HT-Spec Brake Packages: Mending Your Honda/Acura’s Achilles Heel

As great as Honda and Acura cars are, it seems pretty consistent for drivers to complain about their braking performance. If not the performance itself, but the life and consistency of the braking. We have spent countless hours in the forums and on the phone consulting people and helping them find braking solutions that will meet their needs. For a long period of time we were marketing order pages where people could build their own braking packages to suit their needs. Over the years, we have seen many kits being ordered over and over again, and we have taken these particular kits and built packages out of them to remove any and all guess-work out of the purchasing of a brake kit. With the introduction of HT-Spec Brake Packages, we hope you will find enough information here and on the order pages to show you that your hunt for brakes to suit your needs is over!


Stage 0: Standard-Plus


By far the number one complaint we get is with regard to shaking in the steering wheel. Many people falsely assume this is a warping problem, although our experience has told us that it is largely caused by an inadequacy of the brake pads to cope with slightly higher temperatures than normal. We have written extensively on this subject, and you may access our documentation here. Our general feeling is that, in order to get consistent, smooth, and reliable braking out of your Honda/Acura it needs a significant change in brake pad compound. The Stage 0 Brake Packages are dubbed “Standard-Plus,” which is intended to give you a sense that these packages will take your standard brakes and up the performance and economy to a level that you’d expect from the factory. It is a shame that Honda is unable to produce a brake pad that is able to stop smoothly, confidently and quietly without producing excess dust. Stage 0 Brake Packages do just this.

HT-Spec Stage 0 Brake Kit, Now Available For 04-08 Acura TSX and TL! Choose between RB ET300 Pads or Hawk Ceramic Pads


You’ll notice that ALL HT-Spec Brake Packages include Fastline Performance Stainless Braided Brake Lines and new brake fluid. The idea behind this is to highly encourage people to increase the frequency that they change their fluid. Honda only recommends a change every 3 years irregardless of mileage. We are sure this is a reasonably safe interval, but in that time braking performance degrades significantly. More frequent changes, in conjunction with brake lines that will not expand or deteriorate, will help your brake pedal feel firmer, confidence inspiring, and consistent for the life of your car.


Stage 1: Street Enhanced


Stage 1 Brake Packages up the ante by including a front brake rotor upgrade. This “Street Enhanced” kit includes a set of rotors most chosen by our customers: The Racingbrake UP 1-Piece front rotor. Racingbrake rotors have been a favorite of HeelToe’s for the last 5 years and counting. We have written extensively on the benefits of Racingbrake UP rotors, and you may link here to read up some more on them. Strictly speaking, if you are not going to get Racingbrake rotors, we would just as soon recommend keeping the rotors stock, or simply buying the cheapest rotors possible. None others match the functionality of longer life and cooler performance than Racingbrake offers and to pay for marketing bullet-points that don’t include engineered alloys, curved cooling vanes and reinforced hubs is simply a waste of money! Racingbrake ET300 pads compliment the UP rotors, as they are formulated to mate well and perform flawlessly with the UP rotors in normal or sporty street driving while producing extremely low dust and no noise to speak of. At this stage, rear rotors are optional, as a frontward brake bias does not cause much of a benefit to upgrading the rear rotor beyond appearance.

HT-Spec Stage 1 Brake Kit, Now Available For 04-08 Acura TSX and TL! Rear Rotors Are Optional.


Stage 2: Sport Package


For the serious street performance driver, HeelToe is proud to introduce the Stage 2 Brake Package; The “Sport Package” that the A-Spec cars SHOULD have come with. Building on Stage 1, the Stage 2 Brake Package increases the braking performance of the car dramatically by increasing the brake pad compound to an aggressive street spec. Racingbrake’s ET500 brake pad is a phenomenal street performance pad that is tractable enough to be used in cold morning weather, yet has a high enough temperature rating that it can be used for light track duty. You won’t find a rotor and pad combination that provides a better balance between performance, long life, low dust and noise at any cost. The brake fluid supplied with the Stage 2 Brake Package is upgraded from Honda OEM to Motul RBF600. This DOT 4 level fluid that offers a higher boiling point than standard DOT 3 fluid to resist boiling under extreme use. We haven’t seen a better value in temperature rating versus cost, so the Motul RBF600 is our choice for high end street and entry level track performance! Rear rotors are still optional here for street use, but we do recommend track use cars upgrade the rear rotors as Racingbrake’s engineered alloys will help extend rotor life and balance braking.

HT-Spec Stage 2 Brake Kit, Now Available For 04-08 Acura TSX and TL! Rear Rotors Are Optional.


Stage 3: Performance Package


For the ultimate braking package using the stock brake calipers, look no further than the HT-Spec Stage 3 Brake Package. We have dubbed this kit the “Performance Package” since it provides a massive improvement over stock. The addition of 2-piece rotors to the kit and aggressive ET500 or ET800 pad options make this a highly track-worthy kit. The benefits of 2-Piece rotors are huge (we go into detail in this link; highly efficient cooling, forged aluminum hats for strength; curved cooling vanes; highly upgraded alloyed iron material extends life even with track pads; weight savings of over 10 lbs off the front axle. The Stage 3 Brake Package will make your tires strain for traction lap after lap!

HT-Spec Stage 3 Brake Kit, Now Available For 04-08 Acura TSX and TL! 2-Piece Front Rotors Make This The Ultimate OE-Replacement Kit Available.

More stages will come later offering larger rotor diameters. But for 90% of us, we feel than the Stage 0-3 options will fit the bill for all your Acura’s braking needs!

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10 Responses to “HT-Spec Brake Packages: Mending Your Honda/Acura’s Achilles Heel”

  1. [...] breakdown on all the details surrounding HT-Spec Stage 0, 1, 2, and 3 Brake Packages, link here: HT-Spec Brake Packages: Mending Your Honda/Acura’s Achilles Heel HeelToeAuto.com's Pit Bo… [...]

  2. Henry says:

    “Many people falsely assume this is a warping problem, although our experience has told us that it is largely caused by an inadequacy of the brake pads to cope with slightly higher temperatures than normal.”

    Changed the brake pad, still shacks. Service the front rotor, fixed. It IS the rotor… at least for me.

  3. Henry says:

    Oh, and aren’t we suppose to use DOT5? why DOT4?

    from I remember from a Motul fluid talk at my local autoX tech talk, DOT5 is more suitable with DOT3 based brake system.

  4. MrHeeltoe says:

    Hey Henry!

    Re: “Changed the brake pad, still shacks. Service the front rotor, fixed. It IS the rotor… at least for me.”

    Now, I never said that rotors can’t warp, just that most of the time they don’t and the shaking is caused by pads. I’d say that if you have changed pads and the shaking is still there, you either did not bed the pads well enough or you did not get a good compound for yourself. Circumstances like yours are really easy to say “rotors were bad” but it is not necessarily the case. The majority of the time, the rotors can be reconditioned with new pads that are better equipped to handle heat.

    Just the same, if the rotors to you are inadequate, we do offer a Stage 1 kit that does replace them with the best rotors on the market!

    Re: “Oh, and aren’t we suppose to use DOT5? why DOT4?”

    DOT 5 is typically a silicone based and that means it is not compatible with the fluid currently existing in the brake system of DOT 3 cars. Also it is not compatible with ABS systems. Motul makes a DOT 5.1 which is suitable for a DOT 3 system, but it’s boiling point specifications are not as high as the RBF600 DOT 4. We opt for the RBF600 because of it’s brand recognition, higher boiling point, and value.

  5. Henry says:

    oops, I recall incorrectly, I meant to say 5.1.

    some said Motul RBF600 (DOT4) absorbs water quicker than DOT5.1, true?

  6. MrHeeltoe says:

    5.1 is supposed to be better and preventing water collection…but this is also why we suggest purging the fluid every year to get rid of any ail, dirt, or water in the system.

  7. ATX-TX Speed says:

    Excellent packages Marcus. You stand alone in the market as innovative and eager to partner up with manufacturing companies to get great deals that prove themselves worthy. I’ll take a Stg. 2 in the coming months now that my current set up is running towards the last leg of pad life.

  8. Luwin1026 says:

    Great pricing too, considering a set of steel-braided lines alone usually run $100+!

    I’ll definitely call on you when my current set of Porterfield’s are shot!

  9. Thanks for making brake upgrades less of a mystery Marcus!

  10. [...] HT-Spec Brake Packages: Mending Your Honda/Acura’s Achilles Heel [...]