How serious are you about stopping?
It seems that the only talk about improving braking performance on Buicks involves major replacement of hardware.
What about brake pads?
A few years back I was involved with SCCA Solo II autocrossing and I tried something new in an attempt to get my Sentra SE-R to stop quicker than the other guys. I purchased a set of Carbotech ceramic brake pads.
Ceramic? You bet. They were incredible. All I did was replace the front pads and my car stopped quicker than I ever thought was possible. There was a caveat though... The brakes were pretty noisy. I had purchased a set that was competition oriented and this was something that the Carbotech representative warned me about before I purchased them. The same sales rep also indicated that there were pads with a more street oriented ceramic/metallic material (ie. quiet and low dust) available that I would be happier with if I intended to use them every day.
At about the same time I was unhappy with my wife's Subaru Legacy wagon. On a trip to Canada we loaded the thing up and it seemed that it would hardly stop. I talked to the Carbotech rep and, although they did not carry pads for the Subie on the shelf, he said that they would bond their fancy brake materials to any customer supplied backing plates or brake shoe frames (yes! this is available for brake shoes too!) for any application.
Well, I never followed through with the Subaru and I have since stopped autocrossing. However, I now have my 72 Riv project and I'm thinking that this would be a great time to take Carbotech up on their offer and get them a set of rear shoes and front pads for the Riv and go ceramic. If the street oriented brake material is anything near what the competition mix was... well, all I can say is that I'll have to experience it first hand.
In the meantime, please go to www.ctbrakes.com and at least read the company info and FAQ. There is a ton of great information about brakes regardless if you are going to buy anything or not. And also please note: I am not affiliated with Carbotech in any way. I just had a good experience with them; they were easy to talk to on the phone, their pads did exactly what the guy said that they would do and he was honest about the noise that the competition pads made. I'm just hoping that their street application pads' description of "low noise" really means LOW NOISE. We'll see...
Oh yea, One of the best things I remember about the ceramic pads was that they worked great hot or ice cold. I imagine that this would work well for the drags.
The only thing was that they worked so well hot that my Sentra's stock (and probably thin) rotors warped during one hard and hot day of autocrossing. Apparently, as the Carbotech rep pointed out, you can get your rotors cryogenically (did I spell that right?) frozen which hardens the metal and prevents warpage. (I've seen this for excavator/loader bucket teet too) Not that anyone would need this for street use... I'm just saying is all.
Did I mention go to www.ctbrakes.com?