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Chris' '90 Toyota Celica All-Trac Turbo (aka "The Shuttle")

Updated: September 25, 2017

As they arrived from the factory, the ST185's brakes are ok.  However, repeated hard braking from 120+ mph causes excessive fade on the pig-heavy All-Trac/GT4.  And while this is a frequent occurrence with performance cars, in general, it leaves both a lot to be desires and plenty of room for improvement.  For a general street car, I'd say that most ST185's could stand to receive only stainless steel brake lines, slotted or cross-drilled rotors along with some upgraded brake pads.  I believe these parts are all that's needed to make the average ST185 brakes perform well.  

However, The Shuttle is far from average.  Given that my JUN 2.2L engine now produces in excess of twice as much power as the original engine, acceleration is not a problem.  But, but this new-found power has the ability to cause even further stress and strain on the existing brakes.  So, an improved brake system is in order.

Improving the brakes on The Shuttle is a two part affair.  First, I plan to rid The Shuttle of the ABS system.  Why?  Because, while ABS is great for a daily grocery-getter that will likely be called upon to perform evasive maneuvers in the rain, I don't foresee this as an issue in The Shuttle.  Yes, ABS is good when you need to remain in control of a steerable car when the wheels are locked.  But, ABS will never result in shorter braking distances in the dry, or wet for that matter, as long as the wheels are not completely locked.  Secondly, I plan to implement large brakes on both the front and rear of the car. 

Front Brake Upgrade - I have bought a set of custom brakes from Australia which feature 4-piston Brembo calipers, EBC "green" pads, and 330 mm curved van - slotted rotors.  Here they are on the car.  I have since sent the custom rotor hats and caliper mounts out to receive a flat-black powder-coat finish.

Rear Brake Upgrade - I have installed the large 315 mm (12.4") rear brakes from a non-US ST205.  These brakes utilize two piston calipers.  I was very fortunate to receive these from a dude in New Zealand.  Thanks, mate!  They were installed in conjunction with the suspension mods (Tein coilovers and Whitelline adjustable rear sway-bar.)  Luckily enough, these brakes literally "bolt-on" without any modifications or fabrications whatsoever.  This is a first!  LOL!

Here is the original left-rear brakes.
The dust-shield must be removed with a chisel.
And here we are, minus the dust shields, ready to install the rotors and calipers.

The final result on the rear.

The rear calipers:
rear1.jpg (19150 bytes)
rear2.jpg (24714 bytes)

Brake Lines.   I upgraded to stainless steel brake lines at all four corners during the installation of the front Brembo brakes during the summer of 2002.

Removal of ABS.   I have converted the car from ABS to non-ABS by removing the ABS actuator and replacing the front brake lines with those from a non-ABS Celica.  Essentially, I removed the ABS actuator, proportioning valve, and all brake lines except for those running from the proportioning valve to the rear of the car.  I then installed the brake lines and proportioning valve from a non-ABS Celica GT.  Problem solved.

Return to The Shuttle's Current Mods page