Articles, Blog

Performance Brake Upgrades

November 10, 2019


hello everyone again, Matt Covert here from
howtobecomearacecardriver.com. I am fired up, I’m totally on a roll with these videos
and I’m just going to keep on going. So I wnrt ro talk to you about, this videio, in
this video about performance brake upgrades. Now if you know me at all you know that I’m
not a huge proponent of throwing a lot of money in your racecar, especially if you’re
just getting started. But I want to go over some of the things that poeple are thinking
abouto when they are upgrading their braking systems. Because there are gains to be made,
some smaller gains. So let’s jump right into it. In a previous video I talk a little bit about
autocross versus the track application of different types of braking systems and in
autocross you don’t normally need to do any brake upgrades at all because you’re brakes
never really heat up. And most street pads will be able to handle that kind of thing. The track pads, on the other hand, if you’re
on a racetrack, you’re braking for long periods of time. There’s often a very short amount
of time for the brakes to cool off. And that’s the kind of thing that people are trying to
mitigate – not normally a problem in autocross. But let’s talk about some of the track aspects
of some of these upgrades, OK? And there are a couple things that people do and I think
one of the more, oops, wrong way here, I think one of the more popular ones is to start with
brake pads. And that makes sense because they don’t cost a whole lot of money to get some
new stuff in there, OK? But you’re looking for something that can
resist fade, brake fade. When brakes get hot their properties, their abilities to create
adequate amounts of friction to stop a vehicle, they just become less and less. And that’s called brake fade, OK? So you want
a pad that can resist that fading as heat increases. And that’s definitely something
you’ll want to do. Now keep in mind, usually the better a pad is at resisting fade the
worse it performs in cold weather, K? And that’s what people overlook when they’re looking
at autocross pads. OK? Autocross pads never heat up. And people
get excited and they go buy performance brake pads and put them on their car but they don’t
work very well. So you have to let them heat up first and that’s’ why good drivers will
always do a couple warm up laps around the track, just to get everything warmed up and
go in like that. K? A good set of brake pads you can get for
a hundred bucks, unless you get crazy and get something that’s probably more brake pad
than you would need, OK? So let’s talk about, I’m going the wrong way
again, let’s talk about performance rotors. Because you can drop huge amounts of money
on rotors from companies like Brembo, I’m actually sure if Hawk makes rotors but Brembo
and Wilwood is another big one. They have awesome rotors and you see them all the time
on great performance cars like the Mustang GT Track Pack and a lot of Porsches have Brembos
I think, Audis, they’re everywhere. Because they’re awesome. OK? So there are a couple different types of performance
rotors, OK? One of them is a slotted rotor and we’ll talk about that real quick. This
is a normal rotor from kind of an end view. It’s solid, all the way around. That makes
it strong et cetera but a slotted rotor, let’s see if I can draw this better, has all kinds
of gaps. Again from the end view I’ll kind of do this and it allows air to pass through
the center of the rotor, these go all the way down through the middle and it allows
air to go through the center of the rotor and that creates a huge amount of new surface
area. OK? Any time you add surface area your ability
to cool an object becomes much greater so what they’re doing is they’re shedding heat.
Plus surface area equals less heat. And that’s the problem that most track cars face in braking
is heat build up, and of course that goes back to brake fade again, so you’re reducing
the overall temperature by getting slotted rotors. Those are pretty common they don’t
cost a whole lot to acquire. OK the other type is a drilled rotor, and
this one’s going to be a little tougher to draw but I’m going to try, OK? So let’s see
you have the center and this is say a rotor from the side. OK? We’ll you’ll be able to
see all these slits that go around, all the way around, they’re probably an eighth inch
deep all the way around like this. OK? And from the side, if we look at it from the side
surface view, each one of those little slits does this OK? So this is what they look like
on the side and this is what they do OK? But what they’re doing is they’re taking this
shape and then doing this it it. And obviously you’re making it a little bit longer and when
you make this shape, this little scoop shape, for whatever it is, three of four inches across
you’re adding a lot of surface area as well. So it goes back to this as well. Plus surface
area equals less heat. And you can fight the brake fade like that. And there are also rotors
that have both of these, drilled and slotted combo and those can get pretty expensive,
pretty quickly. Let’s talk real quickly about a couple littler
things that you can do to upgrade your brakes. Steel brake, oops, lines. And you probably
hear about these, people talking about steel brake lines. Well I drew a great diagram in
the last video, which I will link to. The video is about how brake systems work and
there is, I’ll just jump right in. OK there is a solid brake line that connects to some
type of rubber brake line that allows the suspension components to move and that goes
to a caliper over here OK? Well this section is normally made out of
rubber and it’s very flexible, that’s it’s whole purpose, OK? But the problem with rubber
lines is that when you put a huge amount of pressure into the line the rubber can actually
expand outward and you can lose some of the braking ability of the car. Well a braided
steel line line is just a crosshatch of, it’s a metal sleeve that goes over the rubber and
it keeps it from expanding. So you can pick up a little bit of braking power through these
braided steel lines. And they’re OK, they’re not normally too expensive. They’re a pain
to put on though if you don’t like bleeding systems of whatever. And I think I want to talk about one more
real quick here. And I want to talk about brake fluid itself. And I’ve never done it
myself but I know a lot of people, I’ve heard a lot I’ve read a lot about people switching
out DOT 3 brake fluid, but they’re going to a synthetic, oops, synthetic brake fluid which
apparently has better compression resistance than a normal petroleum based one. So they’re
compressing the fluid a little bit less, I guess. And they’re saying it has better brake
response, and that’s probably the cheapest upgrade you can do is just change the fluid
in your braking system. You can probably do it for four dollars. It’s
a pain, but if you’re getting results, why not? So, and I think I’ve going to end there.
Yeah I’m going to end there, I think that’s pretty good. Yeah. If you haven’t been there, check out the Facebook
page, it’s where I give updates about the website and put, you know, motorsport culture
stuff on there. It’s a pretty cool place to hang out and I will try to link to that in
the notes below the video and I’m still on fire I’m going to go ahead and make another
video and I’ll be back in a little bit. Until I do, take care.

1 Comment

  • Reply Driver Dee May 7, 2019 at 8:09 am

    These videos are amazing! I’m not new to driving on roads but I’m getting ready to buy my first car these videos have been amazing

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