Is It Feasible to Install a Hydraulic Handbrake in a Subaru BRZ for Drifting?

April 22, 2024

Whether you’re a fan of the Subaru BRZ for its sleek look, powerful engine, or smooth handling, there’s something about this car that screams "drift." Many drivers, especially those who enjoy the thrill of controlled slides and sharp turns, often consider the addition of certain accessories to enhance their drifting experience. One such accessory is the hydraulic handbrake. The question is, is it feasible to install a hydraulic handbrake in a Subaru BRZ for drifting?

The Role of the Handbrake in Drifting

Before we delve into the technicalities of hydraulic handbrake installation, let’s first understand its significance in drifting. When engaging in this type of aggressive, high-speed driving, the ability to control the car’s rear wheel movement is crucial. This is where the handbrake comes in handy.

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The primary role of a handbrake, also known as a parking brake or emergency brake, is to hold the car stationary when parked. However, when it comes to drifting, the handbrake can be used as a tool to initiate a drift.

When drifting, you often need to lock the rear wheels quickly and with precision. Standard handbrakes, which operate on a cable system, can sometimes lack the responsiveness and accuracy required for this action. This is why many drift enthusiasts turn to hydraulic handbrakes.

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Understanding the Hydraulic Handbrake

What sets a hydraulic handbrake apart from its cable-operated counterpart is the use of brake fluid to transmit force from the handbrake lever to the brake shoes or pads. This hydraulic system provides superior braking power and precise control, making it a popular choice for drifting.

However, installing a hydraulic handbrake involves a fair amount of work. First off, you’ll need a hydraulic handbrake kit, which typically includes the brake lever, master cylinder, and hydraulic lines. Brands like GKtech and Voodoo are popular choices for these kits.

The installation process involves installing these components, connecting the hydraulic lines to the car’s existing brake system, and bleeding the brakes to remove any air in the system. While it’s not an overly complicated task for someone with mechanical experience, it’s not a job for beginners either.

The Feasibility of Installing a Hydraulic Handbrake in a Subaru BRZ

Now let’s get to the heart of the matter: is it feasible to install a hydraulic handbrake in a Subaru BRZ for drifting? The short answer is yes. Many drift enthusiasts have successfully done so and found that it significantly improves their control during drifts. However, there are several factors to consider.

Firstly, it’s important to note that the installation of a hydraulic handbrake will affect the car’s interior. The brake lever will need to be installed in a location that is easily accessible while driving, which could mean modifying the interior to accommodate it.

Secondly, the Subaru BRZ, like any other car, has a specific brake system design. Not all hydraulic handbrake kits will be compatible with this design, so you’ll need to carefully select a kit that fits your car. It’s also worth noting that the Subaru BRZ comes with a rear-wheel-drive system which is ideal for drifting.

Lastly, installing a hydraulic handbrake is a significant modification to your car’s brake system. If not done correctly, it could potentially impact the car’s performance, safety, or even legality on public roads. Therefore, it’s always recommended to have the installation done by a professional or under professional guidance.

The Risks and Rewards of Using a Hydraulic Handbrake for Drifting

There is no denying that a hydraulic handbrake can significantly improve the drifting capabilities of your Subaru BRZ. It allows for precise control of the rear wheels, enabling you to execute drifts with greater finesse and confidence.

However, this reward comes with its own set of risks. If the hydraulic handbrake is not installed correctly, it can compromise the overall safety of your vehicle. For example, if the hydraulic lines are not connected correctly or if air is left in the brake system following installation, it can affect the brakes’ functionality. This could potentially lead to unexpected brake failure, which poses a serious risk, particularly in the high-speed, high-risk world of drifting.

Additionally, the legal implications of modifying your vehicle should also be taken into consideration. In some jurisdictions, significant modifications to a vehicle’s brake system may not be legal for street use, so it’s important to check your local regulations first.

In conclusion, while installing a hydraulic handbrake in a Subaru BRZ for drifting is feasible, it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. It requires careful consideration, expert installation, and full understanding of the rewards and risks involved. As always, safety should be a paramount concern when considering any vehicle modifications.

Understanding the Components of a Hydraulic Handbrake Kit

Grasping the intricacies of a hydraulic handbrake kit is the first step towards determining if installing one on your Subaru BRZ for drifting is feasible. Master cylinder, hand brake lever, and brake lines are the key components included in most hydraulic handbrake kits.

The master cylinder, an integral part of the brake system, is a hydraulic pump that generates force when the handbrake is engaged. This force is transmitted through the brake lines, resulting in the activation of the brakes. The brake lever, alternatively termed as the hand brake, is the part of the kit that the driver operates.

When you’re considering the installation of a hydraulic handbrake, the brand of the handbrake kit plays a significant role. Voodoo and GKtech are among the brands favoured by the drifting community due to their durability and performance.

However, one key thing to remember is that not all brake kits are compatible with every car. You should ensure that the kit you select is compatible with the specific brake system design of your Subaru BRZ. Also, be prepared for the possibility of modifying the center console or the interior suspension to accommodate the handbrake.

How a Hydraulic Handbrake Transforms a Subaru BRZ into a Drift Car

The Subaru BRZ, with its powerful engine and rear-wheel-drive system, is already a favourite among drift enthusiasts. Adding a hydraulic handbrake to this equation only enhances the car’s drifting capabilities. Hyundai handbrakes deliver the ability to execute precise and controlled drifts efficiently, transforming your Subaru BRZ into a true drift car.

When installed correctly, a hydraulic handbrake can give you greater control over your car’s rear wheels, allowing you to initiate and maintain drifts with an expertise you might not have thought possible. The difference between a standard handbrake and a hydraulic handbrake can be likened to the difference between a standard steering wheel and a performance-oriented race wheel. It’s a game-changer.

However, it’s worth noting that installing a hydraulic handbrake is a significant modification to your car’s brake system. This modification, if not done correctly, could potentially impact the car’s performance, safety, or even legality on public roads.

Conclusion: Should You Install a Hydraulic Handbrake in a Subaru BRZ?

Taking into account the enhanced control and improved drifting experience a hydraulic handbrake offers, it’s clear why many drifting enthusiasts opt for this modification. However, the decision to install a hydraulic handbrake in a Subaru BRZ should not be taken lightly.

The installation process is not simple and requires a certain level of mechanical expertise. Furthermore, the potential safety risks and legal implications of modifying your vehicle’s brake system should be carefully weighed. In some jurisdictions, altering a vehicle’s brake system may not be street legal. Always remember to check your local regulations before proceeding with any modifications.

The advantages of a hydraulic handbrake for drifting are undeniable. However, it is also clear that this modification requires careful consideration, expert installation, and an understanding of the potential risks involved. If you’re confident in your understanding of the hydraulic handbrake system and its installation process, it can undoubtedly enhance your drifting experience in a Subaru BRZ. As always, safety should be at the forefront of any decision related to vehicle modifications.