Upgraded Calipers

After 40+ years of sitting my current calipers need to either be re-sleeved and rebuilt or replaced. I have been reading through a number of posts on the forums and searching online about replacement options and the only option I can find for a direct replacement of front and rear calipers is a company called BCC (British Classic Car Parts). Willwood doesn’t make a direct replacement, Zeus seems to only have fronts, and Fosseway requires a conversion on the rears to a separate hand brake. I haven’t see them mentioned on the forum, does anyone have any experience with them? They maintain the 60/40 front to back ratio and are slightly larger (10%) than originals and thus booster and master I think will be fine.

I understand that new calipers won’t make the car stop faster, but from what I read a number of people think it improves the feel of the brakes, particularly how quickly the brakes respond to the pedal.

I know this topic has been discussed many times on this forum, but when I spoke with BCC (and Fosseway) they recommended vented discs on the fronts. I am not doing track runs, is this necessary?

Thanks for the advice


I installed a set of Wilwood calipers on the front end of my 67 S1 about 15 or 20 years ago, with a set of vented disks. Both of my front calipers were in terrible condition, so the upgrade was significant for me. i bought mine from GTJ but it seems that they only provided an aluminum mounting bracket for a standard Wilwood set of calipers, but not sure. i think i saw some of the usuals advertising wilwood kits awhile ago,
k many on the forum have stated over the years, if your calipers can lock up the wheels there maybe not benefit. I’ve always had my other hydraulics bored and sleeved, have heard that the new generation of machinists arent doing so well.

I’m not sorry i upgraded and would probably throw the same money at the car again.


SNGB now sell Girling piston/cylinders to original spec.

Hi Michael…you have a S2…the original brakes are more than adequate…and good enough for odd track days…BCC ara a good company…iv used their products…brake calipers and springs on my XK 150 (originals were past it)…personally i would stick with what you have if possible. …remove the pistons and check them out…the piston seal sits in a recess in the calipers unlike the S1 cars that typically need re sleeving…Steve…ps you dont need vented discs


What Steve said about S2. Add the best pads you can find. I like Green Stuff. Pedal feel is firm without being ridiculous.

Thanks for the advice.

I think I want to do an upgrade to the fronts and rears and am trying decide between BCC and Fosseway. Anyone have any thoughts?

May as well stick to OEM with this latest Girling upgrade:

Girling up-rated 4 pot Brake Caliper kit replaces Dunlop 1 Calipers, with new vented discs:

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Series 3 calipers are identical to Series 2, but the pistons are 5% larger (57mm vs 54mm.) All you have to do to use them is to remove the spacers.

I thought S3 fronts used vented discs…S2 used standard discs…so S3 calipers are much wider…Steve

Which is what Michael said. Identical except you need to remove the spacers. Spacers as in the spacers between the caliper halves.

So split the S3 caliper and remove the center section…thought the spacer reference was how it was fitted to the upright …thanks…Steve

When these cars were junkyard finds, this was a common mod. Other than the spacers and pistons, the calipers were identical. I suspect you could have a machine shop open the bores in a stock S2 caliper to accept the larger pistons.

https://www.coopercraft.co.uk/ seems to have reasonable options. Been considering these for my Mk1. JS

I expect that as you are not intending competition standard solid discs will be fine. We have a S1 XJ6 which came with solid discs (and 3 pot calipers) and they have not disappointed in 35 years of ownership. This car is about 400kg heavier than an e type and has done many fully laden trips. FWIW.

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Hi Michael I’ve owned multiple E Types over the last 50 years, including racing and autocrossing several for the last 35.year. Some have had Wilwood brakes and the race car had Wilwoods front and rear with vented rotors on both.

Vented rotors. You do not “need” these on either end of the car, and certainly out side of actual racing you never need them on the rear. I’ve never had brake fade in any E Type on a highway despite some fairly aggressive mountain driving. I can’t however get around more the 2/3 of the local race track on front solid rotors before fading. I’ve also experienced minor fading on one long autocross course we use here. This indicates that solid rotors are at their limit on E Types. I would install ventilated rotors in the front - the cost is not excessive on these kits, and who knows what the future holds for your car.

Aftermarket brakes generally - There is not a lot of difference I can see in construction methods, in particular internal methods, in any of them. BCC offers rear brakes that use the stock parking brake assembly, Fosseway offers an “upgraded” system for the parking brake. There are a lot of gripes on this site from folks about malfunctioning stock parking brake systems and Fosseway repeats this in their advertising. In addition there is at least one other manufacturer that offers an alternative brake system to stock. (Magoletsi (?)) I’ve never had any problems with any parking brake on any car I’ve owned, but I’ve never fiddled with them. The Fosseway system seems significantly cheaper than the BCC which might be a game changer for me. It is simpler, and uses the brake pads, but does it require manual adjustment as the pads wear (rears wear but it can take years)? Obviously I can’t offer an opinion on how well it works.
You also need consider the question of obtaining spare parts for these systems in the future, including pads etc. Speaking of pads - some of the better feeling from aftermarket brakes comes from the pad composition, as opposed to the calipers. This is also an unknown. Wilwood offers different compositions and has spare parts for their products. I’ve just installed Wilwoods on the front of my '68 with 1" ventilated rotors, the latter being left over spares from my racing days. The pads are what is recommended for the street, and wow do they ever feel great - HOWEVER 50 miles into the job and the rotors are squealing badly at part brake pressure. GRRR! Wilwood sells a pad that goes in behind the brake pad for this but will it work??? What do Fosseway, and BCC offer/recommend if it happens on your install?

Wilwood sells a complete kit for Ser I E Types, for the front. Don’t know if they will work on a Ser II

Hi, thanks for all the great advice and suggestions.

I have spoken to Wilwood and to fit theirs into an S2 it requires an adapter, which is not something I want to get into.

Both BCC and Fosseway offer a number of different pad options, including the EBC GreenStuff which seems to be a popular option in the forum.

In addition to the 4 pot calipers and vented discs, Fosseway also offers what they call a “Big Brake” option for the front. The calipers are 6 pot but retain the same overall piston size as originals and has larger discs and pads. It does however require a change to 6” Wheels/Rims. I have read a number of posts on this subject and the wider wheels does seem like an option a number of owners have chosen.

The main thing I am looking to achieve is improved feel and responsive, and both BCC and Fosseway claim their systems do this and they work with stock Master and Boosters. (Fosseway claims there Big Brake system feels like a modern system)


Indeed - many of us have 6" wide rims. However, of those who do, many of us (or all of us?) have a 5" wide rim for the spare, as a 6" wide rim cannot be accommodated under the board that forms the floor of the boot/trunk. To me at least, not being able to fit a 5" wide rim because it interferes with a brake caliper I’m considering would rule out that caliper from consdieration.

Ditto. I drove Tweetles up Mt Evans and Pike’s Peak… .and back down again, no issues. I drove it, con brio, up/down many mountain passes… no brake fade.

I would argue installing vented rears would be far more efficacious. However, to reiterate, that need is only needed in on-track use.

If, on the street, one experiences brake fade, the fault lies with the pilot, not the machine.

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Hi Michael…the main problem i see here is that your expecting “improved feel and responsive”…have you driven a S2 and tried the standard brakes…i dont know of anyone haveing driven the S2 that thought there was a lacking brake problem. …by all means replace with new rather than refurb your existing if thats easier for you but in reality your hopeing to solve a problem that dosnt exist…just to confirm i have fitted new BCC front and rear to my xk150…not to improve tbe brakeing but becaus it was far cheaper than refurbing what i had(great show deal discount)…Steve


Well they would - not going to say “our product will change/improve nothing but you won’t find that out until we have banked your cash”.