Project Blue Bomber: Part 4 - 2011 Chevy Silverado

Performance Binders from AP Racing

Harley Camilleri
May 25, 2013
Photographers: Dan Ward, Patrick McCarthy
Photo 2/25   |   Our factory brakes performed admirably stopping the Silverado in 126-feet from 60 mph during our repeated brake testing. However, after the fifth panic stop, the brakes began to smoke, the pedal got squishy, and our distances began to increase.
Our 2011 Silverado, dubbed Project Blue Bomber has been coming along nicely. We have dragged it across the country and back to show off some of its performance potential and still it asks for more. To say we are having a blast with it is a huge understatement. After the installation of the Edelbrock supercharger and our subsequent custom tuning, it became woefully apparent the factory brakes were not up to the task of being repeatedly stomped on during track duty. We'll be addressing that shortcoming here with the installation of performance brakes from AP Racing.
Photo 3/25   |   1. For the average consumer, Chevy's stock front disc brakes will provide adequate performance for many years of faithful service. We're nowhere near the average consumer and our truck was making too much power to be safe on the road, so these were the first to go.
With street and track abilities being our main goal for Blue Bomber, it was imperative that we address some safety concerns. Going fast is the easy part. It carries all the glamour and heart thumping rush that we're addicted to. At the end of that high speed pass we need to get the 4,643-pound truck to bring its heavy butt down from speed so we can swing the corner, look like heroes, and stand on the throttle again. AP Racing's brake system will give us just that. Distributed in the USA by Stillen, AP Racing's brakes have a long-standing history with performance motorsports in the United States. With that much technology available you might think getting your hands on a set is near impossible. However, you can purchase them in just a few minutes with nothing more than a phone call to one of Stillen's specialists.
Designed as a direct bolt-on system, both ends feature aluminum calipers dripping with Corsa red paint. Up front, the six-piston caliper clamps a 14.25-inch cross-drilled and slotted rotor. Out back, a four-piston unit does its duty squeezing a 14-inch cross-drilled and slotted rotor. With an emergency brake hat built right in, you can be assured that the street portion of the race brakes was properly addressed. Unfortunately, there was one large snafu in our fun. Our 2011 Silverado regular cab was originally equipped with drum rear brakes. To get the AP Racing kit on Blue Bomber, we actually bolted on a narrowed 2004 rear axle that was originally equipped with factory rear disc brakes. Nobody said building performance trucks was easy and we had to chalk that problem up as par for the course.
Luckily for us, we have an ex-military airstrip nearby where we can do speed and brake testing. It's the perfect venue to safely test brakes from high speed with little fear of damaging us or someone else. We began by spending a few minutes to properly bed in the new brakes and get good pad transfer to the rotors. With a clean run up to speed and back down again, we can honestly say that we are just as impressed as we have ever been with the quality and cost of AP's goods. If you smack your face on the windshield, well, we told you they were good brakes.
Photo 25/25   |   23. After bleeding the fluid and bedding in the brake pads, it was time to test our new performance braking package. As you would imagine, the Silverado stopped with incredible force and brake fade was completely absent. The system just stopped again and again without fail. Blue Bomber should be ready for anything now and we're excited for the next track day!

Sources

Stillen
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
800-891-1058
http://www.stillen.com
Sutton Enterprises
562-266-0044

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