Late Braking Update!


Brakes area very misunderstood system. In fact Mario Andretti has this to say on the subject: “It is amazing how many drivers, even on the Formula One level, think that the brakes are for slowing the car down.”

Oooh, sparks!

Oooh, sparks!

Brakes do a lot of things on a racecar: they slow your speed, manage the weight, change the balance on corner entry, allow you to out-brake the local hot-shoe at the end of a long straight, or perhaps fade and leave you out to dry on the last lap of the race. Ahem… needless to say brakes have a very important job on a racecar, and if you want to be competitive they must be at their absolute best.

The existing brakes on my car were leaking badly and I was quite suspicious about their ability to stop me reliably. Given that this is going to be a dedicated race car, and will have to routinely brake from 130mph down to 30mph, I decided that replacement was the best route. Mazdaspeed has a pretty good deal on remanufactured calipers and SS brake lines, so I ordered up a set.

While we were in there replacing the calipers and brake lines we thought that a little bit of optional work would pay off. Here you can see Brent, my sponsor and owner of Autosport Labs, cutting off one of the front brake dust shields. Removing them allows better airflow across the rotor, which results in better cooling, and saves just enough weight that I’ll be able to wear socks and still meet the minimums. Normally these are pressed on and off, but as they aren’t reusable or even resalable we took the easy fun route.

Just a little cut with the die grinder and liberal application of brute force results in this:

Brent displays the evidence.

Brent displays the evidence.

Those bits of metal are off to the big scrap heap in the sky. The rest of the project was pretty routine: hook up brake line, connect to caliper, insert pads, done! Here’s a look at the results, ooh shiny bits:

Sorry for the crappy photo...

Sorry for the crappy photo...

To finish off the project we bled the entire system with ATE Super Blue, then called it a day. BBQ anyone?

  1. #1 by Brent Picasso at September 16th, 2009

    My, those are some sexy safety glasses!

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