Can an Aftermarket Larger Brake Master Cylinder Improve Pedal Feel in a Honda S2000?

Driving a car involves a lot more than simply turning the steering wheel and pressing the accelerator. One key aspect of a safe and pleasant driving experience is the feel of your car’s brakes. Today we delve into the subject of brake master cylinders and how they can potentially enhance the pedal feel in a Honda S2000. We will particularly focus on the role of an aftermarket larger brake master cylinder and whether it can improve your vehicle’s braking efficiency.

What is a Brake Master Cylinder and How Does It Work?

Before we proceed into the specifics of a larger brake master cylinder in a Honda S2000, it’s necessary to understand what a brake master cylinder does. Essentially, it’s a device that transforms the pressure from your foot on the brake pedal into hydraulic pressure. This pressure then moves the brake calipers, causing the brake pads to squeeze the rotors, which in turn slows or stops the car.

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The brake master cylinder functions through two primary pistons. When you press the brake pedal, it pushes the primary piston forward, moving brake fluid from the reservoir to the brake lines and eventually to the calipers. This process is crucial for your car’s braking system to work effectively. When the system is functioning optimally, you’ll notice that the brake pedal feels firm and responsive, rather than spongy and unresponsive.

A larger brake master cylinder can potentially improve this pedal feel by creating more hydraulic pressure, which can lead to a more responsive brake system. However, there are also other variables to consider, such as the condition of your brake calipers, pads, and rotors.

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The Role of the Brake Calipers, Pads, and Rotors

The brake calipers, pads, and rotors play a significant role in the overall efficiency of your braking system. When you press the brake pedal, the fluid from the master cylinder causes the calipers to squeeze the brake pads against the rotors. This friction slows down your wheels, enabling your car to come to a halt.

If your calipers, pads, and rotors are in poor condition, even an aftermarket larger brake master cylinder may not improve the pedal feel. It’s essential to regularly inspect these parts for wear and tear and replace them when necessary. Therefore, while considering an upgrade to a larger brake master cylinder, it’s also crucial to assess the state of your calipers, pads, and rotors.

Choosing the Right Aftermarket Brake Master Cylinder for Honda S2000

When it comes to choosing an aftermarket larger brake master cylinder for your Honda S2000, there are several factors to consider. It’s not simply a case of ‘bigger is better’. A larger master cylinder will push more fluid, which can lead to a firmer pedal, but there will be less mechanical advantage, which can make the pedal harder to press.

Aftermarket brake master cylinder kits come in different sizes, so it’s critical to select the right one for your vehicle. Professional advice is often necessary in choosing the right kit size. This decision should be based on the size and type of your current brake system, as well as the demands you place on your car. For instance, if your car is used for occasional track use, you might need a larger master cylinder than for everyday driving.

Evaluating the Brake Pedal Feel

After installing an aftermarket larger brake master cylinder and ensuring your brake calipers, pads, and rotors are in good condition, it’s time to evaluate the brake pedal feel. This involves assessing the pedal’s responsiveness and firmness when you apply pressure.

It’s essential to remember that the brake pedal feel is subjective; what feels good to one driver might not feel the same to another. Therefore, it’s important to test drive your car after installing the new brake master cylinder to feel if there’s a significant improvement in the pedal’s responsiveness and firmness.

In conclusion, an aftermarket larger brake master cylinder can potentially improve the pedal feel in a Honda S2000, but it’s not a guaranteed solution. Various factors come into play, including the condition of your brake calipers, pads, and rotors, and the size of the aftermarket brake master cylinder you choose. Always seek professional advice when considering an upgrade to your car’s braking system.

Importance of Brake Fluid in the Braking System

The type and quality of brake fluid you use can significantly influence the effectiveness of the braking system and the feel of the brake pedal. Remember, brake fluid is the medium that transmits the force from your foot on the pedal to the brake calipers, so it needs to be in good shape to ensure optimal braking performance.

Brake fluid is a type of hydraulic fluid that can withstand high temperatures without boiling. When you press the brake pedal, the brake fluid transfers the force to the brake calipers, which then squeeze the brake pads against the rotors. If the brake fluid is old or contaminated, it can negatively affect the braking system’s performance, leading to a spongy brake pedal feel.

It’s critical to regularly check the brake fluid levels in your Honda S2000 and replace the fluid as recommended by the manufacturer. Using the right type of brake fluid is equally important. Brake fluids are categorized into different types, like DOT 3, DOT 4, and DOT 5, based on their boiling points and chemical compositions. It’s essential to use the type recommended in your vehicle’s owner manual.

In addition to maintaining the brake fluid, regular replacement of brake lines is also crucial. Brake lines, usually made of durable stainless steel, carry the brake fluid from the master cylinder to the rest of the brake system. Over time, these lines can deteriorate, leading to leaks that can reduce braking efficiency.

Aftermarket Brake System Kits for Honda S2000

Upgrading your Honda S2000’s braking system can be a complex process, but aftermarket brake system kits can simplify the process. A typical brake kit contains essential components like brake calipers, brake pads, brake rotors, brake lines, and sometimes even a master cylinder.

When selecting a brake kit, it’s essential to consider the materials used. For instance, brake pads made from organic materials tend to be softer, providing a smooth and quiet operation. However, they may wear out quickly and perform less effectively under high-stress conditions, like during spirited driving or track use. On the other hand, brake pads made from metallic or ceramic materials offer excellent performance and durability but may be noisier and more expensive.

The size of the brake rotors also plays a critical role in your braking system’s performance. Larger rotors can dissipate heat more effectively and provide a larger surface area for the brake pads to grip, improving the brake system’s overall stopping power. However, larger rotors also add weight, which can affect your car’s acceleration and fuel efficiency.

Finally, it’s crucial to remember that upgrading your brake system to big brake kits should be balanced with your car’s power and weight. Overkill isn’t always better; you need a system that’s adequate for your car’s specifications and your driving needs. Therefore, professional guidance is necessary to make the right decision.


To sum up, an aftermarket larger brake master cylinder can potentially enhance the brake pedal feel in a Honda S2000, but it doesn’t work in isolation. The overall condition of your brake system, the quality of your brake fluid, the type and size of your brake kits, and even your own driving habits can affect the brake pedal feel. Regular maintenance of your braking system, including checking the brake fluid and replacing the brake pads, brake rotors, and brake lines as necessary, is key to ensuring optimal braking performance. Ultimately, a careful evaluation of your specific needs and professional advice is crucial in selecting the right aftermarket brake system upgrades.

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