The last track outing for the EVO X proved its very capable nature (a 2:03.2 lap time around Buttonwillow's clockwise #13 configuration), but it also exemplified some weak spots that, once addressed and corrected, should help bring the lap times down even lower. Before I could look at going faster, there was an immediate need to address the cooling situation, or lack thereof. After some hard lapping the last time out, the water temperature crept past 221 degrees Fahrenheit - a tad too high for my tastes - so a better radiator was needed to alleviate any potential of overheating in the future.
Not just any radiator would do, though - I wanted the best-flowing, highest-efficiency rad I could find, and my quest ended at Chad Block Racing Development. CBRD prides itself in developing products with real-world performance results. Chad Block spent many years racing ALMS and then decided it was time to get out of the driver seat and apply all of his racing knowledge into product development, which makes me confident that products like his aluminum EVO X radiator are built to perform. Manufactured completely in-house and all hand-built, the CBRD radiator features a 14-16 FPI (fins per inch) fin count with total of 700 cL (centiliter) cooling surface that results in 35 percent better cooling efficiency than a stock radiator, yet it's still almost the same weight as the OE unit.
Installation is fairly straightforward, as the CBRD radiator drops right in. You'll have to remove a good portion of the front end to access the stock radiator, so expect to spend anywhere from 2 to 6 hours on the job, depending on your skill level. While I had the rad out, I decided to upgrade the factory hoses to Samco Sport pieces, mainly for aesthetic reasons, but they're also much more durable and won't degrade as quickly as the stock hoses.
Next in line on the upgrade path was the brake department. A good set of pads and rotors go a long way on an EVO X because the stock Brembo calipers are ample-sized and more than capable of handling track duties. Mackin Industries supplied a set of the newest Project Mu race pads, the Club Racer. With a temperature threshold of 1,400 degrees, the Club Racer is an ideal pad for track use with excellent pedal feel, brake modulation and virtually no brake fade. Because the Club Racer wasn't available for the rear at the time, a set of 999 brake pads were used.
For rotors, a set of Disc Brakes Australia (DBA) 5000 Series two-piece rotors were installed up front while a set of the 4000 Series were mounted in the rear. The slotted 5000 Series rotors provide better thermal cooling over conventional vane setups with DBA's patented Kangaroo Paw ventilation system. They also feature aerospace-grade materials that provide better thermal protection for surrounding parts like wheel bearings. The 4000 Series rotors offer much of the same technology but in a one-piece design.
While you're replacing the stock rotors and pads, it's not a bad idea to swap out the stock rubber lines for some StopTech stainless steel lines that, unlike stock lines, don't expand under hard braking. There are more benefits than just that, though. StopTech SS brake lines improve overall pedal feel and pressure, resulting in consistent braking and better modulation. They're well worth the $150 if you'll be hitting the track often.
An often-overlooked item that can offer significantly better braking results is the brake fluid itself. Most stock brake fluids will boil after a few hard laps, resulting in a mushy pedal and no brake pressure. Changing the fluid with some high-grade stuff like Project Mu's fully synthetic G-four 335 performance brake fluid will raise the boiling point to a level that 99 percent of us will never achieve.