I have never been entirely satisified with the brakes on my Griffith, mine being the 500 has 260mm brakes which is in improvement over the earlier cars but they have always left me wanting more.
Upgrading the standard system
A couple of years after purchasing the Griff I decided to upgrade the front brakes. Speaking with my TVR specialist David Batty he recomended the following works
- Renewing the front discs with standard items.
- Replacing the brake hoses with braided hoses to increase the feel of the brake pedal.
- Replacing the pads with upgraded Mintex items.
- Changing the standard brake fluid with DOT5.1 fluid.
The result of this works were brakes with certainly felt better and performed better. Perfectly adequate for fast road use.
A couple of years ago I started using my car on track. My first track day was at Snetterton. Aside from nervously drving around the track and trying to get out of people’s way the one thing a did notice as my confedence grew was the brakes were not fit for purpose. A couple of +100MPH braking at the end of the long straights and the brakes were cooked.
When you look at the standard TVR caliper it is easy to understand why the brakes do not work well on track.
4pot brake upgrade
Looking at brake upgrades there are many options to choose from. Most owners who have upgraded brakes also have larger diameter aftermarket wheels which gives a wide range of options. I wanted to retain the standard TVR Estoril wheels which unfortunatley limits my options of what will fit under the standard 15″ wheel.
I also decided that I wanted an OEM quality product, I have been burnt many times before with substandard ‘upgraded’ parts from aftermarket companies. OEMs invest a lot of money in R&D and making sure thier products are up to scratch.
There are two companies who supply to OEM and provide a suitable upgrade to meet my requirements, AP and Alcon.
Option 1 was to upgrade to 16″ Estorils and fit the TVR branded AP 4pot CP6600 calipers and 300mm discs as fitted to the later Speed Six TVRs. Pictured below on Mark’s Griffith.
Option was to go for the Alcon 4pot calipers with 295mm discs that fit under the standard 15″ Estoril wheels
After speaking to a number of people about the options I decided to go for the Alcon setup from David Gerald. I did very much like the idea of retro fitting the TVR AP solution from the later cars, however the exspense of sourcing 2 x 16″ Estoril wheels for the front, new tyres and resetting the geo did not seem worth it for an extra 5mm of disc (295mm vs 300mm). What sold me on the Alcon kit aside from being able to keep my standard wheel was it is a direct bolt on kit so no adapters required for the caplipers. Interestly enough I found an owner who had what appears to be the same spec brakes (Alcon 295×28) factory fitted to his Griff in the development days. More info about the kit from David Gerald (now Classic World Racing) can be found below.
After having the new brakes fitted to my Griffth immediately noticed the increased feel of the brakes. The standard system always worked when I needed it but it never inspired any confedence. I am now finding I can approach corners and rounabouts much faster as I have confedence in the brakes.
I decided to book a track day at Bedford Autodrome to test the new brakes out properly. After warming up the car for a lap I started to increase speed down the straights and brake more agressively into the corners. Towards the end of the day I was hitting over 130MPH on the back straight and agressivly late braking into corners, I could not get the brakes to fade.
I am very impressed with the Alcon setup and I can honestly say it is one of the single best improvements I have made to the car.