So I have finally figured it out! Everyone has been doing what the article for 180sx swap tells them to do. That is, to use the 93-01 Altima rotors and calipers or 89-99 Maxima calipers (since the Altima and Maxima used the same ones). However this results with a 6mm overhang which, as I am sure you know, is not good. I would personally never be satisfied with an overhang, so I developed this “how to” as a direction for others. The 180sx that came with these brakes do not have an overhang, so obviously these aren’t the right calipers/brackets.
After some research I discovered that the 85-88 Maxima used a 274mm rotor of the same thickness with the same caliper and the same hub assembly, just 4 lug and the caliper mounting bracket and pads are different. It turns out that this is the SAME EXACT caliper/mounting bracket/pad that Nissan used on the 180sx 91-96. The difference in the rotor diameter 88 to 89 Maxima is 6mm exactly meaning that the bracket is adjusted 6mm lower.. perfect.
Difficulty: Scale of 1-5 for difficulty this is a 3. You have to be able to break the 19mm caliper bracket bolts free and have knowledge of brake bleeding.
Price: For me this cost $190 total. I got cross drilled and slotted rotors also… Loaded caliper (comes with bracket, hardware and pads) cost $180 minus the $70 core charge… so $110 total. I paid $70 for the rotors, $10 for the brake fluid (DOT 4). If you get standard rotors you’ll save $30.
The car with its old stock size replacement cross drilled and slotted rotors… 252mm diameter, 18mm thickness
The new equipment. You need 1985-88 Maxima loaded calipers (came with Raybestos Semi-metallic pads and bracket and all hardware) which cost $100 for the pair, and 1993-2001 Altima 280mm rotors ($70).
The size difference. 280 mm diameter, 22 mm thickness for the new rotors.
Ok from here you need to install the new stuff by removing the old (19mm socket to get caliper bracket off/back on) and you have to modify the splash guard/shield on the hub. You can see I just cut mine and bent it back. Also remove the brake line from the caliper by pinching the rubber line with a vice grip then removing the 12mm bolt from the back of the caliper. This bolts directly to the new caliper perfectly. Loosen bleeder, then remove the vice and wait for brake fluid to come out of the bleeder. You have now bled your new caliper and its ready to use. That’s called a gravity bleed and it works fine if done correctly if you’re just replacing a caliper. Make sure your brake reservoir isn’t low! If you’re not satisfied with that, you can bleed them correctly with a friend.
NO OVERHANG AT ALL!
Their will be a slight gap BELOW the pad because the pads are made for a 274mm rotor not a 280mm one, but that is fine because the gap is below the pad and not above the rotor (Note: the stock 180sx also has this gap). You could potentially get rid of it by modifying the mounting bracket to make the Altima (same year as rotor) pads fit, with modification to the pad as well. But that was far more work than I wanted to do. The gap is fine by me. A bigger pad would just increase front brake bias – your clamping force is distributed over the outer 95% of the rotor.
And FILLING UP a 15″ sport tuner wheel…
Very close to the wheel weights on the inside of the rim…