- 4 Min Read
- By: Kyle Bascombe
The Definitive Guide To Mercedes-AMG Brake Retrofit Options
If you own a Mercedes-AMG manufactured within the last fifteen years, you know that while the braking systems are extremely robust, utilizing world-class components from Brembo, they can be costly to maintain. By retrofitting the brakes from other Mercedes-AMG models, you can easily custom-tailor your vehicle's braking performance to fit your budget and intended purpose.
The fundamental design of the braking systems on Mercedes-AMG cars over the past fifteen years hasn't changed all that much. This makes them all easily interchangeable between the models. Whether you plan to simply daily-drive your car and want to do so more affordably, or if you are building a Mercedes endurance car, you can install brakes from different models to suit your exact purpose. In the article below, we run you through all of the most common retrofit options from one AMG model to another.
Mercedes-AMG E55, CLK55, & C43 (W210/W202/W208)
The brake system on this group of vehicles is comprised of directionally vented 330mm composite SHW brake discs and ATE dual-piston calipers. The advantages of this disc design include an aluminum hub for weight savings. That hub is joined to the friction surface (the actual brake disc) with steel pins, thus allowing the friction surface to expand freely and independently of the hub.
This retrofit option is intended as a value-alternative. The conventional single-piece rotors used on the W210 E430 4Matic and SLK32 AMG models are a direct bolt-on and are the perfect option for street use. This option will save roughly $250 on average without any noticeable decrease in braking performance.
Mercedes-AMG C32, C55, CLK5X, & SLK55 (W203/W209/R171)
There are three Brembo options offered for this group of vehicles. Two systems are designed around a 345mm cross-drilled front rotors while Performance Pack cars with the 030 option code came with 360mm rotors. The 2005 and 2006 CLK55 and SLK55 AMG models have floating two-piece rotors with six-piston calipers.
- Mercedes 345mm Blank One-Piece Rotor
- Mercedes 345mm Cross-Drilled One-Piece Rotor
- Mercedes 360mm Cross-Drilled and Slotted Two-Piece Rotor
There are three options for the front without having to change the front calipers out as well as one option for the rear. All of the options offer advantages depending on your exact application.
- Mercedes Blank Single-Piece Rotor
- Mercedes Cross-Drilled Single-Piece Rotor
- Mercedes Cross-Drilled and Slotted Two-Piece Rotor
If you want to upgrade to 360mm front rotors, this is possible. However, this will require a caliper swap to the six-piston calipers from the CLK63 or Performance Package SLK55. CLK63 AMG Black Series calipers are not compatible for this application. We recommend buying the calipers used from a car-parts yard or similar.
Mercedes-AMG E-Class, CLS, & SL (W211/W219/W230)
This was the class of vehicles that introduced the Mercedes-Benz brake staple—the 360mm six-piston Brembos that are still used today. One of the main advantages of this system is that regardless of the brake rotor size, these AMG models from 2007 onward use the same pad shape (FMSI D1405). This means that pad options are plentiful. The pad shape is actually shared with numerous high-performance cars of other makes, including the C7 Corvette, Camaro, Cadillac ATS V, Audi RS6, and so on.
If your intention is to just daily-drive your E63, CLS63, or SL63 AMG on the street, these cars that usually come equipped with the two-piece rotors can utilize rotors from the E55, CLS55, and SL55 AMG models or vice versa. This is the most cost-effective option if that is your main intention.
If your intention is improved braking performance, 390mm front rotors are an option as well. This setup was featured on all SL65 models as well as CLS63, SL63, and 2007+ SL55 models equipped with the AMG Performance Package. These were only offered with Brembo two-piece floating rotors. This, however, requires an upgrade to 19" wheels and the front calipers off of any of the aforementioned vehicles. Other than that, no other modifications are required.
Mercedes-AMG C63 & CLK63 (W204/W209 Black Series)
The W204 setup is essentially a carryover from the W211 '63 AMG models listed above. The caliper casting is identical, as are the brake rotor options. Models from 2011 and later with the Performance Package utilized a Brembo-designed 1.5-piece rotor. These also use the same pad shape (FMSI D1405) as many other high-performance vehicles. This makes sourcing suitable pad compounds for track or auto-x quite easy.
If you plan to just drive your C63 on the street, you can utilize the single-piece rotors from the non-performance pack.
Mercedes-AMG C63, C63 S, E63 S (W205/W213)
The introduction of the W205 model came with a supplier change for some AMG calipers. Akebono was used on the C63 non-s models and these calipers were shared with the AMG GT. The pad shape is unique to these models and is not interchangeable with vehicles equipped with Brembo calipers. The C63 S and E63 S models use Bremo supplied calipers and 390mm front rotors.
If you're just daily-driving your C63S or E63S models equipped with the 1.5-piece rotors, the most cost-effective option is to utilize the two-piece rotors from the previous generation C63 Black Series. This way, when your friction surface wears out, you only have to replace those. C63 non-S models can utilize the two-piece rotors from the previous generation W204 for track use.
- Mercedes-AMG C63 Black Series Cross-Drilled Two-Piece Brake Rotor
- Mercedes Cross-Drilled Two-Piece Brake Rotor
Hopefully this helps you make an informed decision on brake options specific to your model with the car's purpose in mind. In a later article, we will help you determine what options you have to retrofit Mercedes-AMG brakes to various non-AMG models. This, however, is much more involved than these options above. Be sure to check back on the blog for updates and additional Mercedes-Benz content. If you have any questions, or feel we left anything out in this article, leave a comment below.
Kyle is the Mercedes Catalog Manager at FCP Euro and has been with the company since 2014.