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 Upgraded Brakes

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Jas
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PostSubject: Upgraded Brakes   Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:40 am


Has anyone upgraded their brakes? Disks, Pad or Calipers.

Many brands/companys do say that their product is the best, that i can improve brakeing distances and reduce overheating and ware.
Do we have anybody who has upgraded their vehicles brakes for general use, towing or even dealing with the extra weight carryied by overland vehicles?

I recently looked at a front set of Brembo calipers and vented cross drilled disks for my Truck and they were around the OEM prices. Im not looking to get them as my OEM brakes work fine and there is no sign of wear. But for the a similar price would it be worth getting?

Your thoughts please.

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PostSubject: Re: Upgraded Brakes   Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:37 am

Whilst I have not upgraded our brake systems one comment that was made to me was that cross drilled brake disc might be good on road however they may collect mud etc on a offroad vehicle. This could then cause accelerated wear on the pads. How true/accurate this is I do not know


Brendan

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PostSubject: Re: Upgraded Brakes   Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:37 pm

I used to be into upgrading everything when I was replacing stuff but have now stuck with keeping things fairly original and in a lot of cases now am even replacing with genuine (talking whole vehicle, not necessarily just brakes).

But brakes wise, I'd heard similar things to what Brendan is saying about the grooved discs.

My thoughts on it would be that surely to create the extra braking force, somethign in the system has to be working harder (whether it be discs or pads or both) so by default something is going to wear faster.

My old 130 used to spedn most of it's time on it's limit weight wise, and a lot of that time "off Road" with work and the standard set up worked fine.

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PostSubject: Re: Upgraded Brakes   Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:50 am


I can see that the brakes would work fine on your vehicle as the brand has spent time and ££££ getting it right. And i can see the groved disks getting clogged with mud and dirt. I to used to mod evrything but on my current vehicle i just replace all the bits like filters and pads with OEM stuff and it wokrs fine.

Has anyone used a Air Brake system?

I had a friend who used the Air brakes from a Merc Unimog on his Mercedes g wagon. Well actualy he used the Potral axles and all the gubbins from the mog and just swapped them on to the G Wagon. Stopped real well, had to put the air container and pump in the boot. But it braked wery well on and off road.

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PostSubject: Re: Upgraded Brakes   Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:43 am

Terracan Jas wrote:


Has anyone used a Air Brake system?

only on a 'mog and a 7.5 tonne DAF so far

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PostSubject: Re: Upgraded Brakes   Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:05 am

Interesting topic,
I sell upgraded landy brakes
I was very sceptical at first I thought why on earth would I need upgraded brakes on my 90 (200 Tdi), ok it goes well and does a fair bit of off-road as well as trailer pulling and long distance.
The first mod I did 2 years ago was to put a Range rover axle on the rear giving me disc brakes all around instead of rear drums. Mainly to stop oil leaking straight into the brakes!
The second mod mid last year was Terrafirma cross drilled and grooved (CDG) discs and ferodo pads
Changing to discs in the first place was incredible but having the extra of CDG discs and decent pads ... wow
I sunk into it and took them for granted after a while, after driving a friend 110 for a few weeks as mine had a minor accident Embarassed No it happens, no one hurt (not brake related more wheel bearing)
I would never change back to standard on or off-road (at normal speeds)

they do however collect slight mud when off-road but a quick jet wash and they are good, all this does it turn them back to normal braking.

CDG discs help disperse the heat and gasses as well as reducing brake fade. from personal experience if you are doing this then rebuild your callipers (minimum seals) this can cost as little as £2 and 1 hours worth of work. Providing that there is two of you it’s easy work, the reason for two is so that one can hold the metal retaining clip in place while the other gently taps it into place (you will understand when you come to this point, also buy a spare seal kit as its very easy to destroy retaining clips).
They are not too much more than good quality standard parts (around £10 a corner more)
If you are using CDG discs then use decent pads otherwise it’s a waste of money.

Need any further advice let me know.

Cheers Kieran

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PostSubject: Re: Upgraded Brakes   Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:52 pm

The problem with uprated brakes is they are a compromise like anything else on a vehicle, and my preference is to leave the original brakes as they were designed for the job they do, and this includes the peripherals such as traction control or ABS systems.

Any braking system is designed for average conditions, for a road car this means being on road, for a 4x4 it means having to deal with mud, water, and any other contamination they come into contact with, so are greatly improved over a road cars braking system, and they are designed for more extreme braking. Under off road conditions they beed to have more feel, and be quite soft initially to prevent harsh braking which could throw a 4x4 into an off road slide which could potentially be fatal, this is why they initially feel slightly spongy, to give this gentle braking effect.

Working temperature range is another issue, if improved or uprated braking systems are installed, they work at a higher working temperature, the discs and pada are appropriately matched to compensate for this, this means at lower temperatures they are worse, and low twmperatures means low speed operation such as off road.

While i am not going to tell people what to do, i think they should be aware of the compromises before parting with cash.
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PostSubject: Re: Upgraded Brakes   Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:05 pm

yes and no,
like you i was sceptical at first, lets face it if you slam your foot on the brakes then you are going to slide what ever happens,
every person i know who has CDG brakes fitted wouldn't go back to standard brakes,
half of these have fitted terrafirma ones but the other half have fitted the britpart equals and have been just as impressed.
"
Terrafirma brake discs offer increased bite from cold and excellent fade resistance in most 4WD braking applications.Whether it’s a steep rocky descent, ploughing through mud and water or just daily driving these brake discs will give excellent stopping performance in all conditions.

Grooves are machined into the brake disc to force away the dust and gasses that build up between the pad and disc, keeping the brakes cooler and reducing fade. The cross drillings contribute to cooling and heat dissipation and also allow the gasses to escape. Of course they fill with mud when off-road, clean them out afterwards when washing the vehicle to maintain performance and pad life, with the angled grooves it is found that they self clean in most cases. Quality machining to high tolerances using the correct materials ensure Terrafirma brake discs will stand any test.
With overweight four-wheel drive vehicles with oversize tyres it’s important to find a set of brake pads that really do perform. A heavily laden expedition vehicle will quickly overheat brakes,very large tyres fitted to off-road vehicles also require extra brake pedal pressure to stop them turning. Many so-called performance pads are better suited to sports type driving styles where heat is required and can be maintained to enable the pads to really work. Even some well-known brands require the temperature to build up before they start to work effectively.

To get the best from Terrafirma Cross Drilled and Grooved (CDG) brake discs we recommend the use of high quality brake pads such as Lockheed or TRW for best results. These pads give good bite from cold, work well off-road especially in low range with high torque engines and transmissions driving against the brakes. They have high wear resistance, low noise and above all when combined with Terrafirma CDG brake discs give a much improved braking performance.
"
that is what we get with the product and from what i have experienced i would agree with it



cheers kieran

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PostSubject: Re: Upgraded Brakes   Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:52 am


Thats what i wanted to know. Smile

For me, my brakes work fine. The disks show little sign of wear and calipers work fine. The pads would need replaceing in the next fue months.

Some Questions:

So When i change my brake pads, what alternatives do i replace them with?

Can high quality or high performance brake Fluid make any differance to general braking performance?

And if i wanted to paint my standard Calipers, what should i paint them with? General paint, high heat?


TJ

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PostSubject: Re: Upgraded Brakes   Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:15 am

Kieran:

You have hit the nail on the head with using quality components, this is crucial as the difference between them and cheap alternatives is huge, i always loved Brembo brakes for racing as they worked well at high speeds and temperatures, and stopped racing cars from high speeds, very quickly. Unfortunately many do not use quality components on cost grounds, and if you base the overall purchase cost of good components against their full life cycle, they often work out cheaper than purchasing cheaper components as they last longer.

Improvements in vehicle technology, and the higher demands they place on suppliers has been ignored, we must remember that product quality constantly improves, and often a braking component improves in line with manufacturer specifications, and is an ongoing commodity.

Terracan:

There are many things you can do cheaply and effectively to improve your braking, the most important is to use quality components and maintain your braking system as it should be maintained.

Most people do not replace their brake fluid every two years as manufacturers recommend, brake fluid is hygroscopic, this means it absorbs water over time, particularly during wet weather such as the long damp British winters, this then forms steam pockets when you brake hard as the braking system works around 300 degrees centigrade. Brake fluid is incompressable, steam is not, so your brakes feel spongy and this is exacerbated if any moisture turns to steam.

Just replacing the fluid every two years is a good start, and only use quality fluid to manufacturers specifications.

Braking systems are pressurised to around 3000 psi when you operate the brakes, this needs consideration as the braking system has a combination of metal pipes and rubber flexible hoses, under pressure these flexible hoses expand, simply replacing them with armoured or braided flexible hoses reduces this expansion and leads to better braking.

As for painting calipers, jury's out on this one as it depends on a number of factors, the metal of the caliper dissipates heat through conduction of the heat away from the fluid, and through the metal caliper by the airflow passing through the wheels, and under the vehicle.
For a road vehicle, simply keeping them clean and free of brake dust ensures maximum efficiency as they dissipate the heat, for an off road vehicle this changes, especially if the braking system is prone to being coated in heavy mud and debris. If long periods are spent off road, and the brakes are regularly covered in mud it will reduce the airflow and conduction of the caliper, so yes it may be better to paint them to help prevent dirt build up on them, and make them easier to clean.

Many manufacturers offer the option of coloured calipers on a number of new vehicles, these are not painted, but metal sprayed, this is a metallic compound which is applied electrostatically and is heat cured, this dissipated heat as it is predominantly metal, and will conduct heat; paint on its own will insulate the caliper. If you decide to paint you will need a high temperature paint with a working temperature in excess of 300 degrees centigrade, or in simple terms, higher than the braking temperatures of your vehicle.
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PostSubject: Re: Upgraded Brakes   Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:03 am


Excellent, thanks for that. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Upgraded Brakes   Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:12 pm

One set of Mintex brake pads took me all the way to Dakar - 7,000+ miles in 20 days. Quite easy if you never brake! laughing pound

Nah seriously, although sponsored by Mintex so we had spare sets on board, when inspected they never seemed to down much. Okay they got thinner towards the end, hardly surprising given all the sand and general dust encountered, but they reduced so slowly we decided to leave them as they were doing so well. Granted, not much meat on 'em when we arrived, but still enough to pass an MOT I'd wager.

... and the 'specially modified racing brakes'? Just standard Range Rover Classic discs and calipers. Like the man said, manufacturers spend a fortune on getting it right, so unless you are doing a lot of towing or some other purpose that requires an upgrade, my advice would be - don't waste your money!

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PostSubject: Re: Upgraded Brakes   Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:52 pm

freespirit4x4 wrote:
Interesting topic,
I sell upgraded landy brakes

they do however collect slight mud when off-road but a quick jet wash and they are good, all this does it turn them back to normal braking.


If you are using CDG discs then use decent pads otherwise it’s a waste of money.

Need any further advice let me know.

Cheers Kieran


The thing that concerns me is quick jet wash and they are good!

That pre supposes that you have access to a jet wash! For that reason alone I will continue to use standard brakes.

It is only an idiot who does not use decent brake pads/components in their braking system. If your engine does not work you might be in difficulties, if you can't stop safely you are definitely in a dangerous situation!



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PostSubject: Re: Upgraded Brakes   Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:42 pm

In my experience groved discs work better than smooth discs in the mud due to the extra grip provided.

They also self clean, as the mud that may get into the drilled holes and groves shrinks with the heat of braking and the mud is then throw out by the rotation.

Standard is not always best for all, as we all use our vehicles for different things, and standard is often a decission made due to price. Any body still using standard tyres???

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PostSubject: Re: Upgraded Brakes   Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:00 am

OK it might be me being a bit dense here.

I can understand a grooved/drilled disc having better heat dissipation.

I can understand that good brake fluid not contaminated with water helps braking.

I can understand size and quality of pistons having an effect on braking.

I can understand quality and size of brake pads having an effect on braking

I can not understand however why a grooved disc will provide extra grip??



Yes we all use and adapt our vehicles in different ways


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PostSubject: Re: Upgraded Brakes   Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:09 am

Because in muddy conditions it will scrape the mud off the face of the pad. The job of the grooves is stop glazing of the pads due to this.

If you were trying to grip something it would be easier if it was not smooth, but had grooves/slots/grips on it.

Just my thoughts

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PostSubject: Re: Upgraded Brakes   Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:15 am

Like this

Improving the brake discs fitted to your vehicle could prevent an accident. When driving at speed and sudden braking takes place, you can experience brake fade. This is when your vehicle simply will not stop as quickly as it should.

Brake fade occurs because the brake discs heat up. The hot surface of the brake disc glazes the friction material of the brake pads. In wet driving conditions the brake pads can lift from the brake disc. Stopping your vehicle can take twice as long. A third of all motorway accidents could be a result of ‘brake fade’ and could be prevented.

A UK manufacturer has developed a new range of specially multi-drilled and grooved performance brake discs. It is claimed the drilling cools the brake disc quickly. Grooves in the disc reduce brake pad glazing and repels brake dust and moisture. The grooving helps improve brake grip - instantly.


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PostSubject: Re: Upgraded Brakes   Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:35 am

Quote :
It is only an idiot who does not use decent brake pads/components in their braking system.

in your opinion!
this depends on the application,
and your financial situation,
especially on a early 90/110 you get leaky joints often unless you rebuild everything.

for example you get a leaky front hub, it covers your disc in oil, i would never put decent quality pads on straight away because they can cost around £30 for a good set, if you have made a mistake or this seal fails again for any reason your money is wasted because once a pad gets oil on it it never seems to work as good again, so i buy the cheap pads for this situation, and in fairness the allmakes 4x4 pads are actually pretty good ( and cheap )

cheers kieran

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PostSubject: Re: Upgraded Brakes   Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:00 am

freespirit4x4 wrote:
Quote :
It is only an idiot who does not use decent brake pads/components in their braking system.

in your opinion!
this depends on the application,
and your financial situation,
especially on a early 90/110 you get leaky joints often unless you rebuild everything.

for example you get a leaky front hub, it covers your disc in oil, i would never put decent quality pads on straight away because they can cost around £30 for a good set, if you have made a mistake or this seal fails again for any reason your money is wasted because once a pad gets oil on it it never seems to work as good again, so i buy the cheap pads for this situation, and in fairness the allmakes 4x4 pads are actually pretty good ( and cheap )

cheers kieran

Would I knowing drive a vehicle with defective braking system? NO

A leaky front hub will give rise to a defective braking system.

IF you can't afford to maintain the braking system to a safe standard then you should not be driving!

IF you can not afford to maintain your vehicle to a safe standard then you should not be driving it!

Only idiots knowingly drives unsafe vehicles on the public highway.

Your financial situation does not over ride your responsibilty for the safety of other road users


As for brake fade causing 1/3 of motorway accidents I think you will find that the police would argue that the vast majority of motorway accidents are caused by DFTFF and DFTFC


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PostSubject: Re: Upgraded Brakes   Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:54 am

Brake fade can be generated for a variety of reasons, not necessarily the fault of the pads or discs, but also brake fluid being contaminated with water which caused steam pockets to form.

Pads do not glaze unless they operate outside their heat range, or they are not manufactured up to the specifications they are meant to meet.
Let me explain, pads from most manufacturers are used across many of the manufacturers vehicles, it may be they are the front disc and pad asembly on a smaller vehicle, but they are the rear disc and pad on a larger vehicle; the front brakes operate at the higher temperatures due to the most weight and braking force being applied to them. The rear brakes will have less braking force applied, so work cooler then the fronts.

The vehicle manufacturer will have two sets of specifications for the same set of pads, one for the higher working temperature for the front braking system, and another specification for the pads used in the rear braking application as they work cooler. They will be identical in every way, except working temperature, or material grade of friction lining. Both will have a different manufacturer part number as they have two applications, less reputable aftermarket manufacturers make one pad for both applications, but at the lower temperature rating, and they can claim it meets ***** manufacturers O E specifications as it does, but the lower specification. They then sell them for both front and rear applications, and if fitted to the front brakes of a vehicle will be prone to glazing if it is hot and the brakes are heavily used.

Many aftermarket suppliers are bringing in poor quality brake components from third world countries which do not meet the EU regulations, and a number have been prosecuted for doing so. They would meet EU specifications if they could maintain their quality, but they don't as they often have poor quality and manufacturing systems in place.

This is where a lot of the problems arise from, and although quality manufacturers work to the higher standards, many others do not.
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