A few months back, a friend from the Customtacos forums, Micheal Barrios, discovered that Brembo calipers for a Cadillac ATS bolt directly to the spindle of the Tacoma. His brother had run a set of Brembos off an Evo in the past (requires adapter brackets) with Evo rotors on a Tacoma. Mike ordered ATS Brembos because the Subaru guys were using them and they are fairly affordable. So, I decided to try this setup on my truck, just with a set of 2-piece rotors. I found that there are factory size, 2-piece rotors for the Evo.
I ordered a set of the ATS Brembos and when they arrived, I realized that they had shipped one incorrect caliper- for a Cadillac CTS-V of all things.
I couldn't help but notice the similarities between the two, they are approximately the same size (the pictures make the CTS-V caliper look smaller), use the same brake pads, and are likely based on the same design... with the notable exception that the fluid enters the CTS-V calipers from a different angle and they have an external crossover line. This latter feature means they won't transfer as much heat to the fluid, making them a better performance caliper. They also feel slightly lighter in weight- though I worry they are slightly less rigid by design. However, none of this means much as a caliper designed to stop a massive Cadillac CTS won't even be stretching its legs stopping a 2780 lb Tacoma like mine.
Upon further comparison, I noticed the bolt spacing is about the same. I also noticed that the mounting points appear to use slightly smaller bolts and are shimmed outward (The ATS calipers do require the mounting holes in the spindle to be bored out slightly to accommodate the larger bolts used by the ATS calipers and need to be shimmed out slightly to center above the Evo rotor)
So, I ordered another caliper of each type and a set of Girodisc rotors for an Evo. I plan to try the CTS-V calipers and see if they work. If not, I'll use the ATS calipers as originally intended.
In any case, I will have a setup that is easy to replicate and very easy to source parts for. Any auto-parts in the nation will have replacement calipers and pads. To add to the hilarity, Impreza STI brake lines are the correct length and use the proper thread fittings.
A quick spotlight on the brake pads: I chose StopTech's autocross pad, the Sport. The main reason for this is that my truck is used for autocross and street driving. I do not require the heat tolerance of a track pad, nor do I desire the lack of performance while cold (it rains in Florida...a lot) or the noise and dust. These will probably still dust a good bit, but not on the level of a track pad. I also require a pad with very good initial bite (what a autocross pad should provide) due to Florida drivers who love to suddenly pound the brake for no good reason. In the event that I do decide to track, pad changes on these are very easy and I can just have a spare set of track pads.
Besides working on a new brake upgrade, I've been fixing up my interior bit by bit. The latest project involves wrapping my visors in the same microsuede I used on my door panels. I started by tracing the visors onto the back of the material and cutting two covers for each visor. I cut each pattern a little wider than the visor such that I would be able to compensate for the thickness of the visor. From there, I had the only person I know that can use a sewing machine, my dear mother, sew the bottom and sides. I also asked that she fold over the excess up top and sew it down (while still leaving material over to compensate for the thickness of the visor).
From there, it's just a matter of putting the visor in the cover...
Followed by stitching together the top by hand. I did the first one with a single needle stitch and didn't like the end result, so I did a double needle stitch the next time around. The results were way better, just much more time consuming.
The one drawback to the way I did this is that I did not shape the ends of the fabric around some of the features on the top. As a result, I had to cut the fabric to shape once my stitch reached these features and then continue stitching. This left these edges quite fuzzy looking.
Here's a closeup for reference
However, I easily eliminated the fuzz in the same way I did on the doors, by passing a torch near it and melting it off. Here is the finished product:
I also put the carbon fiber hood back on and sold the steel one in an effort to force myself to finish the GT500 vent. Here it is with the vent just sitting in there. I love how it matches the aerocatch hood pins.
Other than that, I did a poor job of vinyl wrapping the roof, a learning experience which taught me tricks to make the next attempt perfect. I got some new vinyl ready to go on later. I threw an LED 3rd brake light on there as well.
After doing some dress up bolts in the Miata's engine bay, I tried one of the leftover bolts on the Tacoma. As predicted, the fender bolts for the Tacoma and Miata are the same thread (M6x1mm). So, I ordered some slightly longer bolts (20mm as opposed to 12mm for the Miata) with matching finish washers. I then replaced most of the bolts in the engine bay.
I also ordered new bolts for my Aerocatch latches, as the hardware that comes with them is normal steel and rusts out after a while. All of the bolts I've ordered are 316 stainless steel, so I don't foresee corrosion being a problem. The bolts needed to replace Aerocatch hardware are M4x0.7mm in 14mm length (or longer).
The Tacoma watches anxiously, waiting for the Miata to be complete so she can get her turn... she's never really approved of the little guy... hopefully we can change that PF96 by Jose Matos, on Flickr
Not much has happened with the truck lately, mostly on account of me getting the Camaro and ramping up my Miata build. I did switch out to nicer bolts on the LED 3rd brake light lol. Then, I hit some extra 316 stainless steel bolts (they come in a pack of 50) with a micro torch and got them looking like this: PF213 by Jose Matos, on Flickr