Bigger brakes for the Cruze under $400.
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Thread: Bigger brakes for the Cruze under $400.

  1. #1
    Learning about my Cruze Champagne Jam's Avatar
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    Bigger brakes for the Cruze under $400.

    Before making any changes to your car you must have the skills and the tools. If you don't have both, have your licensed auto mechanic do the work. No exceptions. Brakes are a life and death situation. Going is optional, stopping is mandatory.

    Thanks to the Sonic forum for much research on this swap. The most aggravating part of getting bigger brakes for the Cruze is the bolt pattern of 5x105. There are a lot of options open if you want to change your hubs to a larger bolt pattern. I did not want to change mostly because of having 5 wheels and tires in the stock pattern. Getting a spare wheel and tire in the 18" LTZ stock configuration cost me about $200. I added about 3 inches of hard foam to the tire well to make a stock rim and tire fit. Some cutting of the carpet mat was also required.

    Now onto the brake swap. The Sonic folks had figured out that the Buick Encore had larger rotors in the 5x105 pattern. Score! No need to change hubs. The caliper from the Cruze is the same as the Encore except for the mounting brackets. I did not have to open the hydraulic system to make the swap. I found dust shields in the larger size, most likely from the Cruze diesel model. Add the Encore's larger brake pads and I'm done right?

    Not so fast. The mounting holes are the right distance center to center but the Encore bracket uses 14mm bolts. The mounting holes will need to be drilled to accommodate. The drill I used is 35/64" just under the 14mm size. Because the drilling process is never perfect, this size drill bit was perfect. IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE SKILLS TO TAKE THIS STEP, STOP RIGHT NOW. You also need a socket for the large nut on the axle in 32mm.

    All right, now the instructions for the swap. Jack the car's front end up and place it securely on quality jack stands. Don't even attempt any car work with out jack stands.
    Remove the wheels with a 19mm socket. Remove the two caliper bolts with a 18mm socket. Hang the caliper with wire or place it on a small box like I did. Don't let the caliper hang by the hose. (If you are doing this swap you already know this). Pull the old pads and clips. Remove the rotor retaining torx bolt and then the rotor. Remove the axle nut with the 32mm and then the 3 hub bolt (from the backside) they are also 18mm. Gently remove the hub and the old dust shield. I cleaned the hub and then removed the caliper brackets 10mm bolts. You don't have to take the caliper bracket bolts out to swap brackets. I did it to make cleaning the caliper easier. You want this to look good right? Push the caliper pot back into the caliper using a brake spreader.

    For drilling the mounting holes I put a large piece of cardboard on the floor and covered both the caliper and the axle and hub opening with rags. When drilling, I chose to use two drill sizes to get to the 14mm size. I started with an 1/2" bit and then went to the 35/64". DON'T DO THAT. It was a pain you know where. Both bits grabbed and drilling was hard on both passes. Just use the 35/64" bit alone. That's what I did on the other side and it went quickly, still some grabbing but much easier. After drilling get the vacuum and clean up the metal filings. For some reason my wife insists on this step.


    Now for the reassembly, I did the caliper work on the cardboard box and that worked great. I did the caliper now because with the dust shield removed there is more room.
    Place the pad holding clips in now. Why? It's easier than when the caliper is assembled. Put some brake grease into the holes of the brake caliper where the sliding rods go. Slip the rods back into the bracket and assemble the caliper with the 10mm bolts. Insert the brake pads and push the box back out of the way.

    Put back the hub bolts and let them stick out. Put the new shield in place on the protruding bolts, the hub holds it together. Gently slide the hub back over the axle shaft and finger tighten the hub bolts. It will take some wiggling, but it's not difficult. Tighten the hub bolts to torque spec. Replace the axle nut and torque to spec. Replace the rotor and retaining screw. Replace the caliper and torque the bolts to spec.

    Stand back and grin. Man they look good!


    Caliper installed.jpg
    Last edited by Champagne Jam; 02-21-2016 at 01:28 PM.

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  3. #2
    Learning about my Cruze Champagne Jam's Avatar
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    One note, I did not check that the Cruze spare will fit. I have a full size wheel and tire so I did not try it. I will get around to retrieving my old spare from the shed and try it.

    Update: I tested the old stock spare tire today. It fits over the bigger brakes by about 1/8". The spare is a 16".
    Glad I bought another 18" LTZ rim and tire. Cost about $175.
    Last edited by Champagne Jam; 02-29-2016 at 10:27 AM.
    Blasirl and bostonboy like this.

  4. #3
    Learning about my Cruze Champagne Jam's Avatar
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    Now for the parts list and cost.
    2 ultra premium rotors from NAPA UP 881025 $94x2=$188
    1 set ultra premium pad also from NAPA UP SS SS8667M $87
    2 sets of caliper bolts from NAPA Up 64501 $5
    2 caliper brackets from on line GM part store. #13372779 both $51
    Dust shields #13324458 at $12 and #13324459 at $13
    Drill bit 35/64" $22 pricey but worth every penny.
    I am not including tax or shipping as every one will be different.

    Total $378

    If you want to use parts from other stores, I used.
    2013 Buick Encore rotors, pads and bolts.
    The shields and brackets are OEM but available on line.
    The brackets are 2013 Buick Encore and the shields are
    2015 Cruze. The shields make the swap look factory.
    Last edited by Champagne Jam; 02-22-2016 at 12:04 AM.
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  6. #4
    Learning about my Cruze Champagne Jam's Avatar
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  7. #5
    Learning about my Cruze Champagne Jam's Avatar
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    Brake pads

    One last note. All brake pads are not created equal.
    Pad comparison.jpg
    On the right is the Wagner pad
    Middle the stock Cruze pad
    Left is the NAPA pad
    I bought the Wagner's but I thought the pad area was smaller.
    What is the point of bigger rotors if the pads don't maximize the breaking surface?
    The NAPA ultra premiums are taller and look to have more area.
    Oh, and the brakes are much improved.

  8. #6
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    Bigger brakes for the Cruze under $400.

    Awesome find. Looking for something with Brembo or Willwood calipers. And I know there is something close, but I have no means or tools to measure or test this. After owning 3 Cruzes, this is the one thing, after you've loaded a new tune, is a set of new brakes up front. The car simply will not stop well from what the tune allows the car to do.

    Brembo and Willwood both have precise measurements to allow you to pick something off the shelf that would fit.
    jfelix likes this.
    2017 Nightfall Gray Metallic Hatch/ RS Premier/ BNR Tuned (Current Daily Grinder)
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    2012 Autumn Metallic Eco 6MT (Retired)

  9. #7
    Learning about my Cruze Champagne Jam's Avatar
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    The challenge for the Cruze is bolt pattern 5x105 for the rotor.
    The caliper mounting at 5.0" C to C (The Brembo from the Cobalt SS is 4.875")
    The height of the rotor in relation to the caliper. (Centering the disc in a fixed caliper)
    Finally wheel offset (Fitting the wheel over the caliper)

    For one fifth of the price, and ease of installation. You can't beat this swap.
    The car's stopping power is much improved. I scared a friend yesterday just for fun!
    Blasirl and bostonboy like this.

  10. #8
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    Bigger brakes for the Cruze under $400.

    There are 100 other Brembo calipers, though. And I've heard of 2009 CTS-V calipers being fitted. But I've never seen it, myself. Also, the kit that ZZP uses, has the old F-Body calipers. No reason why they don't make a caliper for that. First pic is retrofitted Wilwoods front and rear. And the second is the infamous Dusk Edition Cruze, from the 2011 Sema show.

    http://m.mishimoto.com/r-miller-chevy-cruze.html

    http://www.motortrend.ca/en/auto-sho...evrolet-cruze/

    This may be the answer.

    http://lukeskaff.com/category/automotive/
    Last edited by CruzeTech; 02-22-2016 at 12:55 PM.
    2017 Nightfall Gray Metallic Hatch/ RS Premier/ BNR Tuned (Current Daily Grinder)
    2014 Blue Ray Metallic Eco 6MT/ BNR Tuned (Retired)
    2013 Silver Ice Metallic Eco 6MT/ Trifecta Tuned by BNR (Retired)
    2012 Autumn Metallic Eco 6MT (Retired)

  11. #9
    Learning about my Cruze Champagne Jam's Avatar
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    If I had that much to spend on brakes. I wouldn't mind doing the research to find out which
    part numbers to do the swap. Looks like different wheels are required as well. (on the SEMA car)
    I would love that car!

  12. #10
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    Champagne Jam-

    Thanks for all the pictures. Even those of us not interested in this mod specifically will benefit from the pictures when the time comes to do brakes.

    Is the ABS sensor separate from the integral hub like old GM's of the past? I see a part number for an ABS sensor separately, but I'm wondering what it's reading as the hub goes around. There must be a magnet on the back of the hubs that spins in a field for the sensor to pick up?

    Great Job- Very OEM in appearance.
    Champagne Jam likes this.
    2012 Cruze LT, 1.4L, AT 78,000 Miles as of 1/19
    Looking for EV for next car.. Bolt or maybe Model 3 if Chevy doesn't speed up their EV's to the marketplace!

    Previous Rides
    2002 Intrigue 3.5L,LX5, AT 135,000- Owned for 10 years.. PM for Intrigue help. P1811 also a problem with this car.
    2000 Intrigue 3.5L, LX5, AT, 89,000- Owned for 12 years.. Dreaded P1811 killed this transmission.

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