posted on December 31, 2008 09:43
This is a welcome change as the 350Z's brakes, although more than adequate for street driving had issues during hard use. The base level brakes, unless stock size and type tires were run, could be made to fade on the track. With bigger wheels and tires, especially R-Compound track tires, the base sliding piston 350Z brakes would rapidly fade away under hard track use and lacked a firm pedal feel.
The 350Z's track package Brembo brakes, although much more fade resistant and better feeling, were plagued by piston knockback, where flex in the spindle and hubs would cause the brake rotor to knock the pistons back into the caliper body making for a disconcerting long, mushy brake pedal. This issue meant that a 350Z driver often had to have one foot free to pump the brake pedal back up while driving around the track. Failing to do this would often find a Brembo equipped 350Z driver with the brake pedal soft and mushy when entering a turn. Sticky R-Compound tires made this problem even worse. Switching to large diameter rotor aftermarket brakes compounded the problem as the larger rotors would push the pistons farther into the calipers. The only cure was vigilant maintenance; continually changing the front wheel bearings. This would get expensive as wheel bearings would wear out in as little as one weekend at the track. Nissan has addressed this issue in the 370Z by beefing up the spindle and installing larger front wheel bearings. This is great news as brake knockback was perhaps the worst thing about the 350Z.
|The 370Z's front spindle has larger wheel bearings than the 350Z as indicated by the green arrow. The forged aluminum spindle is also reinforced near the bearing to reduce flex. The reinforcement ribs are indicated by the red arrow. The bigger bearings and stiffer spindle help combat caliper piston knockback with plagued the 350Z. Knockback produces an unpredictably mushy brake pedal under hard driving.