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Tiburon Brake Kit Installation
by Steve Wortham and Malik Emami
Estimated time: 2 hours
This brake kit is sold
Jay Montigny at Lia Hyundai in Enfield, CT. It
includes two 11" Tiburon rotors re-drilled for 4 lugs, two
Tiburon single-piston calipers, and OEM Tiburon brake pads.
The advantages over the stock brakes are obvious. The
stock rotors are 10.1" in diameter for both the GT and GLS
models, so the Tiburon's rotors are a 0.9" improvement.
On top of that, the Tiburon rotors are designed with superior
venting, and the Tiburon calipers are significantly bigger and
grab harder thanks to improved surface area. This kit
can be installed on an '01+ Elantra GLS, GT sedan, or GT
hatchback since all of them have the same brakes up front. These brakes will fit inside the stock 15" steel wheels, and Jay will be test fitting them with the 15" alloy wheels soon (found on the GT models).
What you'll need for the installation:
- DOT 3 or DOT 4 brake fluid
- brake cleaner
- another person to help bleed the brakes
- metric socket set w/ a ratchet
- flathead screwdriver
- phillips screwdriver
are the stock brakes. Of course those are 17"
wheels covering them up so they look especially small in
your first step is going to be getting the car up on jack
stands and taking the wheels off. Then before you
take anything apart, you should pry the piston in the
caliper into an open position. This can be done with just a flathead
screwdriver or a piston compressor. Then grab a cup with enough water in it to
dilute the brake fluid. Remember that brake fluid
will eat through cheap plastic cups, paint, etc, so be
careful. Remove the bolt that holds the brake line
into the caliper and let it drip into the cup. The
brake line should be completely disconnected from the
remove the two bolts on the back side of the caliper
that hold it on. It should then just slide off,
and you can set it aside.
Note: In the picture to the left I followed a few
different steps because this was a fitment test for me.
So you'll notice that the brake line is still attached
and the caliper is being supported by a bungee cord, but
don't worry about that because I can now verify fitment
and so you don't have to go through those extra steps.
that you've removed the caliper, the stock rotors just
have two screws you need to remove and then the rotor
will slide off.
Here you can see a side-by-side comparison of the
Tiburon rotors (on the left) and the stock rotors.
you install the new rotors, you'll need to bend back the
rotor shield so they'll fit. It's that black piece
of metal you see in the picture just behind the right
side of the rotor. Normally, it curves around the
stock rotor, but I just bent it and made it flat so it
won't touch the new larger rotors.
After that, the Tiburon rotors will slide on just as
easy as the old ones came off. However you won't
be able to use those little screws you took off
previously because of the way the holes line up.
But don't worry about that, the screws don't serve much
purpose since the wheels do a perfect job of keeping the
rotors flush and straight. Also, you can't use
those screws at all with most aftermarket wheels.
You might need to bolt the wheel back on temporarily to
make sure the rotor is actually shoved back all the way
and completely straight.
And that's a side-by-side comparison of the calipers
(the cleaner ones are the Tiburon calipers).
the new rotor with some brake cleaner. Now you can bolt
the new calipers on just like you removed the old ones.
But don't worry about the pads yet, just get the
calipers bolted on there. Then you can unbolt the
smaller bolt found on the back of caliper which will
allow the caliper to swing up as you see in the picture.
From there, you can slide the metal pieces that came
with the brake pads into the caliper assembly.
Then slide the brake pads in there. Try not to
touch the face of the brake pads because brake pads and
body oil don't mix. If you do touch them, spray
them with brake cleaner before installing them.
Once they are in there, you can swing the caliper back
down and bolt it up again. Then connect the brake
line to the new caliper.
spin the rotors by hand to make sure they spin freely.
If it's all OK, then you need to follow the same process
for the other side of the car.
you've finished the other side, you need to bleed the
brakes. To do this, you need something like you
see in the picture. We used a 2-liter bottle that
we filled up half way with water. And I had some
plastic tubing that worked pretty well. A smaller
rubber hose similar to a windshield wiper fluid hose
would be ideal. You can just open up the bleeder
valve and connect the hose to the valve and submerge the
other end in the water inside the bottle. Then get
someone to get in the car to push the brakes. They
will have to press the brakes 3 times, then hold.
And you can open the valve to let the fluid out as you
watch for bubbles coming out the hose. Your goal
is to rid the system of air bubbles. So repeat the
process until you don't see anymore bubbles come out of
Follow these same steps for the other side of the car.
Note: I have since learned that it is not a good idea to fill the bottle with water. Because there is a chance the brake system can suck the water up the tube and into the system. But you do need some liquid in there in order to see the bubbles. So I found you can actually pour a little brake fluid in the bottle and it won't melt through a plastic bottle like that.
that you've bled the brakes, you need to open the cap
for the brake fluid reservoir and pour in some new
fluid. Just pour in the fluid until you see the
level reach somewhere between the Min and Max levels
marked on the reservoir. When you're doing this,
try to remember not to leave the brake fluid bottle open
for long and the same goes for the reservoir.
Now you're done with the brake install. Just bolt
the wheels back on (preferably with a torque wrench at
75 ft-lbs). Start the car and try rolling it slightly
and getting a feel for the brakes to make sure they're
working properly. If everything is OK, then go for
a drive and remember to take it easy. At first
just make sure they're working like you'd expect.
Once you're comfortable, you can start breaking them in.
This involves several sessions of 35 to 5 mph braking
(firm braking, not locking the wheels kind of braking).
Allow a minute or two between brake sessions to allow
cooling. You need to find some place without much
traffic where you can continue this process at higher
speeds. You'll need to work your way up to 60 mph
to 5 mph braking. In total, you can break them in
with about 10 miles of driving.
are a couple pictures of the new brakes on the car.
I'd also recommend painting the calipers or getting them
powdercoated, and you may want to do that before you
actually install them. I'll be painting mine soon
with black G2 caliper paint. Not only does it make
them look nicer, but it will be easier to keep them
(3/1/2004): The finished product.... I painted
the calipers over the weekend. Now they're a
glossy black. Honestly though, I think I could've
got them powdercoated for not much more money and that's
the best way to go. You do have to disassemble the
calipers and send them out to be powdercoated, but still
the quality and durability you get from powdercoating is
Anyway, this is how they look with black G2 caliper
paint. I do think they turned out nice.
There's less effort required to bring the car to a
stop. It's definitely more responsive... but it is still
a little mushy because of the stock brake lines.
Overall, it feels good and it's easier to modulate the
brakes. But if you like the really sensitive feel, you
might want steel braided brake lines. Personally,
I'm going to pass on this option though, since they feel
plenty good enough to me.
The night of the install I did some driving breaking
them in. After awhile I started putting them to
the test. I took a highway exit and slowed from 65 to 35
really fast and got the wheels to lock up (since I don't
have ABS). I really didn't have to stomp on the pedal
very hard either -- so I really like them. There is a
dramatic improvement in stopping power and so far I
haven't noticed any signs of brake fade. As for
brake biasing, I'm sure the new brakes have thrown the
bias off a little since I didn't upgrade the rear drums,
but it's not bad. And I haven't had any problems
with the hard braking I've been doing. I do feel
safer with these brakes because of the improved stopping
power and more responsive feel.
Another thing, the piston in the Tiburon calipers is
bigger than stock. And so that translates to a larger
range of motion for the brake pedal since there is more
fluid required to operate the brakes (this would be
different in a Tiburon due to the fact that the
Tiburon's brake booster is more aggressive). But at the
same time, the pedal also feels a lot lighter and sends
more stopping power to the brakes with less effort. So
it's a very different feel, but nothing bad, you just
have to get used to it. I'm liking it more and
more as I drive it everyday.
The Tiburon brake kit can be purchased through
Jay Montigny at Lia Hyundai in Enfield, CT.
If you're interested in other modifications for your 2001+
Elantra, then check out