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 food for thought about brake upgrades

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kornkid21792
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PostSubject: food for thought about brake upgrades   food for thought about brake upgrades Icon_minitimeJune 29th 2010, 1:21 pm

When people talk about modding their car to make more power, someone almost always comes in and tells them that with more power, they need more handling and more braking.

While this is solid reasoning, its not always a necessity.

My personal philosophy is that when upgrading a vehicle, address everything, to maintain a nice balance.

However, there is a flaw with part of the logic of "if you upgrade one you must upgrade all 3 in order to remain safe"

If you go from stock, to 400whp, upgrading the brakes, IS NOT NEEDED AND YOU WILL BE NO SAFER THAN YOU WOULD BE ON STOCK BRAKES.

Now, I know a lot of you are now no longer reading this and are already forming your replies, and unfortunately many of you will base them on beliefs you have formed by reading what others have said on the internet, who only said what they said, because they read it on the internet. Or based on misconceptions. (some of you may have well thought out and solid arguements as well) Those of you about to say I am wrong, I assure you, are wrong. Please do me and yourselves a favor, and make sure you UNDERSTAND WHAT I AM SAYING before replying.

Here is the thing.

A WRX with @170whp (stock 2.0L typical) traveling at 10, 40, 60, 130mph, will take the exact same force to stop, as a fire breathing alcohol fueled 800whp WRX traveling 10, 40, 60, 130mph.


Take either of those cars, put a $14000 stoptech 8 piston f/6piston r setup, and do the same full boogie panic stops, and what do we get?

THE EXACT SAME STOPPING DISTANCE.

(now, lets leave heat induced fade off the table for now, as it isnt something that 90% of people that would argue that you have to upgrade the brakes would ever run into on stock brakes anyway) For the sake of this discussion, lets look at what people are really talking about. Panic stops, someone pulls in front of you OH ISHT nailing the brakes to avoid hitting them, stopping or the rate at which you can slow down enough to avoid impact (since you dont always have to stop)

Why is that?

What stops cars? What is the ultimate force that determines what point the traveling vehicle will no longer be traveling?

Friction. Not the friction between the pads and the rotors, but the friction between the tire and the road.


Now, lets take 2 cars again.

First WRX, 170whp, bone stock brakes. 225/45/17s in a dot legal R compound.

Second car, whatever WHP, and $7k in brake upgrades. Stock tires. Heck lets even say they went to stock STI 225/45/17 RE070s.

Send both cars down the same road, in the same weather conditions at the same speed. Have someone pull out in front of them.

Tell me, which one will stop short enough, or be able to slow down fast enough to avoid a wreck?

I bet more than half of nasioc would pick the car with $7k in brake upgrades. Those people would all be in an accident.



How does a car stop? Well, how does it move? What moves, that causes the big hunk of metal to move?

TIRES.

What gets a car off the line faster? Less wheelspin. WHat gets you less wheelspin? Stickier tires.

What gets you through a corner faster? More traction, what gets you more traction? Stickier tires.

Just like when you are trying to accelerate a vehicle, the amount of grip the tire has on the road, will determine how fast you can get moving forward (or backwards if you are a launch in reverse type of guy ) Its the EXACT SAME THING when trying to slow or stop.

OEM brakes have FAR more than enough power to lock up even a big wide sticky r compound tire.

People like to cite that the STI has a shorter stopping distance with its Brembos. The brembos have nothing to do with it. The RE92s have everything to do with it.



So a lot of people at this point, will argue that "well then why do they put brembos and big brakes on sports cars if they dont stop you any shorter"

The answer is intended purpose, and as much as many people dont want to believe, LOOKS/CUSTOMER PERCEPTION.

The "intended use" for the STI is hard performance driving. Track days, racing, its a car with actual motorsport use in mind. Even if they have watered it down and softened it for normal day to day use, its still a car that was built for motorsport use.

Big fixed mount calipers with lots of pistons, and large diameter rotors offer something a floating caliper with normal sized rotors dont offer. Mass. More mass=more resistance to heat induced fade. They also offer a more consistant and precise pedal, which allows finer braking control into corners.

They also offer a look. Like the new WRX, look at how many people complain that they "downgraded" the brakes. When in fact, from a stopping distance standpoint, there is no change.

Look at the competition for the STI, the EVO. What would happen to STi sales if they removed the brembos and the EVO kept them? That would sway those people who are on the fence, a little more towards the EVO.

Finally, lets look at the group-N STI rally cars. What brakes do they run?

That's right, not the Brembos. They run the older FHI 4 pot/2 pot setup in order to clear the smaller rally wheels. Yet they stop JUST FINE.



Lines, well lines are, from a stopping distance and fade standpoint, completely useless. Nail the brakes, things lock up rubber or steel lines makes no difference. Heat the brakes up, stainless lines have nothing to do with anything.

What lines DO get you, is a more consistant pedal, allowing more precise control.



Fluid, unless you are doing repeated hard braking enough to boil normal fluid, going to "upgraded" fluid, is a waste of money, and $18/bottle motul wont get you anything that $3 autozone fluid wont.




Rotors? NEVER an upgrade unless your factory rotors are damaged/very worn. Or if you go to a larger diameter rotor. Even then, that will only increase the amount of force per bit of pedal travel, to the point where they just lock up. Which would have happened on OEM sized rotors anyway. Slotted/drilled, at this point, is pointless and is for looks. Modern pads dont off gas like they used to, so having the slots/dimples/holes to vent off the gasses, well there is no need. Not only that, but 90% of drilled rotors will end up cracking. So if you want the look, GO FOR IT!, but buy a rotor that was cast with holes, not a solid that was drilled after. Break out the wallet though, and be prepared to search, not many people carry them and they arent cheap. If you do shows, do what I did, carry a set of $99 ebay cross drilled rotors with you and slap them on at the show. It takes 20 min.





"BUT MY BUDDY PUT BREMBOS ON HIS WRX WITH WTFBBQ ALLOY PADS, SUPERBUTTSEKS INCREDITAINIUM LINES AND CHUCK NORRIS BRAND FLUID AND IT STOPS WAY HARDER."


No, it doesnt. It has a lot more INITIAL BITE.
95% of people will mistake initial bite and/or decreased pedal travel, for the ability to stop shorter.

A locked tire is a locked tire. And while big brakes can lock a tire without having to push the pedal as hard, stock brakes can still lock the tires instantly if you nail the pedal. Therefor, stopping distance and rate of slowing down, is unchanged.,




So what can you do to make the car safer if you up the power?

Well, for one thing, if you are driving responsibly and within the law, why do you need to upgrade the brakes at all? Ok so obviously that is a dumb point to bring up

No but seriously, you upped the power and you want the car to be able to stop shorter


Well, as we have established, the grip of the tire on the road is the ultimate determining factor, so you want wider and or stickier tires. Preferably, both.

There is another aspect to look at too. Weight. A heavy object takes more force to accelerate or decelerate than a lighter one.

Put your car and yourself on a diet.

I think its hilarious that someone adding 50whp, and refusing to upgrade the brakes, is shunned and flamed, yet someone adding 200lbs of stereo gear/other things, no one even mentions the brakes. Rest assured that 200lbs of weight WILL increase stopping distance measureably.






Handling, thats another story altogether. A car that handles better is always safer than one that doesnt. In fact if you are so worried about safety, handling should be your first priority. Guess where the very first place you should look when it comes to handling Yup, those same black round things that will make you stop shorter.

Originally posted by Davenow on NASIOC.
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b1r - TS
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PostSubject: Re: food for thought about brake upgrades   food for thought about brake upgrades Icon_minitimeJune 29th 2010, 2:07 pm

I am glad that I don't belong to NASIOC so I don't have to read stupid post from "davenow" anymore.... Over simplifying things is always a good idea to try and make yourself look like a genius!
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PostSubject: Re: food for thought about brake upgrades   food for thought about brake upgrades Icon_minitimeJune 29th 2010, 2:26 pm

huh? i just thought it was interesting
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b1r - TS
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PostSubject: Re: food for thought about brake upgrades   food for thought about brake upgrades Icon_minitimeJune 29th 2010, 3:49 pm

Maybe I read it wrong or maybe I took it out of context. It seems like he is trying to rag on people who upgrade their braking system. Yet then he only looks at the stopping distance..... there are a lot of reason why you upgrade your braking system.
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RedMitsu
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PostSubject: Re: food for thought about brake upgrades   food for thought about brake upgrades Icon_minitimeJune 29th 2010, 6:07 pm

The way I took it was that he was doggin on the people who bag on everyone else that shun others who DON'T upgrade to brembos, etc. The only brake upgrade I will ever do on any car is stainless lines...
$3k+ for brakes, you have got to be shitting me...

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sprockmember
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PostSubject: Re: food for thought about brake upgrades   food for thought about brake upgrades Icon_minitimeJune 29th 2010, 6:17 pm

He's right, this is why national scca cars, circuit cars, most cars involved in motorsports have completely stock brakes! Really... check it out.

His argument is flawed. He is, as Bone pointed out, basing everything on one variable which is a very dangerous thing to do... by the way, the South won the Civil War because the North suffered more casualties. See what I'm saying?
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Dr.Auto
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PostSubject: Re: food for thought about brake upgrades   food for thought about brake upgrades Icon_minitimeJune 29th 2010, 6:56 pm

Nels is right. Many national champs are still running stock size calipers and rotors and hoses and master cylinder. So.... stock brakes.

Um.... however almost noone is running "stock" pads.

No it is not nessessary to upgrade you're brakes system really. But lets get real. How many people are going to drive there car exactly the same as they were before they had all that power? ya... noone.

And so the first failure in brake system is not components.... it is usually heat fade. So people usually upgrade the brake pad compound first that fades at a much higher temperature. \

See many people don't understand is that when you talk about stopping it's just physics. it's called kenetic energy. The by-product of stopping using traditional brakes is heat. Heat is really the enemy. So whenever people upgrade brakes weather they realize it or not they are upgrading to components that heat fade at higher temps.... don't heat soak as fast and/or dissapate heat faster.

So biggest bang for buck to make you're brakes work better is a pad compound upgrade that head fades at a higher temp and the friction coeffiecient changes with differant compounds and can change pedel "feel" and also initial "bite" .... but so can many of the other improovments but with a higher price tag.

In the end..... better brakes DO stop you better.... as in usage untill brake fad and stopping distance.... BUT... that also depends on tires, ambient temperature and road surface..... but are we going there in this disscussion?
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PostSubject: Re: food for thought about brake upgrades   food for thought about brake upgrades Icon_minitimeJune 29th 2010, 6:59 pm

Matt... I was being a bit sarcastic with that first comment... it's hard to tell through text eh?
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Dr.Auto
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PostSubject: Re: food for thought about brake upgrades   food for thought about brake upgrades Icon_minitimeJune 29th 2010, 7:21 pm

ya I could'nt see the smirk on you're face for some reason. lol

But.... many racer do only upgrade with brake pads and do nothing else with the brake system but keep freash fluid in the hydrolic system.

Oh Nels..... I just figured you knew nothing about brake because ur car is so slow and ur still running the same fluid and pads and everything since the day you bought it. You just say you did stuff to the brake so you can try to be cool.


I love you sarcasim it's a great sense of humor. lol
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PostSubject: Re: food for thought about brake upgrades   food for thought about brake upgrades Icon_minitimeJune 29th 2010, 7:25 pm

lol im glad your all having fun with that article
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ford_racer
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PostSubject: Re: food for thought about brake upgrades   food for thought about brake upgrades Icon_minitimeJune 30th 2010, 11:23 pm

I'd venture to say every vehicle needs upgraded brakes, save from the obvious (Ferraris, Zondas, new Lambos, anything with carbon ceramic, etc).

You don't have to accelerate quickly in order to have to sometimes stop quickly.
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PostSubject: Re: food for thought about brake upgrades   food for thought about brake upgrades Icon_minitimeJune 30th 2010, 11:48 pm

I think the main point he's making though is that these aren't national scca cars, these aren't circuit cars...these are cars belonging to the regular joe who throws on some big HP upgrades and then thinks he has to spend thousands of dollars on his brakes...
Now, if this average joe was training to be a track star and was hitting the road/scca course at least every weekend, and trying to be competetive on a national level, then maybe it would make sense...
The other thing is that all of these professional level drivers have sponsorships, so of course they are going to have big ol' brembos on them(not to say that they aren't helping, or that they wouldn't upgrade their system anyways, but of course EVER car at that level is going to have some sort of caliper "bling" going on)

The main problem that he is noting is that a respected member of the forum says "aw man, you got 500whp on there and didn't buy brembos, flippin noob". Now this member probably has a super sweet brake setup on his car, as he feels he needed to(and maybe he did), but what then happens is everyone who thinks highly of this member begin the same thing, regardless of whether or not they themselves have upgraded their brakes. This pattern continues until it gets to the point when a member joins in august 09 and says"hey bra, I just added 200 HP on my ride,check it out", and then a member who joined two months after him in october 09 replies with "stupid noob, you're gonna kill yourself if you don't buy a baer big brake kit with drilled and slotted rotors, ss brake lines all around, upgrade your fluid, and $1000 brake pads".

Once again, I agree with OP, and until I have factory backing and retarded amounts of money to spend on a car I am going to be tracking more than 20 times a year, I am fine with my stock setup

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PostSubject: Re: food for thought about brake upgrades   food for thought about brake upgrades Icon_minitimeJuly 4th 2010, 11:36 am

Honestly do we drive on race tracks in Billings MT? To work, picking kids up, going to school, picnics or bbq, etc....

I don't feel like paying $2000-4000 for 12 piston caliper brakes on my civic. I only see these if you wana improve your track time...i guess if you race every weekend. And yah the sponsors pay for these not the drivers. and the insanely rich.

And the thing is most hyper and supercars have stock brakes. Carbon Ceramic 15" disks with 12 piston calipers and carbon semi metallic pads...And a car that is made entirelly out of carbon fiber.

Who really wants to put Brembo on a Zonda R or Ferrari 599?

I'd think Brembo would be inferior at that level for some of their models.

and why was that rant about brakes so long?
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stimutacks
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PostSubject: Re: food for thought about brake upgrades   food for thought about brake upgrades Icon_minitimeJuly 4th 2010, 11:41 am

"BUT MY BUDDY PUT BREMBOS ON HIS WRX WITH WTFBBQ ALLOY PADS, SUPERBUTTSEKS INCREDITAINIUM LINES AND CHUCK NORRIS BRAND FLUID AND IT STOPS WAY HARDER."

lol
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PostSubject: Re: food for thought about brake upgrades   food for thought about brake upgrades Icon_minitimeJuly 4th 2010, 12:18 pm

haha ya i thought that was pretty godly
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PostSubject: Re: food for thought about brake upgrades   food for thought about brake upgrades Icon_minitimeJuly 5th 2010, 1:36 am

I try to race as much as I can... and I'm no rich man, but I will continually try to improve my braking performance (even if that means buying expensive parts or fluid).

I can honestly say that I have felt the difference in pad, as well as fade due to run-of-the-mill fluid.

I guess I'm still a bit lost on what most people are getting out of the OP's message. If it's, "lots of people in the world make dumb costly decisions about what to do to their car" I would agree. If he is indeed saying, "changing your braking set-up is not going to do much" I strongly disagree (at least in my situation).
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PostSubject: Re: food for thought about brake upgrades   food for thought about brake upgrades Icon_minitimeJuly 5th 2010, 2:58 pm

I am very happy with my kevlar pads. 99 si disc swap in the rear, and ex setup in the front. after lewistown I think allmost everyone wanted more from thier brake system. but i would like to be able to adjust the amount of pressure that goes to the rear as the front locks up way before the rear. is there a propotioning valve on the market that can make that happen?? and do I want the lockup to be even? or the front just before the rear? any help would be great.
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PostSubject: Re: food for thought about brake upgrades   food for thought about brake upgrades Icon_minitimeJuly 5th 2010, 4:36 pm

My new civic has mechanic electronic braking wizardry...not sure how it works but I assume you could tamper with it and adjust how the system brakes.

Can you adjust the ABS, EBD, and BA on your car?

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PostSubject: Re: food for thought about brake upgrades   food for thought about brake upgrades Icon_minitimeJuly 5th 2010, 4:42 pm

I LOve the abs in my lude
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PostSubject: Re: food for thought about brake upgrades   food for thought about brake upgrades Icon_minitimeJuly 5th 2010, 5:55 pm

I like having all the control. I am not a fan of anything extra between me and the road.
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PostSubject: Re: food for thought about brake upgrades   food for thought about brake upgrades Icon_minitimeApril 26th 2012, 12:45 pm

f20bmt wrote:
I am very happy with my kevlar pads. 99 si disc swap in the rear, and ex setup in the front. after lewistown I think allmost everyone wanted more from thier brake system. but i would like to be able to adjust the amount of pressure that goes to the rear as the front locks up way before the rear. is there a propotioning valve on the market that can make that happen?? and do I want the lockup to be even? or the front just before the rear? any help would be great.

There are proportioning valves out there, wilwood makes them for one. The brake bias will depend on how you want the car to feel near the threshold of traction during braking. Front bias will be more stable, safer, rear bias will allow your tail to rotate easier under braking. The shortest stopping distances will occur when you have bias set so that the lockup would be even between front and rear. A cheap way to adjust bias is to get different pads for front and rear. lower friction pads on the front and higher on the rear will adjust brake bias toward the rear.
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