Braking News


One of the many things on the To Do list was to replace the front brakes as they were approaching end of life.

Several phone calls later, mostly to Steve up at RaceBrakes, we settled on a new brand for me.  Previously I’ve been running Mintex 1166 compound pads on the front and while they are pretty good, they do seem to eat the rotors a bit faster than I’d like having chewed up the last pair in just over a year.  This time round I’ll be using a set of Pagid RST3 pads up front.  These will be clamping onto a pair of slotted rotors.  Nothing especially flash, but I figure if I change one part at a time I can better figure out which bits make improvements.  If I’d changed brand of pad and rotors at the same time it’d be hard to tell which part made a difference.  So next time round if I’m liking these pads I’ll probably look at upgrading the rotors if necessary.

New front pads and rotors

New front pads and rotors

Once all the parts arrived I set about replacing them.  Turned out the front rotors were very worn to the point that the slots had basically disappeared as shown in the image below.  Seems that the slots make quite good wear indicators.

A "slight" difference between old and new

A “slight” difference between old and new

Installed

Installed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the front end stoppers were getting a birthday, the rear wasn’t forgotten.  After running basic cheapie pads on the rear since I’ve had the car, I finally made the investment in some decent rear pads.  The rotors are near new and as they don’t get as much wear as the front does they will be fine with the new pads.  Instead of generic, this time I’ve gone for Mintex 1155.  Not quite as high rated as the 1166’s I was running on the front but recommended for the rear.

New rear pads as well

New rear pads as well

Often overlooked but just as important is the brake fluid.  One of the wonderful features of brake fluid is that it’s hygroscopic.  That means it absorbs moisture from the air.  At low temperatures, that’s kind of ok as water, like brake fluid, doesn’t compress.  However, start to get above 100 degrees C and you might find the water part starts boiling and turning to a gas.  That, unfortunately, is compressible and means that you will suddenly find your brakes are not feeling right and potentially not working at all.
Because of this feature, brake fluid does need to be changed regularly.  I change mine when I do the 6 monthly oil change and whenever I replace the brake pads etc.  Maybe overkill but the brakes tend to be useful, so I’d rather keep the fluid fresh.

I use Motul RBF600 which is a reasonable price and has a quite high boiling point to prevent the fluid itself boiling under use.  One thing to note about brakes is that they work by converting your moving energy to heat via friction (simple explanation).  So they will get incredibly hot in use, especially under racing conditions where some brake components are rated for temperatures up to around 600 degrees.

Always use a good quality brake fluid

Always use a good quality brake fluid

That’s the stopping part sorted.  At the same time there have been more phone calls, head scratching and budget juggling to figure out what the plan is going to be to fix the blown turbo from last weekend.
Given the existing plan of attempting to get to the proposed Rally NZ event next year, I have been trying to figure out the best way to make progress on that goal since I have to replace parts anyway.

I’ve made the decision to go with the upgrade plan noted previously.  So the VF30 turbo and Link engine management system that I’ve got here will be installed along with a 36mm intake restrictor to meet rally regulations and a fuel surge system so that I don’t get fuel starvation issues when running less than half a tank.  Then the whole thing gets put on a dyno and the Link tuned to get the best out of the setup.

That job is booked for Thursday and Friday.  Next event is on Sunday.  That’s another sealed autocross which will be a good shakedown for the newly set up car as the following weekend is Shelly Bay around Wellingtons sometimes wild waterfront.

More blogs and videos to come as those events happen.

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