston systems. PRO+ packages are only eclipsed by Baer's own EXTREME+ systems. PRO+ systems provide a significant upgrade for Vipers, Corvettes and Mustang Cobra or Cobra "R" models. Although configured for road use in every way, PRO+ systems are a logical choice for track worthy performance on muscle cars, top flight hot rods or even one off concepts.”

    “EXTREME+ - Features Alcon, billet aluminum, 6 piston, staggered bore, radial mount calipers as first used on Trans-Am cars, but which have been homologated for street use. EXTREME+ systems are the most potent road going brake systems available from any source. Alcon dominates Trans-Am, with 6 consecutive Championships and wins in all but tow races in six years. So don't confuse billet Alcon with massive 7793 series pads and the 6 piston units offered by any other company. If you require the best, you have found it. Recommended for high horsepower C5, Viper, Camaro, Mustang and anywhere that compromises to brake system performance is not an option.”

    Anyone have any experience with Baer brake systems? Any comment on StopTech superiority over Baer with regard to stopping numbers, brake fade or design?

    Thanks,

    Will
     
  2. Jim Hodel

    Jim Hodel Enthusiast

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    I have the Baer Alcon system with single piece 13 inch rotors on my Z28 and it has performed beautifully for several years of track days. I recently installed the front Stoptech system on my Viper and have run a few track days. This system also performs well. I am now satisfied with braking performance, and no longer feel like it is the 'weak' part of the car.

    It's hard to compare the two systems between two cars. The Z28 has ABS, better rear brakes, and doesn't go as fast as the Viper so it's hard to say which system is better. I decided on the Stoptech system because it was $1000 less then the equivalent Baer Alcon system for the Viper.

    Jim
     
  3. K Adelberg

    K Adelberg Enthusiast

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    Maybe I read it wrong, but what about the rear brakes? I have delt with another vendor, other than Bear before choosing Stop Tech. That was nothing but a waste of time, money and an enormous risk.

    The main thing is how the system is proportioned. If you put a great caliper on the front and nothing on the rear, well you can see this is not a balanced system. Stop Tech really did their homework. I have ran many races with them, nothing short of exceptional.
     
  4. RockyTop

    RockyTop Enthusiast

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    I have the Baer/Alcon fronts developed for Viper as distributed by Hennessey. They are 4 piston and I like them, but without any modification to the rear caliper piston size/number, all I did was increase my potential for front wheel lock-up on my non-ABS '97 GTS.

    I then moved my stock front calipers to the rear and had a rear-first lock-up condition that I could not eliminate by using an adjustable prop valve. I simply had too much rear brake. Most folks use a 65% front/35% rear as a rough rule of thumb for brake force bias setting. However, lots of factors come into measuring and achieving this (i.e., piston number and diamter, roll centers and centers of gravity, rotor size, pedal geometry, master cylinder and booster dimensions...). Trust me, I "learned" the hard way. I finally went back to my stock rear calipers and their anemic capablity. Squishy pedal was the condition I experienced all day at RoadAtlanta last time out, but it was probabl;y due to coming into the pits for a pressure check with smoking hot brakes. The fluid bolied (brand new AP 600 - - never done that before !) and the rest was history.

    To do this right, go to a full system developed specifically for the Viper (i.e., front and back, matched master, booster, pedal etc.). Frank Parise I believe uses the Porsche Big Red brakes, but I am not sure what mods he did to get them working correctly. TNT, Dilusi and others have systems they sell using Wilwood calipers I believe. I suspect they are good and are priced right, but many consider Wilwood a notch below Brembo, Alcon etc.

    Frankly, though I have no interest in their business, so many swear by the Stop Tech system that until someone who races can under penalty of perjury swear that they have used both and determined that another's system beats Stop Tech's, I have to say I know which system I will buy when money isn't so tight for me.

    FYI: Alcon rotor discs are insanely expensive. You can get decent Coleman's custom made to replace them at a fraction of the cost (call Essex Auto Parts in the 770 area code). I did it. They may not last as long or cool off quite as well, but they are fine for my use. I recognize tha the cooling properties of the Alcon and Stop Tech rotors may help solve my squishy pedal syndrome, but they are either too expensive or won't fit.

    Good luck !
     
  5. Stephen Yap

    Stephen Yap Enthusiast

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    Hi Will,

    I have the PRO+ Baer Alcons on the fronts. I have had no problems with it. The caliper is built really well and I like the fact that I can get Performance Friction pads for it. For non mechanical types like me, I also like the fact that I take out one bolt and I can change pads. The kit includes Alcon rotors which are one of the most long lasting rotors I have had even under extreme conditions. They really last a long time but unfortunately are very expensive. I have some less expensive coleman rotors that I will try next time I replace them. I wish Stoptech made rotors for the Alcons. I would go for the six piston Baer if you can afford it. Roe Racing has the six piston AP Racing calipers which should also be good and reasonably priced. Make sure you also think about upgrading the rear brakes. Ted May will be able to help you get a balanced front/rear system but don't get any driving tips from him unless you like spinning. Contact me if you need more info.
     
  6. Will

    Will Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the feedback guys! I called Baer earlier today and found out that they pretty much stopped pushing the PRO+. The EXTREME+ (6 piston) is pretty much what they recommend. The price, however, is pretty high for the 4 wheel upgrade, >6K.

    When I mentioned StopTech to the rep his comment was "it's a very well built system, competitively priced, the guy did his homework. However, like all brake manufacturers, StopTech has some flaws. These flaws are even noted on the web site." The rep really had nothing bad to say about StopTech.

    The one downside to Baer is that they have no before and after numbers aside from the C5. If I lived in Arizona, they were willing to use my car as a test subject to gather some performance numbers and prove their system superiority. For those Vipers in the Arizona area, this may be an opportunity for you to get a great deal on a brake upgrade. I believe the rep said they would forgoe the labor cost (you may be able to press for a price discount as well).

    -W
     

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