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Tiburon Brake Kit Installation
by Steve Wortham and Malik Emami
Estimated time: 2 hours

This brake kit is sold by 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
- pliers

Those are the stock brakes.  Of course those are 17" wheels covering them up so they look especially small in this picture.

OK, 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 caliper.
Then 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. 

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.
Now 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.
Before 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).
Spray 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.
Now 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.
After 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 the hose.

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.
Now 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.
Here 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 clean.
Update (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 the best.  Anyway, this is how they look with black G2 caliper paint.  I do think they turned out nice.
Driving Impressions:
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 www.elantraxd.com.

Created by Steve Wortham.  Last Modified 10/29/2004