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The Thing About Brakes

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  • The Thing About Brakes

    Modern cars come with brakes. And they wear out after so many miles. And it's no wonder. Having driven a lot of miles in the mountains of NC, I nearly got fascinated watching brake lights on those mountain roads. Downhill. Watch the brake lights. Good grief folks ride and drag the brakes. I've always thought another career for me could be running a brake shop in hilly territory because they sure kill them.

    I'm convinced that running road courses taught me how to use and not use the brakes. Momentum is everything on a race track when your car weighs 3800 pounds and you're out-horsepowered by all the cars around you. But the brakes made it be fun, even getting beat so bad. They'd blow past, pulling away, but in the next tight curve I could drive so far into there before applying the brakes that I'd be all over them. It didn't do any good, they'd drive away again after the curve.

    Brakes. I like brakes. I've got a lot of money tied up in brakes and I used them to the max. I can't say I didn't use them to their maximum performance. That heavy car WILL slow down. It might not stop but it sure will slow down quicker than a lot of lighter cars. Brakes. And nobody needs that on the drag strip or the highway. Not brakes like those at least. They cost too much.

    Charter member of the Turd Nuggets

  • #2

    Re: The Thing About Brakes

    Back in the early-eighties before brake upgrade kits were common I had a full set of GM A-body brakes on my 215 Vega, this done after sometimes smoking stockers so bad that I'd get to the bottom of a hill such as Malibu CA's Decker Canyon and literally have to roll through the stop-sign there, unable to come to a full halt. Once the brakes were improved I'd be able to do something like have a guy right on my butt during a canyon run such as how it was done, lure him into complacency by braking early for corners for awhile, and when his time was up go in one hard and deep and then use those brakes. Somewhere out in the world there may still be a guy with a '70s 'Cuda who found what a drag it was to have to drive all the way home from the mountains with soiled underwear. Actually I don't know what ever happened to him once he disappeared from the rear view mirror, I went back to see if he crashed but there was nothing there but dust. Then and now I've managed to be able to not have to pay the fee for expensive stoppers, The El Camino had/has a full set from a first-gen Cad Seville with four-wheel-disc option (12" all around), the Camaro has Guldstrand's stock 'Vette set from back when and the Chall has a set from a 3rd-gen Z28. They're heavy though.
    ...

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    • #3

      Re: The Thing About Brakes

      Red has 14 inch 4-pistons on the front and 13-inch single-pistons on the rear. There's an ongoing argument about the bigger rotors only displace heat better. That's totally true, but I tend to disagree from a physics standpoint, especially on the front. If you look at it as a lever, the longer it is the more leverage you have. Consider the calipers to be the lever and the diameter of the rotor to be the length of the lever.

      But the farther away from the center of force you get, the more force you need to take advantage of it. I'll bet the majority of the folks who have the fancy red 4 or 6-piston brakes have never used them to their capacity. But I certainly have, and it's an amazing effect, if you have enough courage to use it. You can't do that on the street and most of those fancy brakes are on the street. Almost all of them. Just cruising around looking good. Just for show, but it will go, if you only push it.
      Last edited by pdub; June 6th, 2019, 07:34 AM.
      Charter member of the Turd Nuggets

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      • #4

        Re: The Thing About Brakes

        Vega brakes suck. Particularly on a V8 Monza. Experience speaking.
        My hobby is needing a hobby.

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