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Suspension Wheels & Brakes Mods

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Member Credit: EddyMaxx & Michael Bird Tindal

Thanks to Michael for posting this information. For approx. $300 bucks, you can have a front Akebono BBK on your 7thgen Maxima. This is for only the Front BBK ONLY. You can do the rear setup as well inexpensively.

This is applicable to other Maxima’s as long as you have the correct brackets. The 7thgen/8thgen Maxima DOES NOT require brackets. Also a direct fit for the newer Altima’s (2010 Model).

The initial price will be over $300 because of the core charges. Once you return your old calipers, you will get  that credit back. The core charge for each caliper at Autozone is $65.00. Also, keep in mind that you can save even more money if you have Autozone rewards.

You also have the option to paint or powdercoat the calipers. Of course this will increase the pricing. However, many members just buy a can of high-temp caliper paint and call it a day.

Install Information:

Dust shield has to be trimmed, 2 shorter banjo bolts (w/crush washers), and larger 13.9 inch rotors is all you need. While you’re doing all that you can upgrade brake lines but the factory ones will work and you will see a difference in stopping power.

Everything you need for Install:

Ordered From (Click Links) Part Number  Description Price (After Core Return) Coupon Code
Autozone D6233 Duralast Reman Brake Caliper – Passenger Front $76.99  You might be able to save more if you have a rewards card.
Autozone D6232 Duralast Reman Brake Caliper – Driver Front $76.99
O’Reilys 980664RGS 13.9″ Front Rotors Includes both Pass & Driver $90.00 25More (Saves $5 bucks)
Autozone DGC888 Duralast Max Brake Pads (Creamic) Includes both Pass & Driver $57.99
Z1 Motorsports N/A Brake Line Banjo Bolt $7.76
eBay 22136 Goodridge G-Stop Stainless Steel Braided Brake Lines $114.07 Optional but recommended. Not included in price as it is not 100% required.
eBay N/A Akebono Decals $6.85 Optional. Not included in price as it is not 100% required.

Total

$309.73

 

Core Information:

So many of you are wondering, “can I return mystock OEM calipers in exchange for the BBK calipers”? The answer is YES.

Of course, you can’t exchange an alternator as a core for brakes. But brakes to brakes, the core is acceptable from a recycling perspective. Below is more clarity on the core charge.

A “Core Charge” is similar to the deposit you might pay for a can or bottle of soda. In many states, to promote recycling, you are charged a deposit when you purchase a can of soda and you receive your deposit back when you return the empty can. Many automotive parts have a Core Charge, or Core Price, that works the same way as a soda can deposit.

Here’s how the Core Charge works:

  • The part you are purchasing contains a component that is recyclable
  • The Core Charge deposit is charged at the time of purchase
  • When the recyclable component from your old part is returned to us, the charge is refunded to you.

Returning the core allows parts to be remanufactured / recycled. Bringing back your core helps save our environment by keeping approximately 54,000 tons of cores out of landfills annually!

Autozone Calipers & Brake Pads

O’Reilly Front 13.9″ Rotors

Z1 Banjo Brake Bolt (You need two of these)

Goodridge Stainless Steel Brake Lines (Optional But Recommended)

Akebono Decals (Optional But Looks Good)

Before & After:

my4dsc: 372

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Member Credit: MaximaDrvr

I am completing this write up to help people save some money. You can probably buy all of the needed tools for what the dealership would charge. This was an over $400 quote for each side. Generally, you will replace these in pairs, but it is not absolutely required. I have 150k miles on my 09.

I purchased replacement assemblies from Rock Auto. The bearing assemblies were $154 shipped for the pair (TIMKEN HA590252). I would recommend new cotter pins as well, but you can make due with the old ones if necessary if you don’t break them on removal.

This is a fairly easy replacement as far as complexity, but it is a critical component to your car. I would recommend having some mechanical knowledge and plenty of time if you have not completed something like this before. This took me 3 hours with taking pictures, and an hour of letting penetrating oil soak in. I would say it could be done in as little as 1 hour, or as long as 6 hours if you have never done anything like it before, or need to let the penetrating oil soak in.

I was a mechanic in a previous life and had all of the tools required.

You will need:

  • 32mm socket for the axle nut
  • 22mm sockets for suspension nut/bolt
  • 18 and 19mm wrenches and sockets
  • You may need some additional sizes that I am forgetting.
  • 10mm (I think, may be. 11 or 12) for the abs/speed ring sensor
  • Breaker bar
  • Impact gun
  • Penetrating oil
  • 8″ pry bar
  • Rubber mallet
  • Ball peen hammer
  • Needle nose pliers (to remove and replace cotter pins)
  • Wood
  • Bungee cord
  • Sandpaper or scotchbrite pad

First, you need to properly jack up your car and place it on stands. Then remove the wheel on the corner you will be working on.

This is the 32mm nut and cotter pin

Remove the brakes. You need to remove the two bolts holding the caliper carrier to the knuckle. You do not need to separate the caliper and carrier.

Then you can take the rotor off and set it to the side. You can then use the short pry bar to remove the brake line clip off the strut to get more room. Set the caliper to the side, but do not hang it from the brake line. I set it on top of a small bucket.

Once the brakes are off, I sprayed the axle nut with penetrating oil. I put an oil catch can underneath to not stain the floor. I also sprayed a bit of oil on the bolts between the knuckle and strut. I also removed the cotter pin at this point.

You then need to remove the axle nut. You can try a breaker bar, but you most likely won’t get far. An impact gun will be your friend. My electric gun wasn’t quite enough and I had to break out the air impact gun.

The axle nut removed. You can also see the tie rod end in the lower right. This also has a cotter pin that will need to be removed. You will remove the pin, nut and washer, the carefully tap the bolt up to remove the tie rod from the knuckle. You should also remove the abs/speed sensor at this point. It is the small bolt on the side of the knuckle. Just tuck this out of the way.

You will also remove the bolt for the lower ball joint. This must be fully removed for the shaft of the ball joint to be removed from the knuckle in the next step. You will also remove the two bolts holding the knuckle to the strut.

You then need to remove the axle from the hub. This should slide out fairly easily, just by wiggling and pulling the knuckle outward while pushing in on the axle. I then spun the knuckle 90 degrees, and hung the axle to the side with a bungee cord.

All that should be left holding the knuckle in place is the ball joint. Use the pry bar to spread the joint around the ball joint rod. This can be achieved by placing the pry bar in the notch, and tapping it in with the mallet. Then you should be able to lift the knuckle off the ball joint.

You then need to remove the 4 bolts holding the hub and bearing to the knuckle. You will also remove the dust sheild on the back of the bearing. This will just pop off with a screw driver. Take note that one of the notches in the dust cover lines up with the hole for the abs sensor.

Now it is time to remove the hub assembly.

Place it on the wood blocks so that the hub can drop free of the knuckle. Then use the hammer to knock the assembly free. Take care to not hit the knuckle around where the bearing slides in.

Now you need to clean up the bearing surface. Use you sand paper or scotchbrite to clean up the inside and any places with corrosion.

Now you can reassemble the knuckle and hub. Place the hub in the knuckle, lining up the bolt holes. You can use the 4 bolts to pull the hub into place. Tighten them by hand in a circular manner, not just one at a time. These should be torqued to 93ft.lbs, or really tight with a 3/4″ bar.

Then place the dust cover with one of the notches aligned with the abs sensor hole.

Now we put the knuckle back.
Slide the axle back into the hub, then slide the knuckle back onto the ball joint.
Then push the top of the knuckle back into the strut and put in the two bolts.
Then put the tie rod end back into the knuckle.

Put the abs sensor back in place and tighten the bolt.
Place the bolt back into the knuckle for the ball joint and tighten.
Place the washer and nut in place on the tie rod and tighten. Then replace the cotter pin.

Put the nuts back onto the strut bolts and tighten.
Place the axle nut onto the axle and tighten. This should be 136ft.lbs. or, really tight with a breaker bar. Then replace the cotter pin.

Next we put the brakes back together.
Put the brake line in place on the strut and replace the clip.
Put the rotor back on the hub, then put the caliper assembly back in place. Tighten the two bolts that hold it in place.

Now you put the wheel back on and you are finished.

(I made a conscious decision to not replace the dust shield. Most of you will want to make sure that the shield is back in place when you reassemble the hub and knuckle)

 

my4dsc: 6

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Gallery of Maxima’s with upgraded Big Brake Kits (BBK).

my4dsc: 235

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Gallery of 5thgen Maxima’s with different wheel and tire setups.

my4dsc: 153

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Gallery of 6thgen Maxima’s with different wheel and tire setups.

my4dsc: 74

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Member Credit: Matt Blehm

Please note that this post is for reference and documentation purposes ONLY. Matt Blehm no longer offers these products or services. Products were available from 2003 to around 2009.

Lower Tie Bar: Now for 89-2003 Maxima, and B14 200SX/Sentra!

This part is designed to tie the front suspension together to provide sharper steering response and better handling overall.

These parts are powdercoated black. If you would like other colors, I can do it, but buyer will be responsible for additional charges.

Stage I

This is a bar that ties together the bolts on the front lower control arm gussets, providing sharper steering response and less chassis flex in corners. Handling improvements are very similar to installing a strut tower brace, which you can also add on the top of the suspension to tie the front end together really well!

The only drawback is that you lose a bit of ground clearance- but since it sits between the front wheels, the only time you might have a problem is when driving over extremely uneven surfaces. I have had the Stage II bar (see below) on my car for six months now and have only scraped it three times- all of which could have been prevented had I been paying more attention while going over extremely rough roads.

The price for the Stage I lower tie bar is $65, plus shipping- a VERY worthwhile and affordable mod!

Stage II

This one is a bit more complex. It bolts onto an additional frame mount behind the control arms to provide more strength and reduce chassis flex even more. You don’t lose any more ground clearance, but you do gain several more steps up the ladder in the handling department.

For 3rd gens, this requires a small amount of grinding on the left side gusset to fit, but does not alter or weaken the structure of the car at all–you simply have to enlarge one hole by about 2mm for one of the mounting points to fit properly. For 4th and 5th gens, this is a simple 15 minute install (assuming you have air tools and a jack).

Current fittments WILL Clear all aftermarket Y-pipes (Warpspeed Performance, Cattman, Stillen), but will NOT clear the Cattman headers on the 4th gen. I’m working with a customer in redesigning the 4th gen bar so that it will fit. If you have these headers or plan to purchase them, stay tuned and I’ll have a design that fits.

Price on the Stage II Lower Tie Bar is $175, plus shipping.

4th Gen Stage II Lower Tie Bar

5th Gen Stage II Lower Tie Bar

B14 Stage II Lower Tie Bar

Rear Strut Tower Brace: For 89-94 Maxima

Exactly what it says it is!! You’ve seen them on 4th gens, you’ve seen them on Sentras, you’ve seen them on every car BUT a 3rd gen! I argued for years that they wouldn’t do anything, but I decided to build one not long ago, and boy was I wrong!!

Pricing: $100 each, plus shipping. (This isn’t your $29 ebay fstb!!)

Rear Parallel Link Replacement Kit: For 89-94 Maxima

Another crazy mod for your 3rd Gen!

This is a mod only for the hardcore guys out there. It’s rough and it’s tough, and it’ll (almost) hang with a Miata in the twisties!! These do add some road noise over gravel roads at low speeds, but the ride quality doesn’t change between these and stock bushings. I notice no additional highway noise, and the ride is MUCH smoother than with my worn bushings in the rear.

This kit also allows you to adjust Camber AND Caster in the back!

This kit replaces both rear parallel links and radius rods on both sides, for a total of 6 bars, 12 Heim joints, and all the bushings you’ll need to install them properly.

I can get the tubes in zinc plated (pictured), or black. I can powdercoat them just about any color you want as well, so contact me if you’d like some other colors.

This kit is priced at a VERY reasonable $375 for the set. Again, the second picture shows just one side, but you do get both. The joints used in this kit are very high quality– they have teflon lining injected into them so they should never need lubricating and will never rattle like the cheap ones.

Okay, so what is it exactly? I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves:

Rear Sway Bar Links:

89-94 Maxima

Tired of your rear sway bar links breaking, clanking, and rattling? Here’s the solution! These are made from all high-strength materials. 1/2″ aluminum bottom plate, grade 8 mounting hardware, and the heim joint on top is permanently lubed with kevlar/teflon injected into the joint. Guaranteed not to break! Overkill to say the least, but you don’t want these to break AGAIN, do you?

Price for the Maxima kit is $45 + shipping–includes all hardware pictured for both sides of the car.

1st Generation Altima

I have some Energy Suspension Sway Bar Bushings on the way as well and will be selling these as complete front and rear kit when they come in. Final pricing will be determined later.

my4dsc: 26

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Member Credit: Matt Blehm

Please note that this post is for reference and documentation purposes ONLY. Matt Blehm no longer offers these products or services. Products were available from 2003 to around 2009.

BlehmCo Maxima Big Brake Kits

Front Big Brake Kit #1–2004 Maxima Rotors with 300ZX calipers: This kit fits all 1989 through 2003 models

Front Big Brake Kit #2–2004 Maxima Rotors with OEM 5th generation calipers: This kit only fits 2000 and 2001 models

REAR Big Brake Kit This kit fits all 1995 through 2003 models!

BlehmCo Maxima Front Big Brake Kit

This kit uses easy-to-find, off the shelf ALL Nissan parts! That way the next time you warp a rotor, or wear out the pads at an Auto X, track event, etc…you can just go to the local parts store and pick up replacement parts!  Not many BBKs will allow you to do that!

So what’s in this kit?

  1. NEW OEM 12.6″ 2004 Maxima Rotors (included in the Complete and Basic Kits)
  2. Used/Rebuilt/Remanufactured 300ZX  ALUMINUM  calipers, hardware, pads, shims, etc (included in the Complete Kit).
  3. Caliper relocation bracket
  4. All hardware necessary to install (nuts, bolts, washers, etc.)
  5. Goodridge Stainless Steel brake lines, certified to D.O.T. FMVSS test 106 (many of the brake kits out there don’t have this)

As noted above, the kit is offered with and without the 300ZX calipers for those of you who already have some, or have a good source for them already. If you’d like me to source them for you, then prices are at the bottom of the page.

What are the benefits to this Big Brake Kit?

You guys already know the benefits of a big brake kit on your car, so I’ll point out the original parts of this kit…

It uses a NISSAN rotor that’s meant to fit on this suspension. The offsets are correct so as not to cause huge wheel clearance issues, the hub bore is a perfect fit, and the wheel stud holes are a perfect fit. It also doesn’t rub on the control arms (at least not on 3rd or 5th gens).

As most of you know, the 300ZX calipers have a plethora of pad selections out there–WAY more than the Maxima does because of the performance enthusiast base. You can go with Raybestos, Wagner, Axxis, or comparable pads for the street for a very reasonable price, or you can bump up to Hawk, Performance Friction, Porterfield, Ferodo, EBC, and many other higher performance pads for track days. If you’re in a pinch and need new pads “NOW!”, simply drive to your nearest parts store and pick some up! They’re extremely handy, as opposed to other aftermarket calipers where you usually have to order pads and wait a week for them to come in! These calipers are also designed for street use in that they have dust seals, pad shims to keep road noise to a minimum, easily obtainable rebuild kits, and all the other low maintenance benefits of a caliper designed for years of street use instead of a caliper designed to be rebuilt several times per race season.

The rotors are currently available through OEM sources (dealer), and you can also get blank, slotted, crossdrilled, or slotted and drilled from www.irotors.com. You have all kinds of choices and I will leave that up to you, but I DO NOT recommend crossdrilled rotors due to their tendency to crack. There is enough information in thousands of other places on these issues, so I won’t bother repeating them.

What wheels will these fit under?

I have tried this kit with several wheels so you can get an indication of what will fit…. These kits DO NOT FIT UNDER THE STOCK 17″ Maxima wheels! So far, every aftermarket 17″ and 18″ wheel I have tried will fit, but the 17s get close on spoke clearance–depending on wheel design. I am currently trying to compile a database of all of the wheels that fit these kits to give you an idea, but the best way is to simply measure for yourself. I make no claims to wheel fittment, but for a general guess on if they will fit or not, use these measurements:

Measure 5 1/4″ out from the center of the wheel to one of your spokes. Now measure the distance from the surface of your stock rotors. If you have at least 2 1/2″ of clearance here, then you should be fine with the kit. I can tell you for certain that 300ZX (Z32) wheels will NOT fit without a 1/2″ spacer.

The installed kit:

For those that want to see more up close pics showing caliper clearance around the wheel and spokes, click here

And now for the part you’re really interested in–prices!

Complete Kit: $765 + shipping

This kit is ready to bolt on, with the exception of brake fluid. This kit includes:

  1. Remanufactured 300ZX Calipers
  2. New OEM 2004 Maxima rotors
  3. Custom Stainless Steel Brake lines–these lines are custom made to adapt the 300ZX caliper fittings to the Maxima hard line.
  4. Caliper relocation brackets
  5. All hardware necessary to install the kit

Basic kit: $440 + shipping

Note that this kit does NOT include the required calipers. I can get them if you wish, or you can supply them yourself. This kit includes:

  1. New OEM 2004 Maxima rotors
  2. Custom Stainless Steel Brake lines- These lines are custom made to adapt the 300ZX caliper fittings to the Maxima hard line.
  3. Caliper relocation brackets
  4. All hardware necessary to install the kit

Kit without Rotors: $200 + shipping

This is for those who want to source rotors, calipers, and pads themselves. This kit includes:

  1. Custom Stainless Steel Brake lines–these lines are custom made to adapt the 300ZX caliper fittings to the Maxima hard line.
  2. Caliper relocation brackets
  3. All hardware necessary to install the kit ( again, this kit does not include rotors or calipers )

Want me to source the 300ZX calipers for you? If so, then I can source just about anything you want:

  1. Parts car pulls (cores)–whatever price I can find them. Current prices range from $150 to $250 per set
  2. Cores rebuilt with OEM seal–core price, plus $60 ($30 of which is the rebuild kit). This price does NOT include new hardware. (Contact me if you want new hardware also)
  3. Remanufactured calipers (loaded with generic semi-metallic pads, shims, pins, and hardware)–$350
  4. I can also do powdercoating for $100 per pair on calipers. Please expect a few weeks of lead time if I have to order powder or calipers for you

BlehmCo Maxima Relocation Big Brake Kit

This kit uses easy-to-find, off the shelf ALL Nissan parts! That way the next time you warp a rotor, or wear out the pads at an Auto X, track event, etc…you can just go to the local parts store and pick up replacement parts!  Not many BBKs will allow you to do that!

What is this kit designed for?

This kit is designed for the average “spirited” driver to alleviate the rotor warpage issues that are so common on 5th Gen Maximas. It’s also an extremely affordable way to improve the cosmetics of your car if you’re running larger wheels. The factory brakes just look too small under 18″ and 19″ wheels! The other goal was to make them fit under the factory 17″ wheels–which this kit does with ease!

Not many BBKs will allow get anywhere near the price of this kit, nor will there be easily available replacement parts when it’s time to replace pads or rotors.

I tried this kit with several wheels, so you can get an indication of what will fit: So far, every 17″ and 18″ wheel I have tried will fit, but the 17s get close on rim clearance–depending on wheel design. I make no claims to wheel fittment, but I would say it’s safe to assume that most 17″ wheels will fit, and sure any 18″ wheel will also.

Here are several pictures of the kit, installed on Mike Hill’s gorgeous 2000 Maxima:

And now for the part you’re really interested in–prices!

Ready to Install Kit: $365 + shipping

This includes:

  1. New OEM 2004 Maxima rotors (aftermarket crossdrilled or slotted rotors are now available for an additional $20)
  2. Caliper relocation brackets
  3. All hardware necessary to install the kit (nuts, bolts, & washers)

Complete kit, without rotors: $150 + shipping.

This includes:

  1. Caliper relocation brackets
  2. All hardware necessary to install the kit (nuts, bolts, & washers)

BlehmCo Maxima Big Rear Brake Kit—1995 through 2003 models

This kit uses easy-to-find, off the shelf ALL Nissan parts! That way the next time you warp a rotor, or wear out the pads at an Auto X, track event, etc…you can just go to the local parts store and pick up replacement parts!  Not many BBKs will allow you to do that!

What is it?

Z32 300ZX REAR calipers and rotors built to fit 4th and 5th gen Maximas.

What are the benefits to this Rear Big Brake Kit?

You guys already know the benefits of a big brake kit on your car, so I’ll point out the original parts of this kit…

Many of you that have purchased Big Brake Kits for the front notice a front brake bias problem now. This is safer than having a large rear bias, but it is not the best performing. The rear brakes are tiny and just aren’t up to the task once you’ve upgraded the front brake system. They also look like go kart brakes behind the larger 17″,18″,and 19″ wheels that many owners are using now!

This kit, when paired with most front brake kits, will return the brake bias to within 3% of the factory front/rear bias. In my experiences, this has provided the best overall braking–nearly zero nose dive when you’re on the brakes hard, but you can still brake into corners without locking up the back end.

As most of you know, the 300ZX calipers have a plethora of pad selections out there–WAY more than the Maxima does because of the performance enthusiast base. You can go with Raybestos, Wagner, Axxis, or comparable pads for the street for a very reasonable price, or you can bump up to Hawk, Performance Friction, Porterfield, Ferodo, EBC, and many other higher performance pads for track days. If you’re in a pinch and need new pads “NOW!”, simply drive to your nearest parts store and pick some up! They’re extremely handy, as opposed to other aftermarket calipers where you usually have to order pads and wait weeks for them to come in! These calipers are also designed for street use in that they have dust seals, pad shims to keep road noise to a minimum, easily obtainable rebuild kits, and all the other low maintenance benefits of a caliper designed for years of street use instead of a caliper designed to be rebuilt several times per race season.

You can also purchase rotors at just about any aftermarket or OEM dealer. They have a huge selection of finish, slotting and drilling, and cryo treating options.

How?

For those of you that are familiar with the Z32 brakes, they use an internal drum-type parking brake–as almost all other high performance brake systems do now. This makes caliper maintenance and pad changes extremely quick and easy, but this is also what makes designing a rear brake kit for this car very challenging. I have designed and built a rear drum-type parking brake to fit inside the Z32 rotor, and that’s what this kit is based upon.

Will this work with front Big Brake Kits from another company?

Some of the other kits out there (Stillen, Fastbrakes, Precision, etc) use different piston sizes in their calipers that will affect brake bias considerably. Please check with me before purchasing and be ready to do some measuring of your calipers (or have the part numbers ready for the calipers so I can look them up.) I have talked with Fastbrakes and confirmed the piston sizes on their calipers–their systems will work wonderfully with my rear BBK. I have yet to confirm this with other kits.

If you buy this kit for other front systems, the worst you will have to do is install a $50 brake bias adjuster from Wilwood or Tilton to make this kit run on your car. Simply be very careful about locking up the rear brakes until you have adjusted the bias to fit your system.

How Much does it cost, and what do I need?

I have set the price on my parts so that the entire setup should cost you under $1000 for everything needed to install the kit on the car. I will send you everything needed EXCEPT rear calipers, rotors, and brake fluid, which you will be able to purchase from the sources below and come out under $1000 total.

The parts I will supply are the parking brake assemblies (including custom backing plate and bracket), replacement parking brake cables (your original cables will not work), 6061 aluminum caliper relocation bracket, all fasteners and hardware required for installation, and custom rear DOT approved stainless steel brake lines made to fit this setup.

The parts you need to supply are 300ZX rotors and calipers, pads, and brake fluid. Rotors: Feel free to purchase them from any place you like, but I highly recommend IRotors.com You will need to purchase a pair of REAR rotors from a 1990-1996 300ZX.

Calipers: You can find them quite often on Ebay for under $100 a pair. Any 1990-1996 300ZX TT or N/A rear calipers will work–they’re all the same. If you purchase them used, I highly suggest rebuilding them. You can buy a rebuild kit from Orielly’s Auto Parts, Pep Boys, Autozone, etc for under $10. Many auto parts stores also carry remanufactured calipers for a reasonable cost. In Houston, they are about $100 each without core, $60 each with core.

Now for some Pics!

 

So what’s the total price from BlehmCo?

You will send me $720 plus shipping for the parts you need from me. Shipping usually runs about $20 for anyone in the main 48 states. CA, AK, and HI are more, but I am more than happy to ship worlwide! You will still need to purchase rotors, calipers, pads, and fluid. This should run you less than $250, which puts you at just under $1000 for the entire rear brake kit!

I can also do powdercoating for $100 per pair on calipers. Please expect a few weeks of lead time if I have to order powder or calipers for you.

 

my4dsc: 79

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